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Are All-mountain expert boots too soft?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm a 28 yo 6'0" 185 lb guy size 28.5 former racer and looking for new boots. When I raced I was used Nordica Grand Prix (both the maroon and lime green versions) and loved the fit, but now I'm looking for something a little more comfortable without sacrificing too much performance. I also think that a somewhat softer boot may be offer better performance off-piste and in the trees and powder. I've been looking at the Nordica Beast and the Speedmachine and have been also considering the Tecnica Diablo. I'm thinking I want to stay away from full race boots, but I am wary of going too soft. Any thoughts on how soft is too soft? Any other boot recs? Thanks.

Jeff
post #2 of 18
I think the Beast would be a little too soft. You wouldn't want to go any softer than that.
post #3 of 18
Boots are softer in forward flex now than in the past, but they are stiff laterally. Most boots in the AME catagory will give you plenty of support. Find a good bootfitter and work with him/her to find the boot that is right for you. FWIW I find the Nordica beast to be way soft and it has too much volume and a cushy/mushy liner but thats my opinion, as a former racer also I like a tighter fit.
post #4 of 18
Try de-tuned race versions. Nordica Doberman Pro 130. Diablo Race Pro 130. These are not plug boots. But very high performance technical boots.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootDude
FWIW I find the Nordica beast to be way soft and it has too much volume and a cushy/mushy liner...
Agreed, esp. about the liner.
post #6 of 18
the beast works fine if you have a high volume foot. It's built for those with fairly compact feet (in length) but wide and high. They're the only boots that will accomodate a high instep and a super-wide forefoot.
post #7 of 18
Have a look at the Salomon Crossmax 10. These maybe a bit better for all day use instead of the race boots that will leave your feet crying after a few hours on the slopes.
post #8 of 18
I know many ex-racers have this fear of softness, but find that most of them once they have had a season or two on the slopes away from gates favor some softness especially forward flex. I am not sure if I agree that a Diablo Race Pro is a de-tuned race boot. I would not recommend anything stiffer than a Diablo Race Pro 110 or the Magnesium 100 if you are looking to do mostly free skiing with an occational gate thrown in.
post #9 of 18
a skier's ability and prowess is NOT measured by his/her boot's forward flex/stiffness.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by glint
the beast works fine if you have a high volume foot. It's built for those with fairly compact feet (in length) but wide and high. They're the only boots that will accomodate a high instep and a super-wide forefoot.
While I agree that they work best for a high volume foot, they are by no means the only boot for that type of foot.
post #11 of 18
dr_jeff, I'm a 43 year-old fomer racer who looked for a boot like you're seeking some years ago. I ended up in a Salomon X-Wave series boot. However, after a couple of years, it became clear that the lower performance of those boots really weren't allowing me to have as much fun as I'd like.

Last year, I went to a high-end boot fitter (Jeff Bergeron, recommended by Bob Barnes and others on this site). After trying a number of boots, I ended up on a pair of Tecnica XT17s (last year's retail version of the race plug). The flex was smoother than anything I had ever experienced, and the boot skied better than any boot I had ever skied. It was also far more comfortable than I was led to expect. I am skiing on them again this year and still enjoying them.

I am saying this to encourage you to consider some of the higher performance models so as not to compromise your skiing through weaker equipment. You might consider the Nordica Doberman, the Tecnica Diablo Race Pro, and the Atomic Race Tech if this is of interest. You don't say where you live, so I can't recommend a local fitter. But, if you want to let us know, I'm sure folks here would be happy to help...
post #12 of 18

 Get race plugs, you will not regret it. Once you try plugs, you won't be able to ski anything else. Atomic RaceTec for wide fit, Dobermann Soft for medium and Lange RL1 plug for narrow.


Edited by rush614 - 2/23/11 at 4:00pm
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootDude
While I agree that they work best for a high volume foot, they are by no means the only boot for that type of foot.
Agreed, I have a high arch and relativly wide forefoot. My problem with the Beast was that it was fairly high-volume everywhere, incliding in the ankle pocket. Too much liner. But certianly, to each his own.

BTW, I settled on the Crossmax/X-wave 10.0. But I am not an ex-racer. So far I really really like it, though I wish even it had a tighter ankle fit.

In response to the post about stiffer boots not meaning you are a better skier, granted. And anyway, better how? In a racecourse? Doing demos? Big mountain? But some people will want a stiffer boot and I think its fair to say that if you are used to working more boot or just like the feel of that it would be silly to try to move back too much.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses...

You guys are voicing my exact fears about changing from a race boot to an AME boot. The main reason I am considering a different boot is that I feel that the Grand Prix are one not quite as comfortable as I'd like, and two that the stiff flex is actually holding back my skiing when i'm skiing powder, trees, crud etc. I am leaning more and more to I guess what is now called a "big mountain" style of skiing, although I do still like laying down some nice GS turns in the AM. No more gates for me...

I'm currently living in Phoenix, AZ (Flagstaff, the local mountain, opened Nov 27 and currently has a 51" midmountain base and about 2300 ft of vertical) and I am in residency so getting more than 15-20 days this season would be a surprise (although I'm already up to 5 so far).

So, seems like people are confirming that I may not be too happy in a softer boot. So a few questions about some of the boots mentioned.
1. Does the Dobermann fit like the Grand Prix in terms of foot volume, etc?
2. Is there any site that has objective data on both the forward and lateral stiffness of a given boot? (for example I know from the Nordica website that the Dobermann is "flex index 130" and from the tecnica web site that the Diablo race is a "120" but how do these numbers compare to one another? How stiff are my Grand Prix in comarison?
3. Does anyone know of any boot fitters in AZ? I will be going to Telluride in Feb, and maybe to SLC in March, but I'd like to get some new boots before those trips so I can break them in before shelling out the money to travel?
4. (last question) I've been hearing a lot about the booster strap...any opinions on how that would affect the feel/performance of my Grand Prix?

Thanks for the suggestions and advice.

Jeff
post #15 of 18
Jeff, since you're going to Telluride, I'd recommend calling ahead and visiting the Boot Doctor there, ideally with an appointment with Bob Gleason. Then, you can ski whatever he fits to your foot, he'll tweak it all week, and you'll get an unbelievable fit and the right boot for you.

Go with a plug. You won't regret it.
post #16 of 18
I second going to see Bob Gleason. I can add that as a former racer I am now skiing off the shelf AME boots and loving them, currently I am in a Dolomite Rage Pro (the ugly green ones) with a Zipfit liner. I have all the control I want they still can hang in the gates and skiing the rest of the mountain is fun as well.
post #17 of 18
Hey Jeff- you need to switch to an anesthesia residency- days off after the night on call are for skiing!
post #18 of 18
Why don't you just keep the grand prix's and have them softened up?
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