Originally Posted by Oleg S
Ok, than "basic" question...
How would you know your boot flex?
What question or questions should you ask your boot fitter?
If I level 7+ (may be even closer to 8) skier on the "piste" and probably level 0 off, what else should I ask to help boot fitter to steer me to the right flex?
Oleg, you are getting it backwards.
A good fitter should be asking you questions, not the reverse. A fitter should ask questions about your skiing (where? how? how often? how experienced? plans for next season?), questions about your current boots (what do you like? dislike? fit?). Bring your boots so that you have a baseline to start the conversation. The fitter should measure and look at your foot and based on those inputs a fitter should recommend a grouping of boots. From those inputs, a fitter should bring out 3-4 recommendations to start with. It is OK to slip into the boots and do an initial test to see if the recommendations are roughly on point in terms of fit, but once you have it narrowed down to one or two models, a good fitter will do a shell fit to confirm that the fit is correct, within the desired performance band and he/she will also assess potential spots for manipulation of the shell.
At this point, the fitter should also be discussing foot beds as part of the package (and yes, that adds cost, but any avid, self-described "intermediate" or "advanced" skier who bothers to participate in an internet chat board about ski equipment should be taking this stuff seriously, right?). The foot beds should be built up during the fit at the time of purchase so that the final fit and initial shell manipulation accounts for the volume of the foot bed and the placement of your foot in the boot. There is some debate about which foot beds to go with, how they should be made and what they should be addressing. You could waste a solid day trolling the Epic archives on that one. Or, more practically, this is a spot where you buy into a fitter's philosophy, developed through actual (as opposed to virtual) experience. Regardless, it is universally accepted that stock foot beds are garbage and should be appropriately disposed of immediately upon purchase.
How does a fitter know what to recommend? Inputs about fit and foot shape drive brand/model recommendations. Inputs about your skiing, plus watching you stand in the boots and flex in the shop drive recommendations about flex level (which are not consistent across lines - only internally consistent within a line meaning that a Lange RX 130 is stiffer than a Lange RX 120 - it doesn't necessarily follow that a Lange 130 is stiffer than a Sollie 120, or something else). Better yet, bring a video of your skiing (or go skiing with your fitter - the best strategy if you are buddies in real life).
What the fitter should not be asking is "what models are you interested in?" And if you walk in and say, "I am interested in X boot," the correct answer from the fitter is "why?" If a fitter accepts that kind of input without pointed inquiry, you are better off buying your boots online at a discount, in the blind, because (a) unless you spend a lot of time with the products (which you don't or you would not be asking these questions), your analysis might be totally irrelevant and likely dead wrong and (b) you will need the savings to resolve fit problems on the back end.
This is all another way of saying that your internet research about models and perceived performance attributes shouldn't come into it at all. Gear research is fun - everyone on this board enjoys it as a hobby. But boots are different from skis. You'll never be at the bottom of your favorite run at Squaw saying, "wow, if I only bought those Langes that I read about in Ski Magazine instead of these Nordicas, I would have really railed it - my quickness and power edge-to-edge would have been so much better thanks to the energy transfer from the proprietary green plastic that Lange has dialed in perfectly and exceeds all other boot plastics on the market."
Rather, people notice general things about boots that could be remedied by any brand, any appropriate model if properly fit (i.e., "my feet hurt, this is a bummer, time to hit the lodge" or "my boots are too sloppy, I am moving around too much inside the shell," or "my boots feel mushy and unresponsive, I need to crank them up to feel my skis" or "my boots are too stiff for me to drive - I can't bend my skis naturally" or "my liner has packed out (after 80-100 ski days), time for an aftermarket liner or a new boot" or "my boots are comfortable and totally dialed-in.")
I have no idea whether or not a Lange RX 130 or RS 130 is right for you. It might be. It might not be.
What I am pushing back on is your opening assertion that either Lange, or if not one of those, a Dalbello is right for you. You have no basis to assess that and it sounds like weren't seriously fit at the shop you visited. Rather, it sounds to me like you did some internet research, carefully reviewed the Ski Magazine gear guide for medal distribution, went sale shopping, slipped your foot into the two boots you pre-decided on and concluded that they might work. There are better approaches, particularly if you are as avid about the sport as your posts of the last year suggest.
Good luck, commit to investing in your boots, you will have more fun.
Edited by LewyM - 3/13/14 at 3:52pm