Dynafit’s speed touring Blacklight brings all the best features of the TLT lineage into a new carbon-cuffed speed touring boot weighing (drum-roll) … around 1kg, depending on the size. These comfortable and capable boots are built for deep missions.
With this first look, like a Wim Hof inspired ice plunge, we’re mindfully jumping fast into the basic stats of Dynafit’s new speed tour model, the Dynafit Blacklight. To the stats.
Weight Blacklight 27.0/27.5 shell w/27.0 liner stock footbed + optional mini-powerstrap: 1118g
For comparison, weight TLT X 27.0/27.5 shell w/27.0 liner stock footbed + optional mini-powerstrap: 1118g
Optional power strap weight: 19g
Lower shell construction: Carbon-infused grilamid
Cuff: Carbon fiber
Boot spoiler: The white on the boot’s rear — Grilamid
Forward Lean: adjustable 15° or 18°
Liner: Dynafitter 5 (so far, no heat molding necessary)
Sizing: The boots break on the whole size. Meaning the 27.0/27.5 share the same shell (BSL 297). The 27.0 has a slightly smaller liner than the 27.5 (it’s a slightly roomier fit with the 27.5 liners).
WildSnow TLT X Coverage
— First look
— Comparing the TLT 5, TLT 8, and the TLT X
The big question, I suppose, many are asking is how is the flex compared to the TLT X? The primary difference between the TLT X and the Blacklight is the Grilamid-fiberglass cuff of the TLT X compared to the Blacklight’s carbon cuff. Boot shells are comprised of an upper and a lower. And the lower shell in the Blacklight is carbon-infused Grilamid, whereas the TLT X is straight sauce Grilamid.
A rainy day carpet test bore some information. I locked into skis, a Blacklight on my left foot, a TLT on the right and leaned aggressively forward: WildSnow video production unit was on-hand to document.
The literal carpet test: Dynafit Blacklight and TLT X.
Initial engagement with the boot, while pushing forward as if to initiate a turn, the Blacklight feels marginally stiffer. Pushing through the initial engagement is where the enhanced stiffness of the Blacklight shows up.
The TLT X’s flex is progressive yet softer than the Blacklight. Pushing all the way through with the shin, the interface of the upper and lower shell on the TLT X begins to flex and bow out slightly as some energy is absorbed and, as a result, makes the flex feel softer.
Conversely, with a strong push-through with the shin in the Blacklight, there’s some bowing at the shell’s upper and lower interface, but markedly less. All this means is that so far, the Blacklight does feel stiffer. In terms of a progressive flex, the Blacklight is progressive, but the range of forward flex (when in ski mode) seems more limited than the TLT X’s; it’s easier to push to the end of the flex range in the TLT X.
Who is this boot for?
Dynafit markets the Blacklight and TLT X as speed tourers. Honestly, I like that classification. I see a speed tourer looking to optimize efficiencies moving in big terrain while sacrificing some stability on the descent— but not much. These boots are not four-buckle big-ski-driving boots. But you know that. They are, however, capable of driving skis 95mm and smaller that are constructed with the uphills in mind (read lighter). I can imagine, on a very soft (like feathery) and light snow day, that a capable skier could use the Blacklight or TLT X to push a wide powder ski. The Blacklight might provide the added stiffness you want to pull this off.
Those eyeing spring traverses, far-away steep lines, resort uphilling, and simply the means to move faster, either boot works great — the Blacklight will ski slightly stiffer than the TLT X.
I like where Dynafit has gone with fit. The instep, for me, is neither too high nor too low. And from what I gather, the instep has a range suitable to many foot types. There’s room to add a more supportive aftermarket insole if need be. The last, at a claimed 101mm, is sufficiently wide, with the toe box allowing room for toes to spread out comfortably. Again, the liner is heat moldable. And with carbon-infused Grilamid, it can be punched, but bring it to a trusted bootfitter who has experience working with the material; better safe than sorry, as this stuff can be touchy when heated.
I’ll call my heel pretty average. Like I did with the TLT X, using an EZ-Fit heel sock takes up the extra heel volume I don’t need; the Blacklight has room for wide heels. All in all, Dynafit has built a very comfortable boot that can accommodate foot swelling on those epic tours.
Similarities and Differences
Beyond the cuff and flex, the similarities with the TLT X are many. There’s a BOA-like closure called the Twistfit. The Twistfit tightens over an internal plastic plate that, when the system is tightened, snugs firmly over the instep and draws the heel back. The design also provides ample sensitivity for micro-adjustments. I tend to loosen the Twistfit during transitions from skiing to skinning.
Both boots have a claimed 60-degrees range of motion, which, personally, I think Dynafit is underselling. The ROM feels near frictionless and many degrees beyond 60. They are superb uphilling boots.
I’ve skied plenty with the TLT X, including a six-day traverse. The boots were great. The assumption is that the Blacklight will handle efforts like that similarly. The most notable differences are the cuff material and the color scheme, and the flex pattern. A small difference is the upper mini-powerstrap affixes to the Blacklight with two small screws, whereas the same strap on the TLT X does not use screws.
The liners, which appear near identical, have slightly different patterns for reinforcements in the high-wear zones. (See photo). The Blacklight’s stock liner is laceless, while the TLT X liner that showed up last spring has lace eyelets.
And there’s the price; you’ll pay about $100 more for the carbon cuff and carbon-infused Grilamid. The quality of the carbon cuff’s build so far seems exceptional and durable. More on the Blacklight later this season.
Shop for the Dynafit Blacklight.
Jason Albert comes to WildSnow from Bend, Oregon. After growing up on the East Coast, he migrated from Montana to Colorado and settled in Oregon. Simple pleasures are quiet and long days touring. His gray hair might stem from his first Grand Traverse in 2000 when rented leather boots and 210cm skis were not the speed weapons he had hoped for. Jason survived the transition from free-heel kool-aid drinker to faster and lighter (think AT), and safer, are better.
When I read, “the Blacklight has room for wide heels” I think, “this boot has lousy heel-pocket design.” I wish Dynafit, who have such great designs otherwise, would make both wide and a narrow-last versions of their top-end boots.
^ Agreed. That’s been my consistent problem, even with custom insoles and the thickest Ezeefit anklets.
Of course, for all boots it would be nice to have different last widths, but given the size of the AT market, that is unlikely to happen.
I believe next year Dynafit is going to release a wider version of the current TLT X, not the Blacklight. That will be sure to please some people with hard to fit feet.
Hey Eric, I’ve got pretty average heels. The heel pocket in both the Blacklight and TLT X holds well for me with or without a 2mm EZ Fit heel sock. My default sock is a Patagonia lightweight ski sock. Read it as you may, but I’d not describe the heel pocket as “lousy”.
It would be great if boot manufacturers produced wide/narrow versions of their sheets: I’m pretty certain the ROI for the molds would be considerable. I recall the designer of Tecnica’s newest lightweight ZG boot discussing why they don’t produce molds in super small/large sizes — they cannot recoup the costs without a minimum order of boots in that size.
I’ve got these (blacklight) and been skiing them since November. I can’t compare much but I feel they move well and ski good. I did take out the stock liner and put in a Palau liner, it moves so much better and is more comfortable. I do need to get one punched at the front to accomodate a slightly longer foot, so will see. I don’t get heal lift and my foot is solid. I have normal ish width feet but a high instep.
Hey James, what specific Palau liner did you put in there. Thanks.
Hey, I put the Tour lite pro evo. https://palau-ski-boot-liners.com/ski-liners/tour-lite-pro-evo/ I find it warm and comfortable.
I actually also just bought a PG Black liner to try also, I like to mess about with things.
Thanks James, I’ve got that same liner in an old pair of Travers Carbons. Although I like the stock liners in the TLT X/Blacklights, I’ll give it a go.
I am going to try them out in a shop, and will bring my Palau Tour Evo Lite with me just to see how it fits 😉
Jason, thanks for the great reviews! Seems like you’ve recently tested or at least tried on every boot that I’ve been considering as a replacement for my Travers CS (Blacklight, Skorpius CR II, MTN Summit). Are you planning any comparison articles summarizing your testing? I’m curious in how they would all rank in stiffness/flex for skiing, uphill/walking efficiency, transitions, and different fit characteristics (forefoot width, instep height, midfoot/ankle volume, cuff height, etc.). I am looking for a boot in the same weight class as the Travers (~1000-1300g) that hopefully skis a little better (stiffer) and doesn’t give up too much for the uphill efficiency or transitions. I have tried on the MTN Summit, and think I could make them work with a couple punches, but I am interested in the Blacklight and Skorpius CR II as well, just can’t find them to try on anywhere. Would you consider the Skorpius or Blacklight to have relatively similar fits to the MTN Summit or Travers? Is there one that stands out as the best skiing boot? Thanks!
Hey Barrett- maybe an article is in order. I’ll start working something up. I was in the Travers Carbon, so I am familiar with all the boots you are touching upon. Broadly speaking, the Skorpius is a slightly roomier fit than the Blacklight. But for starters, where might you need a punch? I do feel like both boots have ample room in the forefoot. And if you are planning to drive a 105mm+ ski I’d skew to the Skorpius. I consider both boots to ski stiff, though.
For my Travers boots, I needed to punch the 5th metatarsal and the navicular. I believe when I tried on the MTN Summit, it felt like I would need to punch similar areas, but maybe not as big of a punch for the 5th met in the Summits. For both of those boots the instep height and overall volume around the ankle felt good for my foot, with the Summits feeling a little more snug than the Travers around my ankle, but probably workable. If the Skorpius or Blacklight were more snug than the Summits around the instep or ankle, then they may be a tight fit for me.
Out of interest are you getting play in the cuff/lower pin that leads to a small free rocking of the cuff forwards/backwards? I assumed this was normal but I spoke wit somone who had TLT6 and they have no free rocking on that boot.
Hey James, just to be clear regarding the pin, I assume you are referring to the horizontal pin where the boot lower interfaces with the white spine. If we are referring to the same thing, I’m not feeling any rocking or movement there. When locking into ski mode, and tightening the boot, I feel some rocking (maybe a few mm) when keeping the sole flat and pushing forward and back…the movement is detectable where the spine of the carbon cuff interfaces with the white plastic spine. While I’ve used this boot skiing, it’s not something I have noticed at all. If I have been unclear in how I described this, please let me know.
Hey, no I’m sorry I’ve not been clear. I mean to say the pivot pin on either side where the cuff if connected to the lower boot. I’m getting a few mm movement there which means the cuff rocks back and forth a bit when locked into ski mode. I’m finding in variable terrain this makes hard skiing as I lack control.
My wife has TLT X boots and seems to have less movement at the pivot.
Here is a video to show the amount of movement.
Hey James, thanks for the video, that helps clarify things. I do not see that type of play in the boot cuff pivots when the cuff is locked out. Dynafit does have a 5-year warranty on new boots as it seems something has prematurely worn in the cuff pivot. Hope this helps and feel free to email me too if this is not resolved.
Thanks. I stopped by a shop and their new in box Blacklight had no movement. The TLTX had a little. I’ll email dynafit and hopefully it’s a one off issue.