Hoji Pro Ski Touring Boot On-Snow Testing


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 25, 2018      

(This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.)

The Hoji in action.

Hoji Pro in action. Note, these are prototypes. Hoji Pro will be available fall 2018: the men’s boot will be black and the women’s will be navy.

Editor’s note:The Outdoor Retailer Show is about to begin and we are eager to see what’s new and exciting for the world of backcountry ski touring. Pre-show, we got in on a press trip featuring the new Hoji boot. After a lovely day on snow, here’s what our testers had to say:

Louie:
I made one lap skinning up Eldora on the Hoji Pro, and quite a few lift-served laps as well, all with my pants down. During the later half of the day, for comparison I skied on a pair of older Dynafit Vulcans.

Skinning in the boots was a dream. Both the range of motion in tour mode and the weight of the Hoji Pro (55° and 1528 grams) are on par with the best “freeride” touring boots on the market today. My short skin test confirmed that. The boots feel light, and the range of motion is essentially as much as my ankles can use. However, compared to a lightweight boot, (e.g. TLT 7), Hoji Pro is certainly noticeably heavier and stiffer in tour mode (though promised liner improvements may help with this by the time the boot goes to retail). Overall, the skinning performance is sufficient, and about as good as you can expect from a boot in this category.

While the up was enjoyable, where the Hoji really stood out was on the downhill. Icy groomers, crud, and a bit of pow were the conditions of the day — perfect for boot testing. The single-buckle “Hoji Lock” instantly solidified things for the downhill, with no buckle or power-strap fiddling. The boots feel a bit softer than some I’ve experienced in this category (although still quite stiff), yet have a wonderful “progressive” flex that feels remarkably similar to an alpine boot.

Skiing AT boots on the ski area is the one place where I often feel the need for a real overlap alpine boot. However, I can honestly say I did not feel that need with the Hoji. All this, in a boot that wasn’t heat molded to my foot, and thus had a fairly sloppy fit. I’m thinking if I get these nicely molded, with custom beds and some attention to cuff alignment, they’ll definitely be a go-to (though the Speed Toe damps my enthusiasm a bit, read on).

The Hoji Pro felt similar in stiffness to the (sans tongue) Vulcans. The quality of Hoji’s flex was leaps and bounds better than the Vulcan. The Vulcan has a classic “bad” AT boot flex pattern: stiff like a brick wall from the start, and then a noticeable collapse when the boot is really driven or flexed.

Hoji Pro, on the other hand, starts off a bit softer, and increases in resistance as the boot is flexed. That is the classic “progressive” flex that skiers don’t seem to ever get tired of. The Hoji also has ZERO play in the touring mechanism. When carpet flexing the boots it’s noticeable that they don’t “bulge” in the ankle area when aggressively forward flexed (this is what causes the collapsing feeling common in many AT boots). I can also compare Hoji Pro to other boots, however since I skied on both the Hoji and Vulcan in the same day, that’s the most accurate comparison.

Although the comparison to the older Vulcans is overwhelmingly favorable, it’s also an unpleasant reminder of the downsides to the Speed Nose. In the afternoon on our test day, I wanted to test ski some skis with frame-style bindings. I would have loved to keep skiing the Hoji Pro, but alas, I had to switch to the Vulcans. It hurts my heart to see the amazingly engineered Hoji boot have what in my opinion is an unnecessary feature.

Overall, I like the boots. I’m looking forward to continued testing.

Julia:
Hoji Pro is clearing a pathway for a new generation of touring boots. I’m impressed.

The walk mode to ski mechanism in the Hoji Pro truly is a piece of complex engineering and design, which has clearly taken a massive amount of testing and creative thought. I’m excited to see how this sort of progression will grow in the ski touring industry over the next few years.

Anyways, enough marketing “woo-hoo” and let’s talk about how the boot worked for me. Generally, Dynafit boots don’t fit my wide feet, but the Hoji is wider than any other Dynafit boot I’ve tried. Putting on the Hoji boot was simple and fast, with nothing obstructing the way in. I did feel slight pressure on the top of my arch, right around the area of the middle buckle. Arch pressure is a common boot fitting problem with multiple solutions. In my case we did not heat mold the prototype liners, which would likely be the easy fix.

Skinning uphill in Hoji boot is like walking in sneakers to a nearby resort bar. Just don’t forget that summit beer! The ankle mobility is extreme in a good way, especially when the boot flexes forward. While the liner I tested is still under development for the full retail version, it had a nicely functional “hinge” area in the rear and did a good job of accepting my foot shape without custom molding. I’m told that the Speed Nose toe shape helps the boot with some of this exceptional walking feel, by both trimming shell length at the toe as well as shifting the pivot location back a few millimeters closer to your natural walking gait “hinge.” While that’s all clearly well meant, in my opinion the downsides of the Speed Nose (incompatibilities with bindings, crampons, etc.) are not worth it. Am I right or wrong on that? The market will decide and it’ll be interesting to watch.

The concept of “pants down always,” introduced to us by Dynafit, resonates with me. The idea: you put your boot on in the morning, adjust the buckles for ski mode, and then lift the lean lock lever to walk mode. From that point on, the only mechanism you need to touch is the lever in order to switch between ski/walk modes. You don’t have to fiddle with your pants, or buckles, or bend over backwards. Something I’ve never really thought about, but what a nifty deal. #pantsdownalways

My conclusion: The Hoji boot skis well — the progressive flex and the stiffness make it an excellent competitor among other touring boots. The game changer for me really is the walk-ski-mode mechanism and the massive range of motion compared to some of the other more “freeride” boots I’ve tried.

Lisa:
I have loved my Dynafit TLT6s, but it took work to get them right: we’ve punched out the toe box, remolded the liners, changed the lean lock with a customized plate for less forward cuff lean, etc. When I slipped my foot into the Hoji, I could not repress a smile of delight. The toe box is roomy, the heel pocket is snug, the weight is reasonable and the Hoji Lock works like a charm. I agree with Louie and Julie — the boot is a marvel. Hoji Pro is on the top of my gear wish list and when I slip my foot into my own pair, you’ll see me dancing up — and down — the slopes.

Lou:
For several years I’ve been privy to insider knowledge about the development process of this boot. My lips were sealed for fear of excommunication by the priests of Aschheim, but I’m now allowed to pontificate. Skiing the functional prototype last winter was enjoyable. I love the Hoji Lock and the progressive flex is real. I’m just a few weeks out from getting on skis after healing from ankle surgery, so I’ll do a complete test at that point. I’ll be needing a boot like the Hoji so my evaluation will be personal. Meanwhile, we trust you readers appreciate the unique privilege afforded to us by Dynafit, in having fully three of our bloggers test the boot. Louie, Julia and Lisa have years of skiing under their feet, in multiple styles and venues. Best testers around! Check out my detailed post about the mechanics of the Hoji Pro and PX boots.

Backcountry.com has 50 pair of pre-launch Hoji special edition boots you can shop for.



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Comments

48 Responses to “Hoji Pro Ski Touring Boot On-Snow Testing”

  1. etto January 25th, 2018 7:46 am

    Louie, what’s your boot size? You state the weight at 1528 grams, while the presale at Backcountry says it’s 1451 in size 27. It’s maybe not the same revision of the boot?

  2. Lou Dawson 2 January 25th, 2018 8:24 am

    Louie’s weight is from the pre-production boots I had at the Wildsnow studio, he felt that was best, but it’s possible the boot got lightened significantly, perhaps due to the liner. The tested size two days ago was a 27.5. If the weight is huge concern, I’d just take the mean between our high and low weights, and figure that’ll change with footbeds, liner mods, etc. As we always do, we will keep weighing the boots as they progress through all the sales iterations. Lou

  3. justin January 25th, 2018 8:28 am

    So which boot is that on the Backcountry.com website (and that you skied)? It doesnt say “Hoji Pro”, it says “Hoji Limited Edition” (which I kind of assumed just means the limited early release) and all the pics of the Hoji Pro I’ve seen previously have been black. Is that the stiffest model or is it the PX, or something different?

  4. Lou Dawson 2 January 25th, 2018 8:31 am

    Justin, the Limited Edition is a white Hoji Pro, with a liner that’s probably not the final retail liner you’ll see next fall, but looked fine to us. The regular Hoji Pro will indeed be black. Lou

  5. Sky January 25th, 2018 9:06 pm

    I hardly even ski this year and now I want a pair.

  6. Pascal January 26th, 2018 3:43 am

    Hello Lou,

    thank you for letting us know more practical details about this boot on snow. .
    I am interseted to see how the next evolution of the Vulcan is goin to be for real.
    The last try Khion was not such a success, that we still consider it a game changer.
    Best wishes to recover and be among us on the slopes. If ever you are in Europe and especially in South germany, don’t hesitate to contact.

  7. andy January 26th, 2018 8:26 am

    Super weird to see the PR agency so prominently mentioned in the coverage on this (their name AND a link). Backcountryskiingcanada mentioned them in the lede in their coverage, too. The point of PR is publicity for the client, not the agency, at last check. I doubt anyone but media nerds give a damn.

  8. Karl January 26th, 2018 10:40 am

    Lou, is there a reason they went with such a wide last? Does Hoji really have feet that wide?

    What about those of us with LV feet but would like a similar boot?

  9. Lou2 January 26th, 2018 12:18 pm

    Andy, you are entirely correct, while i like to be up front about what we are doing i do not prefer the pr linkage. It was put in during editing due to a bit of overzealous regard for our friends. I will remove. If I can find my keyboard. I seem to be forgetting things more often after the press event took us on a tour of a Colorado cannabis processing business. Seems I need to go back to espresso. When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Didn’t Ronald Reagan say that? Lou

  10. Lou Dawson 2 January 26th, 2018 12:27 pm

    Karl, I’m not sure about Hoji feet, but I’d imagine the boot is indeed the best shell size for whatever shape he sports (smile). As for the last width in general, it looks wider than it is due to the chopped toe, but it is not narrow. Thing is, most people with narrower feet, so long as they’re not super narrow, can easily get a fit with this sort of last by doing some simple boot fitting that’s a lot easier than blowing out a narrow last for wider feet. And as I do repeat quite often, there is no tech binding for every person, and neither is there a boot for every person. Fortunately, the retail landscape is quite diverse!

    Oh, also, this should be a warm boot comparatively speaking, due to some room for your toes and surrounding insulation. We like that.

    Lou

  11. XXX_er January 26th, 2018 12:32 pm

    I think EH designed the lock system and has his name on the boot for which I hope he made some good coin but seriously someone at Dynafit has the final say on how big last, the speednose , what liner, the ability to sell you proprietary crampons and even the PR firm

  12. Lou Dawson 2 January 26th, 2018 12:38 pm

    Xer, I know for a fact that Eric and Fritz have had an exceptional amount of influence on this project, but most certainly, the higher-ups in the company have made many decisions, some of which I’m certain were different than what the boys would have done had they been given 100% control of the project. Another thing, I can say that Eric has had MUCH more to do with this than most items of equipment that get some pro skier’s name associated. In fact, he and Fritz really are the boot designers, with help from the gnomes of Montebellunna as otherwise the fabric of the universe would collapse.

  13. Cody January 26th, 2018 12:46 pm

    I can’t find the website now but there is a believe a Canadian based website that had the most indepth/ honest talk with Hoji over what got over ridded by dynafit vs what he wanted.

  14. swissiphic January 26th, 2018 1:15 pm

    Bought Vulcans and run them without tongues or flex stops driving skis from 98 to 132mm waist widths without issue…for lateral stiffness. In forward flex, I did indeed feel the brick wall flex pattern but the boots do not collapse for me. I run high volume intuition luxury liners and, as in the past with other boots, the fit tension of liner in shell really helps mitigate the scaffo collapse feel.

    In any case, I was not satisfied with the flex profile and decided to mod it to my liking. I’m on version five of prototype adjustable forward flex adjustment add ons and the results are startling. Better forward flex feel than any alpine boot I’ve skied in the past and, the best part, totally adjustable to my liking. Think Salomon sx 92E. Pounded moguls, lumpy bumpy terrain, crusts, frozen chickenheads in the forest and the boots just absorb the terrain like shock absorbers in a car.

    I was blown away by an unintended positive unforeseen positive consequence of MUCH better feeling of ski damping and edge grip while skiing bulletproof chattery frozen snow under a b.c. rainforest canopy. While a buddy I was with was getting bucked around and chattering his teeth, I was actually making smooth, controlled windshield wiper turns and having a good time while on really fat skis, K2 Darksides. Super impressed.

    And it’s logical; like my buddy commented, it’s like driving a car on a logging road with no suspension versus having dialed in springs and shocks. Better grip and adhesion and less rattling yer teeth out.

    Unfortunately proto 5 broke down a few days ago and I had to resort back to the stock setting…and heliskied yesterday without the flex adjuster mod…and definitely felt compromised. The inability to remain perfectly balanced in the boots with a triangulated support of ball of foot pressure, shins driving tongues and heel/ankle pocket locked in while ankles subtley flexing to absorb terrain features really hindered my ability to charge lumpy bumpy snow and microadjust to snow density changes like undisturbed snow to windslab and back again within a turn radius.

    Can’t wait to get proto 6 out of the shop and onto snow and back into the heli for more Ghettoworx product testing!

  15. XXX_er January 26th, 2018 9:44 pm

    “Another thing, I can say that Eric has had MUCH more to do with this than most items of equipment that get some pro skier’s name associated.”

    ya I assumed as much and therefore I just assumed that all the cool stuff i can attribute to them

    and all the silly stuff that makes you ask WTF…must be Dynafit

    hope buddy made some good coin

  16. Frame January 27th, 2018 12:25 am

    Hoji and Fritz, probably benefit once you start buying X.

    I am going to go out on a limb, as I don’t have any association with boot making, but Dynafit, may have made a boot or 3 over the years and know a little on running a company long term, being sensible financially so any issues can be fixed, allowing profits to fund cross Atlantic tinkerers to tinker in each other’s shed, distribute globally, source inputs and all that stuff, so would be surprised if they didn’t make a few decisions.

  17. Bruno Schull January 27th, 2018 5:29 am

    Considering all the negative reports about the wide lasts, I just want to add my voice, again, in support of wide lasts. I don’t know if it’s easier to make a narrow boot bigger, or a wide boot smaller, but I can definitely say that only boots with wide lasts fit my feet (Scott, and, sometimes, Scarpa) and that the lack of boots with a wide lasts and large sizes is incredibly frustrating. I composed a rant about this that is buried somewhere on this site. Anway, hurray for wide lasts! And hurray for a industry that provides different options for different people!

    (Although I agree with others that the Shark Nose is a bad idea)

    Bruno

  18. XXX_er January 27th, 2018 9:40 am

    ” but Dynafit, may have made a boot or 3 over the years and know a little on running a company long term, being sensible financially so any issues can be fixed ”

    Dynafit ^^ never recalled ( recall is a big process ) or did anything with the tri step toe, or the heel lifters which still lever the tops lift off of RAD 1 bindings like a can opener, almost nobody used the stock vulcan liners myself included, I’ve watched prospective customers be physicaly unable to get into a khion Boa liner so I believe Dynafit blunders along like any other big company SO … buyer beware

  19. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2018 10:03 am

    Regarding last width, again, please, not every boot is going to fit every person. If a boot doesn’t fit, that’s not a negative it’s just what is, move along, nothing to see here (smile). But, if one chooses to do so, it is often quite easy to create a good fit in a wider boot involving narrower feet, though doing so may require expensive or time consuming actions such as aftermarket liners and shell punching. For example, one of the best moves is to downsize one shell size and do a toe length punch, and swap in a liner that’s slightly longer. As I’ve got very narrow feet, almost all boots are too wide for me in the best stock shell length, so I pretty much downsize all shells and do a toe punch. I get some truly sweet fits out of that procedure. Lou

  20. Yellow Snow January 27th, 2018 8:20 pm

    Lou, I don’t agree with you that making a wide boot narrower is easier than making a narrow boot wider. If it was the case race plug boots would start wide, no?

    Speaking as someone who has punched dozens of TLT7 boots, punching the toe for length is a risky proposition with the speed nose. The lack of material around the toe fittings leaves a lot of room for problems. Encouraging users to size down and hope for luck with punching length is bad advice with that system.

    The complaining about width is the market speaking. Those are potential buyers, not whiners. Dynafit has a fit that’s quite popular in the TLT7, why they didn’t use that same shape is a bit perplexing. Sure, Hoji designed it. Dynafit still has to sell it and their retailers have to get the end user into it.

    If the boot doesn’t fit, no one will buy it.

  21. See January 27th, 2018 10:04 pm

    I can’t help wondering if punching a traditional boot for length wouldn’t put the walk pivot point somewhere near where the shark nose puts it without crampon/binding compatibility issues.

  22. Dizzie January 28th, 2018 9:41 am

    @Swissiphic:
    Am very interested to hear more about your prototype adjustable forward flex adjustment add ons for the Vulcan. If you are willing to share details

  23. Nexus6 January 28th, 2018 12:51 pm

    Have to agree with Yellow Snow that making a wide boot narrower is always a loosing proposition. The best performance (and comfort) fit is taking a slightly too narrow boot and punching and grinding (usually punching only in thin AT shells) the spots that need to be wider. This process is quick and easy and can take an experienced boot tech only 1/2 hour of so of time to get a narrow boot dialed in for a wider fit. Shims and foam are at best only a temporary solution for making a too wide boot narrower and often move the foot into a less than ideal position in the boot that creates other problems.

    I understand that with the small market that touring boots are and the huge expense for tooling having narrow and wide last versions of a boot isn’t probably economic. However unfortunately Dynafit has decided to go for the in store comfort fit at the expense of a boot that actually could work for more skiers with a small amount of fitting work. It’s unfortunate because they did have a proper narrow fit that could be widened easily with the TLT6. At least Salomon seems to get it.

    As for the “speed” nose. Hard to imagine how in the world they came up with that idiocy. 10% better walk-ability in exchange for incompatibility with an entire class of bindings and crampons (in a “freeride” touring none the less!). Maybe that kind of thing sells in Europe, but here, no way.

  24. bruno schull January 28th, 2018 1:41 pm

    I get what folks are saying about about the downhill skiing performance of narrow lasts in particular, and tight-fitting boots in general. But what if your priority is not downhill performance? I use my touring skis primarily to access ice and mixed climbs, sometimes spending one or two nights out. My priorities are walking and climbing comfort, having lots of space for my toes and forefoot so they don’t get cold, compatibility with technical crampons, ease of entry/exit, and, finally, downhill performance that is good enough. I know that the Hoji is not being marketed that way–as a touring/climbing boot–but, darn it, so many touring boots have narrow lasts, it’s cool to see one boot with a wide last!

  25. Lou2 January 28th, 2018 2:41 pm

    Yellow, good points. I think a small bit of length punch on the Speed Toe is acceptable but could easily be too much. In any case the market does speak, with feet of all different widths. Ill be fitting Hoji for my very narrow feet, I’ll be sure to report, too bad they have the Speed Toe. Lou

  26. Lou2 January 28th, 2018 2:49 pm

    See, using a shorter shell definitely results in more optimal pivot location. We’ve been doing it for years. As Yellow points out, not so easy with Speed Nose if a length punch is needed. Lou

  27. See January 28th, 2018 5:44 pm

    I don’t know about other people, but my wide feet are also high volume. The super light boots I’ve checked for shell fit fell too small in almost every dimension except length (and you definitely don’t want to get a boot that’s too long and and try to shorten it). So far, I’ve not wanted to risk trying to get a good fit in a boot that I can barely jam my feet into without the liners. So my question is, how easy is it to make a narrow, close fitting boot fit a wide, high volume foot? (I’ve heard good things about the kind where you bake the whole shell, but I think I’d rather just start with something that’s close to fitting out of the box.)

  28. Lou Dawson 2 January 28th, 2018 5:48 pm

    See, it just depends on the shell as well as exactly which parts of your foot needs extra room. There is no standard level of difficulty. The standard is still to pick boot shell by fit, rather than what it looks like on a blog post (smile), though quite a few people get boots based on theory then attempt to make them fit, and sometimes it works. Lou

  29. swissiphic January 29th, 2018 8:51 am

    See: I think the solution is to construct your own ski boots. After a few dozen other projects lined up through this winter I will be attempting this ambitious project in the summer of 2018. I have 4 pairs of old junker ski touring boots with buckles/powerstraps/dynafit toe/heel fittings to scavenge so it will be an interesting frankenboot project. After having so much success with the discrete external outboard forward flex vulcan mod, it’s inspired the concept of a boot the that doesn’t rely on flex of cuff/scaffo materials for proper skiing flex. The idea is to have lateral and forward/rear support flex independently tunable…preferably in real time in the field while skiing to adapt the boots skiing characteristics to varying snow/ski conditions/demands. Stay tuned…

  30. swissiphic January 29th, 2018 8:55 am

    note; the idea i have in mind will result in the boots aesthetic appeal to only be sexy to engineer types…it will without question be the ugliest, most “function over form” boot on a skier’s footskis 😉 And also, as a tip of the iceberg hint of utility, the sole will be waffled pattern shoe goo held on by double sided carpet tape for ease of replacement when worn. 🙂

  31. swissiphic January 29th, 2018 8:58 am

    …whoops edit; “..double sided carpet tape for ease of replacement when worn out.”

  32. Lou Dawson 2 January 29th, 2018 9:12 am

    Swiss and all, there is indeed a snowboard company making a mod device to convert ski boots so they have a tunable external flex device (basically a spring cartridge attaching rear of cuff to lower shell at heel). This is not a new concept, it’s been used on many alpine boots over the years and works quite well. It’s not popular with ski touring boots because it adds quite a bit of weight for something that can be mostly created by good design and modern plastics, but it’s nonetheless valid and useful, and could perhaps be done with modern materials and engineering in a way that gave the sweetest ski touring flex with very little weight penalty. Indeed, I’ve been thinking of working on this sort of thing myself. So just like Swiss, stay tuned!

  33. See January 29th, 2018 9:48 am

    Sounds very interesting, swissiphic. I really liked my old SX92E’s in large part because I could set my preferred (soft) forward flex while retaining good lateral stiffness. I’ve also thought about making my own boots (custom carbon, although a recent post here makes me wonder). Look forward to learning more about your project.

  34. swissiphic January 29th, 2018 3:45 pm

    Hi Lou; agreed it’s not a new concept. I remember the old alpine boots with the external spring and the more recent but still pretty dated Dynafit All Terrains with an adjustable spring as well…it was a piece of junk but the idea was there. Haven’t skied the spring loaded alpine boots but question the usefulness if not equiped with rebound damping. No clue though, haven’t skied ’em.

    What’s different with my working concept is its simplicity (no moving parts) and lack of weight..in fact, i’d speculate it actually removes a few micrograms.

    Where we differ in opinion is based on your statement ” for something that can be mostly created by good design and modern plastics…”

    Please present an example of a medium to lightweight ski touring boot presently on the market that exhibits this forward flex sweetness? I’m left scratching my head. Sure the big bad boys have some great progressive forward flex feels, like my Garmont Deliriums…but even they feel like brick walls while doing a/b comparo runs with modded vulcans on one foot and the venerable progressively flexing deliriums on the other foot.

  35. swissiphic January 29th, 2018 3:49 pm

    See: Yes! the good old solly 91/92e…they didn’t fit my feet but i loved mine anyways and was always tinkering with the flex adjusters run to run! was so fun to put em on the softest setting and charge mach schnel down the old school perfectly rounded moguls and zipper lines…the sollies flexed so well for that purpose.

  36. Lou Dawson 2 January 29th, 2018 3:51 pm

    Swiss, the operative word is “mostly.” I’ve gotten a pretty good flex out of a few different cabrillo boots, and an even better from overlap though those were testers not my go-to for various reasons. I had a pair of the old Dynafit cabrillo boots that I modified in various ways for feel. Key was the old boots that did not have the 2-way touring lock anchor, but instead were similar to Hoji in not anchoring the cuff in forward flex direction. Lou

  37. swissiphic January 29th, 2018 4:01 pm

    For the record I did a deep dive at the website the skiers manifesto and though it fried my brain, tried to create the ‘feel’ of forward flex and boot fit using the ideas presented. Ankle glide path, metatarsels/forefoot unencumbered spread, allow the arch to fully pronate, etc…. mind blowing stuff really.

  38. swissiphic January 29th, 2018 4:08 pm

    Lou; roger that; key word ‘mostly’.

    I hear you, i’ve also tuned reasonable feeling flex out of my archived quiver of ‘mostly’ ski touring boots but none feel as good as my modded vulcans. dynafit tlt 4s, Garmont megarides and All Terrains with various forms of tweaked raichle flexon comp tongues.

    Also, none have exhibited the lateral precision of the vulcans and, for me, the glove like anatomical fit (albeit after extensive mucho punching and molding of the shells).

    The achilles heel of the vulcans, imo, is the kinda soft rear support but i’m working on the fix for that too. 😉

  39. See January 29th, 2018 7:14 pm

    I had a pair of the old alpine boots with the springs, and I believe they even had a ski/walk lever. I don’t remember having any issues with the cuff mechanism, but I didn’t ski them very long because they didn’t fit and when I took them in to get punched (my first “bootfiting” experience) the shop basically destroyed them. Strange thing is that they were definitely alpine boots, but Dynafit brand if I recall correctly. Not sure what that was about.

  40. swissiphic January 30th, 2018 1:36 am

    see; yeah, i thought they were dynafits as well…couldn’t recall the model name…cf4 or something? did a quick google search, couldn’t find ’em.

  41. Dabu January 30th, 2018 8:49 pm

    Looks like we are getting closer to the Holy Grail every year. I’m currently skiing the new Maestrale RS. Really fantastic boot with a cuff range greater on paper than the Hoji. How do these boots compare? They seem like they would be in the same class, but I don’t know. Does the Hoji ski that much better? Thanks.

  42. Jørgen Aamot February 8th, 2018 5:42 am

    Hello Lou
    Do you know if the Hoji boot can be used with Marker Kingpin boots? If not, what is the reason?
    I have heard from the Norwegian distributer that they are NOT kingpin compatible, but is it possible to do so anyway, will it work?
    Best wishes from Norway.
    Jørgen Aamot,
    thanks, subscribed

  43. Lou Dawson 2 February 8th, 2018 8:44 am

    I don’t see anything that would cause problems for Kingpin, but bench testing is mandatory with any sort of tech binding. Lou

  44. Pablo February 12th, 2018 10:57 am

    Hi all,
    I’ve just carpet test the Hoji boot.
    And I still thinking about something…

    As far as the flex is not determined by the tongue flexion…don’t you think that the tongue is actually unnecesary in this boot??

    I feel they flex quite similar with or without the tongue fixed in it’s place, but walkability improves in a lot…

    If I have one of this I sure try to take off this tongue and save some grams off. How much grams can weight that tongue? around 150?

    The only thing to no remove the tongue is the lack of a gaiter to prevent wáter in.

  45. Lou Dawson 2 February 12th, 2018 12:04 pm

    Pablo, I think you might be guessing at another Dynafit boot model design (smile). The Hoji-Lock has a lot of potential. Lou

  46. Pablo February 12th, 2018 2:32 pm

    IMHO Hoji boot will improve without tongue.
    Nothing to lose and much to gain…

  47. JD March 23rd, 2018 10:03 pm

    Hmmm the Hoji has about the same stats as the atomic hawx xtd (same weight, same ROM, both stiff and progressive).. with two very different reviews on this site. Would you edit the review to say that the hoji “isn’t a ski touring boot” as was the verdict for the atomic?

    I love the fit/down performance potential of both but am wondering if these are so much better or a case of Dynafit fanboyism from wildsnow??:P

  48. Lou Dawson 2 March 24th, 2018 7:19 am

    Opinions change… I probably won’t be doing any editing, though I’ve been known to do so. Based on our various tests I can say there are two things about the Hoji that really are impressive even after time has damped our fanboy cheer squad performance (smile). The one-motion mode change is cool, and it truly does ski downhill with an unusually sweet flex for such a boot. I’d also add that the Hawx and Hoji are different enough in construction to make a direct comparison difficult. If you’re trying to use reviews to pick between the two boots, that would seem to be as confusing as it would be useful. At the least, a side-by-side carpet test of both boots would be mandatory. And as always, we caution against early adoption of ski touring gear. Lou





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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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