Many have lamented the “Speed Nose” toe Dynafit includes on a number of their boot models. Scroll through the Wildsnow archives and you will find comments such as, “The one drawback in the Hoji Boot’s design is the unfortunate inclusion of the Speed Nose.” That’s from me six months ago. Lou’s concerns are known as well. While it’s common for discussion of the Speed Nose limitations to lament incompatibility with bindings such as the Shift as well as incompatibility with “normal” crampons, my concerns are more about having a strong, effective “real” crampon. Dynafit’s minimalist aluminum Cramp-In solution is innovative, but how “real” is it? How much should I really be concerned — how rad do I really get climbing in my ski boots? How often am I kicking blue ice with serious fall potential?
I have used Dynafit’s Cramp-In with my Hoji Pro Tour boots for about a month now. Dynafit’s party line is these are more upgrade than band-aid for non-technical ski boot crampons — that they’re “real.” My impressions, after 8,000 vertical feet or so of steep snow booting and rocky ridgeline traverses on the Cramp-In’s, are largely positive and align with Dynafit, with a few concerns.