Insiders have been hinting at this for a couple of years now; not that it would happen, but it could. In the last six months though the words that have leaked through indicated BD couldn’t justify another production run on any of their telemark boot models. Word from a few retailers indicates that they won’t be available to order anymore either, except for what remains in their warehouses at the moment, which can’t be much.
What was worse though, was the anemic response to Black Diamond’s entire boot line, not just the tele side. In conversations with several boot fitters over the past year the criticism was consistent; BD boots are buckets. They might fit a few high volume feet, but filling volume does not lead to high performance, or customer satisfaction. Better to start tight and make adjustments to relieve pain rather than start loose and cause pain down the road.With outlets like REI and Sierra Trading Post unloading Black Diamond ski boots, telemark and alpine, at below wholesale prices one has to wonder if tele is but the tip of the iceberg of BD’s entire ski boot line. In my experience, the necessary correction to the last of BD’s alpine boots has been made, and touring performance is now on par with other boots that offer a large cuff range of motion. The question is, will the market acknowledge that or continue to operate on the existing, admittedly outdated, perception? Let’s hope not. With every alpine boot maker now making AT boots worth considering the road to profitability will be a tough battle.