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Questions about flex

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I recently rented some Salomon Symbio 440 boots in a 26.5 that were picked for me by the shop owner (who is an award-winning boot fitter).

I haven't been skiing for about 15 years so on the first day I was bruising my calves and shins a bit and getting leg cramps. On the second day I did the boots up slightly tighter, to the tightest notch on each of the latches and I feel that worked better for me. I also relaxed and got into the groove, stopped fighting with the gear and went with the flow. No more sore shins and cramps. Everything felt good. 

So if I walk into a shop next wanting to buy a pair of ladies boots, I gather the staff will take care of fit, but what sort of flex would I be asking for? Does anyone know what the flex is for a Symbio 440 boot? I feel like it was working pretty well for me. I've noticed that Salomon seem to be pretty specific about the flex offered in their boots, is it a marketing tool, or is there really an important difference between 70 and 80? 


I really wish I could've had a chat with the boot fitter and looked at some boots, but he was busy and I was getting dragged out of the shop by my guy.


Level: Intermediate, still a bit wobbly on advanced intermediate runs. 

Weight: 145 lb

Height: 5'8"

post #2 of 6

Hi Sandgroper,


Welcome to Epicski---we all hope your experience here is rewarding and helpful.


Read through the above article as a starting point---pay close attention to how to "shell fit" a boot as this fit/size issue is the one, most often, not done correctly.


The boot you rented is a very low level (entry level) boot which can easily be improved upon.  In most cases any boot with a flex number lower than 80 is not worth (in my opinion) considering for a long term investment, depending on how much you weigh, how tall you are and your skill level. 


Your ski boot is what connects you to your ski and depending on how well you are connected, it determines how you can/might ski, but then the article covers a lot of this.


Happy skiing



post #3 of 6

The reason to walk into a shop asking for a pair of ladies' boots are few.  You are worried about wearing fur visibly so you have some inside your boots.  You are not very tall.  If your size really is a 26 I'd say it is unlikely you are less than 5'8" so that isn't a problem.  I'm out of ideas.


Very low level women's boot's are big, wide soft things to be avoided by everyone unless you absolutely need a huge volume boot.  Most of the rest of women's boots are identical to what I would buy with the exception of may a lower cuff and colour.  Don't worry about the woman's boot thing, just buy a boot that works.  


Look at that I just saw your height at the bottom of your story.  So advice still follows.  At your height and weight it is unlikely you need a woman's boot.  And if you really plan on learning and enjoying the sport you could almost certainly find something better than a Symbio which establishes the most effective Symbiotic relationship with gargantuan feet, skiing once per year without any desire to actually learn the sport.


But that is just my opinion.



post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for confirming my thoughts about flex, gentlemen. I was thinking that the 45-55-60 boots must be for very petite or thin women, who wouldn't have a lot of weight, or leverage to flex a stiffer boot and are beginner-intermediate. Not a medium-built intermediate like me. So I'll skip those and look at the better ones$$$. 


One of the reasons I was a bit confused was that I saw a Salomon ladies boot with a stiffness of 85 and it was rated at advanced-expert. In a different review they said it was probably too stiff for intermediates. Would I be doing myself a disservice choosing a boot like that, or are they just being particular?

I wasn't fussed about the gender until I saw some sales stuff about lower cuff, smaller heel volume and greater ramp. But now I'll try on more than just the pink ones with the furry and pretty on them, just to see if any of the guy's boots better for me. I don't think I have particularly high- or low-volume feet. No big calves or skinny legs either. 


As I was skiing I was trying to feel the shortcomings in the rental boots. I figured doing the buckles up all the way I was compensating for them being too big. So what I was looking forward to is having a more snug fit in the foot and then more movement available in the ankle, I feel like I wasn't able to move in the ankle much and overusing my knees and hips (Lou, I've read a bit of your stuff, so I'm starting to think about it). They could've been slightly narrower, not sure about shorter, smaller toe box maybe. I didn't really feel like my foot was moving around though (my feet are both 25.7mm long and 102 and 104 wide). 


I forgot to mention that the nearest boot fitter is 3000+km away from me so I'll be potentially getting boots *anywhere*. So I'm trying to educate myself a little in case I end up at a dud place with no alternatives. 

post #5 of 6

So where do you live?  If the nearest boot fitter is that far I'm assuming that is where you ski.  Why not combine the two?


don't know where you've found my articles but if it wasn't on the store site, there is quite a bit there.


It is important to remember that performance labels applied to boots don't tell you as much about flex as they do about width.



post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Normally I'd go there, but I'm thinking of going to Japan next since our season ended in September. 


They were articles from the store site from the link in your signature. 


Ok, so those ones are likely to be narrow, got it. 

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