Good info, i would have to disagree with the lateral stiffness issue. THe raichle has a three piece shell which is seperated vertically. The the tongue, the lower which comes up high as a monoshell would, then the rear end or back of the shell all unify to construct the shell. Anytime you break a shell into three pieces like this, energy is getting lost in the transsmision from the body to the ski. If you take, lets say a course KX (old rossi with a tru monoshell design) this is structually the stiffest boot fore aft and side to side you can get. The reason is there is no break in the energy when it moves from the body through the boot to the ski. From a structural standpoint take a can and put 50lbs of wwight on it then move it fore and aft, side to side. It holds the weigth without shell distortion. Now take that same weight and put it on a structure similiar to a raichle design. It can support the weight because there are too many breaks in the chain of energy.
Now, the problem with these true monshell boots (especially with new ski shapes) is that they are too stiff. Most boots (included rossingnol) now incorporate v cuts in their monoshell design, something Lange has succeeded with for over 25 years. The v cuts give a more progressive flex allowing the skier to feel the ski without loseing energy.
I have heard people say that raichles were so laterally rigid before and I just have to disagree. If you look at Dh in the mid 80's to early 90's over half of the first seed were using these boots. The reason was, downhills back then were wide open, faster and in general geared toward gliders and did not incorporate fast quick turns we now see. I believe two things changed this. COncern with course saftey (after Uli Maier's death at Garmisch) and the progression of ski technology. (Who knows what really came first, did the ski shapes make DH more dangerouse or did the ski shapes respond to the more technical courses.) Speeds needed to be slowed down so course became turnier. I foreran the Aspen World Cup after Uli's death and compared to years past, it was turnier and slower going into aztec and strawpile.
As the skis and courses changed you saw a quick flight of athletes from raichle to other more laterally stiff boots, because lateral rigidity was impertive for the turnier courses. There is where raichle failed.
Anyway, do not get me wrong. I have been fitting boots for over 14 years and there are many times when i wish a raichle was present. Lightest, warmest (with the thermoflex liner) narrowest with an easy flex(most boots with this last are race boots which are super stiff ie head world cup) and a great boot for lighter women.
Hope this waqs informative and did not mean to rant.