The Black Diamond Factor AT Boot can rip the resort, park, and pipe one day, then go bag a 14-er the next.
- ISO Alpine DIN block sold separately
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Share your thoughts
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.
Hey I have a size 12 foot and usually run a 29, but this fit reviewed small. What size would someone recommend??
...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.
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.
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.
...than a BC boot. Barely an AT boot imo. Reasonable for side country (what isn't) but not what I would consider a AT boot.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
Has Black Diamond fixed the recurring walk mode Breakage problem?
They have indeed.
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.
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!
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.
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