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world cup boots

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was just doing research on the boots of the World Cup Elite and I learned a lot of interesting things - maybe some of you know all this stuff. And maybe somebody can add infos.
As I am from Austria, I went to a foot othopaedic shoemaker in Upper Austria - this is the one guy that made the custom-fit tongue for Hermann Maier for his first season after the bike crash. The guy, his name is Hans Rauscher, actually has a "copy" of Maiers right foot made of wax. He also has the prototype of the tongue, that exactly fits the leg - Maiers leg is really thick. There is also an old Lange boot there, which they cut apart to see if Maier fits in. The shoemaker thinks that Maier still uses his tongue even if he is with Atomic now. But Atomic doesn´t talk about that - maybe I find out.
The next visit was at Herbert Auer in Steinach a. Brenner, near Innsbruck. He is one of the best, when it comes to fit in your ski boot. Lots of World Cup Racers have been there - Bode Miller couple of years ago, Benni Raich etc. Auer and his nephew Marc Achmueller have also developed their own racing boot - as no bigger company has not yet confirmed a cooperation that just develop this boot further. They also make a "wax copy" of each ski boot that is available on the market. so they can see exactly what different features each boot has. And they just know pretty much everything - e.g. that lots of athletes use different inside boots - some have salomon outside and lange or nordica inside, or atomic outside and nordica inside or so. They actually couldn´t say if Bode is still wearing a Nordica inside boot, but I will try to find out.
Concerning racing they say, that the Nordica Doberman had the best geometry in the last couple of years. Then Atomic more or less copied the shape and developed it further. And now Lange, which has built the best racing shoes of the 90s, are copying the Atomic more or less, too. Fischer is not that different, because in racing they don´t have this somatec-system with the asymetrical stance.

Does anyone know something to this topic - for example observations during races, where one could see the inside boots or knows infos of racers what they try to tune their shoes. Thanks!
post #2 of 24
interesting info. thanks.
post #3 of 24
Welcome to Epicski!

I do not know if you are familiar with the term "plug". If you do not know what it means, check out this link: http://www.gmolfoot.com/plugboots.html

The terms "plug" is used to decribe the world cup boots.

If you search this forum, you will find a few good threds on plug boots. Yes they are used by racers but they are also the only option for people with narrow feet. They are great. There is no comparison between them and their consumer cousins. For example, the Salomon X2 has nothing in common with the Course Spaceframe. Same goes for the Rossi R2005 and the Elite Pro, etc.

I was told the Salomon X2 is a copy of the old Lange.
For some reason, Bode did not use Rossignol boot when he was on Rossi skis.
I was told that Nordica claimed that Atomic had stolen their design.

I would not be surprised to hear that some athletes are using the last of a boot with the paint of another. There is a reason for this. The best boot is the one that fits best. Yes there are world cup bootfitters but i doubt they are all very good and always make miracles happen. IMO if the last of a boot does not fit your feet well (even with grinding), there is nothing you can do about it. The only thing to do is switch to another boot (or use its last).

IMO few things have changed as long as functional design is concerned. Old boots were winning races before they were discontinued. Look at the old RL1. It was winning races last season. Same goes for the Tecnica XT. This boot won a race last season and had a couple of podium finishes. On the podium the racer was showing us the new Diablo plug. I compared the results of the Tecnica athletes and i have to say that the new boot (the Diablo plug) did not help them, even though it is supposed to be better for the athetes.

So, one can definitely choose a boot either from the current generation or the old generation and will not regret it. All IMO.



Jamie
post #4 of 24
chemaura, welcome to EpicSki! Great first post!

I'd love to hear any additional information that you uncover, including what the various innerboot differences are, and they they'd choose one over the other. Thanks!
post #5 of 24
The "real" thing can be and usually is a far cry from what is sold to the public including the commercially available "race plugs". There are two general geometries that "work" Lange and Nordica and several copies of each. This is not to discount the long term success of the Flexxon design as a speed event boot, nor the success of a form of the Flexxon on the feet of Vreni Schneider.

Lange: Advantage = More subtle steering from the area of navicular/ankle area. More polyvalent use range from moguls to speed and everything in between.
  • Salomon
  • Rossi
  • Some Atomics
Nordica: Advantage = More direct leverage/power from the mono shell. Higher steering point. (farther up the cuff) Can be used for most events but typical Nordica racer needs more boots with more specific shell modifications for each event.
  • Tecnica
  • Some Atomics
  • Early Rossi
The types of liners the Athletes really use has little to do with what they were issued or even the brand that they ski in. I did some follow up work for Rob Boyd one summer @ Hood and his liners were old ZR flow pack liners with a foam tongue. The liners were held together with tape and the tongue was seperate. He literally had to put the liners on his feet, insert the tongue, then hold it together while he slid the whole mess into the spread shell.

The race world is a very different and eclectic place.

SJ
post #6 of 24
Thanks for the info SJ. I felt this was going to be a great discussion.

I know a couple of things from some great bootfitters but i am always open to these discussions. I would like to ask you a couple of things.

In your opinion, is the Nordica a monoblock? Is the Tecnica XT a true monoblock, too?
What is your opinion on the Atomic RT? "Some Atomics" is just too vague.

Thanks,
Jamie
post #7 of 24
Jamie:

The Atomics that I'm referring to were the first attempts by Atomic to lure Athletes like Rahlves and Meir to ski in Atomics. They were Lange Clones for sure. Some more current versions that are in use on the WC are still Lange clones, but some are Nordica clones too. What the RT is, I couldn't say but it would be pretty easy to see with the liner out. (I just haven't seen one)

A young man that I just hired as a salesman was on the US "D" team for a while, and trained a lot with Rahlves when he was at Sugar Bowl. For sure, Rahlves boots were Lange copies as of fairly recently. And Rahlves told him that Herman's were too.

The "for real" Nordicas are mono blocs. Although I'm a big Nordica dealer, I don't bother to look at the retail Dobies as the highest in the line that I go is the Hot Rod. The biomechanics of the HR are a blend of Lange and original GP. I suspect that the retail Dobies might be as well.

SJ
post #8 of 24
Oh!!....I forgot the Tecnica.

It is no accident that Tecnica gained at least some credibility shortly after the Nordica merger. I can't say what the XT is as I have never seen one but an edjumcated guess would be Grand Prix. Keep in mind however, that there is some chance that anything that is remotely available to the public is a different product than the real thing.

SJ
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim
The types of liners the Athletes really use has little to do with what they were issued or even the brand that they ski in. I did some follow up work for Rob Boyd one summer @ Hood and his liners were old ZR flow pack liners with a foam tongue. The liners were held together with tape and the tongue was seperate. He literally had to put the liners on his feet, insert the tongue, then hold it together while he slid the whole mess into the spread shell.

The race world is a very different and eclectic place.
Haha!!!
That's great - and seems to make sense, somehow.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim
Jamie:

The Atomics that I'm referring to were the first attempts by Atomic to lure Athletes like Rahlves and Meir to ski in Atomics. They were Lange Clones for sure. Some more current versions that are in use on the WC are still Lange clones, but some are Nordica clones too. What the RT is, I couldn't say but it would be pretty easy to see with the liner out. (I just haven't seen one)

A young man that I just hired as a salesman was on the US "D" team for a while, and trained a lot with Rahlves when he was at Sugar Bowl. For sure, Rahlves boots were Lange copies as of fairly recently. And Rahlves told him that Herman's were too.

The "for real" Nordicas are mono blocs. Although I'm a big Nordica dealer, I don't bother to look at the retail Dobies as the highest in the line that I go is the Hot Rod. The biomechanics of the HR are a blend of Lange and original GP. I suspect that the retail Dobies might be as well.

SJ
Thanks for your answer. But i have to say i heard different opinions. But i won't go into that now b/c i am only interested in the Tecnica.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim
Oh!!....I forgot the Tecnica.

It is no accident that Tecnica gained at least some credibility shortly after the Nordica merger.

SJ
Could you tell me more, please? I don't quite understand what you're trying to say. Was there a problem with the XT?
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sywsyw
Could you tell me more, please? I don't quite understand what you're trying to say. Was there a problem with the XT?
I hope Sierra Jim will correct me if I'm wrong, but my guess is that top world cup skiers historically haven't used Tecnica shells... Nordica and Lange being the big dogs in that game. so a merger with either of the big dogs would get more serious racers to start thinking more seriously about Tecnica, courtesy of the Nordica race boot info-sharing.

that's my guess.
post #13 of 24
The Technica boot you want to look at for design cues is the Formula and Race R (I think the formula replacement). The XT doesn't seem to take too many design cues from the Lange. I have had my foot in most of the publicly sold plugs (all accept Atomic), and the XT does not come close to any of them in fit. It has kind of a lazy shape. The stance is similar to the Dobermann. Dobermanns don't seem to fit anything like the RL1, especially in stance - they seem more similar to the Grand Prix, but lower volume. I think that Salomon has taken more design cues from Lange than any other company though.
Later
GREG
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
I hope Sierra Jim will correct me if I'm wrong, but my guess is that top world cup skiers historically haven't used Tecnica shells... Nordica and Lange being the big dogs in that game. so a merger with either of the big dogs would get more serious racers to start thinking more seriously about Tecnica, courtesy of the Nordica race boot info-sharing.

that's my guess.
That may be what Jim was trying to say.

I was told that there are small differences between the lasts of the Dobermann and the Race R. I had the latter and i can say that the main different between the Race R and the XT is the foot positioning, not the last itself. The Race R is slightly more anatomic in the ankle/heel than the XT and also has a slightly narrower forefoot.

If the Race R is a true copy of the Dobermann (there are some similarities), i am pretty sure more racers would be willing the give the Tecnicas a try.

As i said before, i watched the progress of the Tecnica racers and i have to say that there were some things which surprised me. I am talking about the racers who have been on Tecnica boots before the Race R was introduced. I do not know if they were using a true XT shell or not, but i can tell you this: tey did not make any progress. Some skiers used the XT (or whatever was hiding under the paint) until the end of the season. So they did not switch to the "new" Diablo plug. Why? I don't know. Maybe they did not like the Diablo last or maybe they already had a Dobie last. Who knows?

I also noticed some racers using the Icon Alu Comp aluminium reinforcement on the XT. I saw others using two bolts in the back (Dobie style) and that's where i got the idea of tweaking my XT. The guy i saw was a Slovenian skier who took 8th place in the SL in Bormio WCH. Was he using a true XT shell (bolted to make it more responsive and stiffer)? This is a question w/o an answer.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
The Technica boot you want to look at for design cues is the Formula and Race R (I think the formula replacement). The XT doesn't seem to take too many design cues from the Lange. I have had my foot in most of the publicly sold plugs (all accept Atomic), and the XT does not come close to any of them in fit. It has kind of a lazy shape. The stance is similar to the Dobermann. Dobermanns don't seem to fit anything like the RL1, especially in stance - they seem more similar to the Grand Prix, but lower volume. I think that Salomon has taken more design cues from Lange than any other company though.
Later
GREG
Greg, i know that the Formula was the predecessor to the XT. The formula was a true monoblock. It was not a functional boot. It was not winning any races and that's why Tecnica changed it with the XT.

I asked Jeff Bergeron to compare the Dobie and the XT. He told me many things about them (and what are the real differences between them in terms of fit) but what i want to say is this: he said that the Dobie is not a true hinged design. The XT is not a true monoblock, either.

I was told that the Dobie is more monoblock than the XT.

there are many things here, but they are important for for those racing on the World Cup. For example, in Jeff's opinion, the XT was a better boot than the Diablo Race for most skiers, especially for those who are not racing on the World Cup. I trust him. The XT-17 fits me perfectly (out of the box) and the foot positioning is the best for me.

Tecnica with the Diablo plug should have more success at the highest levels of skiing.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
the XT does not come close to any of them in fit. It has kind of a lazy shape.
I like that. Lazy or not, it is definitely one of the best freeskiing boots.
post #17 of 24
The XT is a great free skiing boot. Plus I think it can be made to fit just about any foot out there. The fit for me on the most recent ones was pretty good despite the natural arch they seem to have. The new Pro 130 seems to be a pretty good boot as well. If I had $700 to shell out on them with a fitting I would probably consider them as an everyday boot.
Later
GREG
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
The new Pro 130 seems to be a pretty good boot as well. If I had $700 to shell out on them with a fitting I would probably consider them as an everyday boot.
Later
GREG
Yeah but the stance of the Pro 130 is very different than your Dobies. This can be important. When i asked Jeff Bergeron for an objective comparison between the XT and the Dobie WC 150, he told me one important thing. Yes he told me the fit differences beteen them but the most important question is: do you want to be more upright or more flexed? He said that for some the Tecnica would be better while for others it would be the Nordica.
Yes modifications can be made, but why not start with a boot which is closer to you needs? The Diablo has much more FL than the XT (IMO).
post #19 of 24
Quote:
The Diablo has much more FL than the XT
I think it does have more, which isn't a bad thing for free skiing, as long as you're not a back seat skier. I don't mind a more forward stance, but I don't like it as extreme as the RL1 was.

Later

GREG
post #20 of 24
Gonzo covered my superficial reply very well. The deal is that Tecnica was (with some exceptions) more or less nowhere in racing until the Nordica merger. Shortly after that, Volkl racers started showing up in new and different boots with significant resemblances to the GP. Results were not too far behind. The same thing happened when Salomon knocked off the RL-1. It took a while for them to get it right but when Salomon began climbing up the charts in boot results, it was with a Lange copy.

When I say that a boot is a clone or a copy, that is not to say that it is always exactly the same. Often the "plug" which is the Mandrel or "last" that the shell is molded around is modified to acheive what the designer has in mind. With CNC technology this is easy enough to do. However, when the same company owns two brands, it is not uncommon to just squirt different colored plastic into the mold and suddenly there is a new Orange (or yellow) race boot out there.

One thing is pretty clear. When Salomon, Tecnica, and Rossi were trying to re-invent the wheel (as in designing their own race boots) their results were usually dismal. When those guys started cloning the two existing winners, things changed and boot results standings became more diverse (and reflective of sponsorship dollars) than was previously the case.

SJ
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the replies - very interesting, especially Nordica and Tecnica, as I don´t know much about them, but I will talk to a product person from Nordica tomorrow. In the meantime I got information from a man named Johann Leitner - he developed the Somatec-system for Fischer - and he also knows quite a lot about the evolution of racing boots since the 1970s. He thinks that the V-position-system of the Fischer boots could also be used for Racing - the bottom line is: this is a more natural position and the line of power goes from outside heel over the outside of the middlefoot then changes to inside and the big toe. Leitner says that they just have to convince a male world cup racer to use this technology, women are already using it, eg. Hosp and Meissnitzer. He didnt say, if it´s really the same system and position that is used for the regular boots. One advantage should be: the pressure on the upper edge of the outside ski is bigger and therefore the control and steering should be easier, because the legs don´t have an X-position like in many other boots. Does this sound relevant and realistic?
BTW Leitner worked with Bode Miller when he was still on Nordica boots - Bode has pretty flat feet and therefore his boots have an angle of about 1 degree to the interior side - that means that his knees point a little in this direction.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim

One thing is pretty clear. When Salomon, Tecnica, and Rossi were trying to re-invent the wheel (as in designing their own race boots) their results were usually dismal. When those guys started cloning the two existing winners, things changed and boot results standings became more diverse (and reflective of sponsorship dollars) than was previously the case.

SJ
This probably means that the Tecnica Athletes were NOT using a true XT last. They were using a copy of the two winners (probably). Yes the WC is a different world. For us, the XT is one of the BEST boots (for freeskiing), even if it was probably never used at a WC level.

Jeff Bergeron told me that the only difference between the XT and the Dobie WC is that at a race level, the Nordica has some minor advantages. One of them is probably the Dobermann lace-up liner IMO. With regards to the fit, he told me that the XT has a wider forefoot, more padding in the liner and is more forward.

Jeff also said (in his thread) that for freeskiing, the XT is a better boot than the Atomic RT Ti, Diablo Race R and the Nordica Dobermann. The Dobie can be better if the stance is better. The only boot that freeskis better is the Lange RL11. The XT i tweaked should be better than the stock XT (Race R style flex cuts, 4 bolt design, same velcro strap system, no high lower back ). I do not know if it is going to be more like the Lange or the Dobie, but i one thing: it should ski better. The flex pattern has not been affected negatively. The flex is stiffer. I also use the Race R lace up flow liner, which makes the fit even better. This setup should satisfy all but the most aggressive skiers.
post #23 of 24
"This probably means that the Tecnica Athletes were NOT using a true XT last. They were using a copy of the two winners (probably)."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

You are probably correct and AFAIK they were all in Nordica derivatives. Certainly after the merger that was the case. Again AFAIK, there was never any attempt to work with the Lange design.

BTW: Any comments by me on the Tecnicas as W/C tools should not be misconstrued as criticism of their usefulness as freeskiing boots.

SJ
post #24 of 24
I watched the second run of the world cup finals in 2004 with some US and Canadian team members who didn't qualify for run two, What impressed me to no end was that they stood there in their race boots, still buckled (ok, loosened for sure), for the whole race. Good tight fit need not be painful.
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