Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Hard Booters-Help me Out
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  • #574834
    2486 Posts

    I have had a foot Issue for a couple of years now due to running. It started as Plantar Faciitis and then this season I hit a tree in Tahoe on Thanksgiving while doin some powder riding with Dave.
    I dint break anything and was told to wear a “boot” for a few weeks.
    The ankle is all good from hitting the tree but somewhere along the way I developed a limp. Mostly from pain in the mid joint of my foot.

    I have figurd out a lot of my problems come from soft boots and the way they flex a bit right in the middle of the sole.

    So- I have to stay in a boot again for 6 weeks, so that really puts a damper on this season ( still hoping to do Sahsta in July)

    I have decided to go to hard Boots and Mountain plates.

    I have rode hard boots 3 times. I kinda liked the ride , but living in San Diego its tough to be able to find the right pair. You know the fit, the feel, the weight


    If you hard boot , let me know which boots and what bindings you ride and why.
    And what about Dynafit?

    Isnt that for the toe and skinning?


    875 Posts

    i haven’t converted to the ‘dark side’ yet 😉 ,… but the TLT5 sound really intriguing

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg


    947 Posts

    I look forward to other responses on this as well. Especially the bindings thing. When I did try hardboots 5 years ago or so, I hated how high up off the board I was with the Voile Plates. Are most of you guys using some other sort of binding..and does it bring your foot sole closer to the deck?

    Honestly, so many soft boot uppers are synthetic, that it doesn’t make sense to me you couldn’t get a plastic outer to fit and flex similarly to a stiff soft boot (like the DriverX or K2 T1) given the right starting shell and modifications..but hard boots lift your foot sole much higher off the deck then softboots do, so adding another 1/2 to 3/4″ like the Voile plates do is a bit of a deal breaker for me.

    BTW Tex:

    Yeah, my understanding is that the Dynafit toe pieces Will makes become your new touring bracket, and then your plate bindings go into your pack so you have a lighter effective skinning weight..just the boot and the toe piece. This and the compatibility to automatic crampons are (in my perception) some of the bigger perks of hardbooting.

    Which leads me to yet another question…what about ski crampons? Are there any ski crampons compatible w/ hardboots and dynafits?

    BTW BTW, sorry to hear you’re back in a boot. I know you were hurting by the last day of the eastside party too…best wishes to get well soon! I plan on continuing to ride through July as well, so I’d be happy to tour w/ ya when you’re making up for lost time!

    875 Posts

    @tex wrote:

    so that really puts a damper on this season ( still hoping to do Shasta in July)

    did someone mention Shasta? … :thumpsup:

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg


    830 Posts

    I would check out the boot thread for more up to date boots on the market and effective mods. My boots are so outdated I wouldn’t be much help. I will say this though if you take your hardboots to Shasta without first getting a feel for them in something like pow you will most likely hate hardboots. Like with most things there is a learning curve and you have to adapt your riding. Hardpack to suncup death is not the best conditions to get to know the hardboot ride.

    Lastly, notice the guys rocking hardboots out there…Barrows, Steepy, Karkis, Cowboy, WOW, etc. This shit is straight up for the hardcore…….you sure you can handle this TEX?????

    2486 Posts

    Utah, I have ridden hard boots before. About 3 seasons ago. I liked the ride , but what kept me from buying is down here I really have no way of trying on/out a pair of boots. I went to salt lake all 3 times to try out boots because the REI there rented a few types.

    I did like the Garmount Megalite.

    Seems like there are more choices out there now. I like the way these look (as far asweight and some flex)

    498 Posts
    270 Posts

    hey thats tuff, sorry ta hear, ya rilly gotta be careful with those inflammatory issues, make sure they heal rite, hope it works out for ya…

    i think a big thing with plastic boots is the fit, they gotta fit yer foot… dynafit fits pretty narrow, im pretty interested in how those garmonts fit too, probly a bit narrow but i havent had the pleasure… scarpas seem to be made for a pretty wide foot, bds have a wider forefoot at least, maybe less so in the ankle.
    but the dyna n garmonts are next level over the rest, in terms of weight, and most ski boots are well over engineered for shredders use.

    im pretty happy on my f2 binders, i like the canting mostly, and how the heel bail stays in place, and theyre solid but not heavy.

    never summer snowboards
    phantom splitboard bindings
    dynafit touring
    atomic boots

    864 Posts

    @utah wrote:

    Lastly, notice the guys rocking hardboots out there…Barrows, Steepy, Karkis, Cowboy, WOW, etc. This shit is straight up for the hardcore…….you sure you can handle this TEX?????

    Don’t let em scare you off Tex. You know I ride the HB’s too, so they is not just for the hardcore. Can’t help you out with gear info. I just take whatever anyone will give me and make it work(mostly)… I do like how the voile plates make me look taller then thte 5’6″ I really am, so the extra lift is a bonus.

    if you like the softies, and it’s the sole that bugs you, what about some sort of stiff foot bed?

    498 Posts

    Which leads me to yet another question…what about ski crampons? Are there any ski crampons compatible w/ hardboots and dynafits?

    Try B and D SuperFat crampons for Splitboards,


    130 Posts

    I really like my Scarpa F1s, although they are approaching worn out. The rear all-in-one latch needs a little modification if you don’t want to lock the forward lean, but even a piece of duct tape over the slot works fine. I have a couple of friends on Garmont Masterlites this year – they don’t think a lot of them for skiing due to odd flex but they ride well and are much lighter than the F1s. Rando-race style boots seem to provide all the beef you needfor riding and save weight compared to more popular ski touring boots, but are harder to find. I use Voile Mtn Plates and Dynafit toepieces – I like the weight, feel, and releasability of the dynafits. I also like that the F1s with bellows & dynafits are more comfortable to walk in (F3 also). That might not be what you are looking for, though…

    101 Posts

    I ride the BD Primes and love them. I broke a pair of the Voile plates so I’ve used the Bombers for two seasons now with Dynafit toe pieces on the up.

    The Dynafit TLTs look really nice and my ski buddies rave about the nice walk mode but unfortunately they didn’t fit my foot very well. Even though the Primes are heavier, they fit well enough for extended ski trips so it’s worth it for me. I also rode some F1s for a few years as well as F3s, they walk nice but I like the way the Primes ride more.

    I wouldn’t recommend hard boots unless you ride a slightly forward stance, I’m currently at 12/25 and that’s perfect for me. I don’t think a duck stance would work without modifying the boots to the point they sucked as bad as soft boots on uptrack sidehilling.

    Keep in mind that they aren’t going to feel very good until you get your mods dialed in but once you get them right you’ll never go back.

    89 Posts

    Have you thought about having your soft boots resoled with a shank and vibram rubber?

    1490 Posts

    TEX: here are some thoughts in no specific order:

    Hard boots will probably help with your foot issues-but the key is having the perfect fit-without the perfect fit hard boots may not help. to get the perfect fit, you really want to work with a good bootfitter if you do not know too much about ski boot fitting. A good moldable liner, and a really good custom footbed can be critical to getting the best fit, and these need to be done by someone who knows what they are doing.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe you can just purchase a set of boots off the shelf and some binders and then head directly off to Shasta and be happy. Developing a hard boot set up generally takes some time, as hard boots require some mods to really ride well.

    The good news: if you take the time to develop a hard boot set up which suits your riding style, and make sure it is properly fitted, it will outperform a soft boot set up, and your feet and ankles will be much happier on long days out splitting.

    Hard boots are not just for “hardcore” riding, as hard boots can be modded to flex just about anyway you want. You need a mod type binding to get low to the board-I run Burton RacePlate toe and heel pieces direct mounted to the Voile Slider plate with 2.5 degree cants on both bindings. My stance is 21.125″ at 27 degrees front and about 10 degrees back. My boots are flexible enough to ride flatter angles if I wanted to, and some riders even ride duck in hard boots-so it can be done.

    with a Dynafit toe piece on the board for touring, hard boots easily outperform any other set up in tour mode-no contest at all.

    Go to the Boots forum and read up. Once you have read the relevant threads, please feel free to PM me with any specific questions you might have.

    My recommendations:

    forget the Voile plate binders (too high off of the board)
    use Dynafit toe pieces (much better touring efficiency)
    Boots: Dynafit TLT5 Mountain (with mods), Scarpa F1 (with mods)
    then Dynafit is lighter and requires less modding, and it fits better for a low volume foot, the Scarpa fits better for a high volume foot. I think the TLT5 is the trickest boot available right now for split use.
    If you do not care too much about weight, the Bomber sidewinder split binding is very trick-it is articulated and allows for some (damped) medial and lateral flex. You may be able to ride some hard boots in stock form with the upper cuff a little loose and the Bomber binding.
    Use eBay for finding old plate bindings: Burton RacePlates, SnoPro Race, and F1 bindings all have toe and heel pices which can (with some mods to the mounting holes) be direct mounted to the Voile slider plate.

    947 Posts

    Barrows…is your modded race plate/slider track available in picture format? On another thread maybe?

    1490 Posts

    Jeffreys: I am on dial up here (rural mountains) so do not do a lot of pic posting. Send me a PM and I can e-mail you a pic next time I have my laptop at a wifi spot, it might take a few days.

    2486 Posts

    Thanks for the tips/info Barrows. My plan is to go ahead and buy some bomber pivot bindings and start renting boots. I know what you are saying about proper fit. I started down the hard boot road before. I do like the ride, and the warmth they offer for one thing but my foot problem stems from the big joint in your mid foot, the one you dont see. It is right where the sole flex would be in a soft boot. And I think thats whats causing my injury to not heal.

    as far as renting, I plan ongoing up to mammoth and renting from Dave at Mammouth mountaineering. They are very savy on setting a boot/liner correct so I think I can get one type, try for a day or a half day , bring them back and try a different brand. I realize the liner is just as important, but I do want to try differnt types /brands for the best fit

    621 Posts

    Tex, sucks about your foot. I dont have experience in hard boots, But I have broken my left foot twice And it takes a long time to heal. I did a number of rehab exercises. One was swimming and it sounds kooky, but you swim and “kick” with your broken foot. (Helped loosen up my foot and gave better movement.) Another thing was to sit in a chair, put a towel down by your feet and try to twist the towel up with the heel of your foot (this was very painful for me) Good luck :thumbsup:

    2068 Posts

    I call first dibs on his Sparks and Malamutes.

    2486 Posts

    I call first dibs on his Sparks and Malamutes.

    You do know they smell like fish dont you ?

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