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New Boot recommendations?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi all, first off let me say how happy I am to have found this website..! I have decided to find some new boots between now and next season - I have a normal foot with medium volume(according to the formula on this website) - size 9 street shoe - currently have Lange X9 racing boots size 8 circa 1992 - 220 lb male, early 40's, skiing, for 30 years -probably going to get custom footbeds as well.. would like any positive and negative on both current boots and closeout boots that I might come across in my quest..Thanks!
post #2 of 3
If you have a medium foot volumn your langes are probalby hurting your feet like crazy or close to it.
If you are skiing a shaped ski you don't need a stiff racing boot. Too many guys think the stiffer the better. In no way am I assuming anything about you, but consider this... right now, pause and think of going to a softer boot. What is happening inside your mind right now? Maybe... just maybe your brain is saying, "Gawd! If i go to a softer flex boot, maybe that means I'm not a good enough skier to handle a racing boot. I'm no intermediate skier! What will my buddies say if they see me in a non-racing boot?!"
Is your brain saying anything like that? Believe me. I am not dising you In anyway, shape,or form! I've been there-done that.
Consider the following- The shaped ski requires and almost demands a softer flex boot. It needs LESS forward knee pressure to turn. This is one reason it takes 66% less energy to ski them. With a stiff boot they would turn uncontrolably fast. At first that sounds good, but you want the ski to turn when YOU want them to. Also you'd get tail skid when you don't want it. When you come out of a turn the stiff boot rebounds too quickly which throws you into the back seat. The tips come up and float and you are fighting for balance.
A couple of years ago I ordered some Salomon Performa 9 red Equipes. Salomon called to say they were out of them. I asked what they had comparable. They said they had somehting a bit stiffer and sent me those. These are the Salomon SuperForce Performa 9 Equipe with a flex index of 115! The stiffest boot I have ever heard of was a flex index of 150. So, you can see my boots are like steel.
A friend of mine asked me to try out for ski patrol since I was as good a skier as he. I declined knowing how hard those guys work! Instead I tried out for ski instructor. With these boots I was in the back seat due to our heavy snow- Cascade cement! My speed was great. Groomed runs were fine, but the cement gave me too much resistance and my boots rebounded me into the back seat everytime I hit the crud even with 100% concentration. I must admit part of this was also due to my boots numbing my feet. If you can't feel your feet you can't keep your proper balance. They were numb and giving me incredible pain at the same time.
At the end of the day I was cut. Talking to the director, he told me to get the etonic or (orthotic) inserts- the $90 ones. I told him I have those right now. He said,(with raised eyebrows) "Wow! You better get your boots looked at!"
I went to my boot fitter and told him my symtoms and what happened on the hlll. Immediately he suggested or demanded we stretch the boots out AND deflex them. And he gave me the reasons I gave you above.
More in a bit. I'm getting an annoying call.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #3 of 3
I'm baaaack! Lange has a very narrow shell for narrow to normal feet. Next is Technica and Nordica. Techs sometimes tend to have a narrow toe box which tapers quickly. I hear they are modifing this next year. Many Nordicas grab the heel at the achilles tendon. Some like this, others don't. Some people still are so worried about heel lift when recent research has shown that a close fit around the calf, i.e. upper boot and cuff area are just as if not more important than heel lift. This is where the leg first enters the boot. What your leg does is what the boot tells the ski what to do. If it's sloppy loose at the cuff, you don't have the control over your skis. I'v been through a lot of this for 5 years, fitting boots. And yes, I have my boot fitters, because what I don't know I go and find out! I'm also Marker certified in bindings.
Try Salomon Performa 6 or 7 or 8 if you can find them. Try to stay around 70-90 flex index. Dalbello is a great boot with great foot volumn Maybe greater than Salomon. Someone in this forum suggested Strols, or something like that. I'm not familiar with those. Salomon Axe has a flex of 90, but some don't like the yellow color. Those would go great with my MOD X's.

[You might know all the following. This information is what I have learned over the years from the finest boot fitters in Portland, Oregon and from many racers.]

When trying on a boot do not bang the heel on the floor to get into the heel pocket. This does not do the job even though it feels like it. Instead- First thing you do is take the liner out. Next get into the boot and run your foot all they way up until your longest toe just touches the front. Have someone reach down inside the hell to see how many finger widths you have between your heel and the back of the boot. One finger width for racing. If you don't race (like 40 times a year) don't do this. Go for about two finger widths. Put the liner back in and get into the boot.
Buckle up starting with the instep buckle (the one just above the toe buckle, leave the toe buckle undone). Work your way up the boot and buckle them on the loosest setting, then do the strap with a gentle nudge.
Now, Stand up and flex up and down throwing your knees out keeping your back straight. Do this 5 times without stopping inbetween and as hard as possible all the way down and all the way back up.
Now, sit back down to take the pressure off the boot and buckle up one more notch, leaving the toe buckle still unbuckled. Stand up and repeat the flexing. Now sit back down and buckle up as you see fit doing the toe buckle LAST. Now, stand up not leaning forward, not leaning backwards, just as neutral as possible, leg straight don into the boot. Is your longest toe barely touching the front? Good. Now, give me a knee forward ski position. Did the toes pull away and not touch the front? Good! There's your fit!
Many people get into a boot without buckling up and try to decide if it's to samll or too big. Wrong! YOu have to buckle up as described above. And thisis how you always get into a boot. The old heel bang is a no-no. Besides it tends to mess up the heel. <G>
There are other problems. Some people have bone spurs to consider. A boot fitter has to stretch the boot for this and/or colapse the foam in certain areas. Some peoples feet elongate when they get squished by a ski boot. Some have high insteps. These are special considerations. Quite often you need to get your boots tweaked for a perfect fit. Boot vendors really don't know what your foot looks like. They take their best guess.

Above all, don't mess with canting until you have your foot beds in place. These take care of 90% of canting problems.

I hope I didn't bore you with stuff you already might know. I learn from many people then research for validity. As equipement and technology changes I listen for teh pros and cons. I hear opinions, conflicting ones, so I check it out. Hope I've help and not bored you to tears. Bob jyarddog@spiritone.com

Afterall, you don't want your feet to feel like this / You want them to feel like this-->
Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by jyarddog (edited April 14, 2001).]</FONT>
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