Read the long-term Garmont Radium review… – By Kendall Card
I’m a big fan of Garmont alpine touring boots. It is evident that their years of boot-building experience give them an advantage because they are building the most anatomical, comfortable and functional backcountry ski boots on the market. Their new line of ski mountaineering boots are the result of millions invested in the right-fitting molds and the right technology.
New for the 2008-2009 ski season will be a full line of beefy and capable ski mountaineering boots. The top-of-the-line model will be the Garmont Radium–a classic-looking 4-buckle design that will completely blow you away by its overall comfort, walkability and light weight while still being able to drive even the burliest skis.
Dynafit-compatible and Hiking-friendly
The Radium sports a tough, rockered and lugged sole that will keep you firmly planted while scrambling up rocky, windswept ridgelines. They are both Dynafit and A/T binding (Naxo/Fritschi/Silvretta) compatible. To complement the burly sole, the Radium includes the most flexible and natural-feeling walk mode of any backcountry ski boot I’ve ever worn. The upper cuff literally flexes fore and aft as well as any standard mountaineering boot on the market. Other than the lateral stiffness, these babies don’t feel like ski boots when in walk mode.
Not to fear, this doesn’t mean that they are noodles when clamped down into ski mode. They are as stiff as any true touring boot on the market. I’d put them just a bit stiffer than the Garmont Mega Ride. The walk and ski-friendly nature of the new Radium is due to the all-new shell design that has a single-piece lower wrap and upper tongue to ensure consistent flex and to add stiffness. They have a simplified forward lean that just locks you in at 24-degrees. No more mismatched forward lean woes!
Adding to the package is an entirely-new G-FIT Rapid liner that’s made to fit better and allow you to slip your feet in/out much easier. This liner sports a beefed-up tongue for added stiffness and pressure distribution. On top of the new liner and all-new lightweight PEBAX shell design, the two upper buckles on the Radium are as high-tech and functional of any I’ve seen. They have a locking mechanism that lightly secures the buckle into the selected hook, thus preventing it from leaving that channel unless the release button is tapped. On top of this, they have eliminated the extended touring hook in place of the ability to lock open the buckles–nice!
My explanations don’t do these buckles justice… they are well-designed and should provide great fit both while climbing and descending.
Back to the shell… the entirely-new shell is an enhanced overlap design for greater simplification and a more comfortable fit. Notice below how the buckles can now be properly spaced because of the elimination of the forward pivot on the hinged tongue. These boots were well designed.
As with all of Garmont’s latest boots, the Radium comes with an anatomical fit that is pre-punched in the right locations to accommodate the human foot right out of the box. I have to agree that Garmont ski boots are the best fitting boots out the chute of any I’ve used.
On top of the Radium, Garmont has two other boots built on the same last. The Argon 4-buckle (MSRP: $700) uses stiffer materials and doesn’t include Dynafit compatibility and the Helium 3-buckle Dynafit-compatible (MSRP: $740) that’s built to be a bit softer and will be available in a women’s-specific liner.
Visit www.garmontusa.com for more information. The Garmont Radium ski mountaineering boots will be available in Fall 2008 with an MSRP of $760.
Buy Now: Find Alpine Touring Ski Boots at Backcountry.com
I am looking for Dynafit compatible boots, and the Garmont last fits me well. I have owned Megaride and Adrenalin. Megaride was too soft for me, while Adrenalin worked well. Garmont claims that Radium has the same flex rating as Adrenalin, but opinions on the ‘net seems to indicate that they are softer, closer to the Megaride. I like the overlap design of the Radium, but stiffness is more important. How would you rate their stiffness compared to Megaride and Adrenalin? Should I get the Axon instead?
If you want stiff, performance-oriented boots with Dynafit-compatibility, go with the Axons. I’m not sure if you read our review of the Axons here:
I have yet to ski on the Radium, so I can’t tell you for sure. However, I have tried them on and they are some of the most comfortable touring boots I’ve stepped into. They are also super lightweight. Keep in mind that the Radium/Argon boots are made for ski mountaineering, so hike-ability and touring is tops. The flex feels about Adrenaline-like.
If you’re looking for a stiff, downhill-friendly boot from Garmont that is Dynafit-compatible, the Axons are the ticket.
Thanks for your reply. If Radium is close to Adrenalin then they will suit me well I think. Dynafit Zzeus is also a candidate. Have you tried these boots? Are they between Radium and Axon in stiffness?
I have not tried the Zzeus… they sure look pretty! If you’re looking for a more power touring option, the Black Diamond Method might work also.
We just got our hands on a pair of Garmont Radium’s to test. Kendall will be posting his thoughts in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
It looks like the Argon may have a more aggressive fwd lean than the Radium. What are the specs between the two? Is the Argon in fact stiffer than the Radium. The deal I just read was a bit ambiguous.
The Argon uses a different shell material that is a tad heavier and stiffer. How much stiffer? I don’t know exactly since I don’t have a pair on-hand. Both the Radium and Argon will push the biggest skis in the backcountry without flinching. I’m sure you could overski them inbounds, but they should be solid options for BC skiing.
I got the Radiums this year too. I live in Jackson Hole,WY and ski both in bounds, behind the resort and serious backcountry. They ARE the most comfortable ski boot I have ever owned. They also walk very well and naturally… maybe a little restricted on rear movement, but they are a 4 buckle. They are also very light. The only thing more I could ask for would be a little more stiff once cranked down, especially since they put you in a little more upright of a stance. In good powder they are great, on groomed slopes they are fine, but if you like variable conditions on steep terrain I would go with the Argon for sure.
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