The red and white hot, Dynafit Titan.
There is only one new ski boot wanted to try out this year, the Dynafit Titan, and I was excited when they arrived last week. I did a couple demo runs on Titan at last year’s demo day at Outdoor retailer, and I could tell that the boot offers a great combination of beef…at reduced weight than other heavy metal, four-buckle offerings.
To start out with, there is no denying the fact that the Dynafit Titan is a sexy boot. It’s red, black and white color scheme are seriously eye catching and the roaring snow leopard graphic on the side just makes you want to charge down the slopes.
Screws securing the sole are recessed to prevent damage from rocks.
With its TBS (Triple Binding Sole), the Titan is compatible with all alpine and AT bindings on the market. Combine that with its stiff flex and it makes the Titan a great option for those looking for one boot to ski with both their alpine and AT setups. Two sets of ‘sole-blocks’ come with the Titan, one with a rubber sole, a slight bit of rocker and ‘tech’ fittings for all AT bindings, and another that has no rubber and flat sole that will work with alpine clamps. Both sole sattach to the body of the boot with a total of eight screws. While some may think this is a lot, the screws themselves aren’t as big and weighty as others I have seen out there. All the screws are recessed below the plane of the sole, which should protect them from getting beat up by rocks and keep them functional for a long time.
One thing to note is that the AT compatible soles come with Dynafit’s proprietary ‘Quick-Step” toe fittings (only offered on Dynafit boots), and even though I consider myself a pro when it comes to getting into tech-bindings, the ‘Quick Step’ fittings are a nice addition, especially when on uneven terrain and/or deep snow. Basically, the ‘wings’ restrict the fittings from moving past the pins on the binding…allowing for an easier and smother entry into the toe piece.
Like many stiff, four-buckle AT boots these days, the Titan is made with over-lap construction, as opposed to those with a tongue. While this type of construction tends to offer increased stiffness in ski mode, it also lends itself to a very good walk-mode with a large range of cuff movement, both forward and backward. Dynafit claims 30 degrees of movement. Like most boots though, whether it be overlap or tongue construction, the tour mode really doesn’t fully shine until the top two buckles and Velcro are loosened.
Heel Booster adds torsional rigidity without adding the
weight of “dual density” or excess plastics.
There are no ‘carbon stringers’ on the Titan to increase lateral stiffness like in the Zzero models, but it does have a Heel Booster which increases torsional rigidity with out adding more material or ‘dual density’ plastics, which helps keep the weight down for the overall package. The cuff itself is taller than other Dynafit boots like the Zzeros and it looks to about the same height as the cuff on the Black Diamond Factor as well. Two forward lean ski positions, 15 and 21 degrees, as well as a cuff alignment adjustment, ensures that the skier will find the best position, relative to their body type and ski style, for ripping the slopes.
Dynafit Titan cuff is similar in height to Black Diamond Factor.
The buckles on the Titan are well designed and shaped to maximize weight reduction. They are also made out of magnesium, known to be light and strong, to offer even further weight savings. There has been talk of the second buckle up from the toe hindering flex and or getting in the way of the third up from the toe buckle, but from what I can tell, this has been corrected in the production version and I find there to be no problem with buckle placement.
Rubberized soles on the Titan liner are great for wearing around camp and huts.
Even though I am not a big fan of tongue style liners and will most likely swap the liner out with an after market wrap version, you can really tell Dynafit has put a lot of effort to make the stock thermo-moldable TF-X liner quite bomber and comfortable. Not only is it protected on the outside with a cordura-like fabric to avoid abrasion from rivets, it also has a nice rubberized sole that wraps slightly up around the side of the sole, making it great for walking around huts and or a backcountry camp. The tongue on the liner is reinforced with a stiffener, which helps disperse the forces transferred from the cuff to your shin. Add on two pull tabs (front and rear) which helps one get their foot into the boots, a challenge for overlap boots, a soft fleecy lining and an anatomical last, and you have one of the nicest stock liners in the business.
For similar performance, I found the 26.5 Titans to weigh about 7 ounces less than my 26.5 Factors. In addition, by the books the Titan read to be more narrowly lasted than the Factor, but I feel the Titan is wide right where it needs to be and lower volume (like over the instep and heel area) in all the right places too. I’m looking forward to using the Titan this winter and will be pairing it up with some Black Diamond Justice skis (185cm) and Dynafit FT12 bindings. A pretty hot set up if I do say so myself!