Boot Comparo – Backcountry Skiing

Post by blogger | December 20, 2005      

Did more “frontcountry” skiing and boot/binding/ski testing up at Aspen Highlands yesterday. The steeps had a few too many bumps for my taste, and Highland Bowl was closed, so back to extreme blogging (and hopefully back to the backcountry tomorrow).

To that end, a number of people have asked me how the Dynafit Aero, Garmont Megaride and Scarpa Laser with Flexon tongue compare as to stiffness. I spent some time this morning working on that — here is my take. First, know that both Garmont and Scarpa makes stiffer boots now (Garmont Adrenaline, etc.), so I’m not picking favorites here or make recommendations. The boots in question happen to be three of the more beefy Dynafit compatible boots out there, and are what I’ve chosen to work with this year, so I’m offering what information I can. For other reviews of the Aero check our “Boot Reviews category via menu to right.

Backcountry skiing boots
From left: Scarpa Laser with Flexon tongue, Dynafit Aero, Garmont Megaride

All the boots are similar in height front and back.

Dynafit cuff is higher on the sides.

Laser/Flexon has smoothest progressive forward flex (gets stiffer as you flex forward), smidge softer than Megaride.

Dynafit has forward flex that is similar to Megaride for first inch or so, then it gets extremely resistant because there are stops built into the cuff that limit forward flex (see detail photo below). These could be ground out for a more progressive flex, but since this is still a thin plastic touring boot they’re probably a good idea.

Megaride flexes much more like a touring boot than the Dynafit Aero, meaning when you drive your shin forward you can see more bulging in the shell, and the tongue moves back and forth because of play in the tongue hinge. As you can see in the photo, the Megaride has a tongue similar to a Flexon, this results in a nice smooth progressive flex.

Dynafit easily has the stiffest feel overall and would be best for performance skiers who spend time touring as well as riding helicopters or lifts, Megaride in my opinion has the best mix of stiff /flex/weight for longer backcountry tours, Laser/Flexon has a very nice “Flexon” flex and is still a fine boot as well.

Thanks goes out to Garmont, Scarpa and Dynafit for supporting this ongoing evaluation.

Backcountry skiing boots
Highlighted area shows Dynafit Aero cuff flex limiter. The raised nub engages the shell when flexed and moved to right in photo.


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