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Two questions about my boots, flex and canting

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

My boots are Atomic Hawx 80, and I've had them since the beginning of last season. My first question is about the low flex. I've looked around for this, but wasn't quite happy with the answers I found. I know the numbers are not consistent, and some people seem to prefer a lower flex for certain conditions, like bumps. I ski fairly fast (35 mph), so I've been wondering if the low flex has any disadvantages. On the other hand, when it gets cold (10 F), my boots are very hard to take off, so that makes me not want anything stiffer. I also have fairly limited dorsiflexion (not sure if this applies). How does one choose given these contrasting options?

 

My second question is about canting/upper cuff adjustment. The boot fitter I saw last couldn't move it at all, but I'm sure it's been moved previously. He was putting a lot of force into it and it barely moved. How does this adjustment work? Is it something you unscrew, move the boot around, then screw back in? Or is it a system that moves the boot one way when screwing in and the other way when screwing out? Is it possible it's screwed in to its limit? Just trying to figure out why it wouldn't move.

post #2 of 16

If you weigh around 100lbs an 80 flex might work.  You ski in them all day and only take them off once at the end of the day---which is more important? being hard to get off or skiing well----- I weigh about 180lbs and ski in a 130 flex Doberman.

 

If you have limited dorsiflexion then a stiffer boot is in order, since, if you move your knee forward you will pull your heels upward in the boot---not good.  A stiffer boot would limit how far your knees would move, which would keep your heels planted,  But this will also require that your center of mass position be set correctly over the boot sole.

 

good luck

 

mike

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
 

If you weigh around 100lbs an 80 flex might work. 

I'm male 5'7" 135lbs. So based on that and what you said, 80 might not be so horrible?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
 

If you have limited dorsiflexion then a stiffer boot is in order, since, if you move your knee forward you will pull your heels upward in the boot---not good.  A stiffer boot would limit how far your knees would move, which would keep your heels planted,  But this will also require that your center of mass position be set correctly over the boot sole.

 

Interesting, I would have thought limited dorsiflexion would favor a softer boot. Funny you mention heel lift, I've been going to the shop multiple times to try to get that right by adding shims. I also have a low-volume foot, which doesn't help.

 

Any idea about the canting?


Edited by nemesis256 - 1/14/15 at 11:05am
post #4 of 16

Canting = hands on at the boot fitters.

 

Low volume feet = need a  low volume boot----how wide are your feet?

 

Again--- you will need someone to set up your fore/aft balance correctly in a stiff boot to ski at a high level---not many of those guy's around.

 

good luck

 

mike

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
 

 

Low volume feet = need a  low volume boot----how wide are your feet?

about 9cm. Boot size 25.5, instep measurement about 23cm.

 

Anyone else with opnions on my 2 questions?

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just saw a real good boot fitter and he thinks I'm in a boot that's way too stiff.  I can't even flex the boot when pushing forward with my ankle and leg.  He had me try the exact same model I have except the women's version.  I instantly felt the difference and was able to flex the boot.  I guess I'm wondering how much I should be able to flex the boot.  While skiing, where and how much in my turns should the boot flex? And as I get better at skiing, can a boot be too soft?

post #7 of 16

Agree with Mike on all counts.  You have limited dorsiflexion anyway so a softer boot won't give you more, stretching on the other hand might.  Stiffer boot will also help protect your Achilles from over-stretching while skiing.

 

Men's and women's boots are identical except for sometimes lower cuff in women's boot.  Your height works against need for lower cuff, unless you just like a softer boot.  Flex is in the foot of the beholder and most boots in the 80 flex range should be too soft for you, but again your taste.  I have however seen 80 flex that were stiff as hell do to low quality beginner boot construction.  wouldn't think Hawx 80 is one however.

 

Hawx that I've seen have very high instep which works against you for control and heel lift.

 

Lou

post #8 of 16

i am not clairvoyant, but i did stay in a holiday inn last night:D..........

 

your boot is the wrong shape and dimensions for foot size and shape

 

your ankle range of motion is not allowing you to get to the front of the boot.

 

your boot is ridiculously too soft

 

you did not see a good boot fitter

 

you would benefit from a private lesson with a top level instructor that has some knowledge of equipment as well as ski technique and tactics.

 

good luck sorting this stuff out

 

jim

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
 

Agree with Mike on all counts.  You have limited dorsiflexion anyway so a softer boot won't give you more, stretching on the other hand might.  Stiffer boot will also help protect your Achilles from over-stretching while skiing.

I have been stretching, but I'm not sure how much it's improving. One concern about too soft of a boot is getting stronger and more flexible in the future.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
Men's and women's boots are identical except for sometimes lower cuff in women's boot. 

Definitely not what I found. The women's boot was easy to flex, mine aren't.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
Hawx that I've seen have very high instep which works against you for control and heel lift.

I would agree with that, my foot was measured at 25cm, instep 23cm.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

 

you did not see a good boot fitter

 

 

He's actually one from this list:

http://www.skinet.com/ski/galleries/15-best-bootfitters

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
your boot is ridiculously too soft

 

I recorded a video of me attempting to flex the boot. Remember this is supposedly a flex rating of 80. It should move more than that, right? But this problem may be more than just the flex, it's also the hinge point being too high, correct?

 

 

I also took a few photos to show how I'm standing in the boots, showing how I think there's too much forward lean. The first one is how I've been typically standing. Bending at the legs to touch the tongue, and trying to stand mostly straight otherwise. Pictures two and three are attempts at other stances. Moving the hips back, and then moving upper body forward more. That arched back to me just looks wrong. But the first doesn't look right either, I feel like the forward lean of the boot is putting extra strain on the quads.

 

I also measured my calf muscle as explained here:

http://www.southernski.com/balance-in-skiing-is-critical.html

 

It says anything greater than 14 inches is big. My right leg is 15 1/2 inches, left is 16 inches.

 

 

 


Edited by nemesis256 - 1/25/15 at 5:59pm
post #10 of 16

thanks for the video and the photos. the video shows very clearly that you cannot get the top of your shin to drive any power through the front of the boot. i hope i never end up downhill of you on steep icy run.:)

 

3 experts have told you the same thing......your ankle ROM is a problem.

 

the photos of you struggling for balance standing on a flat surface, cannot make that point any clearer.

 

you went to a boot fitter; what was done during your visit to address your fit and balance issues? did they shell fit you in the boot, do you have a custom or drop in footbed? where any changes made to adapt the boot to your ankle range of motion? how did they address the low volume measurement of your instep that measures 2 centimeters short of your length measurement? what about attempts to pull the boot tongue to the front of your leg with a tongue shim, tongue wedge, and/or a booster strap?

 

to sum up, either that boot is worst possible choice that you could buy for your foot or lower leg in all aspects including sizing, shape matching, instep ankle hold down, flex, ramp angle positioning, forward lean,  or the fitter that worked with you on that boot has jacked something up with your ramp angle, forward lean, or who knows whats going inside that boot.

 

jim

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
 

thanks for the video and the photos. the video shows very clearly that you cannot get the top of your shin to drive any power through the front of the boot. i hope i never end up downhill of you on steep icy run.:)

Yes, ice is still challenging. I tend to keep going in the direction I started with on the ice, or doing side/pivot slips.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

 

you went to a boot fitter; what was done during your visit to address your fit and balance issues? did they shell fit you in the boot, do you have a custom or drop in footbed? where any changes made to adapt the boot to your ankle range of motion? how did they address the low volume measurement of your instep that measures 2 centimeters short of your length measurement? what about attempts to pull the boot tongue to the front of your leg with a tongue shim, tongue wedge, and/or a booster strap?

 

I have had the boots shell fitted on multiple occasions, and got custom footbeds at the beginning of December. A few weeks ago I got some heel lifts. This latest boot fitter made the insides of the footbeds thicker, because my foot is naturally diagonal. He also remade the heel lifts to be more gradual. Other options we talked about were warming up the boot to move it back in order to not have so much forward lean, and putting plates under the boots for the same effect. But it was at the point that he saw I couldn't flex the boot when he told me I should stop throwing money at these boots and get new ones. My limited dorsiflexion is part of why I can't flex to boot. With too much forward lean, there's not any room left for me to push forward. I am experimenting with a tongue shim, not sure if there's a big difference yet.


Edited by nemesis256 - 1/26/15 at 6:19am
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
 

i am not clairvoyant, but i did stay in a holiday inn last night:D..........

 

your boot is the wrong shape and dimensions for foot size and shape

 

your ankle range of motion is not allowing you to get to the front of the boot.

 

your boot is ridiculously too soft

 

you did not see a good boot fitter

 

you would benefit from a private lesson with a top level instructor that has some knowledge of equipment as well as ski technique and tactics.

 

good luck sorting this stuff out

 

jim


re-read. the more info you dole out the the more clearer my clairvoyance is becoming!

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
 


re-read. the more info you dole out the the more clearer my clairvoyance is becoming!

That's why I took the video. ;)  I was pretty sure you would have a different opinion after that.

post #14 of 16

In the video you are not flexing the boot you are moving fore/aft inside the liner---you have left it loose enough to allow for this to happen.

 

Try feeding the power strap inside the shell around the tongue and liner only and really tighten it up---this will close up the liner around your leg.

 

You have 2 different size calf muscles---would any injuries account for the one being smaller (atrophy).

 

2 different size calf muscles would need 2 different amounts of boot shell forward lean to return your knees to the same amount of tibia forward lean during extension when coming our of a turn.

 

 

mike

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miketsc View Post

 

Try feeding the power strap inside the shell around the tongue and liner only and really tighten it up---this will close up the liner around your leg.

Just tried this and tightening to the point where it was too much. I could flex more, but not by much.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
 

You have 2 different size calf muscles---would any injuries account for the one being smaller (atrophy).

No injuries, just dominant left leg.

post #16 of 16

With your size calves, in that size boot (25.5),your boots have too much forward lean and I think you mentioned that your knees are too far forward already, and have limited

dorsiflexion---I agree.

 

Your boots need to have the upper, rear cuff of the shell flared to the rear, to allow you to stand more upright, plus you need an appropriate heel lift to open up your ankle joint, so that you can flex the boot.

 

But to start with, you need a stiffer boot, something all of us have been saying from the start.  An 80 flex boot will let your knees move too far forward and pull your heels upward out of the heel cup.

 

I have said before, that when in a stiff boot, you will need to be spot on the sweet spot, in order to use the stiffer boot---this is something that only a limited number boot shops are truly capable of doing.

 

mike

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