I'm in the process of looking for new boots. I've got access to a really good bootfitter, but I thought I'd throw this out to you all before buying a new pair through him. I'm seeing a lot of boots now with the soft, rubbery boot boards. Do these really work, or is it more marketing? Any and all anecdotal evidence is appreciated.
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Solid Boot Board VS Impact Absorbing Squishy Onespost #1 of 310/24/11 at 7:06amThread Starterpost #2 of 310/24/11 at 8:29am
About 6 years ago I bought Dalebello Kryptons the first year they came out, and have been skiing them ever since. At that time they came with two sets of boot boards (rigid and spongy), two different flex tongues and various other adjustment gizmos. The Krypts were their top of the line boots. They had a similar slightly cheaper model (Rampage?) that was their 'park boot", which came with just the soft boot boards.
The boots were very tight at first and the dealer suggested I use the soft shock absorbing boards until the liners broke in a little. I could feel the boards compressing slightly, and consequently they definitely gave me a tad more room in the fit. I have switched back and forth over the years and found that I did not really like the feel of the soft boards. They gave the boot an inconsistent feel, most noticeably when carving on hard snow.
In answer to your question, yes the soft boots really do absorb some shock, and I would definitely think they would be good for taking big hits, or saving your knees when skiing a lot of hard rough snow. The Krypts are a "feel" boot with a progressive flex and give more sensory feedback than any other boot I have skied. Perhaps with a stiffer traditional two-piece shell boot the inconsistent feel of the soft boards would be minimized.
My wife has had old Flexons for many years, and she has some knee issues. I bought a pair of after market Full Tilt shock absorbing boot boards at a dealer for $25 and put them in her Flexons, which has made her knees much happier.
IMO, the bottom line is that they do absorb some shock, but consequently your foot moves around a little. You need to decide if the fit or shock absorption is more important. Personally, I did not like having a squishy connection to the mountain.
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