Which boots and bindings are compatible for Alpine Touring skiing?
by Backcountry Bob
Q: How do I know which [ski] boots and bindings are compatible for Alpine Touring skiing?
A: Over all there are two different styles of Alpine Touring ski bindings available for AT skiing. The first style is a binding that looks and works like a regular Downhill/Alpine skiing binding with a feature that allows you to free your heel for uphill touring. A good example of this is the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Plus Binding which is a binding that is light enough to tour in and beefy enough to handle any cliff you want to bomb. These bindings are compatible with a large variety for boots. You can use a regular alpine boots or an AT boot with the Fritschi Freeride binding, it is your choice, it all comes down to how much weigh you want to have on your feet. AT boots are lighter!
The other option available is the Dynafit binding system which works a little different. The Dynafit system works on a light weight platform with less metal and moving parts. To lock into the binding you use two points on the outside of the toe of the boot that has a divot which the binding lock into allowing the boot to move freely when the heel is not locked down. Here is an example TLT Comfort Binding of this binding for you to take a look at. After a long tour you simply twist the heel back into position to allow to small post to lock your boot down and you’re ready for the ski down. These bindings are amazingly light and great for touring but may not be the binding to get a little rough with. The only boot that can be used with this binding is a Dynafit compatible boot, i.e. Garmont Mega Ride G-Fit Alpine Touring Boot, which means it has to have the metal inserts that are in the toe and the heel of the binding.