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First impressions of XT17's

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Got my XT17's delivered this afternoon. The first impression was a fierce metatarsal (?) bite when putting them on - ouch! Actually, that was my second impression. The first was how incredibly short it was at 26.5 compared to my 27.5 Icons. I mean I battled to get them on, pushing as hard as I could. Finally figured that I probably would have better luck if I first removed the wad of paper stuck in the toe which turned the boot from a 303mm to about a 200mm. Got my foot in and buckled using the sequence I read a few weeks ago which involved lifting the liner while pushing the heel back - then buckling the top two, flexing, securing the bottom buckles and then tightening to taste. What an amazing feel to this boot. The rear half of my foot felt cemented into the heel pocket, and the sensation around the ankle was like a blood pressure cuff that was just one squeeze shy of pain. That part of the foot felt great - no pressure points or dead spots. Front of the boot is a bit more problematic. I think I got a good shell fit given the ability to grind this boot. When flexing forward slightly, a tight one finger behind heel with big toe just kissing the front. Forefoot/ball ever so slightly contacting the shell. Put boots on to test flex. What a different experience. I had read a lot about the "flex pattern" of this boot but had no idea what this meant until I put them on. The tongue is right up to the shin, unlike the Icon which the fitter had to build up for my boney lowers. Consequently, the boot immediately engages. But the flex is where the magic is. Silky smooth, seamless and silent. It almost feels like it is an articulated extention of the foot. My Icons, by comparison, are balky, grabby and almost ratchet-like. The XT17 flexes willingly while the Icon bitches about it. The forward angulation seems about the same, but my sense is that the XT17 is a far more efficient boot because the cuff is bonded to the shin, while in the Icon requires the ankle to flex some distance before it actually engages, making the leg a much less efficient lever. I had seriously blooded shins from the Icons because I had to push so hard and forward to engage the boot. Bad physics=bad technique.Those days are over. No doubt, the forward angle is aggressive. I might want a more upright stance which I understand can be achieved with some cutting. Not ready to do that quite yet. XT17 seems a bit lower that the Icon, and certainly lighter. The only fit issue so far may be the toe box (if that is what you call it). When standing "upright," the big toe is rather crammed against the front of the boot. When flexed relatively aggressively, the toe retreats but still contacts. After about 45 minutes my two big toes started going a bit numb. Still the heel and ankle felt great. So I took them off - and got bit again (dang!). Did the shell fit thing again. While I am no expert, the fit seems right. So I put the liner on with my Surefoot insoles. The liner might be the problem. My big toes are pretty much crammed against the liner front and start pulsating within a few minutes. Other toes are snug but not painful. So I replaced the Surefoot with the stock footbed thinking that the this might "lengthen" the liner. Not so. Bottom line is that I have never felt a ski boot like this. It seems just so much more "organic" or glove-like than the Icon, at least for those of us with Tecnica feet. But what do I do about the liner. Is the toe section likely to pack out or stretch enough to use them or is there a replacement liner that might be a bit more boxy. Should I just wear the liners around the house, to embarass my teenagers and stretch the toe area? I definitely do not want to start grinding on the shell toe if it seems that the issue is the liner, which seems to be the deal since my big toe goes numb as quickly in the liner alone as it does in inthe liner/boot. These really are quite the gear. Can not wait to get this issue resolved and get into them. Thanks for reading and replies. David
post #2 of 7
Aren't they great?

I tried them with a Booster today, and the shin fit gets even better...

You might work to try to narrow down that liner in the toe area. Mine has begun to pack out there (after about 60 days), but it is still snug. Keep your nails SHORT!

You may want to get a new insole made, but the custom will shorten your foot since it fills in the arch.
post #3 of 7
The size is probably right. So stop worring about that!

Regarding the toe box issue, the standard liner does not have a neoprene toe box. This is the problem IMO. My foot was crammed agoinst the front of the boot, too. The solution is a neoprene toe box. IMO all boots should have it, especially the race boots. Keep in mind that the XT is not a new boot and the liner hasn't been changed. Now most race boots have a neoprene toe box. I understand why you do not want to grind the shell.

IMO, you should go to a good bootfitter and ask him to replace the material used for the toe section with neoprene. And believe me, this will make a world of difference. I am using a liner with a neoprene toe box and i do not need to make room for the big toe. Or you could buy a new liner with a neoprene toe box. But i do not think you like the second option. If you could find one cheap...

post #4 of 7
I agree that the standard XT has a bit of FWD lean, but it is nothing like the diablos. I would like to clarify one thing, though. If you want to have a more upright stance, i suggest you raise the toe of the binding with shims or put a lifter under the toe of the boot. My boot is more upright now b/c i cut the thick high spine. This was just one of the benefits. If i wanted to make it more upright, i would put shim(s) under the toe of the binding (it is the easiest thing to do IMO) and the other option would be to put a lifter under the toe of the boot. But i would consider this the second option b/c if you add a lifter under the toe, you will have to modify the toe lug to be din compatible.
post #5 of 7
I have a 3mm lifter under the toe of my XTs; makes 'em even better (flattens the ramp and maintains the forward lean at that nice, comfortable angle).
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Jamie, I will check with the boot fitter about the liner mod you suggest. Where can you get a replacement liner? Seems to I read that you particularly liked one from another Tec boot which you gave away. ssh, i like the idea of the 3mm toe lift to change the angle and will give that a go. I am beginning to understand why this boot might be a candidate for cult status.
post #7 of 7
Yes i like the Diablo Race R lace-up liner (same as the Dobie Race line w/ laces). I kept this liner and sold the shells.

I think that it wouldbe best to talk to youe bootfitter first. Perhaos he can do what i said. A neoprene toe box WILL make a huge difference, and you probably won't have to make room for the big toe.
The other idea was to get another liner (any liner which has a neoprene toebox). If you decided to go this way, you have one advantage: you can choose the liner you want. You can get a liner with slightly more padding if you want... But IMO it would be best if your boot fitter can mod the XT liner.
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