Expert Review: Dynafit Beast AT Ski Boots
This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2016.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2016.
The Dynafit Beast is a hard-charging touring boot. It’s lightweight and tours well, but it favors downhill performance.
About the gear
- Model: 2017 Dynafit Beast
- Size: 28.5
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 180 lbs
- Street shoe size: 11.5
- Experience: 18 years of skiing
- When I bought these: November 2016
- Days tested: 30
- Skis: Black Crows Nocta
- Bindings: Dynafit Radical FT 2.0
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry skiing around the Colorado Front Range
- Terrain: Powder, Trees, Bowls
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a lightweight but stiff touring boot that could drive a big ski. With the Scarpa F1 already in the quiver, I wanted something that focused on downhill performance, but it needed to be relatively lightweight and tour well.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Dynafit Beast because there wasn’t much like it on the market, and its ski/walk mechanism was completely unique. It was hard to find a boot with a two-piece design and good range of motion in that weight range. I had been skiing the La Sportiva Spectre, but they were at the end of their life. I was considering another pair of Spectres, but the Beast was closer to what I was looking for and a better compliment to the Scarpa F1.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: Dynafit doesn’t assign a number to the boot’s flex, but the flex feels appropriate for a freeride touring boot.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: The Beast fits true to size and feels consistent with every other touring boot I’ve used. Dynafit boots had been too narrow for me in the past, but I liked the fit of the Beast.
- Flex: The Beast has a stiff and progressive flex, and its mechanism is what grew into the Hoji Walk Mode. Flipping the lever up pre-loads the cuff of the boot, so there is no play in the upper before it engages. The ski/walk mechanism also departed from the hook-grabbing-a-bar or peg-fitting-in-a-hole design, which lets the boot flex forward more naturally, so it doesn’t feel like it hits a wall as some touring boots do.
- Resort: I don’t do much resort skiing, but I used the Beast for skiing at the resort with family. Its progressive flex let it handle bumps and chopped-up resort snow as well as anyone could ask a touring boot to.
- Backcountry: I mostly used the Beast for skiing powder laps on big skis, but I also took it on some long tours when the snow was good. It tours well and can still charge when it’s time to ski.
- Grip: I didn’t do much hiking in the Beast, but Pomoca soles always had good traction around the parking lot and on the occasional bootpack.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Comfort: The stock liner in the Beast is pretty thin, and I didn’t feel like the boot held my heel in place as well as others.
- Ease of use: The lower half of the boot rises pretty high at the ankle and is pretty stiff, so it’s not an easy boot to put on.
- Walk mode: The walk mode on the beast is smooth and works well, but most of the claimed range of motion is backward. There are a lot of bumpers that keep the cuff from hanging too far forward, so the range of motion can be limiting making big strides on flat ground.
- Durability: The boot itself held up well, but I broke 2 buckles over the course of the season. Dynafit replaced them and gave me a spare to keep with me. Replacing the buckles was simple, but it’s not something I think I could have done in the field with cold hands. I keep a lot of Voile Straps with me, so this never ended a day early.
- Power strap: I really didn’t like the power strap on the Beast. It was inconvenient for transitions and didn’t do much. I took it off and never missed it, but anyone who prefers having a power strap would be better off upgrading to a booster strap to get a little more power out of it.
- Hot spots: The heel lift I was feeling gave me a hot spot on the back of my heel after a couple of big days.
- Any workarounds?: I tried higher-volume footbeds that took up enough space to reduce the heel lift.
Favorite moment with this gear
One day of skiing in the Beast that stands out was a spring day on the north side of Flat Top in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a rare powder day with no wind, and the snow was good enough that it turned into a much longer day than I’d usually use that boot for. It was a great day of powder skiing, from sunrise to sunset.
Value for the money vs. other options
MSRP for the Dynafit Beast is $800, which prices it comparably to its competitors like the Tecnica Zero G. However, as a past model, it’s easy to find the Beast for as low as $400, which is very competitive for such a capable boot. I recently tracked down a pair for a friend who was putting together a new touring setup on a budget, and he has been loving them.
The Dynafit Beast is a capable freeride touring boot. It doesn’t have the best range of motion on the market, but it tours exceptionally well for its class. It’s a great boot for skiing hard on big days in the backcountry.