Dynafit Hoji Pro Ski Tour Boot — Fritschi Evo Tecton Toe Jam

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 12, 2018      
  (This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry)

Knowing the discerning denizens of the jungle known as the internet will pick up on this, I figured we might as well get on it. Essentially, an addendum to Gary’s excellent Hoji review yesterday.

Fritschi Tecton and Evo bindings are known

Fritschi Tecton and Evo bindings are known to ‘bump’ your boot toe while touring, sometimes damaging the boot, other times simply being an annoyance or interfering with kick turns while using high heel lifters. Rumor is Fritschi has changed the binding toe to help with this, but until we see that… Click images to enlarge.

We thought it PSA worthy to illustrate that Hoji does exacerbate the effect. Why? Simply because the Hoji tech fittings at the toe are located a few millimeters rearward of the ‘standard’ position, thus moving the toe box closer to the binding ‘bump.’ Is this a deal breaker in terms of pairing the exciting Hoji with the equally compelling Tecton? Perhaps yes for extended ski touring, clearly not if you’re building a rig for mostly downhill use and occasional uphill.

(For those new to ski touring gear, please know that we’re talking specifically about the Fritschi bindings here, most other tech bindings do not present these sorts of problems, and bench testing will tell you the story with any boot-binding combo. Also, important, note this post is not about the boot triggering binding toe opening during forward release. FYI, Hoji does that just fine.)

Comparison  rig for ski touring boots and bindings.

Comparison rig: Scott Cosmos is typical of “standard” soled ski touring boots; Dynafit Hoji has their proprietary ‘Speed Nose.’ We like the improved tech fitting location the Speed Nose provides, but do not prefer it paired with Fritschi tech bindings.

This comparison clearly shows Hoji reduced heel lift distance.

This comparison clearly shows Hoji reduced heel lift distance due to the boot toe impacting the binding. I did wonder how much this impacted touring in real life, so I did my duty for Ullr and country, put on my Hoji boots, clipped into the skis, and did a ‘ski’ touring around our yard with a climb up our porch steps. With heel lift, I found the boot toe did often do the bump thang, to the point of being annoying, especially while kick turning.

Hoji on top also shows the difference.

Hoji on top also shows the difference.

Conclusion? While we’re not huge fans of the Speed Nose, we like the rearward located tech fittings of Hoji. We do not recommend pairing Hoji with Tecton or other Fritschi tech bindings. To be fair, know that all other ski touring boots do experience this toe bump and compromised heel lift when paired with Fritschi tech bindings. Takeaway here is that Hoji exacerbates the problem.

Conclusion number two: What bindings would work adequately with Hoji? I’d venture the Dynafit ST Rotation, Radical ST/FT 2 or the G3 Ion as examples. Though in the end, if you’re truly skiing freeride style, bindings that do not release to the side at the heel are where it’s all headed.


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19 Responses to “Dynafit Hoji Pro Ski Tour Boot — Fritschi Evo Tecton Toe Jam”

  1. Gary S September 11th, 2018 11:41 am

    Bummer Lou!

    Also failed to mention that the Kingpin is not compatible. This is official from Dynafit but I can personally confirm it after two double ejections while testing the Hoji on piste before given notice! Shift, Tecton, and Kingpin incompatibility will keep people sticking to the light gear!

  2. Cody September 11th, 2018 1:37 pm

    “did often do the bump thang”

    So did it actually release when kick turning? Or was it just the noise that bothered you?

  3. Lou Dawson 2 September 11th, 2018 2:17 pm

    Neither with Tecton, it stays on your foot, but the obstruction of the toe unit prevent fluid snap-kick turns as well as messing up your stride if you’re using high heel lift. Lou

  4. Cody September 11th, 2018 2:45 pm

    I thought the WS stance was to not promote high lifter use, so to create better skin tracks? 😛 #deathtothehighlifter

    I’d take slight annoyance to protect myself and get better skiing performance. But to each their own.

  5. Lou Dawson 2 September 11th, 2018 4:09 pm

    Can someone explain what the problem is when pairing Hoji to Kingpin? I’ve got them here on the bench and I’m not seeing it in terms of pre-release, though I do notice that during lateral release check the heel tends to bind rather than freely moving to the side. Neither myself nor I’m sure Marker like hearing something doesn’t work, but not hearing why. It’s like Cam at G3 says, if you can’t measure it, don’t talk about it. Or in this case, if you can’t at least hint on why, don’t claim it.

  6. Ben G September 11th, 2018 4:24 pm

    I played with a pair of Hojis last year. The heel looks fine but when measured it is several mm smaller in multiple dimensions and definitely less solid in the techton heel piece compared to a Maestrale 2.0

  7. Lou Dawson 2 September 11th, 2018 4:36 pm

    Thanks Ben! The ski touring DIN/ISO boot standard does allow a few mm deviation, I’m assuming the Hoji heel shape is DIN, while of course the toe is not. Perhaps I’m wrong, and they didn’t worry about the DIN dimensions for the heel… Lou

  8. Pablo September 12th, 2018 2:23 am

    It would be nice to hace a notice from Marker or from Dynafit about actual compatibility of their products.

    Last Spring, Fritschi made a table with compatibilities and other issues between their bindings and different models of boots

  9. Bill September 16th, 2018 9:23 pm

    I find it odd Dynafit would release a 1400g boot which isn’t comparable with any of the more powerful touring bindings on the market (Shift, Kingpin, Tecton)

    It’s seems as if Dynafit doesn’t consider compatibility with non Dynafit products to be a design criteria. I don’t see a closed loop of Dynafit products to be a particularly successful sales strategy, at least in NA.

  10. Lou Dawson 2 September 17th, 2018 7:10 am

    Hi Bill, the Hoji is innovative and does have an amazing flex in downhill mode, I as well find it odd they went with the toe, my guess is an internal gear design cabal within the company likes the Speed Nose and insisted on it. What happens in terms of that being a business decision is up for grabs, I give it 50/50 as to whether the Speed Nose is a sales problem or not. The boot works fine in any classic tech binding, and if the Tecton is re-designed with a better toe latch, that’ll be the toe-lateral-release binding of choice for the boot and will be quite the cool combo. I’m on the optimistic side of 50/50, as I’ve been around the world observing so called “freeride touring” skiers, and the trend is almost always to use minimalist classic tech bindings on big skis. Again, that combo will work fine with the Hoji.

    Lastly, classic tech bindings can be built so they freeride. Powerful toe springs and innovative toe unit geometry are the first step, examples being Plum, ATK, G3. Dynafit has done ok in this regard as well, with gradual increase in toe spring strength as well as the rotating toe of the Rotation models. I’m not 100% convinced on the rotation, as it creates a binding that depends entirely on sideways heel tension, exactly the thing a Fritschi Tecton gets away from. But if you’re willing to ski a fairly high RV value, I’d agree the Rotation probably defends against accidental toe release due to vibration working the binding pins out of the toe fittings. Ideal would be to spring load that toe rotation, that would be beautiful, though probably add too much weight.

  11. Bill September 17th, 2018 11:32 am

    I agree the Hoji boot is an ingenious concept with an impressive walk mode. While I wasn’t as impressed with the forward flex of the boot, the ease of transitions and ROM is especially impressive.

    I use relatively minimalist bindings in most of my touring skis (mix of superlights and new atomic backlands). However on wider skis (105mm and wider) I find the conventional 2 pin heel piece doesn’t offer the same lateral power transfer i’d like, hence the focus on shift, tecton, and kingpin.

    The Rotation does nothing for me the Tecton doesnt without any savings in weight or cost.

  12. Andy September 20th, 2018 5:30 am

    Thanks Lou for pointing this out!

    Is there some insight on this ‘bump’ issue/annoyance (or any other compatibility issues one should be aware of) when pairing Vipec Evo/Tecton with a Scarpa F1 boot? (2017, manual lock)

    I wonder if I should get a Fritschi now for next season or wait until Fritschi improves the toe eventually.

  13. Lou Dawson 2 September 20th, 2018 11:54 am

    The most important thing is that the boot triggers release of binding toe, during upward-forward release while in ski mode. Otherwise you’re locked in there with the ski flopping around like sheet metal in a tornado. This is incredibly easy to test on bench, I prefer to leave it at that, as different size/models/years of boots can be different. Beyond that, the toe jam syndrome I detail above is your second concern. Again easy to carpet test.

    Rumor has it the Tecton toe will be changed, that’s just a rumor at this time. I’d imagine they can figure something out, but the constraint is the boot needs to bump the binding toe during forward release, this results in geometry causing boot to bump in touring mode.


  14. Don Trop October 30th, 2018 9:09 am

    Lou – reading through the message thread seems to indicate that all models of Vipec has the bump issue – but just to confirm (since I have the older “white” Vipec on a pair of skis – the bump issue is also w/ the white Vipec?

  15. Justin December 16th, 2018 10:19 pm

    I just purchased the 2019 Hoji Pro Tour and carpet tested it on a 2018 Helio 105 with 2018 Tecton 12s. Also put in my 2018 La Sportiva Synchro against it. Few things

    1. Confirmed the Synchro has more forward travel in the Tecton Binding than the Hoji Pro Tour by about 10-15 degrees as measured by the heel of the boot

    2. The issue with the Hoji and Tecton is that the toe of the Hoji boot contacts a smaller bumper (one that as a green strip on top of it) on the Tecton before contacting the larger bumper that releases the toe pins in a forward fall.

    3. When testing the Synchro, the more “standard” location of the tech fittings is forward enough to prevent the Synchro from contacting this smaller bumper on the Tecton.

    I have a picture of #2 that clearly illustrates this which I would be happy to send over to you Lou. I believe this could be remedied by reducing the size of this smaller bumper using a file or dremmel tool. Having not yet seen this new, improved toe from Fritschi, I’m betting this is the fix.

  16. Lou Dawson 2 December 17th, 2018 8:33 am

    Hi Justin, all detailed here:

    The Hoji Pro with Speed Nose clearly does not have as much touring stride range as most other boots, in Tecton-Evo, though you could still tour it.

    Grinding away some of the small plastic block (with green bar) might give a degree or two more range, but that’s just theory. Few people will want to grind on their ski bindings, thus not only voiding warranty but also introducing unknown safety issues. Really, a skier can choose between literally hundreds of boot models that work as designed.


  17. Werner Gassner February 11th, 2019 8:39 am

    I spoke today with Fritschi – they are aware of the problem and the newest Tecton was modified to eliminate it.
    So if you want to buy a Tecton and will use a Hoji I would insist that they sell you the newest version or check with Fritschi if there version is a modified one.



  18. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2019 1:24 pm

    Werner, you’re not reading WildSnow often enough.



  19. Dave March 1st, 2019 4:01 pm

    Seconding Don’s question above: “just to confirm (since I have the older “white” Vipec on a pair of skis – the bump issue is also w/ the white Vipec?”

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