Downhill skiers have had them for years: boot carriers that allow you to carry a pair ski boots in one hand. It took Skadi Nordic to come out with the lightweight and efficient equivalent for cross country ski boots: BootMate. A simple but ingenious device, you snap the front pin of your ski boot on either side of the BootMate. You then have a very convenient way to carry and hang your ski boots.
I've been using them for several weeks now, but they really came in handy at the first race of the season when I spent the night at the Boyne Valley Lodge in Walloon Lake. My race bag is filled with ski clothing, post ski clothing, toiletry bag, socks, gloves, hats, jacks, towel... and there simply is no room to pack ski boots. That usually means a special trip back to the car to gather four slippery boots into my arms to bring them inside.
With BootMate, I had my race bag in with one hand and both pairs of boots handing from BootMates in the other. Furthermore, I was able to hang the boots up to dry, high above the cold floor.
I've also found that it's much easier to keep track of my many ski boots in the car. I have fours pairs of boots: Two ancient sets for rollerskiing, two sets for skiing. The BootMates make it easy to keep all the boots in the right pairs.
You can also get BootMate with NNN, Pilot, or Profile "BootBuddies" that protect the ski boots from snow. BootBuddies snap into the bottom of you boot and keep the snow out, so you can put the boot into the binding without first digging out snow. (A black BootBuddie is picture above, next to the BootMate). BootBuddies snap into the side of the BootMate for storage. BootBuddies add an extra $10 to the cost. (I have not had enough time to really play with the BootBuddies - we haven't had enough snow in southeast Michigan - so a review will have to wait).
Skadi Nordic also makes a "BootDock" from which you can hang the BootMate if you want something more refined than a nail or hook.
A simple device, but one that I find very useful. Recommended!