Stunning New BD Boot Line Could Upset the Industry

Post by blogger | January 4, 2008      

Had a nice ski tour in Austria today, but before talking about that and more Dynafit stuff I have to slip in some info about the new Black Diamond boot line that just went public.

Pictured below are a few of BD’s new AT boots. Interestingly, each AT boot (more than those pictured) has the option for AT rockered sole blocks with “tech” inserts that accept Dynafit bindings (these are attached with a sliding, four-screw system) or alpine blocks with no-slip soles, which are alpine DIN.

What is wild about all this is that I just got a look at the new Dynafit freeride boot, and it too has a nicely engineered removable sole system, of which one configuration provides the Dynafit fittings. Great minds think alike?

Also interesting is that the older style (without lead-in notch) Dynafit boot fittings went out of patent, so now BD can have their own fittings made and installed, so long as they call them “tech.”

We’ll of course be interested if these non OEM Dynafit fittings work as well as the OEM from Dynafit. An engineer friend tells me there is no good reason they won’t, but the analysis of metal hardness and dimensions has to be taken to a good level to have that happen.

In the end, we see the new BD boot line as an incredibly positive development for consumers. We hope that by having boots made in the far east instead of Europe, BD will have prices that are less stratospheric than the type of Euro exchange rate boot MSRPs we’ve been seeing. More, it can’t hurt for boot makers to get into a feature war. All that said, I’ll be surprised if any of the BD boots have the performance/weight ratio of the Dynafit Green Machine. But I’d say that’s something to watch for.

Black Diamond Verdict backcountry ski

Black Diamond Verdict backcountry ski

BD sent me a PDF of the new boots, but it’s too huge for web publication.


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7 Responses to “Stunning New BD Boot Line Could Upset the Industry”

  1. Clark January 4th, 2008 3:08 pm

    Lou – forget the BD boot talk, we want some of that Austria tour stoke! 😉

  2. Lou January 4th, 2008 3:09 pm

    It’s coming!!!!!

  3. Tom G January 4th, 2008 4:36 pm

    Wow, it’s cool to finally see these after so much hype. These certainly don’t appear to be super light weight, and I have to think that all the plastic and fasteners necessary to incorporate swapable soles adds weight too. So I’m with Lou in my intial reaction that they can’t possibly be as light as the Zzero. But the scale will tell the truth. I also have to wonder how well the overlap design will tour, although I’m sure it will ski better than the external tounge style boots. And, as an engineer, I’m certain that they won’t have trouble making “Tech” fittings that work flawlessly with the Dynafit binding – if the exercise some care. All that said, I have to think that an alpine style boot with some tour function and swapable Dynafit compatible soles will only make the Dynafit binding more popular. I have to admit I’m not thrilled about products made in China as their social and environmental track record is less than stellar. So, I’ll probably be willing to pay an extra $100 for a boot from Euroland (although the Euros haven’t always had the best track record either!). But that’s me, and I’m sure there are lots of people for who the cost savings will be significant, nothing wrong with that. I’m sure BD won’t undercut the Euro prices any more than they have to in order to garner market share.

    And, like Clark said, lets see and read about the goods in Austria!

  4. Tony January 4th, 2008 6:37 pm

    Lou, do you know how the foam in the liners of the new BD boots compares to that found in the two different kinds you reviewed earlier? BD calls their foam “proprietary”, but I am wondering if they get it from one of the two foam makers you mentioned earlier.

  5. Lou January 5th, 2008 10:44 am

    I do wonder if it’s truly unique. No idea at this point, but when I’m back and have test samples, the WildSnow modshop will kick the foam’s proverbial rear end and see it it’s got the stuff of good liner material!

    At this point, please realize all I have for info is the PR.

  6. Rich M January 6th, 2008 10:48 am

    All comments well taken. Nice to have an Americian company in the game

  7. scottyb January 7th, 2008 7:25 am

    Hi Lou. Got a couple questions for ya. These new boots are interesting but they will not be availible till next year? I have been looking hard at an AT setup for this year and its really difficult to choose. I was looking at the Scarpa F3 but got to thinking I already have T2s that I tele with several sets of boards.

    What I have foucused my attention on for boots are the Spirit 4 and the Mega ride. I have read some of what is written here and other site about both but would like a non salesperson account of the pro/con of both. I feel that to round out my quiver I should get a burly boot that I can still tour as I don’t want to give up that option.

    My ski picks are the K2 Mt. Baker SL or the Volkl Snow Wolf and the Dynafit TLT SL binder. Will the Mega Ride boot be enough the drive this combo or should I go the Spirit 4 route?

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