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.