Knowing the discerning denizens of the jungle known as the internet will pick up on this, I figured we might as well get on it. Essentially, an addendum to Gary’s excellent Hoji review yesterday.
We thought it PSA worthy to illustrate that Hoji does exacerbate the effect. Why? Simply because the Hoji tech fittings at the toe are located a few millimeters rearward of the ‘standard’ position, thus moving the toe box closer to the binding ‘bump.’ Is this a deal breaker in terms of pairing the exciting Hoji with the equally compelling Tecton? Perhaps yes for extended ski touring, clearly not if you’re building a rig for mostly downhill use and occasional uphill.
(For those new to ski touring gear, please know that we’re talking specifically about the Fritschi bindings here, most other tech bindings do not present these sorts of problems, and bench testing will tell you the story with any boot-binding combo. Also, important, note this post is not about the boot triggering binding toe opening during forward release. FYI, Hoji does that just fine.)
Conclusion? While we’re not huge fans of the Speed Nose, we like the rearward located tech fittings of Hoji. We do not recommend pairing Hoji with Tecton or other Fritschi tech bindings. To be fair, know that all other ski touring boots do experience this toe bump and compromised heel lift when paired with Fritschi tech bindings. Takeaway here is that Hoji exacerbates the problem.
Conclusion number two: What bindings would work adequately with Hoji? I’d venture the Dynafit ST Rotation, Radical ST/FT 2 or the G3 Ion as examples. Though in the end, if you’re truly skiing freeride style, bindings that do not release to the side at the heel are where it’s all headed.
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.