Grilamid Grilamid On The Wall — Who Is The Narrowest TLT Of Them All?

Post by blogger | November 15, 2013      

Visually, Dynafit TLT 5 appears wider at metatarsal than TLT6. Some of that might be illusion, or the result of thicker plastic for the metatarsal flex zone of the TLT5. Still, during recent fitting projects I’m finding the TLT6 seems the same or even slightly narrower in the metatarsal, even though I _thought_ someone said it was wider. Time for comparo. I have TLT5 28.5 shells sitting here, Cripple Creek Backountry has TLT6 in the same size, so I headed over there and did some measuring.

When compared side-by-side, TLT5 certainly appears to have the edge in metatarsal width.

When compared side-by-side, TLT5 certainly appears to have the edge in metatarsal width.

When measured from the outside, met dimension of TLT5 is quite larger, but some of this is due to the plastic layering.

When measured from the outside, met dimension of TLT5 is quite larger, but some of this is due to the plastic layering. Nonetheless, TLT5 has a noticeable anatomic shape and a bulge for the mets. Granted, this could be due to the rest of the boot being quite narrower than the metatarsal dimension, but again, our measurements indicate it is actually slightly wider in forefoot width than the TLT6.

Another way of comparing lasts is to measure a molded liner that has assumed the shape of the boot interior.

Another way of comparing last widths is to measure a molded liner that has assumed the shape of the boot interior. In this case, the TLT5 liner is obviously several millimeters wider than the width of the TLT6 which I set the calipers to.

What really told the tale is my handy customized interior boot last measurement tool.

What really told the tale is my handy customized interior boot last measurement tool, OSHA approved of course. I spent quite a bit of time measuring, and kept arriving at 100 mm for TLT5, and 98 for TLT6. That makes sense when considering how the 5 has a visual metatarsal buldge. As for the remainder of the boot, comparing widths is difficult due to need exact data points (comparing widest point is easy). But I can conclude that while TLT6 may be slightly wider in certain areas (as claimed by Dynafit), its width at metatarsal is virtually the same as TLT5. Thus, if you found the TLT5 to be the perfect width, you'll probably have that same experience with TLT 6. Conversely, don't expect the TLT6 to be any wider than TLT5 at the ball of your foot. And overall shell fit comparo? Everything else is similar or identical.



17 Responses to “Grilamid Grilamid On The Wall — Who Is The Narrowest TLT Of Them All?”

  1. jonah November 15th, 2013 9:07 am

    at least punching out the shell in the metatarsal zone will be easier on the 6.
    i have the 5, and dealing with all the extra plastic was a bit challenging. thank you for the update.

  2. Lou Dawson November 15th, 2013 9:57 am

    Johah, indeed, punching the 5 is really easy. I’ve done both my left and right. Only trick is you can end up distorting the shell to the point where it won’t align in your tech bindings. Prevention of that involves affixing boot in some sort of rigid jig system while punching. So it’s tougher than you’d think, but the Grilamid is amazing easy to work on. Lou

  3. Jim November 15th, 2013 10:20 am

    I yearn for the day when boot manufacturers publish standard last width measurements just as they do other specs, such as BSL. It would make boot shopping so much easier for narrow flipper-footed types such as myself. I imagine folks with feet on the other side of the width bell curve feel the same way.

    Still, thanks for this article. I’m reasonably happy with the relative (lack of width) of my Scarpa Maestrale RS’s, but it’s good to know that the TLT6 hasn’t grown too much compared to its predecessor. Now, if I could just find a narrow lightweight skimo boot in my size (30.0) …

  4. Juergen November 15th, 2013 1:50 pm

    As I learned from prior TLT 6 posts, the liner became beefier for the sake of better insulation compared to TLT 5. The beefier liner in addition with 2mm less max TLT 6 width (100 – 98) will lead to a felt 4-5mm+ as in my case. I call it significantly narrower. My alpine boots are standard Salomon X Pro as comparison.

  5. Stewart November 15th, 2013 3:39 pm

    When I’d previously shop tested the TLT5, I was impressed with the ankle hold, certainly the best fit yet for my low volume foot, but needed a little more substance and durability. With high hopes I recently tried on the TLT6, but was disappointed to find significantly more volume around the ankle. Even the Vulcan felt lower volume to me.

  6. Barrows November 15th, 2013 8:03 pm

    I am a little disappointed in the width of the 6. I have 5s and 6s, both in 28 shell. The 5s just barely worked for me in width at the sixth toe area. To check the width of the 6s I tried them on with the liner (Intuition) which I and molded for my 5s. Turns out the 6s are a little narrower in that area, and I am going to have to have them punched. Otherwise I find there is a little increased volume over the instep, which should help the warmth a bit. But after all Dynafit’s claims about the 6 being slightly wider than the 5, I am a little confused.

  7. Tyler November 17th, 2013 7:35 pm


    Speaking for the wide footed folks, I am inclined to agree. However, we all need to remember that the forefoot measurement provided by manufacturers is for only (1) shell size – usually a 26 or 27- and gets proportionally bigger or smaller as you go up or down.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that forefoot width is only (1) dimension in (1) location. Personally my 5th metatarsals go straight, where most boots curve inward, my instep is very high, etc.

    There will never be a substitute for trying on boots and talking to an experienced boot fitter.

  8. Charlie November 18th, 2013 11:17 am

    I don’t know if OSHA would have approved of however you chose to fabricate your boot-measuring tool, but I’m pretty sure that quite a few folks at NIST would. If you can’t measure it, you make a tool that can…

    Were you able to try out your measurements on a few pairs of boots? I can imagine that there might be some variation from boot to boot.

  9. Skian November 19th, 2013 11:11 am

    When the 5 came out the heel cup retention was amazing for a low volume heel. But with a low volume heel and wide forefoot the challenge became not punching the boot, but the boot holding the the punch.

    For this as Lou stated the thin boot sole could shift adjusting the alignment of the boot. I always recommended to boot fitters having the boot mounted in the bindings. Feddie told me once that a water bath heated the boot move evenly, so I first water bathed the boot and took a temp reading. Then mounted the boot in the binding on a ski or jig. Then before punching heated the forefoot with a gun to increase the pliability of the Grilamid.

    Grilamid has a much stronger memory than Pebax so in order to get my desired width i pushed 1 or 2 mill wider than needed. Take it slow and heat a broad area. I also recommend this being your last punch of the day and let it sit over night to slow set.

    Ive had good results with this method. Great assessment of the 6. Would love to see this kind of detail review of actual metatarsal widths (inside) of other boots also taking into consideration the width of the liner and density of the liner material. If you measure the width of the foot your optimal width should be one that includes your liner thickness. Otherwise the metatarsals become cramped into an upside down U affecting flexion of the foot in walk mode.

    great review and blog post!

  10. Lou Dawson November 19th, 2013 11:15 am

    Thanks Skian, we’ll keep on charging ahead. Lou

  11. Fede November 20th, 2013 10:52 am

    Lou measuing the width of a boot like you did means nothing, our fit are 3Dimensional so the whole volume/circumference count… that’s why I personally always fighted in giving with measures of shells in my previouse life…

    Moreover TLT5 were not tight on the metatarsal, they were tight only for people with massive abnormal wide feet. The vast majority of TLT5 cusmers, which are not located in north america, are happy with the width.
    TLT5 was tight on the mid foot and heel for most and creating pain and bad blood circulation for the majority of people… and thats where the TLT6 got wider. Not on the metatarsal.
    I jsut got my new TLT6, and can assure the fit is quite romier there.

    One additional thing I tried to explain several times! if you put inside a shell designed to be used with a liner with 7mm foam a intuition liner which has 10-11mm foam then you should not complain about the booots beeing tight. Even if you thermoform them they will still fit MUCH narrower compared with the original liner.
    To use an intuition liner you should over size the shell!…. which I kow doesn’t work for you as you have a VERY special feet my friend!!!
    Huge metatarsal, ultra narrow heel, ultra narrow lower leg.. so hardly you will ever find a boot which fits you 😉

    Ah lou, on this fit comments you always do refering to Montebelluna gnomes or fit of somebody living in tiny italian village 3 generations ago you should quit… somebody might get offended as without those “montebelluna gnomes” you would probably still Telemark in leather boots today instead of enjoying pimping TLT and co, boots!. 😉

  12. Skian November 20th, 2013 11:07 am

    From the dungeons of Annecy he awakens…. only with a French accent’…

  13. Harpo November 29th, 2013 4:07 pm

    In addition to agreeing with Lou comments about the width of the 6, I am also finding it has less height over the forefoot and toes. So even having punched for width, I think I will be unable to use my 5 liner in the 6 and will have to cook a new liner.

  14. trollanski January 16th, 2014 9:16 pm

    Having fit boots for only three seasons, its amazing how often I deal with people’s perception of a boots as if they are a final product carved out of stone. Having a D width foot and some sizable 1st met heads and ankles, I don’t expect boots to fit right out of the box. The beauty of wonderous plastic is how easy it is to modify to whatever special needs one might have. I would suggest that people keep this in mind, and cease with the ‘disappointment’ over a last which is narrow, or a heel which is too wide. Punch, grind, glue some foam out back, go ski….Simple!
    Oh, and I think I will Bake the liner after some work, so it is remains thicker and insulates better, as I am often jumping out of the car at 0 degrees. Cheers!

  15. AndyC February 5th, 2014 9:11 pm

    FWIW, I have worn MP29 in Zzero3, Zero4, Zzeus, and TLT5. The 5 I felt very snug–took a week or more to break in and 100 days before I could add a SOLE orthotic. However, in the the TLT6, I could use my custom (Jim Mates) orthotics from the get-go; the increased volume was very noticeable to me. YMMV. Maybe it has to do with being a 29 in a shell that is 29-30 vs being a 29.5 and feelilng little increase volume. The new liner broke into being nicely comfortable (with the footbeds) in 2 days. Also the top buckles had much more room than the TLT5 and the lower buckle was extremely nice with its micro-adjustability.

  16. Mark Worley December 1st, 2014 9:55 pm

    Toured TLT 6 with laces for first time. Appears this might reduce hot spots for my heels. Should have tried this sooner!

  17. Cal E April 22nd, 2016 4:38 pm

    I agree with the last on these TLT6’s being tight, and I’ve always been told I have narrow feet! Probably getting mine punched tomorrow.

    Re. laces, I use them just to keep the tongue in place when removing the boots or putting them back on. I have the laces knotted in a loose position, and just leave them there.

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