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Ex Racer Searching for All-Mountain Boot

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I grew up racing in high school and college in Montana.  Recently I moved to Crested Butte and I think it's time to trade in my Salomon X3 plugs for something a little more all mountain oriented.  I still want a decently stiff and responsive boot, but I also know I'll be skiing a different type of snow and doing a different style of skiing here.  I'm also going to be working for a film/event company so I know I'll probably have to have a boot that can keep me reasonably warm standing around all day and also something I can use for the occasional back-country foray.  Any tips and advice would be awesome!

 

Thanks guys!

 

Galen

post #2 of 13

Galen, let me be the first to welcome you to Epic, a great community of committed skiers. And let me also be the first to share with you the typical advice that the best boot for you is the one that fits the best. That being said, if Salomon's work for you see what they might have with a 130 flex.

The problem is that even "pro-sumer" boots often share some of the foibles of their racier cousins. At least that was my experience with Technica X17's and then Nordica Pro's. Great response but cold and a bit of a challenge to keep on all day. And getting them off at the end of a frigid Maine day was just frozen frosting.

Last year I traded them for a pair of Lange RX 130 LV (low volume). Best boot I have ever had. Lange seems to have found a balance between comfort, warmth and performance that works great for me. Highest points. But, again, it is all about the fit. Everything else is commentary. They also make an XT model that has a walking function, if that is what you call it.

Happy trails,

David

post #3 of 13

D1,three quick questions. Did you stick with the same relative BSL? And are you using the stock liner? And, did you notice any issues with the more upright stance in the RX {if so, did you do anything about it?}

 

I'm in a pair of now tired Dobie Pro 130's. I have had them since the spring before they were released to the public {son was a Nordica athlete}, and I think I have about 850 days in them. I've gone through three pairs of liners, at least four pairs of lifters, a ton of Boosters…..and they're shot. But they have been a great skiing boot. 

 

I have a day scheduled to try five boots this coming week, and the RX is one. RS130, Tecnica 9.8 130, Head Raptor RS 130 and the Dobie Pro are the others. I'm splitting my ski days between Colorado, and the hard north, Northeast, and I have one of our kids {and my boot fitter} thinking the RX might be the call. Both kids are coaches. Guess the cuff in this year's boot is a touch firmer, making it feel a bit more like a true 130. 

 

I've just turned 60, and the comfort thing is more on the radar screen than ever before. When we're out West, we're often booting up in the parking lot {ski in and out back here}. So that factors into the equation. Wouldn't mind being done with Cat-tracks. 

 

 And by the way, I agree that it is all about getting the right fit, and getting it dialed in. I've two pairs of these boots shipped to try on {he sells the other three}, and I'm pretty sure that at least one will be problematic. I was in a Lange from 1966 until I got the Dobie's {other than a three ski day experiment with Stroltz!}, so we have good reason to assume that they'll fit. I'm planning on an aftermarket liner, and a new footbed. 

 

Appreciate any thoughts and insight. Thanks VERY much. 

 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
 

Last year I traded them for a pair of Lange RX 130 LV (low volume). Best boot I have ever had. Lange seems to have found a balance between comfort, warmth and performance that works great for me. Highest points. 

Happy trails,

David

post #4 of 13

Muleski, happy to help.

BSL: I have been in a 305 +/- in the Technicas, Nordicas and Langes. The Langes are more comfortable than the others mostly due to a bit more room in the toe box. Warmer for that reason as well. I am a 9.5-10 in a street shoe, and a 26.5 mondo. It is about a 10mm shell fit. Close but not stupid.

Liner: In the Tehnicas, I used a Nordica Race lace-up liner. Great fit. Brutally cold. In the Nordica's I used a pair of ZipFits (World Cup). Again, amazing fit but still cold-ish and shells were devilishly hard to get off at the end of a cold Maine day because they come off independently from the lace-up liner, as you probably know. Last year I used the stock liner in the Lange's. Really a nice liner - looks more aftermarket. Comfy without being sloppy. If they are warm enough for my 58 year old dawgs, probably good for you too. I use the thinnest sock I can find. When they pack out I will probably use the ZiptFits again.

I pulled out the Aline semi-custom footbeds out of the Dobermans and they work great in the Langes without alteration. While in Taos I went into a shop to have the alignment checked out. Dead on. Surprised the hell out of the boot dude.

With 850 days on your beloved Nordicas, they deserve a Viking burial.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you end up with.

Happy trails

David

post #5 of 13
Hi- I have tones of issues with past frostbite on my right foot, so highly sensitive to a cold boot. My last and favourite boot was the Nordica Dobie Pro 130, but it was FREEZING... best boot I was ever in for the first fifteen minutes I could stay out.
I switched to Salomon XMax 130 and it's super comfortable, reasonably snappy. I can. Wear it all day.

This leads into the All Mountain question. I also have a pair of Salomon Quest Max 130, fits great, but not enough power to the edge if on hardpack.
So I'd suggest the Salomon X Pro 120 or 130 - a bit more cushion for AM than the XMAX, custom shell(really works!) and rubber on the soles.
The Lange suggested is a good option, but I'd stay clear of the XT or Quest types if it's your one boot. The hike function does take away from the flex response and robs the boot of the power you're used to from race stuff.
I'd use the X Pro myself, but ankle volume is too thin.
So... X Pro and Lange RX are the best options I believe (Atomic Hawx, etc, just not enough response to someone who enjoys the snap of a race boot)
post #6 of 13
Jim Lynsie of Bootec downsized me when I went from a salmon Xwave to an RX130 this fall. It's really tight, but I have confidence we will get it dialed.
post #7 of 13

If you go to the Salomon XMax or XPro 120 or 130, you will want to shell size to between 10 to 15 mm.  As long as the boot is long enough don't worry so much about it being too tight in the width in the shop.  I got a pair of XMax 100's last year.  That's a 98 mm last boot, but when they were heated molded (custom shell), they expanded to comfortably wrap my left foot at 105 mm, and my right at 104 mm.  They will supposedly expand up to 6 mm.  You get a boot that is snug everywhere with no slop, and molded well to your foot.  Circulation is not overrated!  You get the performance benefits that go along with that.  I like the way the boot skis too.  I've owned probably 8 pairs of Salomons over the years (always the best fit for me), and the recent changes in design make the boot ski really well in my experience.

 

The liners are heat moldable also.

 

I used to have a pair of Salomon Falcon CS Pros (120 flex).  Great boot,  had heat moldable panels in the forefoot area.  It fit my forefoot well, but choked me at the instep.  That won't happen with the XMax or XPro, as most of the lower shell will expand as needed, including in the instep area.. 

 

So start with a boot that is too tight pretty much everywhere, and heat mold it to expand to just right.  As long as you are within that 6 mm. range, you should be golden. 

 

If you feel any slop in the boot before molding, that won't go away.  The boots only expand, unlike the Fischer Vacuums, which will expand or shrink in the molding process. 

 

I hope this is helpful.

post #8 of 13

And buy the boot from a shop known for really good bootfitting.  Shell molding will be best optimized in the hands of really good people.  Nothing new there.

post #9 of 13

D1, 

 

Thanks much for the info. Very helpful. I'm also a 9.5-10 D. I've been in a 305mm BSL in the Dobie Pro. You confirm my gut reaction, and what I've been told re sizing. All of the boots that I'm trying are either a 305mm or 306mm BSL. 26-26.5's. I'm going to go with a foamed liner right from the start. About 100% certain of that. Good to know about your footbed sliding right in…again, very helpful to me. We'll see what my feet and the boots look like in a week or so. Have to remember to wear shorts. 

 

Sorry for any thread stealing. Interesting, and good posts. 

 

Thanks!

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
 

D1, 

 

Thanks much for the info. Very helpful. I'm also a 9.5-10 D. I've been in a 305mm BSL in the Dobie Pro. You confirm my gut reaction, and what I've been told re sizing. All of the boots that I'm trying are either a 305mm or 306mm BSL. 26-26.5's. I'm going to go with a foamed liner right from the start. About 100% certain of that. Good to know about your footbed sliding right in…again, very helpful to me. We'll see what my feet and the boots look like in a week or so. Have to remember to wear shorts. 

 

Sorry for any thread stealing. Interesting, and good posts. 

 

Thanks!

Happy to help.

Sorry I neglected to address you query about the upright stance of the Langes. I absolutely love it. It is the boot's best feature. In the Dobes, you are always "on." The forward lean and ramp angle naturally puts you in a more aggressive stance, which is all well and good when you want to be. But I found it ultimately fatiguing and unhelpful in more technical situations, like moguls and trees. I have "stance" issues in that I tend to get too far over my skis (crouched at the waist), rather than remain properly stacked. The more upright boot has helped me get away from that. 

Curious which "foamed" liner you are referring to - like an Intuition of something that is injected. The Zips are a very capable liner and beautiful to look at. A very high level of craftsmanship - like a bench made pair of shoes. I got mine used on Ebay. I have not tried them in the Langes because the stock liner is quite good, and warmer. You may wish to try them before plunking down more $ for aftermarket.  I had Intuition liners in a pair of Dalbello Pr's. Neither boot or liner worked for me.

Best,

David

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
 

Happy to help.

Sorry I neglected to address you query about the upright stance of the Langes. I absolutely love it. It is the boot's best feature. In the Dobes, you are always "on." The forward lean and ramp angle naturally puts you in a more aggressive stance, which is all well and good when you want to be. But I found it ultimately fatiguing and unhelpful in more technical situations, like moguls and trees. I have "stance" issues in that I tend to get too far over my skis (crouched at the waist), rather than remain properly stacked. The more upright boot has helped me get away from that. 

Curious which "foamed" liner you are referring to - like an Intuition of something that is injected. The Zips are a very capable liner and beautiful to look at. A very high level of craftsmanship - like a bench made pair of shoes. I got mine used on Ebay. I have not tried them in the Langes because the stock liner is quite good, and warmer. You may wish to try them before plunking down more $ for aftermarket.  I had Intuition liners in a pair of Dalbello Pr's. Neither boot or liner worked for me.

Best,

David

 

I'm leaning heavily toward getting BD's {Boot Doc's} foamed. My fitter had a lot of experience with them. My daughter now raves about them, shaving skied about 4-5 days in them. I'm not an expert on them by any means, but a number of friends who put A LOT of thought and experimentation into liners are sold on them. They aren't cheap. I figure if they work for Hirscher, and a number guys on the WC, they….work. And if there are guys who actually are in a buckled boot all day, and think they are comfortable, all day {as a number of my friends are} that's a good indicator for me. Seeking the every elusive mix of comfort and performance. We'll see. At least I'm leaning that way. Appreciate your thoughts on the stance. Again, really helpful. 

post #12 of 13

Have you considered a Dalbello Lupo? The ID (intuition) liners are heat moldable, and warm, and the walk mode, while probably not great for touring, would probably be great for just standing around.

 

I bought a pair of the KR 2 fusions last spring, which have a more upright cuff than the previous Kryptons (13 degrees vs 15 degrees at the most forward setting), and at least my initial impression is two degrees more upright is barely noticeable, and if anything, it's an improvement. The Lupo has a max of 9 degrees forward lean, which I didn't think would be enough, and that combined with the limited added ROM of the walk mode, were my reasons for going with the Fusion instead.

 

FWIW, Dalbello is making Hy-Grip (their version of Vibram) rubber soles (replaceable toe and heel) available for the whole KR 2 line this year, including the 2015 Pro, which only accepted a heel replacement last year. Dalbello item #991210 for anyone looking to get their dealer to order a set.  

 

Of course none of this matters if the boot doesn't fit your foot, or offer the performance you're looking for, but it might be one to consider along with the others mentioned. Also FWIW, intuition/ID liners are the only reason I'm not still running boot heaters. YMMV. 

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
. . . . In the Dobes, you are always "on." The forward lean and ramp angle naturally puts you in a more aggressive stance, which is all well and good when you want to be. But I found it ultimately fatiguing and unhelpful in more technical situations, like moguls and trees. I have "stance" issues in that I tend to get too far over my skis (crouched at the waist), rather than remain properly stacked. The more upright boot has helped me get away from that. . . .

 

I skied last season on 2012/2013 Dalbello Scorpion SR130s and really liked the more upright stance of that boot, just like you did in your Langes and for exactly the same reason (I have a tendency to get a bit too far over my tips sometimes). 

 

As for the Scorpion as a boot, I would toss it out there as a recommendation for the OP.  It's a 98 last boot and feels like a true (firm) 130.  For my foot, it was by far the best fit out of the class of boots I tried (Atomic Redster, Head Raptor, and Lange RX): it has a snug heel, a wide footbox, and accommodates my skinny ankles (especially with Booster straps and a custom footbed).  The factory liners are top notch, too.  I haven't skied them on a really cold day (last season was very mild, to say the least), but they didn't seem any colder than any other boot I've been in.  Anyway, the Scorpion is a very simple, very well made boot that's a short step down from real plug boot.

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