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Boot Flex and Ankle Range of Motion

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

The influence of boot flex/ankle range of motion on skiing is something that is still a complete mystery to me.  It's one of the variables that I haven't really played around with in the past, mostly because it's not possible to demo higher end boots and experiment with the flexes.  Most of my focus on the past couple seasons has been working on finding a canting setup that works with my body alignment. I'm pretty happy with the current setup, but am still concerned I'm not in the best flex boot for my frame and based on some on-snow feelings.  I just don't know anything else and I'm looking for some feedback about whether or not it's worth trying a second setup.

 

On snow observations:

My current boot does seem rather stiff at times to me when it's < 20F.  Sometimes it gets to the point where I can't flex the boot at all at these temps using my ankles alone - I need to assist with some body weight to push on the tongue.  I also feel like I have trouble pulling the inside ski back in a carved turn to get balanced over my center of mass and end up compensating with the other joints.  To outsiders it appears like I'm slightly in backseat or that I have too much inside ski tip lead.

 

Boot: Lange RS 130

Height: 5'10

Weight: 150

Foot Size: 10.5/11

Dorsiflexion: I think ~28 degrees.  I measured this sitting so my thighs were parallel to the ground and my lower leg is perpendicular.  I lifted my toes off the ground while keeping the heel down and measured the height off my big toe from the ground at ~5 inches.

 

Questions:  

1) Did I measure my dorsiflexion correctly and where am I on the scale in terms of range of motion?

2) What type of Lange flex would you put me in without seeing me ski?

3) What benefits could my skiing see if I were to unlock more of my ankle flex by moving into a softer boot?

4) What are the negatives of moving to a softer boot?  Would I be crushing the tongue of the boot or could I hyper-extend my achilles?

5) Could a boot that's too stiff coupled w/ a neutral stance like Lange actually result in loss of pressure on the front of the ski?

post #2 of 6

i will answer one question and ask a couple back to get the ball rolling here

 

1) nope, you need to use that same position but measure to under the ball of your little toe, make sure the feet remain parallel and don't externally rotate when doing this.

 

my questions,

what is the shell check in the boot? a boot too big (even one size) can affect the flex dramatically

what is the circumference of your calf at the top of the boot?

 

i am sure others will be along soon to add answers and probably raise more questions 

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonb018 View Post
 

The influence of boot flex/ankle range of motion on skiing is something that is still a complete mystery to me.  It's one of the variables that I haven't really played around with in the past, mostly because it's not possible to demo higher end boots and experiment with the flexes.  Most of my focus on the past couple seasons has been working on finding a canting setup that works with my body alignment. I'm pretty happy with the current setup, but am still concerned I'm not in the best flex boot for my frame and based on some on-snow feelings.  I just don't know anything else and I'm looking for some feedback about whether or not it's worth trying a second setup.

 

On snow observations:

My current boot does seem rather stiff at times to me when it's < 20F.  Sometimes it gets to the point where I can't flex the boot at all at these temps using my ankles alone - I need to assist with some body weight to push on the tongue.  I also feel like I have trouble pulling the inside ski back in a carved turn to get balanced over my center of mass and end up compensating with the other joints.  To outsiders it appears like I'm slightly in backseat or that I have too much inside ski tip lead.

 

Boot: Lange RS 130

Height: 5'10

Weight: 150

Foot Size: 10.5/11

Dorsiflexion: I think ~28 degrees.  I measured this sitting so my thighs were parallel to the ground and my lower leg is perpendicular.  I lifted my toes off the ground while keeping the heel down and measured the height off my big toe from the ground at ~5 inches.

 

Questions:  

1) Did I measure my dorsiflexion correctly and where am I on the scale in terms of range of motion?

2) What type of Lange flex would you put me in without seeing me ski?

3) What benefits could my skiing see if I were to unlock more of my ankle flex by moving into a softer boot?

4) What are the negatives of moving to a softer boot?  Would I be crushing the tongue of the boot or could I hyper-extend my achilles?

5) Could a boot that's too stiff coupled w/ a neutral stance like Lange actually result in loss of pressure on the front of the ski?

I Highlighted the sentence that we (CEM included) feel is involved in your problem.  You are correct in thinking your body weight should flex the boot,  If you consider that at, 2 Gs your body weight doubles, your "Center of mass position" (COMP) must be off, if this is not happening for you.  Clearly , if you put 300lbs on the tougue of this boot, it should flex forward for you.

 

How old is the boot you are skiing in?  most boots are becoming more upright these days.

 

As CEM asked, what is the circumference of your calf and size of boot?  Pertinent questions since these are two issues that are involved in COMP.  

 

Boot board ramp angle and binding Delta also play into the mix---- But,Tibia forward lean, trumps all the rest, IMO.  You could fiddle with all the rest for the next ten years,and if the forward lean of your lower leg (Tibia) caused by the boots forward lean, is incorrect for you, you will be held, off the sweat spot, which just ahead of the boot sole center and compensate for it all day long.

 

"Compensate" Defined as: "a large sucking sound" following you down the hill, pulling all the energy out of your thighs.

 

mike

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Mike - 

This will be my fifth season on the Lange RS 130's.  This boot is much more upright than the Fischer RC4's I had previously.  

 

CEM -

Measuring to the ball of the foot beneath the little toe I get about 3.5". 

 

I'm in a size 26.5, which I think is a 26 shell.  I have had the shell check done before, I believe it was no more than 1 finger on the smaller foot and less on the larger.  At what point would you say the shell is too big or would need to be tightened up in areas with posting?

 

Mike/CEM - 

I'll get back to you both on Sunday with circumference measurements since I don't have access to my equipment at this moment, but I can say there is definitely some space in the calf area unless I tighten up my booster strap.

post #5 of 6

3 1/2" is a hell of a lot of space under the ball of the 5th... that sounds pretty hyper-mobile to me, normally i would expect people to be struggling to get 2 fingers or about 1.5" at best in that

 

be interested to hear the calf circumference when you get a change, i think there may be some issues with actually loading the Achilles due to hyper-mobility   

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

CEM & Mike: 

Circumference of the calf is 13" at the top of the cuff.

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