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Black Diamond designed the 130 flex-rated Men’s Factor Alpine Touring Boot for hard-charging skiers who demand a boot with backcountry access capabilities and uncompromising alpine performance. This boot features interchangeable sole blocks compatible with ISO Alpine DIN and all AT binding systems, including Dynafit(ISO Alpine DIN block sold separately). With its alpine style overlap cuff construction, the Factor provides the natural progressive flex missing from traditional tongue construction AT boot designs. The overlap cuff also results in unrestricted uphill walking efficiency for touring. The included anti-microbial Strobel liner is not only thermoformable, but also includes the Boa closure system, technology exclusive to Black Diamond boots that maximizes liner fit and provides on-the-go adjustability. Black Diamond gave this boot a mechanically integrated ski/walk mode for touring and eight degrees of forward lean over three settings so you can dial your stance to suit your skiing style. Outside Magazine gave this boot the Best of Backcountry award and even said "if we had Gear of the year for Boots, the Factor would win it."

  • ISO Alpine DIN block sold separately
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Pretty sweet boot

    I've skied the factors for one season, everything from 8h resort days with minor hucks to 4h tours and I gotta say it's living up to my expectations. This being my first cross over boot I was very happy with the touring mode 'cause I had only toured in alpine boots before. After trying titans for a few days I realized that the walk mode on the factors isn't all that great but it does the job. I find it comfy on the up and stiff but forgiving on the down, have felt a bit soft in spring time with warmer temp.

    Now to the bad stuff that puts this boot at a 3 instead of sniffing at a 5. Like may others I broke the ski/walk mode switch and got stuck in walk mode. I did this in dynafit binders and at the same time the AT sole heal part (where the pegs go) broke. I didn't notice at first 'cause it didn't snap all the way so I could still ski down from the mountain.

    When I took the boots to the shop we discovered that the only thing keeping the plastic together was the rubber sole, since the binders released correctly and took no damage I'm questioning the durability of not only the ski/walk mode but also the AT soles.

    Tour Mode lever fixed, but...

      ...the liners are still Meh. As in I took a pair of hard-foam Garmont liners I had laying around and put them in right away. That said, the fit of the shells is awesome. The heel cup is narrow enough to provide meaningful hold, and the forefoot accommodates my C-D width feet without needing to be punched out.
      Aside from the liners (and I doubt the new ones are any better), the only other beef I have is with the flex rating. My "90 Flex" Tecnica Diablo's are stiffer than these "130 Flex" boots. That said, these are still plenty stiff to drive any ski in the backcountry, and have a nice, progressive flex.
      One final note-the liners in these suck, but the insoles are really nice...Superfeet nice. If BD put Intuition liners in these puppies, they'd be a 5 star product.

      Awesome boot

        These boots fit great. Make sure you get them big enough to fit comfy socks. They have a great Achilles Tendon support in the liner, and fit snug and secure. Haven't broke the walk mode yet, but most of the reviews say it'll happen. The BOA lacing is really really awesome. So easy, even with gloves on. Hard to find the Dynafit sole pieces for the green color, BD said they weren't expected in stock until Winter. I use them with Fritschi's for AT.

        Good Stuff. Normal Feet Need Not Apply.

          Great boots!

          I'm light (150lbs) but ski hard. I have very narrow big feet and a very narrow heal. These boots ultra tight in the health cup area and I'm certain the people with normal width or wide feet would be absolutely miserable in these. The toe box is also tight ... but is designed for more normal feet.

          Their stiffness is rated at 130, but I think that's a bit optimistic. It's not a racing boot, but more than adequate for almost all purposes.

          Haven't broken anything on the boot yet. They seem rather stout. I wouldn't recommend switching to walk mode while leaning forward as it seems to place undue stress on the weakest part of the boot ... but no problems so far.

          Love the cinch string crank BOA closure business. Not sure how I lived without it.

          P.s. this boot is more for slack country. it's too heavy for long tours but can stand up to the abuse of resort skiing. This is exactly what I wanted though, so it's perfect for me.

          So far, so good.

            I've only skied two resort days on these boots and so far they're great. Very stiff, responsive, and lightweight. The ski/walk mechanism is very handy even if all I've used it for is trips to and from the car and in and out of the lodge. I can't wait to do some touring with them.

            Excellent boot - with a caveat...

              I'd give the Factors 5 stars, but it would come with a caveat: I only weigh 140 lbs and never break anything. If I weighed more and could confidently say they're bomber for the normal population, they'd get all the stars.
              That said, the boots seem well built to BD standards. I would compare the last closest to the Salomon Falcon.
              Stiffness: definitely stiffer than other AT boots but skiers worth their salt will know that nothing is as good downhill as an alpine boot.
              Other niceties:
              - Beefier buckles are a nice touch.
              - Ski/Walk mechanism lever is bigger now.
              - Forward lean can be adjusted to a more aggressive stance even though the part is a pain to install.
              - Boa is awesome.
              Things to Improve:
              - They're a little heavy. Weight is always a factor in hiking. I guess the tradeoff is stiffness.
              - AT soles are NOT included. These boots ain't cheap - it'd be really nice to throw those in instead of charging an extra $18.

              Painless ski walk mech failure

                Love these boots. Bigger guy, half in half out type of skier, second year of Factors, on the snow employee. 120+ days last year, 100+ this year, finally broke ski walk mech while hauling ass downhill, on my back, ski tail caught at speed. Emailed Joe at Black Diamond on Tuesday at noon, Brown Santa just left my house after delivering new ski walk mech Thursday at 5 pm. Painless and quick solution. Impressive.

                Factor

                  This boot has an excellent flex. It is very smooth and solid. The weight is reasonable. The hike/skin mode is much more efficient than the Salomon Quest Boot, which no longer is Dynafit compatible. The boa is nice. Its hard to imagine a more versatile boot.

                  High arches

                    Any experince with these boots and high arches? I have the Factors and they kill me even if the boots are loose around my legs. Right now my Navicular bone is sore from the weekend. Also my toes die within about 15 minutes and then they get cold. I went and baught those battery powered heaters(another $250) and they help maybe a little. I'm thinking I might try to grind the snow guard down to give me some room. I've already had them widened(punched out) in to toe area.

                    Thanks in advance guys and gals.

                    Never mind. I took the liners out and removed the hard foam insert and ground it right down till it felt comfy. Now I have a real 'custom fit'.

                    I'm wondering if those inuition liners would help or make a big difference.. Any experience??

                    Broken walk function...twice

                      I am on my second pair of factors and the walk function broke again after less than 5 days on the slopes. Very annoying. I understand that the problem occurs mostly on boots larger than size 28.

                      Sweet boots! A stiff AT boot that tours!

                        Six days on these boots in AK and I love 'em. I bought these to replace some Garmont Mega-Rides and the difference is huge. My alpine boots are Tecnica Agent 120s, and these are just as stiff. So far, I've had no problems with anything, and I gotta say that the walk mode range is really, really comfy. These boots tour great and ski great. I would say the little bit of added weight is worth it. Good job BD, I hope they hold up!

                        BD Factor

                          Just wanted to add to the issue of the ski/walk mec. I landed a bit hard the other day, and smashed the plastic shell next to the ski/walk switch. I got a tear that started at the bottom of the cuff and continued a few cm past the switch. So it doesn't seem to me that the plastic is strong enough either. Got a new pair from BD with the improved mec so we'll see if it holds up. Kind of sceary though, could easily break both ankles.

                          Black Diamond Boot testing and Quality Assurance

                          Go behind-the-scenes with Black Diamond's R&D crew and see how we ensure that our ski boots live up to your highest expectations—and our highest standards. Whether we're testing boot shell impact resistance, lateral and medial flex or our newly redesigned ski/walk mode mechanism, every aspect of every boot is subjected to extremes far beyond real-world use.



                          Despite our best efforts, the ski/walk mechanisms on our freeride boots during the past two years have not been as durable as the boots themselves. For 2010 we have a completely re-engineered ski/walk mode mechanism that will stand up when it counts. ut this video. It shows the testing for hte

                          I wouldn't trust the 2010 re-engineered ski/walk mode mechanism. I managed to break my boot on my 10th run. I was carving on a groomed trail to get back to the chair and I popped the mechanism and ended a beautiful powder day. Not good for boots that cost $750!

                          Blazin on the skin track

                            I rocked these boots through Spring 09 and can say their ideal for touring and resort alike. Currently combined with the BD Fritschi Med and BD 180 Verdict (perfect for zipping around in the BC with friends). Pretty light with durable buckles as well.

                            Depending on your foot structure I'd recommend getting the liner molded. Outta the box pretty great, but getting customization will make your life way easier on the skin track.

                            Oh, BD....

                              If I had a dime for every walk mode that's broken on one of these things I'd be wealthy. They are easy to replace and easy to find, but it might be good to be proactive and track on down to keep in your repair kit before you find yourself on top of Capitol Peak in CO looking down the Landry Line contemplating skiing it in walk mode.

                              Love the Boa though, that thing is sweeeeet!

                              Hey, although a little late in commenting...I got one question regarding the reported broken ski/walk mode. You said the thing is easy to repair/get. Can you tell me a little bit more about that, as I broke mine and have no warranty on the boot anymore. Can I repair that myself or do I have to send it to BD?

                              A compromise but still very good.

                                As with all gear there will always be trade-offs. You can't have your cake and eat it too, i suppose. However these boots get you pretty darn close. The key is to know what you're planning to do with them and not expect them to serve you outside of that role. If you have it in your head that you're going to put a 5 degree edge bevel on your race skis and carve up the race course then you should just get alpine boots. If you are planning on steering a big powder/backcountry/all-mountain ski down challenging slopes with some surface other than bulletproof ice then this is your boot. I've tried these boots with my GS skis and they're totally ski-able in bounds on groomers but i don't think they would give me the support I'd want in a race course. I've also skied this boots with my AT setup. They give me just enough responsiveness to make hard turns on steeps and they are hands down the most comfortable boot I've ever skied bumps in. As others have said the BOA system and walk switch are great for skinning. The walk system probably hinders the overall stiffness of the boot but i find that the whole thing stiffens up pretty well if you really crank down the boa, buckles and power straps. Then of course you loosen it all up again for the skin, hike or lift ride back up.

                                In theory the best boot would be one which weighs nothing, has a comfy walk/skin mode, and provides all the stiffness you can handle. This seems pretty impossible to achieve but these boots get you pretty close to it, while making compromise in areas that I personally find agreeable.

                                UPDATE:
                                I had planned to ski Tuckerman Ravine over the weekend, however conditions were dangerously icy and avalanche prone so we skied inbounds at Wildcat instead. Snow was firm. I had a pair of GS skis but was too lazy to bring 2 pairs of boots so i rode the factors all day. Once or twice i could swear my knee nearly touched the top of my ski. These are a sweet boot for trees, soft bumps, and backcountry, but not for hard fast groomers - you'll outski them.

                                Black Diamond Factor Boot

                                  I purchased these boots this season as a replacement for my worn out Alpine boots. I was looking for a boot that would be as good inbounds as it is outtabounds. This boot fills that niche very well. I was a little worried at first about the stiffness. I tried the boot on and it felt no where near 130 Flex, but get it out in the could and it increases in stiffness significantly. They seem to have remedied the walk mode problems of yesteryear and the liners are pretty nice to boot. I had never owned a BOA linered ski boot before, but it makes total sense in an AT boot. You can run the buckle as loose as you want and don't get heel lift like many other boots when buckled loosely. These boots have a very deep heel cup, so much so that when removing them I have to take the liners out on my feet and then remove the liners. Not a problem as I take my liners out to dry after a ski day anyhow.
                                  Over all a great do it all boot!

                                  Sniderd

                                    I bought these boots after reading all these reviews and on the second day of skiing the stupid little walk/ski thing broke. I wasn't even pushing it that hard, it was a green run and all I did was hit a little bump and it just snapped. I took it into a shop here and they took it out and it had obvisouly sheared off the pin that holds it in ski mode. I asked the REI people that helped me if it had any issues because I am a 220 pound aggressive skier, and I was told that they can handle anything I could throw at them, Obviously not.

                                    I am up here at Whistler and Black Diamond doesn't have anywhere up here to fix the boot. The closest place is in Fernie. I loved the boots the first day but the fact that they broke on the second day shows that the workmanship just isn't up to the standards that they advertise.

                                    Alpine Boot with a walk mode and touring soles

                                      I have 3 resort days on these and one day of light touring. These are so far beyond any other AT boot in terms of alpine capability it isn't even worth talking about. I can't speak to durability or warranty or any of that as I have only had them for a couple weeks. In terms of performance. They rock. Seriously if you want an Alpine Boot that you can Tour in then just buy them now. They aren't the lightest... who cares. It's all about the down.

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      Are the factor at blocks ISO certified,...

                                      Are the factor at blocks ISO certified, fully rockered, will they work with the Solomon sth?

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      Hey I have a size 12 foot and usually run...

                                      Hey I have a size 12 foot and usually run a 29, but this fit reviewed small. What size would someone recommend??

                                      Everywhere else is seems to say that Alpine...

                                      Everywhere else is seems to say that Alpine DIN blocks are included with the Factors, but here on backcountry is states they are sold seperately. Is it that previously factors shipped with other blocks, but newer (2011?) factors come with Alpine DIN blocks and backcountry has older stock? Or is there another explanation?

                                      The product photography shows the Alpine Sole Block. Black Diamond specs the boot as coming with the Alpine Sole Block. Every other retailer sells the boot with the Alpine Sole Block. I imagine it is just a typo, if not Backcountry.com has an awesome return policy... but I really think it is a typo, and was meant to "AT Sole Sold Separately"

                                      The Method boot comes with an AT Sole and requires purchase of the extra Alpine Sole if needed.

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      Has anyone done long touring in these...

                                      Has anyone done long touring in these boots? I'm set to do the Haute Route in a couple months and am deciding whether to get the BD factors or Dynafit ZZero4 Carbons. For the most part I just do short tours in the backcountry and would rather have a stiffer heavier boot overall. However, the Dynafits seem pretty good for this purpose as well, and are half the weight, although you are giving up support. Anyway, just wondering if anyone had used the Factors on a longer tour and whether you wished you had something lighter, or thought they did well.

                                      Thanks!!

                                      So I'm looking for new boots, and I'm...

                                      So I'm looking for new boots, and I'm thinking of getting in to AT skiing. I need a boot that can control a fat ski (Atomic Blog) in the resort, but I will be able to take touring every now and then. I figure my ratio resort/slackcountry to backcountry will be 80/20 so I am more focused on resort for the next little while, until I can afford to get a backcountry setup. I've been looking at these boots, as well as the BD Method, Scarpa Typhoon and Dynafit Titans.

                                      I do have some economic constraints, so getting these boots on sale in the next couple week would be nice. But I just want a little direction so I can head to a ski shop and get fitted for the right size. Also, I have wide feet, are there boots that are better for a wider foot?


                                      Cheers

                                      Ryan,
                                      I'm not a boot expert by any means but I have skied 3 or 4 different pairs of boots in the last couple years and I've found the Factor to be an excellent boot. Granted, I've only skied 10 days in the resorts in it. I don't know if it would be that great for a wide-footed individual though. My feet are pretty narrow and it's fine for me. I hear that Salomons tend to run wider. The Factors will drive fat skis just fine though, I was using mine with my Hellbents.

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      Were there any major (or even minor) changes...

                                      Were there any major (or even minor) changes to this boot between 2009/10 and 10/11?

                                      I believe the 08/09 model had lots of trouble with buckles and the ski/walk mech, but that both those issues were largely fixed for the 09/10 boot.

                                      Did BD do anything more for this year's boot?

                                      Im coming off of the original Nordica...

                                      Im coming off of the original Nordica Dobermann WC 150. 9 seasons in one amazing boot. Im an ex-racer and cannot ski a soft, wide boot without feeling like I am losing control and have no influence over my skis. (It kinda was engrained into me by the 95mm last Dobies.) Im looking for the burliest bort on the AT market for working races/coaching up on the hill 60+ days a year and the yearly big-mountain stint.

                                      Titans, Factors or other?

                                      Thanks guys!

                                      Hey James,
                                      I ski the Nordica Speedmachine 14 and feel the same way. I had a pro deal with Black Diamond and heard great things about the boot.
                                      Every aspect about it was phenomenal, however, the flex was nowhere near a Nordica 130. I broke the first pair I had. Not a stiff boot if you're used to 150, or weigh over 200 lbs.

                                      I need a new boot for a DPS Wailer 105...

                                      I need a new boot for a DPS Wailer 105 with Dynafit TLT Vertical FT 12 Bindings. Any strong thoughts on either BD Method, BD Factor, or the Dynafit Titan?

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      Is there a way either through a batch...

                                      Is there a way either through a batch number or something on the boot to tell it between the 1st yr experiment 2008/ 2009, and the new refined and enhanced model of 2009/2010. Factor boots in many stores and in reading the reviews it seems there where some issues with the 1st yr. unveiling. I am assuming B.D. has addressed the chinsy ski/walk lever and the buckle explosions + the soft rubber soles. I would hate to spend high retail dollar on a boot with warranty issues when it's new and improved bretheren is stack on the shelf a few boxes higher.

                                      Are there already two generations of the...

                                      Are there already two generations of the Factors?
                                      like 08/09 and 09/10?
                                      if yes: what did change?
                                      thanks!

                                      There were definetly some major changes made in the second generation, which were released this year as the 2009/2010 run. Changes to the buckles as well as the walk mode made the boot a bit beefier and more durable. So Greg, sorry to say, you are wrong bro.

                                      Can anyone compare the BD Factors, The...

                                      Can anyone compare the BD Factors, The Scarpa Typhoons, and the Garmont Shaman or Endorphin? Is there a big difference besides personal fit that I should look at? I am looking for a boot that will charge both in bounds and out of bounds while being a great climbing boot for AT. Not worried about weight.

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      I'm thinking about getting a pair of these...

                                      I'm thinking about getting a pair of these boots. I currently use the Scarpa Tornado (25.5) and Scarpa Hurricane (26.0) for AT and alpine skiing (both Scarpa boots are the same shell size, 300mm). I know with Scarpa boots that the half size and next size up (like my 25.5 and 26.0) are the same size, and that Garmont works opposite (25.0 and 25.5 are the same size).

                                      1) I'm wondering how Black Diamond does their sizing? Would a Mondo 26 work for me in the Factor? Or is it best to just get a professional boot sizing done to see what BD Factor shell would be best? I'm hoping a 26 would work.

                                      2) Has anyone used both the Hurricane and Factor? How is the stiffness of the Factor compared to the Hurricane? Thanks!

                                      been skiing (adjusting) to a pair of methods...

                                      been skiing (adjusting) to a pair of methods this season - first AT boot, and the transition has varied from smooth to not-so-. Comparing the method and factor, is the factor more similar to an alpine boot?

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      After much searching, these boots seem to...

                                      After much searching, these boots seem to be pretty much exactly what I need. Problem is, none of the touring boot manufacturers (including BD) want to make a boot in a 31.5 size. I'll probably wait for the second gen boots anyway, but would any of you guys consider getting a boot like this punched out by a reputable guy from a 30.5 to a 31.5?

                                      What is the sole length of the Factor boot...

                                      What is the sole length of the Factor boot in a size 27.5. Buying the Marker Duke bindings and am wondering what size to buy (Large or Small)

                                      I just mounted a set of dukes on my bd verdicts and i sized them to my dalbello kryptons for now since I am in the market for AT boots. My boots are 28.5 with 326 in length and they fit the small duke binding, with about no room to spare. Granted I know this is not a typical situation, but the dukes will go up to 326, I promise.

                                      Unanswered Question

                                      Trying to decide between Black Diamond...

                                      Trying to decide between Black Diamond Factor, Dynafit Zzero 4 C TF and Garmont Adrenalin. They all fit well, but seems like Dynafit will be much lighter.

                                      i have a bit wider foot......what's the...

                                      i have a bit wider foot......what's the fit like on these?

                                      Does Backcountry carry the Dynafit soles...

                                      Does Backcountry carry the Dynafit soles for the Black Diamond Factor Boots?

                                      No, at this time the AT soles are unavailable at Backcountry.com.You can order replacement soles through Black Diamond at: p: 801.278.5533.Also! Since BD, and every retailer is out of stock with the Factor AT blocks, you can consider getting the Method AT blocks which are exactly the same except for the color, and BD Mail Order has them in stock.