I’ve got to tell you, last week I was waiting on pins and needles for some Dynafit products to arrive…mainly the new Zzero 4 CF boots and Vertical FT bindings. I only tried the Zzeros on once in Tim Kelley’s (Dynafit Sales Manager) office last year, when Dynafit was with Life-Link and based Jackson, so I was anxious to see how they looked and fit now that they are in production.
Since I’ve had them in my hands, I definitely have to say I’m impressed. Light and stiff is the only way to describe how they feel. The weight is the first thing you think about when you pick them up. They even feel lighter that my ‘beater boots’, which are missing half the sole and much of the plastic down towards the bottom of the boot. I’m sizing down a little bit from years past, so that helps to shave even more weight as well.
Molding the liners went smoothly and I used nylons and some toe-caps to give me more room up front. I must say the new EVA Dynafit has chosen to use works great. It filled in all the gaps and compressed nicely around my ankles giving a solid fit, which is crucial for touring. I like to have my boots buckled as loose as possible when touring or booting, so a liner that fits and holds you in is important.
I was able to get out and make my first turns of the year with the Z-zero 4 CF’s (and the usual early season crowd) on Saturday and I wasn’t disappointed. They toured and skied great. This is my first time skiing in a boot with a traditional tongue and I was a little concerned that touring would feel different…but it didn’t. My heel stayed in the pocket as well and I had no problems with blisters or hot-spots after about 2500′ of skiing…which is about 7 laps on the skiable terrain on the south side of Teton Pass. The ski/walk mechanism worked as it should between laps and I think its low profile will keep it away from dangerous, plastic breaking rocks. The ‘Quick Step-in” pins on the toe are also new to me and it did seem that getting into the Dynafit binding was a bit easier, even after a few months of lacing up the running shoes.
The fit of the Z-zero is low volume, but plenty wide. Occasionally, I’ve had to get the sixth-toe area of my AT boots punched-out in order to tour without agony, but I don’t think I will have to with the new Zzero. They are wide where they need to be and not where they don’t. The forward lean has two positions for ski mode. I used the furthest one forward over the weekend and it felt right. The boots skied well and seemed to be plenty stiff. For kicks, I tried switching out the tongue with some others I had laying around the night before, and a few fit relatively well, for those that need customization. I skied with the stock tongues over the weekend and don’t see a need to noodle with them for now. I compared the height of the cuff to some older alpine boots I had laying around (Salomon X-Screams) and they were the same height.
Anyway, I just bought my plane ticket to ski Orizaba (highest peak in Mexico) from November 1-6, so I hope to get the Zzero 4 CF’s over 18,000′ right off the bat. I know their light weight will be on my side. Check out the Zzero’s and enter for a chance to win a pair at SpeedUp.Dynafit.us.