Comparo — BD Method and Factor Ski Boots


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

You guys asked for it. Here goes. We tear these plasti-toys down to the skel like Darwin dissecting a new species of monkey. What is the real difference? What’s marketing hype?

Backcountry Skiing

Two right feets, Method on left, Factor to right.

The first thing I noticed during surgery was how similar the Black Diamond Factor and Method backcountry skiing boots are. They come out of virtually the same mold, are constructed with Pebax plastic, utilize many of the same components, weigh nearly the same, have available Dynafit compatible soles. So what’s different? Mainly, Factor is a few millimeters taller, with a bit of increased shell stiffness due perhaps to slightly thicker plastic overall, but stiffer mostly because the “frame” portion of the shell design covers a greater area (more about this below).

Oh, I almost forgot. Factor is a racy green with designer buckles. Grey schema of Method is more subdued, though with golden buckles and snazzy graphics it still expresses the core creative of Black Diamond’s boot designers. Yes, ski boots certainly need not be dull.

Black Diamond backcountry skiing boots.

Identical boot boards indicate how similar these two models are.

Factor is claimed to be a “130 flex” while Method is “110.” While we scoff at boot flex ratings having much comparison value between brands, we trust Black Diamond achieved a modicum of accuracy within their own line. Hence, we’ll believe the Factor is somewhere around 18% “stiffer” than the Method. But will this make you ski 18% better without applying 18% more technique or fitness? I doubt it. Indeed, a stiff boot can magnify mistakes as much as it helps you.

Considering above, don’t get all starry eyed on us when shopping for these things. Yeah, if you want to drive wide skis of the longish variety, you ski fast, you ski good, and you have big quads, go for the Factor. On the other hand, if you WANT to ski big skis and IMAGINE you ski fast and have big quads, you won’t notice much difference between these two boots.

In terms of touring performance, the two models weigh virtually the same so comfort would be the determining item. In that sense, Method with its lower cut and slightly softer flex is not doubt easier on the feet in touring mode. We don’t see enough difference in the two boots to make this significant, but as a one who is always concerned about making the up more efficient, I’d probably go for the Method because it offers a slight advantage.

Backcountry Skiing

Screws that attach heel block are down inside the boot. We made this extendo driver from parts in the workshop. You can get in there with a regular screwdriver, but you can also chop wood with a hammer.

Backcountry Skiing

Now here is a little something interesting for you gear freaks. That's the Method backcountry skiing AT sole block attached to the Factor shell. Besides color, as far as we can tell both model's sole blocks are clones. We like that. Why not have some interchangeability between parts within a brand? Perhaps less profit to be had, but everyone's life can be easier.

Backcountry Skiing

Method with AT sole block removed. Note the molding for an extra pair of screws. We're interested in seeing if this winter's testing shows those to be necessary or not. Jury out.

Removing the BD sole blocks can be a mystifying experience. They lock on tight even without the screws (that’s good), so it is tough to know where to start. For the front block, you yank the toe area up like you’re opening a beer bottle. I did this by whacking it on the edge of my workbench (works for bottled beers too, if I want to show off). You then simply slide the block backward. Remove the screws first, of course. Replace with blue Locktite and seat with a firm twist.

As mentioned above, getting to the rear block screws can be awkward. Once they’re out, you drop the rear block by popping it off backward. I found a rubber mallet helped with this highly technical process. As did popping the ring on a Tecate to warm up my hand muscles for the tasks ahead.

Backcountry Skiing

Liner comparo, Factor to left.

We’re not sure the darker color of the Factor liner means anything except “I’m bad,” or perhaps it’s just an effort to disguise the inevitable mildew stains most core skiers eventually get on lilly white liners. But the Factor liner cuff is actually a bit stiffer than that of the Method, so there you go. Added beef comes possibly from internal differences, but also because the exterior cuff stiffener covers a larger area, as indicated by the arrows. For weight we had to compare a 27.5 Factor liner with a 27 out of the Method, both were almost identical in mass even with the 27.5 being slightly longer, so we called them both 15 ounces (which is the weight of the 27 liner) in the chart below. We’re certain any variation from that would be mere grams, if anything.

Which leads me to my one stronger criticism of these boots. I’m surprised they’re so similar in weight. In the world of human powered skiing we cover here at WildSnow, we generally expect the softer boot in a brand line to compensate with a bit of weight savings. Not so in this case. But then, Method isn’t that much softer than Factor.

Backcountry Skiing

The good stuff, comparing plastic skeleton structure.

I saved the best for last. As with many modern ski boots, Factor and Method use areas of thicker plastic to form a “frame” or “skeleton.” Voids in the skeleton are filled with thinner plastic that molds better to your feet while buckling down, saves weight, etcettera. As shown in the photo above, one obvious feature that adds Factor beef is the spine of the skeleton being wider than that of the Method. This works.

In all these are two fine boots. How to decide? I’d first think about skiing style. If you like to use some ankle in your turns, enjoy a less “locked down” style and emphasize human powered vert, consider the Method. If you’re from an alpine racing background or just ski a more compact presentation, Factor could be the one. Your size has something to do with it as well, as smaller lighter-weight skiers may be overwhelmed by too stiff a boot. Thus, those of diminutive persuasion should consider the Method. Above all, remember these boots are more similar than different, so whichever you end up with will do you fine in the end, after adjusting your technique and fitting.

One last thing. While cuff angle of these boots measures the same on the bench it may feel different in real life due to the height of the cuff or how the boots buckles pull on stiffer or softer construction. Thus, remember this is simply a tech comparo. How the boots feel on your feet is key.

 
Factor
Method
Shell length as tested 318 mm 318 mm (both 27 – 27.5 shell)
Height at rear 317 mm 310 mm (all heights with AT blocks)
Height, side, inside 277 mm 264 mm
Height, side, outside 260 mm 264 mm
Shell weight w/ AT blocks 60.8 oz (1718 gr) 59.6 oz (1688 gr)
AT sole blocks weight 9.7 oz (276 gr) 9.7 oz (276 gr)
Alpine sole blocks weight 8.0 oz (226 gr) 8.0 oz (226 gr)
Liner weight, size 27.0 15 oz (423 gr) 15 oz (423 gr)
Total weight (w/ AT soles) 75.8 ( 2143 gr) 74.5 oz (2112 gr)
Rearward travel Same with both, good range.
Forward cuff lean (locked) Same with both, adjustable, 14,18,22 degrees.

(Note, small discrepancies in weight of parts vs. total weight is due to rounding of scale numbers, also note we estimated the weight of size 27 Factor liner versus the 27.5 liner we had on hand. The actual Factor size 27 liner might be a few grams heavier than the Method size 27 liner, but not enough to be important in terms of comparing these two boots.)

Black Diamond Backcountry Skiing

Black Diamond Backcountry Ski Boots, relationship of shell sizes (bottom row) to Mondo sizes.

Shop for Black Diamond backcountry ski boots, Factor and Method.

Previous boot reviews, including Method and Factor

Comments

41 Responses to “Comparo — BD Method and Factor Ski Boots”

  1. powderjunky November 18th, 2008 9:19 am

    How do you like the liner tightener? I like it going on, but coming off seems not so fluid.

  2. Lou November 18th, 2008 9:23 am

    Personally I like liners with no lace or tightener, but the BOA seems to work fine. If I had to choose between it and laces, I’d still pick laces, but that’s just me. BOA is more fluid when you realize you can just pull the windlass button and the “laces” quickly release to full slack.

  3. powderjunky November 18th, 2008 9:43 am

    Yeah, i know about the release, i would still have to work my foot around more the usual to get it out. Maybe my feet are too fat!

  4. Lou November 18th, 2008 9:52 am

    That’s why I like no laces, no nothing! When it’s time to get out of my boots, I want out!

  5. Stewart November 18th, 2008 10:21 am

    I don’t see the point (unless low performance is the goal) of the Method. The two boot’s functionality in walk mode seems identical, they’re the same weight, and it’s not as though the Factor is that stiff. When are BD releasing a dedicated touring boot (as opposed to these cross-over free-ride boots) as part of their Efficient series?

  6. Lou November 18th, 2008 10:32 am

    Stewart, I think the idea is the Method just crosses the line over to being a bit more comfortable for walking, and is 18% less stiff, which might actually be quite a bit better for some folk’s style of skiing. In other words, even though the common take these days is that a stiffer boot has more performance (which I don’t always agree with), BD went ahead and made a softer model of what essentially the same boot. It could be called the “Factor Soft” for all intents and purposes. And that’s good. As stated in my comparo, I would like to see the softer boot weigh significantly less — that only seems fair!

  7. dave downing November 18th, 2008 10:45 am

    @powderjunky: I’ve yet to find my boots come off any more difficultly than a laceless boot/liner. You must have a fat foot like mine! :)

    @Stewart: To contrast, I did choose to get the Method over the Factor due to the slightly softer forward flex (I ski with my ankles, as lou would say). The softer flex, to me, translated into a bit more friendly hike/skin mode.

  8. Justin November 18th, 2008 10:54 am

    I’d agree with your sentiments about the Method, I don’t see the point.. I dont think its any stiffer than the Radiums, but weighs a lot more and the tour mode has much less range of motion. It seems to me that if you’re going to get one of these, unless you feel the Factor is too stiff, you get the Factor because it would be a better in bounds boot as well. Oddly it seems the BD catalog and web site all have the Factors weight listed wrong (they have 9 lb 12 oz when I think it should be 9.12 lb), you’d think they’d catch something like that. Still interested to hear what Lou thinks of Steve Romeos Factor mod to increase the cuff ROM. I’d worry that it could significantly weaken the cuff.

  9. Doug November 18th, 2008 11:05 am

    Picked up a pair of Methods and have skiied them for a day… the difference in comfort between the Method and the Mega-ride is noticeable, with the overlap design I no longer have that crushing feeling… with that, can you punch out the toe area (experienced boot fitter doing this of course). Got a longer left foot that could use a bit extra space… any suggestions. Thanks, great comparo…

  10. C. Lowe November 18th, 2008 11:12 am

    I know that “telemark” is a dirty word in these parts but based on what you know, is a comparison between BD’s new Custom and Push boots likely to yield the same results? That is, that they are more similar than different and flex is the key differentiator?

    Or, is a correlation between this review and one of BD’s tele boots not appropriate?

  11. Dongshow November 18th, 2008 11:39 am

    Black liners are preferable. If you ever fall into a creek, or break through the ice, they will dry 3-4 times faster afterwards when your laying in the sun.

  12. Patrick O November 18th, 2008 11:42 am

    I have heard some interesting reports on the durability of the BD buckles. Mostly that they are just not hardcore enough for what they advertise. Has anyone heard or experienced any of these problems?

  13. James Foulks November 18th, 2008 12:04 pm

    How about some general fit comparisons to other type boots? I know it’s relative at best, but how do does the fit on the BD line compare to the other foot-fit out there (Dynafit foot type vs. Scarpa foot type vs. Garmont foot type vs. etc……)? I for one have a Scarpa foot, can wear the Dynafits with almost equal comfort, but struggle to fit into a Garmont because of my wide forefeet, high arch and narrow heel.

  14. Lou November 18th, 2008 1:07 pm

    Lowe, yep, I’d say trying to infer stuff from this comparo to other model boots would be unfair and unwise. Mitch at Teletips does a good job with this sort of thing, perhaps he’s planning a comparo. If you see one, let us know, I’d be curious.

    James, now that the boot makers have seen the light and most boots have boot boards, fit is much easier to customize and is even less of an issue. I’ll do what I can with comparisons between brands, but it’s tough as we don’t work with every model in every brand. Same deal within brand. In the case of Method/Factor, they both fit virtually the same.

    By the way, I’ve been trying to do something pretty trick with fit comparo, so stay tuned for that.

  15. Lou November 18th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Dongshow, why didn’t I think of that!?

    And all, you know I don’t shy away from boot mods, but I prefer to hack on a new boot after it’s been out in the field for a few solid days. Dave and many others simply might not need more rearward range of motion. Also, unless the liner cuff has a way of following along with motion of the shell cuff, mobility mods might have less effect than you’d think. I’ve shaved material off other boots where the rear cuff gets stopped by the lower shell, and found it helps in some cases but was just extra work in others. Don’t worry, we’ll be looking at this and other tricks over the next weeks.

  16. Kevin November 18th, 2008 1:17 pm

    Canada has G3, now the US had BD. I often think that canadians are more positive about G3 products due to it’s local nature. It kinda seems the same with the new BD products. In that they are percieved more favorable due to a sense of designed in America pride. I thought the BD boots seemed kind of cheesy compared to the refined Scarpas, Garmonts, and Dynafits. I think the Euro boot makers have really put out some great boots this year, but the emphasis at Wild Snow and in the US seems to be on the BD boots. I suppose a lot of this has to do with the strong side-country marketing going on now. I know there is a lot of excitement at having a new brand, but is it really better then the choices offered by the Euros? The cynic in me, has to wonder what kind of Pro deals are being offered to the heaps of web related people that seems to be jumping on the BD line-up. I am excited at the increased boot competition, but wonder if the Factor demand is more marketing then a truly excellent product..

  17. Lou November 18th, 2008 1:33 pm

    Kevin, I can get any AT boot I want, and I happen to have new or nearly new Scarpas (three models), Dynafit, Garmont, Tecnica on the way, and of course access to BD.

    BD boots are the new kid on the block. We run what’s basically a journalism operation here, so the new kid that everyone is interested in has received some attention. Besides, they’re well made boots that hold their own with any in the industry.

    If you look at our boot reviews I don’t think you’ll see them skewed by more than chance and whim. See
    http://www.wildsnow.com/category/boot-reviews/
    and accuse us of Dynafit bias, but pleasssse, BD bias? Our history just doesn’t back that up. Shoot, look at our the overlap boot market review that Dave did. That has no more bias to BD than anything else, other than BD being first on the list because it’s alphabetical.

    More, we’ve got months and months of blogs to go, who says we don’t have some other boot stuff coming down the pike?

    As for what boot is better and if it’s offered by the Euros. Have we said anything about what boot is better than another? Perhaps I’ve implied that the Dynafit Green Machine is tops since I used that extensivly last season, but other than that we’ve tried to communicate what different bloggers are choosing, as well as doing comparos and first looks — if in that mix we’re making specific recommendations they’re pretty few and far between.

    Lastly, believe it or not I have a guest blogger’s Dynafit Green Machine review in the lineup. Possibly for this week but not sure.

  18. C. Lowe November 18th, 2008 1:59 pm

    You were right, Lou. Mitch at TeleTips has already done a couple reviews of the new BD tele boots. The latest one, with links to the earlier versions is here: http://www.telemarktips.com/FirstLook16.html.

    While he doesn’t say it in as many words, I get the impression that like the AT line, similarities abound between the top two boots in the tele line, and stiffness is the big difference. But in this case, Mitch liked the stiffer offering.

    Thanks for allowing me to bring the tele boots into the discussion and for pointing me in the right direction.

  19. Kevin November 18th, 2008 2:03 pm

    Thanks Lou, look forward to the dynfit review. Just feeling a little overwhelmed by all the BD boot reviews and binding mounts on my two favorite websites: tetonat.com and wildsnow.com. I have been looking for new boots this season,and I wish I could have the whole season’s reviews at once. It would be nice to hear why Dave D. chose the Method over the Axons, which he seemed to enjoy last year. Definitely enjoy Lee Lau’s boot reviews – I appreciate his comparisons to known boots, like the megarides. Overall, it is amazing how many boots we have to choose from. Hopefully we will get some more snow, so that we can get some more on-snow review. If I had snow, I would be skiing. Kevin

  20. Colin November 19th, 2008 1:33 am

    Interesting stuff Lou, even to a tele skier like me who’s probably going to get some Dynafits in the future. :-)

    Kevin, Steve Romeo is sponsored by BD (and Dynafits), so that’s probably why he skis the Dynafit CFs and the new Factors.

  21. D.Berov November 19th, 2008 4:13 am

    Dear Lou,
    Thanks for the comparison, it really helped in getting things clear on the new BD boots. I’ve been looking at the new AT boots that are coming out this season and I am trying to find the at boot to replace my Nordica beast super heavy alpine boot. I will be buying my first pair of AT boots , and I am a bit skeptic about softer flex models with 3 buckles. I am quite an aggressive skier, so I really need that flex, hence it’s really hard for me to make that step between the alpine and the AT boots.
    We have quite a limited at boots market in my country , so far I’ve only managed to try on the Scarpa spirit 4s, Dynafits zzero4s and zzeus, and the BD Method. They all seem to have softer flex than my Nordicas, and the only boots that really fit me well straight out of the box are the Methods! They just felt like they were made for my foot, and that was quite a surprise, as I normally can only fit in Nordica alpine boots. I still have to try on the Garmont Axons, but I have the feeling they will be too narrow for me ( adrenalines barely fit me..).
    My only concern is the weight of the Methods, I need a boot that would allow me to tour longer distances and do more ski mountaineering.. would you say that the methods are way too heavy to fit this purpose? Should I sacrifice more on flex and get something lighter, like the zzero4s?

  22. Lou November 19th, 2008 7:54 am

    Berov, if you want real stiffness in a boot you have to haul some extra ounces of weight. In my opinion BD has done as good a job as anyone in keeping beefy boots as light as possible. My recommendation would be to buy your beef boots based on fit, not weight. If the Method fits, go for it! Save weight with some Dynafit bindings.

  23. dave downing November 19th, 2008 9:40 am

    @lou: Jeez lou, there you go again saying dynafit bindings are the end all be all :) kidding…

    @ Kevin: I like the Method over the Axon due to background in alpine skiing. I just prefer the feel of an overlap construction boot better when skiing downhill (more forward flex as opposed to the “locked in” feeling with the Axon). And, as stiff as the Axons were, I didn’t feel they had that much more mobility with their tongue design. Honestly though, I would have been happy with the beef of either boot.

  24. Schubwa November 20th, 2008 11:07 am

    It was interesting to see how Steve Romeo basically converted his Factors into something less than the Method. Why get the stiffest boot in the line and then neuter it?
    I too struggled with the decision on which boot to get, and committed to the Method. Here’s my thoughts: If you want an alpine boot, buy a Factor (I already have a pair of Nordicas). If you want a backcountry boot, buy it. I beefed up my Megarides and wanted something more. The Method is less expensive, comes with the Dynafit sole I want, and should mate well with the 95mm waisted skis I run. After decades of suffering in too tight race boots, the Method felt just right. I’m interested to see how the 22 degree setting works out as I could never get enough lean out of my old boots (which I’ll keep for longer approaches).

  25. Matt Gunn November 21st, 2008 6:12 pm

    I just bought a pair of methods despite the weight penalty because they fit my foot incredibly well. I have a low volume foot and have a really hard time finding a boot I don’t rattle around in. Garmont has worked moderately well for me in the past, so I was keen on the Radium, but as it turns out it feels like it has more volume than the megaride and didn’t fit my foot. The second I tired on the Method I was totally sold – it really does a great job of cradling my foot. I haven’t skied on it yet, so I may change my mind, but I think it’ll work well. I agree that it’s too heavy – I don’t want a sole that can change to alpine and I’ll be carrying that weight around, but the benefit of a good fit is too much for me to pass up.
    Matt

  26. Jonathan Shefftz November 26th, 2008 4:58 pm

    “Rearward travel Same with both, good range.”
    – Good, compared to what? I was shocked at their limited range when I checked them out today. Granted, this was after skinning in my Zzero4, but I had a Method on one foot and a Radium on the other. Both boots had the two upper cuff buckles completely undone, and ditto for powerstrap. Radium felt fine, like an AT boot should. Method felt completely dysfunctional for touring since the rear cuff relaxed to a postion barely more upright than my Dobie plug boots. Wasn’t even comfortable for several feet of walking. Removed the liners from the boots, pushed the rear cuff as back as possible, then compared the Radium to the Method and Factor: the different positions were striking.

  27. Lou November 26th, 2008 5:11 pm

    Good, not excellent? Poor would be an alpine boot with a walk mode? It was a pretty subjective term in this situation, as I wasn’t doing a specific comparo among brands. When I do the molds perhaps I can do a cuff rearward travel measurement of some sort as well… Stiff liners in new boots can make them feel worse in terms of travel, keep that in mind as well. But point taken, I should be careful of the words…

  28. Jonathan Shefftz November 27th, 2008 7:50 pm

    “Good, not excellent? Poor would be an alpine boot with a walk mode?”
    - Yep, poor, that’s about what it felt like, and lining up the shell with the Radium, that’s about what it looked like.
    - When I first read this.

    . . . and in particular saw this.

    . . . I thought Steve’s mod was along the lines of removing F1 tongues (i.e., excessive optimizing – which of course I’ve done to my own F1). But now I realize that’s necessary just to make the boot acceptable while skinning for anyone who’s used to any other AT boot and takes skinning strides longer than baby shuffles.

  29. Jonathan Shefftz November 28th, 2008 5:34 pm

    I’ll amend my prior observations with the clarification that my standard for comparison has been what I would previously have considered “all-around” AT boots but that many might now brand “touring-oriented” AT boots, e.g., Scarpa Matrix, Scarpa Spirit 3, Dynafit Zzero4 C-TF, Garmont MegaRide.
    So maybe if those are Excellent on the “Rearward travel” scale (with the Scarpa F1 and Dynafit TLT Race pretty much off the scale, and the “downhill-oriented” Radium also meriting the same Excellent), then I wouldn’t quibble with a rating of “Fair to Good (depending on personal perceptions and preferences)” for the Method and Factor. (And otherwise very impressive and innovative designs, which makes the relative lack of rearward travel all the most surprising.)

  30. Court December 8th, 2008 10:28 am

    Lou,

    What is the thermo-molding protocol for the BD boots? Can they be done at home, or do they require advanced equipment like the magic heat wand stand blower thing?

    Thanks!

  31. Lou December 8th, 2008 10:33 am

    Details in link below, with care I’m sure they could be done at home.

    http://www.bdel.com/pdf/F08_TechManual-Boots-sm.pdf

  32. jack December 8th, 2008 11:05 am

    the front part, just aft of the toes (most people have a small knob sticking out). in my case 110 mm. yes, I do know some fitters, who can – against a fee – do the molding, grinding, etc

  33. Milos December 11th, 2008 3:04 pm

    I thought I’d add my $0.02 since I spent a lot of time trying on a lot of different AT boots this Fall, and ultimately went with the Methods. First, the disclaimer that every boot fits everyone differently, and I think this can radically change how stiff the boot feels. Second, I was looking for a new BC setup for CO and beyond that rivaled my resort rig while keeping the weight low (ended up with Dynafits on oh-so-light Head Monster 95 OB). So here we go…

    Skookum. Felt stiff but no progressive flex (hard tongue). Otherwise comfortable like a Scarpa.

    Radium. I guess I don’t like the way Garmonts fit my feet. I have relatively wide feet that are NOT high volume and it felt like the sides of the boot were crushing my feet. I also noticed some buckling in the plastic when I flexed forward, not sure if you call this ‘progressive’. This boot was not stiff enough to be the BC rager I was looking for.

    Dynafit C4: One of the most comfortable boots, also extremely light weight, flex felt stiffer than the Radium, more progressive than the Skookum, though sort of afraid it wouldn’t hold up. Was my second choice overall.

    Method. Tried on the 28.0 first. Flexed really well, stiff but progressive, noticed a little buckling of plastic in the ankle area. Tried on one boot with stock BOA liner and the other with my Intuitions, as that is what EVERYONE in CO seems to be doing. I walked around the block and hands down the stock liner walked so much better. Next I tried the lightweight 2nd choice Dynafit next to the Method w stock liner. Still walking felt incredible in Method. I didn’t notice the weight diff unless I shook my booted foot.

    I ended up downsizing the BD to 27.5 because of the buckling and because I like an aggressive boot (Buckling went away in the 27.5).

    I have similar complaints about the toe box as I have read elsewhere.

    I skied the Methods at Eldora on Thanksgiving Day on hard pack. Coming from an old pair of Denalis, I never expected to be able to squeeze that kind of performance out of an AT boot. Despite having a 110 flex they are still not as solid as my resort boots (Atomic Race 10.50s), possibly because of the lower cuff.

    One benefit not mentioned above in buying the Methods is that I hear that the AT toe blocks are not scheduled to be available until mid-December. So if you want a Dynafit compatible boot now…

  34. Lou December 11th, 2008 4:29 pm

    Milos, thanks for the shopping TR, sounds like you took the time to really figure it out. Appreciate seeing that.

  35. doug abromeit December 14th, 2008 3:55 pm

    is the flex index for spirit 4s w/the ski tongue and bd methods about the same or are the methods signifcantly stiffer? anybody skied both of them and have comments on their respective advantages/disadvantages.thanks. doug

  36. Lou December 14th, 2008 6:02 pm

    Doug, I’d say in terms of flex your comparo is about the same for both boots. The Methods are definitely not “significantly” stiffer. I’ve skied the Spirit 4 but have not skied the Methods, though I’m planning on doing plenty of boot testing in the next few weeks, and that’ll include the Methods. I can say that the boots will feel quite a bit different in terms of flex for downhill, because one is a tongue boot and one an overlap. Like Dave has been shouting in all our reviews, and I concur, this is a matter of taste. One is not superior to the other.

    More than flex, I have to say that Scarpa has the most different fit of all the boots I’ve been evaluating, but it also has what’s arguably the most customizable fit what with a full-on Intuition liner, all straps and buckles user removable, customizable footboard, etc. Method is pretty good that way as well, but the Scarpa has the edge in this.

  37. doug abromeit December 14th, 2008 8:25 pm

    Lou….thanks for the quick response and thanks for the awesome website!

  38. Dmitriy December 27th, 2008 6:18 pm

    Lou, you might really be interested in the thread going on here:
    http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=144961

    Do you have any updates on the boots? Maybe Dave Downing has some input?

  39. Lou December 29th, 2008 8:16 am

    That TGR thread made me laugh. Gear breaks. Life isn’t perfect. A first year product might, just might, have something that needs improving or beefing. Why is that so stunning and life changing? So long as BD honors their warranty and eventually improves the weak link, that just seems like the ins and outs of normal product manufacturing. If the things were breaking all over the place that would be another issue entirely and would require a recall, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. As for our test boots and others I know about in the greater WildSnow circle, so far they’ve held up fine and we’ll honestly blog about any issues that develop.

  40. dave downing December 29th, 2008 12:26 pm

    So far I haven’t had the walk mode bar break. That’s good. The biggest thing I’ve noticed so far is that the toe box is narrower than my other boots. Go go Surefoot-insole-free-boot-work-agreement !!!

  41. Joanne November 27th, 2010 6:35 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Don’t know what we would do without you… I had been mystified by how to remove the sole blocks on my Shiva’s for an hour. Then I came across your article. I guess it didn’t occur to the folks at BD that instructions on how to put on the new block aren’t very useful without instructions on how to take off the old ones!

    And for those of us who don’t own a rubber mallet, a hammer works too!

Got something to say? Please do so.





Anti-Spam Quiz:


If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.
:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.
Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

All material on this website online magazine is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked.. Permission required for reproduction, electronic or otherwise. This includes publication and display on other websites by whatever means. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

Switch To Mobile Version