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Fat Cats...er, I mean CALVES. Boot guidance advice sought

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for reading this thread.  I have been skiing for over 50 years & was a competitive water skier in my teens.  As such, my calves have always been larger than most.  Now that I am older, my calves are "down to" one 17-inch calf and one 18-inch in circumference.  Based on reading & experience, they are larger than most especially for a 53 year old.  What nobody shares is....."What EXACTLY IS a NORMAL calf size"?  I did see an article that (appeared) to indicate that most people have around 13 to 14" calves which appears to validate my perception that my calves are ... larger than normal.

 

In the past, I have had to move the top buckles of my boots to their furthest extent on a pair of "comfort" boots (Fischer Progressor 130s w/100mm last) that I have been skiing (& racing) in for the past 5 or 6 years.  I am now shopping for new boots and have eliminated ANY boot that has smaller cuffs which reduces the options.  I would like to actually be able to "fun ski" without having to unbuckle the top buckle. 

 

I am 5'10" and weigh an athletic 220lbs (most is in the 46" chest/shoulders).  My legs are short with a 29.5" inseam.  My feet are are TRUE 9.5" size and unlike the kids these days who wear a size 11 when their foot is a 9.5, I wear a 9.5" shoe and a 27.5 mondo boot (and have to many, many years now) so there is no wishy-washy on larger or smaller boots. 27.5 is correct.  Also to the dismay of most shoe sellers and boot fitters, my foo bed is 100% ...NORMAL.  No bumps, normal arches, etc.  Doctor Shoals and the custom foot bed folks HATE me (because they can't find any reasons to SELL me their products!  LOL.

 

I returned to "club" racing 3 seasons ago and have reached a bit of a plateau so I recently bought some "new technology" Rossi Master GS skis to go along with my Nordica Dobermann SLs.  On my best days, I am a 25 Handicap (Slalom) or a 30 Handicap GS.  Depending on the day, that can waiver +/- 5 points.  I am smart enough to not want to go back to a plug racing boot.  Control is CRITICAL so I am still shooting for a 120 to 130 shell so that I get the precision I need for the edges but also want the comfort of the new technology.  Therefore, I have narrowed my options down to either the Atomic HawX 130 or the Nordica NXT N1 as the specifications for these boots indicate that they fit larger volume calves Atomic HawX & Nordica NXT N1.

 

I like the Memory Fit concept of the Atomic's & this model comes with the most customize-able platinum liner. These are 130's that can be "backed off" to 120 which is what I would likely do but it would be nice to have the stiffer option.  This boot can be set for forward lean from 13 to 17 degrees.  This shop is a certified fitter who uses the heat oven & cold wraps to "custom mold" the shell to my foot. This seems to check off each box in my "wish list".

 

The other shop sells Atomic's sister company's boot, the Salomons but the guy there confirmed that the Salomon is not designed to fit wider calves so he pointed me to the Nordica line.  The NXT N1 appears to support wider calves and has a 120 stiffness rating. You can't adjust the forward flex.  The cuff can be expanded but 2cm doesn't sound like NEARLY enough "expansion" to me.  This shell is not heat-mold-able but the cork foot bed is. While I am certain the boot guy could "work his magic" on any pair of boots, these guys are more of a "recreational skier" kind of shop with a lot of "let's try this boot, then this boot, then this one" rather than zeroing in on a boot that does what I want and then customizing it.  They don't stock "race" boots so the highest end boot they have on the floor is the N2 so the N1 would have to be ordered.

 

Please weigh in guys & thanks in advance!


Edited by ndabunka - 1/27/16 at 7:41pm
post #2 of 6

Large calves push knees too far forward---causing the skier to sit back---so you should be looking for the most upright boot out there.

 

In my experience the Salomon boots(I am a dealer) are the most upright on the market---sounds like the one dealer is trying to sell you what he

 

has in stock (NXT boots). run:cool.

 

Big calves will also push your feet up into the toe box (ouch) if you try to extend at the ankle---so most of the large calf guys and gals are in

 

boots that are too big so that their toes don't hurt:popcorn.

 

mike

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
 

Large calves push knees too far forward---causing the skier to sit back---so you should be looking for the most upright boot out there.

 

In my experience the Salomon boots(I am a dealer) are the most upright on the market---sounds like the one dealer is trying to sell you what he

 

has in stock (NXT boots). run:cool.

 

Big calves will also push your feet up into the toe box (ouch) if you try to extend at the ankle---so most of the large calf guys and gals are in

 

boots that are too big so that their toes don't hurt:popcorn.

 

mike

 

Mike,

First of all, THANK YOU for your post.  

 

Which Salomon offers capacity at the calf?  All of the reviews I have seen indicate that Salomon is one of the most restrictive in that area.  I did read your (perhaps) article on South Ski Tools that stated, "As the knee is pushed forward the skier will be forced to sit back a little in order to center up over the ski. This will cause overuse of the quadriceps muscles and premature overall fatigue. This torso behind the knee position will cause G-loads to sink the skier’s body downward in each turn. In most cases this will cause the tail of the uphill ski to hookup at the end of each turn, this gets hairy, as the terrain gets steeper".

 

However, remember that I am not some recreational skier.  I was raised learning how to carve with the old 198cm slalom skis by putting pressure on the front of my boots forcing the tips to perform and then transferring my weight backwards through the turn so "getting on the tails" is the least of my problems in my current boot (even with my big calves).  In fact, I am WANTING to get more knee bend in the course and believe that I may well need MORE forward lean than an upright boot would permit.  Working my legs IS what I WANT to do in the race course.  However, in consideration that I might need the flexible options on forward lean, the Atomic would allow me to go from 13-degrees all the way to 17 degrees so regardless of the varying amount of "uprightness" that might appear to work best as it would seem to  give me the flexibility that other boots may not.  Is there a Salomon boot that offers the wide cuff AND that flexibility?  You would not recommend anything MORE upright than 13-degrees, would you?

 

On the toe-box thing... Some 35 years ago I use to hit my toes when doing 360's, flips and the like but I no longer run terrain parks and, as stated in the original post, I recognized many years ago to wear the correct sized boot for my foot.  So no toe box issues here but I will keep an eye out when I get fitted to ensure that complication does not occur.

 

NOT In-stock boots - You must have skipped reading the last sentence in my original post..  Remember I stated that the Nordica dealer does NOT have any of the NXT N1's in stock so he would have to order them.


Edited by ndabunka - 1/28/16 at 5:00pm
post #4 of 6

what mike said:

plus just get the buckles ladders moved out a bit wider?   you can also get the cuff lowered as well as flaired back

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I ended up buying the 2015 2.0 Atomic HawX 130s with the platinum thinsulate liner.  The custom shell and custom liner simply SOLD me.  I did remove the optional rear spoiler/wedge and moved the buckles out to the farthest extent.  Without the heat molding, the top buckle "just" barely reached.  After the shell/liner customization, I am VERY comfortable with it in the 2nd position.

 

I placed the forward lean to 17-degrees and verified that I am MUCH more balanced in the course that I EVER was with my previous more upright boot.  I was flying through the course and even had to "jump" left to make a slalom gate and was PERFECTLY balanced so I know I made the right choice.. for me.

 

Yes, I won my flight. Beat all the guys in the 2 flights below me as well so it looks like this boot is doing what I wanted.  At 53 years old, I am smart enough to realize that I am not going to beat the college guys with their single digit indexes but just getting closer to them is satisfying.

 

PS - In the end, the Nordica's or another boot might have been able to have accomplished the same thing but these were closeout for $254.95 from EVO.  A few bucks to a local dealer that is VERY supportive of our race team and I got out for less than $300 total.  Happy racer here!

 

PS - The dealer has 3 guys with 10, 25 & 30 years of boot fitting but the highest end Nordica they carry was the N3.  They carry Salomon's but no Atomics.  They used their knowledge of the Salomon system to do my Atomics.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

I won my Saturday slalom flight this past weekend but did not know the data until the timing results were released earlier today.  I learned today that my index on the 1st slalom run was 19.6 which was good for me.  The soft was super soft so the second run was pretty chopped up but I was still able to put in a respectable 26.23 index so all in all, a decent slalom showing for me.  My GS still lags behind (4th place) but I am getting better with each run.  When I had the boots fitted I had skipped the aftermarket insoles as the ones from my prior boot had served me well with no need for the aftermarket insoles.  However, after skiing the ones that came in the Atomic's and then comparing them to my prior insole, I can now see that the toe area of these is relatively thin (seemed to bunch up under foot) so I am going to pull a pair of surefeet I have out of an older boot and see how that does for this weekends race.

 

My 12 year old son won his flight on Saturday and came in 2nd in his Sunday GS flight.  This puts him in the lead of all males in the 200+ league for total points for the season here at our 1/2 way point.  The race season is very short here in the southeast.  The top point earner gets a trip to Steamboat, condo, lift tickets and even airfare for a trip in 2017 so his dad has his fingers crossed he can continue to place well.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Fat Cats...er, I mean CALVES. Boot guidance advice sought