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Dobermann & Diablo Race for Freeskiing?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am getting close to purchasing new boots and have a couple of questions about the choices I am considering.

I have a low volume foot with a SMALL ankle/heel and am considering getting a race oriented boot, but I have never had one and am a little concerned about how much punishment I am setting myself up for in the woods and bumps.

I currently have Nordica W12's from two or three years ago with the same last of the Beast. The last of the boot fits great and I love the heel pocket, but I have had to had a 1/8" spacer under my custom insole and modify the cuff (move buckles in and cut off extra flap) to get a tight fit. As the boots have packed out, it is becoming a constant battle to maintain fit without having to overtighten the boots, especially in the cuff.

I have tried the following without success:
Rossi: XX Freeride, my previous boot, did not fit my foot well as they aged
Atomic: Race, did not like the fit
Lange 120 LF: Heel Pocket was too large

The following boots fit great:
Doberman Pro 130/110: Size 7
Tecnica Diablo Race: Size 7/7.5

I had the Doberman on again this weekend and loved it, but want to try the Diablo Race one more time, hopefully side by side. My initial impression was that the heel pocket of the Doberman was more secure.

Both boots seem to address my need for a low volume fit, but I am a little concerned about what I would be setting myself up for when trying to use a boot made for hard snow in bumps and glades (which make up at least 60% of my time on the snow). Also, am I going to regret going so small on size (half size difference between my feet, smaller size is perfect for the smaller foot but a little tight on the larger)?

Does anybody use this type of boot for freeskiing, and what is your experience. How much colder can I expect the liner to be (Jay Peak isn't the warmest place in the east)?

My Stats:
5'10", 160 lbs, Street Shoe = 9
Level 7/8
Ski Days per Year: 35-40
Terrain: 40% Groomers/60% Bumps and Glades
Home Mountain: Jay Peak/Burke Mt.
Current Boot: Nordica W12 with Custom Cork Insoles

Thanks in advance to all.
post #2 of 13
i have the diablo race pro. the heel fit is unparalleled for me. cold toes in an issue for me in these, as both liner and shell are pretty thin. not too bad at -10C, but not great either. would still recommend this boot, it doubled the fun i have skiing, this amount of control was unknown to me before.
post #3 of 13
First, if you narrowed your search down to these boots, just go with the one that fits best.
You are not going too small on size. Two sizes down is common. And go with the smaller size (even if you have that problem). Let the bootfitter do his job. A competent bootfitter should be able to make it fit your smaller foot, for example eliminate hotspots.
I think you will be amazed by the performance of these boots. yes they will be colder but the liner is not the thinnest. For example, the liner of the Diablo Race is better padded than the one of the predecessor. These boots should provide a decent level of comfort.
post #4 of 13
I recently put a recreational skier of average ability in a Diablo Race 130, it turns out he overstated his ability to me and was alittle in "back seat" when he skied, which caused him to have alittle toe pressure. We worked with him on his stance and made the boot alittle bigger and he is very happy and now skis better than ever. We did put him in a ZipFit custom liner, and he has no problem with cold feet, the ZipFit does a great job holding the heel also, this be worth looking into for you.
post #5 of 13
I went throught the Freeride (XXX) and Lange too and had about the same experience. I bought the Doberman 110 last Fall from Greg Hofmann at Green Mountain Orthotics (Bondville - Stratton, VT), and had him do the fitting. There is no comparison with the other boots I've used. I like to ski challenging terrain and the boot does nothing but help. The only thing I have learned to be careful of is not over-tightening the boot.

My wife needed some boots this year - she had been skiing the Rossi Race 1. She wanted a better fit and ended up buying the Tecnica Diablo Race Pro 110. She drove 3 hours each way to Bondville to have Greg Hofmann do the fitting. She just got back from Colorado where she was doing some heli-skiing. She loved the boots.

The boots are cold - the Dobermans in particular. I duct-tape a toe-warmer packet over the front outside flap of the boot (over the toe) and wear a bootglove on cold days. That pretty much takes care of it. I've also heard that a Conformable Custom Liner will be a lot warmer, but it'll cost a bunch more too...

You won't regret getting these boots, though you may want to stick with the less stiff models for free skiing.
post #6 of 13
I ski in a pair of Diablo Race pros and love them. I have skied them in every thing from powder,crud, Ice and slush and find they are a great boot to ski in. They are very hard to take off when cold (keep a hair dryer hand). If you use boot gloves or hotronics they are a little better. I am 5-9 and 175lbs, my street shoe is an 8 1/2 and I am PSIA level 3. I ski in a US 6 1/2 Diablo Race Pro. I had to blow out the toe box to make them fit. These are the best Tecnica's I have skied on 15 years!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Feeling a little better about going with one of the boots, but....

Thanks for all the feedback so far.

The feedback so far is lessening my apprehension to going with the Race boot for freeskiing, especially since the boots fit so well. However, I have increased concerns about the cold. Granted I will buy the boots and try them for a while, but I counted three main options for battling the cold.

  • Hotronic (which my wife uses)
  • Zipfit or other custom liner
  • Boot Glove and Heat Pack
The Boot Glove and Heat Pack aren’t really an option, as I do like to open/close and adjust my buckles frequently.

The Hotronics and Zipfit are interesting options. Both are similarly priced. My wife loves her hotronic in her ICON’s, but once the cords are built in you are stuck dealing with them for good (warm or cold day). Plus, batteries are yet another piece of gear to carry, keep track off, and possibly break. The custom liner sounds interesting, better fit and nothing to worry about afterwards. However, the effectiveness of the custom liner is an unknown and seems to be a $150 gamble. How effective are the liners vs. the hotronics?
post #8 of 13
FWIW I have a ZipFit liner and was not bothered by -0 temps, I generally do not get cold feet, but I don't know anyone who can ski for hours in sub-zero temps and not get alittle cold. I was fine for about four hours at -10 in my ZipFits. I also change socks at lunch on cold days and this seems to help alot. BTW ZipFits will run about $300 I am not sure on the conformable liner.
post #9 of 13
You mentioned the Lange 120 LF but did you try the Lange Pininfarina's 130 from last year (not sure if they make it this year, I think it was replaced by the freeride which is not the same boot due to the liner and the freeride is only a 120)

I did a review of these http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=22015

I too have way small volume feet and these are the best fitter I have ever had.

the link in my review is now bunk try this one http://www.coloradoskioutlet.com/item1191.htm

The heel is still very slightly to big but I think I have freaky small volume feet adn heel, and I think this can easily be fixed by building up the liner ever so slightly on the outside IE even three thin strips of duct tape.

perhaps give these a try before buying I am super happy with them and have skied everything I would ski and can't complain 1 bit. cold what cold, I did a -22 C day in them and no problem at all, but I am Canadian, lol.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
BootDude, thanks for the infor. I must have looked at the wrong site or area for the price I saw on ZipFits. For fighting the cold, I will wait until I have the boots and try them for a while first.

Both of these boots come in a 110 and 130 flex. I have never been at a store that has both flexes for both boots. However, I have tried on a 130 and 110 in the Dobermann. Granted I tried them on a week apart and in a warm store, but I did not notice much of a difference in the flex.

Does anybody have any feedback ast to how signifigant the difference in flex is between the 130 and 110 ratings? The shop I usually go to has the Dobermann in 110 and Diablo Race in 130. I am going to go with the boot that fits better, but wondered if there is any reason I should seek out one flex vs. the other; or just go with the shop I know.
post #11 of 13
i find the diablo race 130 sufficiently flexible even at my weight of 160lbs. an the flex pattern is very even, from the first degrees right till the end of ankle motion.
post #12 of 13
The flex of the 110 is alot softer than the 130 in the Diablo. I put 100 lb jr racers in the 110 Diablo.
post #13 of 13
2 issues to consider
a) you're skiing at burke & jay ; its darn cold there & while those are good boots, you will be very cold ; never good for skiing
b) esp @ Jay, those boots will be too stiff for off trail use, even w/ a ton of cutting; I have tried this & was miseable & when you get off the groomers you will realize that the shells don't really close fully & there will be snow on your foot, back to issue a

I use a Dobie WC 150 for racing & carving groomers & a tecnica icon (also have a fire waiting to be used) for all-mtn & off trail stuff. A good boot fitter can pad up the space you need to secure your foot. I have had the same issue with pack out & found fitting foam from tognar.com to be just the ticket. If you're in the area, drop into waterbury & visit PJ @ racestocksports.com, he can fit you like no one else. I have had him make a custom tongue to take up space & secure things.

most of my ski buddies are in "plug" boots full time & you should see them limping around after the beating they take in those boots.
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