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.

A man powder skiing with the Dynafit Beast AT ski boots.

This is as close as I've come to being able to see these boots while skiing. All photos courtesy of Will Shaw 

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About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2016.

My take

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

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 180 lbs
  • Street shoe size: 11.5
  • Experience: 18 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • 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

Claimed Stiffness Accuracy
4/5
Durability
2/5
Heel Hold
2/5
Lightweight
3/5
Responsiveness
3/5
Versatility
3/5
Walk Mode
3/5

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.

A man skiing down a powder chute.

Spring Powder in XYZ Chutes

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.

Final verdict

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.

Selling Dynafit on Curated.com
Dynafit Beast AT Ski Boots · 2016
$799.95
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Written By
Growing up in Oklahoma, I was fortunate to make regular ski trips to the mountains for most of my life. For the last 8 years I have been living in Colorado and exclusively backcountry skiing along the front range. I love waking up early to ger a few laps in by headlamp before work, but my passion is...

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