Dynafit TLT 5 Mountain TF-X Boot
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This is an extremely light boot that is ideal for…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $710
This is an extremely light boot that is ideal for fast touring. If you value the up as much as the down, this boot is great. Even if the down is more important, you'll have more gas in the tank to enjoy the descent with these boots.
- Light weight
- Excellent ankle range of motion
- Removeable tongues can be a hassle.
I am blown away by how much faster I can tour and how much more energy I have at the end of the day. I knew that getting lighter boots would make a difference but this is amazing. I can make uphill facing kick turns smoothly and in control whereas before, I always found it a bit unstable. I'm well into my second season with these boots and am very happy with them.
Because there is so much range of motion in the ankle, I find I seldom use the highest heel lift on my bindings. As well, it is easy to ski flat sections with the heel lift up because the cuff of the boot isn't pushing my leg forward. I can also drive my vehicle with the boots on without a problem.
The one "problem" is for short downhill sections in walk mode. Because your ankle is so free to move, it's not very forgiving so I have been throwing back the top buckle for sketchy sections and then releasing it afterwards. The transition from walk to ski is easy but having to insert the tongues is a bit fiddly and time consuming but for me, it is worth it. If the skiing is easy enough, I don't bother putting the tongues in for the descent.
The uphill performance is so good without the tongue and the downhill performance is much better with the tongue. For downhill performance, I'm quite happy to know I can slip in the tongue if I want. The boots are more than stiff enough for me. I'm fairly light at 140lbs so someone heavier may want more.
I have skis that are 110mm underfoot and feel like there's no problem getting them to go where I want. I've skied a mix of hard windslab and knee deep light powder. A heavier, stiffer boot is far more forgiving and will allow for sloppy technique so if you're like me you may have to adjust/improve your skiing to accommodate this boot.
When boot packing, the lower buckle will come undone in hard snow. As well, the plastic is thin and relatively soft so it is easily scratched up by rocks. If you walk on or climb rocks often with your ski boots, you'll notice these are not as durable as a big, burly boot.
Note that the boot sole length is much shorter for a given size than other boots. The difference equates to about a size and a half, maybe 2 sizes. Expect to have to adjust or remount your bindings. As well, these boots will ONLY work with tech bindings (Dynafit, Plum, G3 Onyx). You might get away with using a Silvretta binding with toe bail but you'd have to confirm that.
The lower buckle loop is easily removable with I translate to easily losable. I haven't lost one, yet, but I'd like to get a spare to carry in case I do lose one.
The Velcro on the power strap leaves a lot of the "loop" side exposed and this has quickly worn out the elastic cuff on the internal gaiter of my pants. I used to just grab my pants and pull up to get them above the boot but I now make sure I get my fingers under the elastic first and pull it away from the Velcro before pulling them up.
The boots fit narrow so if you have a wide foot, they may not work for you. If you're borderline, a good boot fitter can probably get you comfortable in them. I put mine on right out of the box and haven't had a problem but with other boots, I've had to do a fair bit of work to get them comfortable.
I use the stock TF-X liner and it is not warm. I find that as soon as I stop moving, my feet get cold. I haven't been touring in anything colder than -20°C, but I think I'd want to take some countermeasures if I ever do.
I chose this boot over the TLT 5 Performance because I don't think I need the extra stiffness of the carbon cuff for the increase in price. This boot isn't for everyone but if you want to get faster without getting fitter, these boots will do it for you. If you struggle to keep up with your friends today, you can go faster than them tomorrow if you switch to these boots. Unless, of course, you already have lighter boots.