RHwrote a review of Black Diamond Factor Mx 130 Alpine Touring Boot - Men's on April 25, 2014
Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
As a preface, I've skied in both prior generation BD Factors (my first gen was warranted and replaced by BD). I bought these because I heard they toured better and skied better. Now after 20 days, I feel ready to write a review. Skis: K2 Sidestashes, K2 Waybacks, Rossi GS race skis. Weigh #175, size 28 boot.
The good: The fit around the midfoot and heel hold is improved. The boots feel more responsive and precise on the snow. The touring range is greatly improved. The soles are easier to swap out because all of the bolts are on the outside, unlike last year’s model.
The bad: These boots leak terribly through the overlap. This was an issue with prior gen boots that BD tried to fix with a new black rubber toe dam on the Mx. The problem is that the rubber piece stops between the 1st and 2nd buckles which creates a gap in the overlap even when buckled tight. When you buy these boots make sure you buy a new roll of duct tape too.
While my calves fit fine in prior generations of Factors, I was unable to get the MX tight enough. I drilled out another set of holes to tighten up the buckle ladder. I also cut off ½ an inch of upper cuff material. While not a deal breaker for me, just know that you may need to modify the upper cuff if you have skinny calves.
The stock liner is improved but is still shit compared to an Intuition. The Boa tightener is gone and there is a rubbery sheet of fabric over the forefoot that is supposed to combat the leakage issue. Unfortunately, a large portion of the liner is open cell foam that soaks up water like a sponge and is not moldable.
The shell weighs the same as last year’s Factor. All weight savings is from the liner.
Impression: Factor MX is still a work in progress. Leaky boots are no fun on week-long hut trips. You either need big calves or you will probably need to mod the shell. The stock liner still sucks. Wait and see if BD nails it with the 4th generation Factor. Until then look elsewhere.