• Free shipping starting from 150 €
  • 30 days free return
  • Original Dynafit Brand Shop

The Hoji Pro Tour: review by Freeride Pro and Photographer Nikolai Schirmer

7 Blaaner, the Norwegian Dynafit distributor sent me the new Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour boot towards the end of the 17/18 season. Being a Norwegian skier I gave it a run in Lyngen, while filming for a short film for Norrøna and my own video project. These are my experiences with it:

These boots have made it all just a little bit easier.

FREE | 12.09.2018 | Nikolai Schirmer

The touring beast

The Hoji Pro Tour was supposed to change that. I first saw the boot in action on Hoji’s feet at Whistler, where we were skiing icy groomers and bumps, and it seemed solid enough – Hoji nose-buttering and crushing ice with powerful turns all the way to The Handlebar.

 

My first impression when I slipped them on in Lyngen was how flexible they are. I set them up with an intuition tour liner, and padded the roomy toe-box for a tight fit, and still it felt more like wearing a hiking boot than a ski boot in walk-mode (editor's note: liner and toe-box received an update for season 2018/19). While the cuff rotation is similar to other boots on the market, the shell feels really flexible in walk-mode. Instead of moving around inside a shell that’s opened, the shell actually flexes around the foot, so it fits snugly even while doing full split steps up the mountain (which I do sometimes to impress the ladies). I’ve never used a lightweight touring boot for comparison, but this was by far the best uphill performance I’ve ever experienced.

 

For longer tours I found it more comfortable to open up all the buckles and the top strap, but for short laps the Hoji-lock is all I needed to adjust to switch into ski mode.

Skiing the Hoji boot: the move to ski mode really is efficient

I’m a fan of the ankle strap for boots in general, and this one pulls down firmly to lock it in place. I could’ve used a few more notches on the toe buckle for more precise adjustment, and it’s really roomy, so I compensated with foam pads for a good fit. The revolutionary part of the boot though is the Hoji-lock, a single buckle that locks the entire upper part of the boot into place. I found it a little fidgety sometimes, having to bend my foot a bit back and forth to get the buckle to move, but after a few times I consistently found the right angle for it.

 

While there’s still a bunch of buckles to be adjusted if you’re moving from a long tour to downhill, the switch is a far cry from the removable tongue systems I’ve been using before. The move to ski mode really is efficient.

They were different, but as high performing.

When I first switched over to tech systems what threw me off was how light my setup became. This made it feel different under my foot when skiing, even though the performance in lack of unwanted releases was up to par. I had the same experience when I first rode the Hoji. The flex was only a tad softer, and the fit as good, as my previous setup, but laying down my first turns it felt weird because they were so much lighter. After a few runs I got into them though, and they held up with good dampening through debris fields and feeling solid when landing airs. They were different, but as high performing.

As the boots don’t have a toe welt they won’t be my do it all boot, because I still sometimes resort to traditional alpine bindings (you’ll also have to get special crampons set up for them). For moving through an alpine environment though they are definitely the future, and therefore they’ll be my everyday boot. The fact that switching to walk mode is never a hassle makes traverses and all those little in-between up and downs of a day in the mountain so much more pleasurable. Looking back, these boots would have been the perfect tool for the kind of riding I was doing in British Columbia earlier in the season where we just lapped short stretches of pillows and trees. Less time spent on adjusting gear means more time skiing.

I first swapped over to tech bindings after wrecking several regular touring bindings in Alaska during the 12/13 season, because the moving parts would break. The following years my most consequential skiing has been done on tech setups because touring has been my primary access to big terrain. While the bindings have more than held up, I’ve been stuck with boots which were essentially alpine boots with pins because of my riding style. I’m a big guy at 189cm and 86kg, so I’ve needed proper support from my boot. The down has always taken precedent over the up.