Tossing the Insert Salad — ‘Dynafit’ Tech Boot Fittings

Post by blogger | January 2, 2019      

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Dynafit.

In the case of the three Dynafit type fittings we outline below, we recommend the Dynafit certified versions rather than those made by various second parties. With new boots, certified fittings are indicated by a red plastic clip-seal on the toe of the boot, as pictured above. Click images to enlarge.

In the case of the three “Dynafit” type tech fittings we outline below, we favor the Dynafit certified versions rather than those made by various second parties. With new boots, certified fittings are indicated by a red plastic clip-seal on the toe of the boot, as pictured above. Note the TUV badge as well, see note at end of this post. Click images to enlarge.

If you don’t chop your salad too fine, you can pick out those tasty chunks of artichoke. Likewise, we are in a good, but not exceptional place these days with ski boot “tech” fittings. Those little steel lugs at the toe and heel, designed to attach various binding options. We presently have five or six items in the salad (including La Sportiva variations). The four “Dynafit” types are detailed here, see this post for La Sportiva.

Following, official names with the shorthand we use while blogging (and making salad orders at our local ski shop).

Dynafit Standard tech fitting on the toe of this boot, notice the extra sole material. MORE, this is the only fitting, Dynafit or otherwise, that provides a smooth outer profile to the sole, which is best for bindings such as Salomon Shift. (That said, Quick Step works in Shift, but is not forgiving of any shortening of the sole due to wear.

Dynafit Standard tech insert on the heel and toe, notice the thickness of the sole material under the toe fitting. This is the only type fitting that provides a smooth outer profile to the sole, which is best for bindings such as Salomon Shift. The Dynafit Quick Step is certified to function with Shift as well. In either case, with Shift, bench evaluation of release is mandatory. Some boot makers produce their own fittings. While those can work, we prefer the Dynafit branded fittings, which have thus far been indicated by a red plastic clip as shown in our lead photo above.

Dynafit Standard Insert (Standard): The original Dynafit retail version, simple, effective. More room for boot sole material at toe, slightly more difficult to enter binding than other versions of toe fittings. Heel unit is attached with small hidden pins and one small screw. Overall, this is our favorite insert (though our fantasy inserts use this toe along with Master Step heel). We wave our scarves in honor of inventor Fritz Barthel, who came up with this thing more than thirty years ago because he was “lazy,” and made something that is still the best. Why is this type of fitting so nutritious? The toe has no extra material. It is minimalist. Thus, your boot sole has room to wear. Downside is the heel unit attachment, which is somewhat weak.

Dynafit Quick Step In (QSI) toe insert fitting.

Dynafit Quick Step In (QSI) toe insert fitting. Uses the same heel insert as Standard fitting pictured above. At first glance, can be confused with Master Step below, note that Master Step heel fitting is obviously different, the toe is a different shape.

Dynafit Quick Step In (QSI) (Quick Step): Standard lead-in notch at toe that can help with binding entry. Yet the heel unit is identical to the Standard type fitting. We’ve seen problems with this type of heel fitting’s durability. The Master Step heel is much better. So you have a Faustian bargain. If you want the stronger heel, you’re stuck with either the Quick Step or Master Step toe. You can probably live with it. Life is so harsh…

Dynafit Master Step is easiest to ID by the heel fitting.

Dynafit Master Step is easiest to ID by the heel fitting (left). It is attached from the inside, stronger than Standard and Quick Step versions. Pictured here on toe of Dynafit Hoji Pro model boot

Dynafit Master Step (Master Step): (Enhanced lead-in at toe, vastly improved heel that’s fastened from inside the boot.)

Note that La Sportiva makes their own inserts, compatible with both the Trab TR2 and most “Dynafit” type bindings. Sportiva now offers a confusing variety of their inserts. We’ll detail those in a separate post.

Mystery inserts (who do you trust?): Various boot companies make their own Dynafit type inserts, with mixed success. We’ve had more than one bad experience with this, like finding a bug in your salad: inserts that wear quickly, inserts that don’t safety release correctly from the binding. As there is no official industry standard for inserts, this is a major “buyer beware.” That’s not to say you should avoid buying boots with insert copies, only you should be extra careful. Watch social media for consumer “testing” gone awry, and be sure to test boot/binding combinations for proper safety release. To be fair, over the years we’ve seen a few problems with official Dynafit inserts as well (though not as often). Again, trust by verify.

(Note: TUV is a for-profit company that tests products for conformance to norms and standards. Such standards can be any of numerous flavors. Standards can be legally mandated by government, or agreed within the industry and formalized through the ISO organization, OR simply provided by a company as an “internal” standard. For example, if I wanted to write a standard for how many periods I used in a blog post, I could pay TUV to test my blog posts and certify them. The Dynafit fittings seal is a good example of an “internal” standard. There is no legally mandated standard for tech fittings, nor is there an ISO norm-standard. Instead, if the TUV badge is on the boot seal, one would assume Dynafit simply supplied their own voluntary-internal standard to TUV, which TUV then tested for. All that said, the entire system of norms and standards, TUV, ISO and DIN is a confusing jungle. As a consumer, your job ONE is to either know how to test binding-boot combinations yourself, or else work with a competent retailer who can do it for you.)

(Important note! As the Master Step toe fitting may not be as compatible with DIN alpine binding toes a the Quick Step In or Standard toe fittings, you’ll see boots mixing the salad parts. For example, the Hoji Free boot for fall 2019 will have a Master Step heel and Quick Step In toe.)


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


9 Responses to “Tossing the Insert Salad — ‘Dynafit’ Tech Boot Fittings”

  1. Kam DH January 2nd, 2019 1:54 pm

    The lack of boot sole thickness near the sole is a real issue, especially if you tend to scramble on rocky, broken terrain. Buying a boot with the older style inserts can end up getting you an extra season or two before your soles are beat. I also find that the Dynafit sole material (Mercury, Neo) wears much quicker than my Atomic Backland.

  2. Cody January 3rd, 2019 10:38 am

    The safety of my knees now demand TUV certified Wildsnow blog posts.


    Can’t wait for the Sportiva version of this.

  3. Tom January 3rd, 2019 12:34 pm

    Where can you purchase the dynafit toe and heel inserts?

  4. Billy January 3rd, 2019 3:40 pm

    Tom, Head on down to the purchasing office of your boot manufacturing plant and have them place the order. They know.

  5. Jim Milstein January 3rd, 2019 9:10 pm

    This comment is TÜV certified for grammar, spelling, and punction.

  6. Christopher January 4th, 2019 2:08 am

    Anyone knows how well Dalbello’s tech insert fares? Since they are not “dynafit certified”

  7. Lou Dawson 2 January 4th, 2019 9:21 am

    Last time I tested a set of Dalbello, they did ok. Every insert has to be tested individually, just like you test alpine bindings after they’re mounted. Lou

  8. Randy January 4th, 2019 11:22 pm

    I am considering the fritschi tecton will the scott cosmos work with the tecton? (I am looking for a replacement for my old garmont megarides and I understand the scotts are similar fit to the old garmonts, is there another boot I should consider that would be similar fit to the megarides and compatible with the tecton?)

  9. Lou Dawson 2 January 5th, 2019 6:23 am

    Hi Randy, I’ve used Cosmos in Tecton, but as always you’ll need to bench test your exact combination. Lou

Anti-Spam Quiz:

While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • 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.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    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.

    Switch To Mobile Version