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Has anyone skied the new "Soft" boots?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Please, your impressions, and opinions as to suitability to more challenging terrain and advanced technique ?
post #2 of 16
Yes. I skied the salomans last year.

They are WAY easy to overpower, especially if you are large/strong and they weren't really any more comfortable than the Technica 9's I ended up with.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nakona,

Without even trying any of the soft boots on, that was also my initial impression. They seem to be for intermediates, or for those who will only ski green and blue slopes.

Maybe as they evolve, then they may become relavant to advanced skiers, even some expert level skiing. Racing......big question mark [?,] though not impossible...yet.
post #4 of 16
I know two extemely good skiers who are skiing in soft boots. One is in his 60's and we were having boot discussions- downsizing, stretching, etc. He said he'd done all that and if he were my age he'd still be doing it, but now he likes the Dolomites.
The other person is probably in his early 50's. Raised in Austria, formerly taught in Austria, now teaching in the US for many years. skis like an Austrian - meaning nothing ever seems like a big deal to him. He's very efficient, calm. The conditions can get harder and harder till you're on a frozen waterfall and he's skiing the same effortless way. ("la di da... vere skiing...")
Anyway, I skied with him at the end of last year and he was saying with the new short skis it's necessary and often difficult to "keep up with them" and soft boots make this easier. Personally, I haven't tried them yet.
post #5 of 16
If I were a better skier, and I weren't 280lbs, the soft boots would likely have worked better.

I need to actually power my skis around, I need to make them do things.

If I were one of those people who could stay centered no matter what and I could control my balance well, to properly weight my skis and shift them...

In short, if I were one of those folks who could pull on a set of high tops, step into a bear trap and ski, then the soft boots would be great.

My problem is twofold:

My level of skill is low enough that I have to use my shins to "dig" my tips, and my legs are powerful enough that movements that I barely notice can exert tremendous force on my skis.

In short, I don't have the finesse required to work a soft boot properly.
post #6 of 16
I originally purchased a pair of Rossignol Soft boots last year based upon all the talk of no longer needing to apply force to the front of the boot etc for shaped skis. While the boots were ALRIGHT comfort wise, I did find that they lacked performance and control. I am not a finesse skier and usually power my way around the hills & runs. In order to get any "feel" from the boot I found I really needed to lock down the boot, making them rather uncomfortable. I should also mention that these boots are HEAVY. After 2 weeks at Whistler, I had my bootfitter re-fit me with a pair of Lange Banshees - much better fit for my foot = better comfort and control.

I do want to state that not all soft boots are created equal and that apparently the Dolomites are the best of the bunch - best bet is to find a boot fitter that will stand by their product selection and advice. My boot fitter allowed me to return the boots and get new ones - no questions asked and at no additional cost. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Volkl 1,

I also LOOKED at the Rossi soft boot last year and agreed with the advice given that it was not dynamic enough.

This year I really became enthusastic over the Nordica Smartech boot. But you know the same tried and true principal still applies. It is about fit. The tongue hurt my shin and in fact the flex was stiffer than my Salomon Evolutions, my replacements for the Force 9 rear entries I had to give up.

The ski industry made a huge mistake allowing the total demise of rear entry boots. They performed well, and were very user friendly.This made it more difficult for new skiers to become involved in skiing, and turned a lot of other skies off.

The soft boots is there answer to the problems that they, the boot manufacturers created. All they had to do was to keep the same shells, and lasts, tweak the inner boots a little bit, and change the graphics every other year and they would have had a boot catagory delivering huge profit MARGINS.

I think next year we will see more soft boots, and when a couple of them get it right, the four buckle ovelap will be for very serious racers, and only the most expert of skiers.

Remember, it took about four seasons before we began to see the demise of the "pencil" shaped ski, so next years soft boot offerings will be key.

Of course, if they didn't throw away thier old rear entry molds and lasts, they could revive those as well.
post #8 of 16
I am very happy with my boots, as they're comfortable and work well. Why would I want a "softer" boot? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Yes, FIT is the issue. "If the boot don't fit, you must dump it." [Really sorry, Johnny, it just works too well - but thanks]

I'm more fascinated by "Daleboot" than by soft boot. Fit is it.
post #9 of 16
haven't tried them yet, probably won't because as of now I don't fit the description of someone who would bennifit from going soft. However I can see their appeal to those green/blue skiers that hate their boots. I think the next wave of "soft boots" will be geared towards blue/black groomer types and then their popularity will soar beacuse that apears to be the biggest demographic that likes to buy things. You know the type, ski 5-10 days a year always looking for the magic bullet thats going to make them ski better/be more comfortable. Ran into one of them at my local ski shop the other day. She was shopping for a pair of VOY-KLES when I told her it was Volkl she said "well, thats not how they say it in Europe!" WOW!!!! I know I was impressed! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] :
post #10 of 16
Tried on a few pair but don't know yet. The whole problem here and with all boots, you can't demo them. Once you try them, you're stuck with them. I'd still be in my Nordicas of three years ago if the boot soles hadn't wore out. I feel the same way about the Nordicas I have now.

Boots are always the "Dark Side" of skiing. Especially the buying part of it. No one ever sells you a boot and then takes it back because you don't like it. They try to tweak it and make it feel better but for some reason, it never feels good enough for you to completely satisfied with them. Because, you will always have this little doubt in the back of your mind. Did I make a mistake or not. It's not like that with skis. You try them a few times in different conditions and you either like them or not. At least you can take the demo's back.

This is one of the things the industry could make better for the consumer, mainly us!
post #11 of 16
I love my boots, tweaks and all. Rossi boots, Rossi skis, Rossi bindings - a happy camper!
post #12 of 16
Soft boots don't make a whole heck of a lot of sense at all. I've never met anyone _anywhere_ who can always remain perfectly centered fore/aft, so why would someone purposely buy boots that offer inferior support in this regard? Like integrated bindings, soft boots are just another marketing gimmick.

"There's a sucker born every minute." PT Barnum
post #13 of 16
Lars lives!

good to see you back here, buddy! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #14 of 16
I want to echo what Gonz said. Welcome back Lars. Haven't "seen" you around in a while.

A good ski shop will stand behind their products and take a boot back in exchange for another if the customer doesn't like the boot. That's what happened for my wife. She bought a pair of boots from Ski Center in D.C. and they were uncomfortable. The bootfitter (Brian Eardley) told her to ski in them a few times and they would become more comfortable as the lining packed out (which is sage advice). This was near the end of the ski season and she skied them about eight times (then the ski season was over). The boots never got better and after her first trip out on them the NEXT season, she decided to see if she could take then back and exchange them for another model. We headed down to Ski Center, and Brian was happy to make the trade, although he cautioned her that going with a boot that feels plush and comfortable in the store will adversely affect performance once the lining packs out. He gave us full value for the old boots, even though they were now a year old. She now has a much more comfortable fitting boot that shes happy with.
post #15 of 16
Gill,

good choice going to Ski Center AND working with Brian Eardley. Although Brian trains all of the bootfitters, and therefore they're all better than average, the Eard is the one to work with. Brian Beaumont and Boyd McHugh also are good, they've been with Ski Center since I worked there -- whoa! 15 years!
post #16 of 16
Soft boots do have their place. They are a very good alternative for rental shops. Shop staff can now quickly fit many customers with a minimum of slop or pain.

The problems that now attend hard shell rental boots far outweigh soft boot limitations for novice and low intermediate skiers. Those two groups comprise the bulk of the rental boot market. At those levels, they will not be hurt by current limitations in soft shell design. In fact, they will likely enjoy the skiing experience a whole lot more.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Has anyone skied the new "Soft" boots?