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Am I resigned to Plugs with a AA (at best) foot?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys;


Been in a plug Lange for 7 years- think it is the rl12 shell (WC 160 in the ZA flex)  Boot is super precise, but seems to have real short flex.  The lateral support on these boots is unbelievable. 92 last which I skied right out of the box (couple of days of tingly feet- but that resolved quickly) save some canting, etc.  Anyway, probably have 230 or so days on them-- and they are starting to break down slightly -- rivets, buckles, etc.  I put non lace up liners in them when the old ones crapped out, and the fit has never been quite right- some grinding, etc for new hot spots and fit does not seem as secure (odd, as the liner is probably thicker).  Skied the flex unmodified for probably 5 years until one of the bolts broke, so I took out the matching bolt on the other boot-- then lost another- and both are gone on each boot.  Flex is softer but a little more jarring somehow (should have replaced them and probably had a cut for flex adjustment) .  About me- 5'9", 150 lbs- 46 yo, mostly on trail relatively aggressive skier, enjoys bumps when we have them, also enjoy railing groomers etc. -learning to race nastar when my kids do it.  I do ski trees and soft snow when available (live in CT so not often there- except when I travel to VT- which I do relatively often).  Probably ski 30-40 times a year.  Foot length is about 268 or so millimeters long- ski in a 25.5- which in the lange model I am in leaves plenty of toe room- but has never been an issue due to heel and forefoot fit.  Tried the 24.5-- but my fitter thought cuff height was off and fit after work would really be more than I would need.


Anyway-- looking for new boots and wouldn't mind something a little warmer, lighter, and softer as I age-- but I still crave the precise fit and response of a properly fitted boot.  Tried the lange rs 110 and 130 (thought the 130 liner might be a little more secure) , but still seem too wide, and Head raptor (which would probably have needed some shell work).  My question, after all this is - can I simply try and narrow (add pads, etc) to a 97 last shell, or if I really want a tight fit do I need to stay in plugs?


Looking at a pair of older 2011 R2006 rossis if I need to stay in a plug-- ZA soft flex. Any ideas?


Thanks for any thoughts?

post #2 of 14

fit control comes from the shell.


your feet got delivered from your parents DNA


by spending the last 7 years in a shell that is probably perfect for the width and volume of your feet, you will struggle with both fit and performance attempting to move into the "pro" lasted boots at 97 or 98 mm forefoot width.


the current lange or rossi zj+ has been "commercialized" for guys like you. take a look at those two boots.


or you could lower your fit and performance expectations and buy a 97/98mm model.



post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Jim appreciate your thoughts.  I suspected the answer, and went through a similar search/quest last time around to no avail-- my DNA did not change in the meantime lol-- hadn't considered the Zj+ though-- just checked your site-- nothing in a 25.5.  My other obvious issue is budget-- slept on the couch for a few days after buying the plugs 7 years ago...  which is why I referenced the older Rossi R2006 ZA soft (which I believe has been cut to make it extra soft).  That may have to do the trick in my current price range--should be a bit softer then my current boots- which never overpowered me, just kept me on alert at all times.

post #4 of 14

yes the ZA soft is the same same base shell as the current ZA.


the difference in the ZJ+ is that they have opened up a few key fit areas with fit pockets, and they sculpted the existing toe box to give them a little more breathing room for all day skiing.


they also took some power off the sole cant by grinding the sole to 90 degrees to the lower versus the ZA,ZB,ZC shells that have a 1 degree more positive sole out of the mold.


most of that stuff can be matched by a boot fitter on the older ZA soft if you wanted to save some dough.



post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Woops- asked you some of theses question in PM- before reading this-- Thanks again!



post #6 of 14

You've been skiing one size larger than your foot actually is, which means you weren't experiencing the true plug fit.  No problem but you might try coming down in size in one of the "commercialized" shells.  I think it will still feel slightly higher volume than the plug but won't be as loose as you suspect.



post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
lou- I wear a 8.5 street shoe.. Maybe I have my mm wrong... Fitter says a bit over a 26.5 mondo...i thought that equaled 265 (268) mm-. And am in a 25.5- definitely not a race fit but I don't think I could go down in a commercial shell... The head raptor has my toes crammed in a 25.5 - not sure how i could fit in a 24.5- maybe a lange with shell work in the toe box?
post #8 of 14

I read wrong but this doesn't add up.   Your foot is nearly 27 cm (Mondo 27) and you ski in an unmodified 25 that isn't a race fit.   Huh!  And I ski in a 27 and am very close to a men's eleven and you wear an 8.5.  Sorry things just seem a little off to me.



post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I was responding to the suggestion I was a size too big- realizing that some may not consider it a race fit because I was not jammed in to the shell requiring extensive work done on the shell just so I could stand it. To the contrary- The 25.5 in lange fits like a glove around heel and instep -after some discomfort breaking them in- without much modification (none really until I replaced liners after the first wore out) but i can wiggle toes and they are fully extended. Toes were jammed in the 25.5 raptor I tried - I think lange has a bigger toe box-it probably is a race fit compared to most folks-
post #10 of 14

Definitely a race fit and then some, but yes Langes run long.



post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Update-- went with an older (but new in box) Rossi WC R2006 ZA soft- WOW-- what a fit-- reminded me how much the new non lace up  liner in my current lange boots have loosened the preferred fit.  Vice like everywhere but toes.... the usual little bit of foot claustrophobia that always needs to be worked through.....awesome...Will be breaking them in ... may ultimately need a mm or 2 (tops) off the boot board for instep pressure-- but if I recall my old langes numbed my feet the same way until I broke em in.  The fit difference between the WC R2006 ZA and the Lange RS 130 (I recently tried on at a shop) appears really noticeable-- so much snugger in the WC ZA- even if the WC ZA are not a true 92- they are certainly lower volume than the RS 130. 


One observation--the plastic seems a little softer/thinner-- cuff particularly-- (could be the white color vs the old light blue) and the buckles seem a little cheaper than my old RL12 shell buckles.  Overall though no worries


And using a video from Jim- I softened my current langes-- (and replaced the rivets in the spine that had blown out) was happy to see that my cuts matched almost identically the factory (?) cuts on my new Rossi ZA softs.  Skied the langes last night in 5 degree weather and a noticeable difference (haven't busted the Rossi's out yet-- still wearing them around the house trying to get them a we bit more comfortable)


SO thanks to Jim (and Lou) for the sage advice- and to Jim for the video on softening- I am assuming it is the same Jim from Start Haus.




Great forum...  Thanks again

post #12 of 14



I misspoke but here is where things got confusing for me.  


First I should have said you've been skiing one size smaller than your foot size, but it was your foot length and your shoe size that didn't add up for me.


26.8 cm foot is a size 26 Mondo.  No problem you would normally be in a Mondo 26 boot but you've downsized to a 25 for a snugger fit.  However, a size 26 Mondo is not typically an 8.5 U.S. shoe size.  Typically Mondo 26 is 9.5 or so.  At that point everything came apart for me.


That said it sounds as if everything is sorted.  So all's well that ends well.



post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 



That is odd-- maybe my shoes are race fit?  :)  Now I have to go shell fit my dress shoes and sneaks.... Kidding aside, curiosity dictates that  I re-measure my feet at the ski shop-- I listened to what the boot guy said, I didn't actually confirm (didn't have my glasses on either)... maybe a bad measurement?  But, I seem to recall my last go round being in the same range- as each time I buy boots the guy starts with a 26.5 until I ask him to put that away and start with a 25.5. 


Thanks again for everyone's input!



post #14 of 14

Race fit shoes are fast, but often Ferrari red distracts from tasteful clothing selection.


Good luck.



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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Am I resigned to Plugs with a AA (at best) foot?