Dynafit Mercury TF
A great "quiver of one" boot that is equally capable…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: NZ $1200
A great "quiver of one" boot that is equally capable of driving your skis on piste, doing laps in the side country, as well as downhill focussed backcountry touring.
- Good stiffness
- Excellent walk mode
- Nimble / hikable sole
- Adaptable with the removable tounge
- Removable tounge can be fiddly
- Difficult to don with laces in liners
I had been using the Garmont Radiums to ski my K2 Hardsides (170cm long / 98mm underfoot) with the G3 Onyx binding. However after three return trips to the boot fitter, the Radiums just wouldn't do the job for me (they had too much volume for my feet). So the retailer swapped them out for a lower volume boot.
After re-evaluating my foot (low volume - square forefoot, medium-high arch with skinny ankles and calves) the Dynafit range seemed to be a good fit straight out of the box. It was a toss up between the Dynafit One and the Mercury, I ended up going for the Mercury as I tend to ski 30% on piste & 70% backcountry, and although I'm not hucking any cliffs the typical snow pack I ski tends to be on the firm side.
The obvious difference for these boots is the removable tounges. The boots can be skied with or without them, however they must be removed whenever you don/doff the boots.
The initial fitting was a bit worrying as the boot felt VERY tight across the top of the feet, however this was resolved when the liners were thermo-molded. Once the liners were cooked, they held my feet snuggly in the boot, with almost no heel lift, even pressure across the foot with plenty of wriggle room for the toes!
These boots would not suit a high volume foot.
The walk/ski mechanism is surprising simple to use and very effective - far superior to the standard mechanisms I had been used to on both the Garmont Radiums and the Lowa Strukturas.
The range of motion in walk mode is also very impressive, although this is limited in practice by the liner (which is rather stiff), and of course whether or not the removable tongues are in or not. However, you probably won't be buying this boot if you're the type doing massive long, low-angle approach tours. Even so, the walk/skinning mode is still far better than either of my previous two boots.
The boot sole length while longer than the TLT 5 (to accommodate use with Fritschi/Marker type bindings) is still short enough to make them very capable of walking/boot packing. They handled a couple of pitches of WI 1/2 ice climbing quite nicely too!
While it isn't (always) all about the down - it is kind of the point, and the Mercuries did everything that I asked. Over two days at Cragieburn and Broken River in about 10 - 18 inches of powder I had no issues at all driving my skis in the steeps or traversing etc - all without the removable tongues.
I have since skied them with the tongues in over three days on Mt Ruapehu both on the groomers and back country in a combination of hard refrozen wind affected snow, breakable crust and glorious squeaky dry compacted powder. Again, they handled all these conditions (including a long traverse over blue ice) with aplomb.
Getting into the boots was noticeably more difficult with the laces in the liners (I ended up removing them). Skiing with the tongues in did reduced the range of motion - but not enough to make it worth taking them out for shorter climbs on day trips.
Also the tounges can be a bit of a pain when you're putting the boots on.
The instep buckles sits quite low on the outside of the boot over the ankle area. This may be a bit of an issue if you spend time boot packing up deep snow.
I've also found that the instep / central buckle tends to get caught on the inner shell while donning/doffing the boots. This has the potential to put crimps into the shell.
An excellent lightweight, downhill oriented, performance touring boot for those with lower volume feet. The tongues offer the advantage of being able to easily modify the boot between a more tour or a down hill oriented mode.
I found the lateral stiffness impressive, while the fore-aft stiffness very good also. I couldn't imagine anyone skiing the backcountry needing anything stiffer (ie the Vulcan).
The boots has two forward lean settings and the buckles which can be macro adjusted by re-positioning the latches. The buckles also has the standard mirco fine adjustment as you would expect.
While I've only been skiing these boots a week so far, to date they are a leap ahead of the Radiums. It just remains to see how they stand up to wear and tear over time, which is the only reason I didn't give them a five star rating.
Update - January 2014
After using these boots for a full season, skiing both South Island club fields, North Island commercial fields, and plenty of backcountry pretty much everywhere in between, I'm very pleased with these boots.
They have shown almost no sign of wear, despite approx 50 odd days use — including at least 40 with at least some backcountry / skinning.
These boots kick the arse out of anything I've skied before. Unless you're on the pro Big Mountain tour, the Mercuries will provide all the boot any BC ski tourer will require. Highly recommended (if they fit your feet of course!).
The boots still look like and ski new — a definite five stars from me.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Dynafit Mercury TF Alpine Touring Boots are the Dynafit Vulcan's little brother. It offers top skiing performance - the ability to drive modern freeride skis at any speed, the possibility to customize forward stiffness thanks to a removable DOWNHILL BOOSTER TONGUE and optimal heel retention while skiing and landing big drops thanks to a central buckle system (45 degrees). The Mercury TF boots combine skiing performance, walk-ability and lightness with the patented technologies that made the TLT5 so popular among the best skiers in the world. The Dynafit Mercury's cuff benefits from a fiberglass reinforced TPU in the rear, while the front of the cuff is molded with pebax. This offers a high level of support and performance at a lower price than the carbon fiber Vulcan. The Mercury is compatible with all touring bindings on the market. The series liner is similar to One. Dynafit Quick-Step-in. Standard Touring. Liner: One-Vulcan-Mercury TF Universal. If you're into fast and light touring but want a boot that can handle more powerful skiing, check out these Dynafit touring boots. Length: 26, 26.5, 27, 27.5, 28, 28.5, 29, 29.5, 30. Weight: 1600 g (size 27.5). Shell: Grilamid. Cuff: Fiberglass reinforced Grilamid. Buckle: Ultra-Lock System 2.0. Last: 102mm. Forward lean: 15 degrees - 18 degrees & Walkmode. Cuff rotation: 60 degrees. Sole: Dynafit Pro Freeride. Field of use: Freeride Touring, Ski Touring. Color: White/Black
- Tahoe Mountain Sports
The Dynafit Mercury TF randonee boots offer great walkability and lightness for the approach and excellent skiing performance for descents at mach speeds and landing big drops in the backcountry.
The Mercury TF Alpine Touring Boot will drive any modern ski with power and precision, and with Tech fittings at the toe, this boot plays nice with your Tech bindings and it ascends with the sort of efficiency that may lead you to believe that you're riding an elevator to the summit. A touring boot is nothing with a capability to flex freely in walk mode, and offer rigidity in ski mode, and the Mercury accomplishes both handily. The shell benefits from the rigidity and weight savings of fiberglass reinforced TPU at the heel, and the flexibility of molded pebax from the front of the cuff forward. For skiers who can crush a standard boot tongue easily, the Mercury offers a removable Booster tongue with improves forward stiffness quickly and easily. A quick flip of a lever frees the cuff to rotation up to 60 degrees (total range, front to back) to take the stress off your shins when you're striding along on a skin track or so you can freely move to achieve the perfect footing on a knife ridge or tight boot pack. Sure, the Mercury TF performs, but it doesn't leave comfort by the wayside as a result. The One Vulcan liner boasts a roomy 102mm of width, it can be thermally molded to fit the exact contour of your foot, and the internal fabric feels smooth and warm. The instep area was kept to a lower volume to provide a more precise fit for a variety of foot shapes and sizes, and when coupled with the instep buckle that's built into the shell, this low volume design ensures a responsive and comfortable fit. Just like its big brother (the Vulcan TF), the Mercury TF is compatible with Tech bindings and all types of alpine touring bindings. Aggressive outsole lugs give you traction when you're out of your skis, and Dynafit's engineers included a few extra-rigid lugs to prevent flex or movement at the toe or heel when the Mercury is engaged in an alpine touring binding. Dynafit used carbon fiber components to make the Vulcan TF lighter than this boot, the Mercury T...
For the new generation of Freeriders, the Dynafit Mercury AT Ski Boots offer climbing agility without compromise to performance on the downhill.
Dynafit built the Mercury for a new generation of freeriders who demand climbing ability without any sacrifice in downhill performance. Able to drive modern skis at any speed, the Mercury brings the walk-ability and light weight that made their TLT5 an icon. Compatible with any touring binding on the market, the sole has TPU lugs to eliminate the play when you're locked into a traditional freeride binding.
- Mountain Gear