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Why did mid-entry boots fail? - Page 2

post #31 of 67
Thread Starter 

Phil - I'm assuming the Lange XT has a lower volume instep than the Tecnica, correct?  You know that I have a very low instep.

post #32 of 67
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

You think you hate the way they look..wait till you ski them!

Those boots were a bugger to get on, but skied wonderfully.  Designed by Ingemar Stenmark, who only agreed to do so under the stipulation that he be given completely free reign.  I once had the joy of seeing that man freeski.  He flows like maple syrup.


But he obviously could have used some help on color choice!

post #33 of 67
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

ROTF.gif   Case in point.

The Salomon rear entrys were great.  There was a reaons they dominated the market.  Too well, thou, as it created a whole host of knock-offs.  The "copies" didnt work because Salomon had patented all their internal cables sytems (namely the heel one which made them work), so without that, as the copies were, they sucked.

The Salomon ones were great thou, Marc Giredelli won the overall WC title on a pair, Scott Schmidt established "extreme skiing" on a pair...to name a few....but yeah....public perception, went sour, and they died.

I loved Grizzeled perceptions thou - no heel hold?  the salomon rear entry had the best heel hold of any boot!, they didnt flex?????????????/ WTF?  These had the most adjustable flex ever, and could be made super soft, too super stiff!

Bwaaaah hah hah hah! You talk about the models AFTER the SX90/90E. Who had great results on the first generation? Anyone? Schmidt skied on a much later model, as did Girardelli!

Read more closely next time, and stop making straw-man arguments. I didn't talk about anything but the 90 & 90E where Salomons were concerned. Didn't talk about the 70 or 60. Just the original grey 90 and dark orange 90E.

The heel hold backward is not the same as the heel hold from the sides (wrap). My ankle was retained backward very well; there was very little snugness in the form of heel wrap however. And the shell felt like it was positioned inches away from my foot in every respect.

But you're trying to tell me that wasn't how they fit me.

post #34 of 67
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

I believe Salomon reached the performance limitations and the marketing limitations of the rear entry design and decided it was time to move on...

Can't speak to mid-entries, never skied in them. OTOH, having owned SX90's, can say unequivocally that yes, they were a strong boot for their day. But that's the problem with memory. Since we liked them then, we assume we'd like them just as much now. Would they hold up in comparison to 2013 boots? Nope, no more than great skis from that era hold up to today's (apologies to the retro threads). SX90's did not have the lateral precision, shell fit, liner, or predictable feedback during flex that characterize a bunch of modern boots.  Could Sollie dust off their patents and make a modern version that is comparable to the best we have today? Mental masturbation...but a clue is that they haven't. Someone over there must believe either that their current models have gone beyond a rear entry's potential, or that there's no market. Probably both. 


Also, unclear about how seeing a great sponsored skier rock in ABC Boots makes the boots great. First, because you can't sort out how much is boot from how much is skier, and second because  I assume the boots were custom made for each athlete, no? Kinda like me using the "same" tennis racquet that Djokovic uses, since hey, they both have the paintjob. Right...


post #35 of 67
Originally Posted by epic View Post

How do you figure those are mid-entry? Maybe the Nordica Sportmachine (which I think is already gone) would count.

Nordica Gransport would definitely count.      And too bad they didn't put a tech fitting in the toe of those, or they'd be selling tens of dozens.

post #36 of 67

Once you cut out the ridonculous heel retention features they got better.

Originally Posted by epic View Post

I had these - they were not easy to get on



post #37 of 67
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I had these - they were not easy to get on


I had this exact boot, and in the day, these were the hot item.  It seemed 1 out of every 3rd guy skiing had these boots. Knowing what I know now about shell fits, I'm pretty sure that there is no way in hell these fit right for most people.


Getting them on for me was an enormous pain- I have a pretty tall instep, and it was a beast getting my feet in. I also got some nasty shin bang. Still, they transmitted input to the ski very well, even though my previous statements imply that they weren't a very good fit for me.


post #38 of 67

Here are a few clarifications for ya'll..........................


The mid-entry boots did not fail at all. In fact, they were the market(ing) revolution that finally killed the fading rear-entry models.

Like all compromises, they eventually gave way to better and better conventional designs, but they were waaaaay better than any of the RE boots.

Marc G did not win the world cup on late design boot. He won it on an SX90-E (sort of) that actually bore almost no technical resemblance to the commercial boot.

The Sollie Integral had nothing to do with Stenmark except his name and a fair bit of $$$$$$$$

  • Stenmark was under contract with Lange until the last race (April) of his last season.
  • Miraculously, the 'Stenmark' Integral boot was introduced to the retail market the following September.
  • Amazing how 3 years of R&D were compressed into less than 4 months. (musta been magic or something)
  • To think that the greatest ski racer of all time had anything to do with the design of that abomination is beyond ludicrous.



Jus' tryin' to hep ya'll out.........................biggrin.gif



post #39 of 67

Also, I really, really, really wish I still had these boots for gaper day.

post #40 of 67
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Nordica Gransport would definitely count.      And too bad they didn't put a tech fitting in the toe of those, or they'd be selling tens of dozens.

Right, Gransport, that's the boot I was thinking of. Do they still even make it?

post #41 of 67
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Right, Gransport, that's the boot I was thinking of. Do they still even make it?

Replaced by the Cruise, I think.

post #42 of 67
Marc G did not win the world cup on late design boot. He won it on an SX90-E (sort of) that actually bore almost no technical resemblance to the commercial boot.

Thanks for the fix of my error, Jim. wink.gif
post #43 of 67

I had a air of the Solie SX- 90's and what I remember most about them , easy on and off for sure, but to me it didn't feel like the boot had a snug heel pocket for some reason. I didn't have a lot of heel lift , it just felt way different than an overlap shell's heel pocket.

post #44 of 67

April 2015 now and until two weeks ago I was STILL skiing in SX-90E's (I have two pair, both 350 volume size).  The receipt for one is dated 10-'84 and I think the other pair might be from '83) mated to Salomon XT800's (with integral Z12 bindings).  Fun combo, BUT...an issue popped up recently in which the rear pins on the bindings caught in the twin depressions at the back of the boot during a controlled release at the end of the day (pole push slow release).  This happened to me twice, resulting in a boot which jammed hard in the binding after a part release...and in both cases I had to take the whole boot+ski off and wrestle with it to get the boot all the way out.


After thinking it over, I decided to retire the boots (at least temporarily) in favor of Salomon Quest 110's, and I'm reasonably happy with that choice--much better than suffering a similar partial release on the mountain when I need a full one and tearing up a leg.   


That decision taken, I'm still considering mating the great old boots to a different binding for next year (Look Pivot 18's) on a new pair of mogul skis I just picked up, but I'll think that over during the offseason.   I won't decide which boot to have the bindings mated to until I'm up and running next year, and with a few days under my belt.   That way I'll see again if I really like the Quest's on "second impression"...enough to finally ditch the old rear-entries for good.


The walk system in the newer boots isn't half bad, although still not as free as with the old gems.   But the newer boots also don't have the old heel-cable hold down (a feature I really did like in the 90E's), although the second buckle can be remounted somewhat further back as an option.  That does recreate the effect to some degree, but not as well as I wish it did. 




post #45 of 67

I rented a high end pair of Solomon (SX 91 or SX92?? my memory isn't as good as I remember it once was).  My take on them was that  a bunch of cables were attempting to change the shape of my foot, which did not feel good, as opposed to a boot that fit my foot.  

post #46 of 67
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

It's about logistics sir, logistics.  Most likely you never run into situations where you would be better served by an easy on/off shell.  There are areas where I ski that don't work well for booting up in the lodge.  Unfortunately I cannot do the parking lot dance and manage to get into my ZipFit liners and my Raptor shells.  Yes, I have a heated bag, but that's not the issue.  The issue is that I must put on my liners outside of the shells (as is typical with most race boots).  The balancing act to get the liner on and into the shell while standing up and being unable to put your foot down on the ground isn't much fun.


If you could get the high performance of a race inspired 2-piece without the problems of entry/exit wouldn't that just be ideal?  I honestly believe that if a manufacturer could solve this nut they would be hugely successful.

When I used to ski at Mammoth (where it was often easier to boot up by my car) I used to carry a flattened cardboard box around to put down on the ground while I did the whole zipfit liners first thing. A rolled up piece of carpet could work too.

post #47 of 67

I don't know about the 91-92's, but the 90's do indeed have two cables, one wrapping around the forefoot (about where the ball of the foot is) and the other working diagonally downward at about 45 degrees from the font side bottom-of-the-shin/top-of-the-foot to the bottom back of the heel.  The latter cable, in particular, is responsible for the truly excellent heel hold (best I've experienced in any boot), although you'll know if you read the thread that everyone here does not agree.  IMO, the proper way to have addressed that back then was to have incorporated a properly sized "heel cup insert" inside the back of the boot for those who had particularly narrow heels which would otherwise "swim" sideways even if the heel was held down tight across the top of the foot--the cable, in that sense really wasn't able to conform tightly around the entire back of the ankle due to (as others have mentioned), the very stiff plastic of the shell.  


The forefoot cable conforms more closely to the entire foot, IMO, and while I haven't fiddled with it for some time myself, I recall that the pressure and fit tighten more generally all around the foot when it is tightened.   I think this is because it surrounds the liner alone internally, unlike the heel cable, which constrains the top and sides of the shell.  FWIW. 


My own experience over the years covers Head Air Boots (my first pair), and later Hanson Spyders (with a Neoprene "wet suit"-type liner, which fit like a glove).   But my favorites still are these old SX-90E's, although there was something to be said for the feel of the other two (and now the new 2014 Quests) as well.   The air boots and Hanson's both fit (adjustable with pressure on the former) the entire foot tightly everywhere all the time...while the old Salomon did have that option to tighten down that heel if desired (not as good in the new Quests).   For me, that added tightness, just when and where I want it--and the fact that it can be made to "stand out" from the overall fit of the boot elsewhere too, I think--adds an extra bit of confidence.  


I should add that my own feet are pretty normal and pretty evenly matched in size and volume too, and without particularly narrow heels (just bony ankles), so the standard fit around the heel did indeed work pretty well for me right out of the box (and without need of a heel cup).   FWIW....



Edited by C Snow - 4/13/15 at 9:37am
post #48 of 67

Most of the boots discussed here were REAR entry boots.  I think of Rosemonts and Scotts as mid entry boots. 

post #49 of 67

(I agree with crgildart, BTW.)


The whole line of SX-** had two cables, one for the forefront and one for the heel hold-down.  There was one cuff closure buckle.

What they did to the SX-92, which in my opinion ruined it, was combine the buckle that adjusted heel cable tension with the buckle that closed the cuff. They had to re-route the cable to make that happen, and it meant you couldn't adjust them independently. The SX-92E and Force-9 kept the SX-91 design.  (Force 9 added a velcro strap at the top, backing up the cuff closure buckle.)


There were a lot of mechanical adjustments available -- change the height of the front cuff by moving screws, inserts on the underside of the hard-plastic bootboard to change tilt, a moveable arch support, etc.  I think there was also something between the rear shell and its liner to change the grip on the achilles -- a thing that moved, or a larger tab -- I've forgotten exactly what it was.


I suspect that the poster above had it right when he says the people who hated them were people that they just did happen to not fit.

post #50 of 67
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Most of the boots discussed here were REAR entry boots.   


Very true.    Noodler was originally asking for info about the generation of boots that gave us that 'classic' Lange womens' design - the Anthea mid


Just looking at that or the Salomon 9 (there was also an 8.0 in a salmon grey) gives me a rush of "OMG did we really put all that crap in ski boots and still not manage to have real functional power straps or modern buckles?"

Edited by cantunamunch - 4/13/15 at 1:46pm
post #51 of 67

Apologies for confusing this thread for what I believe was a very similarly titled thread "Why did rear entry boots fail?"...which I'm SURE I have been perusing over the course of the last few months...only to screw it up when it came time to paddle.  Sorry,  but it wouldn't be the first time either. 


That said, and at the risk of continuing to confuse the boots, I'll point out that this thread has otherwise lain dormant since 2012, so there are probably not a lot of confused people following it anyway--those of you who are back again already know the subject and already appreciate the crossover between boot designs...so I feel somewhat comfortable if I must "preach to the choir."  This choir already knows the score, methinks.


So at the risk of confusing things further, I'll motor on down the hill a bit further, and with a personal note:  I did just buy new Look 18 bindings with the intent of fitting them to the old Salomon's (SX-90E's) for next season.  My thought is to have them fit to a new pair of Hart F17's (mogul skis) which I hope to have fun with at Mary Jane, here in Colorado next year.


I'm 54 (6'4-185) and I figure I have perhaps ten or even fifteen years ahead of me in which (despite increasing age) I might actually be able to get BETTER as a skier than I am now, before I resign myself to the slow slope of inevitable decline.  


So even though My (Old) boot tech is 32 years old now, the skis and bindings are both quite current (2013 on the skis)...and I can't help but think the combo might even...


...dare I say it?






One has hopes.  :D

post #52 of 67
I can't help thinking that the plastic might fail. How's your insurance?

Have known two old rear entry boots to fail on the slopes, one broke around the instep, totally through. Guy walked down the slopes. The other broke around the ankle of the skier and resulted in a sled ride and six months of PT. Both incidents were ten years ago or more and you're now talking plastic that's even more aged.

Give them up.
post #53 of 67
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I can't help thinking that the plastic might fail. How's your insurance?

Have known two old rear entry boots to fail on the slopes, one broke around the instep, totally through. Guy walked down the slopes. The other broke around the ankle of the skier and resulted in a sled ride and six months of PT. Both incidents were ten years ago or more and you're now talking plastic that's even more aged.

Give them up.

TWICE, I've seen someone's boot fail to the degree that the ENTIRE LUG broke off the bottom of the shell... and the ski continued on down the mountain still clicked in to the binding where the person was left with nothing but the liner from the ankle down.  Would totally suck to have a catastrophic failure like that skiing fast near any kind of exposure... kind like a blowout while driving 60 MPH through switchbacks along cliffs.

post #54 of 67

I am starting to see mid 90's plastics failing, let alone plastics from the early 80's. Would you drive on 32 year old tires as CRG eludes to? 

post #55 of 67
Another vote to retire old plastic- be it bindings or boots. Bring the stuff out on retro/gaper day.
post #56 of 67

I do appreciate your feedback, all, and what you are saying too:   You are all pointing out "the big fear" which is that the boot shell will fail.  I'm aware of the possibility, certainly, which is part of why I did point out that I have two identical (but for minor cosmetics) pairs of the old gems...but I acknowledge too that it would not help me one bit were the first pair to fail and cause injury as a result.   As I said earlier, I'm thinking it all over and won't decide until next year...and even then not until I have a few days under my belt on the current equipment.


Moreover, and before I decide for sure next year I expect I will take the old boots out at least once more on the Olin Mark VI's (for which they are configured)...unless my newest boots are really, clearly the way to go...and I'm sure of it without needing to revisit the old gear.


On that point, the Salomon Quest 110's I bought last month proved to be a bust, so just a few hours ago I returned them (after two boot fittings and three ski days) and took on instead a pair of Nordica "NRGY PRO 1's."  The shell on these new boots is a fair bit wider in the ankle area, which was the issue with the narrower Salomon's (and in that regard the shell on the Nordicas is more like the old 90E's, which I never had an issue with).  


I will ski on them this next Tuesday (and possibly even a few hours from now on Sunday), and perhaps once or twice more near the end of next week...and again at the end of the season on the 26th.   And then mull over what I've learned during the warm months ahead. 


If I've found a current boot that works, I will, indeed, retire the 90E's.  If not, then I have some real pondering ahead of me. 


Thanks for all your inputs, in any case.  I am listening, and really do appreciate it.




Edited by C Snow - 4/18/15 at 11:56pm
post #57 of 67

Sunday AM:  I did not go up the hill this morning, but am instead sitting and typing in a bathrobe, while also wearing the new Nordica's--I will try them out for real on Tuesday at Winter Park/Mary Jane.


Thanks for the opportunity to digress and inject myself on a personal note too.   You folks have been kind, and it's been fun.


That said...the original purpose of this thread was to examine boot design (mid in this case)...and while my own contribution has been of some value (I hope)...if only because my own experiences on old gear are quite fresh, still, in my own mind [I skied on the 90E's last at Copper Mtn. in March, I think and may have pictures and video to prove it], they are still only my own experiences.   What I DON'T have is any experience in a mid-entry boot, since I stuck with the RE's once I bought them.


If I were looking at this as a manufacturer, I would think there might well be a market, even today, for a boot very similar to the original Salomon SX-90/90E.   And I can't help but wonder what people (here and elsewhere) would think of such a boot were it built and sold using modern plastics and liners.  


For my part, I do think one feature I would want to see again would be the rear cable/heel-hold-down.   If not in its original form, still probably in something similar.


So...how would a feature like that translate in a "mid-entry" boot?   Or would it cross over at all?




post #58 of 67

FWIW, in the past week I've seen a pair of SX90s, SX91s, AND SX92s in thrift shops.  No orange Equipes though.  Didn't bother to dig them out to see what sizes they were.  I don't remember which ones I saw where so please don't PM me asking me to go get a pair for you.  All the shops were in Durham, NC. 

post #59 of 67

You MIGHT want to snap those up, at least according to the guys here at the ski shop I frequent--they are telling me parts of the boot soles are going for $400 on ebay (but don't ask me which parts--I can picture in my mind only the rear sole plate (black plastic) and I wouldn't pay even $20 dollars for it myself).  


FWIW, I'm not the only local guy still wearing SX's.   I did see a guy at Eldora in February skiing himself on SX91's.  


Just for grins.  :D

post #60 of 67

I have two things to say about this.


#1 - You can wear a modern boot. Somehow EVERYONE else is managing to do it.


#2 - If I were Salomon I would be making a rear-entry boot. There is obviously a market for it wether it is needed or not. You just know people would buy them.

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