It's been said that today, everyone is making great skis. But that doesn't mean that all gear is created equal. Some skis are better than others, and there's no doubt that if you only ski the Back Bowls that you'll end up unhappy with a frontside slalom hardpack carver. There's also the issue of boots. Well-fitting boots are the key to great days on the snow (which is why we argue that they're the one piece of equipment that everyone should purchase, along with some custom insoles to keep your feet happy, warm and comfortable all day long).

To help you find the best gear for perfect days this winter, we asked buyers at a few of the valley’s top demo shops which new all-mountain, powder, and groomer skis they’ll be test-driving this season, along with one of Vail Village’s most-trusted fitters which new boots are the best for Vail skiers. Regardless of if you're a visitor who is planning on demoing equipment during your holiday, or if you're a local who plans on purchasing new gear for the season, here's what they say you should be on this winter 

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