Editor’s note: To help clarify the tech boot fittings situation, we offer this PR from Dynafit. My copy wasn’t dated, but it’s current to a few days ago.
Press Release from Salewa/Dynafit
Dynafit Inserts – Important information
With reference to the recent announcement by Salomon that some of their boots are being recalled due to potential incompatibilities with low tech touring bindings (e.g. Dynafit, Onyx, ATK), Dynafit has been asked to clarify its position.
We wish to inform the public that Dynafit’s patent on “standard inserts” has expired and that several companies have developed and manufactured their own inserts. Dynafit cannot guarantee the quality of third-party inserts. Compatibility information are public info and available also at the TUV.
In addition Dynafit wishes to clarify that starting January 1st 2010, the company is not supplying Dynafit-developed and manufactured inserts to Garmont anymore. Dynafit “standard inserts” are available to companies upon request and are currently used only in boots carrying the Dynafit, Silvretta, Scarpa and Tecnica brands.
By contrast, Dyanfit’s innovative and patented “quick step-in” inserts are used both in Dyanfit boots and in Scarpa boots on an exclusive licensing basis.
Editor’s note continued:
In my view the important thing here is that the performance of a tech binding such as Dynafit or Onyx depends on the boot fittings being done correctly. Yet in all but the case of a few boot makers supplied with fittings by Dynafit, binding companies have no control over the boot fittings, and there is no international standard (ISO, DIN etc.) for the boot fittings.
When a tech binding fails due to bad boot fittings, the general public in my opinion will almost always blame it on the binding. Without a standard, such blame is difficult to correct. More, the situation works against the consumer as it makes problems much more difficult to trouble shoot (as in, is my boot popping out because of the binding or my fittings?).
As I’ve said before, the binding companies may have shot themselves in the foot on this one, since they didn’t work harder years ago to establish a tech fitting standard that boot makers could use to get the fittings right — and be held accountable for. The tech insert dimensions etc. are available at TUV (the testing and certification organization that verifies standards compliance), but how extensive that information is or how refined is in my view somewhat questionable when it comes to the shape of the boot toe inserts.
If you think it through, one has to wonder if a better business move by Dynafit over past decades would have been to supply fittings at their cost to any boot maker who asked. Hard to know, but an interesting thought, eh?
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.