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New plug boot for my Tahoe racer? Also sizing questions.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My daughter is in a Lange 110 RS in a size 25.5.  She is a second year u14 racer.  She is 5' 3" and around 140lb.  She has been steadily improving in her technical ability and her coaches find her to be very coachable.  Her gains in ability and in technique have not really been reflected in her results this past year,but things don't happen overnight and relative to her peers she spends considerably less time on snow as we are 3-4 hours from the resort in Tahoe. She is signed up for another year and she is looking forward to it. I just want to get her the most appropriate equipment for the upcoming season so she can enjoy her sport.  In preparation for the upcoming season I did a shell size on her Lange to see if it was going to be too small for this coming season.  I found that she had more than 18mm between her heel and the back of the shell.  This surprised me as I thought she might be running out of room.  At this point in her ski career I am interested in getting her a boot that is going to work really well for the upcoming season. If she outgrows it that's OK. Last year I moved to a better fitting and nominally stiffer boot and it really improved my skiing and racing. So if I can do that for my girl I'd love it. 


So there is plenty of room at 18mm+ and perhaps too much room?  What do the experts think? In theory, would she be a candidate for downsizing to a 24.5? She never had any problem crushing the 110 and she has added some muscle and weight  and a little bit of height so I am thinking she might be ready for a full on plug boot like a Head B3, Lange JA or Atomic WC 130? I figure these could always be softened to a 120 or lower.   I guess I am interested in those brands because I have the most familiarity with them. I figure these could always be softened to a 120 or lower. 

post #2 of 9

Sounds like you are on the right track. A one finger shell fit would offer optimum performance along with having her alignment checked and optimized.  Even going as far as a foam liner would further improve performance.  If you ever have an opportunity to get to Reno, I would be happy to assess and suggest the best options!  The Head boot skis great and the flex is adjustable.  I have never skied a boot that offered better feel for the snow!  Properly aligned boots are key to optimum performance, do not overlook this step!




post #3 of 9

It does sound as if she could go down a size, I agree with bud.  It would at least be worth a look.  I suspect the B3 will still be too stiff, but it can be softened so maybe.



post #4 of 9

your list of potential boot models are all too stiff for the description that you have given for your daughter (all 3 are different flexes as well so you are comparing a banana, an orange, and an apple)  normally the boots that you are looking at are best matched to a 2nd year u16 male or a strong, tall 2nd year u16 girl.  in both cases there would be some softening going on. again we are talking about the strongest 14 year olds or most proficient 15 year olds. 


second point on these boot models is that they all have standard height cuffs...too tall for a 5'3" 13 year old girl


race boots in the higher flexes are not a right of passage, like when your child takes its first steps or learns to walk. they need to be matched to the particulars for your daughter, including her age, height, weight, skiing skill set, taking into account her technique and tactics, and also key that has not been mentioned is her physical strength.


sorry dad, but as a parent your hopes and aspirations for your daughters season bootwise should not have any influence as to what size, and what flex your daughter needs to reach her highest potential this year. please do not apply your experience with your boots to a 13 year old girl.


what program in tahoe are you guys skiing at? most of the u14 programs around tahoe will have a coach on staff that helps steer athletes into the best flex matches for all the parameters that i have mentioned above.


it is also my opinion that last year as a 12 year old, your daughter was in a boot that was both too large and too stiff...imho :)


the last factor that has not been brought up is the shape of her foot and lower leg. there needs to be some reality applied here as well because you threw out 3 different boots with 3 different fit dimensions in the foot and lower leg. and a fourth when you consider the boot she is currently in is a pro (97mm) last one size too big.


i would recommend that you get her into a shop that works with jr ski racers of all ages, and has more than one brand in similar fits and flexes and cuff heights so that she gets a guided tour of whats available from a trained fitter with jr race boot experience.


best of luck sussing this out,




post #5 of 9

100% agree with Jim on this one, far too many variables to just pluck a boot out the air based on either brand or the information written about it, over here in the UK we work with most of the junior academies and have this battle on a weekly basis from may through to about now when we are picking up the stragglers.  you need to work with a fitter who does this a lot and has the range of boots to back it up...frequently we lock horns with parents who believe that their child should be in a bigger stiffer boot than the need and often i will call the coach to get the true story as to what they think, for the most part we get to the right result by working with the coaches. 


if you wan the best for your daughter in terms of her performance then this is the only way to do it

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. Very helpful. She is pretty strong in the legs and she could absolutely crush the 110 RS Lange in the shop last year. So I'm not sure that the boots were too stiff but will take that into consideration. But, yea I see what you are saying and maybe it's better to stay at the same flex. If a pro boot will get it done that's fine too.
Good point on the cuff height.
As far as size I do think her current Lange 25.5 110RS is too big for a performance fit. I'll ask her Squaw coaches that know her skiing for some additional input to what I have heard here and go from there. It's very helpful for me to sort this stuff out before I get to the shop, that's for sure. I have walked out of shops - and many quality shops with good people with boots that did not completely work out In practice. The Lange boots are an example of this as they are too large and maybe even too stiff. I hope to avoid this by having a good idea of what is going to work and being active in the process.

As far as hopes and aspirations , I have this to say. I not only want to live vicariously through her personal bests and such, but if she quits the team next year I will no longer have a great reason to travel to Tahoe every weekend and ski. So yea this season is important ! rolleyes.gif
post #7 of 9

having raised ski racing children, i get the precariously balanced choices that they will have to make as far as skiing part-time versus easier sports that can be done through school. this is a common reason why the down valley kids stop racing between u14's and u16's. 


in terms of crushing the flex in the shop...common mistake to misjudge what we see, because all boot plastic changes dramatically as it gets colder. shop temp 75 degrees...don't guess, get advice from a fitter that works on race boots all day everyday. there is not a shop in squaw that has the selection and model choice that you need, or the race boot expertise to do what you and your daughter need. dig further, you will find the shop.



post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Coaches say she should be in a 80 flex boot. I'm fine with that but have questions. There do not seem to be that many 80 flex boots out there in the marketplace. I've looked for them before.
If a 80 flex is unavailable would 90 flex be a good 2nd choice?
post #9 of 9

I would worry more about fit than exact flex in the beginning since boots can be softened.  Finally as Jim has already somewhat alluded to flex numbers are in no way standardized, and by that I mean there are no standards and numbers between manufacturers and even between models from the same manufacturer are not even in the same ball park.  So being an 80 or even 90 from one manufacturer could be the same as buying a 110 from another.


It is more important to observe how the athlete can move the boot than to worry about the actual number.


Finally two of the fitters that have answered you are in the Tahoe area.  Both have a wealth of experience and knowledge.  I'd go to them.



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