Expert Review: Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour Ski Boots
This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2018.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2018.
The Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour is a capable touring boot for dedicated backcountry skiers. It tours really efficiently, transitions quickly, and is one of the best skiing touring boots I’ve used. It isn’t overly stiff, so it’s a great boot for intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers.
About the gear
- Model: 2019 (early release) & 2019 Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour
- Size: 28.5
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 180 lbs
- Street shoe size: 11.5
- Experience: 18 years of skiing
- When I bought these: January 2018
- Days tested: 50 days
- Skis: Blizzard ZeroG 108
- Bindings: Atomic Backland
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry skiing around the Colorado Front Range
- Terrain: Powder, trees, bowls, steeps, couloirs
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for the most efficient touring boot I could find that could still drive a big ski. I needed something with a good range of motion that I could transition between ski and walk mode with as few steps as possible.
Why I chose this gear
I bought the Hoji because I love the Hoji walk mode and the toe weltless speed nose. The boots transition between skiing and climbing with one lever that locks the boot and tightens the cuff buckle and powder strap in one motion. Taking the toe welt off the boot saves weight, but it also moves the pivot point closer to the foot.
I didn’t consider any other new options because no one else had a walk mode like the Hoji’s. I was looking for something to replace my Scarpa Maestrales, and if the Hoji hadn’t come out, I probably would have kept skiing them.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: Dynafit does not assign a flex number to their boots, but the flex feels appropriate for its intended purpose as a capable touring boot.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: The Hoji Pro Tour fits true to size. I have been a size 28.5 across dozens of touring boots, and the length was as expected. The 103.5mm last also fits true to size, which fits me well, but it might make the boot feel a little big to someone with a narrow foot.
- Flex: I love the flex of the Hoji Pro Tour. It is probably around 110–120 if I had to guess, so it’s not overly stiff. The Hoji walk mode pre-pressures the cuff of the boot forward into bumpers in the ski/walk mechanism, so there is no play in the cuff. It also lets the cuff flex forward more naturally without catching with a latch in the back, so it doesn’t have the feeling of being soft and then hitting a wall that many touring boots have.
- Weight: The advertised weight is 1,450g per boot, which is light, but there are much lighter options out there. The Hoji is one of the heaviest boots in my quiver, but gram for gram it is the best skiing boot I own.
- Ease of Use: The Hoji Pro Tour’s design with the tongue makes it easy to get on and off. It is important to put the boot in ski mode before tightening the top buckle and power strap, or else they will cinch down too tight when the boot is transitioned to ski mode.
- Backcountry: The Hoji Pro Tour is the ultimate backcountry ski boot. I ski it with the Atomic Backland binding with the first heel riser flipped down over the pins, so between the binding and the Hoji walk mode, my transitions on a tour are almost exactly the same as when I’m racing.
- Adjustability: The Hoji is an easy boot to adjust. There is a micro-adjustment on the lowest buckle, and the ladder lock strap over the ankle can be easily adjusted on the move with one hand. The best part is that once the cuff buckle and power strap are in place, they stay there and don’t need adjustment for the rest of the day, since they’re integrated with the ski/walk lever.
- Walk Mode: The walk mode is the best feature of the Hoji Pro Tour. It gets a lot of attention for integrating the buckle and power strap into the lever, but the way it works makes it ski amazingly well. When the boot is in walk mode, an internal mechanism moves up so that bumpers on the boot upper clear the lower portion and provide a more forward range of motion. In ski mode, the boot gets pre-pressured forward and the bumpers that slide down are already engaged, so there is no play in the boot.
- Grip: The Pomoca Climb Sole grips well on most surfaces. The Speed Nose design also helps with grip while walking, as there is no toe welt that flips the foot up in the air at the end of the stride.
- Durability: At first, I was nervous about the extra cables and more complicated ski/walk mode, but I have had no durability issues with the Hoji Pro Tour. Everything still feels solid, and there is no extra play in the boot after seasons of use.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Comfort: I occasionally had issues with a gap forming in the liner when the tongue would move off center over the course of the day. This would let my ankle boot hit the shell of the boot, and it was painful. It was more of an issue with the pre-release version I had in the 18/19 seasons. The production version has a more substantial liner that seems to have fixed the issue. I put a pair of Intuition Pro Flex G liners in my first pair to fix the issue and have mostly used them instead of the stock liners in my second pair of boots.
- Resort: I have never skied the Hoji Pro Tour at the resort, but it is not a resort boot. It is only compatible with pin tech bindings, and it is in the category of lighter-weight touring boots. Skiing it at the resort would put unnecessary wear on the boot.
- Park: Besides not being a resort boot, it is not a park boot. Only being compatible with pin bindings should be enough of a deterrent to stay out of the park with the Hoji Pro Tour.
- Hot Spots: The only hot spot is the one on the ankle from when the tongue in the old liner would move to the side.
- Any workarounds?: I’m using an aftermarket Intuition liner, but the current liner fixed the issue around the ankle.
Favorite moment with this gear
One of my favorite days of skiing the Hoji Pro Tour was November 7, 2018. A friend and I had each just mounted a pair of DPS Spoon prototypes, which are 148mm underfoot, and we were told we’d never see enough snow in Colorado to need them. That night several feet of snow fell, and we set our alarms for 3:00 a.m. We made it to the trailhead by 5:00 a.m. and spent the morning dressed for a skimo race skiing waist-deep powder as fast as we could on 148mm skis before going into work.
Value for the money vs. other options
At $800 MSRP, the Hoji Pro Tour is more expensive than similar options without substantial amounts of carbon. The Scarpa Maestrale is fairly comparable and costs $700. For me, there is well over $100 of value in the added efficiency of the Hoji, and I think it skis better. With new models available from Dynafit now, it’s possible to find the boot on sale, which makes it a great option for a budget setup.
The Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour is an efficient touring boot for people who like to keep moving. It skis exceptionally well, has a great range of motion, and transitions so quickly that I have almost had to buy them for all my ski partners.