Originally Posted by steveturner
How does this equate to the stiff boot equals narrow-low volume foot while big heavy people usually have bigger feet. Why should a 150 lb person ski a narrow /stiff boot while a 250 lb person be directed toward a mid level boot to find the room needed to fit an 11 E foot. Assuming equal ability, shouldn't heavier people have stiffer boots and lighter people have softer boots?
Being an accomplished bigger skier (only 5' 8" and been as heavy as 330lbs, currently about 250 and Passed Level III at about 250 too) I have run into the same problems, and called shops on perfect fit garauntees (back east). The problem is that society tells people that heavy people are not athletic (a stereotype I have fought vehimentally my whole life). Boot designers are not going to produce a boot geared towards a higher volume/bigger skier at expert level, simply because the demand for such boots is rather low when you look at the overall statistics and costs for producing molds.
What I have found is the absolute need to modify the boot that closest meets my needs/desires from a boot. There really is a lot that can be done beyond footbeds and blowing out the plastics.
Now, simple reason would lead one to think that heavier skier = stiffer boot, however, its not really the case. I primarily ski a very soft boot (Sal 1080) but I have found I like the soft flex because I can easily control the flex to whatever is appropriate (muscle control versus support). However, I also tend to ski a very racing oriented stlye of skiing, so the loss of quickness of transfer is not a big deal and basicaly un-noticable to me when just out freeskiing.
What I have noticed over the years though is that the flex is more related to the level of skier, because like speed, the flex can hide/maks/negate flaws in technique (lower level boots are softer flex typically, etc - similarly to skis). Basically, I see it like I see everything with skiing, each person needs to find out their own personal preferences and then find the equiptment that most closely matches.