You guys were asking, thought I’d do more bench touring seeming as it’s 82 degrees outside.
Vulcan and Hoji geometry are clearly more similar than different. Not clones. Kind of like comparing your feet to those of your sibling. DNA and all that sort of thing. Vulcan can be had for a song, discounted all over the place (including by our post sponsor Cripple Creek Backcountry). So why buy the Hoji Pro Tour instead of Vulcan? Glean a few reasons below.
In my view, the over arching item is the “Hoji Lock” cuff lock system boasted by the Hoji Pro ski touring boot. Benefits: Probably a true “one motion” touring/downhill lock, but more importantly, stiff yet progressive flex in downhill mode, with minimal to no bulging when you drive your knees forward. Read on for additional comparison details.
With Vulcan fore-aft cuff angle set to what they call “15” degrees, I compared to Hoji using an angle gauge off the footboard. While Hoji is specified as “11” I could not discern any significant difference. Perhaps the Hoji liner is slightly thinner at the calf, that would drop you back a few degrees. Takeaway, by adding or subtracting material behind your leg, you could easily tune these boots for identical cuff lean angle. That is if they’re not there already.
One other thing: Vulcan has user removable cuff stops, which combined with the Dynafit Ultralock cuff lock do major fusing of cuff to lower shell. Hoji Lock clearly evolved from this, only it eliminates the up/down locking action of the Ultralock in lieu of a rear lean lock that only resists rearward movement, with the forward “lockage” taken care of by the advanced technology cuff locks of the Hoji Lock.
Weights (per single boot) because I know you’ll ask:
25.5 Hoji, 1346 grams — shell no liner 1134 g
25.5 Vulcan, 1448 g (with removable tongue) — shell no liner 1220 g
I found it interesting the Vulcan 25,5 shell clocked in as 86 grams/3 ounces heavier than Hoji, as that’s near the exact weight of the removable tongue.
27.5 Hoji, 1478 grams
27.5 Vulcan, 1590 grams (with removable tongue)
Hoji 27.5 vs Dynafit TLT6 in 27.5, TLT specified as BSL 297, Hoji 301. When measured on bench, the distance from Hoji toe tech fitting to heel fitting is ~3mm longer than TLT.
BSLs of our Vulcan 25.5 and Hoji 25.5, 284 and 281, respectively, which goes right along with the Hoji toe tech fittings being located about 3 mm back from those of the Vulcan, due to the Hoji Speed Nose.
Conclusion: If you’re thinking of making your Darwinian path that of Hoji from Vulcan, you’ll be able to configure Hoji with ski touring ergonomics you’re familiar with. Only remember to do a side-by-side carpet test with one model on your right foot and one on the left (both with liner and without). And if you’re a stickler, do the carpet test while clipped into a pair of skis. You’ll probably discover you’re good to go. If not, your mods will likely be minimal.
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.