When Garmont announced last fall they would be developing boots for NTN I knew they were holding cards they weren’t showing. And how!
Garmont expects too offer up to three models, more than any other NTN boot manufacturer. Test boots from at least one of those models may be available as early as December 2008.
Garmont was one of the original members of the NTN consortium, but seemed to have buyers remorse. John Schweizer, then president of Garmont North America, repeatedly stated that they were interested in developing boots for NTN, but “not until development of the binding was finished.” As a result, Garmont appeared to withdraw from the group and even signed an agreement with Black Diamond to develop boots for, and distribute, their proprietary telemark binding. When development of BD’s binding failed to reach critical milestones last summer, Schweizer opted out of that agreement and renewed Garmont’s commitment to NTN with long term licensing.
Further changes to Rottefella’s NTN binding are planned, but there is finally evidence of consistency in the dimensions and active performance of the product. Enough that Garmont isn’t just dipping a tepid toe in the water with a single model. Rather, they are coming out with both barrels blazing by introducing three distinct models of NTN boots. Gordon Bailey, Garmont North America’s new president is confident that there will be two, taller cuffed, 4-buckle boot models aimed at aggressive skiers, and a single 3-buckle, lower cuffed, softer flexing model.
Garmont is still deciding on the model names for these boots. We have also learned from conversations with Paul Parker, a key designer of Garmont’s entire ski boot line, that there is the probability of even more boot models as other NTN binding models are developed.
Correction Note: Readers may notice that this story has been changed. The first edition announced that Garmontís NTN boots would be available in retail stores by December 2008. That was erroneous. At best, test models in limited size ranges will be available. For consumers, this means that you may be able to demo these yourself if you pester your local retailer in December 2008, and you have the right size feet.