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Are Booster straps just an admission that many of us ski boots that are to stiff?

post #1 of 148
Thread Starter 

Flex "ratings" aside,  The Booster Strap is touted as a device to add "progressive" feel to the skier/ ski boot interface.

 

Reading MANY posts on this forum regarding the use of the Booster Strap, it appears to me that the most common use of the elastic device is to circumvent the designed flex of the ski boot it is applied to. 

Is this testimony that many ski boots lack the vital characteristic of progressive flex?

Does fitting a Booster strap and raving about it's advantage indicate that the top buckle is being used incorrectly?  How else would one describe a sensation such as "coming abruptly to the boot cuff"?

 

 I've used the high performance  Booster Straps on both four buckle overlap boots as well as Cabrio three piece boots. (I no longer use them on the overlap boots).

I appreciate the "constant snugness" provided by the elastic element when using the Booster Strap over the tongue on the three piece boot.

 

Are there alternate positions to the mechanism (and appreciation) of the elastic compliance that comes through using the Booster Strap?  I wonder how the "boot" could be designed with such deficiency!

I do not believe the accessory is very popular with high level skiing.

 

Comments?

post #2 of 148

...and if they do add to the overall performance why wouldn't the boot manufacturers include them on their boots as the standard strap ?

 

... I do think a lot of WC racers use Booster Straps... or alt least used to...I'm not really sure.

 

Either way, I've never tried them myself but am interested in trying them sometime.

post #3 of 148
Thread Starter 

ILOJ

 

My experience is that with a stiff four buckle overlap boot, and a snugly closed top buckle,  a Booster Strap does absolutely nothing.

 

But if the top most buckle is allowed some looseness,  Then the Booster Strap can provide a "progressive flex".   That is,  softer flex, for I have yet to see a four buckle boot that does not get stiffer  the more it is flexed.

post #4 of 148
I would say that boot flex is generally TOO progressive for me, and that a Booster makes it more linear.
post #5 of 148
Thread Starter 

When I read that ,  I hear "the boots are too stiff".

 

A failing of selection?  or a boot design issue?  

 

I suppose that is the real question.

post #6 of 148
Quote:
..and if they do add to the overall performance why wouldn't the boot manufacturers include them on their boots as the standard strap ?

 

I remember reading that Booster has a patent and doesn't license it (I could be wrong). I've used them on my last two pairs and wouldn't  go without them. I do leave my upper buckles looser than I would if I didn't use the Booster.

post #7 of 148

Wait, what?  Are you saying that folks who use the booster strap don't buckle their boots up so that there is no room between the boots and their calves at the back and their shins at the front?

I never understood this booster strap thing, until now.  Now I see a glimmer of light.  So if I were to circumvent my boots design and not buckle them up so they conformed to what was inside them, I could use a booster strap to get some semblance of actually being buckled in?

 

Yeah that sounds like they bought boots beyond their abilities, but I'm waiting to see more information.  Thanks for posting, @Cgrandy.

post #8 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post

 

I do not believe the accessory is very popular with high level skiing.

 

Comments?

HAHAHAHAHAHA.

post #9 of 148
I can't really speak to the more flexible Booster straps, but I've got the World Cup strap on my boots (Salomon Impact 120 CS) and love them. To be fair, I have a very wide calf and the "power strap" that came on the boots was too short to fasten reliably, so I use the Booster more as a replacement for that than as some sort of device to add flex.

That said, my boot fitter (Larry of Boulder) seems to think highly of them.
post #10 of 148
Whiteroom's comment in post 8 above may well be related to the fact that American racers like Ted Ligety and Bode Miller have counted "Booster Straps" among their sponsors and have raced with them as have a number of European skiers. It seems fair to conclude that these skiers see value in the straps or at least no detriment to their race results by wearing them.
post #11 of 148
 
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post

 

But if the top most buckle is allowed some looseness,  Then the Booster Strap can provide a "progressive flex".   That is,  softer flex, for I have yet to see a four buckle boot that does not get stiffer  the more it is flexed.

 

Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

I would say that boot flex is generally TOO progressive for me, and that a Booster makes it more linear.
 
Originally Posted by JohnnyV View Post

 

I've used them on my last two pairs and wouldn't  go without them. I do leave my upper buckles looser than I would if I didn't use the Booster.

 
Originally Posted by Lostboy View Post

Whiteroom's comment in post 8 above may well be related to the fact that American racers like Ted Ligety and Bode Miller have counted "Booster Straps" among their sponsors and have raced with them as have a number of European skiers. It seems fair to conclude that these skiers see value in the straps or at least no detriment to their race results by wearing them.

 

Maybe that explains this...

 

http://www.skimag.com/gear/bode-millers-new-boot

 

Then again, that was roundly panned by all the skexperts around these parts.

 

Myself, I have to wonder, if an ordinary skier wants a boot with lateral stiffness but a more progressive flex, then why not just go with a cabrio design?

 

And do World Cup racers really ski with their (top) buckles loose? And if they don't, what earthly good would a Booster Strap provide?

 

Bingo in bold above.

post #12 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy View Post

Whiteroom's comment in post 8 above may well be related to the fact that American racers like Ted Ligety and Bode Miller have counted "Booster Straps" among their sponsors and have raced with them as have a number of European skiers. It seems fair to conclude that these skiers see value in the straps or at least no detriment to their race results by wearing them.


As long as you have your front half firmly attached to the back  via the power strap that comes with your boots and your boots securely buckled, I see no harm in attaching an additional strap (that won't do much of anything), especially if you get paid to do that.

post #13 of 148

What I like the most about my boot strap is that you crank it in the morning and then just forget about it for the rest of the day! Unlike the velcro strap it stay thight all day long and the boots stay thight even if I forget to check my fourth bucket and that it has some slack on it!

post #14 of 148
The upper shin does not/cannot conform to the upper tongue of the boot in the way that the lower shin and below fit in the boot, thus booster straps present a configuration/fit that allows a secure tapering effect...imagine tighter cuffs on your sleeves or a turtle neck...but you wouldn't want a metal clasp there any more than most of us would want to wear a metal collar. Ruff ruff.
post #15 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akaplan9 View Post

The upper shin does not/cannot conform to the upper tongue of the boot in the way that the lower shin and below fit in the boot, thus booster straps present a configuration/fit that allows a secure tapering effect...imagine tighter cuffs on your sleeves or a turtle neck...but you wouldn't want a metal clasp there any more than most of us would want to wear a metal collar. Ruff ruff.

Why not? 

 

Mine do.  That is,  with the four buckle overlap boot, having the top most buckle done up snugly, and the power strap snug as well,  there is no "gap" or air space between my leg shape and the boot liner.  In addition,  there is no free space between the liner and the boot cuff.  When flexing,  there is first some compression of the liner, but that is accompanied by flex of the plastic boot.

I strongly concur that the real strength of the Booster Strap  is the elastic compliance that seems to accommodate "all day" upper cuff fit needs.

Hardly an issue with a  two minute run down a race course! ;-)  

post #16 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akaplan9 View Post

The upper shin does not/cannot conform to the upper tongue of the boot in the way that the lower shin and below fit in the boot, thus booster straps present a configuration/fit that allows a secure tapering effect...imagine tighter cuffs on your sleeves or a turtle neck...but you wouldn't want a metal clasp there any more than most of us would want to wear a metal collar. Ruff ruff.

Why not? 

 

Mine do.  That is,  with the four buckle overlap boot, having the top most buckle done up snugly, and the power strap snug as well,  there is no "gap" or air space between my leg shape and the boot liner.  In addition,  there is no free space between the liner and the boot cuff.  When flexing,  there is first some compression of the liner, but that is accompanied by flex of the plastic boot.

I strongly concur that the real strength of the Booster Strap  is the elastic compliance that seems to accommodate "all day" upper cuff fit needs.

Hardly an issue with a  two minute run down a race course! ;-)  


Not an issue with bell to bell skiing either.  My calf contacts the the back of the boot, and my shin contacts the front of the boot.  I always thought and still do think that is the way it should be.

post #17 of 148
Maybe it's needed by the skinny shank set.

I tighten things in the morning over the course of the first 2 to 3 runs and that's it. The only exception is if I stop for lunch. My feet shrink if I eat lunch. Blood going elsewhere to aid in digestion? Most of the time I eat lunch by a bite or two on the chair as I get hungry or in the locker room later.

My legs are large enough that I don't have this issue of keeping them in contact with the boot. The Velcro holds just fine all day.
post #18 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 

 

 

Maybe that explains this...

 

http://www.skimag.com/gear/bode-millers-new-boot

 

Then again, that was roundly panned by all the skexperts around these parts.

 

Myself, I have to wonder, if an ordinary skier wants a boot with lateral stiffness but a more progressive flex, then why not just go with a cabrio design?

 

And do World Cup racers really ski with their (top) buckles loose? And if they don't, what earthly good would a Booster Strap provide?

 

Bingo in bold above.

Since you put the booster OVER the tongue and UNDER the shell .....plenty. 

 

I have very skinny lower legs so the Booster over the tongue and under the shell allows me to snug up the tongue to my lower leg and gives a very progressive flex. The other part you all have ignored is rebound,particularly in short turns.    So you are telling me you ski with your upper buckle as tight as it will go?  there is loose, their is tight and then their is tight. This is NOT a simple 2 option choice as has been framed here. 

 

 

You also all are assuming the way the boot was designed to flex is the best option. That the boot completely buckled tight with an immovable top strap operates as desired.  This may or may not be true. 

 

I ski in a full plug Head Raptor WC RD 150 for a reason. Although I have the flex set to 140 it goes to 160.   I can't get the comfortable fit of a Race Plug that has been ground specifically to my exact foot shape, In even a 130 non-plug boot.   I am almost 6' and about 170Lbs.fairly long tibia's and have no problem with the flex of this boot.  The boot has been custom fit and ground properly and also ground around the navicular area to allow ne to make small balance adjustments inside the boot. I also ski with a totally non posted flexible footbed. Very rigid feet. There is room for me to flex my ankle some even with the boot buckled!

 

 

I have had Booster Straps on every pair of boots I have owned for at least 20 years! Would never not have them . A solid non flexing top strap is just not my cup of tea!

 

 

By the way I believe the newer Head Race  boots do have an elastic top strap!


Edited by Atomicman - 3/19/17 at 8:35pm
post #19 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

Since you put the booster OVER the tongue and UNDER the shell .....plenty. 

 

   So you are telling me you ski with your upper buckle as tight as it will go?  there is loose, their is tight and then their is tight. This is NOT a simple 2 option choice as has been framed here. 

 

 

You also all are assuming the way the boot was designed to flex is the best option. That the boot completely buckled tight with an immovable top strap operates as desired.  This may or may not be true. 

 

It seems you are telling that you ski with the upper clasp "loose" in order to circumvent the boot stiffness, allowing only the rear of the cuff and the tongue coupled by the Booster Strap to provide the initial flex resistance.

 

The Booster Strap,as an accessory, might be a viable option to a boot designed with a similar flex pattern.  Is this something the boot manufacturers should be aware of and working on?  Or is it a matter of selecting an existing boot that better matches a skiers sensibilities?

post #20 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 

It seems you are telling that you ski with the upper clasp "loose" in order to circumvent the boot stiffness, Did you NOT read what I wrote., I never said I had my upper buckle LOOSE, but it seems you have a condescending attitude towards a skier who prefers their upper buckle anything but like a vise!

 

allowing only the rear of the cuff and the tongue coupled by the Booster Strap to provide the initial flex resistance.  And why do you think this would be a bad thing? 

 

The Booster Strap,as an accessory, might be a viable option to a boot designed with a similar flex pattern.  Is this something the boot manufacturers should be aware of and working on?  Or is it a matter of selecting an existing boot that better matches a skiers sensibilities? This is a total crapshoot..........NO chance...You try a boot on at 70 Degrees and you don't have the any resistance from a ski. How scientific or even accurate is this. What is the chance you are going to go home with the perfect boot. I say most folks don't!  Also Flex from one manufacture to the next, is totally unrelated!


Edited by Atomicman - 3/19/17 at 8:36pm
post #21 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 

 

 

Maybe that explains this...

 

http://www.skimag.com/gear/bode-millers-new-boot

 

Then again, that was roundly panned by all the skexperts around these parts.

 

Myself, I have to wonder, if an ordinary skier wants a boot with lateral stiffness but a more progressive flex, then why not just go with a cabrio design?

 

And do World Cup racers really ski with their (top) buckles loose? And if they don't, what earthly good would a Booster Strap provide?

 

Bingo in bold above.

Since you put the booster OVER the tongue and UNDER the shell .....plenty. 

 

I have very skinny lower legs so the Booster over the tongue and under the shell allows me to snug up the tongue to my lower leg and gives a very progressive flex. The other part you all have ignored is rebound,particularly in short turns.    So you are telling me you ski with your upper buckle as tight as it will go?  there is loose, their is tight and then their is tight. This is NOT a simple 2 option choice as has been framed here. 

 

 

You also all are assuming the way the boot was designed to flex is the best option. That the boot completely buckled tight with an immovable top strap operates as desired.  This may or may not be true. 

 

I ski in a full plug Head Raptor WC RD 150 for a reason. Although I have the flex set to 140 it goes to 160.   I can't get the comfortable fit of a Race Plug that has been ground specifically to my exact foot shape, In even a 130 non-plug boot.   I am almost 6' and about 170Lbs.fairly long tibia's and have no problem with the flex of this boot.  The boot has been custom fit and ground properly and also ground around the navicular area to allow ne to make small balance adjustments inside the boot. I also ski with a totally non posted flexible footbed. Very rigid feet. There is room for me to flex my ankle some even with the boot buckled!

 

 

I have had Booster Straps on every pair of boots I have owned for at least 20 years! Would never not have them . A solid non flexing top strap is just not my cup of tea!

 

 

By the way I believe the newer Head Race  boots do have an elastic top strap!

I'm trying to picture exactly what is happening in your boot.   Are you saying that when you buckle the boots (somewhere around the middle of the range) and tighten the top two buckles there is extra space between you shin and the boot tongue, i.e.  doing up the buckles does not snug the boot tongue to your shins?

post #22 of 148

Additionally,

 

With your way of thinking why is their ANY kind of strap on the cuff.  If you propose that the Booster does nothing under the cuff and over the tongue with the top buckle tight, how does an immovable strap on the outside of shell do anything?

 

I think both assumptions are incorrect!


Edited by Atomicman - 3/19/17 at 8:37pm
post #23 of 148
Thread Starter 

One would need to survey the development of  high top boots, jet stix, and power straps to better understand.

 

Would any historians care to contribute?

post #24 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

I'm trying to picture exactly what is happening in your boot.   Are you saying that when you buckle the boots (somewhere around the middle of the range) and tighten the top two buckles there is extra space between you shin and the boot tongue, i.e.  doing up the buckles does not snug the boot tongue to your shins?

Let's me snug the tongue to shin without over tightening the top buckle! Not loose, but not ultra tight either. As I said there is a range of tightness that any skier can use. I used to tighten the hell out of all my buckles particularly in a race course. But a few years ago when the original lace up liner wore out, I got a Head World Cup Custom Foam Lace up liner to replace it. I don't have to buckle my boots very tight at all. Although they are beginning to get a bit roomy again. 


Edited by Atomicman - 3/19/17 at 8:39pm
post #25 of 148

So interesting I didn't read much of it.  IMHE:  a Booster Strap properly applied can help compensate for a too soft boot, especially a 2- or 3-buckle boot, like my Dynafit AT boots.  I will ski my Dynafits w/o a power strap (or Booster strap) or accessory tongue when climbing up and when skiing down in really nice snow.  A little heavier and deeper, I add the accessory tongue.  A little more challening and I add the Booster Strap.

 

I used 4-buckle overlap Dynafit Zzeus boots with alpine toe blocks for alpine skiing for a while; I added a Booster Strap to help stiffen them so I didn't have to really crank down on the upper buckle while actually making for a nice progressive flex.  With a power strap and very tight buckle there was little flex, but some boot deformation; with the Booster Strap a nicer progressive flex w/o deformation.

 

I now use a Dalbello Panterra 120; I hated the power strap so I took it off.  I add a Booster Strap now and again as before, to get a snug fit of the back of the shell, liner, and calf so I can snug the top buckle (3-buckle boot) and still get a bit of a progressive flex.  With the power strap it was on/off &/or somewhat loose fit at top.

 

YMMV

post #26 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post
[snip]

I add a Booster Strap now and again as before, to get a snug fit of the back of the shell, liner, and calf so I can snug the top buckle (3-buckle boot) and still get a bit of a progressive flex.  With the power strap it was on/off &/or somewhat loose fit at top.

 

YMMV

In using the Booster Strap to achieve the snug fit between shell liner and calf, are you executing a work around for a boot shell that starts out with a "too High" flex rating?   One would think the boot companies would want to know about that.

 

I interpret the "on/off" comment as "this boot is WAY TOO STIFF" when left to it's basics.

 

Hey!  Don't get me wrong,   I skied my Scarpa Denali TT's (With a Booster)  today on firm to icy surfaces,  I really like a soft boot!

I also ski the Head WC and Dalebello Lupo in 130, with tight to shin cuffs.

I'm not knocking anything,  just trying to grasp the "WHY".  ;-))

post #27 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 

In using the Booster Strap to achieve the snug fit between shell liner and calf, are you executing a work around for a boot shell that starts out with a "too High" flex rating?   One would think the boot companies would want to know about that.

 

I interpret the "on/off" comment as "this boot is WAY TOO STIFF" when left to it's basics.

 

Hey!  Don't get me wrong,   I skied my Scarpa Denali TT's (With a Booster)  today on firm to icy surfaces,  I really like a soft boot!

I also ski the Head WC and Dalebello Lupo in 130, with tight to shin cuffs.

I'm not knocking anything,  just trying to grasp the "WHY".  ;-))


You're repeating yourself from earlier posts.  Let me try to make my experience more clear.  I have large, muscular calves.  None of the boot buckles (exc on the Zzeus) are at the top of the boot & liner; they are lower, on a smaller parts of my calves.  To get the boot tight at the top using the buckle, excess pressue is put on the lower calf.  So boot mfrs add a pretty worthless "power strap" that people can try to use to snug up the top of the boot and liner.  Most of the ones I've had don't function that well at all.  A booster strap with its cam lock allow snugging up the upper boot and liner without putting excess pressure on the lower leg.  The rubber part allow the strap to flex as one flexes the ankle and, of course the calf muscles.  By snugging up the rear of the shell to the rear of the liner, one can then buckle the upper most buckle to get a snug fit to the lower calf w/o excess pressure.

 

On my Zzeus, with the unflexible power strap I was deforming the lower shell; with the booster strap I could more finely judge the shin pressure and realize when I reached the effective limit of the cuff.  Since you are familiar with AT boots, I don't see how you think that a TLT5, TLT6, or Zzeus hafve a "too high" flex rating and since I often don't use a strap with my Mercuries (TGR flex rating of 120) unless the snow is difficult, I'm not using the strap because the flex rating is too high.

 

As I said, YMMV; people differ anatomically and in mass (I weigh 225 lbs) and in preference for boot stiffness.  as someone who telemark skied for 25 years, I generally preferred soft boots except on bigger skis.  But, yes, I found the Panterra too stiff with a power strap but not without--so it was the power strap not the flex.  But with the Booster strap I just get a better (more snug) fit to the upper calf that allow more feel for what the boot is doing, a more progressive feel, all without having to over tighten the buckle on the boot.

 

BTW, the proper use and benefits of the Booster Strap are detailed on their web site and my experience agrees with their claims; yours may not.

post #28 of 148
Thread Starter 

Your unique anatomy is an exception I would not think the boot makers would really need to consider.

 

It's tough being special.  Myself,  I have a very "normal" calf and foot.

post #29 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

I'm trying to picture exactly what is happening in your boot.   Are you saying that when you buckle the boots (somewhere around the middle of the range) and tighten the top two buckles there is extra space between you shin and the boot tongue, i.e.  doing up the buckles does not snug the boot tongue to your shins?

Let's me snug the tongue to shin without over tightening the top buckle! Not loose, but not ultra tight eihter. As I said thier is a range of tightness that any skier can use. I used to tighten the heel out of allmy buckles particulalry in a race course. But a few years ago when the original lace up liner wore out, I got a Head World Cup Custom Foam Lace up liner to replace it. I don't have to buckle my my ultra tight! 


My buckles are (micro) adjustable, so I can get the snug tongue to shin without overtightening the top buckle, or I can make it loose (not that I would) or I can make it over-tight.  All just by adjusting the buckles.   Can you not do that just by adjusting the buckles?  I still don't see why you need a strap for that.   Does your boot go from shin not snug to too tight in one fell swoop by adjusting the top two buckles?

post #30 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 

In using the Booster Strap to achieve the snug fit between shell liner and calf, are you executing a work around for a boot shell that starts out with a "too High" flex rating?   One would think the boot companies would want to know about that.

 

I interpret the "on/off" comment as "this boot is WAY TOO STIFF" when left to it's basics.

 

Hey!  Don't get me wrong,   I skied my Scarpa Denali TT's (With a Booster)  today on firm to icy surfaces,  I really like a soft boot!

I also ski the Head WC and Dalebello Lupo in 130, with tight to shin cuffs.

I'm not knocking anything,  just trying to grasp the "WHY".  ;-))


You're repeating yourself from earlier posts.  Let me try to make my experience more clear.  I have large, muscular calves.  None of the boot buckles (exc on the Zzeus) are at the top of the boot & liner; they are lower, on a smaller parts of my calves.  To get the boot tight at the top using the buckle, excess pressue is put on the lower calf.  So boot mfrs add a pretty worthless "power strap" that people can try to use to snug up the top of the boot and liner.  Most of the ones I've had don't function that well at all.  A booster strap with its cam lock allow snugging up the upper boot and liner without putting excess pressure on the lower leg.  The rubber part allow the strap to flex as one flexes the ankle and, of course the calf muscles.  By snugging up the rear of the shell to the rear of the liner, one can then buckle the upper most buckle to get a snug fit to the lower calf w/o excess pressure.

 

On my Zzeus, with the unflexible power strap I was deforming the lower shell; with the booster strap I could more finely judge the shin pressure and realize when I reached the effective limit of the cuff.  Since you are familiar with AT boots, I don't see how you think that a TLT5, TLT6, or Zzeus hafve a "too high" flex rating and since I often don't use a strap with my Mercuries (TGR flex rating of 120) unless the snow is difficult, I'm not using the strap because the flex rating is too high.

 

As I said, YMMV; people differ anatomically and in mass (I weigh 225 lbs) and in preference for boot stiffness.  as someone who telemark skied for 25 years, I generally preferred soft boots except on bigger skis.  But, yes, I found the Panterra too stiff with a power strap but not without--so it was the power strap not the flex.  But with the Booster strap I just get a better (more snug) fit to the upper calf that allow more feel for what the boot is doing, a more progressive feel, all without having to over tighten the buckle on the boot.

 

BTW, the proper use and benefits of the Booster Strap are detailed on their web site and my experience agrees with their claims; yours may not.

Ah, now I see your problem.  I have fairly large calf muscles, but they don't start until higher up my leg.  Tightening the top two buckles does not squish my ankle and lower shin.

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