Dynafit Dy.N.A. “Race” Boot — it’s here!


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Or rather, my pair is now here.

After Lou first blogged about this new boot, he was supposed to steal me a pair from Dynafit Euro HQ when everyone was distracted. But Lou gets distracted by those pastries, so it didn’t work out as planned. (How is Lou ever going to make it up Denali if he keeps eating those things?)

Backcountry Skiing

Dynafit Dy.N.A. ski mountaineering race boot. Amazingly light with no mods. Breathable liner. Special articulation system. We want a pair.

Fortunately Drew at Salewa in Boulder was able to locate the only pair in my size available for sale anywhere in the U.S., and Bob at The Elephant’s Perch (“people powered sports specialists”) thus had a pair to sell to me.

Unlike other backcountry skiing gear, I feel compelled to justify buying such a boot. After all, the rando race circuit” in New England is hardly very well developed, and anyone who knows me well knows that I am far (far) from elite levels as a competitive athlete (either in terms of competitive drive or athleticism).

But that brings me to the ironic part about the Dy.N.A.: if Dynafit set out to create the ultimate rando race boot, then Dynafit has failed according to some hard core rando racers, who cite the boot’s excessive weight. What? Well, my size 26 pair weighs 4 lb 1.2 oz. Now, that is disturbingly light compared to any “normal” boot on the market. (And that’s not much heavier than my Salomon nordic backcountry ski boots or my Asolo “lightweight” fabric & leather hiking boots.) But the 100% carbon fiber boots from Pierre Gignoux and La Sportiva weigh about a pound less per pair. Yet these boots do not appear to be practical for extended backcountry use, especially tromping around off snow in the late spring and early summer. Plus I can’t imagine squirming around a small cold tent in the early morning trying to squeeze into a boot that requires its own instructional video.

However, you can find reports on the web that skiers were acquiring the Dy.N.A. just for . . . skiing. Despite the absurdly low weight, the boot was reported to be stiff enough to drive the Manaslu — yes, that’s right, Dynafit’s second biggest ski (and designed with graphics to match up with Dynafit’s biggest boot at the time, the Zzeus), paired with Dynafit’s lightest boot.

As much as I love my Dynafit Zzero4-C TF boots, I have experimented with lighter boots over the years: the Dynafit MLT, the Dynafit TLT Evo, the Scarpa F3, and the Scarpa F1. But the Zzero4 just skied so well, and was only ever so slightly heavier than the lighter models, that I kept only the F1, and then only in modified form for rando races and ski resort skinning.

So how does the Dy.N.A. ski? Thus far I’ve taken it on six outings: four on my cheapo Atomic race skis (3x on groomers, once in a rando race with nasty ungroomed conditions), and two with the Manaslu — one just a short outing on lower-angle terrain, and one decent day of just under 8,300′ vert (unfortunately cut short b/c of baby duties, highway closure, and Town Planning Board duties).

Laterally, the boot is amazingly stiff. Skiing firm ski resort groomers with my cheapo Atomic race skis, I was able to get my skis out from underneath me and angulate almost as much as on my slalom race setups — I never knew those cheap skis could ski so well! On a rando race’s fairly steep ungroomed trail with all sorts of refrozen nastiness and misshapen moguls, I was able to control my skis (and thereby ski way faster) far better than with any other lightweight boot. In very tight and fairly steep (i.e., steep enough to slide) backcountry terrain, the ability to muscle the Manaslu around when necessary was excellent. (Conditions were 8″ of untracked on top of the older base, including one run that had a 1 cm crust separating the 8″ of new from the old, so on steeper terrain with sharper turns, the Manaslu would break through into the older stiffer snow, and hence needed some torquing about.)

Rearward support is also excellent. The boot has a wee bit of give at first because of the walk-ski mechanism (as with any AT boot, compared to, say, an alpine plug boot with its massive fixed rivets), but then is absolutely solid. That brings me to my biggest criticism. The DyNA is definitely not as stiff in forward flex as the Zzero4. Okay, so that’s not much of a criticism, i.e., Dynafit’s lightest boot ever is softer than what was its heaviest boot only two seasons ago. But I think the contrast between the very stiff forward flex and the far less stiff forward flex can be a bit surprising if you get rocked back. Or at least that seems to be what I was experiencing sometimes.

Otherwise, I’m wondering when I’m next going to use my Zzero4. How could the DyNA be even better for all-around touring? One of my first thoughts when I tried on the boot was that adding a plastic tongue and a velcro strap to the upper cuff would improve the skiing performance to the point where I might retire my much beloved Zzero4 entirely, while adding only around a pound or so per pair. I then read that this is the upcoming TLT5 Performance TF. (Along with dropping the carbon fiber in the TLT5 Mountain TF-X for a more typical price point.)

Note a big caveat that I haven’t been using this at big speeds in open terrain. (And no air, and I weigh only 145 lbs, and I’ve used the boots only with a day pack, without any avy rescue gear.) For that, more forward stiffness is a definitely a plus. Also, at speed just extra mass by itself can be helpful, especially to prevent deflection. The total for the DyNA + Vertical ST + Manaslu = 11 pounds, 13.4 ounces, i.e., not much more than some of the heavier skis alone out there in the backcountry. (And at the other end of the quiver spectrum, my alpine race “plug” boots plus Atomic 1018 bindings and 209cm speed event skis weigh in at 29 pounds, 8.8 ounces.)

Oh, and the range of motion in tour mode is if anything excessive (i.e., probably exceeding my flexibility) and the resistance negligible (i.e., probably even less than my nordic skate boots). Never mind that old skinning efficiency goal of matching up with the ski tip with the binding toe. With my 160cm rando race skis, most of my strides now match up the ski tip with the binding heel. With my 169cm Manaslu, the ski tip typically matches up with the middle of the ski boot.

What else? Well, why does this boot appear to have a DIN-compliant sole? (Using this in a Fritschi or Marker probably activates some alarm in Dynafit HQ to send out the repo squad.) Still though, it walks amazingly well, in part because the boot sole length is so incredibly short: my bare foot measures 265mm, and my ZZero4 shell is 296mm, yet my DyNA shell is only 287mm, i.e., only 22mm of plastic, foam, and wiggle room addded to my foot length. One drawback: the rubber lugs for the toe and heel are separated by bare plastic, so be careful with your off-snow scrambling where you position your foot on a critical hold.)

Also, if you plan to modify the length of the 2.5mm kevlar cord buckle “bails” then do so *before* you use them, since otherwise the square knot becomes very difficult to untie, although you can make new loops from the supplied additional cord. Based on cutting some additional loops, I doubt the cord will accidentally be cut while skiing, but bring along an extra instep loop is a good idea for long tours, as well as some rando 3mm accessory cord for the upper cuff buckle. (The upper cuff buckle cord has to be rethreaded to be replaced, so the larger diameter cord will work fine.) Note that even in case of catastrophic upper buckle failure, a repair kit is very simple: a large screw rivet to lock together the upper cuff parts, and the long Voile strap you’re already carrying for other purposes.

Fit? Generally very slim throughout, widening in the forefoot. Everything about the boot just feels very close to the foot. Oddly enough, I was able to drop in my custom footbeds from the Zzero4, although the boots just feel so different: the Zzero4, like any AT boots is a big foam and plastic contraption with a space inside for my foot, whereas the DyNA feels like an ultra thin addition to my foot allowing it to lock into a Dynafit binding and ski.

Overall, this strikes me as the ultimate ultra lightweight touring boot, with its TLT5 derivatives next year taking their place as the ultimate lightweight touring boots.

Comments

53 Responses to “Dynafit Dy.N.A. “Race” Boot — it’s here!”

  1. Alex February 12th, 2010 12:41 pm

    I’m looking for recommended reading / guidebooks for the SanJuans, specifically classic ski tours from Red Mountain Pass. Does the yet to be published Volume II of “Colorado Backcountry Skiing” touch on this area?

    Aside from oogling the road side attractions, I’m unfamiliar with the area and would like to gain a little knowledge before heading down in a few weeks.

    Thoughts, Ideas, Suggestions?

  2. Skian February 12th, 2010 1:14 pm

    Nice review Jonathan! Skiing the DyNA is a revelation. When out on this setup with a Manaslu you expect the boot to walk well. You really feel the love for it when you ski it. It’s amazing for it’s weight. Also you don’t need a plate under your boot going from tour to ski mode like bellows boots in this category, but in walk mode it has 5mm of toe flex. As for the last if you take into consideration the liner thickness of this boot, this boot is very similar to that of the Zzero. It’s 101 in a 27.5 and 103.3 in a 28.5. Get into a store and put this boot on. It’s so light it makes you chuckle. 60 degrees of ankle articulation when in tour mode? Speed touring! it’s the next step for all those big boot guys looking to go further into the wild.

  3. Bill B February 12th, 2010 2:33 pm

    Hey Jonathan.
    How thick is the liner? From the video it looked like the liner was very thin.
    I am worried about foot warmth with these boots.

  4. Bill B February 12th, 2010 2:46 pm

    I think I may have the video mixed up with La sportiva.

  5. Jonathan Shefftz February 12th, 2010 3:59 pm

    Bill, the liner is indeed thinner than, say, the Zzero4 liner, but not excessively so. In other words, this is much more of a well-rounded multi-purpose boot than the specialized LaSportiva (with that crazy video). I haven’t used it yet in any extremely cold weather, but warmth seems fine so far.
    One little thing I have noticed so far after almost 48,000 vertical (spread over 12 outings, i.e., lots of little fitness tours at a local ski area): the upper cuff buckle has this very clever little kind of “catch” that keeps the buckle from flopping around when open, and helps secure it when closed. However, it is possible sometimes (although I’ve done it only the right side, which makes me wonder whether it smushed bouncing around in the car or something) to close the buckle but have it pressing up the wrong way against the catch, so that it actually prevents the buckle from closing as securely as it should.
    This takes literally about a second to correct each time it goes wrong, but the first time it happened was kind of mystifying.
    Otherwise, although I loved this boot right out of the box, the more I use it, the more I appreciate it!

  6. Silas Wild February 12th, 2010 5:03 pm

    Jonathan’s DyNA in action: http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=15359.0

    Bill B, there’s a 27.5 DyNA in Seattle that I checked out with my own liners. Thin Garmont Mid liners fit in it, my Intuitions did not. The 27.5 with DyNA liners weigh 4.5lbs the pair, versus TLT4 in the same size with Intuitions at 6lb! Hopefully that boot weight saving allows more guilt free pastry consumption. :smile:

  7. Bill B February 12th, 2010 5:19 pm

    Thanks guys
    Sounds interesting.
    Currently I have two F1,s. A 26.5 and a 26.0
    I modified the shell on the 26.5 to make it fit the same toe-heel dimensions as the 26.0. The 26.0 works fine in the warmer temperatures, but to really keep my feet warm I have to go to the 26.5. I am wondering if I could use a little larger shell and put some intuitions in it.

  8. Lee Lau February 12th, 2010 5:22 pm

    Jonathan,

    A friend of mine just took his DNA’s down a 45 deg pow slope; a 55 deg couloir; then the next day a more reserved 45 deg slope and 40 deg couloir.

    I’d say the boot has quite the range

    http://www.leelau.net/2010/twinone2010_02_08/

    http://www.leelau.net/2010/cayoosh2010_02_09/

  9. James February 12th, 2010 5:23 pm

    Just a note that though these boots fit narrow, they supposedly can be punched. Mel Bernier (powerhouse of the female Canadian skimo team) told me she had hers punched and everything has gone swimmingly.

  10. Greg Louie February 13th, 2010 12:08 pm

    I spent about 20 minutes in the 27.5 boots at Marmot in Bellevue, WA (same pair that Silas tried), and didn’t come away with the feeling that they were especially narrow. Perhaps slightly so in the midfoot, but they actually seemed wider than my Scarpa Spirit 3′s or F1′s in the forefoot, where I usually need a punch in the “sixth toe” region before I can even take a boot out on snow. I felt like I could ski for several hours in the DyNA out of the box. (Granted this is a shell size up from what I usually wear; I had a not unreasonable 1.5 finger shell fit in the 27.5). The 27.5 DyNA is still shorter, at 297mm, than either of my current Scarpa 26.5 boots.

    The stroke of genius is the top buckle with a peg on it as the climbing/skiing lock, which effectively eliminates all other hardware.

  11. See February 13th, 2010 5:39 pm

    I wonder if the soft forward flex could be due in part to flexing in the forefoot. It would be interesting to do a living room experiment where you put a shim under the forefoot of one boot and not the other and seeing if they feel different.

  12. Skian February 14th, 2010 1:21 am

    You don’t need a shim with this boot. It is made of grilamide plastic. This is the stiffest and lightest plastic used in ski boots. With a shorter sole and this flex zone you gain efficiency in your skinning and climbing. The flex is not enough to loose efficiency climbing like with a belows and you don’t need the ski plates. I believe the reference above was to the zzero PU. Being made of PU it became stiffer on snow than the Pebax boots in the same family.

  13. See February 14th, 2010 11:08 am

    Re. forward flex: I was wondering about the observation “(t)he DyNA is definitely not as stiff in forward flex as the Zzero4.” Even if the DyNA is stiff enough not to require shims, it seems to me that flex in the forefoot would reduce overall forward stiffness.

    I also wonder about the effect of shims on lateral release. For a downhill oriented boot, perhaps it would be better not to use shims even if it did add a little stiffness.

    Thanks for the excellent site.

  14. Jonathan Shefftz February 14th, 2010 1:15 pm

    I tried an experiment (indoors), jamming various shims between the boot sole and ski topskin until I had a tight fit on one ski/boot, with no shim on the other one. With the first combination I thought a small yet noticeable stiffness differential existed, along with more movement of the “active flex” toe cap/shield on one side, but then when I shifted the shim to the other side, I didn’t notice any difference, so it might just be that I’m strong on one side vs the other.
    My conclusion is that the flex zone is contributing only slightly if at all to the relatively soft forward flex.
    Moreover, I was originally noting that the forward flex is soft relative to my Zzero4, which weighs about 75% more. Besides the weight, the DyNA lacks a plastic tongue and velcro strap (both of which the TLT5 will add). The forward flex is also soft relative to the lateral and rearward support, which are both rock solid. The rear cf cuff is very impressive even just handling. Laterally, the cf upper cuff comes around partially (exactly how far is going to depend on your leg diameter), and the area where is joins the Pbax is reinforced with rivets and significant overlap, enhancing the torsionally rigidity even further.

  15. Jonathan Shefftz February 14th, 2010 2:27 pm

    Referencing the picture at the beginning of the review, the part that moves a bit when flexing is the riveted black plate above the “Acti-Flex” lettering.
    For the lateral stability, you can see the overlap between the carbon fiber upper cuff and the pbax wrap around, up and to the right from the DyNA lettering.

  16. Jan Wellford February 14th, 2010 7:11 pm

    I took the TLT 5 Mountain TF (the one without carbon fiber and with the standard TF liner rather than a beefed up TF-X liner) to the ski area today. It performed remarkably well on very firm snow that was ice in places. It’s still not a Spirit 3 / Zzero 4 / Mega-Ride in terms of forward flex, but it’s pretty close especially considering how much lighter and better for touring it is. Not sure how much stiffer the carbon version will be in terms of forward flex, but I doubt it will be that different. Lateral stiffness was great but presumably will be even better with carbon cuff.

    For comparison I also skied the Scarpa Maestrale and found it to ski better than expected, but not as well as the TLT 5. From flexing the Meastrale indoors I figured it wouldn’t be much more than an F3, but it’s definitely much more than an F3. TLT 5 seems to be the winner all around, but for significantly less $$ the Maestrale looks great too.

  17. daniel February 14th, 2010 9:17 pm

    i tried a pair on at mmw in bellvue – light ? yes, but they might as well be leathers as far as stiffness goes

  18. Skian February 14th, 2010 10:50 pm

    Another individual who skis on showroom floors

  19. Nando February 15th, 2010 3:18 am

    Hi Jonathan
    Lately I’ve discovered wildsnow.com , so much information……I want o buy a new pair of AT boots. I want them to be light, but stif enough when descending. I’ve been skiing witn garmont’s Adrenaline, but they don’t feel very well. I have a narrow feet and with them it’s difficult to feel total control of my skis. I’ve thought of buying Zzero4 carbon, but with somany boots appearing next year I don’t know if it’s a good idea…..the new efficient series of blackdiamond?, Tlt5?……I tried the Zzero (the pebax version)in the shop and they seemed to fit really well,…..I need some light,
    Thanks

  20. Jonathan Shefftz February 15th, 2010 11:54 am

    The problem with giving in to the temptation to wait until next year to buy new ski boots is that . . . you’ll have the same temptation each and every subsequent year! (I’ve been doing that now for a SmartPhone/Crackberry device for quite a few years…)
    The product cycle is just so much faster now. I mean, the Scarpa Laser was the state-of-the-art for all-around Dynafit-compatible boots for something like half a decade. Ditto for the TLT4 for more lightweight-oriented boots.
    The one big reason though to wait until next year is that if you’re potentially interested in the DyNA, but want a big more forward stiffness, a much lower price tag, and a greatly enhanced availability, then the TLT5 could be worth waiting for.

  21. mtraslin February 15th, 2010 2:51 pm

    Looks good!

    Maybe sell a mountain bike next year to get a pair!

  22. daniel February 15th, 2010 3:15 pm

    “Another individual who skis on showroom floors”

    i’ll have you know that the floor was freshly waxed, and even wet in spots, with patches of uneven linonium tile – not a forgiveing surface for beginners by anyones measure.

    seriously though, the boot was impressively light, and with all the carbon and the predictable dependable quality of dynafit construction, i’m sure the boots ski fine. the pair i tried on did not have any tounges (i don’t know if they’re all toungeless), just leather and buckles, and this gave it a predictably soft for-flex on the showroom floor. in my mind – the addition of a tounge would do a lot to stiffen it up

  23. Jonathan Shefftz February 15th, 2010 6:26 pm

    Soft flex rearward or laterally/torsionally? No, probably one of the stiffest AT boots on the market in that regard.
    Soft in forward flex? Yes, relative to all-around boots (i.e., around 7 lbs a pair for the typical ~26.5 reference size) or of course relative to the increasingly popular heavier models.
    Soft in forward flex relative to other lightweight boots? No, and that despite weighing about two pounds less per pair relative to the competition.
    Speaking of which, if anyone wants to help defray my DyNA cost, these TLT4 boots sz 27 are for sale:
    http://tinyurl.com/yfnbkp6
    Just $60 + shipping for the shells and anywhere from $10 to $20 for the various liner options.

  24. James February 15th, 2010 6:34 pm

    Did someone above actually compare the stiffness of the DyNA to leathers?

  25. Bill February 15th, 2010 6:58 pm

    Hey Jonathan

    Let’s get down to what is really important.
    How does the DNA tour compaired to the Scarpa F1?
    Comfort and efficiency, that is what is important to us non-animals.
    I can fall down a hill in about any boot, but going up is the issue.

  26. Jonathan Shefftz February 15th, 2010 7:05 pm

    DyNA compared to stock original F1, DyNA is way lighter (at least a pound per boot), stiffer in forward flex, and way (way) stiffer laterally/torsionally and in rearward support.
    Compared to my stripped-down F1 (see my blog review at this same website), about half a pair per boot lighter, and without the compromised skiability of the modified F1. (I think the F1 Race model is pretty similar to my modified version.)
    Compared to F1 Carbon, weight is about the same. I don’t know about the rest.
    F1 in any incarnation has bit range of motion in tour mode and excellent lack of resistance, but DyNA is even better in both categories.
    For use in actual touring, DyNA has a big plus of easy field repair in case of damage to upper cuff buckle / walk-ski switch, compared to F1 which can be tough to fix in the field in the rear lever breaks.
    Bellows issue? Open to debate. Personally, I don’t miss the full bellows.

  27. Simon February 16th, 2010 4:41 am

    With reference to the DYna v’s the Carbon F1, my wife skis the former and I ski the later. My wife would agree with all the observations made by Jonathan. Previously she had skied the megaride and the F1, the F1′s are for sale and the megarides are gathering dust in the garage and will probably go the same way as the F1′s. As for the F1 carbon, it is a total different beast to the previous F1. Weight aside, the boot has far more articulation when skinning,and this is using the older liners as I do. With the new liner that the boot comes with, the articulation is even greater and almost in the spectrum of a 3 season walking boot. The biggest difference comes when you lock them up, the lateral stiffness is amazing and you can really push those skis where you like, i never thought that skiing my trab world cups could be so much fun. I think if they were not so expensive and an unknown as far as long term durability goes, I would ski these every day too. I am equally happy skiing my race skis as I am my seven summits in the new F1. I have not skied anything as big as the manaslu but would imagine the F1 carbon would be fine with this too.

  28. Fede February 16th, 2010 5:04 am

    Jan, if you felt the TLT5 Mountain TF being a little soft in forward flex don’t worry, the pebax cuff of the sample you skied are not “final”. In production the thickness of the cuff’s internal wall will be increased and the pebax mix will be approx 20% stiffer. This will make the boot laterally stiffer and also a bit stiffer in forward flex.
    If you have doubts about the “stiffness” difference between the TLT5 performance and the mountain I can tell you it’s amazing… not about 10% or 20% … I would say nearly the double… the combination of the stiff grilamid downhill tongue with the carbon cuff is impressive…
    So if I have to give a general suggestion I would say the final TLT5 Mountain will be the boot for every body, excellent mix of up-hill agility and downhill support, incredible lightness to performance ratio… but still a little forgiving in the most challenging mixed snow…
    The TLT5 performance is the boot without compromises and really for expert skier that want to push hard and have a very “central” correct ski position and technique… Means the best choice for really steep skiing on hard snow condition… and for aggressive downhill even with quite wide skis.
    I’m not saying this boot skis better than a TITAN or similar freeride boots.. because forward flex stiffness is not related very much to downhill performance of a ski boot… a good “reactive” forward and rearward flex mixed with last, cuff inclination, plastic mix etc. makes most of it.
    Always consider the weight… and the target user..,. TLT5 is not thought to be a FREERIDE boot to ski on powder at 50miles x hour with 110mm center wide skis…if this is your setting TITAN or similar are the right boots for you… but if you’re looking to a great all arounder, with lightness, great touring abilities and amazing downhill performance on its cathegory…most probably the TLT5 could be the right choice… I would really say a new standard on touring ski boots…
    Ciao

  29. Fede February 16th, 2010 5:12 am

    One more thing… the TF liner used both on Dy.N.A. and on TLT5 is not a light weight super skinni liner as some of our competitors in this cathegory are using… it’s the same liner material used on our ZZero TF only 3mm thinner, 7mm foam instead of 10mm… this turns into a nearly impossible to feel temperature difference.
    After 1,5 seasons of using this kind of liner I never experienced cold feet and sometimes I was also on quite cold condition… I would instead say it’s quite warm in spring…
    Always please consider that these kind of boots are thougt for a mid to high atheletic use… means keep always moving
    If you stop 10 minutes every 20minutes of walking and take a nice 2 hours pic nic stop with feet on the snow on the peak at -20°C … well the boots will be quite cold :silly:

  30. Simon February 16th, 2010 5:58 am

    Hi Fede,

    I was considering purchasing the DYna TF liner for my F1′s. How does the 7mm thickness match up to the Scarpa plus fit race liner? Would the TF in a 27 have enough volume after heating to work in a F1 27 shell.

    Thanks,

    Simon

  31. Lou February 16th, 2010 8:50 am

    Nice comment thread you guys, thanks Fede!

    I’d add that with boots using thinner liner material, I’d agree with Fede that foot warmth won’t be a problem for athletic use, but that unless they’re carefully fitted (with toe room, enough volume, etc.) they’ll probably be a bit cold during longer stops at colder temps.

    What I’m wondering is if such boots get popular (low volume to save weight), will people start using various types of boot covers to compensate in lower temps?

  32. Bill February 16th, 2010 9:41 am

    Do boot covers work?
    My feet get cold on the bottoms, even with superfeet added.
    Do covers add much insulation underneath?

  33. Mark W February 16th, 2010 9:44 am

    Great details on a ground-breaking line. It is amazing how fast product development cycles move these days. Garmont’s Megaride was king for awhile with its debut being circa 2002. Seems the average product will be redone or surpassed in a mere couple years now.

  34. Fede February 16th, 2010 9:47 am

    The toe box volume of the Dy.N.A./ TLT5 … despite the thoughts, is not low volume… it fit same as zzero… so fingers are always free to move and with a good blood circulation.. of course I’m talking about normal width feet…
    It is really important, in very cold conditions, not to tighen too much the shell buckle too keep a nice blood circulation.
    And, especially if the descent is very long or requires tecnical parts with foot or rope descents, it’s important not to tighten to much the buckles…
    A “standard” attitude is to tighten more the buckles for the descent… which is fine if it’s a short/fast one… but for long ones… better to keep buckles a bit softer for a better circulations.
    I don’t really feel the needs of using boots covers for normal ski mountaineering/backcountry use. I’ve personally experienced these types of liners with temperatures around -20° without any coldness problems.
    If we are talking about expeditions or extreeme use with lower temperature and very static/slow movemente there are several ways to avoid freezing..
    - Neoprene boot covers available in the market
    - Electric warming insoles
    - Ore the most used by extreme ski mountaineers on 7-8.000 meters peaks, one size shell more, thin sock + “special foot nylon bag which I don’t rememebr the name” + Thick expedition socks … so that you can also keep always the liner and the warm sock dry for multi day climb…

    But again, for 99% of the skiing days liners will be fine… for this 1% with extreme condition… maybe better not to ski ;-)

  35. Lou February 16th, 2010 12:16 pm

    On Denali, most of us are using the “one shell size more” system with a VBL (vapor barrier layer) sock. Though some of us are using a neoprene VBL and not using the second sock.

  36. Bar Barrique February 16th, 2010 1:20 pm

    Fede; my wife wears a 23.5 Megaride, and, she wants to know if the TLT5 will be available in her size?
    I bought a set of Boot Glove neoprene boot covers this year, I had to go one size larger than recommended to get them to fit my AT boots. How do they work? I don’t know, because as soon as they arrived the weather turned unseasonably warm. :lol:

  37. Bill February 16th, 2010 2:27 pm

    My understanding has the TLT-5,s down to 22.5.
    I am looking for one for my wife.

  38. Jonathan Shefftz February 16th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Great to hear about the smaller size availability, especially since I’ve started thinking recently about the lack of junior AT boots. I just measured my daughter’s feet, and she’s up to mondo size 9.0, so only 13.5 more sizes to go! (Well, would help if she learned to walk first . . . and talk, etc.)

  39. Jon Moceri February 17th, 2010 2:23 am

    I’ve used Boot Gloves for the last few years, and they really help my feet stay warm. I recommend them if your toes get cold easily.

    My Boot Gloves only weigh 62 grams each for size medium, as measured on my digital Salter scale.

    Also, I’d like to echo Fede’s comment about “because forward flex stiffness is not related very much to downhill performance of a ski boot…”

    I’ve put about 250,000 vertical feet at Crystal Mountain, on my Dynafit ZZero 4 C-TF skiing on K2 Coomba’s (167cm) with Dynafit bindings in as steep, fast and difficult terrain as it gets. (Ok, no cliffs) And about half the time, I’ve skied them in the “walk” mode. And you know what? I think I ski a little better in the “walk” position which gives me very soft forward flex but they still are very stiff laterally.

    I’ve given up on my alpine boots, Atomic RT CS, which are too stiff, even after substantial boot work on making them softer. I just need to put Dynafit bindings on all my skis now for my ZZero’s.

    If the Dy.N.A is as stiff as my ZZero’s are in “walk” mode, sign me up for a pair and I’ll ski them hard and fast everyday.

    Jon

  40. Lou February 17th, 2010 8:23 am

    Jon! Exactly. A lot of skiers simply do not need super stiff boots. Nor do all skiers need a lot of cuff lean angle. Calling such boots “powerful” is frequently wishful thinking. Yes, for some skiers a super stiff boot is a legit need and I don’t fault them, but thinking that having a “powerful” boot will necessarily improve your skiing or make it easier can be nothing more than wishful. Usually, skiers who use such boots are already good skiers, and they’re skiing large skis at speed, with technique that requires lots of boot. Main thing for all of us is not to listen to the PR hype about “powerful” boots. If you need ‘em, fine, if not, more “power” to you (grin)!

    One other thing, the larger the skier the softer the boot will feel. Thus, another very legit purpose of beef boots is for bigger folks.

  41. skian February 17th, 2010 9:47 am

    Some really good points here. The one thing i would say is, it is so important to qualify your equipment and your skiing before you head out. Do you ride your road bike on single-track? Take your sports car off road? Go windsurfing with a 6.0 in nuclear winds? Maybe it’s time to rethink what you do when you head out. Light is right, but weight is great. Position the boot for the job at hand. If you are out cranking big high speed vertical on heavy metal, a freeride boot like a Titan might be the tool for the job. You might need the stiffness of the taller cuffs and stiffer plastic both laterally as well as forward flexing. It’s a sliding scale when it comes to a boot you’re using and all boots are a compromise at one end of the scale or the other or they are mediocre on both ends of the spectrum and support the best of both worlds philosophy. We tend to qualify those products as quiver of one products.
    As the sport of backcountry skiing progresses, we have technology leaps along the way. What the DyNa and the TLT 5 represent is such a leap. It is a progression of thought, It is a fresh look at how we deal with the forces against us when we are on a tour, up or down. 5 different new patents surround the development of this boot family. Are you going to step into your FT12s and heavy metal and go bombing big hi-speed lines in your DyNA?
    I think we should step back and look at this product not from the perspective of where have we been but where are we going. Further and faster with more performance than ever before in this class. The bar has been raised again.

  42. Tony February 17th, 2010 12:55 pm

    I look at this stuff not from the perspective of “we” as a group, or backcountry skiing as a sport that “progresses”. For me it’s about powder. This gear allows me to get more powder turns, faster, earlier, untracked than those on heavy gear. If the masses eventually wake up and start getting the big vert, good for them. Until then, I’m getting as many fresh deep turns as I can handle, thanks to Dynafit & Fede for making more of those turns possible, with the turns at the end of the long day just as sweet as the turns at the start, because my legs aren’t as tired. These boots are amazing.

  43. Fede February 18th, 2010 11:34 am

    Tony, sometimes it’s also nice and cool to climb an amazing difficult peak where it’s only about you and your satisfaction to having reached it ;-) … then if powder is there nice also to get some great turns ;-)
    This kind of boots makes possible to challenge difficult and very long distance peaks without killing yourself carring huge weights and to have enough support to ski down fast and good!.

  44. Bar Barrique February 18th, 2010 9:31 pm

    Well; this is a very good thread, and, I am very interested in the TLT5. I guess I am going to have to try on both models to try, and, figure out which one is for me. I normally ski 8 months of the year, on widely varying conditions. While I like powder, I ski a lot of conditions that are not so soft, and, there are definite advantages to stiff boots in some conditions. I will probably continue to use 2 boots, so the maybe the TLT5 mountain will be the best choice.

  45. Jonathan Shefftz February 19th, 2010 10:15 am

    Any thoughts on molding these in a thermoflex convection oven? I know that stack blowers are recommended for molding these liners, but I have my own boot oven, yet I don’t know of any stack blowers around here.
    I’ve used my boots on 14 outings so far, and the fit is good, but might benefit from some liner molding. I’ve been nervous to try it so far, given the slightly thinner liners, and the potentially difficulty of getting them back into the shell when all hot & floppy.

  46. Lou February 19th, 2010 10:26 am

    Jonathan, I still use a convection oven for all liners, but with care. I’ve noticed some can get damaged pretty easily by heating to too high a temp. We’re doing the Intuition Pro Tour liners at 240 degrees for 8 minutes, for example. Don’t know what the Dy.N.A. liners is speced out to for molding, but be careful. If using an oven, the idea is not to get them too puffed out and flexible, but rather just enough cooking so they’ll mold.

    I tried to buy a blower system last year, but for various reasons got shut out. So I went back to using the oven, and now I don’t feel much need for the blower, though it would be more idiot proof.

  47. Fede February 19th, 2010 12:44 pm

    I’ve seen amazing results of thermoforming in conventional oven… liners completely wrapped and destroyed… then people complains they get blisters and pressure points…
    We strongly suggest not to use them!… as placing a TF liners of a Dy.N.A. TLT-5 back in the shell when it’s soft and fluffy without damaing it it’s nearly impossible… it is anyway very difficult wiht all kind of Theromoformable liners.

  48. Lou February 19th, 2010 2:22 pm

    Fede and all, yeah, the trick is to not soften them too much. Otherwise you can damage them.

  49. Jonathan Shefftz February 23rd, 2010 8:39 am

    “placing a TF liners of a Dy.N.A. TLT-5 back in the shell when it’s soft and fluffy without damaing it it’s nearly impossible”
    – Yes, that’s exactly my concern. The neoprene cutout is an absolutely brilliant design for skinning, but I worry that a warm, soft liner plus the neoprene cutout would lead to some sort of disaster when reinserting the liner into the shell after baking. (I’ve had excellent results though using my thermoflex boot oven with other lines — original Raichle Thermoflex, various Intuition models, Scarpa liners, and Dynafit/Palau Zzero.) Maybe I’ll start calling around shops in New England and see if anyone has a blower design…

  50. Fede February 25th, 2010 5:15 am

    One additional reason why not to use traditional ovens is because you mould the liners very well especially on the outher side… I mean the liner take perfectly the shape of the shell, of the rivet places, etc… and this returns into a much faster worning out…
    ciao

  51. Jonathan Shefftz March 5th, 2010 8:08 am

    Lacking a blower, any thoughts on using the Intuition rice method?
    Here are their instructions:
    1. Take out your fit kit from your liners; this includes 1 pair of fitting socks, 1 pair of toe caps.
    2. Take your old liners out of your boots and replace them with your new Intuition liners.
    3. Remove 1 fitting sock from the package.
    4. Fill the sock with 3-4 lbs of long or short grain white rice. That’s right, fill it with rice! Use 3 lbs. of rice for sizes 9 and below and 4 lbs. of rice for sizes 10 and above.
    5. Now tie a knot at the end of the sock. A figure eight if you know how or a granny knot will also work.
    6. Spread the sock out on a counter and form it into a large, long sausage shape.
    7. Place the rice sock into your microwave oven; be sure to keep it in an even tubular shape.
    8. Set your oven on one of the following settings based on the ovens wattage output 700W – 7 min / 1000 – 1100W 5 min / 1200 – 1250W 4 min
    9. Heat the rice sock in the oven for the specified time.
    10. Place the toe cap on your foot, left or right your choice. Be sure to place the Intuition logo on your big toe.
    11. Place the other fitting sock over the toe cap and pull up the sock evenly, eliminating all wrinkles.
    12. When the timer goes off pull your rice sock out of the oven by the knotted end. Be careful it’s hot and you could get burned!
    13. Hold it by the knot and place it into your liner. You will need to work the rice sock into your liner by hitting the boot into the floor multiple times first on its heel and then on it’s toe. Keep on tapping it into the floor going back and forth between the heel and toe until the rice sock has settled deeper into the liner.
    14. Set a timer for 5 – 7 minutes and let the boot stand with the rice sock inside the liner.
    15. Remove the rice sack after at least 5 minutes and place your foot in the boot liner with your toe cap on securely. Buckle up or lace up your boot to the normal tension settings. Keep weight on your boot for 5 – 7 minutes, walking around occasionally.
    16. You are now done. Remove your foot, take off the sock and toe cap and get ready to do the next boot in the same way.

  52. Lou March 5th, 2010 8:52 am

    Jonathan, I’m glad you hit on that. I think we need a how-to post here pretty soon. Thing that I don’t like about the rice method is the uncertainty of the microwave heating. I think for me, I’d just heat in my convection oven. I usually use 250 degrees if I want a liner to get really pliant, so I’d just heat the rice to that and give it a try.

    My only question is if heating for a tele boot, should one use organic brown rice, instead of short grain white rice? And one has to wonder, would granola work even better? :angel:

  53. Jonathan Shefftz March 14th, 2010 2:00 pm

    Just learned (thanks Jerimy!) that REI (or at least, one of the many REI stores in the Boston area) lets members use the stack blowers for free. (Apparently no boot fitting assistance, but if you know what you’re doing, still a great opportunity.)

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