Carbon fiber is prevalent in manufacturing a slew of products and now is being used in a much larger scale in ski boot manufacturing.
Dave Dodge assembles Dodge Ski Boots in a barn in Vermont. The shells are all carbon except for the soles, which are of conventional TPU.
The Dodge is an interesting boot; three buckles, super lightweight and well lasted. Sole length is short…or the interior dimension is long…I skied in a pair that had a 305mm sole length which would normally indicate a 26.5 (my foot measures 11.5, I normally ski in a 27.5)…yet the size was perfect.
There is a vertical, convex bulge at the rear of the boot, which provides a canal for the heel to slide in and out of the boot; the shell material is such that it is physically impossible to enter and exit the boot otherwise.
The Dodge is a fairly serious ski boot; I skied a pair that was given a flex rating of 160. I’m not sure how accurate that is-it was stiff but not as burly as I expected though it was definitely up there. Flex is a significant consideration for any skier and the Dodge can be altered for flex but because Dodge has limited production, models and flexes-these being on the stiff side of the scale-you won’t get an 80 or 90 flex rating.
Ramp angle is quite a bit less than many boots; a solid flat neutral stance along with a fairly upright cuff complements the technology and geometry of the current ski shapes.
The light weight of the Dodge boots is immediately apparent…not so much when the feet are glued to the snow surface but upon transition from edge to edge and of course hanging off the chair.
The Dodge carbon lay-up makes for really thin shell walls so the feel through the boot is extraordinary. The characteristics of carbon provide terrific lateral stiffness and unerring precision…also, carbon will not respond to temperature differences as much as “conventional” boots do.
The shell configuration contributes significantly to the boots efficiency; mid-foot and heel contours are neutral and very well defined, the instep has moderate volume and the forefoot/toe box is remarkably roomy… the Dodge Boot is medium-low to medium volume. The shell walls are 1.5mm thick (thin)-so that what you see from the outside is exactly what the boot is on the inside. Dodge boots feel very much like a second skin.
Dodge ski boots come out of the box with a thin, race style lace-up flow liner which keeps the feet close to the shell enhancing feedback and transmission.
There is “canting” on the boots by way of eccentric shims that the hinge screws fit through and the soles can be planed and lifted. Forward lean is what it is, though one can slip a spoiler between the liner and rear cuff if more lean is needed. Shell expansions can be done however they will take more time and care than would a shell of “conventional” material.
Be prepared for the price; $1500.00…no deals…No. Deals.
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