Some times it is so easy to miss the obvious. Last fall Tracy spent some time deciding on what boot she wanted to ski in this winter. Typical of a lot of women she has a high arch and a high instep.
That goes with a narrow heel and a short lower leg and a large athletic calf. That combo might well keep me from skiing from the frustration trying to fit a ski boot properly. It is combo that becomes a serious pain in the ass to fit properly in an Alpine boot. In a AT boot...even more so.
Not unusual for Tracy to decide on doing things the most difficult way possible. After seeing me run around in TLT 5, Scarpa Alien 1.0 and the PDG her priority became ...".a lugged rubber sole and an easy walk mode". Past that she would learn how to ski in it and we'd sort out the fit issues down the road. Well, hopefully we'd sort out the fit uses!
For a person just getting back into skiing after a few decades off there were lots of excellent ski boots to pick from that would be appropriate. The women's version of the Scarpa Maestrale and Maestrale RS, (Gea and Gea RS) along with the woman's versions of the Freedom Series and La Sportiva's lady's Sparkle where high on her list. As were the Mercury/One, and the ladies TLT6s. The choice actually boiled down to what was available in her size when we had the money to buy if the truth was known. Pre planning (as in preseason planning and buying) when it comes to odd sizes..small or large...is still important in the skimo world.
So Tracy is be skiing the Dynafit One this winter!
Her first time in a tech binding, a Dynafit Radical Speed (actually a Radical toe with 6mm shim and a older TLT Speed heel with a over all ramp angle of + 6mm). No brakes, using leashes. And her first time in a tech boot. I figured if nothing else it would be an interesting winter. Seems the only people bothered by her choice in gear was the Internet forums. (most said no way she would be able to ski either being a newbie)
There was a problem with her boots. I ski in the same ONE boot and like them a lot. In reality it was how the ONE boot fit her feet and lower legs that was a problem. Not the boot or the binding.
Same problems she would have had in most any alpine boot.
Major issue was this particular boot is too high on her short lower leg and not enough volume in the boot's upper shaft fro her calf. I'd suspect she isn't the only woman to have the similar issues in most ski boots.
Common sense said she needed some boot serious boot mods for the ONE for fit her better. Anytime I take a grinder and chop saw to a ski boot it is "serious". Off came the power strap. Never to be missed. And then I ground down the top of the cuff in the back. Next up, ground down and then heat molded the inside back locking spline to roll over at boot height for more calf room. Ditched the CR liners and added Intuition Godiva liners. Inner boots are shorter in height than OEM and easily molded to her foot but just as importantly to her calf and leg as well. A good bit warmer and easier in and out than the CR tongue liners as well. All bonus point so far.
Which all started me thinking about how to improve my own pair of ONEs.
Original Ladies ONE weight size 25: 1410g.
Tracy's modified ONE weight size 25: 1280g and a lot warmer, less cumbersome boot to use.
A savings of just over 1/2# for the pair. Easily noticeable in a size 25 ski boot.
More on the Dynafit One here:
Back to the obvious?
"the TLT6 and the ONE PF-TX are just 5.5oz/156g between the two boots..."
That number should be listed in the past tense...
My size 29 (bsl 317mm) TLT6 with a green tongue, CR liner, modified lwt buckles and no power strap (as I ski them DH generally) for one boot is: 1370g
My size 28 (bsl 314mm) ONE with shell mods and a Palau Wrap liner for one boot is: 1360g.
In this form the ONE really reminds me of some of my old plastic climbing and ski boots. All in a very good way even if my boots are longer than they are tall! May be not the best climbing boot but boy does this thing ski well for 3# per boot! And tough? The One seems pretty bomb proof to me by comparison to the TLT6. My second season on this pair and they show little wear even with the bashings they have taken.
But who cares about a few grams or less than 1/2 oz. of weight, right? How do they ski?
Well there in lies the rub..the 6P and ONE ski very similar when set up the way I have them laid out.
The Wrap Palau liners were $120 delivered. The Intuition Godiva wrap is $176/$225 depending on where you get them.
Use the warmer and more supportive Palau or a Intuition Wrap liner in the TLT6 and you get 1330g. Don't get me wrong here. Using these liners will not help touring performance. But they will defiantly up the level of down hill performance. Dropping another 30g. Retail on the TLT6 P is $1000. Retail on the ONE PX-TF is $650. But you are guaranteed to find the ONE PX-TF on sale more often and for a lot less money.
The buckle mod I now make to all my Dynafit boots if it is appropriate. A lot easier to use buckle system than OEM and some weight drop as well. Buckles are available from Dynafit as spare parts and simply bolt on with the parts already on the boot. The smaller instep latch buckle goes on top in the change over. Cord is for easy leash attachment