Side-by-side comparo of the Hoji Pro and Free
“Twins; God’s way of saying one of you is a rough draft.” I’m not sure the human twins I know would appreciate that little meme, or perhaps it is “twin humor” I don’t quite get? In any case, I thought it applied nicely to gear with similar names and designs, and our constant struggle to parse out the differences. In this case Hoji Pro and Hoji Free ski touring boots. Is there a rough draft in the pair? Read on.
First, if there is any endless issue with ski boots, it’s “last width,” that ethereal non-standard way of explicating a boot’s roominess on your foot. Free is noticeably lower volume, both in width and height. In fact, Free has an entire refrigerator less volume, much less than the numbers would indicate. It’s specified as a 102 mm last (verified by Skialper magazine Buyer Guide 2020), while the Pro is listed as either 103 or 103.5 (depending on your source, and measured as 103.5 by Skialper). Let’s be generous, and say the difference is a Godzilla sized 1.5 millimeters, or the width of 15 sheets of average printer paper (yes Virginia, I measured). Or more practically pictured as a boot fitting project: 4 layers of Gorilla tape.