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2012 Dodge Ski Boots

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Title: Review: 2012 Dodge Carbon Fiber Ski Boot 




Shell Size Tested: 28.5

Width:Not Stated

Flex rating: Not Stated but I would guess 160 if buckled down tight

Ski tested with: Stockli XXL

Footbed: Full custom (from my previous boots)

Modifications done to boot: heel lifted about 3/8" to level forward lean. Ankle cuff adjusted. Footbeds trimmed down to fit Dodge.



Environment of Conditions:

*Location of review: Hunter Mountain, NY

*Runs Taken: Various Blacks and Blues

*Snow Conditions: Hard Pack and variable

*Demo or Own: Own


Summary (inc. Strengths & Weaknesses):

Turn initiation was like something new - instant. Never experienced anything close. Getting on edge quicker and with a higher angle. The boot is bigger than it looks, I went down a full size. The Carbon Fiber shell is about 2mm thick. Getting into them is a learning experience but not bad at all. The boot doesn't open all the way like a plastic boot does so you have to use the heal track. The advantage, however, is that you don't have to overbuckle. One concern I had was cold feet because of the thin shell and liner . It was not a problem. It was 22 degrees and my feet were fine. I never had a problem with cold feet before but it was on my mind before I skied them.


Run after run they just kept getting better.


I also want to mention that the bootfitter was Billy Kaplan. It was my first experience with Billy and he is a great guy. I've been to bootfitters before but he is by far the best. He really takes his time to make sure you have a perfect fit. I'm going to ski these a few times then go back to Billy for some fine tuning.


Other boots in class: None



Tester Info:

Age: 44

Height/Weight: 265

Average days on snow: 11-25

Years Skiing:15-30

Skis in your Quiver: Stockli - Laser SC, XXL, Scot Schmidt Pro; Fischer GS; Elan SL

Foot issues: Left foot pronates and collapses at arch.


Aggressiveness: Aggressive(Driver)

Preferred Terrain groomers - off-piste 75%-25%



post #2 of 25

Billy is awesome!  the best set of fun gadgets and tools icon14.gif

post #3 of 25

Thanks for the write-up about the Dodge as there are few few reviews from recreational skiers ( not surprising given the cost and the 150 flex rating ). My thinking continues to be that this boot would work very well for an eastern, hard snow recreational skier. I regret that they can not be demo'd like skis. I still believe it's the future of boots.


I am curious about your foot size in street shoes. 28 is the length I should use and I'm an 11.5. Many post that downsizing in the Dodge is preferred. After continued use, give us an update.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

I believe they can be demoed but they don't have a lot of locations.


One reason (beside cost) that recreational skiiers might not like them is because you can't just fit one time and your done. You need to ski them to decide if you like the flex or you want it reduced. Another issue for me was that I needed to ski them one time to really get into the boot. I could not put the boots on with my footbeds in them the first time but now I can. I didn't want to jump in and have Billy make me new footbeds if my old ones (only two seasons old) worked. Also, the heal is raised about 3/8" to level the forward lean a bit but now that I'm really in the boot I may go to 1/4". Again, I need to ski them a bit more. I will say this, the heal is locked in way more than I even experienced and I've used intuitions in my previous boots.


I wear a size twelve street shoe and I tried both the 27.5 and 28.5. the 27.5 was just two small. My previous boots were 29 norcica speedmachine 14 with size 12 intuition power wrap. The shell size was pretty close between the 29 Nordica and the 28.5 dodge shell. Maybe 1/4" smaller with the Dodge. The 27.5 was a real tight shell fit, maybe a few mm's. With your 11.5 street shoe, I would shell size with both. You have to keep in mind that you can't punch and grind like you can with a plastic boot.


Another posted said that he loved the boots in off piste. I will be going to Utah next week and hopefully if they get some snow I will be able to tell you. He also said the flex can be adjusted by buckling looser. I have tried that yet but I'll say that I think if you cut the buckles off and only used the power strap, it would work. The foot is held so well before you even buckle.


I'm going to ski them Friday for the first time with my footbeds in them. I had a little hot spot on the inside of my left ankle with the stock footbeds. When I tried them on with my footbeds it seemed better. Billy said they he can stretch a little if need be.


My game plan is to get these kinks worked out before I decide on reducing flex.








post #5 of 25

What is the width of the boots? (mine are currently 95) I also saw you mentioned reducing the flex. Is that a process that involves cutting grooves or something else? I may contact the bootfitter you mentioned to see if he has a pair I could demo. I saw that they do that on the Dodge site.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

I have no idea how they reduce the flex. I was just told they could.


I personally wouldn't mess with it until you ski it a few times.


I believe it is a 97 or 98 last but not 100% sure.






post #7 of 25

I follow the quicker edge engagement but am curious about being able to get higher edge angles. What do you atttribute that to? I've never put the Dodge on but was shocked how light the boot is.I'm really intrigued by the Dodge but the price is an issue for me .


I was under the impression you can realy down size in this boot beause of the entry into the shell through the heel canal. I wonder how cold the boot might be at single digits ?


I think they would sell more of them at $1,000 a pair vs $1,500.



post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

I follow the quicker edge engagement but am curious about being able to get higher edge angles. What do you atttribute that to? I've never put the Dodge on but was shocked how light the boot is.I'm really intrigued by the Dodge but the price is an issue for me .


I was under the impression you can realy down size in this boot beause of the entry into the shell through the heel canal. I wonder how cold the boot might be at single digits ?


I think they would sell more of them at $1,000 a pair vs $1,500.



I'm not exactly sure why i'm getting higher edge angles. I need to ski them a few more times.


I down sized one shell size but not because of the heal canal. The heal canal is there because a CF boot doesnt open all the way in the front. Also, as I posted earlier, they can't be punched and ground like plastic boots. The can be stretched with the dodge equipment. The shell has more room because the CF shell is only 2mm thick. I have about 5/8" behind the heel and with the thin liner my heal is just locked. It's totally different in terms of fit.


If I ski the boot in single digits I'll post about the warmth. I agree about price. Its like the plasma TV's that used to cost 5000 are 800. Price will come down in time.




post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

I was incorrect in something I said earlier. The CAN be punched somewhat but not ground.



post #10 of 25

I have skied in the Dodge boots now for about 60 ski days. I am a huge fan. Part of the reason for higher edge angles is the substantially increased leverage that you have in a CF boot versus a plastic boot. Plastic is thick especially in plug boots. CF is stronger and much thinner so almost everyone goes down a full size in CF (versus plastic ) and as well (and even more importantly) laterally they are much thinner. If you take a CM off in width you have a very large increase in leverage laterally which enables much larger/higher edge angles. It is simple physics.


The main and easiest way to dial back stiffness is with how you buckle the boot. If you really tighten the buclkes like you would entering a race course you are going to get a very stiff boot. Using a booster strap I leave the very top buckle hardly tightened but I do make the booster strap quite firm. The ankle/heel buckle (middle) I go with reasonably firm tension but nowhere near where I could take it. I end up with a super versatile boot with regard to flex ad feel. I can crank up the stiffness by buckling much tighter which I do if I am skiing gates. Bear in mind that I like stiff boots and I was skiing in 150 flex boots before these. The best part of the CF is that the flex does not change with weather and temperature. My Head Raptors would ski great and very frim in 20 degree weather but at Tahoe in the 40's they would start to feel like rubber and I hated them in that weather. CF is the same whether it is 0F or 50F.


I love the boots off piste and in bumps. The increased leverage from being shorter and thinner really shows up in steeper and bumpeier off piste conditions. The stiffness is no issue whatsoever especially buckled properly and the increased leverage is a real game changer. Lastly the lightness does make a big difference off piste. I can ski harder and be less tired as the day wears on. You are moving less mass so this makes sense.

post #11 of 25

I only live a few miles away from Billy Kaplan (Cantman when he posts here) , who fitted the OP's boots, so I called him and went to check out the Dodge Boot. Billy is one of a few fitters specifically authorized to sell and fit the Dodge. My foot size is very close to the OP's, and, we both have Nordica Speedmachine 14 in 29's. The only boot in stock was a 27.5, and, I know others have stated that a one size reduction is possible because the shell material is so thin. Just like the OP, my foot just could not come close to getting into the boot. The fit of the inner liner, taken out of the boot, just compressed my feet very painfully. Bill says there is one pair of 28.5 on the east coast, but, I'm not about to pony up and order them.


They are fascinating to examine. Light and rigid....very, very unlike anything I've ever looked at.


Bill stated they are a 95 last.


I also had Bill do an assessment of alignment. He is super through, he spent over an hour assessing my feet and stance. I need to get some sole planing done! Like an idiot, I did not allot time for him to do his magic prior to ski season. For any in the Philly area, he gets my highest recommendation for boot fitting. His shop is amazing with all the devices and tools to perform boot work.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Living Proof, too bad Billy didn't have a pair of 28's for you to try. The 27 liner was way too tight on me too.


My son picked up a virus last week and we were all sick so I didn't get to ski on Friday as planned. I'm hoping to go tomorrow with my daughter for a few hours so I'll post an update afterward.


Just for curiousity, I put my speedmachines on the other night for a comparison. Wow, I can never ski in them again. I always loved the snug fit I had with the intuition and was more than satisfied with the heel hold but now it feels two sizes too big. And, the plastic in general feels really soft.


If I head down to see Billy for an adjustment you are welcome to try them on.



post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

Skied a few more times on the dodge and love them more than the first time. I tried my nordica speedmachines with the intuitiuon power wraps just for a comparison and just hated them. I can never go back to a plastic boot. It was like parking a mercedes to drive a chevy.


I skied them with ski socks last week that were lightweight but still a bit too thick and cold numb feet after a few hours. I didn't get this the first time I skied them with the stock footbeds but this was the first time I skied them with my custom footbeds. I have never had cold feet in over 20 years of skiing. I switched to the bridgedale microfit socks the last two days and no cold feet. The fit is near perfect. I may get a stretch in the sixth toe area but I'm also considering having Billy (aka Cantman) make me new footbeds.


I skied for on a short run in the bumps and was very happy with how they performed. Other than that it has just been groomers. These last two days were in Utah (canyons and PCMR) but of course my first trip to Utah is in one of the worst snow years so I can't comment on powder performance.




post #14 of 25

I would like to comment on the higher edge angles. I read the post by Hedgedskier and actually just the opposite is true. A wider width gives you a longer lever arm that is how you get more leverage. I happen to subscribe to, which I find has a wealth of info and they talk about the angles with Dodge boots. They attribute it to less vibration and flex due to carbon fiber and better edge feel so more confidence to go further. I buy that.


The leverage theory is complicated and although I am engineer, I haven't taken the time to figure it out. You basically roll the ski by rolling your leg, so if your leg is at the same angle and the distance between the bottom of your foot and the bottom of the ski is the same, the angle will be the same, unless the boot is bending or flexing or your leg is moving inside the boot. I find when I clamp my Langes down tightly on my shins, my carving is much improved.


I will agree that if your boot is narrower, and the limit of edge angle is when you boot touches the snow, you can go to higher edge angles with narrower boots.  Sounds like these boots are the forefront of a break thru in boot technology. I will have to check them out.

post #15 of 25

Which will be more stable and harder to tip over, a 2x4 or a 2x8? If you tell me that the 2x8 is less stable and easier to tip over, you can' t be an engineer! Hence a wider boot is not easier to tip than a thinner boot!

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

Gentlemen, it doesn't matter how it does it only that it does it.



post #17 of 25

These boots interest me more than any other.   Long before I knew of their existence I pondered about a carbon fiber boot....and then a few years ago they came to be.    If it were me I would take the concpet one step further.  Since they are carbon layup, and I assume are done by hand (dont know of any other way they could be made) it would not be much more work for them to offer a custom shell made off of a 3D scanned buck of the skier's foot.  A lighter boot is a safer and more comfortable boot imho.  FWIW Billy fit my 150RD Raptor boots too.

post #18 of 25
Originally Posted by Hedgedskier View Post

Which will be more stable and harder to tip over, a 2x4 or a 2x8? If you tell me that the 2x8 is less stable and easier to tip over, you can' t be an engineer! Hence a wider boot is not easier to tip than a thinner boot!

i don't think this analogy is correct, as you are tipping the skis, not the boots.  A more correct analogy is that you are tipping an inverse pyramid.  The base is the same width regardless of whether it has a 2x4 or a 2x8 on top.  The center of gravity of either a 2x4 or a 2x8 is at the same spot.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

Richie, they are unreal. You should definitely check them out.



post #20 of 25

Can anyone give me some tips for getting the Dodge boots on?  I have a pretty average foot with a bit of a high instep, but could not get these suckers on today at Footloose in Mammoth.  I'm dying to try them.  In another thread someone mentioned that Harald Harb has some tips for getting them on, and I left his shop a voicemail a few minutes ago.  Any tips appreciated.

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the delayed response. I was on vacation.


The trick is to get the heal in the heal track. I never had a problem getting mine on but I could not get the next smaller size on.


What will cause a problem is the sock. Use a silk sock liner or a bridgedale microfit sock. You're not going to get a cotton sock or a thick ski sock in there.




post #22 of 25

Yes the Dodge ski boots can be had for demo. I have 5 pr, size 23.5 thru 27.5   Mike Foti

post #23 of 25

I purchased a pair of Dodge boots back in February.  BEST decision I ever made.  I was extremely leery about shelling out $1,500 for a pair of ski boots (wife still has no idea how much I paid) and for me it was a leap of faith.  It has made carving easier as it's much easier to tip the skis.  The boot fit is tight and honestly, the first time I tried a pair on I was like "no way... I can't wear these... they're too tight!"  The funny thing is is that those boots were a 29 shell.  They ended up being too big!  I dropped down to a 27 shell and they fit like hockey skates (my old boots were a pair of Salomon Xmax 120s in a 29.5 shell).  HUGE difference.  It took a bit to get used to but they're great.


One thing to keep in mind is that you need to work with a good shop who has the proper equipment and expertise to get you a good fit.  I worked with Jeff of Sport Thoma in Lincoln, NH.  Great guy and very knowledgeable about the boots and my needs.  I've skied on them about 10 - 12 times this year and I still need some work done.  My left foot is slightly bigger than my right foot and when I ski the moguls, 3 of my toes end up jamming against the front on my left boot.  Right boot is fine.  I'm going to have some more material ground out from the toe box area and then they should be absolute money!


About me: I'm an advanced level skier.  I can carve with the best of them and am finally starting to get the rythm in the bumps.  I'm a recreational skier that skis 30 - 40 times per year and I'm 42 y.o.  


You don't need to be a pro racer to get a big boost in your skiing with these boots.

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

My experience is identical. I also said no way they are going to fit when I first put them on........and my have wife has no idea how much they cost either. I finally have mine dialed in. They do need tweeking. The one problem is that the closest dodge shop is 2.5 hours from me. (Billy Kaplan)


I downsized as the carbon fiber is 2mm think and plastic is 8mm thick. The boot has more room than you would guess by looking at them. You mentioned you tried on a size 29....I didn't know they came that big. I have the 28.5. I tried the 27.5 but they were way too small. I actually find them easier to put on than plastic boots once you get the heel track concept down. I wear a bridgedale microfit sock its the thinnest sock I could find. This is not a boot for fat old school ski socks.


I had my left boot stretched in 6th toe, sole planning, foot beds, and other little tweeks. One of my problems was pressure on the ball of the foot. Billy built up the ball a little bit but then the top of the foot was under too much pressure and I was getting numb feet. The area that was build up was slightly ground off and it was better but still getting numb (just not as quickly). Billy took some material out of the tongue and now they are near perfect. I would like the 6th toe stretched a bit more but its 90% better than it was so I'm going to leave it alone as I don't want to mess anything up.


You mentioned in your post about grinding out material from the toe area. I didn't think that could be done. I know you can stretch them but its a process. They have to heat up the tool then stretch then cool the boot and if its not right the first time (and it won't be) you have to do it again. I was in the shop for 3 hours for the stretching.


When they are dialed in you will love them even more. Did you try your plastic boots again? I did once and I can never ski on plastic again.


Definite game changer!



Edited by johnnysdg - 3/24/13 at 7:25pm
post #25 of 25

Have to agree with Sugarloafer and Johnny.  I love my Dodge boots.  The response with them is very tangible.  I have gone thru too many boots in the last few years and the "Hunt for Red October" is over--for me at least.   Look up Harald Harb's review for accurate details.  I know they are not for everyone and I was lucky they fit right out of the box.  They can be worked on but not like other boots.    And Billy Kaplan is the man.   

     The kicker for me is that I can get them on (heated boot bag helps) and off in the parking lot with very little strain.  My disclaimer is that I am 70 years old and they have done nothing but enhance my carving skills.  Billy sent me a pair to demo and they worked so I bought them.   

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