If you’ve been waiting for beefy Dynafit compatible ski boots, your wait is over. Garmont is giving us the Axon, Black Diamond has a new line that’s got people I know panting like dogs (we’ve got a review in the works), Scarpa offers the 4-buckle Spirit — and Dynafit is debuting one of the most beautifully designed heavy-duty rando boots I think I’ve ever seen.
It’s called the ZZeus. Instead of stuttering, just pronounce it “Zeus,” as in the the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and of the Greek Pantheon of gods. Is it worthy of the name? Not sure, but perhaps close. Check it out:
|Basically, this is an overlap cuff boot with an innovative closure under the lower buckles that slides to the side so it tends to snug the shell better, rather than crushing down on the top of your foot. The boot includes a cuff cant rivet, walking mode with excellent for/aft cuff articulation, and a truly nice liner that’s as strong and high-tech as any alpine boot. The interchangeable soles click on with the precision of a Lego brick, and are secured with screws. One set for standard alpine bindings, and one set for touring, (touring sole has Dynafit binding fittings, of course).|
|Check out this cutaway of the lower shell. Thick plastic that can take a beating and is easily punched by a boot fitter. A nice flat boot-board (not pictured) covers up the inside bottom.|
|Detail of a sole piece. It attaches with standard screws.|
|ZZeus in all its glory. I skied them on ice and hardpack. Not since my days of resort skiing with heavy, overlap cuff boots had I felt the kind of progressive flex and support these things have. If you’re in the market for a one-rig boot or just a heavy duty touring shoe you can take my word, these are worth a look.|
For the record, here is the Dynafit press release, lightly condensed and edited:
Winter 2008/09: Dynafit is launching their ZZeus ski boot with “Triple Binding Sole” (TBS) system, providing the Alpine Touring FreeRide skier with one boot, compatible with all binding systems: Dynafit, ISO Touring and ISO Alpine. The revolutionary NEW Dynafit Zzeus offers ski mountaineers, FreeRide-Tourers and more conventional alpine skiers the most aggressive off-piste skiing performance possible combining it with lightness and agility for touring. For those who climb what they aim to ski, choose to take a lift to the top, or simply head out-of-bounds, the ZZeus will deliver.
The success of Dynafit’s New Ski-Touring / Free-Touring Boots in 2007/08, with it’s debut of the Zzero line, and highly successful Zzero 4C (carbon 4 buckle boot), has set the stage for the ZZeus’s entry in the growing “Alpine Cross-Over” market. The Dynafit footwear team has an unrivaled alpine and touring ski boot design background. They combined forces to produce state-of-the-art technologies, resulting in the lightest ski mountaineering boots with the best ski performance and fit.
The Zzeus sets new standards in touring boot technology. The patented Triple Binding Sole is an innovative 3 part sole system. It enables the wearer to use all bindings by easily replacing the toe and heel section. The rubber alpine touring sole is compatible with Dynafit’s Patented Quick-Step-In system and all touring bindings within the ISO norm. The plastic alpine sole is also fully compatible with all ISO norm alpine bindings. You can change the sole very easily by using a screwdriver and simply sliding the integrated toe and heel sections off.
Another key design feature is the “alpine overlap” on the ZZeus. This construction offers more downhill support than ever before. The Alpine Overlap area allows for touring comfort and ease of entry but buckles down with an alpine-like feel. The “heel booster” reinforces the heel area and adds more torsion stiffness and skiing stability without needing a heavy boot shell. The mircometrically adjustable Magnesium buckles are designed specifically for optimum performance uphill and downhill lock-down power.
The Zzeus arrives on the market with the new TF-X liner. This new Thermoformable liner is a beefed-up alpine performance ski boot liner, ideally suited to the Zzues’s adventures. This loden-lined luxury liner comes preformed on a very anatomical last and can be used by most skiers without being thermoformed.
With the launch of ZZeus FreeRide-Touring Boots, Dynafit is setting the bar even higher for the 2008/09 season. This design and performance breakthrough arises from a year-round commitment to ski mountaineering and a close cooperation and feedback loop with our passionate ski mountaineering athletes and community
Zzeus TF-X / Zzeus MF
Shell/cuffs: — Polyurethane
Heel reinforcements: — Rilsan
Buckles: — 4 Magnesium buckles + Power Strap
Sizes: — 25 to 30.5 (including half sizes)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.