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Boot Question: Are the new boots getting softer?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
My 10 year old Rossi race boots (black and yellow) are threatening to bust a buckle and I'm on the hunt for new.

I went into my local ski barn today to give the Lange Comp 120 MV and the Technica Diablos (supposedly racing plugs) a try. They did not have any Rossis in my size or I would have tried those too. I'm partial to the Rossis and Langes because the last that they use seems the same to me. It works well for for my foot and I have been skiing one or the other for a very long time.

First of all I was surprised by how easy both boots (Lange and Technica) were to get into. They felt like bed room slippers compared to the older boots. My wife and daughter are presently used to a 10-15 minute session involving very blue language at expressive volume and frequency before I can get the Rossis on. So they tend to get their boots on as quickly as possible (an unintended benefit) so as to not be seen in my vicinity while the show is going on. As a result, if I do get the new boots I may have to pony up for an acting class : as well as a foot bed.

I had both boots on for at least an hour. General impression was that the Lange's fit better (but then I associate some level of pain with a better fit and the Lange's hurt more), and also were harder to flex even though they had a flex index of 120 and the Diablos were 130. The bootfitter said some of this is due to the Technica liner, which may be softer.

But what really surprised me is that the both of the newer boots seem easier to flex than my ten year olds. The boot fitter said that that I shouldn't be too concerned because both boots would stiffen up in the cold (but both boots flexed easier at room temperature than my old Rossis). He then said that all boots over the last ten years have been getting easier to forward flex (to me this feels soft) but that newer boots have improved lateral stiffness over older boots. Supposedly this is due to the fact that shaped skis do not require as much forward pressure to carve but rather a more balanced lateral motion to initiate turns.

I'll buy some of this, but unless these boots get a lot stiffer in the cold I still have the feeling that they are going to be a lot easier to flex than my oldies.

So my first question is whether it seems to others that the new boots are getting easier to flex (in my book softer) or do I just need to test boots in an ice bath?

Also the boot fitter was surprised that I really wanted a racing boot. He told me he was formerly on the world mogul tour so I have to guess that he was pretty good. He also told me that he is skiing a 100 flex boot with no problems even at higher speeds and that I probably wouldn't have a problem with this either. He didn't have any in my size or I would have tried the Lange 100's or even the 120 FR (which is supposed to have a softer feel due to a lower cuff). Please keep in mind that I have a pair of 193 Atomic GS:11 race stock in the quiver, which is my preferred ski on groomers (if the run is halfway clear,at 40 mph plus) but I do a lot of back country on twin tips as well.

So my second question is whether (since lateral stiffness is now suposed to be more important) others here have switched to a softer forward flex and are happy, ie. is this something I should consider?
post #2 of 47
Yes, boots are getting softer, and more comfortable. Is this a good thing... In my opinion, no. For the average consumer who doesn't know what a boot should feel like, this is probably a great thing...

You are right when you say that boots are trending softer because you don't need the stiffness with shaped skis. I partially believe this. I still ski in very stiff boots (Nordica Dobermann WC 150 as my race boot), and plan on going to a similar boot for free skiing next year (currently have a pair of boots that are just too soft...). The Lange 120 is probably as soft as you will want to go if you are skiing aggressively. I have heard that Langes stiffen up a lot more than most boots in the cold though... so that is something to consider... although they are still not that stiff.

Make sure you are in the correct size as well (I suspect you probably are if they hurt). Going too large can make you think you need a stiffer boot, but when in reality you aren't really flexing the back of the boot at all. Remember, you should be able to do more than just displace the plastic in the front of the boot. Also, the flex scales of each company are different, so they cannot be fairly compared. Many are close, but they are not identicle (no indistry standard).

Later

GREG
post #3 of 47
First of all, neither of those boots will drive an atomic race stock gs. Trust me, I've skied one.

As a former owner of a Diablo 130, they are not stiff at all. They are, however, very comfortable, with a cushy liner. The forward lean works for some people, including me, but not others.

All of lange's consumer boots are too soft, in my opinion. The WC 130 is a little better, but it has a LOT more forward lean than the diablos, to the point of being ridiculous. (Again, I have owned them, albeit briefly)


As a racer, the whole lateral-flex-is-all-that's-important thing is IMO bs. You flat-out cannot drive a stiff race stock gs ski with a noodle-like boot. It also doesn't help that I weigh 195...

I would suggest you look into plugs, they are the best option for hard-snow experts, unless you have drastically abnormal feet. The Lange RL11/WC 150 is, according to Jeff Bergeron, excellent for freeskiing. If the stance of those diablos worked for you, you might also check out the Tecnica Race R plug. The Atomic RT Ti is also an option.


To directly answer your question, new retail boots are definitely softer across the board, IMO. I fail to see the benefits of a softer boot, but that is probably due in large part to my weight, as well as my affinity for racing and race skis.

I'm sure others who ski differently will have other opinions. Just IMO.
post #4 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Make sure you are in the correct size as well (I suspect you probably are if they hurt). Going too large can make you think you need a stiffer boot, but when in reality you aren't really flexing the back of the boot at all. Remember, you should be able to do more than just displace the plastic in the front of the boot. Also, the flex scales of each company are different, so they cannot be fairly compared. Many are close, but they are not identicle (no indistry standard).
I usually wear a size 12 street shoe, as my right foot is a little over 11.5 and the left a little under. The boot fitter tested me in the shell without the liner and he could get the right sizer in behind my heel on both boots. For the Lange I was in an 11 shell which is supposed to be the same as the 11.5 except for the footbed. The Diablo was an 11.5. I was in both boots for at least an hour and my toes were only touching slightly on my right foot in the Lange, so I have to guess that the sizes were right. On the Lange I couldn't imagine getting the right fit in a 12/12.5 shell.
post #5 of 47
Both heluva and I wear boots 3-4 sizes smaller than our shoe size.
post #6 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
As a racer, the whole lateral-flex-is-all-that's-important thing is IMO bs. You flat-out cannot drive a stiff race stock gs ski with a noodle-like boot. It also doesn't help that I weigh 195...
Thanks for your posts, this is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Forgot to add that I'm 6'3" (187cm) and 225 lbs (101kg) and I do stadium steps and leg weights to stay in shape when I'm not on the hill, so noodle-like was actually a good word IMO and this context.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Thanks for your posts, this is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Forgot to add that I'm 6'3" (187cm) and 225 lbs (101kg) and I do stadium steps and leg weights to stay in shape when I'm not on the hill, so noodle-like was actually a good word IMO and this context.
Heluva and I agree (after IM conversation) that you should seek out a Nordica Dobermann Pro 130. It is stiffer than the retail boots mentioned, but not to a plug level. The volume will be significantly more forgiving as well, with 99mm in the forefoot, as opposed to 95mm in the dobie 150 (the lange is narrower). It is still a race boot, so you have removable spine screws, as well as enough plastic to grind.

We agree that you should at least try on a 10. Make sure you get your foot all the way back into the heel pocket and buckle from the top down. You should not have more than 1-1.5 fingers of space in the shell.

Feel free to PM either of us. You may want to consider Jeff Bergeron's thread as well.
post #8 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
Heluva and I agree (after IM conversation) that you should seek out a Nordica Dobermann Pro 130. It is stiffer than the retail boots mentioned, but not to a plug level. The volume will be significantly more forgiving as well, with 99mm in the forefoot, as opposed to 95mm in the dobie 150 (the lange is narrower). It is still a race boot, so you have removable spine screws, as well as enough plastic to grind.

We agree that you should at least try on a 10. Make sure you get your foot all the way back into the heel pocket and buckle from the top down. You should not have more than 1-1.5 fingers of space in the shell.

Feel free to PM either of us. You may want to consider Jeff Bergeron's thread as well.
I have some questions into Messr. Bergeron, but it seems this is his busy time of year.

I was looking for the IM feature here but can't find this. Is there something I'm missing?
post #9 of 47
If you click on someone's username just above their post, a list comes down with several options, including IM.
post #10 of 47
if you want a lange plug in size 10 I have a new pair for $250 new in box. ZC flex. they should be stiff enought for you.
post #11 of 47

Plugs?

[quote=doublediamond223]
I would suggest you look into plugs, they are the best option for hard-snow experts, unless you have drastically abnormal feet. The Lange RL11/WC 150 is, according to Jeff Bergeron, excellent for freeskiing. If the stance of those diablos worked for you, you might also check out the Tecnica Race R plug. The Atomic RT Ti is also an option.
quote]

I to am looking into new boots. I am close to purchasing a set of Diable V-techs, at about one size smaller than I typically wear in a running shoe etc. These boots seem to fairly stiff but not as stiff as I like or as I am use to. What do you mean by "plugs"? and how do they aid in giving a stiffer feel and response?
post #12 of 47
dd223: Heluva and I agree (after IM conversation) that you should seek out a Nordica Dobermann Pro 130

Speaking of Nordica, I just bought new boots today and will ski them tomorrow and through the weekend. My old boots were Technica ICON XT, which I loved, but they packed out after almost 200 days of skiing on them. The aggressive forward lean also bugged me a little.

Anyway, I had my mind on the Hot Rod and Speedmachine line.

I settled on Speedmachine 12 (flex index 120-110), since I am 5'6'', 165lbs, 43 years old and not a racer. They felt similar to the ICON XT in stiffness, but they had a much more progressive flex pattern. They come with a Booster strap, which I also had on my ICONs.

I almost went for the Speedmachine 14 (flex index 130-120), but decided to listen to reviews that indicated that you have to be an aggressive beast to make them behave. So I left my ego at the door.

What amazed me was how well they fit right out of the box. I added my custom foot beds, heated the liners and after 10 minutes they were glued around my foot. Amazing! Of course, some adjustments may be required after skiing a couple of days.

Anyway, sorry for the long personal story, but what I was trying to get to: if you are 6'3'' and 195lbs, then a flex index of at least 130 (Nordica numbers) makes sense to me. However, you cannot compare the flex index between boot vendors.
post #13 of 47
Going back the original question, as posited in the thread title:

1 - It does seem that, comparing similarly-situated models, boots have gotten softer. I've often seen it explained as in the original post.

2 - On the other hand, it also seems that more people are using plug boots, or something similar. Only a few years ago, it was difficult to get anyone to acknowledge that they even existed. Now, full-on plugs are sold at retail (a few places anyway), and "plug-a-bees" are readily available.

I'm kind of skeptical about the claim that modern skis / modern carving technique calls for softer boots. I don't really see the logic: it seems to me that stiff boots (as opposed to soft ones) don't force you drive the tip any more (or less), they just let you control what you're doing more precisely. Racers don't seem to have gone for softer boots.

There are situations and styles or skiing where a softer boot makes sense. For most people, that would include mogul skiing, and (opinions differ I think) backcountry / unpacked / off-piste / whatever you want to call it.
post #14 of 47
My "new" crossmax 10 boots are WAY softer than my old boots, and the main reason is the new skis. My old skis had tons of very stiff steel and no side cut. It required brutal force on the tip to bend them into a tight turn. A lesser ski would not perform at speed. Now I have a pair of slalom skis that will easily carve a tight turn with just tipping. I can still turn tighter using old-style carving techniques, but it is hardly ever needed. I can use these slalom skis up to SG speeds and not be totally out of control as I would have been on an older softer slalom ski. Yes there is a little bit given up in terms of instant response when I have to use that old tip pressure, but it doesn't happen too often. More often, I benefit from the added "suspension" of the easier forward flex.

If your skiing a stiff racing ski at race speeds away from bumps or soft snow, you might want to stick to a stiff boot, for everything else the newer softer boots like XWAVE 10 are just fine. Yes, I'm getting old and don't have to go as fast as humanly possible on every run, so my priorities may have changed a little. BTW I weigh 160-165 lbs, increase your flex according to your weight.
post #15 of 47
You don't need a forward stiff boot any more, you need a laterally (and rearward) stiff one.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB
dd223: Heluva and I agree (after IM conversation) that you should seek out a Nordica Dobermann Pro 130

Speaking of Nordica, I just bought new boots today and will ski them tomorrow and through the weekend. My old boots were Technica ICON XT, which I loved, but they packed out after almost 200 days of skiing on them. The aggressive forward lean also bugged me a little.

Anyway, I had my mind on the Hot Rod and Speedmachine line.

I settled on Speedmachine 12 (flex index 120-110), since I am 5'6'', 165lbs, 43 years old and not a racer. They felt similar to the ICON XT in stiffness, but they had a much more progressive flex pattern. They come with a Booster strap, which I also had on my ICONs.

I almost went for the Speedmachine 14 (flex index 130-120), but decided to listen to reviews that indicated that you have to be an aggressive beast to make them behave. So I left my ego at the door.

What amazed me was how well they fit right out of the box. I added my custom foot beds, heated the liners and after 10 minutes they were glued around my foot. Amazing! Of course, some adjustments may be required after skiing a couple of days.

Anyway, sorry for the long personal story, but what I was trying to get to: if you are 6'3'' and 195lbs, then a flex index of at least 130 (Nordica numbers) makes sense to me. However, you cannot compare the flex index between boot vendors.
If you think the XT, a plug, packed out, the Nordicas are going to re-define packing out. Those speedmachines are a high-volume boot. They fit well out of the box becuase the liner is taking up all of the volume. I'd advise you to seek out a hotrod, they aren't that stiff and have the dobie 130 last, with a softer liner and a softer flex. I deformed them in the shop, but I'm abnormal.... The XT is still much lower-volume.

I don't think you'll be happy with those speedmachines, just based on volume. The forward lean issue is definitely valid though.
post #17 of 47
Thread Starter 

Lange 130's 2004 MF

Anybody out there have any further info on these? The seller claims that the 2004 was the last model year with the "true" race liner and therefore that these boots will not feel as soft, nor pack in as easily. First I was not aware that they offered the 130 in a mid volume fit. Is this incorrect, or did Lange just discontinue this the 130 MF after 2004?

According to Ski Magazine (who keeps their past year's gear reviews on line) the 2004 130 Comp "lacks power at speed or on hard snow". This sounds a lot like you can flex the sucker out if you are a bigger/harder skiier?

I can get a pair of these for $ 225 shipped on eBay so I am thinking about picking them up at that price just in case my buckle on the Rossis finally blows up. That way I'd at least have something to ski on that didn't bust the budget while I took my time to find what a I really really want. Does this sound ok, or will I just be an unhappy camper on these?
post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
You don't need a forward stiff boot any more, you need a laterally (and rearward) stiff one.
Do still you think that's true if I am skiing long (193 GS) and fast? Lateral hold and backward flex seemed good in both the boots I tested, but I still am a bit of the old "bend-at-ze-knees" and crank skier on the groomers. I notice you ski the Flexon, have you tried those boots for that type of skiing?
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
If you think the XT, a plug, packed out, the Nordicas are going to re-define packing out. Those speedmachines are a high-volume boot. They fit well out of the box becuase the liner is taking up all of the volume. I'd advise you to seek out a hotrod, they aren't that stiff and have the dobie 130 last, with a softer liner and a softer flex. I deformed them in the shop, but I'm abnormal.... The XT is still much lower-volume.

I don't think you'll be happy with those speedmachines, just based on volume. The forward lean issue is definitely valid though.
Sorry, my old boots were the ICON XR (not XT). I have very wide feet and the XT would have been impossible.

The liner in the Speedmachine 14 & 12 is 100mm wide, barely enough for my wide feet. I have been told that the Hot Rod has the same "Performance Fit Liner" like the Speedmachine 14 & 12. And I can confirm that the Nordica liner is considerably thinner than the ICON XR liner. It will probably pack out a little, but I expect less than the old ICON XR.

I guess time will tell.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Do still you think that's true if I am skiing long (193 GS) and fast? Lateral hold and backward flex seemed good in both the boots I tested, but I still am a bit of the old "bend-at-ze-knees" and crank skier on the groomers. I notice you ski the Flexon, have you tried those boots for that type of skiing?
I was skiing the Flexon when I was still skiing 212 GS skis. Lateral control in a boot is going to give you much more out of a ski than a drive the knee forward type boot. If you are hell bent on skiing "old style", maybe you and "Glen Plake" (the handle, not the skier) should get together.
post #21 of 47
to answer the people who wrote me,

10, in RL1, in ZC.

I also have 4,5,6,7 in RL1 in ZB

we now return you to your original thread ...
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
As a racer, the whole lateral-flex-is-all-that's-important thing is IMO bs. .
Yes and i would add that this is also true for recreational skiers as well. It's all about finding the right flex.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Lateral control in a boot is going to give you much more out of a ski than a drive the knee forward type boot.
Agreed that lateral control is more important than flex. In a boot that is too wide/high-volume in the heel, ankle, or instep areas, I am far more worried than if I am in a well-fitting, softer boot. However, I remain a proponent of stiff boots. I don't really like it when the buckles bend/break from the shell deforming on a softer boot.

Not an issue on your kryptons, but I had it happen on some older icons. Heluva straight-out broke the cuff on a salomon race boot a few years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB
Sorry, my old boots were the ICON XR (not XT). I have very wide feet and the XT would have been impossible.

The liner in the Speedmachine 14 & 12 is 100mm wide, barely enough for my wide feet. I have been told that the Hot Rod has the same "Performance Fit Liner" like the Speedmachine 14 & 12. And I can confirm that the Nordica liner is considerably thinner than the ICON XR liner. It will probably pack out a little, but I expect less than the old ICON XR.

I guess time will tell.
That is a lot different. I think the statistic you are referring to is the width of the forefoot of the shell. I have never heard of a liner being measured. Anyway, I hope those work out for you. I am unfamiliar with the Icon XR, so I can't really tell you anything as far as how they compare. Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Anybody out there have any further info on these? The seller claims that the 2004 was the last model year with the "true" race liner and therefore that these boots will not feel as soft, nor pack in as easily. First I was not aware that they offered the 130 in a mid volume fit. Is this incorrect, or did Lange just discontinue this the 130 MF after 2004?

According to Ski Magazine (who keeps their past year's gear reviews on line) the 2004 130 Comp "lacks power at speed or on hard snow". This sounds a lot like you can flex the sucker out if you are a bigger/harder skiier?

I can get a pair of these for $ 225 shipped on eBay so I am thinking about picking them up at that price just in case my buckle on the Rossis finally blows up. That way I'd at least have something to ski on that didn't bust the budget while I took my time to find what a I really really want. Does this sound ok, or will I just be an unhappy camper on these?
Ignore ski magazine, the boot reviews are a bunch of bs. None of the retail langes have a "true" race liner, they put strange gel stuff around the ankles. The RL11 liner is very different. I'm not sure if they discontinued it or not, but I wouldn't get the MF. If you want the WC 130, get it in a race fit, you will be happier. I cannot stress enough that these boots have a TON of forward lean.

I wouldn't call them stiff, but I didn't deform the shell much either. Still, not a power boot at 195lbs.

I would spend the time to get the right boot the first time, rather than buying one that really isn't right just in case your current ones break. Again, IMO.
post #24 of 47
This is just a quick note about the Nordica Speedmachine 12. I skied them today and they remained comfortable all day. I never adjusted a single buckle in 5 hours of sking, and did not have to open any buckles on the lift rides (which I alwasy did with the ICON XRs to keep blood circulation and stay warm in the toes).

In the "HARD" setting (flex index of 120) they are extremely responsive. They are definitely stiffer than my old ICON XR boots and the rear support is incredible. This is a lotta boot for 165lbs skier no matter how you look at it.

In the bumps the HARD setting was a little too much for me. I set them to SOFT (flex index 110) and skied bumps for about 1.5 hours very comfortably. By the way, the difference between 120 and 110 flex is VERY obvious. Even rear support mellows a bit in the 110 setting. I was impressed.

So far I am very happy. I am glad I did not get the Speedmachine 14 (130-120 flex index). They would have felt like cement blocks in the HARD setting. Unless one is very heavy or a racer, I see no point in being manhandled by one's boots.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Anybody out there have any further info on these? The seller claims that the 2004 was the last model year with the "true" race liner and therefore that these boots will not feel as soft, nor pack in as easily. First I was not aware that they offered the 130 in a mid volume fit. Is this incorrect, or did Lange just discontinue this the 130 MF after 2004?

According to Ski Magazine (who keeps their past year's gear reviews on line) the 2004 130 Comp "lacks power at speed or on hard snow". This sounds a lot like you can flex the sucker out if you are a bigger/harder skiier?

I can get a pair of these for $ 225 shipped on eBay so I am thinking about picking them up at that price just in case my buckle on the Rossis finally blows up. That way I'd at least have something to ski on that didn't bust the budget while I took my time to find what a I really really want. Does this sound ok, or will I just be an unhappy camper on these?
I bought a pair of these exact 130s last month, most likely from the same seller. I couldn't find the 120 in my size so I figured I would try them. I was surprised at how progessive the flex is compared to my GX9s (without the tongue stiffener inserted!).

Everybody says a how stiff they are but to me they feel better than what I am used to and I only weight about 160 and I'm out of shape!

You can also remove the bolts from the rear to soften them up a bit. Some people don't recommend doing that, but I did and they feel pretty good. I haven't skied them yet though. I still need to get aligned and tweak my footbeds. The forward lean is a bit much. I may grind down the spoiler after skiing them a while.
post #26 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I was skiing the Flexon when I was still skiing 212 GS skis. Lateral control in a boot is going to give you much more out of a ski than a drive the knee forward type boot. If you are hell bent on skiing "old style", maybe you and "Glen Plake" (the handle, not the skier) should get together.
I actually do a combination of both old and new technique depending on the ski and snow conditions.

On hard snow I still do the forward carve initiation with a slightly more balanced stance than of old. Here I favor race skis, I have a pair of atomic GS:11 race stocks and am looking for a pair of SL:11's.

On softer snow I have given myself over to the new technique since I am finding that you just can't carve on skis that have 24m sidecuts and 90plus mm under foot. Here I have adopted to a slide from edge to edge with a centered stance, kind of like water skiing.

So I guess I am looking for a boot that will do a little of both, which may not be possible. While I ended up buying the Lange 130's and I think these will be ok for free skiing on hard snow especially at colder temperatures, I am also now looking at a Garmont Adrenaline or a Scarpa Tornado for hiking for powder.

Could this the advent of the 2 boot quiver?
post #27 of 47
I have skied the Lange 130 LF for the last two years, and find the flex ideal for all mountain skiing. If I was racing I would step up to the 150 (plug). I am 6'2" and 190 lbs for reference.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
So I guess I am looking for a boot that will do a little of both, which may not be possible. While I ended up buying the Lange 130's and I think these will be ok for free skiing on hard snow especially at colder temperatures, I am also now looking at a Garmont Adrenaline or a Scarpa Tornado for hiking for powder.

Could this the advent of the 2 boot quiver?

pull out the rivits for sofer snow and colder temps?
post #29 of 47
I took the PSIA-E get in gear course at Bristol NY, and we explored something interesting about rental boots. When we skied them as issued they felt as soft as sneakers, but when we put our footbeds in, and removed excess volume they felt considerably stiffer, although still not as stiff as our regular boots. We also showed the by removing excess volume by expedient methods-e.g. trial maps around the cuff or instep, the boot also appeared to stiffen considerably. The apparent stiffness of your boot will be related to the goodness of your bootfit.
post #30 of 47
Thread Starter 

Lange 130 Comps: mini review

So I am just back from a 5 day try out in SLC and thought I would report back on the Lange 130's. They do stiffen up considerably in the cold, but when they are warm I just can't get over the fact that the shells almost bend like pretzels (I have some concerns about long term usage in this regard). The fit is pretty tight but not overly constrictive in the cold, you can actually feel the boot stiffen up when it hits the snow in the parking lot.

They work ok in a free skiing context, lateral control and rearward flex were good, but if I were doing gates I would want something stiffer (even when cold I managed to flex them out a couple of times in the moguls). That said, they are a lot more comfortable than my old race boots, so much so that I find myself leaving the boots on and buckeled when taking a rest without noticing, which I could never do in my old boots. Needless to say, buckeling and unbuckeling before and after every run is no longer necessary.

Finally, since I am fundamentally still a very old school skier I actually like the high degree of forward lean, to me this just feels right in a boot, especially for skiing fast and for quick edge changes on the steeps. Call me a neanderthal if you will, but I like it when I can look down and find my nose right over the tips if the slope is steep. That said, these still work well with a centered stance as well, although if I were going totally new school on fatties I would definitely want something a little more balanced.

So an A+ on comfort and an A- for performance and we will have to see about packing in and durability.
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