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September 26, 2013

In the House. In the Kitchen, In Fact.

Light and green. I like my new shoes.

Just like that, the chill in the air becomes the real deal and gear acquisition season is in full swing. The Dynafit boys did me a favor and steered me toward a pair of the new TLT6P's, the successor to the legendary and ubiquitous TLT5 that pretty much everyone I know uses.

What's new? Dynafit's dumped the Actiflex joint under the ball of the foot, which some skiers complained affected their downhill prowess (but which I personally liked a lot for going uphill or covering long approaches in the boots - didn't seem to bother me skiing). The last is a bit wider and taller in the toe box, with just a tad more room over the instep and around the midfoot. If your have a low volume foot and the TLT5's been your saviour, the TLT6 isn't really as voluminous as the 102mm forefoot spec would have you believe. I still had to punch the boot for both the first and fifth metatarsal heads and a bit in the medial midfoot, just like most ski boots I have owned.

The other specs are pretty much the same - the 27.5 TLT6P weighs in at 1240 grams without tongue. The added weight is due to the burlier, warmer "CR" liner (there is also a light "CL" version, but only the CR or "Custom Ready" is offered in North America) which is 290 grams by itself. You get two tongues, a black one that feels like the old TLT5P one, and a lime green one that's a fair amount softer and 7 grams heavier (63 vs 70). The buckles have been improved, with the lower one sweeping back and somewhat protected by a ridge in the shell and a new cable bale that doesn't catch on the tongue when you buckle up. The upper buckle has a click stop to hold it open when you're skinning like the Mercury/Vulcan/One series boots. There's a a two-position forward lean option that lets you select either a 13 degree or 18 degree lean by flipping the metal lean lock tab over - this is held in place with Torx 20 fasteners like the buckle ladders.

Dynafit says the CR liner has a thick thermal foam under the foot which obviates the need for a footbed. I'm not totally sold on the idea, even with my super flat foot, but there isn't really enough extra instep room for me to put my footbeds in, so I guess I'll go without for now. Beyond that, the TLT6P epitomizes what I love about this brand - light, fast and super efficient. The "6" should ski a little better for most people and give up only a tiny amount of uphill comfort; it figures to be a worthy wearer of the light and fast touring boot crown for years to come.

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"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .

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