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Ski boots...What is this plastic bump for??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi, I',ve seen this "bump" in a lot of boots, particularly racing boots, like Lange and Rossi's Racing models.. 
I've seen a lot of FIS racers use it to rest the pole tip, and at the same time putting the pole handle below the armpit, all this to support their body weight mainly on the poles, thus resting their legs while they go uphill on a drag/surface lift (i.e. between runs)...

But I don't think that's what it's meant for...
What are your thoughts? 



post #2 of 19

I would assume it's there to keep gates, twigs, branches, etc from getting caught under the buckle while moving at speed.  The bump deflects whatever hits the boot so it goes over the top of the buckle instead of underneath, where it could get stuck or rip the buckle off.

post #3 of 19
My boots don't have that.
head-challenger-at-110-mya-13-14.jpg
I'd think it's just to look cool.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexSkier View Post
 

I would assume it's there to keep gates, twigs, branches, etc from getting caught under the buckle while moving at speed.  The bump deflects whatever hits the boot so it goes over the top of the buckle instead of underneath, where it could get stuck or rip the buckle off.

 

This. It's a lot easier to see its utility on a boot that has seen some use. Fortunately, I have a pair of Lange RS boots right here that have three seasons of fairly heavy usage on them. Here's a shot of the toe of my left boot:

 

 

Here, it's easy to see all of the scratches along the side of the boot, each one of which represents me scraping my boot against something as I passed it. Mostly trees and rocks. You can also see the damage along the leading edge of the front buckle, and how that bump prevents the underside of the buckle from being exposed. It's also worth noting that my second buckle was, in fact, ripped off while I was skiing. I skied a tree run a couple seasons ago, went down to unbuckle my boots before I got on the lift, and the buckle was gone. I always ski with those buckles "up", meaning the bale is in the teeth of the buckle, but it's not cammed down, which both made the buckle vulnerable to being ripped off, and also made it so I didn't care that it was gone. 

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexSkier View Post
 

I would assume it's there to keep gates, twigs, branches, etc from getting caught under the buckle while moving at speed.  The bump deflects whatever hits the boot so it goes over the top of the buckle instead of underneath, where it could get stuck or rip the buckle off.

 

The only problem with your explanation is that there are no twigs or branches on race courses so why does it appear on race boots? It doesn't seem like it would prevent a gate from hitting a buckle.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexSkier View Post
 

I would assume it's there to keep gates, twigs, branches, etc from getting caught under the buckle while moving at speed.  The bump deflects whatever hits the boot so it goes over the top of the buckle instead of underneath, where it could get stuck or rip the buckle off.

 

The only problem with your explanation is that there are no twigs or branches on race courses so why does it appear on race boots? It doesn't seem like it would prevent a gate from hitting a buckle.


The bottom buckle could catch on the poles at the starting gate.  Or the poles of the skier.  Or the uphill foot could nick the gate as you pass it.  It also could shield the buckle from snow clumps or ice chunks, which could damage it at ~70mph.

 

I am guessing that the bumps are not on some consumer boots because people could pinch their hand when tightening that buckle.  Plus consequences of getting something jammed in that bottom buckle are less severe.

 

PS - I don't make or design ski boots, so I don't know why that bump is there.  These are just my guesses...

post #7 of 19

aero is everything

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post
 

aero is everything

 

Aerodynamics was my first thought but I'm not sure about how much that little foil would actually smooth the air flow over a buckle or if it does work then how much of a difference would smoother air buckle flow actually make?

post #9 of 19

I don't think my boots have that bump. Then again, I've never seen my boots since I'm always in knee-deep blower pow.

post #10 of 19

I think it is to assist with line melding on French lifts

post #11 of 19

My bootfitter told me it was for keeping the gate from catching on the buckle, presumable in slalom runs.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

My bootfitter told me it was for keeping the gate from catching on the buckle, presumable in slalom runs.

 

 

Makes sense to me. I ripped a buckle off my old boots a few years ago. No bump there.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

My bootfitter told me it was for keeping the gate from catching on the buckle, presumable in slalom runs.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingFish View Post
 

 

 

Makes sense to me. I ripped a buckle off my old boots a few years ago. No bump there.

 

 

Its not only for gates. when things don't go as plan, park and glade skiing can place a lot of abuse on that buckle. The Krypton series has the plastic to guild out anything that can snag the buckle assembly and they have to option for the reverse buckle. The later allows the lever part of the buckle to be mounted on the top of the boot. 

 

 

 

Added a more detail pic of the reverse buckle

 

post #14 of 19

What the hell are "gates?" Are those like trees?

post #15 of 19

Gates (GS):

 

Gates (Slalom):

 

Slalom skier's inside boot close to gate (shin guard will contact gate):

 

Another (shin guard is contacting the gate):

 

This less experienced skier is going to hit the gate with the boot instead of the shin guard

(too close for comfort):


Edited by LiquidFeet - 10/14/16 at 5:46am
post #16 of 19

My new Atomics don't have these.

 

Now I'm worried... :mad

post #17 of 19

Gate deflector.  Sometimes present on non-race boots because the same shell mold is sometimes used for rec boots as well - OR the designers just thought it was a good idea on their rec boots too.  :).   

post #18 of 19

LiquidFeet - I think it's not for the offset gates, it's more for the 9m flushes.  I've clipped buckles there...

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

The only problem with your explanation is that there are no twigs or branches on race courses so why does it appear on race boots? It doesn't seem like it would prevent a gate from hitting a buckle.

As I noted above, I've spent the last 3 years on a pair of Lange RS boots. Race boots. I can count on my fingers the number of times I have run gates in those 3 years. However, I've skied past thousands of trees and sticks and branches in that same time period.

Lange may realize that their blue RS series is probably the most popular line of high end boots on the market, and not everyone in those boots is running gates. And even those who are running gates are also skiing elsewhere without changing boots.
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