Like most people, my backcountry skiing days started out with standard alpine boots in tow. After a couple of seasons with that setup, I moved onto alpine touring ski boots for smoother walking and striding. But, I’ve still been reluctant to go for the many ultralight A/T boots on the market for fear they wouldn’t be able to drive today’s fat skis. I’ve been very satisfied with the performance of the Garmont Endorphin and Scarpa Skookum boots and now it’s time to test Dynafit’s comparable entry the Titan TF-X.
Built as an alpine/backcountry crossover boot, the Titan is able to drive today’s fat skis in a variety of conditions. The Titan TF-X comes with the ability to use Dynafit, alpine or alpine bindings (with quick sole change)–all with the same boot. Construction is burly with alpine-esque construction.
The Dynafit Titan is the new king of the Dynafit ski boot lineup. Aimed at the crossover crowd who prefers a beefy booth for inbounds and backcountry, the Titan delivers a lightweight, functional package with swappable DIN soles for either A/T or alpine use.
Dynafit Titan TF-X Features:
- Lightweight PU shell
- Magnesium buckles
- Weight: 8.8 lbs per pair (touring mode)
- Bindings: ISO Alpine, A/T, Dynafit (Tech)
- Liner: Heat-moldable
- Forward lean: 15 or 21-degrees
- Sole: Dynagrip or ISO Alpine
- MSRP: $760
Dynafit Titan TF-X Review
With the Storm Trooper-esque Dynafit Titan’s underfoot this season, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their overall performance. While I had no doubt they would crush the downhill, I was a little nervous about the walkability of these freeride touring boots. When they arrived, the size 27.0 seemed just right. It was a little snug, but I knew that a quick heat mold would reduce some of that volume. After a trip to Surefoot at The Canyons, I was dialed in for a lightweight (not ultrathin) sock, like the Lorpen Tri-Layer lightweight sock.
Once the liners were custom-molded these babies felt extremely comfortable. I decided to try out the new Superfeet REDhot insoles ($49) with these boots and have had great success in support, comfort and power transfer. The only modification I had to do was move the buckle latches in one slot on the upper cuff. After only a couple of extra minutes and an Allen wrench, these babies were dialed in.
With several tours and a day inbounds at Alta, I must say I’m very impressed with these boots. Without question, they can ski downhill with the best alpine boots. I can feel an instant power transfer as I transition from turn-to-turn. I’ve not felt that kind of smoothness and power in a touring boot very often, but the Titan’s definitely are as good or better than every other similar AT boot on the market.
Like most people, I’ve yet to switch out for the Alpine DIN blocks. While it seems great on paper, it’s really not a practical option to do on a regular basis. Yes, there are many boots on the market with swappable soles (Garmont Endorphin, Black Diamond Factor, Salomon Quest Pebax Pro, etc), but I’m guessing most skiers choose one sole and stick with it. I can stick with the AT soles for alpine and backcountry because my “inbounds” skis are mounted with Marker Baron’s. If you have traditional alpine bindings, you may have to swap the blocks more regularly.
In the backcountry, I’ve been using the Titan’s with the venerable Fritschi Freeride bindings. I know, I know… Dynafit boots with Fritschis? Yes, indeed, I still prefer Fritschi’s but will try to round out the review this Spring with a Dynafit-on-Dynafit test (stay tuned). As it was with the Fritschi’s, the Titan’s were an excellent match. I found the bindings easy to engage with a solid, locked-in feel.
For touring, the Titan’s have felt lightweight and provided ample range-of-motion for a comfortable stride. There are several boots now on the market with more range of motion, but I never felt inhibited in any way while skinning or walking around. Yeah, a little more flex would have been nice, but I didn’t find it absolutely detrimental to this boot. I found myself skinning up with the forefoot snug (but not ski-mode tight) and the upper cuff buckles engaged in touring mode. This provided ample flex and still kept my foot in place for a chaff-free stride.
Switching from tour to ski mode was easy. A quick flip of the light switch on the back while flexed and I was dialed into the maximum forward lean setting. The switch is considerably less beefy than other boots on the market (which makes me nervous), but has continued to perform well. I can tell you that skiing in walk mode is not recommended. No matter how much I try to remember, I always do that at least once during the season. A few turns in and you’ll notice and flip the switch.
The lugged AT sole provides excellent traction for slippery parking lots and ridgeline scrambles alike. They are even nimble enough for a little Irish jig at the end of the day–if you’re so inclined.
- Ultra-precise downhill performance
- Lateral stiffness
- Flexible soles for AT or alpine use
- Thermo-moldable liner provides personalized comfort
- Grippy outsole
- Aggressive forward lean position
- Excellent walkability when using buckle extensions
- Great on groomers or off-piste
- Lightweight feel
- Once molded, the liner packs out considerably
- Could provide a little better walking stride when buckled
- Occasionally, the left boot would “catch” while in walk mode and not flex as it should
- Swappable Alpine/AT blocks are a good idea, but are unnecessary
Bottom Line: Dynafit Titan TF-X
The Titan is indeed one of the best of the “do-it-all” AT ski boots on the market. With excellent crossover ability to ski both the frontside with power and tour up the backside with ease, the Titan is a great option for those wanting a no-compromise downhill performer.