Garmont Radium Backcountry Skiing Boots – OR Part 3


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 13, 2008      

Shop for ski boots here.
Unless you’re a visually challenged Marxist, you have to admit that business competition can yield positive results. Consider ski boots.

Black Diamond shook things up around a year ago when they announced a new line of backcountry skiing boots they’re making in China. As “BD” usually designs good stuff and markets it well, that moderate sized blip on most skier’s radar screen is more like the trace of a jumbo jet if you’re a boot maker such as Scarpa, Dynafit, or Garmont — all of whom have truly ramped it up by refining existing models and coming up with a slew of majestic new offerings (check our dozens of backcountry skiing boot reviews for proof). Today we turn the WildSnow eyeball to Garmont, with perusal of their Radium overlap cuff boot (final production version).

Garmont backcountry skiing.
The retail production Radium looks about the same on the outside compared to the pre-production boots we checked out last winter. From the buckles to the lettering, everything on this ski touring shoe screams quality. In walk mode, because the overlap cuff opens and closes due to your ankle movement, your stride will be super comfy. The upper two Radium buckles have a cool feature: a system of tiny latches in the buckle slots that trap the buckle bail ’till you push a button, thus, no more looking down during your TGR audition only to see a boot buckle waving at you like a flag, mocking your aspirations to stardom (our only wish, how about adding this feature to all the buckles?).

According to Garmont, while the Radium shell has been pretty much where they wanted it since pre-production boots came out last winter, improvements to the liner have been ongoing. Most importantly, resistance to “packing out” has been improved. How? Garmont told me they feel much of the packing out problem with boot liners is caused by the foot dropping down as the sole of the liner compresses over time (sometimes quite rapidly, in my experience).

To remedy the “dropping foot,” Garmont uses a type of liner construction called “stroebel stitching,” meaning the sole portion of the liner is stitched in such a way as to allow any choice in material. Thus liberated from construction constraints, they use a higher density foam in the sole, so it doesn’t crush. Let’s hope this works, as the problem of liners packing out is an ongoing annoyance with almost all AT boots.

Garmont backcountry skiing.
Every boot has a signature feature or two. Radium’s most obvious is the lean lock. Easily removed for repairs or modifications, the completely external mechanism will warm the heart of any gear geek. Interestingly, Garmont went against current trends and only provides one lock angle in the unit.

Our opinion has always been that having multiple angles in a lean lock just leads to confusion and hassle — nice to be validated. More, since this machinery is easy to remove and work on, I’m thinking it’ll be easy to mod and thus change the lean angle. Better still, perhaps the aftermarket will kick in and someone will make a super trick lean lock similar to that of some alpine boots, with a flex spring and user adjustable lean.

If you’re an agro skier who goes for human powered vertical, Radium appears to provide the performance blend you need. This boot is beefier than the famed Garmont Megaride, still feels comfy in walk mode, and the overlap cuff construction will no doubt yield that sweet flex many skiers long for. Wildsnow thumbs up!

(Please bear in mind that this year’s boot offerings are complex and can be categorized in many different ways. For example, Dynafit’s “ZZeus” and Black Diamond’s “Factor” are probably similar in performance to the Radium — but have the added option of swappable soles. That’s a plus or minus depending on how you look at it, but definitely makes categorizing things tougher. Additionally, I’d not make a god out of overlap cuff boots. They’re the big buzz this year, but tongue boots such as those from Scarpa and all other boot makers have advantages such as lighter weight and ease of entry in cramped situations. We’ll be trying both types of boots quite a bit this winter, and doing ongoing blogging about our tests.)

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Comments

98 Responses to “Garmont Radium Backcountry Skiing Boots – OR Part 3”

  1. Chris August 13th, 2008 10:43 am

    I am sure this has been tested, but, nevertheless, what do you think the chances of that button on the upper two buckles freezing up when on snow. And how easy would that button be to operate with thick gloves/mittens?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. Lou August 13th, 2008 11:17 am

    Chris, I don’t think it’ll be a big deal, just a whack with a ski pole grip if it does get icy. Probably easy to de-activate or disable if necessary. We’ll reverse engineer it ASAP. It’s not really a button, more like a tab that you press to release the buckle bail.

  3. Dongshow August 13th, 2008 1:43 pm

    Yea, getting stuck in the boots was the first thing that crossed my mind when I read about the buckle lock. Small buttons that require taking gloves off can be an extreme pain on those glorious -20 powder days.

  4. Lou August 13th, 2008 2:11 pm

    We’ll test them immediately, should have in a few days.

  5. Justin August 16th, 2008 3:31 pm

    Any idea how much these weigh?

  6. Lou August 16th, 2008 7:00 pm

    Coming soon, hate giving out the pre-production weight…

  7. Luke August 18th, 2008 6:26 am

    Any news on the release date?

  8. Lou August 18th, 2008 6:29 am

    It’s said they’re shipped… perhaps Paul Parker will chime in here, as he does on occasion. Paul?

  9. Justin August 18th, 2008 10:31 am

    Backcountry.com already has one pair for sale (I think a 28.5).

  10. Paul Parker September 2nd, 2008 2:07 am

    Hi Lou,
    Sorry that I’m a bit late to the blog with some answers. I’m at the factory in Italy right now. North America has received at least their first shipment of Radiums and they are shipping. They will probably go fast as it’s the early-season preorders.

    Regarding the “button” for the Easy-Lock catches, it’s really just the end of the movable portion of the catch, the piece that hooks the buckle bail into the teeth of the catch. It’s not a separate mechanism, so it’s much simpler than a “push-button”. This mechanism actually improves the buckle operation in difficult icing conditions, as it helps break up ice like flexible crampons do vs rigid. It introduces a bit of movement into the catch like a flexible crampon. I have many days on these boots in a wide variety of conditions including lots of deep-snow touring using the catch feature, and the most they have ever required for unlocking is smacking iwth my pole or gloved hand. They are quite easy to operate and make buckle management much easier and cleaner. And safer if you’re scrambling over exposed terrain.

    Shoot me an email if there are further questions. And thanks for the interest–these are my all-time favorite boots. Paul P.

  11. Stewart September 2nd, 2008 11:10 am

    Lou,

    Apparently the Garmont rep in B.C. is telling people that the sizing for the new Radiums differs enough from the Megarides that a different shell size might be required. This obviously makes it difficult when ordering boots without the chance to try them on. Do you know, or can you find out if this is actually the case.

  12. Lou September 2nd, 2008 12:14 pm

    Paul can answer that, but time difference will delay it. Stay tuned.

  13. Paul Parker September 2nd, 2008 12:52 pm

    Hi Stewart,
    Regarding sizing of the Radium, the internal length of the shell, the criteria for the mondo-point measurement, is very close between the Mega Ride and the Radium. The Radium does, however, have more room in the toe box, which makes it feel bigger than the Mega Ride on many skier’s feet. So, rather than sizing the Radium down, I think that some folks sized the Mega Ride UP for more toe room. You should be able to use your correct mondo measurement according to your measured shoe size. I know that this may sound confusing, but it’s because every new model comes from its own mold. In the language of leather boots, each model has it’s own last. Whenever a plastic boot maker comes out with a new model, since the mold is new, they most likely improve on the fit. There isn’t necessarily a fit according to brand, it’s according to that brand’s specific model. In the case of the Radium, we wanted to improve on its toe room.

    Best regards,
    Paul

  14. Lou September 2nd, 2008 2:02 pm

    Due to toe room issues I know I sized my Megaride UP one shell size from my Scarpa size, (and sized my Dynafit ZZero one shell size DOWN, incidentally), so what Paul says makes sense to me. With changes to Radium, I’ll probably try fitting the same shell size as I like in Scarpa and see how it goes. More on that soon.

  15. Marion D. VARNER September 24th, 2008 9:12 am

    Hi from France, Lou,
    There are boots with an interchangeable rubber soles and Dynafit binding fittings moulded in the shell of the boot. Others have a piece, connected to the shell by various means (BD Factor and the Dynafit ZZeus have swap soles with Dynafit fittings moulded in this connected piece, but not moulded in one piece with the sheel). The swap configuration seems very precise between the sole block to slots molded in the boot shell. The toe portion of the sole is sliding in a sort of rails and screwed directly in the shell sole. The heel portion of the sole attaches with screws (including the screw in the actual Dynafit heel fitting). And the screws simply self-thread into the boot’s shell plastic.
    Don’t you think that, with a heavy skier (+ 100 kg or + 200 lb), the sliding mechanism, or the precision of these assembly, may present a bit of play, and the connection may looses its grip (between the sole block and the shell) ? Wouldn’t it be stronger if all the binding fittings were moulded in only one piece inside the shell (as it is the case with the Axon or the Scarpa 4) ?
    Thank you for your advice.
    Marion D. VARNER

  16. Kirk September 30th, 2008 10:09 pm

    Curious on the weight difference between the Megarides and the Radiums.

    Funny, I am a street 12 and went down to a street 11 for my Megarides. Guess I’ll try the 11 Radiums and see what happens!

  17. Lou October 1st, 2008 6:18 am

    Marion, play doesn’t seem to be a problem so far with these types of boots, as the threaded fasteners appear to take care of providing that last bit of solid attachment. Long term testing might tell another story, but we can’t predict the future. If play did become a problem and a person wasn’t swapping soles too often, it could be remedied by using a bit of silicon caulk when attaching the sole.

    Kirk, what are you curious about?

  18. Sandy Detillieux October 10th, 2008 10:36 am

    I have a fairly low volume foot so some people have told me that a women’s boot might fit me better than a men’s. The only problem is that I haven’t been able to try one on so I don’t know if it’s true. To top it off, somebody recently told me that the women’s and men’s radium fit the exact same. I have tried on the men’s radium and I had a bit of space above my foot close to my leg- hoping that this wouldn’t be the case with the women’s version. Also, is the women’s version the same weight, height, and stiffness as the men’s?

    Thanks

  19. Lou October 10th, 2008 10:46 am

    Some “women’s” boots are not much different then men’s, some are. I’m not clear where Garmont fits in that, perhaps Parker can chime in. Parker?

  20. MIke S October 11th, 2008 4:01 pm

    The Radiums look the the best boots I’ll never wear – too narrow for me. I tried on some 27.5s today. The shell was the right length but my 10D feet touched both sides of the shell without the liner. The 28s (bigger shell) had too much length.

    The ZZeus and even Megarides I tried were too narrow as well. I hear to the BD Factor and Method fit wider feet – I hope so, otherwise I’ll have to put off my wider ski package purchase off till I find boots to drive ’em…

  21. Lou October 13th, 2008 9:21 am

    Wow Mike, that’s some wide feets! Good you know how to check shell fit. Please let us know how the BD boots fit when you get a chance to try ’em.

  22. Mike S October 18th, 2008 1:19 pm

    I tried on BD Methods yesterday in my quest for wide enough boots . The shell fit at the wide part of my 10D feet had 1 to 2 mm play – a bit wider than the Radium but not likely enough. With the liners in it was pretty obvious I’d get some bruises from a day of skiing.

    Aside from the width problem, the Method felt quite stiff in the store and walked quite well (could use a bit more backwards movement in the cuff tho?).

    Is there no boot mfg that has a wider-fitting, Radium-like boot!? I.E. Dynafit fittings, OK to walk in, not too heavy and stiff enough for wide boards in coastal cement. Boot sizes that are wide enough are too long – 1.5″+ of space behind my heel in shell fitting.

    Time to think about punching out a pair boots I guess. I managed to make some Lasers work with some serious punch-out lumps on the side but it took a few go rounds to get it right.

    The Method looks quite amenable to punching – no buckles or anything on the outer side of the foot area. Boots like the Scarpa Spirit 4 look unpunchable in that area due to their buckle layout. Anyone know if the Radium can be safely punched out? It has a plastic rib in that area.

  23. Lou October 18th, 2008 3:56 pm

    I don’t see any problem with a few millimeters of punching… pretty standard… just make sure the person that does it knows what they’re doing. We don’t know of any wider boots, and that probably won’t change as by using punching and upsizing just about anyone can get a fit eventually.

    And report back here please!

  24. Filipski October 27th, 2008 7:25 pm

    Hi,
    I wanted to know how do the Radiums compare with BD Factors, Dynafit ZZeus or Scarpa Tornados, all of which seem to be a hybrid of an AT and a downhill boot. Is this the case also with the Radiums? Or is it more of a straight touring boot? And how are they compare stifnesswise aspecially vs Factors? Can one use them for all of the skiing, front and backside, with decent results? Thank you……

    PS. Is the sole on Radiums flat?

  25. Marion D. VARNER November 4th, 2008 5:03 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I’ve tried to obtain the lenght of the sole for Radium, in size 29,5.
    Do you know this data please ?
    Best regards.
    Marion.

  26. Lou November 4th, 2008 5:46 pm

    Marion, you really need to contact Garmont or a retailer for that. But perhaps I can get Garmont to check in here again. Paul?

  27. Burrows November 12th, 2008 8:06 pm

    Lou, just got my Radiums. The little manual says nothing of temp and times for baking the liners. Do you have this info? I usually do this at home. Thanks!

  28. Lou November 12th, 2008 8:37 pm

    Burrows, doing it at home got harder, as the lasted liner is best baked inside the boot with a heat riser system. Sorry, I don’t have temps. I’m pretty bummed about this trend and am trying to figure out how to homebrew. Contact Garmont for temps.

  29. Richard Bird November 13th, 2008 3:53 am

    I have mega wide feet at the front, combined with a narrow heel! Bootfitters nightmare? Well I got fitted with Radium at Surefoot in London and all seems good. Plenty of moulding capacity in the shell. An advantage is that I already have a pair of Endorphins with Gfit liners so I only needed to buy the Radium shells, saving £150. Not tested yet in the snow, but fit feels good. Being lightweight, the Radium looks ideal for dedicated weekly high altitude touring trips with Dynafit bindings. If I want to do a bit of high speed downhill at the end of the week I can always pack the Endorphin shells in my suitcase and fill them up with other gear so as not to lose space! (I considered buying the Axon as an all-occasion boot but their 4.15 kg weight was a factor against that choice – a bit heavy for week long tours..)

  30. Lou November 13th, 2008 8:05 am

    Richard, good info, thanks. So you got the shell punched out for width at the front? Lots?

  31. Frank R November 15th, 2008 5:12 pm

    Warning for Radium owners or prospective owners: I recently purchased a pair and found a crack in the shell near the arch mid foot about an inch above the sole…checked four more pairs at dealer and one more had larger crack in similar location…two out of five pairs had this crack. I am sticking with the Radium because it fits a wide forefoot with narrow heel, is much lighter than the Factor…my choice if the replacement Radiums end up cracking. Bottom line is Garmont makes a great boot and hopefully the majority of production Radiums are akin to other Garmont offerings in durability…but just be on the lookout for the cracks now instead of after you start abusing them…I was assured the shop would replace with another pair or the Factor if this happens midseason…but the same cannot be said for all shops who might make it a Garmont problem which means you might be without boots while Garmont decides if they are going to replace or repair not to mention the additional days for shipping to and from.

  32. Jan Wellford November 24th, 2008 10:53 am

    I just got a pair of Radiums to test, they look and feel amazing but I haven’t skied them on snow yet. Performance feels on par with the Axon in the shop.

    Radiums are 1/2 pound heavier per pair than Mega-Rides and 1 pound lighter per pair than Axons. Weight per boot (size 27, no footbed):

    Radium: 1800g (3lbs 15.5oz)
    Mega-Ride: 1688g (3lbs 11.5oz)
    Axon: 2028g (4lbs 7.5oz)

    They have a very long sole. BSL for size 27 is 315mm, compared to 306mm for the Axon. However the interior length seems about the same. Strange that.

  33. Aaron Lavallee December 16th, 2008 1:51 pm

    Greetings,

    In response to Frank R about the cracked Radiums – Which store did you purchase your boots from? We’d like to get in touch with them because we believe the ‘crack’ that you noticed is actually a ‘flux line’ in the color created during the molding process.
    thanks,
    Aaron
    Warranty/Customer Service
    Garmont USA

  34. Frank R December 16th, 2008 7:48 pm

    They have already talked to Garmont about them and returned the suspect pairs. But the pair I had was definitely cracked as was another set (cracks visibly moved with pressure). I have noticed the “waves” or “flux lines” of darker purple as well. The boots were purchased at Summit Canyon Mountaineering, G. Springs CO. I had them replaced with another pair of Radiums and they are sweet boots.

  35. Lou December 16th, 2008 8:20 pm

    Nothing is perfect… sounds like Garmont and the shop handled it fine?

  36. Frank R December 18th, 2008 1:28 am

    yeah, SCM really did a good job for me, from fitting to replacement to molding…like I said in the initial post Garmont makes great boots and I expect that the Radium is no exception. Wasn’t meant as an indictment so much as a warning to owners or prospective buyers to be on the lookout.

  37. Lou December 18th, 2008 6:43 am

    Frank, sounds good. I like that we can keep everyone informed about stuff like this, so keep it coming. We’ve got a pair of Radiums here we’ve been messing around with. Really like ’em. More about that after I’ve got some time on them.

  38. Frank R December 26th, 2008 11:10 pm

    I finally got a couple of days on the Radiums, albeit inbounds, and the verdict is: They freaking rock! Setup? Line Prophet 100’s with Freerides and Radiums…deep carves, windblown boiler, pow; whatever, wherever, this setup is the best gear I’ve ever used and I have had some nice alpine setups.

    One note on the Radiums, they run tight in the morning but gradually loosen up to the point your ankle is swimming unless you keep ratcheting up the pressure (pebax?). However, I have noticed no compromise in stiffness…they drive big skis all day! Can’t wait to use them as they were intended but this is now my inbounds setup as well. Like the Fritschi’s so much I have decided to mount them on the Zealots as well, sorry Lou…hoping to get a lightweight setup soon though, possibly Saints or Seven Summits with D-fits.

    On a side note, was using some small steep hills at Snowmass as test slopes. Jumping resulted in failure of 2-4 inches of slab on northwest facing aspects (noticed some cracking and sloughing while traversing but had no failures from clean skiing)…no wonder they didn’t open the Wall area today…yesterday the Wall was open long enough for us to break trail for forty or fifty Xmas pow hounds…was closed again by the time we made it back up for round two…possibly because even though Patrol was standing at the gate telling us what was open several imbeciles immediately cut ropes into closed terrain. But what a great Christmas present, pow and so much wind the slopes and lift lines were virtual wastelands…still grinning as I think about the last two days and ponder tomorrow.

    Hope everyone had a great Holiday and got to mine some White Gold.

  39. Nick DiGiacomo December 29th, 2008 4:07 pm

    Lou,

    Any progress/suggestions on homebrew thermofitting of the Radium liners? I have done it a couple of times now (275 degrees), and am not satisfied with the fit – too much room. I got a better fit cranking down more on the shell during cooling, but it still isn’t right.

  40. BigNick January 1st, 2009 4:01 pm

    I’ve already posted this question/comment on the Garmont website, but just in case the response, if it comes, is more marketing and less technical, I’ll try here

    I already have an alpine boot (Tecnica Icon) but am going to start more side- back-country this winter and am looking for an AT boot that might also possibly end up being a single-quiver boot. I have been looking at the Endorphin/Adrenalin series due to its stiffness, but am wondering if I really should be looking more at the Garmont mountaneering (Radium series). I will probably not be doing really long hikes and fit is more important than “hikability”, especially given my foot shape.

    I have a narrow foot (very narrow heel, slightly wider toe area) in a size 14.5 or so street shoe with very long toes. I have tried on a 30.5 adrenalin and found the length to be OK but the heel/ankle pocket a bit loose/big. (I also tried an older G-Ride which fit great in the heel but it wasn’t stiff enough for my intended use). Looking at the Adrenalin, in 30.5, the really helpful fitter said that he could put some wedges on the sides of the liner to tighten up the heel/ankle area. He did not have a 30 in the adrenalin for comparison. Should I also consider the Radium and similar types. On the other hand, would a 30 in the Adrenalin be snugger in the heel area or would the thicker liner just make the boot effectively shorter. In other words, would I be better going with the larger size and spacers in the ankle area or the smaller size and blowing out the toe area?

    Would the Radium be a better fit and choice for me – a mix of frontside and side-country with some hiking? Would I expect anything different in the fit of the Endorphin relative to the Adrenalin? So many questions, so little knowledge (mine).

    I am also going to try the Dynafit Zzeus since its been suggested as a narrower boot.

    Thanks,
    BigNick

  41. Lou January 2nd, 2009 12:34 am

    Nick, if you’re not doing long hikes I’d stick with the bigger boots such as Adrenalin. For fit, do the bare foot in the shell and have your boot fitter evaluate that way for a “performance fit.” And try the ZZeus as I know several really good skiers who are using it for exactly the type of boot you’re talking about.

  42. BigNick January 3rd, 2009 3:38 pm

    Thanks Lou. As a matter of fact, I did recently try out the ZZeus as its narrow width was suggested as a good choice. Unfortunately, I have not had any luck finding a place that had both the 30 and 30.5 in stock for fitting. I tried on the 30 at a supposedly reputable shop specializing in AT, and it seemed overly tight in the toe area but it was without molding. I, then, asked myself for the shell fitting; the tech did not do that first. He checked the fit and said it was good. But I now realize that really doesn’t address the issue of which size (30 or 30.5) would be better since – correct me if I am wrong – the shell size whuld be the same for both. The tech then said that I should stick with the 30 since the 30.5 would also be wider in the shell. Hmmm…. Well, I also asked if they had the special blower system for heating this liner – the tech started at me a bit blankly – probably need to go somewhere else.

    Anyways, are there any ideas on how to decide on the right size without having both available for this boot?

    Thanks,
    Nick

  43. Drew January 15th, 2009 4:25 pm

    I work in ski boots 5 days a week and play in ski boots 2 days a week…my feet hate me. I’m looking for an excellent performance boot that I can both work in on the mountain and tour in in the bc. The idea is to save money and my feet from having to dial in 2 pairs of boots.

    I have super wide feet up front with “6th toes” that are not getting any smaller. From what you have heard, is this probably the best choice boot after some grinding and punching? Factors? Zzues?

    Thanks!

  44. Matt Beck February 15th, 2009 9:39 am

    I picked up a pair of radiums over the holidays and have been skiing them for a month now. They are pretty much the best at boot I’ve ever owned. That being said, I am used to skiing an atomic plug boot when i really want to drive big skis at speed. It took a bit of adjustment to get used to the radium’s softer flex.

    I’m 6’2″ with long legs that generate lots of leverage on my boots, so I tend to flex my boots pretty hard. I was thinking about how I might be able to stiffen up the radium a bit and thought some folks here might have some ideas. Would a plastic plate riveted to the holes on the inner cuff help? I already have a booster strap added to them. Any other suggestions that wouldn’t hurt touring performance or ease of entry? I miss my plug boots a bit (but I certainly don’t miss the agony of getting them on and off), but I think I can beef these babies up and get a bit more power out of them.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  45. Justin February 15th, 2009 9:45 pm

    Matt – Intuition Power Wrap liners will likely beef the Radiums up a fair bit. Most people I know think the garmont liners are pretty unimpressive and you’ll get a step up in performance with Intuitions.

  46. Chris February 16th, 2009 4:05 pm

    Matt- I second what Justin said. I have some Radiums and I’ve used the stock lines and Intuition Alpine liners in them. Hands down, the Intuitions add some beef. It does translate into a bit stiffer touring, but I don’t think it’s signficant. The stock liners, while better than old G-Fit liners, are still pretty floppy. The wrap around design of the Intuition adds to the forward stiffness. The Power Wraps that Justin mentioned have an extra layer of foam on the liner and would be even stiffer. Another plus: the Intuitions are lighter. They are spendy but you won’t regret it.

    I had the opposite problem. Coming from Scarpa Spirit 3’s, I had to get used to the extra stiffness. I also found that the forward lean was too upright for me, and I took the forward lean mechanism to a machinist and had the hole filled in and redrilled to my liking.

  47. Lou February 16th, 2009 5:09 pm

    Chris, glad to hear you took advantage of that nicely designed lean lock and went ahead and had it modified. What they should do is just provide three or four different rods with different leans, people could swap with Garmont customer service and get exactly the lean they want! Wow, what an amazing concept (grin)!

  48. Stewart February 20th, 2009 9:43 am

    Lou,

    I’ve been in the Garmont Radiums all season. I replaced the stock liners with Intuitions, required to provided the supportive fit I expect. I’ve installed rear spoilers, but still the locked skiing position (23.5 degrees) is too upright – when my boots are buckled and the lever flipped for descent, I actually have to lean back from the neutral standing position to engage the pin. This seems a universal complaint amongst all the Radium users I’ve talked to. As occurs to most of us, replacing the lower portion of the forward lean assembly, with the new bar drilled for 25 degrees, would simply solve the problem. I’m wondering if you can you contact Paul Parker on behalf of us all and sort this out.

    Stewart
    Rossland BC.

  49. Lou February 20th, 2009 9:55 am

    Seems like Garmont should be selling bars with different forward lean settings. would be so simple… Paul?

    For what it’s worth, I’ve activated my Radiums for testing and review and have been skiing them with a pair of K2 Mt. Bakers and Dynafit ST bindings, as a more beefy setup for on/of resort type of skiing. I’ve got a really good fit in the Radiums, and the forward lean is fine for me. But I generally ski a more upright position, and the Dynafit does introduce more ramp angle…

  50. Mason February 20th, 2009 10:39 am

    I am planning on filling and redrilling the hole for more forward lean- I was thinking of just splitting the difference on the old hole, redrilling it half the diameter up, is this about how much change you other guys went with? Also, the stock liners slide forward inside the shell, causing my toes to get squished and the tip of my big toe slams the front. I wasted a lot of time recooking the liners and grinding the shell for more room, but the liner just doesn’t expand enough when cooking to fill the boot shell. Intuitions and forward lean it is. The US rep suggested adding a rear spoiler for more forward lean, but this would negate the back seat walk mode advantage the Radiums have.

  51. Lou February 20th, 2009 11:00 am

    Mason, I’d be more precise. Put the boots on and click into skis, leave in walk mode but buckle up, achieve forward lean position you want and mark position of bar in relation to lean lock. Use that mark as a reference as to where you’ll re-locate hole by simply comparing to where the bar ends up with lean lock engaged. Also, remember that it’s usually pretty tough to drill through a weld.

    Come to think of it, I wonder if Garmont could provide some bars without any holes, that the user could drill at their desired location. That would also be an excellent solution.

  52. Chris February 20th, 2009 8:14 pm

    Anyone else find that they just cant get a proper fit into these at all?

    I fit perfectly into a Scarpa 28.5, and wear a 10.5 to 11 street shoe.

    I ordered the 28.5, and I went straight to the shell test, which was pretty much a “2.” When I put the liners on though, my toes were really crammed up against the end of the liner and even more so when I put the liners in the shell. I tried to mold these and nothing happened to the toe box of the liner at all.

    So I ordered a 29. These are huge. The sole length is 335mm (which maxes out my Fritschis) and they dwarf the 28.5s. At first, I thought they were way too big but after moving the upper cuff buckles and molding the liner they seem to be an OK fit. I worry that I am just trying to “make” them fit in my mind though and the huge length of the sole concerns me. It also concerns me that the barefoot shell test was around 3 fingers.

    Would I be insane to try and make the 28.5s work and bank on the toe area of the liner packing/stretching out? Other than the toe issue, which is big, the 28.5s are great. I am worried that the 29s are not going to work out or fit in the long term.

    Throwing 2 more bills at an Intuition liner is not an option, as I need a new pair of skins.

    -Chris

  53. tV February 22nd, 2009 11:04 am

    Chris — we’ve also been finding that the Radium has a tight toebox for most customers fitting the boot. I have the same dilemma as you; I was ‘inbetween’ half-sizes, with the 27.5 too tight and the 28 borderline 3 finger fit in the shell. My toes are crammed in the boot, and I have a narrow foot (less than A-3). I find there just isn’t the volume 3 dimensionally in the boot. At first I thought it was the shell — and the shell is tight with a ridge above the toe knuckles that a Scarpa doesn’t have — but I have to conclude that the liner is generally too small for the shell size.

    I have now found that the 28 has become too tight. I am unable to get the liners to punch out the toes. The liner toebox is also quite small and shaped like a cone. I think part of the issue is the high density sole foam construction (see above) which, because of the stitching, does not allow the toe to punch. The heel moves drastically by comparison. I tried triple toe capping (not recommended) as was STILL unable to blow out the toe.

    I have since got my hands on 2 different Intuition liners — a Luxury & a Power Wrap. I’ll see how those go. I find that the Scarpa Intuition liner found in the Spirit 4 significantly increases volume; however these are no longer available from Scarpa (I’m trying to hunt one down). If you find one, go with the same mondopoint (28=28) as the Intuition liners have more volume than the G-Fits.

    Let me know if you manage to find any solutions. There’s also a discussion over at TGR —
    http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151759

  54. Briann February 22nd, 2009 2:42 pm

    I have the Radiums and had the same concern with toe fit as mentioned above. I went with Intuition Freeride liners and got a better fit. Toe box was fine for downhill, but touring I was finding my toes were a bit jammed still. After a few days of touring, I went back to my boot fitter who made up my footbeds and asked about a small punch or two. He asked if I intended to use dynafits which I do, and he didn’t recommend shell punching as it can distort the boot slightly and cause problems with the dynafit inserts lining up. For step in bindings, he says it it not as much of a problem. So I toured on them some more and the liners packed a bit more in the toe and are now not a problem, though still snugger than I would like. My main battle has been with heel lift, as they seem to have a big heel pocket. The Intuitions helped retain the heel more, but I used some pads as well which helped. It is still not perfect, but is getting there.

    I tried placing some velcro on the back of the liner so I could attach my Lange Freeride spoilers. They work quite well in getting more forward lean and stiffening up the boot for skiing inbounds and BC steeps. They are quite easy to remove for touring an reinsert for skiing. Generally though, I find I don’t need them as the boot performs great as is. It is nice to have the option though and is a good mod for anyone complaining of them being too upright or not stiff enough.

  55. Lou February 22nd, 2009 2:48 pm

    indeed, if you don’t have big leg bones taking up room, an easy way to get more forward lean is just use a spacer or spoiler. That’s what I usually do.

  56. Lou February 22nd, 2009 2:54 pm

    As for punching boots and distorting them, if this is a concern (I’ve never had a problem with it) just do it with the boot in the binding, and put some water in the shell to keep the lower part of the shell from over heating. And cover areas you don’t want heated with a few layers of masking tape. Bear in mind that the front Dynafit fitting is one continuous piece of steel left/right.

  57. Lou February 22nd, 2009 5:04 pm

    BTW you guys, another technique I’ve used with liners is to use a boot puncher and enlarge the toe box with that, with the liner in the boot, done cold. Just leave it in overnight. This after you know you’ve got a good shell fit.

    Also, I’ve been finding that the old way of baking liners is working just fine, and seems to make them mold quite a bit more than the heat stack I’ve tried. Not getting enough room in the toes might have something to do with the liners not getting hot enough on the heat stack/blower.

  58. Chris February 23rd, 2009 10:35 am

    As an update… I decided to go with the 29. I molded that puppy and threw a foot bed in there, and I attempted to stop over-analyzing it and just go for it. For now, this has been nicknamed the Frankenboot.

    The fit actually feels pretty good. When I slip my foot into these the fit is snug and comfortable. I think I was just panicking because the shell is pretty big and the sole length is so long and I always over think expensive gear purchases, especially when they are ski boots that cost more than a leather sofa at AFW. Other than my concern over the length, I can pull my heel up a little bit more than I would like, but I can only do this when I want to and my heel stays put when I get into a skiing stance.

    I skied and skinned these yesterday and I feel I made the right choice. The toe box is still a little tight, but by no means painful, and I am sure with time and use the liner is going to relax a little bit. My only concern now is that the heel/ankle area will relax too much and get too big on me, but I am willing to bet with some creative shim and liner work I can fix that issue should it arise. I’m sticking with them.

    -Chris

  59. Lou February 23rd, 2009 10:50 am

    At least they’ll be uber warm!

  60. Phil March 3rd, 2009 8:37 pm

    Lou/Rob/?…Footbeds for Garmont Radium? Just ran up against this…I want to mold my Radium liners tomorrow…Garmont sez to mold with Garmont footbeds, ski them and then try a custom or OTC footbed…what is the wisdom on this topic? What have you used and did you toss Garmonts footbed or use it? Not rocket science but confusing.

    Thanks…

  61. Lou March 4th, 2009 6:57 am

    Phil, I skied my Radiums again yesterday. All I know is that I was taught you first make the custom footbeds then mold the liner with the beds. I used a pair of custom beds and molded the liners with those. For me, skiing with stock “footbeds” feels like skiing in a pair of Sorrels. They say the liner molds to the bottom of your foot and creates a sort of “bed,” but that’s a pretty random way of making a footbed, which is a highly technical item which has to support your foot in very specific ways to work correctly.

    My opinion is that any skier will benefit from custom footbeds done by a reputed craftsman, so I would contradict Garmont’s take and say get the beds made then mold the liners after that. Or, go ahead and mold with the stock “footbeds” if you’re in a hurry, then re-mold later with your custom beds.

  62. Phil March 6th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Hey Lou/Rob…Cooked and fitted Radium liners last night…walked in them today and they seem very good; ski them tomorrow..two questions: the raised ribs inside the boot along arch area, for stiffening?, nothing from Garmont about covering them before molding liners in boots…result is obvious ridge indents on bottom of liner…not a big deal…but after the fact I just covered the ridges in boots with a layer of duct tape…are these indents significant in anyway?

    Last the “cuff alignment [cant] mechanism”…what is it’s purpose? How is it adjusted to accomplish that? Seems like it accomplishes the same mission as the “cuff adjustment”, bar/buckle slider.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow Manaslus, TLT STs and Radiums…a “New Dawn”..

    Oh yes 12 “+ new powder yesterday and last night..

    Thanks for any information…

  63. Bill March 11th, 2009 5:27 pm

    Hi Lou, I understand that the Garmont has one shell size for each full size, i.e. same shell for 26 and 26.5. So, what then, is the difference between the half sizes? Liners? Spacers underneath the liners? Thanks, Bill

  64. Lou March 11th, 2009 5:56 pm

    Bill, liner length.

  65. Matthias Schabel March 16th, 2009 11:00 am

    Hi All,

    After doing a fair amount of homework, reading up about them here, on TGR, etc… I sprung for a pair of Garmont Radium boots for use primarily as an in-bounds/sidecountry boot paired with Duke bindings and Gotamas – definitely not a lightweight rig. My rig for long tours is a pair of Dynafit Zzero 4 C-TF boots with Dynafit Vertical bindings on Prophet 100s. I have nothing but good things to say about the Zzero boots – they fit like a glove after thermofitting and ski remarkably well. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the Radiums. I have had them out for four days so far, including tours in (Wasatch) Stairs Gulch, Kessler Peak, and Mt. Raymond and a day in bounds, and have had them thermofit twice. After each tour, my toes were in worse shape, culminating in loss of both big toenails after the Stairs tour. Post-recovery, I took the out the the resort to try to figure out the problem and think I have it : the toebox is fairly narrow for my duck feet and, more importantly, it has a big vertical taper down. In addition, there is a small ridge on the inside of the top of the toe where the two rivets that attach the gusset to the shell are located. This ridge lies right on top of the point where my big toenail comes out of the nailbed. As long as I’m on groomers where I can keep my weight forward, the boots ski fantastically, but the instant I get in the back seat (choppy snow/wind crust/landing jumps) that rivet ridge hammers my nailbeds and is extremely painful. I spoke with a couple of boot fitters here and neither was very confident of being able to blow the shell out upward to eliminate this issue. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Any suggestions on where to go from here? Shell fit has been consistently regarded as good, so I don’t think the boot is too small – the heel even feels a bit loose to me…

    Matthias

  66. Lou March 16th, 2009 11:36 am

    Matthias, this sounds like one of those rare situations where you might not get a fit in that boot despite a favorable shell fit and thermo liner. At the least, I’d flatten the heads of those rivets down by the toes. You could also dremmel a bit of plastic off that ridge. I’d also check and make sure your footbeds are thin in the toe and forefoot area, that’ll drop your foot down lower. Lastly, this might be as easy as simply molding the liner with thicker caps over your toes. In other words, if you actually removed all the liner material over you problem toe, would the boot work? Say, by cutting a hole in the liner? If the answer is yes, than somehow making the liner thinner in that area might fix the problem. So after you re-mold with aggressive spacing, don’t hesitate to skive some liner foam away on the outside of the liner at the problem area, that will make a huge difference unless the liner is molded paper thin, which is usually not the case.

  67. Matthias Schabel March 16th, 2009 11:52 am

    Lou,

    Thanks for the quick feedback. I actually wore double toe caps on the second thermofit (neoprene inside plastic), which has made the boots very roomy for my four small toes. I think the problem is just the combination of the location of the rivets with my large big toe leaves little room for play inside the shell… I guess at this point, though I really like the design and construction of the Radiums, I’d rather not make huge mods in a potentially vain hope of getting an OK fit out of them. If I can’t get the seller to swap them out for something that fits my foot better, I’d rather have some residual resale value so I can salvage some of my investment… Do you have any suggestions on a beefy sidecountry boot that has a relatively roomy toebox without a sloppy heel? BD Method, maybe? I’d like the Dynafit option for more ambitious objectives. I was thinking about the Zzeus based on the fact that the ZZero fits my feet really well, but I’ve heard that the former is a significantly different fit than the latter…

    Thanks again,

    Matthias

  68. Lou March 16th, 2009 11:56 am

    Well, use your fingers as calipers and see how much the liner actually compressed in the problem area. If you’ve got more room for compression, mold the liners with the double caps, but also with some spacers taped to your toes at the problem areas. Get aggressive. But flatten those rivets first.

  69. David March 18th, 2009 5:08 pm

    Was there any follow up concerning the cracks visible on the exterior side of the boot about an inch above the sole? I just got a pair by mail from MEC and it has this kind of crack on both boots. Any issues from people who used boots with a crack like this, or just I just return them.

    Sizing is also hard for me. I have 29,5 and they fit well in length but I’m able to lift my heel about 1/2 and inch in the boot if I force it.

    Not sure what to do even if these boots look awesome!!

  70. Kevin April 17th, 2009 4:02 pm

    Anyone find this boot too stiff. Maybe it is the forward lean, but after lots of days the flex seems overly stiiff . Feels like it it does not progressively rebound very well? After flexing, pops you back to upright. Anyone try to soften up the boot at all?

  71. Lou April 17th, 2009 4:04 pm

    Keven, what you might be experiencing is the lack of forward cuff lean. You might be trying to compensate for that by overly compressing the boot. It’s not a super stiff boot by any means…

  72. Darren September 14th, 2009 9:20 pm

    Lou- I have similar complaints about the Garmont Radiums as the others. The boots do not have a progressive forward flex and the forward lean is way to upright for my style of skiing.

    Has Garmont or another company developed a bar with an adjustable forward lean? Are there any other methods besides welding the hole and redrilling?

    Thanks.

    Darren

  73. Lou September 15th, 2009 6:19 am

    Scarpa boots such as Skookum have a very nice adjustable forward lean, as well as user serviceable components that are attached with screw rivets instead of permanent rivets. We like their boots best for adjustability and service-ability.

    As for flex, that appears to be a personal preference. One person’s “progressive flex” seems to be another’s “no progressive flex.”

    This probably has to do with ski style, body ergonomics, that sort of thing. I know some VERY good skiers who are happy with Radium flex as well as angles, other folks such as Darren want it different.

    Another thing about forward cuff lean: If you want a few more degrees, adding shim to the boot “spoiler” area accomplishes this just fine, and a few more degrees in that area can make a huge difference in how the boot feels. Beyond that, as written about in comments above, the lean-lock on the Radium can be modded for more lean.

  74. Mark W September 15th, 2009 7:55 am

    Skied the Skookum and Endorphin last winter and liked them both a lot. Skookum is definitely on my list, but the weight is a bit higher than I’d like. Touring ergonomics, well rockered sole are pluses. And I like the screw-in buckle mounting points versus rivets. Could remove bottom buckle for weight reduction for longer tours.

  75. Dan September 30th, 2009 10:06 am

    Overall I’ve been very happy w/my Radiums. Best combo of weight/stiffness I found for my foot (tried on Factor, Skookum, Spirit 4, Zzeus, Axon, etc.) w/only a bit of some extra padding in the heels. The incorrect machining on the 3/4th groove in the instep buckle catches is a bit annoying, but fairly easy to deal with.

    My issue/question, on which I’d appreciate any thoughts, has to do w/how scraped up my exteriors (especially the fore-foot) are after only a half season of what I consider normal use (mostly powder tours, a couple of resort days, a couple of ski mountaineering trips). The soles seem to be in good shape, but the plastic around the toe and lower sides of the boot is way more banged up than I would have hoped/expected.

    I wonder if anyone else has found this to be the case, and if so, any thoughts/solutions? I’m leaning toward sanding things down w/medium grit and then basically applying a sort of JB-Weld rand/overcoat around the lower contact surfaces. I know it would be ugly, but I don’t really care about that. I’m more concerned that it might somehow affect performance, but I’m not sure how that might happen, since it would mostly be on parts of the boot that don’t flex (and since I’d obviously keep the goop out of the inserts).

    Any thoughts appreciated…

  76. Mark W September 30th, 2009 11:50 am

    I noticed early on in the use of my Garmont Mega Lites that Pebax plastic scratches very easily. As time has gone on, I have learned that this isn’t really a problem that requires any attention. Unless you are constantly scrambling in rocks, it shouldn’t be a concern.

  77. Lou September 30th, 2009 3:37 pm

    I like my boots to look gnarl. That way when I ski in Snowmass and ride a quad with three people in fur coats, they have an excuse to snub me instead of just doing it with no excuse (grin).

  78. Dan October 1st, 2009 8:13 am

    You don’t think a nice epoxy coat would do the trick on snubbery? I guess the tape on my jacket and the crumbs in my beard work pretty well for now…

  79. Lou October 1st, 2009 9:04 am

    I don’t understand why drooling epoxy all over your boots would look any better than scuffed plastic. But hey, everyone has the right to their own bad taste, yeah? :angel:

  80. Marc October 17th, 2010 10:04 am

    I have a wide foot (11 – 11/ 1/2) with a small 6th toe & typically always need to have my shell blown out to accommodate it, Marcel up in Revelstoke did a great job years ago on my Dynafiot Aero’s punching the shell 1/2 cm & I’ve read about everyone’s woes above & want to make sure these boots will take a good punch below the first buckle OK,. I’m trying to get fitted in a pair of of 2008 Radium’s size 29 & the shell seems like a proper fit but my 6th toe does touch the side. After putting the liners in & buckling up to snug the fit (but not cranked) & then walking around in them for 1/2 an hour I definatly feel pressure on my little toe & 6th toe area, & when I took my feet out my foot was red from the outside of my little toe on down & around my 6th toe.
    My question is do you think I can get that much room out of the shell realistically.
    Secondly out of curiosity what changes has Garmont made to the Radiums, shells from 2008 to now, I read the 2009 had an improved liner & heard something about a bigger toe box in the 2010…
    Lastly did anything else surface, to create an option for a different angle on the heel lock, I also tend to ski forward & felt the boot was very upright at the 23 degree setting & that shin bang could be a real concern with the stiff overlap cuff design. I thought I read somewhere a quote on the newer boots that it’s a 25 degree lock, is this correct?
    Thanx
    Marc

  81. Kevin December 7th, 2010 11:10 am

    Has anyone had issues using Radiums with Dukes or Barons? I had my new skis mounted with Barons and set to my 25.5 Radiums at a local shop here in Portland. When I checked them when I got home I noticed the toe of the boot didn’t fit into the binding well – the toe didn’t seem to have a good positive connection under the binding – seemed pinched. Looked at the AFD/height adjust on the binding and realized it was set to the “Alpine” setting. So, I adjusted the AFD down toward the “Touring” setting and did the “paper” test. Set it to the point where I could no longer pull the paper out. Went up the mountain the next day and sitting on the chair, noticed if I swung my leg back and forth the boot would actually move back and forth in the toe of the binding. I quickly found a screwdriver at the base and moved the AFD further up, to create more pressure. Despite moving this up a couple times, and adjusting the boot length setting I could still see slight movement in the toe when swinging the ski back and forth on the lift.

    Also noticed that the binding is leaving some gouges on the toe and heel of the boot. Read somewhere this is due to the softer Pebax shell? Once I get the binding set correctly will this tend to go away?

    So, anyone have a good suggesting on techniques on setting the Barons for use with Radiums? I haven’t played with them much since I got home, but wanted to get some advice before I start trying to fix this issue. I may take them back to the shop, but given that they didn’t set them right in the first place, would rather not.

  82. Lou December 7th, 2010 11:18 am

    Kevin, a tiny amount of movement is no big deal, that is unless you really start wearing some gouges in your boots. Big mistake guys make with these bindings, and Fritschi as well, is to keep cranking down the toe height with the perception that it makes the binding ski better by eliminating some small amount of play. Also, if the sole of your boot has much wear, all bets are off in terms of how it fits the binding. Too bad you can’t just work with the ski shop on this, it sounds like something that needs to be addressed in reality, rather than virtually.

  83. Kevin December 7th, 2010 11:43 am

    Thanks Lou. Good to know a little play is normal. The boots have almost no wear on the sole – toured in them about 6 times last season (with different bindings) but this season plan to make them my primary resort boot as well. I can work with the shop on this if I need too, but was hoping to get it done myself. The shop likely has serveral techs, I just may have gotten the wrong one.

    Have you found that the paper test is the best way to set toe height with this binding/boot set up?

  84. Lou December 7th, 2010 11:59 am

    Kevin, I have no problem with the paper test, use it myself. we might have even originated it independently here when working with Fritschis years ago and finding that the credit card resulted in too much play. The way I like it to work is the paper is snug, but pulls out without tearing, using paper such as copy machine sheets. At any rate, a small amount of play is normal and necessary for the proper release function of the binding, otherwise you’re jamming the boot in there and can cause binding during a twisting release.

  85. Ursu' January 31st, 2011 11:51 am

    I’ve heard concerns of using Radium with normal downhill bindings. Can somebody please enlighten me why it is not possible to use Radium in a normal downhill setup? What is the issue of grippy soles and normal bindings?

  86. Maki January 31st, 2011 2:08 pm

    Normal bindings are made for flat, hard, plastic soles. The rubber sole will not slip well, so lateral release will be impaired. Touring bindings compensate for that in various ways (sliding plates, slipping surfaces).

  87. Lou January 31st, 2011 2:29 pm

    It is not only the rubber sole on the toe, but that on the heel, that can be problematic when using AT boots in alpine bindings and even in some AT bindings. Rubber sole can cause a lot of friction during side (rotational) release, especially at the heel where there is no sliding AFD plate. Beauty of tech bindings is they eliminate this friction, which is one reason I believe tech bindings are very good in terms of release safety.

  88. mc January 31st, 2011 7:04 pm

    Zero problems using my Radiums in my alpine set-up which is Salomon bindings whose toe piece can raise or lower. DIN goes to 14 but set at 10

  89. neonorchid January 31st, 2011 8:46 pm

    …so i have a choice, thought only Marker Squire has adjustable toe height
    needed to for use with a AT boot sole (rocker).

    mc, which Salomon binding(s), allow for toe height adjustment?

    I’m mulling over a dynaduke or quiver killer/squire inbounds rather then a baron or tour which most likely would never be used for touring if i also had tech bindings. Truthfully, none of them are inspiring, been a Look guy for years, Marker and the others appear to be “low tech”.

  90. mc January 31st, 2011 9:11 pm

    Not sure what they are called but there are two currently, DIN 12 and 14 respectively. I’m sure there are those who will advise against doing so but cest la vie.

  91. neonorchid January 31st, 2011 11:41 pm

    mc, sometimes i use my antique 195cm Volkl’s (i’m 5’7 135lbs), with Look bindings deemed unserviceable years ago because they’ve very low mileage and rip groomers and east coast ice, still i personally wouldn’t want to mess around with that.
    On the other hand the Marker Squire is basically a Tour, of which they claim the heal piece is made to couple better with AT boots. Also the Squire’s toe piece plate slides sideways, prob helpful with AT soles lugged soles. I spoke to a Marker repair tech who said Squire’s can be used with AT boots.
    I’m caught between waiting for next gen “step in” Dynafits, the Plumb (appears to be made better), or Marker Tour.

  92. Lou February 1st, 2011 8:20 am

    Neon, as you’re seeing here, none of this stuff is perfect. What I hear you saying is you’re guessing one binding might be made better, guessing that an untried untested binding might be easier to get into, and that the Marker Tour is somehow in the same class as Dynafit and Plum. We’ll try to cut through the guesswork as product availability progresses, but in terms of picking between tech bindings and frame bindings (Marker), going one way or the other on that is the first decision you should make. The frame bindings are heavier and don’t tour as well, but act more like alpine bindings in alpine mode, while the tech bindings tour well, but their minimalist construction and unforgiving ski/boot connection may not be as durable for heavy alpine use (lift served, big boots, big skis).

  93. neonorchid February 1st, 2011 10:10 am

    Lou, i had grouped the Tour (frames), with tech’s Vs., alpine bindings which Ursu’ questioned, of which i only knew of one compatible/AT boots.

    I’m still undecided about what AT type binding set-up will be right for me.

  94. Ursu' February 6th, 2011 1:03 pm

    I am a bit stuck in taking a decision… Radium vs. Endorphin. Tried them both (not on skies though 🙁 ) but it is rather tricky to take a decision. On one side I see the light, incredible easiness in handling Radium, a new concept from Garmont. Endorphin gives a safer feeling , in some sense perhaps a more robust boot?! Nevertheless, there is construction difference between these two. I am always thinking that it is best to make a choice focusing on the main use, in my case I do not make super long tours, but rather climb for my downhill turns. Any views on these two boots?

    P.S.: regarding the length and molding of the inner boot, the shop scale says 26~26.5 for my foot, but I feel good in 27 (in 26.5 my toes really get the pressure). I am a bit worried that after molding they will get too big, the shop guys say they might get 1cm in length? I definitely dot not want to have them too loose, as anyway in time this will happen. Are there any risks in oven treatment? Or if the boot fits nicely (even that a brand new boot brings some pressure) one should use it without molding? 😕

  95. neonorchid February 6th, 2011 4:09 pm

    Ursu’, until Lou chimes in i’ll tell you i had the same concerns. I had a perfect fit out of the box with my size 25.5 Nordica Speedmachine 110 Alpine boots without any pressure points so never bothered to have their moldable liners cooked. I haven’t used them enough to notice any stretching.
    I did a search here to figure out what to do about cooking my size 26 BD Prime AT boots. The shell has a great toe shape but the liner doesn’t fit my big toe, at the same time my toes are at the front of the 26’s liner. The verdict is still out on those as i haven’t put together all of my AT gear to use them nor have i been at the right place during and shortly after our nor’easter storms to use them. However from what i’ve read i think there is some risk of inadvertently loosening up the ankle area etc when only trying for a better fitting toe box. Seems a good boot fitter can be indispensable.

  96. Lou February 6th, 2011 6:04 pm

    Back from a weekend of powder fun that for some reason didn’t include internet (grin).

    Ursu, if you don’t make long tours, and want an alpine boot feel, yes, Endorphin is what you’d want to be considering.

  97. Devon March 6th, 2011 3:05 am

    I’m just about the embark on searching for the perfect AT boot tomorrow. I am a bit worried after renting ZZeus’ a month ago, which left me clutching my bare heel in pain on the summit of Diamond Peak in Lassen. The boots felt fine in the store, so the pain my my heel came as a surprise. Granted the rentals were brand new with unmolded liners, but it is an experience I wish to not repeat. The Radiums seem like a good alternative choice for a similar characteristic boot, and I guess we will see about the fit. Lou, do you have any suggestions for me as I start the hunt? Overall, I have wide-ish feet, but not that abnormal, and a high instep. In bounds, I use Tecnica Diablo Flames that fit extremely well without any modifications. Thanks!

  98. Lou March 7th, 2011 7:17 am

    If you have a wider foot and high arch, don’t overlook Scarpa. Also, Garmont as well.

    As for the Zzeus, sounds like you were simply a victim of what’s called the “phantom last,” meaning the imaginary Italian guy they build all ski boots (other than Black Diamond) to fit out of the box. In other words, evaluating fit by renting unmolded boots sounds crazy to me, that is unless you’re the twin of the phantom Italian and have his feet.

    Find a shop that’ll mold some liners for you so you can actually try the boots with them fitted to your feet. Explain to the shop that you’re serious about purchasing so they don’t think you’re a tire kicker who’s going to figure out his fit then buy online.

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

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