Garmont Going Proprietary on Ski Boot Tech Inserts

Williston, VT – With the expiration of Dynafit’s patent last January, Garmont’s alpine touring ski boots this fall will boast their own propriety tech inserts.nThe tech inserts mate with Dynafit binding toepieces. Since introducing the Tech system in its alpine touring boots in 2000, Garmont has exclusively featured Dynafit-manufactured tech inserts. Now the ski boot company is specifically manufactured its tech iserts to support the increasing number of skiers turning to the system for aggressive freeride performance as well as lighter ski touring.

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Garmont’s new tech insert.
(photo: Garmont USA)

“We chose to develop our own tech insert as soon as we could, knowing that we could improve upon the quality and consistency of the current product,” said Paul Parker, Garmont Ski product manager. “We feel that elevating the standard for tech inserts is essential, as the use of alpine touring systems has rapidly evolved from predominately light touring to aggressive freeride skiing.”

There’s no uniform standard currently in place for the design of tech iserts. Garmont isn’t the only company taking advantage of the expiration of Dynafit’s patent to manufacture their own tech inserts. Salomon also eschewed licensing Dynafit’s tech inserts in favor of crafting their own for their new Quest line of alpine touring boots, but an accident which the victim claims was caused by a failure of the Salomon tech inserts was followed by the recall of the few demo units in the field. As a result, Salomon’s Quest boots won’t be compatible with Dynafit bindings this year.

The new Garmont tech inserts are the culmination of two years of research and product development and extensive field testing. Built from die-cast steel alloy, the material construction of Garmont tech inserts has been researched, tested and, according to the company, proven to be equal or superior to all other inserts on the market today.

Garmont’s proprietary tech insert design is based on the “Standard Insert” template. A primary benefit of the “Standard Insert” over the “Quick Step-In” design is additional room for more sole rubber, providing better abrasion resistance in a zone which is particularly vulnerable in a rigid-sole boot, while still satisfying the ISO Touring norm. The “Standard Insert” is also smooth-sided, as the ISO Touring Norm calls for no protrusions beyond the sides of the sole for full compatibility with step-in bindings.

In Garmont’s design, the thickness and perimeter for the Tech Insert’s fixation are identical to the “Standard Insert” to assure optimum retention. The “cones” of the interface have been improved as well, with thicker material adding more durability.

The new Tech Inserts will be guaranteed by Garmont, based on rigorous testing for life-cycle durability, safety and performance. The Garmont testing procedure was established early in the product development process, with the development of a proprietary testing machine: “Hannibal 2”. Unlike conventional tests, Hannibal 2 operates both in transverse and longitudinal axes with an elliptical motion that better simulates the imperfect nature of a walking stride. The machine loads the toe of the boot with 150 Kg to simulate the additional stresses of freeride skiing. During the walking motion Hannibal’s excessive pre-load more than doubles the 100,000-cycle life-cycle test as, unlike walking, the insert is loaded during both the forward and rearward motion.

Garmont tech inserts will be available for 2011 in all Garmont Tech-compatible ski mountaineering boots.

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