Two-part ski boots designed for easier walking
If you've been downhill skiing even once, then you'll know how hard it can be to walk around in the rigid, unyielding ski boots. Swiss company Dahu is addressing that problem, with a two-part system that consists of a flexible inner liner boot and a hinged outer shell.
Known as the Dahu Swiss Boot, the idea behind it is that users can wear just the lace-up liner boots when walking, then step into the ski-mounted polyamide composite shells once it's time to actually put on the skis. They can also opt to leave the liner boot inside the shell, subsequently stepping into the liner/shell combo just like it's a regular ski boot.
The waterproof liner boot is called the Cambium, and is made of Italian leather with Primaloft insulation. Adding to its toastiness is a layer of heat-reflective aluminum under the front of the foot, along with alternating layers of cork and polyurethane rubber in the sole. That lugged sole provides traction on the snow, but also features grooves which interlock with corresponding grooves on the inside of the shell, reportedly maximizing energy transfer between the two.
Cut-outs in the shell, meanwhile, are claimed to alleviate pressure points which are common to other boots, while still maintaining external rigidity. Its quick-release entry/exit system includes micro-adjustable buckles, allowing users to fine-tune the fit.
The Dahu Swiss Boot should be available in European and North American stores (and online) as of Sept. 15th. A pair will cost you US$900.
A previous attempt at making downhill ski boots more "walkable," the add-on Zuke device, failed to reach its Kickstarter crowdfunding goal.