Dynafit Ski Boots TLT6-P 2014-2015-2016 Comparo


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 6, 2015      

Shop for Dynafit TLT6 ski touring boots.

2014-2015 TLT6-P at left, 2015-2016 version to right, fraternal twins with significant individuality.

2014-2015 TLT6-P green at left, 2015-2016 black version to right, fraternal twins with significant individuality.

Would parents ever give their twin kids the same name? Gear companies tend to ignore the confusion caused by naming significantly different products with the same moniker. In the case of Dynafit’s TLT6 boot, I’d have prefered they called the new one the TLT7, but what is, is. While they indeed have similar DNA, the differences between the two boots are significant — this is not just a color change. (Please note, for the sake of clarity we’ll sometimes call the 2014-2015 boot the green and the 2015-2016 the black).

The major difference between these fraternal twins? Beyond their color scheme (we like the darker motif much better than the green), new black TLT6 is made from Pebax plastic, while green boot is made from Grilamid. Dynafit says in their 2014-2015 catalog that Grilamid is “the lightest stiffest polymer on the market.” The formulation of Pebax used by Dynafit appears to virtually equal Grilamid in stiffness, perhaps with a minimal increase in thickness at key areas. (Both Grilamid and Pebax are formulations of nylon, so they’re more the same than different.) The black boot feels identical in flex during carpet and bench tests, with the 27.5 shell weighing 40 grams, 1.4 ounces more than the green. That’s a 3.97% increase in weight, which we view as significant but still results in acceptable mass for this class of shoe.

Perhaps a bigger issue with the change in plastic is that Grilamid is incredibly easy to heat mold, while Pebax is the exact opposite. Do it yourself heat molding of Grilamid ski boots has been a fun and productive DIY project for many guys in their home workshops. Not so much for Pebax, which can be frustrating (and expensive if you ruin boots). I’d advise most of you to leave punching Pebax up to a professional with a fully tooled boot fitting operation — and requisite experience that includes working on sacrificial Pebax test boots.

Just 1.5 to 2 mm of width increase doesn't sound like much, but it's significant and will make this version of TLT6 much easier to fit.

Just 1.5 to 2 mm of width increase doesn’t sound like much, but it’s significant and will make this version of TLT6 much easier to fit. For those of you with narrow feet who have loved the skinny white and green versions of the TLT boots, where does this leave you? I think you’ll still be able to make a fit, but you’ll need a little work in the boot fitting procedure to compensate for the added volume.

Fortunately for those of us needing to punch out the low volume forefoot of the traditional Dynafit TLT 5 and 6 last, along with using Pebax, Dynafit slightly increased TLT6 black volume at the metatarsal, over the instep, and perhaps elsewhere. Measured on the outside at widest point of the mets, Black 27.5 is 105.89 mm, while the green is 103.89. Presumably the Pebax is slightly thicker so let’s say that for certain the black boot is wider by just under 2 mm. Running a shell fit check (stocking foot in boot without liner) shows this to be true. The Black feels ever so slightly more roomy. The black instep height is more commodious as well. This is difficult to measure, but I figure they opened it about 3 mm above the foot instep.

Instep of the 2015-2016 TLT6 is higher by about 3 mm.

Instep of the 2015-2016 TLT6 is higher by about 3 mm.

Width increase is somewhat visible from underneath, but is not blatant.

Width increase is somewhat visible from underneath, but is not blatant.

Note that many parts and features of these boots are identical. The soles appear to be exactly the same composition and are the same length and shape. The removable tongues are both made of Pebax, with identical size and markings. The buckles appear to be identical. We see no difference in the Ultra-Lock ski/walk mode system other than a more finished appearance. Molded surface textures are the same and the buckles appear to be identical, with a color change from the older yellow to new version blue and black.

Most of this comparo regards the boot shells.

Most of this comparo regards the boot shells. The lighter fully thermo moldable CL liners of both boot versions are pretty much interchangeable in terms of construction and features. The new liner has some lace hooks and a limiting strap at the achilles bellow (prevents damage and perhaps adds a slight bit of resistance to extreme forward flex). Most noticeably, the new liner displays the added shell volume, and it’s got a decorative orange panel on top. Weights of the liners are so similar (the CL liner is a feather) that a comparison in mass is unnecessary, especially considering nearly every skier at the least adds custom insoles, and sometimes major customization that involves adding or subtracting material from the liner — or even swapping in an aftermarket liner.

Update: in the comments below a reader mentioned some discrepancy in forward lean for the green vs black. Our size 27s measure the same.

Update: in the comments below a reader mentioned some discrepancy in forward lean for the green vs black, so we whipped out the protractor. Our size 27s measure the same lean, green or black. Optional lean is set to the lesser position on both boots and the small aluminum piece that is flipped to change lean measures the same on both boots. If Dynafit is claiming a change in lean perhaps they’re basing it on changes in liner thickness behind calf?

Overall, the black 2015-2016 TLT6 is a more finished version of the TLT boot family. From the nicely counter-sunk screws in the Ultra-Lock plate to the new quick-release power strap, this is indeed a beautiful shoe. We’d rather Dynafit had stayed with Grilamid plastic, but it appears they’ve chosen a stiff version of Pebax and molded it well, so we’ll live with that and ski a pair of these this winter. Overall, we still feel the TLT6-P to be possibly the best combination of walkability, lightweight, and stiffness you can get other than full-carbon boots. Enjoy the photos, and perhaps enjoy a new pair of TLT6 on snow!

Shop for Dynafit TLT6 ski touring boots.



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Comments

32 Responses to “Dynafit Ski Boots TLT6-P 2014-2015-2016 Comparo”

  1. Pablo November 6th, 2015 8:32 am

    trend in colors??

    this combination is very similar to backland Carbon, even to Spectres

  2. Greg Louie November 6th, 2015 8:53 am

    Black and orange are the new lime green.

    Nice comparison, Lou. For those of us not fortunate to have had access to the CL liner last season, it might be worth comparing it with the CR . . . there are major differences in weight, thickness and functional stiffness, especially at the rear of the cuff.

  3. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2015 9:00 am

    Hi Pablo, it’s been somewhat of a chuckle for many industry insiders, that the Backland and TLT6 ended up with pretty much the same color scheme. Conspiracy theories abound. It’s the Grassy Knoll of skiing!

  4. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2015 9:17 am

    Hi Greg, yeah, I should probably add a few more things about liner, but the CL and CR are different animals to the point where a comparison seems less critical.

    That said, to clarify, are you suggesting that since the TLT6 last year tended to be purchased in NA with the CR liner, and boots this year are available with CL, we might point out differences so shoppers looking at the Green boot vs Black, with CR vs CL, they’d know what they’re getting?

    To clarify for myself and readers, let me know if this is correct?

    CL = Custom Light and is the lighter more heat moldable liner. If your goal is lightweight ski touring this makes the TLT6 fly.

    CR = Custom Ready liner is somewhat denser-stiffer, less moldable and designed for fit out of the box. It is indeed quite a bit heavier.

    This year’s CL appears to have slightly denser stiffeners at the top of tongue and behind calf, it has the limiting strap and lace hooks as pointed out in blog post above.

  5. Greg Louie November 6th, 2015 9:26 am

    Right, thanks Lou, and thanks for getting out the calipers to quantify the shell changes. North American users had to really go out of their way to get the CL liner until this season. As you mention, this year’s CL has the silvery stiffeners on the tongue and cuff, but elastic top of the new liner offers almost no rearward support. The overall effect seems to be slightly less overall stiffness than the CR-equipped version. The super thin CL also enhances the higher volume shell to the point that many people feel like they would downsize from last season’s TLT6, especially those who had to go bigger to accommodate instep issues. It might be more difficult to measure accurately, but the medial midfoot just under and back of the malleolus seems a few mm wider on the new boot as well.

  6. Jerky Schmilkus November 6th, 2015 10:49 am

    Thanks for the discussion. I just grabbed a pair a few weeks back and haven’t skied them yet. I was a victim of the Scarpa F-1 recall, I didn’t want to mess with a first-year boot like the Atomic or Salomon.

  7. ken maudie November 6th, 2015 11:21 am

    Lou, the 2014-15 green boot [mountain ] I have offers a 13 or 15 degree forward lean. Apparently the new model this year offers 15 or 18 degrees. Also , apparently the new model has a shorter B.S.L..

  8. Drew Tabke November 6th, 2015 11:24 am

    +1 on Greg’s call-out on the liner. I always felt the CR was an unfortunate liner to put in such a beautiful, top-of-the-line shell. Uncomfortable and heavy in my experience, compared to the increase in comfort/decrease in weight with the CL or Palau-style liner.

  9. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2015 11:54 am

    Ken, this comparo is for two size 27 shells, they both have the same BSL of 297. Perhaps other sizes have slightly different BSL between Green and Black?

    The adjustable forward lean (done by flipping the aluminium fitting in the Ultra Lock) has been a feature for a while, as you observe. But perhaps they did change the geometry a bit? I’ve got both boots sitting here so I’ll check. Back in a moment.

  10. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2015 12:01 pm

    I can’t measure any difference in forward lean between the two year/models I have here. Perhaps that’s just a feature of the new Mountain model? Or, they might have simply changed the way they measure it. For example, even the thickness of the liner behind your calf changes the amount of forward “lean.”

    See photo I added to blog post.

    Lou

  11. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2015 12:08 pm

    Drew, yeah, the first thing I did last season was come up with a CL liner for my Greens. We didn’t do much coverage on the CR, as we do tend to ignore stuff that doesn’t float our boat. Sometimes I really wonder why certain decisions are made about what is imported and sold in the U.S. I mean, we all ski like Hoji and Davenport, never turn, spend most of our time at resorts riding lifts with our touring gear, and need stiffer boots because we were not born in (fill in the blank).

    Sorry to pop that marketing bubble.

    As I’ve always said, if you really need bigger heavier gear, or want it, that’s valid. And sometimes the lighter stuff IS harder to ski on. That’s certainly happened to me enough times as I try to do something difficult with meager gear. But give North American skiers the same gear options as Europe, and watch the sport explode, as it looks to be doing as we speak!

  12. Jon November 6th, 2015 1:50 pm

    Hey Lou, any idea how the CL compares to the Custom Plus liner?

    I’ve got the TLT6 C-ONE (sz 28) which came with the Custom Plus liner. I haven’t baked the liners yet, but the boot feels far too snug all over. I get a 1.25 finger shell fit. I tried the 29 shell and I was swimming. Over 2 fingers of space on a shell fit.

    In my (limited) experience, I believe I won’t get much more volume from baking the current Custom Plus liners. I’ll probably need a 6th toe and ankle punch anyway. So in the meanwhile I’m on the hunt for a thinner liner. Is the CR the right thing to try? Or should I bake the Plus liners first?

    BTW – this boot is going to be for lightweight touring and approaching distant BC ice climbs. Going on a set of the Broad Peak 1.0 with Speed Superlites 1.0 for the binding.

  13. Phil Harvey November 6th, 2015 3:21 pm

    Very interesting article and I am intrigued to know how to identify whether ski boots are made from Polyurethane, Pebax or Grilamid. Have checked a few pairs I have here at home and could not find any meaningful indication on a Salomon or Technica pair but did find markings on a couple of Scarpa pairs. These markings, dependant on the item, were PU PEBA and DX PEBA. These were on the tongue and shell respectively. I assume both these are Pebax but unsure if there is any significance in the prefix markings. Can anyone shed any light on this and what Grilamid would be marked up as?

  14. See November 6th, 2015 8:06 pm

    I’m wondering how these close shells are going to accommodate all the different shaped feet out there. Can a shell really be fit like a liner or what?

  15. andrew November 6th, 2015 8:21 pm

    Nice comparo but i think as previously mentioned, the fact that it comes with the CL liner is big news worthy of discussion in the post since the past 2 years the green TLT6 in north america has come with the different and heavier CR liner

  16. Lou Dawson 2 November 7th, 2015 6:30 am

    Andrew, thanks for addressing that in the comments! Bear in mind however that this is a global website. There are days we have more readers in Europe than in the U.S., though most days the most are English speakers, North America.

    A tradition here at Wildsnow is when reviewing boots we tend to concentrate on the shells, as we’ve always felt that swapping and modifying liners is so common as to make blathering about them somewhat pointless.

    So, sigh, I guess I’ll weigh both liners. (grin)

  17. Mark Worley November 7th, 2015 6:50 am

    The velcro-free power strap is subtle, yet very noticeable change. I like the new strap a lot.

  18. Wookie November 7th, 2015 7:57 am

    Punching the old greens was soooo easy – and they are so great. I’m gonna miss em – honestly.
    I’d bag some old ones on sale – except it looks like some of the new “bakeable” shells out there might be so good in two years or so that I’ll wait and see.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 November 7th, 2015 8:06 am

    Wookie, yeah, it’s pretty amazing they can formulate plastic as stiff as the Backland that still molds at such a low temperature, but it’s not as stiff as the Grilamid of the Green. BTW, should we call the Scarpa Alien the “Grey” ?

  20. Greg Louie November 7th, 2015 9:10 am

    @Phil Harvey: There’s no requirement that manufacturers identify the type of plastic used in their boots, and most don’t. Bootfitters rely on information from reps, product managers, the Internet and other bootfitters. From a consumer standpoint, it probably only matters if you foot doesn’t fit a given shell and you need to modify it; the boot weighs what it weighs and flexes like it flexes, take it or leave it.

    For new models, adventurous bootfitters often roll the dice with a test boot (often their own) and see how it responds to heat, pressure and grinding. Some manufacturers are more forthcoming with “sample” boots than others – I’ve already punched Backland Carbons and MTN Labs with success, for instance and they are new this season.

  21. Michael November 7th, 2015 1:18 pm

    2 mm width and 3 mm instep additions sounds awesome for my higher volume feet. sign me up. CL liners included is a nice upgrade as well.

    Still $1K. Oh well.

  22. pietro November 8th, 2015 9:04 am

    WHat is the difference or advantage between the two power straps models?

  23. Lou Dawson 2 November 8th, 2015 11:39 am

    Mainly, new one doesn’t have velcro that’s always sticking to everything… and it has a string you pull for instant release. It has a good, finished and ergonomic feel when you operate it and tends to stay together rather then ending up trailing in the snow like velcro straps sometimes do. I like the new one, but the old style works as well. Lou

  24. Michael November 9th, 2015 11:09 am

    Well I tried on the new version of the TLT6 P with the CL liner and I confirm it’s much roomier than the previous version of the TLT6 with the CR liner (which I own). Not sure how much of that was the shell vs the liner.

    The older TLT6 always caused me pain esp with longer days, even after punching for width in the forefoot. Just not enough volume for me in the instep region and forefoot. I needed to wear it without an insole to be tolerable.

    28 Maestrale RS with an insole fits me great with only a liner bake for reference. I’ve got some 27.5 98 mm last alpine boots but they took a pretty good amount of work up front to make them tolerable.

    I was literally swimming in the same size (28.5) of the new TLT6 compared to the old. Much, much roomier. I fit the next size down pretty well (27.5), just a bit short in length for my big toe. As Greg L has alluded to, many will likely be able to downsize in the newer version. New TLT6 power strap is very nice.

    Ended up with a Backland Carbon in a 28. Fits damn well out of the box. Room for a custom insole. Despite the published last I found it much roomier than the old TLT6 but I wasn’t swimming in it like the new TLT6. No need to remount as the BSLs are similar. With the memory fit thing I should be golden. The walk mode is unreal without the tongue in place. Walks really well even with the tongue. Can’t wait to use it for some longer days, esp in the spring.

    But for sure don’t just think you can order the same size as your old TLT6 and be good to go. Try before you buy.

  25. Lou Dawson 2 November 9th, 2015 11:33 am

    Thanks Michael, huge help for everyone. Lou

  26. Seth November 9th, 2015 2:53 pm

    Lou, this is great information. I actually tweeted @dynafitNA last week asking if there were last changes for the new TLT 6 and the reply I received stated ‘TLT 6 has same dimensions as last year. New liner and booster strap though.’ This was disappointing to hear, but I am happy to see this post and realize the person handling Dynafit’s twitter account is a little under informed.

    I was leaning heavily toward the Backland carbon but this brings the TLT 6 back into contention.

    How do you feel about the Backland boots? Will you be skiing them much this year?

  27. Martin November 9th, 2015 3:37 pm

    I may have missed it, but what is the difference between the TLT6 Performance and the TLT 6 Mountain (both 2016). According to the web the Performance is not only 32% more expensive but even slightly heavier?
    Why is everyone so stoked about the Performance?
    Are both made of Pebax?

    Thanks!

  28. andrew November 9th, 2015 5:28 pm

    Martin – the performance has a carbon cuff so is considerably stiffer than the mountain with a pebax cuff. the lower shell is pebax on both models for 2015/16.

  29. Nate Brown November 26th, 2015 5:37 pm

    Lou,

    It appears Dynafit has still failed to improve (imo) the only thing these boots need: a scarpa-style bushing-rivet combo. The ovalizing carbon cuff will end these boots useful life too soon without a costly and time consuming B&D upgrade. Thx for any news on this.

  30. Rik January 24th, 2016 3:56 am

    Hello!

    I just received the new black TLT6P’s. It was quite a risk to purchase them without fitting, but the size appeared to be perfect.

    Can anyone advise me on DIY molding the liners?

    Thanks in advance!

  31. Mats April 23rd, 2016 2:22 pm

    Rik,

    Bake them in the kitchen oven. Turn the oven on and put it on approx 60 – 65 C for 30 minutes to get it completely warm. Then turn the oven completely off and put in the liners for a few minutes. Install liners and feet in shells and let cool. Use thin socks.

  32. Niles January 5th, 2019 3:16 pm

    I want to cobble the green version cuff (size 27) together with the 2016 mountain CR tlt6 (size 28.5) in order for this to work in sure there would need to be some measurements regarding the pivot points I need to find, any idea how I can figure out if this frankenboot would work?





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