Technical — Dynafit ZZeus Boot Construction and Performance

Post by blogger | June 19, 2008      

If you didn’t figure it out yet, we’re as excited as kids on Christmas morning when it comes to all the new Dynafit compatible “beef boots” that have risen from the horizon like a flaming sunrise after a month of storm. Today I thought it only fair to take the WildSnow microscope back to Dynafit’s ZZeus TF-X (latter standing for Thermoflex Extreme liner), which is arguably the king of such boots, since it is Dynafit’s own offering. Before you go farther, please know we’ve got a few other ZZeus reviews that compliment what you’ll see below. My firstlook is here, and check out Lee’s.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Dynafit ZZeus beef boot is an excellent offering for backcountry skiing.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Unlike my Green Machines, the color looks as good in my pickup bed as it does up in Aspen. I guess this is the “freeride” style. Fine by me, as I noticed a few rednecks frowning at my Green Machines, no doubt wondering what something of that color was doing in the back of a Chevy.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
These are indeed boots with an interchangeable sole system. The touring version has a nice rubber sole and of course Dynafit binding fittings. What impresses me about the swap configuration is how precisely the sole block keys to slots molded in the boot shell. Achieving this type of precision can’t be easy. Along with an interlock, the heel portion of the sole attaches with four screws (including the screw in the actual Dynafit heel fitting).

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
View inside the heel block, showing binding fitting screw. One concern I have with this type of sole system is that the screws simply self-thread into the boot’s shell plastic. After a given number of repeated fasten/unfasten cycles, such thread will eventually wear and be prone to stripping. My guess is this won’t be a problem for occasional sole swapping, but do so every few days for a season and the story might be different. Thus, not a concern for most people — but keep it in mind if you plan on swapping soles frequently.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Greek gods on my feet, what has the world come to?

Except for this winter’s testing of the new AT overlaps, it’s been years since I’ve skied in such boots. But I’m not unfamiliar with the feel, since shoes such as the venerable Garmont Gara are fond memories from my day.

“Progressive flex” indeed describes it best. You press your shin forward, and instead of the bouncy energy and abrupt stop of a tongue boot such as Dynafit ZZero or Garmont Megaride, you get a sensation that’s more like you’re pressing against live muscle resistance than inert plastic. It’s a more natural feeling — and one I wish they’d work harder on building into tongue boots. Beyond feeling better, such boots can actually help you ski better by absorbing vibration more effectively and transferring leverage to your skis with smooth precision.

What’s more, properly designed overlap boots tour just as good or better then tongue boots. This includes ZZeus.

So why not just use overlap boots for backcountry skiing? Two things. Most importantly, overlap boots can be much harder to get into than tongue boots (because they don’t open with a “door” as tongue boots do). If you’re booting up indoors with warm flexible plastic, not a big deal. But try the same thing while on your back in a tent, at 3:00 A.M. during a frigid winter morning, and the story may sound more like a George Carlin excretory monologue than the mumbled pleasantries such situations should engender in gentile alpinists. Of lesser concern, overlap boots may weigh slightly more than tongue boots (due to extra layers of plastic). For those that want it or need it, the performance of overlap boots will certainly be worth these compromises. But they’re valid considerations — especially in the case of getting the boots on your feet (step one in a day of skiing?).

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Back to construction details. Toe has similar features to heel, in that the interchangeable sole fits into slots with a satisfying click, then attaches with six screws.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Detail of toe sole block. The front two of six screws go through the Dynafit fitting for 100% confidence. You’d have to rip your foot of your leg before you could rip this sole off the boot.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Yeah baby, the feature every ski boot should have. Not everyone needs cuff canting, but when you do…

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Lean lock is similar to other Dynafit boot models (and other brands as well). It has two locked positions, but it’s almost impossible to tell which one you’re in. Adjustable mechanisms such as that of the Scarpa Spirit are perhaps better, but add weight. We prefer having just one position and tweaking forward lean during boot fitting. Some skiers gripe that the Dynafit lean lock switch is small and hard to work with gloved hands. We never had that problem. Most importantly, this type of lock functions by having a spring loaded pin snap into a hole in a steel bar. On cold days you can get ice in this mechanism and it won’t work, ditto for dirt or sand. With some brands/models the lean mechanism is easy to remove and clean or repair. In the case of ZZeus you’d probably have to remove the boot cuff to do this. Something else to keep in mind, especially for you modders out there.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Let’s not forget underthings! ZZeus TF-X thermo liner is a beautifully constructed shoe that’s truly a work of art. If you’re prone to wearing out liners, these might change your life. They’re packed with dense foam that enhances downhill performance and resists packout. Liner is a thick wool Loden felt that doesn’t feel clammy when damp and probably wears better than thin Lycra like fabric. Outer covering is Cordura nylon that can stand up to all sorts of abuse (X in name means extremely durable). The liners even have their own lasted rubber sole. Such liners do add a few ounces to the overall boot weight, but they’re ounces with direct positive consequence (and you can always use slightly lighter aftermarket liners if desired.)

Important thing about the liners (this could be pro or con) is that Dynafit says not to mold them in an oven (at home or professional), instead they need to be molded using the blower/tower system that’s become more common of late (and harder to lash up at home). The liner does come pre-molded in half-sizes, so they may fit quite a few feet directly out of the box — that’ll be nice for mail order or for getting out of the shop quickly. Downside, if you do need liner molding you’ll be dependent on a dealer or properly equipped boot fitter for the job.

What else? Mainly, know that the different colored plastic on top of the ZZeus forefoot area is actually two separately molded pieces attached by rivets. Not only does this allow for sophisticated and dare I say artistic molding, but also lets the overlap area conform nicely to your foot instead of crushing directly down as some folks experience with overlap boots.

Beyond that, everything is fairly standard for a well designed AT boot: quality buckles; nicely attached power strap; soft rubber seal at front of overlap; front buckle in a reasonably protected location. Oh, and how about weight? According to our scales, with its beefed liner the ZZeus does have some mass, but look at the weight of the shell, which is very light for this stiff an overlap boot. Thus, our point about the liner adding quality that’s worth the ounces is a good one (and with a lighter liner, you could create a lighter but still stiff boot). In all, a ZZeus TF-X is worthy choice if you’re looking for a beefy overlap boot.

(And the eternal question, will I give up my Green Machines for a pair of ZZeus? In truth, I do enjoy skiing a beef boot on occasion, but my Green Machines work fine for nearly everything I do. Much of that is simply based on style. I don’t ski as aggressively as I used to, hence a lighter boot works for me. Even so, we’re super excited about beef boots such as ZZeus because so many excellent skiers have been needing such boots for years — and we want you all to be happy out there!)

Shop for Dynafit alpine touring boots here.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


55 Responses to “Technical — Dynafit ZZeus Boot Construction and Performance”

  1. Kin Lane June 19th, 2008 11:56 am

    Great review…..I love your approach with images and the huge amounts of technical specs. Thanks for taking the time….

    In the future if you put the word “review” in the subject…..our systems will pick it up through the RSS feed and syndicate your review across our network.

    We keep all source links and provide traffic back to your blog.


  2. Dongshow June 19th, 2008 5:24 pm

    Lou, as a lover of roads and access I’ll send you what may be some good news from the north. A proposed road between Haines and Juneau was approved today by the army core of engineers. Should assist access to a massive amount of good terrain, although it’ll likely be held up in court for a bit, and should be rather expensive, although that shouldn’t matter to the state of alaska with the current price of oil.

  3. Nick Thomas June 19th, 2008 9:50 pm

    Progressive flex, tongue boots. Why do the words Raichle Flexon come into my head?

    I’ve never had overlap boots that matched them for progressive flex.

  4. Lou June 20th, 2008 6:10 am

    I skied in Flexon for a while myself. How did they manage to get a tongue boot to feel that way!?

  5. Jordo June 20th, 2008 11:10 am

    So I hear this boot is made out of PU instead of Pebax. Can anyone tell me why some manufacturers choose one plastic over another? I have found that Scarpa’s Pebax boots get destroyed quite quickly and although it’s touted as a stiff plastic, it seems quite soft and prone to wear. I guess PU is a bit heavier and has different qualities depending on the temperature, but from my experience it seems to be a more durable plastic.

  6. Al June 20th, 2008 11:54 am

    nice color combo … not that it matters

    nice to see the cuff cant, I NEED cuff cant ,I always just max out the adjustment to compensate for my flat feet and I wouldn’t consider the green machines which didnt have it if I remember correctly

    nice to see multiple forward lean settings , I like to be able to adjust for different amounts of ramp angle in bindings ,I like to be very upright

    I wouldnt even look at any boot which did not have easily adjustable cuff cant and forward lean period

  7. Lou June 20th, 2008 12:22 pm

    Style is everything.

    As for cuff cant, I had to do my Green Machines the old fashioned way, by adding a layer of foam to side of liner. Inelegant and not appreciated. It’s actually pretty easy to swap a cuff cant into most boots (you just rob one from a donor pair of dumpster boots), but the Green Machine has that carbon fiber strut that appears it would complicate the process, so I’ve not attempted it yet.

  8. David P June 20th, 2008 2:53 pm

    Lou, I also needed a lot of canting in the cuff, which my boot fitter provided with foam wedges as you describe. Can you explain a bit more about how you cannibalize an old pair of boots for a cant adjustment and manage to fit it on to the AT boot? I am having some trouble visualizing how this would work. Do you have to drill out the cuff rivets? How do you get things to hold in the plastic? (I am currently using Lowa Strukturas).

  9. Lou June 20th, 2008 3:41 pm

    Yeah, you drill out and remove the existing rivet, then simply install cuff cant rivet (not really a rivet, but rather a threaded fastener) from another boot. Sometimes you have to heat the backside of the rivet so it melts slightly into the plastic to hold it, other times you may need to make a bushing if the shaft of the rivet is too small. Outside head of rivet has to be compatible with the boot you’re working on. It’s definitely something that requires some time to figure out. My approach has always been to cannibalize several different brands of boots before I start, then have those handy. I’ve had really good success using the rivets from the Scarpa Laser.

    Another approach is to re-locate the rivet so it creates a cant. That’s tricky as well because a small amount of change = quite a bit of cant. I’ve done this by egging out the hole in the lower shell, then making a bushing that holds a screw rivet in the correct position.

  10. Jonathan Shefftz June 23rd, 2008 1:59 pm

    Have gone through lots of stance alignment work with my alpine racers years ago when I was a coach, this focus on “cuff cant” overlooks the issues that:
    1. Stance alignment (whether for backcountry skiing or alpine racing) entails far more than lateral cuff adjustment; and,
    2. The range of motion in any AT boot’s lateral cuff adjustment is almost trivially small.

  11. Lou June 23rd, 2008 3:03 pm

    Jonathan, diss it all you want but it works for me and quite a few other people who aren’t shaving 100ths from their run, but rather just trying to get a relaxed and natural stance… But you’re right, it’s only part of the equation.

  12. Jonathan Shefftz June 23rd, 2008 6:18 pm

    Agree, a relaxed and natural stance is certainly critical, but the typical lateral cuff adjustment mechanism on an AT boot barely helps in achieving that goal.

  13. rod georgiu June 24th, 2008 5:50 pm

    How do these boots compare in lateral stifness to other boots, such as the Garmont Adrenaline, or the BD Factor?
    I tried the Tecnica Agent AT, and I found it a bit too uprgiht in ski mode, which makes it a bit harder to flex the boot forward, statically. (In a turn I guess it would flex OK)

  14. Lou June 24th, 2008 7:34 pm

    Rod, they’re in the same class in terms of lateral stiffness as boots such as Adrenaline. In terms of exactly how they compare, that’s tough because things such as the thickness of the liner after you mold it make boots feel different. In my testing, I felt they were very stiff boots and similar to all the other beef boots I’ve been in recently.

  15. Court September 24th, 2008 10:47 am

    I have a question about the mold-ability of these liners. I’ve heard that it’s all the rage today to use both open and closed cell foams, layered into the liners. As I understand it, only the closed cell foam is moldable, while the open cell foam just serves to soften the liner. If that’s the case, then the ration of open to closed cell foams becomes a good measure for the mold-ability of a given liner. Specifically in the ZZeus’s case, I’m wondering just how moldable the liners are. How do these compare to an Intuition liner’s moldability, for example? Any comments are appreciated. Many thanks!

  16. Lou September 24th, 2008 12:16 pm

    Hi Court, that’s a tough comparison to make! I’ve found all the so called heat mold liners seem to have enough give to mold to anyone’s feet I fit them to, though I’ve added foam on occasion because the liner doesn’t fill all necessary volume. I’m getting another pair of test ZZeus, only this time the full-on production model, so ask in a few weeks after we bake ’em.

    Another thing, after experimenting I’m seeing that using the in-shell heating “riser” system is better for molding liners when recommended by the maker. I’m thus spending time figuring that out, as it seems like we MUST have a way of doing this at home without buying a $300 heating machine.

  17. PJ October 15th, 2008 4:48 pm

    As a follow up to Jordo’s comment above (and copied below), Lou, is there anyway to guess how much more a PU plastic boot like the Zzeus will change – stiffen – in colder temps? I like how hey feel in the store and the walk mode but am worried how that may change in colder temps… will it become too stiff?

    Jordo wrote:
    “So I hear this boot is made out of PU instead of Pebax. Can anyone tell me why some manufacturers choose one plastic over another? I have found that Scarpa’s Pebax boots get destroyed quite quickly and although it’s touted as a stiff plastic, it seems quite soft and prone to wear. I guess PU is a bit heavier and has different qualities depending on the temperature, but from my experience it seems to be a more durable plastic.”

  18. Lou October 15th, 2008 5:39 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard a percentage, just “they get stiffer.” Any plastics engineers here? Can you give us a graph of change in hardness of polyurethane correlated to temperature?

    Personally, I’ve noticed the difference but never felt it was that much a change. Thus, I don’t think the boot will be “too stiff.”

  19. kwm October 20th, 2008 9:36 pm

    Thanks for the informative review and comments. My question is in regards to the half sizing.

    Lou mentioned that “The liner does come pre-molded in half-sizes, so they may fit quite a few feet directly out of the box”. Does this mean that a 29.5 has the same shell AND liner as a 29.0, except that the liner is already partially molded? Or, is the 29.5 essentially a thinner (different) liner than the 29.0?

    I ask because the 29.0 felt good but a little too tight, and the 30.0 was too loose. I really wanted to try a 29.5 right next to a 29.0 to see which would fit best. Instead I’ve had a few mixed messages about availability of the half sizes from MEC. It seems they only stock the full sizes, but that would make sense if the half sizes are basically pre-molded full-sizes.

    By Lou’s description of the liners, I should have much better luck with Dynafit than the Intuition liners of my Spirit 4s. When I combined excessive foot sweat with the minimal-breathbility and relatively rough texture of the intuition foam on a 4 day traverse, there were issues to say the least.


  20. Lou October 20th, 2008 10:48 pm

    Kwm, you need to check the shell size by placing your bare foot in the shell, with your weight on your foot and toes brushing the end. You should be able to slide two stacked fingers behind your heel with very little extra space. Once you know your shell size, you play around with the varous “sizes” that use that same shell size, and get the liner that is long enough for your foot so your toes don’t bash against the end of the liner while touring. After that, you mold the liner if necessary. If you’re working with a shop, just get them to mold the liners if you’re in doubt. They can be molded many many times.

    I’m not a fan of people walking out of a shop with boots that have not been molded. Sure, you can use the pre-molded liners to arrive at a possible fit. But molding the liner tells the tale. And in some situations, yes you can go without molding the liner, but in my opinion that’s not common if you’re after the best fit.

    As far as what shells use what liners for a given size, you could get that info from Salewa North America, but it’s really secondary to just evaluating the fit in a methodical fashion as above.

  21. Kurt Morrison October 31st, 2008 12:22 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Thanks for the reminder about fitting the shell first. I took your sizing advice and decided on the 30.0. Too bad I had to get my Comforts remounted for the larger shell size.

    I backed off the heal piece as much as possible, but it’s still about 5mm shy of where it should be. I guess that’s what happens when you go from a 29.5 Spirit 4 (with the toe piece mounted further back on the boot) to a Dynafit 30.0.


  22. Alex November 22nd, 2008 5:55 pm

    How’s the width compare to the factor? The Factor is just about too narrow for my foot, do you think I’d have better luck with the ZZeus (I’d have to order a pair from BC just to try them on…) ? Also, how do the walk modes compare? I find the Factor to have a really tuned walk…

  23. Lou November 22nd, 2008 6:06 pm

    We’ve got something killer coming for comparing boot widths, but for now I’d say the ZZeus is slightly narrower than Factor, so that’s probably not the direction you want to go. Walk modes are similar. By some accounts ZZeus is actually slightly stiffer. If Factor is “just about” too narrow that would be easily taken care of by boot fitting.

  24. Glenn November 28th, 2008 12:25 pm

    Does anyone have any experience with modifying the shell of the Zzeus to allow it to lock in place, but in a more upright position. First day out in the boot, and after a trip to the boot shop, we found I was too forward, and no way to straighten the boot. All my weight on my quads..Any thoughts on removing the flat bar inside the Shell and drilling one additional hole to allow it to stand more up right?

  25. Lou November 28th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Glenn, I used to mod people’s Scarpa Lasers by welding the hole in the bar shut, then drilling a new hole at the preferred position. Was an easy mod and worked well. I’m short a pair of ZZeus at the moment or I’d take a look, expecting to have them here again soon.

    What bindings are you using? Ramp angle could cause your problem as much as cuff angle… And what boot/binding combo are you coming from?

  26. Jonathan Shefftz November 28th, 2008 5:25 pm

    “Any thoughts on removing the flat bar inside the Shell and drilling one additional hole to allow it to stand more up right?”
    — This is easy to do on the Zzero.
    — Unfortunately I have no idea how easy it is for the Zzeus.
    — Anyway, for the Zzero, popping out the metal slat is really easy. Then you have two choices: either drill in another hole; or, if you want somewhat less lean but not *that* much less, then have a metal shop cut the bar, shorten one of the two pieces, then weld the two pieces back together.
    — Making the Zzero more upright for me made it way more responsive, way stiffer, and way less tiring (i.e., like you noted, too much weight on the quads previously).

  27. Lou November 28th, 2008 5:45 pm

    We’re all a bunch of maniacs. The ZZero for me didn’t have quite enough cuff lean so I added a shim to the spoiler. But I have skinny legs. It never ends!!

  28. Glenn November 29th, 2008 5:39 am

    I have a pair of Naxo-s now. We thought about upping the ramp angle, shimming the toe, but were afraid of pinching the toe and altering the release. The guys at GMOL thought it might be best to find a way to straighten out of the cuff first.

    I would assume that to get the bar out, you must have to pop the cuff rivets, remove the cuff and get at the flat bar.

    Skinny legs, I wish. Hugh calves and wide (4-E) feet make boot fitting impossible. I picked the Zzeus after three years of searching because we knew we could re-mold the shell.

  29. Lou November 29th, 2008 8:12 am

    Glenn, yes, with ZZeus it appears you have to remove the cuff for mods of the lean lock, but I’m not sure as I don’t have any samples at the moment.

  30. Kris December 2nd, 2008 2:06 pm

    Hi Lou,
    What are your thoughts on the ZZeus vs. the Green Machines with Intuitions? Is that even a fair comparison or are they completely different animals? Thanks a lot.

  31. Lou December 2nd, 2008 2:25 pm

    Kris, I don’t understand the question. You mean use both boots with Intuitions in each boot, or use the Green Machine with an Intuition and the ZZeus without? And what type of Intuition, the higher density one?

    The main thing is that the Green Machine is a tongue boot and the ZZeus is overlap. That’s huge. Other big diff is ZZeus is made from very stiff PU and the Machine is Pebax which is thinner and more flexible. ZZeus liner is also super high performance for the down. They are very different boots.

  32. Kris December 2nd, 2008 3:19 pm

    Sorry about that. I was trying to compare an out-of-the-box ZZeus with a ZZero with a stiffer Intuition liner (Alpine or powerwrap). I guess the real question is, would a stiffer ZZero be a better, lighter option than the ZZeus and have comparable downhill performance? In your review of Scarpa/Intuition and Palau liners you said the combo of Intuitions and Green Machines were too stiff for your liking and I was wondering if that level of stiffness put it in the same ballpark as the ZZeus, but would still save a couple pounds? Sorry for the confusion and thanks as always for your insight.

  33. Lou December 2nd, 2008 3:35 pm

    Kris, first, you can’t get apples to apples comparo because one boot is tongue and one is overlap, more one is PU and the other is Pebax. But I’ll go on the record and say you could ramp up the stiffness of the ZZero by using a stiffer liner and a stiffer tongue, but you’re not going to easily equal the stiffness of the ZZeus, which is a VERY beefy boot.

  34. Lou December 2nd, 2008 4:18 pm

    If I might add a Louism to this (not directed specifically at you Kris, but just speaking to the general concept): “If you want to ski like you’re in a TGR movie, you’ve got to haul the weight.”

  35. J.P. December 16th, 2008 9:57 pm

    Lou, et al, Just got a pair of the zeus’. Like ’em alot, but I’m having the same problem with too much forward lean. Any new info on a mod out there?

  36. Lou December 17th, 2008 9:03 am

    I just checked out our WildSnow pair of ZZeus. Unlike many other AT boots, I could find no easy way of removing the lean lock mechanism for mods. Here is how I’d do it. 1. Remove cuff rivets 2. Drive out pin holding bottom end of vertical lean-lock shaft. 3. Lift cuff off boot and remove lean-lock shaft. 4. Shorten the shaft by cutting and welding. 5. Reassemble boot.

    You’ll need a way of replacing the cuff rivets for the above process. Scarpa has rivets that would fit, but you need the tool to install them. Scarpa threaded cuff cant rivets would work as well, but you’d need to melt in the inside rivet head and that can be tricky with thinner plastic shells such as ZZeus (you can easily ruin the shell doing this, don’t ask me how I know).

    With some really tough handwork it might be possible to remove the lean-lock mechanism without removing the cuff. I’d start by figuring a way to get to the screw heads that hold the latch on the inside.

  37. jack December 17th, 2008 9:31 am

    Hi Lou,

    Thanks to your excellent articles I’m getting very close to acquiring the right boot, the final choice will be between Zzeus or Skookum. Too bad I can’t ski in them before buying, but using the educated guess system (EGS) I ‘m confident I can make the right decision. One question: the Zzeus have these exclusive to Dynafit lugs for easier binding entry. Do they really make a difference ?

  38. Lou December 17th, 2008 9:55 am

    Jack, they make a difference — especially if you’re new to the binding.

  39. Glenn December 26th, 2008 5:43 am

    Here is one fix for the forward lean issue: ( it worked great on my boot):

    1) Stand in the boot and mark the rear boot shell where the cuff meets the boot shell. 2) Put the boot in walk mode and find where you want to stand and place a second mark on the rear boot shell. 3) Measure the difference as it it will be the amount you want to lower the new hole in the vertical lean lock shaft. 4) With the liner removed, you can fold in the inner cuff past the locking slot allowing the upper cuff to fold forward, exposing the the pin that secures the vertical lean lock shaft. (saves removing the rivet). Drive the pin out. 5) Remove the lean lock shaft, mark which side is front for re-assembly. 6) Weld the hole close and grind flat. 7) Take your measurement from #1, and re drill hole. 8) Re-assemble.

    Thanks to Leif at Strands( Worcester MA) -what a wizard.

  40. Lou December 26th, 2008 7:53 am

    Nice job Glenn! I was wondering if it would be a bit easier than removing the boot cuff. I’ve done this exact procedure with other AT boots, but the ZZeus lean lock shaft appeared to be tougher to remove. Glad to hear it actually comes out fairly easily.

  41. John January 6th, 2009 9:31 am

    On the issue of Zzeus forward lean being too great, I don’t think I’ve seen any similar concerns for the Scarpa Spirit 4 (another boot I’m considering), but if I’m reading the specs right the Scarpa’s most upright setting (19 deg forward lean) is more forward leaning than the Zzeus’s 15 deg. Help?

  42. Lou January 6th, 2009 11:33 am

    John, last time I looked the Spirit 4 lean was adjustable, which is excellent. More, each boot has different ramp/delta angle, which changes how the real-life forward lean feels. Also, the shape of the boot shell rear and liner rear and how they support the rear of your leg also influence how the “lean” of the boot feels. Thus, the numbers are only a guideline.

  43. J.P. January 24th, 2009 2:54 pm

    O.K., I’ve driven the pin out in the Zeus and removed the metal slat. It looks like I can just drill another hole higher on the slat. What’s the deal with welding the old holes shut? Is it just to strengthen the slat?

  44. Lou January 24th, 2009 7:36 pm

    JP, another hole higher in the slat will provide extreme forward lean, and with two holes you may not know which one you’ve clicked into. Also, I believe that welding the unused hole shut is stronger than leaving it open.

  45. Sierra Skier February 25th, 2009 7:57 am

    Hey Lou,

    First, I love your site, it contains a wealth of information! I just purchased the Dynafit Zzeus boots and was hoping to mold the liners using the conventional method of baking in an oven, however in this write up I notice that you say that Dynafit recommends another method. My boots did not come with an owners manual (perhaps the shop forgot to put one in the box) so I do not have specific instructions on how to mold them. Do you know if it will damage the liners to mold them using the conventional oven method?


  46. Lou February 25th, 2009 9:43 am

    Sierra, to the best of my knowledge it will not damage the liners if you use a convection oven with the correct temperature, and are very careful about placing the liner in the boot without twisting or wrinkling. That said, the whole idea of heating the liner while in the boot is to avoid a host of problems, so keep that in mind. Suggest you get the temp from customer service, as I don’t know it off the top of my head. With most thermo liners, I bake for 10 minutes at 250 f in my convection oven.

  47. Phil February 25th, 2009 7:14 pm


    I will be molding my liners when my Garmont Radiums arrive..check out this site

    You get about 6 shots on molding a liner before it is time to buy another one…

  48. Bob March 18th, 2009 4:27 pm

    I have been skiing on the Dynafit ZZeus for a while now and really love the fit and the flex of the boot. It fits me a bit better than the ZZero line. However, I have noticed a substantial amount of flex in the toe sole block when in ski mode. Anyone else notice this? I checked the screws in the sole blocks and they are all tight. Lou, any word from Dynafit if they are going to make an overlap ZZeus Dynafit compatible type boot without the removable sole blocks? This is such a nice skiing boot that I think would be even better and lighter without the removable sole blocks.

  49. Lou March 18th, 2009 4:38 pm

    Bob, I’ve always wondered if some folks might get some movement in the sole blocks on boots such as ZZeus or Black Diamond’s offerings. Seems to me the thing to do (if you only need one type of sole) would be to remove the blocks, then re-install with silicon adhesive (caulk), then tighten the screws well and hope for the best. You could still get the sole off after doing this, but it would take some work. That said, I have to wonder if some of the movement is just general flex you’d see in any boot. ZZeus has a ton of screws, so any movement would have to be minimal or catastrophic, I don’t see how it could be in between those two, that is unless the screws were never tightened to begin with and everything got worked. Let us know how it goes.

  50. Bob March 18th, 2009 7:16 pm

    I also wonder if Dynafit could change the PU used in the sole blocks to a harder less flexible plastic. I was amazed at how easy it was to twist and flex the sole blocks when they were not installed. I have thought about gluing the blocks on: silicone or PU glue? I have also thought about rivets.

  51. Bob March 25th, 2009 8:35 am

    Dynafit ZZeus buckle problem cure?
    I am having a bit of a problem with my ZZeus buckles (size 26.5). The lower cuff buckle and the over the arch buckle are hitting each other. This problem has gotten worse as the weather warms up. It seems as though these buckles are a bit too “high profile”. Using lower profile buckles on the smaller sizes might eliminate this problem. It occurred to me that one might be able to replace the lower cuff buckle with the ones used on the ZZero boot line. These wire bail buckles seem to be lower profile and might solve the problem. I guess an additional question is whether or not one would have to replace the over the arch buckle also. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  52. Lou March 25th, 2009 8:46 am

    Bob, if you don’t want to ever remove the sole blocks, they sell a two-part plastic adhesive at Ace hardware. If you clean the boot plastic well with denatured alcohol, then rough it up with some sandpaper, you can probably set those sole block in that glue and get enough bonding to make them permanent. If you want them removable, a few dabs of silicone is as far as I’d go.


    As for the buckles, If they’re not working I’d just get a boot fitter to relocate them or indeed replace with something that works. Not a big deal, but perhaps something Dynafit will improve in their next design iteration. Nothing is perfect…

  53. wildapple1 January 18th, 2010 5:01 pm

    I have just taken delivery of an ex-demo pair of Zzeus 3’s, but the lean lock switch seems not to be working.
    I have taken the latch mechanism out of one boot, and as you mention earlier, “this type of lock functions by having a spring loaded pin snap into a hole in a steel bar.” You also say that “On cold days you can get ice in this mechanism and it won’t work, ditto for dirt or sand.”
    The pin does come out when switched, but very slowly, and I can’t get either of them to engage with the metal bars. Has anyone come across this as a problem before, and any thoughts on a fix?

  54. J.P. December 6th, 2011 1:08 pm

    Hey all;
    I need some boot wizard advice. So I’ve skiied on the Zeus for three years now going on four. (BTW. I modified the forward lean lock as my previous posts show per Glenn’s advice to reduce lean angle and it worked like a charm–no problems after three years.)
    Anyway my question/problem is this: the cuff rivets have loosened up over the years. Not sure if this is a problem with the rivets themselves or if maybe the plastic is just stretching/wearing. Anyway I’ve reviewed some posts here about re-pressing cuff rivets on the TLT5 as well as swapping out a new rivet or installing a bushing. Not sure what the best course of action is here though. To install a bushing I figure I’ll need to install new rivets as well anyway since I’d have to dremel out the old rivets. The boot skiis fine otherwise and is holding up well although I’ve replaced a couple buckles/ladders. Definitely not ready to just drop another $700+ on new boots just yet. Brought the boots to the local shop and they just gave me the stock “it’s a warranty issue” line and gave me Salewa’s phone#. Any technical bootfitters dealt with this issue on this boot?

  55. Lou December 6th, 2011 2:19 pm

    The worn pivot issue is becoming huge, due to the increased vertical that the new style of touring entails. What’s needed is an aftermarket solution as it seems the companies are doing little to nothing about it.

    Indeed, I’m seeing otherwise totally functional boots of all brands where the only compromising wear is in the cuff rivet area. And it does seem absurd to drop something like $700 to fix what could be improved with a few dollars worth of steel.

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