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When legends meet.
Freeride beast Eric "Hoji" Hjorleifson and tech binding inventor Fritz Barthel have been hard at work for the last four years developing the new Dynafit Hoji Limited Edition Alpine Touring Boot, which is an exclusive version of the Pro Tour and utilizes a stiff, light, and responsive Grilamid shell. Hoji and Barthel set out to create a boot that could tackle big objectives on the uphill and rip big lines on the way back down.
The Hoji Lock ski and walk mode provides 55-degree range of motion on the way up, and a cable system operates the entire shaft to engage the walk mode with a single motion. Barthel admits that this is in part because of laziness—the two agreed that it was important to create a buckle system that you didn't have to keep fiddling with all day long. Underneath these boots you'll find a Pomoca Climbing Sole made from a rubber blend that delivers solid traction and security on sketchy bootpacks and ridgeline traverses. The 11-degree forward lean mimics aggressive alpine boots, and the cuff engages with the lower shell on both sides to deliver a stiff feel with optimal power transfer. It's one of the most rigid ski touring boots on the market. After years of trial and error, Hoji and Barthel have delivered a boot that doesn't compromise on the up or down.
- Limited edition touring boot for uncompromised performance
- Grilamid shell is stiff, responsive, and lightweight
- Hoji Lock System walk mode simplifies transitions
- 55-degree range of motion for a natural uphill stride
- Roomy 103.5mm last accommodates high-volume feet
- Pomoca Climbing Sole delivers solid traction on uneven terrain
- Speed Nose for increased efficiency and maneuverability
- Item #DNF00DR
- Q & A
Best Flex, Best Range of Motion on Cuff
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The Hoji boot. Wow. This was highly anticipated, and super hyped this fall and early winter and I was stoked to finally receive my pair last week. In just a few short days, I have some initial thoughts on the boot that I wanted to share with any of you contemplating jumping in and purchasing a pair for the remainder of the winter.
Firstly, just putting this boot on, you'll notice it has a comfortable, roomy toe box (unlike the Vulcan) and it's generous last (103mm), provides for a good amount of room for the foot and instep. Great. Moving toward the heel, the boot narrows significantly, cupping the mid-foot to heel area nicely. When flipping the boot into ski mode, the heel is nicely cradled, and locked in well for a ripping downhill ski descent. I love this feature and finally, I don't have to butterfly my liners to get the tight fit I want for a good freeride performance.
As we move up the boot to the tongue and cuff you'll notice this boot resembles a three-piece Dabello or Raichle. When touring, the cuff moves effortlessly and has a considerable amount of range providing a nice natural glide. Much more so than my Vulcan's and feels almost as good as my PDGs. Using the switch on the back of the cuff, you easily enter ski mode as it tightens the top buckle and booster strap in one motion. Super efficient.
But, this isn't what impresses me most about this boot. For me, its what happens when you drop in. A boot of this weight, 1400grams in size 25 (281 bsl) might do better to drive a lighter ski, but over the past week I've noticed because this boot has such a beautiful, continuous and smooth flex, driving a bigger ski (KÃ¤stle BMX105HP) is no problem. I would rate the stiffness of this boot @ around 120 depending on your skiing style, height, and weight. The natural forward lean is enough to keep you over the front of your tips, engaging your edges in firm terrain, bumps and on steep pitches. You'll find for the aggressive skier, it is easy to engage the ski through these boots and energy transfers through your legs, feet and into the boots effortlessly. This reminds me of my old days skiing Dalbello Krypton Pros.
These boots clearly strive in the backcountry, touring realm. But, I'm a one ski quiver type of guy, so for me, these boots fill several needs. One, I can use them on the resort as a daily driver with any Dynafit binding, and two, they're light enough for long days in the backcountry. As I gear up for a month in Europe and have limited room for gear in my travel bags. this is clearly the boot I'm taking for powder days and ski mountaineering missions. It's well equipped to do it all.
Want an effortless climb, and a ripping fun descent? Need a boot that will provide for you in the resort and backcountry? Consider this one. For me, nothing even comes close.
Fantastic All Round Touring Boot
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Full Disclosure: I have been a Dynafit athlete for many years and was given a pair of these boots to test. I will do my best to be objective about these boots.
The ski / walk mechanism on this boot is awesome. It works as advertised and makes transitions simple. It’s really nice to not fiddle with buckles and power straps! This boot is incredibly comfortable to walk in—in walk mode, the cuff moves with very little resistance. Personally, I like my boot to be loose while touring. “Popping” the racheted, instep buckle is simple. For those who like to keep their ankle more fixed in their boots, there’s no need to loosen the buckle. Short story: It’s incredibly comfortable to walk in!
So far, I love the downhill performance. They are slightly more flexible to the front than the Vulcans, but they are stiffer to the rear. Grilamid has a more even flex than carbon, so I feel like this is the best combination possible. It’s possible to flex your ankles to get forward on the ski and absorb bumps, but you can lever on the back of the boot and tail of ski when needed. Granted, I haven’t skied an icy slope at high speed, yet; but for my two-weeks up in Canada, I’ve been thrilled at how they perform!
There is a lot of room in the forefoot and toe box area. For comparison, boots that fit my feet well include the old Garmont Radium, the Dynafit TLT5 and the Dynafit Beast. I have a relatively narrow foot. I’ve had to take up some space in these boots. If you’ve got a wide foot, you’ll be stoked!
Most of the buckles and cables are installed with hardware that can be replaced with hex or torque wrenches—far fewer riveted pieces than normal. The boot isn’t 100% field repairable, but it’s a step in the right direction.
This is certainly not the boot for gram counting rando racers or people looking to step into an alpine binding and shred the resort. It is a great touring specific boot for people who want one boot that will perform in the terrain and conditions we go out there for - from big peaks to deep pow. It’s heavier than the TLT boots, but performs much better on the descent. It’s lighter than the Vulcan and Beast boots and is in the same category on the way down. (I realize this is personal preference. I love the way the Beast skis. I think the Vulcan is too stiff to the front, and not stiff enough to the rear. In my experience, the Hoji is a big improvement on the Vulcan and a better tour / ski balance than the Beast.)
Overall: Way to go Hoji, Fritz and Dynafit! This is the touring boot I’ve been waiting for for a few years.