The new Rossignol Soft boots are performance boots meant for advanced skiers. That said, they are not meant for Mach 1 racers or true experts (they wouldn't change from their favorites anyway). They have a super rigid outershell that locks your heel into place and gives you terrific lateral support but the front of the boot (where the buckles overlap) is comprised of leather and foam which is extremely comfortable but is also quite flexible. Initial impressions of the boots when trying them on in the shop is that they are wayyyyyyy too soft but this is OK since this is truly the first boot to be "designed" to work with today's shaped skis. It is a ground-up design that takes into consideration how today's skis perform and manuever. Gone are the days when you had to drive the tips of your skies to initiate a carve by applying pressure to the front of your boots. With today's skis, you simply need to rotate your ankles (I am simplifying here) to set the ski on edge and have the shovel of the ski initiate the carve. You no longer need to drive your ski boots forward and therefor no longer need a stiff boot with regards to forward flex! You do however need stiff lateral support in you boot and these boots are about as stiff as they get (laterally speaking), which accounts for their heavier weight by the way.
Bottom Line: If you spend a lot of days on your skies per season and want a performance boot that happens to be comfortable, give these boots a try. Bare in mind that you should still see a professional boot fitter to ensure that these boots are best suited to the shape and width of your foot.
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 04, 2002 09:42 AM: Message edited 2 times, by volkl1 ]</font>