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Stay with a Plug Boot, or Step Down to a Conventional Model?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm going to be getting setup with a new pair of Langes this weekend.  One of the main decisions I'll have to make is whether to remain in a plug boot (e.g. WC), or go with a conventional model (e.g. RS 130/140).

 

I've skied a down-sized Lange plug for a very long time, and the high degree of performance has outweighed the marginal level of comfort, especially in a resort setting where I can remove my boots anytime.

 

Though I don't race anymore, I still ski a lot, pretty aggressively, and do some beer league stuff.  But I also hope to do a lot more touring, and I don't think I could do that comfortably in my current boots, which tends to cause my toes to go numb after a few runs.

 

So, I'm considering stepping down to a conventional boot, but I'm concerned about whether I'll be happy with the performance.  Should I be?  I still desire a powerful boot, but it has to be comfortable enough that I'll be happy doing full day tours in them.  The XT series is out of the question, just to get that out of the way.  Is it possible to size/configure a plug so that it approaches the level of comfort that a conventional model would provide?  I know Lars Chickering Ayers tours in a Lange plug, but that doesn't mean I should do it too...

 

Appreciate any thoughts.  Thanks!


Edited by Hoss - 10/2/13 at 8:18am
post #2 of 4

Don't really understand, you are asking whether you'll be happy touring in a boot without a walk mode?  If yes, I'd say hell no.  but it seems as if you did it before, so I'd ask why why why.  

 

As far as comfort goes it has nothing to do with flex, but does have something to do with width so how wide is your foot?  If a "C" width or narrower it is easy to fit a plug but if the fitter has some experience. If a "D" width or wider a better fitter may be necessary.

 

Lou

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
 

Don't really understand, you are asking whether you'll be happy touring in a boot without a walk mode?  If yes, I'd say hell no.  but it seems as if you did it before, so I'd ask why why why.

 

I've talked to a few people including a respected boot fitter in VT about boots with a walk mode, such as the Lange XT, and the consensus takeaway has been that I wouldn't be happy with the ding in performance.  Basically I'm down to the Lange RS and WC.  I realize neither boot will be optimal for touring, and I'm conceding some comfort right off the bat by limiting myself to those boots, but I place a lot of value on the down and am willing to make some compromises on the up.  At least I say that now, we'll see.  I'll be retrofitting tech inserts into the toes (CAST system), which a solid soled boot is a prerequisite.

 

I'll admit maybe I need to be more open minded and rethink my approach.  It sounds like I posed an impossible question, as in what's the lesser of two evils.

 

Quote:
As far as comfort goes it has nothing to do with flex, but does have something to do with width so how wide is your foot?  If a "C" width or narrower it is easy to fit a plug but if the fitter has some experience. If a "D" width or wider a better fitter may be necessary. 

 

I'm not sure where my width comes in, I'd say average - not narrow by any means, definitely not prototypical Lange feet, but not wide either.  I've been in Lange plugs for the last 10+ years.  There is always some work involved in getting them to fit, and they're never 100% comfortable, but I always figured that's the price to play.  The biggest issue I tend to run into is my foot swells and then I develop cramps around the outsides of my feet, about 1/3 - 1/2 of the way down from heel to toe.

 

The thing is, I've always been majorly down sized for racing, so it makes me wonder if a less aggressively down sized plug might be the ticket, vs. raising the white flag and going with an RS.

 

Thanks, Lou.

 

Andrew


Edited by Hoss - 10/3/13 at 5:20am
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

The more I think about it, the question I posed is probably one that only I could answer for myself.  Anyway, I thought I'd follow up and share how things turned out.

 

So I got fitted by PJ Dewey at Race Stock in Waterbury VT, who's become my goto for this sort of thing.  PJ said he'd be more than happy to build me a plug, but recommended the RS 130 because it'd be warmer and more comfortable without giving up too much performance in anything short of maching in hard conditions.  It was tempting to stick with a plug, but I took his advice and went with the RS 130.  I figured I can keep my old plugs around for high speed ice skating.

 

PJ put me in a 25.5, which was pretty impressive considering I wear a 10.5 sneaker.  The RS 130's 98mm last offered generous width (relative to what I'm used to) in the mid foot, but due to the close fit I needed some added length to free up my toes a bit.  After a couple rounds of grinding to take care of the usual hot spots, we checked alignment (which turned out perfect), installed a Booster strap, and I was on my way.  The boots already feel more comfortable than my plugs, yet totally locked in nonetheless.

 

Great experience all around.  PJ's extremely attentive and it's almost telepathic the way he knows exactly what needs to be done to acheive the perfect fit.  I'll be going back in another month or two to get a lift kit installed with tech fittings integrated into the toe.

 

Looking forward to touring in these; should be a big improvement in comfort over my plugs.


Edited by Hoss - 10/7/13 at 10:43am
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