With all of the new bells and whistles for Dynafit’s Freeride-specific Hoji line and their spandex-friendly skimo slippers over the past few years, the brand’s middling Radical ski boots have been ripe for innovation. The old four-buckle models were clunky, did everything OK but nothing great, and started to lose appeal as other comparable models—including the SCARPA F1 and Tecnica Zero G lines—became lighter, prettier, and ultimately better on the downhill.
Enter the new Dynafit Radical Pro. Featuring a reduced weight, Cabrio shell design, and the Hoji Lock, plus a 1,380 gram (3 lbs.) weight, the new Radical Pro looks a lot different and functions much better.
The Hoji Lock is a massive upgrade, but the biggest improvement is the overall shell design, including the two-piece tongue and Cabrio shell. It looks a lot like the members Hoji line, as that is inherent to using the Hoji Lock system, but the Radical Pro has an extended toe bight for crampon use and with a more upright stance, and, for the men’s boot, the use of green colors reminiscent of the ZZero Green Machine.
Learn more about the construction of the Radical Pro backcountry ski boot
In the skin track, the Radical Pro tours like a dream. With a 60-degree range of motion and a slipper-like 103.5 mm last, the boot was extremely comfortable on the long, flat approach of Colorado’s Butler Gulch and the steeper slopes of Red Mountain Pass.
Keeping the middle buckle strapped down not-quite-tight kept my heel in place while touring, but I did have to tighten in when transitioning for optimal downhill performance. This adds one more step to the Hoji Lock system, which, all things considered, is still a lot less steps compared to locking down four buckles and a walk mode.
Speaking of downhill performance, the Radical Pro skis fairly upright, which makes sense since the boot is designed to be skied in the soft snows of the backcountry. The tongue uses two different polyurethane plates, which provides a very smooth feel when skiing and allows the boot to power a ski’s inside edge.
For heavier skiers who like to ski fast, there is a bit of a juxtaposition between the Hoji Lock and the tongue. The Hoji Lock is extremely rigid, but the tongue is supple and has some flex. This means that when the boot is really driven forward with weight or power, the front of the boot can over flex while the spine does not. So long as the user doesn’t drive the boot too hard and completely avoids hard groomers, this quirk is hardly noticeable.
Overall, the all-new Radical Pro delivers with some much-needed upgrades to the Radical line and significantly improves the uphill and downhill performance of the ski. For skiers looking for a high volume, dedicated backcountry boot, make sure to check this boot out next season, because they aren’t going to stay in stock long.
Tune in to SKI Magazine’s Instagram on February 3, 2021, at 10 a.m. MST for a live interview with Dynafit athletes Eric Hjorleifson and Marty Schaefer to learn more about the Radical Pro Boot