Dynafit ZZeus Boot Fit & Performance

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Okay holiday shoppers, time for a reality check. Just how stiff is the ZZeus? How light? How is the fit? And the question we always ask here at WildSnow HQ, can she ski?

Dynafit ZZeus AT boot.

Dynafit ZZeus AT boot.

Before getting into the details, let me fire off a PSA. Be it known that if you’re walking into a shop and spending a wad of Franklins on AT boots, YOU MUST evaluate fit by molding them to your feet if the boots have thermo liners (as the ZZeus does). If your shop does not do this as a matter of course, they’re demonstrating excretory negligence and you should go somewhere else. And if you’re too lazy to ask for sample molding to be done, you’ll not find out what boot REALLY feels and fits the best. So get those things on the blower for 10 minutes, then decide. And don’t believe any stories about how “molding ruins the boots for the next guy…” You’re the guy. You deserve the service.

(Edit for concerned retailers: The above should be expected by the customer within reason. I’m not saying a person can walk into a shop and expect you to mold liners for every boot they’re interested in. You’d do the sample molding after the choices are narrowed down, and at your discretion after you feel the person is a legit customer and not a tire kicker looking for what size boots they should buy online. And if you can sell boots without provisional liner molding, more power to you.)

Back to ZZeus fit and performance review…

First, let me say ZZeus skis great and flexes like a champ. I compared flex by wearing different brand/model boots side-by-side on my feet. ZZeus felt slightly stiffer in forward flex than the BD Factor, about the same lateral stiffness, and has a pleasant flex that’s not too bouncy but feels like you’ve actually got something in front of your shin to push against if necessary. And yep, I’ve skied in the ZZeus a number of times now and they’ve got all the power I’d ever need. Toured fine as well (they’re light in weight for a beef boot, with good cuff travel).

While ZZeus appears narrow when compared next to other AT shoes, they’re actually very similar in size to most boots. For example, much of the Black Diamond Factor’s wider look is the result of thicker plastic in certain areas, as well as different graphics. Nonetheless, the two shells do vary in width — but so little it would be of no concern unless you had extra wide or extra narrow feet, in which case you’d want to either up/down size your shell to compensate, or pick the boot with more/less room in your area of concern.

To be more specific. First thing with a boot brand fit comparison is to pick whatever shell sizes match your feet best — no matter what Mondo size they claim to be. After experimentation, I decided that the ZZeus 322 (28/28.5) is the correct shell for me in that brand, while the Factor 318 (27/27.5) was the right BD choice. Interesting the shell sole lengths are within 4 millimeters of each other in total length even though they’re specified for a full Mondo range difference (Mondo measures size in centimeters.)

I then made foam measurement casts of both boots, as well as measuring various dimensions that area easily accessed inside the boots. Results:

One important dimension is how wide the shell is at ball of foot. Not where your foot rests, but actually the widest part of the shell in that area, where bunions would press if you had those nefarious physicalities. ZZeus=105 Factor=102.

As an indicator of ankle area room, distance between the shell cuff rivets is a good indicator. ZZeus=86, Factor=88.

I also measure the width of the heel pocket at a standardized spot. ZZeus=76, Factor=71.

Another interesting measurement is the width of what some folks call the “footboard” or “bootboard,” meaning the surface the boot liner sits on (I prefer the term “footboard”). Using this as your only guideline can be misleading as your foot doesn’t rest on this surface, but is held some distance above it by your liner and footbed inside the liner. But shape of the footboard can clue you to overall fit trends.

Footboard of ZZeus has a snugger shape, with differences of around 6 millimeters in width. BUT, both brand’s liners are of the “strobble” type, meaning they have a somewhat fixed sole shape. I compared those and they’re amazingly similar. In fact, either liner can be used in either boot (after molding, of course).

Overall, I’d call the ZZeus overall fit to be slightly snugger than the Factor. What that means is both boots will work fine for average feet. Those with feet on the narrow side should look at ZZeus first, those with wider feet should look at the Factor (or for that matter, Method).

AND, don’t forget that the ultimate way to fit a performance boot is to keep the shell fit on the tighter side, punch any problem spots, and mold a custom liner. Either boot will work for that, with the edge to ZZeus because it’s made from PU plastic, which is very easy to heat work.

Now, a few words about touring performance.

ZZeus cuff travel compared to well known brand at rear.

ZZeus cuff travel compared to well known brand at rear.

I’m confident in stating ZZeus has the edge on the uphill over just about any beef boot we’ve seen. For a downhill oriented boot made with PU plastic it is super low in mass. For example, even with its 4 mm longer sole, ZZeus is lighter than our comparo Factor by 2.5 ounces per boot (see weight chart).

More importantly, by our measurements ZZeus has 25 degrees cuff travel (much of that in the rearward, more important direction). This is excellent cuff travel in comparison to any boot. Factor comes in at about half that with 12 degrees travel.

In summary, we continue to see ZZeus as a worthy player in the downhill performance arena. We’d classify them on the slightly lesser side of average volume, and are confident that with the correct shell size and molded liner these boots will fit just about anyone’s feet. And that cuff travel. Wow.


See other ZZeus reviews here at WildSnow.com.

Shop for ZZeus backcountry skiing boots.

Comments

97 Responses to “Dynafit ZZeus Boot Fit & Performance”

  1. jerimy December 4th, 2008 11:50 am

    Some of your boot measurement comparisons reference the ZZero instead of ZZeus. I’m sure it is easy to get mixed up with all the new boots on the test bench.

  2. Lou December 4th, 2008 12:10 pm

    Woops! Those danged names. Thanks. Should be fixed now. I also looked at my notes to make sure I hadn’t grabbed the wrong numbers.

  3. Tony December 4th, 2008 12:20 pm

    Lou, I am wondering about your suggestion that shops mold the linvers before you commit to buying the boot. My understanding is that you can only mold the liners so many times, so wouldn’t molding the liners without selling them make them harder to sell to the next customer?

  4. Sean December 4th, 2008 12:22 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Great details for us poindexter types. As a chicken-legged skier with scrawny ankles, heel pocket snugness is a high priority for me. You mentioned that measurement wise, compared to the Method the Zzeus is wider in the heel while being narrower in the ankle.

    How did that translate in fit, was there any sort of noticeable difference in heel hold or heel pocket snugness overall?

    And last, can you discuss a fit comparison of the Zzeus vs the Zzero 4 CF?

  5. Doug December 4th, 2008 12:27 pm

    Lou,
    You suggest having shops mold the ZZeus liners for interested customers before purchase. If you’re the next guy to come in and try the boot on, and want to purchase it — don’t you want the boot & liner you buy to molded the first time to your foot!!??? Seems unrealistic and a bit presumptious to expect shops to mold boots prior to selling them — unless Dynafit wants to supply “tester” liners. Also unlikely. In the interests of providing the best customer service I prefer to keep the liners unmolded until purchase — so the paying customer gets the fullest life out of his/her liners. As a retailer, I’m very concerned with your suggestion that shops should be willing to mold liners for every prospective customer. Especially given the replacement cost to a liner is @ $200. And we, the retailer, would be expected to replace the ‘once molded’ liner, at our expense, in order to make a sale and satisfy the customer. Yes, these boots are all expensive, and customers should be allowed to have as much opportunity to feel each boot on their foot. However, shops take enough risk in stocking all the different styles available in the first place without guaranteed sales or snow (as is the case so far in MT this season). It comes down to the quality of staff working in each shop. As a skilled boot-fitter, it is my job to ensure a good match between a customer’s foot and boot choice. I don’t believe that should also require molding liners before purchase — which inevitablly will result in having to replace liners at the store’s cost.

  6. Kirk December 4th, 2008 12:32 pm

    I know at least a couple of shops that will mold the liners for you prior to purchase. Modern liners can get endure quite a few cookings. Bent Gate in Golden was nice enough to tell me I didn’t own them until I skied them, so they molded the liners for me and I took them home for some basement skiing first.

  7. Lou December 4th, 2008 12:48 pm

    Sean, I’d say if you have skinny heels the ZZeus has a narrower heel pocket. It measured wider in that one spot I evaluate, but visual inspection shows it to be narrower overall in the heel. That said, the Factor has a more molded/pronounced heel pocket, so if your liner filled the space, that configuration might be better.

    Above is why at some point I’m going to have to limit my blabber about how this things might fit. There are just too many variables in both feet and boots. You can draw inferences from the data we present, but no way can we crystal ball how a given boot is going to fit a given foot — unless we have both here in our shop.

    As for molding liners before purchase, at least in the case of Dynafit this is direct from the horse’s mouth. Dynafit NA wants dealers to do it, and I’m sure they back them up on it. As for how many times a liner can be molded, as far as I know most of today’s liners can be molded many times.

    And Doug, if your shop provides good skilled boot fitting service, I’m sure you can convince the customer they don’t need to mold that liner because you are money-back certain the boot you recommend will fit great. But many shops don’t have a boot fitter on hand. Perhaps most importantly, customers are getting the wrong impression about boot fit if they just stick their foot in an un-molded liner, but that’s happening all over the place. (“Unmolded” is the wrong word, as these liners are “molded,” but they’re molded to a universal last that’s frequently off from what feels good out of the box.) I should probably use the word “pre molded.”

  8. Tom G December 4th, 2008 1:16 pm

    Lou, how about adding a “Boot Specs” category where we can find the dimensions and weights all in one place? Good review, the dimensions are really revealing. Would still like to see how the cuff heights compare.

  9. Lou December 4th, 2008 1:22 pm

    Tom, it’s coming. I’ve got the page done and am adding info as we speak. But it’s cutting in to my ski time.

  10. al December 4th, 2008 2:20 pm

    I totally agree ,heat molded boots must be heat molded OR at least heat molded to your foot and swapped from another boot will sometimes be ok ,I am doing both presantly

    I tried some xenas (small feet) and they were so tight before molding that I doubt I could have done a bunny run , even tho the shop owner said “thats your boot !”

    My roomate ended up buying that very boot so I got to try it after molding BIG difference … shop owner was right .

    I ended up buying the boot and it’s the best fitting ski boot I ever owned ,you gotta pick your shell size and heat mold with a heat molded liner

  11. Tom G December 4th, 2008 3:01 pm

    Lou, by all means go ski!

  12. Rando Swede December 4th, 2008 5:36 pm

    After many years of fitting/molding boots in a shop I had gotten to the point of molding before purchase only a few times. A competent boot fitter will have the experience to recognize foot types/shapes/issues and know which boot to recommend.

    This does not always work with someone who comes in with a set opinion on which boot they need. Sadly, I generally found that this was an ego driven disaster and the customer usually came back, tail between the legs, begging for some help or a new boot.

    A real pro will make you stand barefoot or stocking foot, look at your foot mechanics, watch your stride, ask about that 6th toe or the boulder sized-bunion and get a history of what sort of boots and shoes have actually worked for you in the past. The bootfitter should listen to YOU not just tell you what boot you need.

    When it came to molding liners, more often than not, I would recommend that a customer ski with the liners unmolded a time or two. Then, they could tell me how it feels during cold temps, hiking, scrambling, skiing, apres… whatever. And I could deal with the issues. This never once came back to bite me.

    Also, a foot changes in size/shape drastically throughout the day and I would avoid boot fitting first thing in the morning. Ideally, I would fit boots after they had spent a day skiiing… when their feet are the most hammered. If I could make them feel good then, I was on to something.

  13. Lou December 4th, 2008 5:43 pm

    Sweed, if every shop had a guy like you we’d be much better off. Reality is that people are clamping their feet into boots with pre-molded liners, without the guidence of a trained boot fitter, then basing their purchase on how that feels. We think that doing this with any brand/model is not the way to evaluate fit — unless the person is receiving major TLC.

    It’s a tricky deal for the boot makers. Should they pre-mold on such a big last that the boot will not hurt anyone, but feel sloppy for many? Or should they pre-mold tight and risk the boot feeling too snug? Only solution I can see that works across the board is to mold those boots case-by-case for serious qualified customers. We’re talking $700+ purchases here, so give me a break, if a qualified customer wants the boot “sample molded,” what’s the problem? I mean, it’s not like they’re buying a tube of chapstick. (Tire kickers can of course do what they will.)

    As for mail order, I’m not sure what’s going on with that… I mold boots here in a nice big convection oven we bought, and am upgrading to a blower in just a few days. That’s the solution for the WildSnow crew…

    Ultimately, if retailers want to fight their sales being siphoned off by mail order, they should bend over backward till their spine cracks, in my humble opinon. Again, $700+ purchase, what’s the big deal about some extra service?

  14. Matt December 4th, 2008 11:56 pm

    As a bootfitter and part of a shop that sells dynafits, among other boots with true heat moldable liners (intuitions), I have to disagree with the fact that the liner needs to be molded pre-purchase.

    The big deal about “extra service” is that I truly believe a shop provides sub-par service if the liner has been molded, even once, before a customer purchases.

    The customer is buying a new boot, they should receive a new liner. A shop should not find it necessary to absorb the cost of said “test liners.” If dynafit is willing to provide these liners, then great! Good on them. Most likely that’s not the case.

    If a customer is spending $700 on a boot, they should go to a good bootfitter. The bootfitter will know if the foot will fit with the shell alone.

    And WHY won’t dynafit just put intuitions in all their boots??!!?

  15. andyw December 5th, 2008 3:37 am

    Good debate going here.
    Looking to buy my first ski/ tourer boot next week. I think I need a beefier boot that will use up my time skiing and ease me into touring so I can find my feet and not go head first into the backcountry and kill myself or cause some serious stress to mountain rescue.

    I think you gotta choose where you go for good advice and keep your eye on everything before you go you don`t want to walk in there totally unarmed you need some knowledege. I phoned around shops, 1 of them when I asked about the harshheisen he said yes the brakes would fit the ski :P
    This is alot of money I`m going to spend and the difference between good and bad fit will seriousy effect the day I have. Try before you buy would be good, but then again when I go in the shoppe I want virgin untouched boots all for myself.

    I`m going to put my faith in my choice of shop and hope I get the best advice with regards to my feet, I also put faith in the technology used to make these boots and am hoping from dynastar to Scarpa these things are going to deliver whatever I choose. Because ultimatly I just got engaged and this is my treat to myself, she got a ring and she`s happy, but skiing means that much to us all I think.

    ta for the article lou.

  16. gringo December 5th, 2008 6:01 am

    Lou.you missed the mark here. As a former fitter i agree with the several above posts that its not absolutley neccesary to bake in order to ascertain proper fit.

    i will also back up the point that If I am paying several hundred on a pair of new boots…I want NEW boots. even with pro fitting we all know that you might need to cook again to adjust to something…and knowing that i have a liner that can take everything I throw at them to make them fit ME is important.

    That is sometimes the problem when someone gets free gear for too long, you can forget what its like for the normal guy paying full retail….full price hurts and you should get every pennys’ worth.

  17. Lou December 5th, 2008 8:02 am

    Gringo, I hear what you’re saying, but you missed one key point. Boots with lasted thermo liners have already been heat molded at least once at the factory, and can take a ton of moldings, thus how does the customer even know it’s been molded at the shop? More importantly, it doesn’t matter and doesn’t make the boot “used.”

    I assume by your “free gear” comment that you mean I’ve lost touch with retail? Far from it, I pay quite a bit of attention to ski retail and do my share of shopping. My take on molding boots for fit is based on what I think would provide the best customer service, not some self-serving theory born of ignorance. More, this is the procedure that Dynafit recommends, and other boot makers don’t seem to have any problem with.

    Like I said in another comment, if a shop has a boot fitter who’s also a good salesman, and they can convince a customer to buy boots that feel too loose or tight off-the-shelf, then more power to them. But molding liners for the qualified customer is something I feel is a legitimate service and something any discerning customer would appreciate immensely.

    Many of us grew up with liners that could only be molded several times. That’s not the case anymore, but perhaps that’s where some of this concern comes from? Molding a liner for fit testing now days is no different than buckling the boot. Heck, liners mold from foot pressure. So if a person wears the boot around the shop for three hours to “see how it feels,” does that make it a used boot with a re-molded liner? Or if they walk out on the sidewalk and scuff the sole, does that make it used? Come on…

  18. Cameron Millard December 5th, 2008 8:22 am

    This is a bit off topic, but I was wondering if anyone has had experience using Scarpa’s NTN boots with Dynafit bindings? It seems like these boots may be too flexible for downhill performance, but I haven’t seen much chatter online about how they actually work.

  19. andyw December 5th, 2008 9:33 am

    yeah, what I`m trying to say is that once I get a pair of boots I`m stuck with them. (Don`t tell the fiancee that). So as much info about them the better I`m expecting them to last a good 5 years or so. So I`m never gonna buy over the net but I do want something thats nice and shiny out the wrapper.

    I would take a good boot fitters advice on these things, hopefully they have tested a range of stuff and will pass on a wealth of experience but truth is you never know till you get out on them on and try them out.

  20. Lou December 5th, 2008 9:41 am

    Cameron, so long as the boot has Dynafit fittings, various types of flex will suit different styles of skiing. Thus, there is no overall take on “how they actually work” for making turns. In terms of function, they work fine if they’re mounted correctly. Or, if you’re asking if they’re beefy enough for aggressive downhill, that would just depend on the exact model/fit/stiffness. I have a pair of Scarpa F3s here. While they don’t have an NTN sole, they’re similar to Terminator X, though probably less beefy, and they ski fine. As for the metatarsal bend, I find it interesting and sometimes more comfortable, but for the most part it’s over rated as a feature for full-on ski mountaineering — though it’s nice if you do a lot of low angled tours.

  21. Rando Swede December 5th, 2008 9:49 am

    Maybe there is another blog topic here.. Just how many times can each brand and style of liners be re-cooked? Lou, can you come up with that from the manufacturers?

    The question being from us bootfitter types is that if a customer wants to mold the liners before they buy and then decide they do not like the fit, can the bootfitter just plop them on the blowers and re-puff them to remove the previous customers “footprint?”

    I think most bootfitters here would agree that the liners we are familiar with start to get crispy and less pliable with multiple moldings. Hence the hesitation to waste a fitting on someone who doesn’t end up buying the boot. The buying public wants pristine boots… even the small scuff that you mention will come with a request for discount. Seriously… you would be very surprised what people ask for. Would you pay full price for previously installed clutch for that CJ?

    Again, a good time for some clarification and education by the skiing blog-master…

  22. Lou December 5th, 2008 10:37 am

    Rando, yeah, there are of course gray areas in any negotiation. As for plopping the boot on the blower and re-puffing, you’re not getting what I’m saying. Boots such as ZZeus are coming from the factory pre-molded to what the maker guesses is an average last in some region of Italy. When you mold them for a customer to test, you’re just doing the same thing, only for that customer’s foot. Might as well leave them for the next person, and mold again then if necessary. If you puff them without lasting, you’re just introducing extra work and time.

  23. Justin December 5th, 2008 12:52 pm

    Totally off topic, but do you guys have any more in the field reports on the Radium coming? Probably due to lack of snow, but I havent really heard from many people who have actually skied the Radium and can compare it to the megaride and the other overlap boots. Particularly interested in lateral stiffness vs. the megaride.

  24. Lou December 5th, 2008 4:10 pm

    Justin, we’ve got all that coming. Can only do so much in a day! I was thinking of something like “Scarpa Week” then “Garmont Week,” though as these companies only provide boots I don’t have as much fodder to work with as I do with Dynafit. We have a pair of Radiums here that I’ve been working with, and we have Scarpa Skookum, F1 and F3. We also have Bob Perlmutter on both Axon and ZZeus, Dave out on his Methods, and more. We’ll probably even do two posts in a day at some point.

  25. Lou December 5th, 2008 5:05 pm

    Everyone, I should clarify that I’m not talking about molding liners for every tire kicker that walks in off the street. I thought that was obvious from my mention of a person “spending a wad of Franklins.” But whatever, interesting how easy it is to freak out all you boot fitters and shop types (grin). Bottom line, you want to sell the boots or let Backcountry.com do it for you?

  26. Marco December 6th, 2008 12:49 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Am very interested in your new blower system, whether its home-built or a commercial system, and your thoughts verses using a convection oven for the home molding crowd. Perhaps a subject for a cool future blog story? : )

  27. al December 7th, 2008 7:54 pm

    exactly,you don’t mold a boot for every tire kicker BUT the shop owner has to be sure enough about what they are doing to say” thats the boot for your foot and If you buy it I will guarantee the fit ” and at that point the buyer is expected to either give it a pass or buck up .

    I got a nice little discount on my boots cuz according to the owner a shop employee had put a customer in a boot that was too big.The owner made good for the other customer and I got 15% off on a boot with a liner that had been molded once

  28. Lou December 7th, 2008 8:01 pm

    And… I’m still sticking to my guns that the qualified buyer should be able to try a boot with a liner molded for them…

  29. Lou December 7th, 2008 8:07 pm

    Marco, I’m getting a commercial blower system and using a boot fitter’s while mine is on order. Building the homebrew one was taking me too much time, and it was too tough to regulate the temperature. If you cook a liner too hot, it does ruin it, so not something to play around with. I have a heat gun with heat settings, and set the gun up with some tubing and tried it, but it was really tricky. If you’re careful the new liners can still be molded in an oven, but it’s so much easier to get good results when they’re blower heated in the boot.

  30. shanti December 8th, 2008 1:54 am

    I just wanted to say I appreciate your site a lot. I have tried on a lot of boots and compared the factor to the zzeus to the radium and so on but your thoughts after having skied in them are very helpful. Thank you for these in depth reviews of products in the backcountry arena which, as a result of constant development, are constantly in need of evaluation before purchasing.

  31. Lou December 8th, 2008 7:14 am

    Thanks Shanti!

  32. Chris December 8th, 2008 11:37 am

    Lou, Doug, Matt-

    I went to my local dealer who is well known for boot fitting. After trying on many different boots ( uncooked) I finally decided on the BD Factor. I was told that this shell best matches my slightly wider than average foot.

    Long story short, even after molding the liner the boot needed to be punched out along the outsides of the ball of my feet. Our problem is the Pbex (?) plastic has a fair amount of rebound. Thus the boot fitter is having a hard time getting the boot to punch out in the right spots and stay punched. The fitter noted that he has not had this problem before (to this extent) and he is concerned that he may not be able to fit the boot to me with out permanently damaging the boot.

    After the last fitting, I was told that this was the best he could do and the shell really had not punched a whole lot. I was also told to keep my boots away from heat because the plastic, when warmed would return to its original shape.

    Have you folks had these issues? Any solutions?

    BTW- I do not have any trouble with my street shoes or hiking boots. I can just plug and play.

  33. Lou December 8th, 2008 11:48 am

    Indeed yes, Pebax is tougher to punch than PU. When you really need to punch out a boot, you need one that’s made with a good thickness of PU in the area you want to punch.

  34. Tim Pochay December 8th, 2008 6:14 pm

    Lou,

    What was the footboard width measurement on the Dynafit?

  35. Lou December 9th, 2008 7:49 am

    Tim, the shape of the Dynafit footboard (it doesn’t have a removable one) is about 6mm less width than Factor (which is removable). This is misleading, as your foot doesn’t sit on the footboard but is elevated above it by the thickness of your liner and footbed, and the boot shell on all boots tapers outward as it rises from the footboard. The ZZeus tapers quite a bit (it has to with that narrow a footboard). The main thing about the ZZeus off the shelf fit is that the factory molded liner is on the narrow side. Thus another case where molding the liner for fit evaluation could really help get beyond initial and possibly wrong impressions. In the case of the Factor, it can feel quite wide because of the liner, so again, molding it for a true fit evaluation can be a good idea.

  36. Cheesestoff December 9th, 2008 10:34 am

    Hey Lou,

    Have you tried putting the boots on while the shell was cold? I’m concerned with the PU plastic stiffening up and then struggling to put them on after a night out in a tent.

  37. Lou December 9th, 2008 10:44 am

    Any overlap boot is going to be difficult to put on while you’re in a cramped position. That’s one reason I don’t overlaps for the majority of my backcountry skiing, other than testing. And yes, the PU will exacerbate this. In fact, it can be quite a struggle but does warm you up in the morning (grin). In my opinion, if you need a boot that’ll go on easily inside a tent or snowcave, you need a tongue boot even if you’re going with Pebax.

  38. Doug December 9th, 2008 12:20 pm

    Chris,
    Pebax is more resistant to “altering” than PU, but its not impossible. Your boot-fitter should have boot presses (many options out there) and a heat gun. Once heated up, the pebax will stretch eaisily (careful to not overdo — you can always reheat and stretch more) in a boot press. The key is to leave the shell on the press overnight to cool. In a hurry, dunking the shell in a coldwater bath can help — but there is some slight retraction of the Pebax this way. One issue with the Factor is the shell is thicker than most AT boots in places — takes longer, and more careful, heating with a heat gun. Ideally, heat boot press ‘knobs’ place shell in press, then focus heat gun on outside of shell until shell begins stretching easily in the press. Good luck.

  39. michael biittner December 11th, 2008 11:50 pm

    I bought the Zzeus with the intention of skiing it daily at Snowbird where I teach skiing, with the occasional skin trip when time permits, and alot of boot packing steeper places in the spring. I took them to John Feig in SLC for the best initial boot fitting I’ve ever had, along with new footbeds. FYI, I have a “Salomon” [wider] foot, in Salomons for years. BTW, my Salomons are 295 sole length and the Zzeus 292, almost exact, no binding change. I’ve been skiing the Zzeus on the hardpack for a few days and am VERY happy with the performance and support, pleasantly surprised since I had much less success with the Endorphin. I will ski the Zzeus hard and see how it holds up. A good professional fitting helps alot, I did not even need to punch them.

  40. Lou December 12th, 2008 6:56 am

    Michael, good take! Thanks!

  41. korpi December 12th, 2008 11:12 pm

    I gotta get in on this debate on molding liners.
    First, Lou, you seem to have the assumption that customers are only trying on one pair of boots when most customers (before spending a wad of franklins) want to try on all boots that are the stiffness that they are looking for. That could easily be five different boots. Am I expected to mold four boots they won’t be buying?
    After having fit boots for eleven years, and molding around a thousand, I have enough experience to know what issues will be fixed by a molding and what issues won’t. Also, I “bend over backwards till my spine cracks” when I guarantee my fits. I could count on one hand how many boots I have taken back without ever doing a “sample mold”.

  42. Lou December 13th, 2008 8:31 am

    Good point Korpi, I’d say one would have to narrow down the choices so they wouldn’t spend all afternoon molding liners. And if the shop boot fitter and/or sales person is gifted and can convince customers a boot will feel great even if it feels too loose or tight off the shelf, then more power to them. Otherwise, I’m advocating throwing the boots on the blower so sales choices aren’t biased by some factory in Italy or China guessing at at generic last that can feel downright terrible on certain feet.

    Good discussion everyone. Thanks!

  43. Dominik December 18th, 2008 8:16 am

    Hi Lou,
    Could you let me know if you compare the mondo size of zzeus and zzero – both of them thermo liners? Is there any difference in the inside (length and width) size?

    cheers!

  44. steve December 20th, 2008 11:51 pm

    Lou,
    Could you explain what you mean by “Excretory Negligence”? Looking up excretory in the dictionary did not provide the answer for this context.
    Since so many of my customers read your web site, I don’t want to excrete negligence or anything else for that matter while they are around.
    Thanks, Wild Snow, for teaching me about gear, avalanche safety, news and even a rarely used word in the English language!

  45. Lou December 21st, 2008 8:33 am

    Steve, another word for cra*py. Just having a bit of fun with the language. Sorry if it obfuscated my point.

  46. Lou December 21st, 2008 8:44 am

    Dominik, I suspect there is. For example, a ZZeus 28 has a sole length of 322, while a ZZero 28 has a sole length of 316. I don’t have both boots here in the same size, so I can’t compare in person. The ZZero 27/27.5 shell fits me way better than the 28, so I use the smaller one and punch it a bit for my toes. Eventually I’ll borrow a pair of 28s from Dynafit and do our measurements on them, but it’ll be a while till we get to that. To help with this I added some boot sizing charts to our measurements page. See:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/boot-measure/backcountry-skiing-at-boots.html

  47. Olof January 14th, 2009 12:08 am

    Hello Lou,

    I´m interested on bying new AT boots. And I have one question about Dynafit Zeus compared to BD Factor.
    I tested Factor boots and they felt bad at the “middle” buckles are. Before I even closed the buckles of the boot. I mean the middle buckle as the second buckle counting from the toes.

    So does Zeus have more height on that are ?

    There wasn´t a change to heat up the and mould the liners. But I think this bad at the “middle buckles” are was enough for me.

    I´m asking this because I´m not sure if this areas height is measured at the boot dimensions.

    Best Regards, Olof

  48. Chris Weber January 23rd, 2009 8:50 pm

    Lou-
    I have shell-fit Zeros but there are no shops close by with Zeus…the Zero 26 is a bit tight for me, the Zero 27 too big. You data graph seems to show that the Zeus is slighter larger in shell/mondo sizing. Am I correct to guess that a 26 Zeus is bigger/longer than a 26 zero and might fit me better?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  49. Lou January 23rd, 2009 8:55 pm

    Chris, I’d say it’s worth a try to order some and see how they fit.

  50. chris weber January 27th, 2009 12:39 pm

    PSA-
    As a good example of overall volume being more important than measured length, I ended up fitting nicely in a 27 zzeus, when the 27 zero was definitely roomy. I found some to shell fit and had the same bad fit in the 26s as I did in the zero….
    -Chris

  51. Gareth Cryer January 28th, 2009 10:47 pm

    Hi Lou
    Great blog!
    I’ll cut to the chase! I bought a pair of Methods (28.5) chiefly because they fit my skinny ankles so snugly and the idea being that i’d get the toe box punched out. However, my boot fitter had real problems with the pbax, so much so that there was was still pressure on the top of my foot, resulting in the toes going numb. Luckily the store have agreed to swap the boots out, but I’m now in the position of finding a boot that will fit. The stores in my area are out of the boot sizes I need and so do you think you could lend a hand. Would you agree with a 29 in a Radium or a 28 in a Zzeus (these are the guesstimates of the reatailers I visited). And lastly, how sure can I be that I won’t come across the same punch out issues. I personally prefer the Radium but fear we won’t be able to manipulate the toe box (if it helps my foot width is 110mm).

    One more thing,,, the boot fitters I saw seemed to contradict each other in terms of what would relieve the pressure at the top of my foot. One thought creating more width by punching out at the sides would; whilst the other though it was more of a volume of boot issue. What’s your two penneth worth?

    Thx in advance!

  52. George February 21st, 2009 1:31 pm

    Hey Lou, thanks for all the hard work you do on such a great site. I took the dynfit plunge this year, and so far -no looking back. Howerver, I have one minor gripe with my Zzeus’s maybe you can address. In touring/walk mode, my boots have developed an anoying squeak. A very LOUD squeak, to the point I have to stop my stride to hear what partners are saying. Interestingly, it appears to be somewhat intermittent, and becomes relatively quiet for random intervals of time. Any word on the Zzeus squeak or fixes out there? Other than that, the boots rock, are comfortable, plenty beefy and ski wonderfully with my FT-12′s and Movement Goliath sluffs. I am in love with this combo, but this squeak is going to drive me into the resorts again! Thanks for any info.

    George

  53. Frode March 4th, 2009 3:00 am

    Hello Lou,

    Thank you for providing this site! I’ve been skiing for many years, but I am new to all this AT stuff, and have found reading the articles and blogs very educational. Heck, some of these discussions are even fun to follow! :-)

    Now, about molding the Dynafit ZZeus liner. Will heat molding always give you more room or will it also fill up any areas that have excess volume?

    I have recently purchased a Dynafit rig including the ZZeus. The shop recommended that I wait with the heat molding and ski the boots for a few days to see how that works out. The shop has the blower and I am welcome back to heat mold at any time, but they claimed that the fit would actually get better by letting the liner mold slowly by just wearing it rather than heat molding. Since I have narrow low volume feet, I am concerned that the heat molding would just make the liner roomier, which I certainly don’t need. The boot and liner fits great out of the box, doing some living room carpet skiing, but only a few days of real skiing will tell if there are any issues.

    Thanks for any input!

    Frode

  54. Lou March 4th, 2009 7:02 am

    Frode, if it fits well out of the box, you probably don’t need to bother molding. As for molding creating more volume, if done correctly it won’t do that though it may feel less tight in certain areas because it’ll closely follow the shape of your foot, rather than your foot pressing the liner into shape as it will always do with an unmolded liner.

    Caveat, In my experience, if a boot feels comfortable or fits “well” in the shop without molding it is sometimes too large for a sweet performance fit. So beware of that gotcha. I assume the shop checked the shell fit and you have the correct shell size for your foot size, disregarding the liner?

  55. Bert March 4th, 2009 10:52 am

    So I tried the Zzeus today in the shop and it feels great. I want this for the Kilowatt/Vertical ST setup i’m collecting now that sale is on.

    Problem is that the shop only had size 27, which is a tad too big. Probably 26.5 would fit, but that one is sold out everywhere around here. How are my chances trying whatever Dynafit model they have in 26.5 for the toebox fit, and then order the Zzeus online?

    Cuff and heel fit of the 27 felt awesome.

  56. Lou March 4th, 2009 11:18 am

    Bert, the lasting and liners are different enough through the model line, thus I wouldn’t advise trying one model on and assuming that would be the fit of another model. Instead, just mail order what you think is right and budget for at least one return/swap. But know that when you drop from 27 to 26.5 you are going down to a smaller shell size — that will make a BIG difference in fit. See Dynafit shell size chart here:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/boot-measure/backcountry-skiing-at-boots.html

  57. George March 4th, 2009 11:25 pm

    Hi Lou, me again -6,000 feet of vertical last Saturday north of Wallace, ID and squeaks all the way. My 6 touring partners were on Spirit 3′s, Spirit 4′s, Radiums, Megarides, and something else. I am not overly sensitive, and everyone was noticing my LOUD zzeus squeak (to my embarassment as an invitee to this established touring group). Any thoughts on why, which part, lubes, grinding, fixes, etc.? Looking for help,

    George

  58. Frode March 5th, 2009 1:42 am

    Lou, thanks for the quick feedback!

    Yes, we did a shell fit in the shop and concluded that the 26/26.5 shell was the correct size. I can just squeeze two stacked fingers behind my heel, but will double check that measurement tonight with something more accurate than my fingers. I’ll be using the 26.5 liner. Another shop wanted to put me in a 27 Zzero, but they didn’t have the 26.5 to try on so I moved on. Once I found a 26.5 in both Zzero and Zzeus, the Zzeus just felt better unmolded. Perhaps it’s just how it was pre-molded, but the Zzues just feels right unmolded.

    However, I never had fully molded liners before and am dying to give that a try. If I understand you correctly, a properly executed molding process won’t actually make anything wider/roomier unless the foot shape needs it, although they may feel slightly roomier due to the better fit. I’ll ski them as is for a few days and then reconsider the molding.

    Frode

  59. Lou March 5th, 2009 7:10 am

    Frode, sounds like the 26.5 if your baby. Interesting that one shop tried to sell you a 27 even without a 26.5 to try… And yeah, they do try to mold the liners at the factory with a last that’ll at least fit some percentage of the population, so there is always a chance you can use the boot without a shop molding. Properly done molding won’t make the boot larger than IT SHOULD BE, though if you have a really tight fit before molding, it’ll make more room.

  60. Lou March 5th, 2009 7:17 am

    George, other than just blasting any moving parts with silicon spray, you need to figure out where that squeak is coming from before you can fix it with any mechanical mods. If you can get the boot to squeak at home, try spraying water on various moving parts, one area at a time. The water will act as a temporary lubricant and if the squeak goes away then you’ve got the location and can proceed with more permanent lube or mod. Quiet bindings and boots are nice!

  61. Kent October 8th, 2009 9:43 pm

    Lou – thanks again for a great site. I tried on Zzeus boots in a local shop last year and concluded that I’m a size 27.5. I have other good boots so I didn’t buy them. But I recently got offered a killer deal on a pair of size 27s. A guy at a local shop told me the liner on the 27 and 27.5 are the same, but molded differently at the factory with different foot beds. I bought the boots and my toes are right up against the end of the inner boot. I don’t recall that being the case with the 27.5s I tried on, but I think that heat molding might fix it. I’m curious though – do you now anything about the inner boots being the same for the whole and half sizes. Cheers.

  62. Lou October 9th, 2009 9:27 am

    Kent, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 1/2 sizes were created by molding, but I’m not sure. You could find out by simply visually comparing liners in a shop.

  63. Kent October 10th, 2009 3:53 pm

    Thanks Lou. I did think of a visual comparison, but the shop near me doesn’t have a size 27.5 Zzeus in stock. I reread the piece Paul Parker wrote a while back on Radiums, and he mentions full and 1/2 size Radiums using the same liners with different thickness insoles. Makes sense to me that other manufacturers (like Dynafit) might do something similar. Cheers.

  64. Kent October 13th, 2009 11:41 am

    This is what Dynafit had to say about Zzeus liner sizing:

    “The shell for the ZZeus 27.0 and 27.5 is the same. The liner for the ZZeus 27.0 and 27.5 are different, both in the foot bed and the inner boot. You should be able to work with the 27.0 you have to make it fit like the 27.5 you originally tried on. I would recommend going to a high class, experienced boot fitter for this molding. Note they can’t be put into ovens, only towers.

    There is a chance we will have the ZZeus liners in early December if you prefer to get a new liner completely.”

    Cheeers

  65. danh January 5th, 2010 12:21 am

    Lou,

    I am interested in the Titans, which I understand fit essentially the same as the ZZuess’s — I spent a couple hours in a local store today — I got size 11 feet, and I tried the Titan 27 & 28, the 27 were initially very tight, then they molded them for 8 minutes on a stack, they were better, although still tight — but he didn’t put a toe cap on — so the toes were a but squished, very snug all around, the 28′s felt relitively loose, but that is only relitive to the very snug 27s, I tried on a 28.5 the other day and it was looseygoosey, I was ready to pull the trigger on the 27s, but I just reading this — and noticed the dyna sizeing chart — which says that my size 11s should are way too big for the 27s which are apparently made for people with 9s… I have had trouble with going with a tighter fit in the past and being “uncomfortable” as a result. thus the angst. I know you ain’t got a crystal ball — but any words of wisdom would be much appriciated.

    Thanks

  66. danh January 5th, 2010 12:29 am

    btw — the “scarpa stick” was a comfort fit + 3 or so mil on the 28s, and a damn tight comfort fit — if not performance fit for the 27s.

    thanks

  67. Lou January 5th, 2010 8:22 am

    Danh, really really tough to make a call on that. If you have low volume feet (skinny legs and ankles, try fitting the smaller shell with careful molding. If you have larger volume feet, you might want to just go with the larger shell. Length inside the liner is important for ski mountaineering, especially with the type of liners that have a real “sole” on them, because they don’t stretch in length that well even when you use extra spacers on the ends of your toes under the toe cap. So beware of that issue if you downsize.

  68. Mark Caldwell January 6th, 2010 3:31 pm

    I bought the Zzeus last year as a “one boot quiver” for resort and backcountry skiing. I don’t change out the soles, the release seems fine with my Marker binding sole plates. I use them on Fisher Atua’s with older Marker bindings at the resort and 180 cm Verdicts with Dynafit bindings for BC. One big advantage is no more horrendous wipeouts while walking on icy walks, tile floors etc. The Zzeus ski and tour great, best boots I have ever owned. Sure is nice having a “one boot solution”.

  69. Lou January 6th, 2010 4:06 pm

    Nice mark, thanks for logging in with your boot quiver choice!

  70. Adam January 6th, 2010 4:10 pm

    Hey Lou — I tried on the Carbon Zzeros in the shop and they felt a bit bigger for the same mondo size than the Zzeus. Did you notice this in your testing? Am I just noticing the liner difference or is the Zzero more roomy?

  71. Lou January 6th, 2010 4:54 pm

    Adm, it’s a bit of smoke and mirrors. The last they use to mold the ZZeus liners is a bit smaller, so they feel like more of a “performance” fit when people try them on with no molding. It used to be even smaller…

    I really hate all that stuff, and wish the shops would never even let a person try on a boot without first molding the liner. Or just EXPLAIN that trying the boot on without liner molding can give you an idea of flex, but is nearly useless in terms of evaluating fit.

    I repeat, when you try on a factory molded liner, you’re just feeling what someone arbitrarily decided was the fit they wanted for that particular boot/model/size. It has very little basis in reality.

    Proof is that it’s pretty easy to figure out someone’s boots size simply by how their foot fits in the shell, with no liner!

  72. Adam January 6th, 2010 4:58 pm

    Actually I thought that was the case and ordered the Zzeus anyway (got a deal online for 420 and will pay another 50 to have it fitted), but putting my foot into the Zzero of the same size made me a bit uncertain, so I thought I’d check w/ you…

    Thanks for the response.

  73. Richard Morse February 4th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Lou,
    I’ve been having a problem with the my new dynafit zzeus boots. While in walk mode with the lever in the up position,the cuff locks back to ski mode without the lever moving back to ski mode. Something is up with the spring mechanism. If I hold it up, the cuff moves free. The minute I let go of the lever…the cuff locks and no more free cuff on the tour. I wrote to Dynafit 10 days ago and didn’t get a response yet. A ski mate of mine same Zzzeus boots had the same problem on our recent 5 day tour in rogers pass.
    Rich Morse
    http://morseskiing.blogspot.com

  74. Lou February 4th, 2010 3:27 pm

    Definitely a warranty issue. Better get on it. Mine get switched by my pants, which is also a hassle but at least I still have control

  75. Knut February 16th, 2010 2:15 pm

    Lou, thanks for a great site.

    I have just tried the Zzeus in size 28.5. I’m a 10-10.5 in regular size. The length seems right, although they are narrow on my wide foot. That should be taken care of by molding. The other thing I noticed is that they have quite a high arch. Will the molding help to flatten that out to fit my low arch? Or is there some other way to fit the sole of the liner to my foot? Disclaimer: I have no experience with boot fitting.

  76. Lou February 16th, 2010 6:49 pm

    Knut, the feeling of a high arch will probably be taken care of in the molding of the liner.

  77. Zephyr February 17th, 2010 7:39 pm

    How many mm can a fitter “punch’ or stretch a boot out at the toe joint, little toe area?

  78. David March 21st, 2010 12:46 pm

    Anyone have an issue with a threaded hole in the ZZeus sole (for changing to Alpine binding blocks) stripping out? I changed the blocks once and now one of the upper screw holes that clamp the dynafit toe piece has stripped. If it were any other hole, I won’t be as worried.

    A heli-coil or a warranty return or ?

  79. Lou March 21st, 2010 1:25 pm

    Zephyr, depends on the boot. They’re all different.

    David, I’m not sure why that would be a warranty return, but you can always try. Or perhaps an oversize fastener?

  80. tob March 21st, 2010 3:59 pm

    my zzues have a similar problem with tour/ski lock. VERY difficult to change from ski to tour and back, more on one boot than the other. if boot gets lock into ski mode while it’s not on my foot, i’ve got to spend several minutes fighting it into walk mode to put it on (too stiff to put on in ski mode).

  81. tob March 21st, 2010 4:00 pm

    just want to be clear, i still love my zzeus’s, climb great and ski great!

  82. daniel April 3rd, 2010 1:23 pm

    Lou,

    I’m going to throw a intuition in to replace the worn out liner… I’m worried i’m developing a bunion on my left foot, so i’ve started to use toe spacers (little gel inserts) to reduce further development etc.. it seems to make sense to heat mold my new liners while wearing the spacers, and then wear them when i go skiing. have you heard of anyone doing this sort of thing before? i could see potential trouble with the spacers causeing sore spots/blisters…

    thanks

  83. Lou April 3rd, 2010 7:23 pm

    Daniel, yes, I’ve heard of that. But see a podiatrist!

  84. Mike April 28th, 2010 1:45 pm

    OK, I’m trying to find the ideal boot for my scrawny flippers. My feet are narrow up front, with tiny heels and skinny calves, but with a relatively high arch. For reference, I have a several-year-old pair of Salomon Falcon 9s, and they fit great, if still a little looser than absolutely perfect on the calf.

    I’d like something with a fairly alpine feel, a highish cuff and good lateral rigidity, but it doesn’t have to be super-stiff otherwise, as I’m only a little over 140 pounds. The lighter and walkier the better, of course, but fit and downhill performance are the priority.

    Zzeus? Radium? ZZero? Something else completely?

    Thanks.

  85. Kelly May 29th, 2010 9:13 am

    Just wanted to say that I recently bought a pair of AT boots at Marmot Mountain Works in Bellevue WA, and observed the owner fitting boots/thermo moulding liners exactly as Lou describes for several customers including me. If the customer wasn’t happy with the fit he moved on to another boot/liner and continued thermo-moulding for customers until they were satisfied.
    I even took a pair of new boots home with me that had been molded and seemed to fit perfectly in the shop, but after skiing them in my living room opted to swap them for another model/brand. The boots behaved much differently when attached to bindings – Needless to say, they replaced them for me, no questions asked.
    This is a great place to buy boots, and Lou is 100% right about molding to obtain proper fit evaluation.
    FWIW, I have no connection/obligation to MMW – just a happy customer!

  86. Skibum October 9th, 2010 8:46 pm

    I have exactly the same problem as Richard above. Just picked up a pair of Zzeus boots yesterday, and just wearing them around the house I noticed that I have to hold the walk lever up on one boot to keep it from locking back into ski mode if I lean forward. Kind of disturbing as the boots are brand new. The lever seems so chintzy, I would gladly take a few extra grams for a more solid-feeling mechanism. I plan to take them back for an exchange tomorrow.

  87. Lou October 10th, 2010 5:50 am

    Mike, I’d look at those new lower volume boots (at least I’m pretty sure they’re less volume) coming from Garmont. They might be much easier to fit for you. That said, an “average” last such as Dynafit or Garmont should be no problem for a boot fitter to get right for your feets.

    New Garmont boots blogged here:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/2484/garmont-boots-masterlite-literide/

    Kelley, Marmot Mountain Works has always been ahead of the pack, glad you observed that!

  88. Lou October 10th, 2010 6:09 am

    Boot punching/stretching tip for Pebax. Using heat gun or convection oven, pre-heat boot punch mandrel to about 240 degrees F before starting the punch. (Do this after you set up the punch as a trial run, to make sure everything works and you can start the punch quickly.) The aluminum mandrels absorb and conduct an immense amount of heat if you start cold and try to heat the boot only from the outside. This could be part of the reason boot fitters have so much trouble with “rebound.”

    After hot mandrel is in boot, you still heat exterior with gun but things happen much quicker. Infrared thermometer useful for this, so you don’t overheat.

    Above requires accurate infrared thermometer.

    This method works for me.

    Oh, one other tip: With today’s thinner Pebax boots, too much aggressive punching can distort the boot shell and mis-align the tech fittings so you end up needing a right and left ski/binding. Don’t ask me how I know. 8O

    For aggressive punching of boots with tech fittings, I’m thinking it should be done in some sort of holder/jig that keeps the fittings lined up.

  89. Joel Bernier November 16th, 2010 11:19 am

    Hey Lou,

    Just picked up a pair of these to drive the resort/sidecountry boards, saving my 3-buckle Zzeros for dedicated BC use. I mounted a pair of Onyx bindings to some El Hombres on the butcher block last night (thanks for the template and excellent instructions by the way). When I clicked in for the requisite carpet skiing session (yeah, chomping on the bit over here), I noticed that there is quite some flex between the modular toe block and the boot shell when edging. I checked the six screws holding it on, and they are all tight. In fact I was afraid of stripping the holes, surprised to find no inserts!

    Is this simply the compromise to boots with replaceable heel/toe blocks? Seems too bad, as I got this boot specifically for *more* lateral rigidity and edging power. What about adding helicoils? Do you have any experience with this?

    Thanks, and here’s to hoping La Niña is kind!

    -Joel

  90. Lou November 16th, 2010 12:05 pm

    Joel, make sure the sole blocks are installed correctly and the screws holding them are fairly tight. Nope, never had a need to tweak those. My memory fails, but it’s either BD or Dynafit that already have metal to metal threading for the sole blocks. Anyone remember which is which?

    Danger of carpet skiing is you see things like this, instead of concentrating on the face shots you’re getting (grin).

  91. Joel Bernier November 16th, 2010 1:24 pm

    I hear ya regarding the carpet skiing. Obsessively analyzing the boot/binding connection is just about all you can do on the carpet… well besides some visualization…

    The dynafit boots do not have any inserts; just what look like sheet metal screws tapped directly into the PU. They are as tight as I they can be, one even has that (dreaded) slight mushy feel of a screw that is close to being stripped. Not sure whether or not adding inserts would by me much — presumably a little extra tension on the screws.

    I’d be curious to use your high-precision torque tester to see how much extra slop the modular soles add versus a similar height boot with a solid sole (like, say, the 4 buckle Zzero), or a boot with inserts like the Factor… but I digress…

    The trusty green machines are coming with me to the west face of Shasta Thanksgiving weekend anyhow. Maybe I’ll even get to work on this face shots :)

  92. Joel Bernier November 16th, 2010 1:28 pm

    PS — please excuse the gratuitous number of typos in the previous. Stoopid iPhone…

  93. Lou November 16th, 2010 1:35 pm

    Joel, I think it’s the BD boots that use T-nuts for the sole fasteners to thread into. That sort of thing seems much better than threading into plastic… but every boot I’ve ever seen with sole blocks has a bit of movement in the interface when it’s yarded on in a place where it is easy to observe.

  94. Joel Beriner November 18th, 2010 2:40 pm

    Roger that — the BD’s employ fewer fasteners, but with beefy inserts. We’ll have to see how the threads in the PU hold up on the Zzeus. At least there’s enough material to take a helicoil or threaded insert if necessary… Chomping at the bit to try them out at any rate.

    As for the obsessive flex testing: what can I say, I’m an engineer… :D

    Thanks for the reply!

    -J

  95. Lou November 18th, 2010 3:06 pm

    Yeah, Black Diamond definitely did NOT mess around with how solid their soleblock/chassis connection is. That is a good thing.

  96. Joel Bernier November 19th, 2010 2:58 am

    Almost forgot — I encountered the same non-disengaging walk mechanism as Skibum and Richard Morse reported above on one of my Zzeus (new!). Ironically I have had no problems with my Zzeros, which ostensibly have the same mechanism (perhaps a bad batch of ski/walk mechanisms on the Zzeus?).

    Anyhow, I took the thing out — pretty straightforward if not a little awkward — and had me a look. It is as simple a mechanism as you might think: a two-position spring that lifts the pin out of the channel through which the heel bar passes. On the offending switch, the culprit seems to be that the cam lobes were cast slightly undersized. That way, when in the “up” or “walk” position, it wasn’t pulling the pin out fully of the space where the bar slides.

    Enter the milk jug… after a quick rummage through the recycle bin, I came across the trusty HDPE. I made a couple of shims, one for each side, and it turned out to be both just the right thickness and smooth/strong enough for the task. Volià! Working mechanism. How long this will last, time will tell. Easy fix though, really.

    Now to the credit of Dynafit — specifically Sarah.Anawalt using the salewa.com suffix — they responded to my email about the mechanism by sending me a new one in the mail. So now I have a spare.

    I’ve taken a couple of photos of the repair process if anyone is interested.

    Cheers,

    -J

  97. Lou November 19th, 2010 6:46 am

    Joel, terrific info, thanks! I changed the email address you put in so it doesn’t get harvested by as many spam bots, which will save Sarah some work…

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