Dynafit’s new TLT X Boots are the latest in a long line of amazing touring boots. With the Twistfit instep closure system over the forefoot and the Ultra Lock ski/walk system on the cuff, the TLT X Boots provided a comfortable fit and powerful performance in a super lightweight package. This dedicated ski touring boot is light, fun, efficient and now a Gear of the Year Award winner!
The Backcountry Skiing Canada Team.
In 2010 Dynafit introduced the game-changing TLT 5 ski touring boot and after a little more than a decade they have now released the TLT X. The Tourlite Tech10 or TLT X as it’s better known is the fifth TLT version since there was no TLT 9 as Dynafit opted to go from 8 straight to 10. Regardless of how the naming convention unfolded, the TLT X carries on the line’s heritage of being a simply designed, lightweight touring boot that performs above its weight class. Previous to the TLT X, we’ve reviewed the Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour Boots and the Dynafit Radical Pro Boots so you may want to give those a read first to get better aquatinted with the Dynafit lineup.
Unlike both the Hoji and Radical Boots that use the Hoji Lock System, the TLT X uses the Ultra Lock system that we first tested way back in 2013 on the Dynaft One Boots. Back then this cuff-locking system was pretty revolutionary and has since come a long way and improved immensely. The principle design remains the same, with a buckle attached to a velcro power strap which when opened simultaneously switches the boot from ski to walk mode—when closed, it reverts the boot back into ski mode. The Ultra Lock 5.0 is a lightweight system that combines the top buckle with the ski/walk mechanism to save on weight and is far less complex than the Hoji Lock System. Integrated into the buckle is a catch that allows you to unclip from the power strap saving you the need to unfasten the velcro power strap each time you enter or exit the boots. This saves time and energy when switching from ski to walk mode and makes the process very efficient.
Over the forefoot of the TXT X Boots, you’ll find a Twistfit Closure System which operates in the same manner as the BOA System found on the Scarpa F1 LT Alpine Touring Boots and Atomic Backland Carbon Boots as well as the QLS or Quick Lacing System on the Dalbello Quantum Asolo Boots. Dynafit’s Twistfit Closure System does away with the need for a forefoot buckle and instead uses an embedded wire to tension a plastic plate over your forefoot which provided a very snug, customizable fit. This system saves on weight and simplifies the process of effectively fitting the TLT X to your foot.
Also new in the Dynfit TLT X Boots is a better anatomical fit, a more refined shape, enhanced instep, increased forefoot volume and a more defined heel pocket. This in combination with the new Dynafitter 5 Ultralon boot liners which have built-in flex zones and are of course heat-mouldable provide a very customizable fit.
On the outside the TLT X’s you’ll find the Pomoca Climb (Speed) outsoles and the return of the toe welt which provides crampon compatibility even though it is a reduced light-weight size.
Although no flex rating is provided for the TLT X Boots I can confirm that they have 60 degrees of cuff rotation which is more range of motion than most people’s ankles so you now that they won’t slow you down on the skin track.
Cuff - Grilamid loaded with glass fibres
Shell - Grilamid
Spoiler - Grilamid
There is no denying the TLT X Boots are light, at just over a kilo for the size 27.5’s (which I tested) they are about as light as you can get without going to a full carbon rando race boot. While the TLT X Boots ski well for their weight class they are definitely a one-trick pony and meant solely for big ski touring days and fulfilling ski mountaineering objectives. These are not a one-quiver boot for both resort and touring, they just don’t offer up the performance needed when conditions get challenging—and that’s ok as they were not designed for this. They’re purpose-built to go light and fast and for this, they are ideal.
Their large 101mm last provides a good fit for those with wider feet or those of us with more average feet who just want a little extra toe room. Foothold is excellent considering there are no traditional buckles on this boot. The Twistfit instep closure system provided more than enough pressure over my forefoot and the versatility to dial in an exact fit depending on the terrain and snow conditions was ideal. For this reason, I didn’t really miss a traditional buckle and appreciated the weight savings. Up top the Ultra Lock 5.0 power strap/buckle combo worked efficiently, saving a lot of time and messing about at transitions. The ability to un-clip the buckle from the velcro strap on the Ultra Lock 5.0 System enabled me to ‘set it and forget it’, unlike the Scarpa F1 LT where you have to set it every time you put the boots on. Once the Ultra lock is open, the TLT X Boots have an enormous 60° range of motion in walk mode. I found this freedom of movement unhindered and enjoyed every step. The frictionless pivot at the ankle is super smooth and provides no resistance whatsoever. Combined, these two closure systems seated my heel firmly back in the pocket of the boot and they didn’t require that much boot fitting to make them my own. Although I did find the liner a little thin for my liking, they were warm enough and comfortable but I wouldn't go so far as to say they were 'plush'.
On the performance side, I did find the TLT X’s to be fairly soft and it took some time to get used to that much forward flex when skiing. I prefer a stiffer boot in the 100+ range, and while Dynafit provides no official flex rating I would guess that they are 90 at best on a good day. Although they are incredibly stiff torsionally, I found them to be softer than I would have liked, however, this did not stop them from providing a comfortable ski down in soft snow. I just worry about their ability to really put the pedal to the metal when things get spicy. Rumour has it that Dynafit has a Blacklight version of the TLT coming out soon that uses carbon to substantially stiffen the boots in this department. If you are concerned about stiffness, these may be worth holding out for.
Under the TLT X Boots, the Pomoca Soles were grippy as hell and provided traction when I needed it. On the front of the TLT X’s the minimal toe welt is another way that Dynafit saves on weight since it is not a full toe welt. Dynafit has done away with their Speed Nose design after so many people voiced their concerns—personally, I liked it. Because of this reduced toe welt, it means the TLT X boots cannot be used with the Salomon Shifts or Marker Kingpin Bindings but they will work with crampons for ski mountaineering.
Overall the TLT X Boots are meant for big days and going light and fast. They are a dedicated touring boot and do just what they were designed for, just be sure that you like a flex on the softer side and you’ll be smiling every step of the way.
Price: $899.95CAN / $799.95US
Sizes: 25 - 30.5
Weight: 2,150g / 4.74lbs (size 27.5 pair)
Cuff Rotation: 60°
Forward Lean: 15°-18° + Release for Walking
Flex: Not stated
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