Well, here they are--Dynafit Evo boots. If you're living and racing in Europe, they're old news...if you're living in North America, you probably haven't seen 'em yet.
I first saw a pair at last year's world championships in Italy. Javier, a Dynafit sponsored skier from Spain, had the only pair. He graciously offered to let me give them a try, but being a 1/2 size small and immediately after he'd raced on them I declined. Not that I have anything against Spanish sweat, it's just that I'm not into sharing footwear.
What I noticed about Javier's boots was the incredible lightness. Mine weigh in around 680g. Lighter than my xc skate boots! Apparently Dynafit mapped out the boots in square cm's and adjusted the plastic (grilamid) for each segment in order to minimize the weight and put it where needed. Last year I skied on the Dyna's (980g)and I thought those were light. Evo has definately raised the bar in lightness. This is why I really wanted to get these as now they're in the lightness category of an all Carbon boot (racers never like to give any advantage to the competition!).
As for stiffness, there's nothing lacking. They got those sq cm's dialed in and with the carbon upper cuff, the boot is as stiff as it needs to be. I haven't skied the Gignoux al carbon boot or LaSportiva, so I'm not sure how the stiffness would compare, but with the Evo it's certainly adequate.
One heads up, the wheelbase is about 9mm shorter than the D.y.n.a.'s. An advantage for the boots in skiing feel and lightness, but if you're planning on using your older model race boots for training and saving the Evo's for racing it can be a problem with our race bindings. When I remounted my Trab WC race skis I laid down a layer of carbon fibre to strengthen the ski with the additional binding holes (I remember seeing my team mate Ian Gale break his WC's in the last race of the season due to the multiple holes in his skis). For my training Trabs I've installed "quiver killer binding inserts". Another option would be to mount with an adjustable plate (ATK or Plum make these).
So how do the Evo's ski? My first impression as I strided uphill was how much quicker I could move my feet due to the lightness. The stiffness made it feel very efficient (I've also used Scarpa F1 race, with the bellowed sole). But overall I felt like I could fly effortlessly. On the descent I'm still evaluating. I've only taken them down one somewhat gnarly downhill. What I did notice was that with the lightness, any thicker windblown and cruddy powder tended to "kick" them around a bit. But after all, with a ski-boot-binding combo this light, what can you expect? My skis and bindings together weigh only 850g and with only 680g on your feet there's not much there to push back in tougher snow conditions. I kinda feel like good skiers learn how to ski on anything. Maybe that's why when N. Americans show up in Europe with our big mountain fattties, the Euro's kinda sneer and look down their noses.
Dynafit has a unique race tour/alpine closure system. For the most part it works seamlessly. When I upgraded to Dynafit over the Scarpa F1 race boots I immediately felt like I was getting a stiffer, more efficient alpine mode. The Evo essentially employs the same system as last year's D.y.n.a. boot.
In tour mode the flexibility is quite amazing. I don't think a running shoe would give you more unencumbered mobility. The feel is truly amazing. Evo liners are 20g lighter than last year's Dyna but they retained the neoprene flex zone at the achilleas. Again, I haven't skied on the PG's or LaS....but I couldn't imagine these being as flexible as the Evo's.
I finally get to race on these babies this weekend in Whitefish MT, then next week head to CO for the N. American championships. ' Can't wait to see how they help my performance.
A special thanks to Chris Clausen at Dynafit for letting this Canuck have the only pair up here in the Great White North!