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There's a new ski boot in the land - Dodge. Thoughts?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Check out this new boot out of carbon fiber and made by Dodge Ski Boots in Vermont.


Quote From: http://www.dodgeskiboots.com

Dodge Ski Boots was founded on a simple, yet bold idea:  Let's make the best ski boot possible.
 

As longtime ski racers, we've experienced first-hand many of skiing's innovations and been frustrated that today's boot technology hasn't kept pace with ski and binding technology. 
 

We also have spent many years in product development and marketing working for companies large and small and seen how many terrific ideas get quashed by too many under-informed managers and uninspired designers.
 

So, in early 2009 when "the stars aligned," Dodge Ski Boots was born, giving us the opportunity to follow our passion, our gut and our experience, without compromise.  A good friend and mentor of ours said early on that we should concentrate on making the best boot possible and "don't be fashion."  So you won't see us with glitzy ads or colors or anything else.  We just concentrate on the boot.
 

We’re located in a barn in Vermont with a great view of Mount Mansfield … a terrific inspiration, but also a distraction if the snow looks good and the sun is shining!  It does make it easy for us to quickly try out our newest ideas and concepts aimed at bringing you the best boot possible.

All photos from www.dodgeskiboots.com







Some interesting aspects to the carbon fiber shell:
Quote From: www.dodgeskiboots.com

Sizing

            The Dodge Ski Boot should be sized so you have sufficient toe room, as it is not possible to stretch the toe box.

 

Stretching
            Heating and stretching must only be done by DODGE-certified boot fitters using approved equipment.  The composite materials are very sensitive to how they are heated and stretched.


Canting

            The DODGE Ski Boot sole is made with 4mm of extra thickness to allow for canting and delta-angle adjustment (lateral canting and fore/aft ramp angle.)  The sole MUST be trimmed to ISO specs before use to ensure binding compatibility.

 

Ramp Angle
            Most boots use a "boot board" under the liner to fill the spaces left in the shell needed for injection molding.  It is convenient to grind this "filler" to change the ramp angle (or angle of attack) under the foot.  But, most boot boards fit pretty loosely and don't transmit your power efficiently to the ski.  The DODGE does not use a boot board, so there is no "slop" between the sole of your foot and the sole of the boot.  For this reason, changing "ramp angle" on the DODGE is done by grinding the sole.
 

Cuff alignment

            The DODGE Ski Boot can be sole canted and cuff aligned with fixed bushings so once it’s set, it will never come out of adjustment.  Your boot fitter will help you.


How rare is this - a new boot company! Pretty exciting!

website: http://www.dodgeskiboots.com
post #2 of 42
 Two new boot companies for this year, Dodge & Hanson. What is with the shark fin on the front? 
post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
Shark fin - maybe protect the boot from the gate?
post #4 of 42
That boot better fit geat and ski great because aesthetically it's challenged!
post #5 of 42
Humpback whale on the back, and shark fin on the front.  It's a hybrid, eh?

Carbon fiber - sounds 'spensive, Lucy. 

How is Hanson a new boot company?
post #6 of 42
I like that the boot is held together with nits & bolts and not rivets. I would have flipped the lower buckle to put it on the top and not the side. I an interested to see how it will flex. What is the liner, Intuition type? How much can it be customized? I bet it is light being CF. An thoughts on how CF retains heat?
post #7 of 42
$1,500 ouch
post #8 of 42
 "quote: For this reason, changing "ramp angle" on the DODGE is done by grinding the sole."
This is not correct. External changes of heel to toe angle, also known as delta angle, (grinding the boot sole in this case) is NOT the same as internally changing the ramp angle of the boot board. One will affect fore/aft, (the former) the other (the latter) will affect froe/aft  AS WELL as changing the tib/fib angle relative to the foot (it "opens" or  "closes" the ankle joint). I am not sure I like the fact that it cannot be easily adjusted via stretching and grinding the shell. If you happen to be a skier that fits into the boot with no modifications then I am sure it is a good boot, but it seems like there is very little that can be done to custom fit it.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post
 I am not sure I like the fact that it cannot be easily adjusted via stretching and grinding the shell.

I strongly suspect that what they mean is 'via conventional stretching', i.e. they don't want to risk delaminations from aggressive overheaters and from multiple heating in one spot.
post #10 of 42
mmmmmmmmmmmm are there really new innovations in boots after all these years to warrant these two new products, along with the goldman sachs pricing?
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuzz View Post

mmmmmmmmmmmm are there really new innovations in boots after all these years to warrant these two new products, along with the goldman sachs pricing?

I'm betting that the alleged ease of entry will make a few sales.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post




I strongly suspect that what they mean is 'via conventional stretching', i.e. they don't want to risk delaminations from aggressive overheaters and from multiple heating in one spot.
I am 100% certain that is what they mean. My bet is that since they are carbon fiber, the shell is very thin, leaving no room to grind. Even if there was room, grinding on carbon fiber would seriously compromise the boot. I have not worked with the boot, or even seen one so I cannot really pass judgment, but my gut feeling is that they will not suit many skiers. The price alone will leave about 90% of the potential skiers on the bench, then the fact they appear to be hard to work on will leave out all but a few people whose feet, legs and alignment needs fall into place for the particular boot.
post #13 of 42
I would love to give the boots a shot and support a local business, but $1500 is just way out of my price range for ski boots.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdnitedrftr View Post

I would love to give the boots a shot and support a local business, but $1500 is just way out of my price range for ski boots.

What if they were able to mould the CF to your foot, like Bont do with speed skate boots?
http://www.bont.com/custom.htm
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post




What if they were able to mould the CF to your foot, like Bont do with speed skate boots?
http://www.bont.com/custom.htm
 

Exactly my thought, if you could guarantee a personalised 'perfect' fit, I can imagine quite a few people willing to pay up.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post



The price alone will leave about 90% of the potential skiers on the bench,

Only 90%?
post #17 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDoyal View Post

 "quote: For this reason, changing "ramp angle" on the DODGE is done by grinding the sole."
This is not correct. External changes of heel to toe angle, also known as delta angle, (grinding the boot sole in this case) is NOT the same as internally changing the ramp angle of the boot board. One will affect fore/aft, (the former) the other (the latter) will affect froe/aft  AS WELL as changing the tib/fib angle relative to the foot (it "opens" or  "closes" the ankle joint).

I am not sure I like the fact that it cannot be easily adjusted via stretching and grinding the shell. If you happen to be a skier that fits into the boot with no modifications then I am sure it is a good boot, but it seems like there is very little that can be done to custom fit it.
Good point about modifying the angle inside the boot.
btw, does Bud's animation here show the ankle opening up? Go to "Fore Aft" button on side,then "ramp"
http://snowind.com/ramp.html

It can be stretched with the special heating equipment - except the toebox apparently. You certainly wouldn't want to just go firing a heatgun at it. My guess is that there are probably heat pads that are placed on the shell to get it to a certain temp, then it's stretched.

The odd shape of the back spine is what makes the boot work - that's the heel canal that enables your foot to get into a stiff boot. Dobie owners take note - no hair dryer needed!

The interesting thing about the carbon fiber is that they say there's not much effect of temperture on the stiffness. So the stiffness in the store is the same as the hill.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post




What if they were able to mould the CF to your foot, like Bont do with speed skate boots?
http://www.bont.com/custom.htm
 
If I had major foot problems or If I were serious into racing, Id be more inclined to pursue that option, but for my level of skiing, my Dalbellos do the job, comfortably, for a third of the price.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrison Claystone View Post




Only 90%?
I bet I could sell 8-10 pairs a year if the fit was right for the people interested in buying them. Don't underestimate the amount of wealth in the sport. I have a $5000 heli trip that our shop is putting on with CMH this year, I have 3 signed up so far. Not bad for doing this in what many would argue as the worst possible year to be putting such a trip on.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post



Good point about modifying the angle inside the boot.
btw, does Bud's animation here show the ankle opening up? Go to "Fore Aft" button on side,then "ramp"
http://snowind.com/ramp.html

I

Yes Buds vid is a perfect example of what I am talking about. If you click on ramp, then delta you will get a very good idea of how the two differ.
post #21 of 42

I saw the dodge boots in a ski magazine this week so had to investigate.   From a professional skiers point of view I have NO DOUBT these are incredible boots.  But I'm not a professional.  I'm not even an expert level skier by any means and this is where my doubts come in as to the marketability of this product..

From their own website this is a custom boot only.  Everything about them must be modified, and not just by anybody but either by the factory, or a handful of local shops.  LOCAL to the factory that is.   The idea of ordering a boot online site unseen would also be unproductive in my mind.  Most boot fitters have a hard enough time fitting boots with the customer in the store, let alone a thousand miles away..   Just the cost of these boots  puts this out of league with most people, and I believe  The 1500 dollars is not exactly accurate either.  There is the machine work that needs done.  By the time one pays tax and all the boot work your probably closer to two thousand dollars..  

That's great if you have a sponsor.  There are other things I feel would make this a bit unusable for someone like me as well..  Carbon fiber..  It  has a  tendency to crack and shatter when hit hard.  It doesn't like cuts and abrasions.   I refer you to this years woman's Olympic slalom event.  One of the girls carbon fiber ski poles blew apart from hitting a gate.  I'm not  sure ski boots would be any different.  Unlike World cup racers that are not accustom to falling, I DO FALL.  And at least once or twice a day.  I'm sure in a season that's all it would take to kill these.

The website also claims The flex will not change with temperature variations.  I will believe that when I see it.  Everything becomes stiffer when colder.  It's just physics.  They also emphasize that these boots are very rigid.  Manufacturers already build 160 flex boots which are nearly unskiable for the average human.  Why would anybody need something stiffer?   I suppose a handful of world cup racers would have something more articulate to add on that measure..

In fairness, I love innovation and someone willing to try new things: break out of the box as it were.  So in conclusion, If my skepticism seems misplaced, well I will include myself with all those that laughed at Mr Ford and his model T.  He Said it was for everybody and everybody laughed and said it was only for the rich..  Maybe one day soon we will see...  

 


Edited by windjammer547 - 11/12/10 at 2:49pm
post #22 of 42

..


Edited by windjammer547 - 11/12/10 at 12:41pm
post #23 of 42

I own a pair and I can say without hesitation that the Dodge boot is the finest ski boot ever made and its existence makes every other race boot out there obsolete.  The edge-hold is vastly superior to my Head Raptor 130 RDs (which are known for edge hold), the flex is unaffected by temperature (5 degrees or something at the Basin today), they are easy to get on and off, and they are *comfortable*.  I've posted a full review on the PMTS forum for anyone interested.  The flex, while stiff is not inappropriate for advanced skiers.  It can also be adjusted. Nelson Riley is teaching at Camp Woodward (the local free style camp at Copper) in a pair of these boots & he reduced the flex by simply loosening the buckles as well as the cuff bolt.  Myself, I find the flex is fine and not much different from my Heads.

 

While you do make any ramp angle changes by planing the boot sole, the boot is highly configurable otherwise. The cuff has myriad adjustments and the soles are plated so you can just pull the plates and plane them for canting. The lack of a boot-board makes for superior snow feel.  You can't stretch the toe-box, but you can push out the sides a bit using special tools that the Dodge-certified dealers will have.

 

If you are a performance skier with a foot that will work for the boot, the cost is absolutely worth it. These boots are in a league of their own & the performance is orders of magnitude better than a traditional plug boot. It may or may not be immediately apparent when you ski the for the first time, but when you go back to skiing plastic boots after skiing in a Dodge, you are in for a nasty surprise. I can't imagine ever going back to a plastic boot again. 

 

I do have some of the same concerns about durability, but I'm willing to trust the engineers on this one.  My understanding is that Bill & Dave have a long history in the industry and they know the kind of beating that their boots are going to be subjected to.  Granted, trying anything new is always a risk, but in this case, the benefits are so huge I think the risk is entirely worth it.

 

BTW the sharkfin is a "handle", I think.  It's part of a small piece of shell that can be removed so that if you choose to go with a foam liner there is a way to get the tubes out (since the shell itself is too stiff). 


Edited by geoffda - 11/12/10 at 10:56am
post #24 of 42

I got to try a Dodge boot (I think it was a junior race model, but I managed to get into it for 15-20 min) in a shop this summer, so obviously no on-snow experience.  It is a very cool concept, the boot is really light and really stiff with a flex that feels different from a plastic boot.  I think it should be very popular with racers.  My main concern will be protection from nicks and scratches that would weaken the carbon fiber, so recreational skiers may think twice (carbon fiber bike frames do just fine, but it is not that you bang your bike frame with metal edges).  But it is definitely something very new and very exciting in the boots area. 

post #25 of 42

something that will be great in a few years fro sure. It's a great material for all sports so why not the next step in the evolution in clunky ski boots?  Call me when there's only 3 digits in the price tag....

post #26 of 42

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post #27 of 42
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post #28 of 42

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post #29 of 42
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post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I got to try a Dodge boot (I think it was a junior race model, but I managed to get into it for 15-20 min) in a shop this summer, so obviously no on-snow experience.  It is a very cool concept, the boot is really light and really stiff with a flex that feels different from a plastic boot.  I think it should be very popular with racers.  My main concern will be protection from nicks and scratches that would weaken the carbon fiber, so recreational skiers may think twice (carbon fiber bike frames do just fine, but it is not that you bang your bike frame with metal edges).  But it is definitely something very new and very exciting in the boots area. 


Boot gloves?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

something that will be great in a few years fro sure. It's a great material for all sports so why not the next step in the evolution in clunky ski boots?  Call me when there's only 3 digits in the price tag....


If ski gear were stereos, we'd all have quivers of exotic amplifiers and maybe one in 5 of us would have a reasonable speaker system that fits the listening space.

Remember the adage of "spend half your budget on speakers"? I think it might be high time we started spending half our quiver + boot budget on boots.
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