I recently lent Michael Kennedy my Dynafit Freeride Aero boots for a few days of testing. Known as a long-time climber and former owner/publisher of Climbing Magazine, Michael is also a fine skier and spends quite a few days out every winter. I told him these were the beefiest Dynafit compatible boots out there, and he was excited to give them a go. For previous reviews of this boot please check the “Boot Reviews” category in the menu to right. Michael’s take:
Here’s a brief report on the Dynafit Aero. Since I’ve been skiing the Garmont Megaride the past 2.5 seasons, that’s my reference point.
I managed four days total in these boots — a few good days in the backcountry, and a couple of days at the ski resorts.
Conditions were variable: perfect powder, mellow windcrust, groomed, wind-densified powder over old ski tracks, crud over bumps, etc. Pretty good variety of winter snow types although I avoided the worst of the icy bumps.
The buckles and all the normal functional parts of the Aero were good. I found the boot a little harder to get my foot into than the Megaride, but this is is a minor concern. The Aero should have a cant adjustment for the cuff (I know you retrofitted one on this pair). The walk/ski mode dial was fine, although I prefer the lever on the Megaride.
I used the Aero with Dynafit and Fritschi bindings. The new toe lugs were intriguing but for the experienced Dynafit user the benefits were nearly unnoticeable. Those less adept at dealing with the Dynafit
boot/binding interface may find the new toe lugs slightly easier but my sense is that this feature could use a bit more work.
The Aero is noticeably stiffer than the Megaride. I really liked the Aero’s performance on lift-serviced terrain: very powerful getting onto the edge and close to a full-on alpine boot overall. The forward flex was less progressive than the Megaride (you drive forward and at a certain point the boot stops, as opposed to the smoother transition I’m used to), but once I adjusted to the Aero I was very happy with its downhill performance, especially in steep crud and bumps. For powder and variable conditions, though, I still prefer a boot with a more progressive forward flex.
The Aero was reasonably comfortable for touring and/or walking (i.e. up the ridge to Highlands Bowl); it felt stiffer and a bit more “clunky” than the Megaride but nothing that would be a deal breaker. I did
notice the weight, however: my old legs were complaining.
Bottom line: If downhill performance with a Dynafit compatible boot is your priority, especially in lift-serviced terrain, the Dynafit Aero would be a great choice. For touring, I’d be more inclined to go with a lighter boot. I’m aware that next year’s model will be a few ounces lighter, and that might make the Aero the a do-it-all boot for me, but we’ll have to see.
See ya soon, MK ”