Dynafit Seal of Approval — Scarpa Gets It

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 16, 2013      

At the risk of fanboy accusations due to previous post being Dynafit as well, I needed to get this Dynafit post up sooner than later as reader service. So here you go.

Last winter Dynafit alluded to some kind of “certification” system for tech inserts. They implemented a program that uses a red plastic “seal” clipped to the toe inserts of other manufacturers boots that use Dynafit sourced inserts. So far, that’s only Scarpa (with rumors of one other who’ll use Dynafit made inserts.) At any rate, with regards to all the tech insert trash I’ve seen over past decades, kudos to Dynafit and Scarpa for doing something to help the consumer know they’re getting what they pay for. Only disappointment to this is that the Seal will only go with inserts _made_ by Dynafit. If another manufacturer makes good, functional inserts, they won’t be able to get the seal. Thus, it’ll still be up to shop employees and expert consumers to know how to evaluate tech fitting performance. But overall, I regard this as a positive. Check it out:

The boots (in this case Scarpa Freedom) come with a red plastic clip attached to the front tech inserts.

The boots (in this case Scarpa Freedom) come with a red plastic clip attached to the front tech inserts. The top of the clip says 'Dynafit Certified Insert.' The word 'SEAL' is printed on the front.

Clip removed. Should be obvious to folks who know tech bindings, but one has to wonder how many boot buyers will be seen using frame bindings with this clip still in the boot toe? And, WildSnow kudos to the first person to find one in a skin track.

Clip 'seal' removed. Should be obvious to folks who know tech bindings, but one has to wonder how many boot buyers will be seen using frame bindings with this clip still in the boot toe? And, WildSnow kudos to the first person to find one in a skin track.

(And YES Virginia, the Scarpa Freedom boots are, meow. More on them later.)


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25 Responses to “Dynafit Seal of Approval — Scarpa Gets It”

  1. John S October 16th, 2013 12:37 pm

    Knew this was coming, and I agree it’s a good thing. I figured a sticker but that’s cooler.

  2. Tuck October 16th, 2013 12:48 pm

    Cute. “Only disappointment to this is that the Seal will only go with inserts _made_ by Dynafit.”

    So this isn’t a “certification”, and the cost to Dynafit is the cost of that plastic clip. It’s a cheap marketing gimmick, then, and doesn’t really tell you anything.

  3. Lou Dawson October 16th, 2013 12:57 pm

    Tuck, I tend to agree but the catch is that brands other than Dynafit will use Dynafit fittings. Dynafit fittings in my overall experience are the most reliable in terms of performance. So this helps the consumer know that Scarpa (and probably another brand) use the most reliable fittings. This is legit. I’m pretty weary of crumby tech fittings appearing in boots every so often…

    Certification is the wrong word, agreed. The clip should say something like “Fittings made by Dynafit” But you can see why another brand would want it to say “certified by” so the clip wasn’t stealing their branding thunder.


  4. Charlie October 16th, 2013 1:26 pm

    Only an open and independent standard can permit independent testing and certification. Until then, Dynafit will get to tell manufacturers what to do…

  5. Lou Dawson October 16th, 2013 2:10 pm

    Charlie, right you are… sort of… The fittings without “Quick Step In” are out of patent, there is indeed no standard on how exactly they’re supposed to “feel” during release or how much force it should take to release them (independent of heel unit). The ones Dynafit makes have been the best performing and most consistent over the years, in my experience, so they tend to be the standard. It’s a reall weirdness to have something so important not be standardized. Big black mark on the folks in Europe who seem pretty quick to make standards for ice axes (grin).

  6. XXX_er October 16th, 2013 3:04 pm

    Dynafit had the patent, they ARE the standard and I trust them , sure a certification would be nice but in view of the Salomon fiasco a few years ago & the Garmont situation last year I wonder if the boot makers could agree on how a toe fitting should be made?

    IMO if scarpa can still make money buying toe fittings from Dynafit the rest of them are cutting corners at the expense of our safety

    A sticker on the toe would have been enough you can be sure somebody won’t be able to figure out how to click in with that piece of plastic on the toe of their boot 😉

  7. JCoates October 16th, 2013 3:37 pm

    Lou, this seems like a gimmick not worthy of reporting. Just looked at a whole shelf of new Dynafit boots this weekend here in Europe. The Dynafit TLT6’s had the plastic “seal” but none of their other newer models did. Are the other Dynafit models not up to snuff? Seems to be good way to justify that >$900 price tag.

  8. Lou Dawson October 16th, 2013 4:01 pm

    J, perhaps it’s worthless… But to me it seemed totally appropriate to report on it, one blog post out of more than 2,000, one day out of 3,000 or so (grin)…

  9. David B October 16th, 2013 4:44 pm

    Kudos to Dynafit. What a great way to get their name on a competitor brand, genius.
    Kudos to Scarpa for having the balls to say, “who gives a f#@k, our boots are good enough to compete”.
    Lou, keen on the review on the Freedom SL. Me thinks it’s going to be my new boot.

  10. John Gloor October 16th, 2013 6:56 pm

    Maybe they will be good for messing with your friends. Snap one on their boot and watch them struggle to put the binding on in the dark

  11. Phil Tinning October 17th, 2013 9:16 am

    Good marketing but it won’t stay on the boots more than five minutes then it will disappear into the snow. We used to have these boots in stock, shame about the recall!

  12. David B October 17th, 2013 6:40 pm

    Phil, are you saying that the Scarpa Freedom SL has been recalled?

    I’ve not heard of this. If so why?

  13. Lou Dawson October 17th, 2013 9:13 pm

    David, yes, they were “recalled” to fix some issue with the lean lock. It’s pretty much over with, and mostly affected shipments to dealers. From what I heard they were pretty diligent about fixing all the boots that needed it. I guess we could publish more details, but it just didn’t seem like much of a deal… Lou

  14. Greg October 17th, 2013 11:25 pm

    I really hope I’m not finding these on the skin track, I might be mailing them back to dnynafit with a bill for cleaning up their trash..

  15. gringo October 18th, 2013 1:54 am

    From an ecological standpoint it’s pretty lame that this piece of injection molded plastic will either be lost on the skin track by the clueless, or in best case taken out of the box and thrown straight in the trash.

    It’s small, but why waste the resource when a simple sticker could have done the job?

    It’s a pity that companies whose very being depends on the state of the environment can’t see a better way than this waste of petro- plastics…

  16. Buck October 18th, 2013 11:44 am

    Greg, Finding them on the skin track? Seriously?
    How many people do you think will be on their new boots and be clicking them into bindings for the first time when they are on a skin track? Have you noticed a huge problem with the backing paper that comes with new skins flapping around all over your skin tracks, too? Price tags from brand new bindings sitting in the trail?

    Then you want to mail back the plastic to Dynafit as a rebuke? You should at least mail it (overnight, it’s important!) to Dynafit’s European HQ to make sure your ecological protest has the most ecological impact, eh?

    Why not focus on something serious, voluminous and fixable, like dog sh*t at the trailhead, instead of wasting your cognitive allowance on manufactured outrage over an illusory problem?

  17. Brendan October 18th, 2013 12:08 pm

    Can we get an official Dynafit seal of Aura Activation for wearable magnets?

  18. Greg October 18th, 2013 12:25 pm

    Hoooookay. First off, I didn’t bring up the skin track thing, Lou did. And no, I don’t really expect to find these on the track, just trying to be funny. Admittedly, I was a few beers in at that point, and missed on the sarcasm, so my apologies.

  19. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 12:26 pm

    I don’t know about the skin track, but how much you want to bet I can find one of these things at a trailhead within the next 3 months?

  20. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 12:26 pm

    Thanks for the mellow reaction Greg!

    And yes, I’m the one that started the carnage — though I still like the idea of the “Seal,” as you guys would not believe the amount of time and angst it has taken me over the years, dealing with tech inserts that were suspect, trying to figure out how to be fair to both consumer and maker, dealing behind the scenes, yada yada yadddda. It reminds me of all the endless issues and media coverage of the 1990s silicon breast implant saga, only without the concept of “improved” physique. If it takes a seal from Dynafit to at least eliminate problems and doubt from 3 brands, I’m all for it. Ideally, tech inserts should be boring.

  21. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2013 12:28 pm

    Brendan, you _would_ remember the magnets! I’m sworn to keep the level of discourse here as high as possible, but some things just have to be riffed on. Main thing is, avoid personal attacks please. Lou

  22. Xavier October 18th, 2013 2:00 pm

    The anal retentive will store their boots with the seal attached and then drive their Subarus to the trail head and remove the seal there. In their reptilian minds, they will somehow justify their weird behavior with some explanation that it somehow prevents oxidation and pitting of the fitting therefore restoring , in their minds, that feeling of superiority that the anal retentive require to keep on living.

    It’s like the people who insist of dragging their skin savers along on a tour,and making the rest of us wait while they try and install their skin savers in brisk 30 mph wind while un-tracked powder awaits.

  23. David B October 18th, 2013 10:14 pm

    Thanks Lou, re the recall. Good to know.

  24. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2015 6:30 am

    November 2015, word from Dynafit some months ago was that their certified tech inserts would be used by something like 6 brands: Scarpa, Scott, Hagan, Roxa, Movement, Fischer. That’ll probably be subject to change but gives an idea. Bear in mind that beyond “certifications” the main thing is the your inserts are bench tested by a technician. ALL tech inserts, certified or not, can be defective and work incorrectly. This is especially true of the toe inserts, which if not shaped correctly can block “safety” release of the binding. Lou

  25. Greg Louie November 6th, 2015 8:49 am

    The Lange guys say their improved, lighter XT will use Dynafit tech fittings next year.

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