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New softer boots!?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ever since I started skiing again in recent years after 20 yrs of hiatus, I have been concentrating on getting my chops up around the gates. This year, I started to relax a bit and mix in/venture out to sidecountry, bumps, and trees on mid-fat/fat 94mm's.

...and my 120 flex plug race boots have been killing my feet and shins. Bruises, swellings, pains.

So I just ordered 100 flex boots, as a softer more relaxed all-around, second pair.

Am I crazy??
post #2 of 24
No, not crazy. good choice, did you also get the Booster strapes put on them ?
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
The boots I ordered have the booster integrated booster strap.

Thanks for the moral support. It helps me stand firm when I'm accused of buying/having a variety of ski gear.
post #4 of 24
I'm not an expert but am definitely in the advanced range. Predominately ski side country and double blacks in bounds. Information gained from the internet, here and other sites, indicate that my Head Edge 10+ boots are way too soft for me. They are 80 flex.

I don't believe they hold me back at all and are very comfortable.

Maybe one day I will get a stiffer boot and it will be a revelation but I'm happy enough with the Heads.
post #5 of 24

I skied in really stiff boots for over a decade until they began falling apart.  I loved them.

 

Now I ski in a boot with a lot more flex and I love them even more than the last ones.  I've noticed that I have more control rather than less when I'm in uneven conditions, which is a great deal of the time.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Ever since I started skiing again in recent years after 20 yrs of hiatus, I have been concentrating on getting my chops up around the gates. This year, I started to relax a bit and mix in/venture out to sidecountry, bumps, and trees on mid-fat/fat 94mm's.

...and my 120 flex plug race boots have been killing my feet and shins. Bruises, swellings, pains.

So I just ordered 100 flex boots, as a softer more relaxed all-around, second pair.

Am I crazy??

The question is, 'why and where are your 120 boots hurting your feet?' I'll put my money on a tired liner and stock or old footbeds that aren't supporting your feet. Stiff boots can also be softened, which is a bunch cheaper than buying new unless you want to keep your stiffer boots for beer league. But going a bit softer for off piste stuff isn't a bad idea at all.
post #7 of 24

I am an older ski instructor (65) who teaches and skis at a steep, fast, and often icy eastern mountain; and who for many years skied Solomons in the 120 flex range.  This last pair I went down to Solomon XMax 100, which is a 100 flex boot.  For me there was a performance benefit to having a boot that I could flex more deeply and readily, and I have not discovered a performance deficit when I am skiing fast and hard on steep terrain.  My friend Paul, who is very strong, one of the best skiers on our staff, and also a Level 3 PSIA, skies this flex also. 

 

I feel that I am able to  work my edges with more finesse in this boot.  I believe there are too many skiers out there in too stiff boots.

 

By the way, your feet are 20 years older too.  There is that. 

 

Surfdog

post #8 of 24
After trying and using seven different pairs of boots in the past couple of decades, one thing I noticed is that the liner quality has a lot to do with comfort over the flex. I could comfortably ski a 130 flex boot with a great liner over a 100 flex boot with a mediocre liner. Comfort and fits equates to better skiing. But this is just me and my experience - based on my funky-hard-to-fit feet.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigr View Post

Predominately ski side country and double blacks in bounds. my Head Edge 10+ boots are 80 flex. I don't believe they hold me back at all and are very comfortable. I'm happy with the Heads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

I skied in really stiff boots for over a decade until they began falling apart.  I loved them.

Now I ski in a boot with a lot more flex and I love them even more than the last ones.  I've noticed that I have more control rather than less when I'm in uneven conditions, which is a great deal of the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

going a bit softer for off piste stuff isn't a bad idea at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdog View Post

I teach people to ski at a steep, fast, and often icy eastern mountain; and for many years skied Solomons in the 120 flex range.  This last pair I went down to Solomon XMax 100, which is a 100 flex boot.  For me there was a performance benefit to having a boot that I could flex more deeply and readily, and I have not discovered a performance deficit when I am skiing fast and hard on steep terrain.  My friend Paul, who is very strong, one of the best skiers on our staff, and also a Level 3 PSIA, skies this flex also. 

I feel that I am able to  work my edges with more finesse in this boot.  I believe there are too many skiers out there in too stiff boots.

By the way, your feet are 20 years older too.  There is that. 

Thank you all for sharing your own personal experiences that really validate and support my decision. Even with my generous wife who always supports my decisions, I couldn't help but feeling a bit guilty about the luxury of having two ski boots. Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

The question is, 'why and where are your 120 boots hurting your feet?' I'll put my money on a tired liner and stock or old footbeds that aren't supporting your feet. Stiff boots can also be softened, which is a bunch cheaper than buying new unless you want to keep your stiffer boots for beer league.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post

After trying and using seven different pairs of boots in the past couple of decades, one thing I noticed is that the liner quality has a lot to do with comfort over the flex. I could comfortably ski a 130 flex boot with a great liner over a 100 flex boot with a mediocre liner. Comfort and fits equates to better skiing. But this is just me and my experience - based on my funky-hard-to-fit feet.

I still love my 120 flex boots. They are awesome plug boots for skiing gates. One morning, several of us in my training group--a few are really good--compared how far each could flex forward in their respective race boots. Everyone's respective stiffness was pretty comparable and consistent.

The liners are fresh. They are thin and firm so they haven't packed out much. I got Superfeet Greens in them that support my feet well. The boots feel great and snug without any nagging pressure spots. I had no problem until I took them around to rough terrains last weekend. My shins got killed by repeated shocks from riding firm rough terrains...and some rocks too. Certain random parts of my feet started swelling a bit eventually, which never happened before.

Of course, there is the unknown of how my boots would perform if they were softened. It's possible I may like them even better and end up with just one pair of boots that are good not only for gates, but also for any snow surface less than smooth and perfect. At the end of the day. I just chose not to take chances of ruining or making lessor of what I really like.
post #10 of 24

nochaser,

 

What is missed here is that you are in plug boots with a thin but new liner meant for maximum performance.   A 120 boot that is build for BC or a regular racer (IE not plug) has a slightly thicker (more padded liner) for more comfort and all day wear.  Stiffness and performance being near equal, the slightly detuned version of the none plug boot could be what you are looking for, as you are not looking for the race course performance, just something like it with a little bit more comfort.

 

Also take a look at this thread

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/125640/lange-rs-vs-rx-boots

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Right. Thanks.

Unfortunately for me, the problem with the recreational boots is that even the snuggest shells are too wide and big. The narrowest they go I have seen is 97-98 mm, which is too wide for me. My feet measure A on the Brannock scale. OTOH, I'm one of the fortunate few that fit comfortably in 92-95 last plug boots without modification.
post #12 of 24

It's lucky and sucks at the same time, explains the liner issue.  You should ask the boot guys if you can use a regular liner for a little more padding in the boots since you have "pencil feet" .

 

Another suggestion may be a junior race boot, you'd have to ask the boot guys regarding that one.

 

BTW I'm in Lange WC 130 (look exactly like my avatar) and they fit perfect.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yes, I just got a pair of Jr. racing boots. They are made out of the same mold as my plug boots. The cuff is only shorter by half an inch which I think I can handle. I look forward to taking them to Tahoe this weekend.
post #14 of 24

How did the Jr boots work out?

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
No chance yet--canceled my trip. Didn't want to get stuck on slushy highways with my wife screaming in my ears with terror for hours.
post #16 of 24

:eek

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
She had bad accidents before...
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

No chance yet--canceled my trip. Didn't want to get stuck on slushy highways with my wife screaming in my ears with terror for hours.


These work.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ha! They sure do!
post #20 of 24

Interesting thread and it is nice to hear there are others who like a softer boot.  I tried some Salomon Impact 120 CS's this year but had to go back to my softer old Salomon Performa 7.0s.  The softer boots just feel so much better and really allow me to set a harder edge and really flex the skis on high speed carves, more responsive, comfortable and fun.  The impact 120's really fit poorly so it may not be all flex but I suspect softer flex and more comfort is better, at least for me.  Also, found the skis really chattered on the CS 120's but not at all on my old Performa's.

 

I to took off 12+ years from skiing.  Love the new rockered skis but so far not the newer boots....

post #21 of 24

Depending on ability, boot stiffness/softness can play a really big part on how well the skis perform (for the most part lets take terrain parks and back country out of the equation and deal more front side).

 

A few very good skiers (race experience and major ski shop owner) have told me that you want just enough flex to allow movement fore and aft for proper initiation of turns.  As ability improves the feel of that initiation point along with the pressure applied increase greatly, hence the desire for stiff boots.  With that generally also comes stiffer more responsive skis, which in turn require the high input levels.

 

Personally I'm on the stiffer boot side of the crowd, but I recognize that there are needs and proper applications of softer boots under certain applications (like possibly cross country skiing....just kidding :D).

post #22 of 24

My last experience with a stiff boot was horrible.  I like hearing what others like and works for them but what I find more helpful is when the shop expert asks me how I ski and what works for me instead of what works for them or how they think I should ski.

 

That being said, if I found a good  boot fitter I may like a stiffer boot but my experience so far; stiff doesn't equate to performance so I'm more in the camp of the post from surfdog...

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just skied in my new softer boots for the first time. Soft flex definitely helps in terms of absorbing bumps. Having said that, it's going to take some time for me to figure out if there is a performance gain or loss around the gates with the softer flex. I haven't yet found the optimal fore/aft balance when charging down the hill. Stay tuned!
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Weird--the shells are supposed to be the same as my other boots, only softer flex and different liners, but my feet just aren't happy with them at all. I had to get them punched out in the sixth toe areas. After a couple of visits to my bootfitter, it still hurts. Maybe because my sixth toes are swollen already. I'm gonna have to get them ground if the problem persists...
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