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Boot Questions: fit around the leg and flex

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
3 questions:

1. Should the boot cuff fit fairly snug around the leg, with only a very little (or zero) space between liner and leg?

2. When the skier bends at the ankle, should the cuff (the upper section) flex
nuturally- that is pivot at the hinge, rather than than simply bulge at the lower part of the cuff/upper part of the foot?

My problem is that I have thin ankles and lower legs, so I have to move the upper two buckles to get the cuff clost to my leg. Then, I have to really soften the boot to get it to flex naturally. I was able to do this with previous boots, less so with my current ones.

3. Related to this issue is how much pressure do we want to transmit to the front of the ski through the boot cuff when we bend at the ankle. I know a coach who radically softened his boots in response to instructions from a senior examiner. I`ve talked to bootfitters about this, but still can`t seem to get any definitive answer. Nancy Greene ( former Canadian Olympic champion)
wrote an article in which she said that skiers need to be able to flex their ankles to balance without transferring force force to the ski. (an argument for a soft, naturally flexing boot, I would think.)

Interested in what people have to say about this.

post #2 of 3
1. I think good cuff fit is key,
if you have to move back and forth to find the back or front of the boot, it gets you too far from centered.

2. yes,
the boot should flex progressively. if you feel a break over point, the flex isn't right for you. if you can't flex the boot at all, you may loose some ability to absorb impacts. if it bulges, that is not ideal.

3. too soft definitely degrades performance, you can't transmit input the ski effectively. too stiff isn't great as well.

people originally talked about our shorter skis allowing us to have softer boots,
but in my experience, many good skiers are skiing boots as stiff as ever (in many cases stiffer. but once again, that is subjective. a boot that has a higher stiffness number may ski softer if the fit and flex matches you while a softer tested boot may seem stiffer if you aren't able to get a good shin/cuff fit to allow you to work into the flex progressively (case in point, my new boot (tecnica diablo race 130) should feel stiffer than my old icon, but it has a such a clean progressive feel that it feels softer)

as anything to do with boots, I recommend you find a qualified pro you trust and work with them to find a good fit and flex. I know that is easier said then done, but it's the best path. gotta run.

post #3 of 3
Great advice from Holiday. You might consider padding the tongue of your boot so you don't have to deform the shell to get a good fit. A boot fitter should be able to assist you.
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