Originally Posted by pbr1952
Have you skied with them yet? If not then your opinion is total conjecture. I have and they ski as well or better than any high performance boot I have had. Lot easier in and out and a lot more adjustable, I walk more than 5-10 minutes more like 30 minutes, and I come out of the shell when stopping for lunch or have to hike up an incline. There are plenty of reviews by pro skiers that say these boots are as good as plug boots, (Real skiers, Americas best boot fitters etc) You can crank these down, it's just better with the BOA system than four buckles
Some of those reviewers don't exactly support that opinion, as do a few that I trust that have skied them (one friend suggested they're about a 100 flex).
Here's Peter Keeltys review:
We skied the boot in January—on actual boilerplate—and were blown away. We had advance word that Chad Fleischer of U.S. Ski Team and NBC World Cup broadcast fame liked the Apex so much that he refused to return his test pair and is presumably skiing them now. That's a strong pre-test confidence builder . . .
What we found was excellence. This is the one of the most comfortable boots we have experienced, one of the warmest, one of the easiest to put on, perhaps the most convenient off-snow boot ever built and certainly one of the lightest skis boots since the days of Scott. We expected all of that.
The real surprise came on the snow.
Because of the rigidity of the carbon fiber exoskeleton and the tight connection from foot to inner boot to walking boot to exo-shell, this is among the most responsive boots we've skied, in a league with the plug boots upon which we generally report. The thing is lightening quick and provides massive but manageable power to the edges—all four edges. It can be skied in high edge angles and with softer edges agreeably. It is forgiving, but also capable of impressive rebound-performance and serious ice hold.
It is not especially stiff in forward flex. We'd guess it to be in the 90 - 100 range, but that scale is all but meaningless when applied to the Apex. In fact, the boot encourages skiing through the soles of the feet rather than by pressuring shins against a traditional tongue and upper shell. An easy adaptation for many skiers and, from a skill development point of view, not a bad thing.
And there's the problem. You can't drive the ski because of the softer forward flex (the same problem my friend had). This is fine when ripping around groomers (as in Peters review) with newschool style - using the lateral stiffness. However, without being able to drive the ski forward like in a high performance boot, you're going to have problems with crud and other variable snow conditions. You also wont be able to bend a stiffer ski into smaller radii by throwing your weight into the forebody, as the power will be lost with the softer forward flex. Also, according to my friend, the flex pattern isn't a nice progressive flex like an alpine boot (at least in the MC2), so you loose the absorption and smoothness, not so good for moguls, jumps or really rough snow at higher speeds.
What surprises me about the review is that Peter was talking about impressive rebound performance. You can't always get that with a soft forward flex. You need to transmit power into the bend of the ski to get rebound out. A softer ski requires less power to get rebound out of it, and thus, can be done with softer boots. For example, to get rebound out of my Head 103s, I need to be skiing really fast and really pushing power into the forebody. I need my Cochises. With a Bushwacker, I can get rebound out of it with my TLT5P boots, and I overpower it with my Cochises pretty easily. This leads me to think that Peter was using a softer ski where the power of a high performance boot is wasted and unnecessary. Wen I say softer/stiffer here, I mean longitudinally, not torsionally.
So, to sum up, it has good lateral stiffness, but poor forward stiffness, which means it isn't a high performance boot unless your movement and power is mostly lateral. Reminds me of the TLT5P. It skis consistent snow very well (groomers, smooth corn, untracked lower density powder), but put it in crud and variable snow (or catch lots of air) and you're going to struggle with maintaining fore/aft balance.
This should be no surprise, as the entire rigidity of the forward flex is engineered only with a single top buckle and a rear spine. There is no overlap or stiff tongue, just a snowboard boot. A plastic tongue and a third ankle buckle would likely help quite a bit.Edited by Brian Lindahl - 12/29/13 at 10:57am