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Input on how buckling affects flex and ski performance ... Salomon Xmax 130

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,


I've been struggling with "dialling in" boots for comfort vs performance for as long as I can remember, both in racing and then just free skiing. Even now as an entry level coach I'm still fiddling with it. Many is the time I recall years ago cranking down the buckles and booster strap to get response and going just that bit too far and getting pins and needles or losing feeling (and warmth!).


I'm very much enjoying the comfort of my Xmax 130s. First boot I've ever had with all day comfort and no major swelling I take out the top rivet for teaching, getting lazy about putting it back in. Pls disregard this item for my next question.


I've been skiing recently with just the second eye of the buckles clasped. However, I recall last year clamping to the third notch and feeling the performance kick in more than a bit. The Salomon is a soft boot for certain (I preferred the snap of the Nordica Doberman, but couldn't take the cold. The Atomic Redster can't fit my lower volume foot). Tried it again this year and just didn't feel the same power "kick" as previous. Trying to get back there. 


The boot does stiffen when I clamp down another notch, but I'm trying to understand if there is a tangible performance benefit (aside from quicker lateral transmission - thinking more about the power transmission to the ski). 


My previous Nordica and Atomic had a real "accelerator" feel to the flex that I found that time I clamped down a bit more, but trying to ensure it's not just in my head (power transmission). 


I'm talking low to medium speeds here : basically slalom speeds. 


What are the actual characteristic changes to tightening the buckles when it comes to power transmission and response to the ski? 


Is there a performance decrease point in over tightening? Any rules of thumb? 


Thanks guys - insight most appreciated! 

post #2 of 3

rule of thumb is that the shell supplies the power as well as the comfort in boot fitting.


the closer the shell shape is to the shape of the foot, the better the power management to the ski.


in race boots for example, the more foot that you you can fill up the shell with, generally the better the response, control, and power transfer.


in boots like the salomon x max 130, the shell shape is more roomy to accommodate a larger group of humans for fit, and the the liner is made out of firmer, pre shaped eva padding that does a good job of capturing the heel and ankle. however because the liner is being asked to do more of the foot containment than the shell, you will find after a while the liner pack out will require you to use more buckle tension. and since the shell is generous, unless you have a thick meaty foot, you may find that it is easy to over buckle.


if you would put your bare foot into your doberman shell, and then put your bare foot into the salomon x max, a light bulb will go off and the above comments will be clear.


possible fixes for you might include the appropriate thickness zip fit liner, or an injected foam liner. you want to achieve through either shell shape or liner control, the ability to have a usable range of performance in your boots that comes from an initial fit that is bomber, and the next few gears can come from the buckles. 


good luck,



post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Understood. So assuming the liner/shell relationship is a constant (i.e. Right now "it is what it is") is there a defined relationship between tighter buckling and power transmission? The challenge is that there is also an increase in the stiffness with the tighter buckling - is it stiffness transmitting power?
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Input on how buckling affects flex and ski performance ... Salomon Xmax 130