• Date: Nov 2013

The AT touring boot pioneer Black Diamond Factor 130 - Read our review of the boot.






Black Diamond Factor 130 Review

I have used the Black Diamond Factor 130 for three seasons. The first two seasons mainly for backcountry skiing, but last season I started using them as my main skiing boot. So I use Black Diamond Factor 130 both for resort skiing and backcountry.


It was a relief to finally get a boot with walk mode. Before buying the Black Diamond Factor, I had used normal alpine boots and binding inserts. So now being able to move my foot back and forth made the way up much more effortless.


Fit review


I bought my Black Diamond Factor boots online without even fitting them, just selecting same size as my old boots. In the beginning I felt that the Achilles support was just odd, and I searched for ways to have them removed. I guess I would never even have considered to buy them if I first tried them on. But as I started to use the Black Diamaond Factor 130 boots I do no longer think of the pads in the inner boot. Actually I see why it is there, to prevent from getting galls. These pads support the foot in walk mode and stops unnecessary friction to the foot.


The wheel to give the foot an extra snug fit make sure that you use some extra seconds to take them on, but it is really not a waste, it just gives a good and snug extra tight fit.


Buckle review


I also have the Dynafit TLT 5 Performance TF for my lightweight setup of backcountry skis, bindings and boots. I prefer the buckle and that the Black Diamond Factor is easy to put on, while the welcro, removable tounge and lighter buckles, makes the Dynafit a bit more stressful to get in and out of. In other words the Black Diamond Factor 130 looks and feels like an ordinary boot. Also with much thicker foam between the shell and foot than the Dynafit, you feel that you have much more support when skiing downhill.


Weight review


Black Diamond Factor 130`s main disadvantage for backcountry skiing is the weight. Well maybe not for it`s purpose related to free ride skiing, but if you are the one with boots almost weighing the same as the others ski, bindings and boots, you will soon be left behind on the way up. So if the way to the top is not too long, you don´t have many friends with super light equipment or are joining long organized tours the weight disadvantage is not an ill fit.


I started my backcountry career with a freeride setup containing Vølkl Aura, Marker Baron and Black Diamond Factor 130. The weight was around 11 kilos (24 punds). Last season I saw the need to complement that setup with a light setup with Vølkl Amarouq, Dynafit TLT Vertical ST and Dynafit TL5 Performance TF. This setup is about 6 kilos (13,2 pounds), and in comparison to the free ride setup it almost felt like cross country skiing.


Black Dimond Factor 130 Review Conclusion


Review conclusion: So if you have powder related wide skis, or heavier free ride skis I see the need to have heavier boots as well. I will not stop using my freeride setup, but will use the gear related to the conditions and altitude and length of the tour. Black Diamond Factor was one of the first walk mode full scale alpine boots on the market. Now you will see that almost all brands have their versions with walk mode. Being first I guess Black Diamond has had improvements and that it because of this is a shoe worth considering.


Buy Black Diamond Factor 130 online



      Related videoes to our review



      Product Video: Factor 130 Freeride Ski Boots from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.


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