I haven’t skied for a few weeks, I’ll scratch the itch by writing about my ski boots. Lightweight, expensive and incredibly easy touring TLT5 is revolutionary not in any significant one area, but rather in that it integrates all those factors into a super functional package. This boot has been well received by myself and others, with good reason.
Perhaps the most important technical aspect of TLT5 is that is uses a stiffer and thinner plastic for the lower “shoe.” This “Grilamid” has been available for 30 years, but is more difficult to work with than the usual Pebax or PU so it never become popular in the ski boot industry. That’s changing, as saving weight is more important than ever, and Dynafit has proved that with astute engineering a boot can indeed be made with Grilamid. Other significant features of the TLT5 are an integrated lean-lock and upper buckle that makes transitions super speedy, and touring cuff articulation that equals or surpasses anything else in the industry. But all that is known, and has been chatted, blogged, facebooked and spewed till TLT5 verbiage could pave a road to the moon. Main thing now, how do these shoes hold up?
I spoke with prolific randonnee speedster Brian Edmiston the other day (top 10 in Aspen Power of 4 skimo race), who’s put a zillion meters on his TLT5s. Brian related that while his buckle rivets have loosened (these are known as a weak point, but easy to repair), his boots are still going strong after a huge amount of days. That got me thinking, how are mine doing after at least 50 days and 150,000 vertical feet or so? Yeah, that’s not huge compared to what Brian or others put their boots through, but it is enough use to see how they wear. Check ’em out.
Conclusion: As one of the most expensive and high performance ski mountaineering boots on the market, one expects at least a modicum of durability from the TLT5 models. Though mine have a few minor glitches, they compare favorably to any other quality AT boot. Thus, grade A.
(Some of you will probably wonder how my Pro Tour liners are holding up. They’ve packed out quite a bit and one of the lace anchors wore through, but are still functional. I’ll probably swap for a new pair to start next season.)
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.