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Boot Flex

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have the Lange Vector 5 and it has a flex of 70. I can flex the boot but will this boot due for racing? It worked fine this season and I weigh about 125.

post #2 of 19
One thing to keep in mind that the flex numbers boot makers give arn't standard across boot manufacturers. Atomic's race boots for instance have flex numbers of 9, 10 and 11 and they are the stiffest in the line.

I am not too familar with your boots off the top of my head but the thing to make sure is that the boot isn't too soft and it doesn't feel too mushy when you are racing it. If it's hard to feel your ski and fine tune the hold in a turn while you are skiing it may be too soft.

post #3 of 19
Yeah its probly too soft, racing requires a lot of foreward pressure and a flex index of 70 probly wont cut it. Id go to at least a 90 or a 100, but probly not over it based on your weight. Dont go past what become uncomfortable, but you will need a rather stiff boot. Dont cut corners looking for deals when youre buying boots. Its never worth it. Go try boots ona nd see what you can flex in the shop (remember that boots will stiffen as they get colder). My younger brother is about your weight and probly your size and he has a boot with a flex index of 100, and he doesnt race, but he prefers the stiffer boots. I myself also prefer stiffer boots and have always been in a race type boot. You should look at and try on as many boots as you can so you know what you want. You will find that a race boot will fit you very differently from a regular boot. Judging from your weight you will not want to move up into a very stiff boot but asomething slightly stiffer may be in store.

- as for the stiffness of boots not being a standard that is very true. I usually base all race boots to be relatively the same with a few being known to be stiffer than others, and then work my way down from there in order to compare models. My brother and i both ski on salomon boots. Mine are 120 and his are 100 (by salomons standards). Try each boot out and compare, make sure you find a good boot fitter that knows something about racing.

[ May 11, 2002, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: Heluvaskier ]
post #4 of 19
Hi NeedBB--

Those boots may be a little soft for you, especially for racing. But really, selecting and setting up boots is something that can't be done well over the Internet. There are far too many variables and inter-related factors involved.

Remember that stiffer boots are more precise, and softer boots are more forgiving. The purpose of a ski boot, of course, is to transmit your movements directly and precisely to the ski, AND to transmit feedback from the skis and snow back to your feet. To do these things, they have to fit well, support your feet and legs properly, keep you warm, and be sufficiently stiff.

A stiff boot will transmit your movements very quickly and precisely to the skis. That's great if your movements are accurate--but remember that stiff boots transmit your mistakes just as quickly and completely as your correct movements! That's why slightly softer boots may be better for less-skilled skiers.

Also, because boots hold our heels down and seriously restrict the range of motion of our ankles, skiers must learn to move in different ways than non-skiers when we flex and extend, in order to maintain fore-aft balance. Until these new skills and movements become refined and consistent, a little extra motion in the ankles from softer boots may help.

But if you are highly skilled, and need the precision that racing demands, you need a reasonably stiff boot. The stiffer the boot, the more important it becomes that it is correctly set up for you, with forward lean, "ramp angle" (inside the boot), and "delta angle" (angle of the boot as it sits on your bindings) all playing critical roles. You simply won't be able to move correctly if stiff boots are incorrectly set up!

Please do not take these words to imply that you should be pressing forward on the tongues of those stiff boots--usually. Today's skis generally respond best to pressure centered over their "sweet spot"--which usually means that you want to be centered on your foot, neutral in the cuff. From this centered stance, stiff boots allow you to adjust pressure fore-and-aft very quickly, subtly, and when necessary, powerfully. They also allow you to quickly regain your balance when you lose it.

One thing that boots do NOT need to be able to do--contrary to popular opinion and "conventional wisdom"--is FLEX to control your skis! Your skis respond to pressure. They really don't care whether your boots are bent or not! And stiffer boots will give you more immediate and direct control of that pressure--IF you are in balance, properly aligned, and have the skills. Do not believe those who tell you that you must be able to flex your boots deeply as you go through a turn. It ain't so! The latest trendy belief (read "misconception") is that today's shorter, softer skis with deep sidecuts, for some reason, require softer-flexing boots. Nope--they STILL just respond to pressure, not "flex"!

It isn't even so in moguls. While stiff boots are notorious for causing bad "shin-bang" in bumps, if you learn to move correctly, you will not bang your shins even in the gnarliest of bumps. Yes, a LITTLE "give" will again soften the blows when we make mistakes. But hey--who makes mistakes!?

Like I said--it's a tough call to prescribe the "right" boot for anyone over the Internet.

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #5 of 19
Modern race boots don't have to be as stiff as the race boots of a few years ago. The new skis/new technique doesn't pressure the tip and tail of the ski as radically as was required on "straight" skis. Also some of the newer boot design have bi-injection shells which allows stiiffer plastics to be molded into the sides of the boot. This makes the boot stiffer laterally, thats where you really need the stiffness.

You aren't heavy enough to use a full on race boot. You should get a junior race boot (New Lange world cup team for example) or a adult model 2 steps down in stiffness from their adult race boot. These boots are usually called an all mountain expert boots. Get some one to work with you on flex and fit.
post #6 of 19
Although I'm no a racer, I do use a "junior" racing boot, the Rossignol Race 1 Junior. It has a flex adjuster in the back that allows two different degrees of flex, and it really works. I keep it on the softer setting, because, as Bob Barnes said, it's more forgiving while being plenty stiff enough for me. The reason I use that kids' race boot is because I weigh 145 pounds and am a so-so skier, but I like the closer fit of the racing model. It's the best fitting boot I've ever had. Of course, I use a custom foot bed and the boot has been "tweaked" from here to Eternity, so it realy, REALLY fits.

Let us know which way you go on this.
post #7 of 19
I've always had race boots, but with the new trend being for soft forward flex, I got some salomon X-wave 9s...and have never really liked them. Far too soft, I keep murdering the fronts without being aware of it (numb shins from shin splints operation some years back).
Will probably go back to stiffer boots next time around.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I just looked and my boot has a FLEX OF 50!!! Would the LANGE L10 RACE TEAM with a flex of 70 do?
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 19
Need BB,
If you are of racer ability, then going to a race boot would be a good idea, BUT, reading your other thread about bindings on a budget, I think you need to start looking at your finances first, and deciding how much you can afford to spend.
I'm of the opinion that a well fitted pair of suitable boots will make a bigger difference to your skiing than any other equipment - skis, bindings, etc.
So, my suggestion is: get to a good bootfitter, and spend your money on boots, then next year think about other equipment.

post #11 of 19
The Lange L10 Race TEAM is listed at 100 if I remember. This would be too stiff for your weight unless you are VERY good and experienced. The regular version of the L10 is listed at 90 and would probably be fine. Remember that the flex index is not a standard measurement between brands.

I raced a little on some old soft langs last year and finaly bought better boots this year. My skiing instantly improved because I had so much more edge control. I initialy thought I wanted the L10 but ended up with Atomic's 10.50Ti.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
No they are the junior version with a flex of 70. I would like to keep my 02 Vector 5 if it will not greatly effect my GS and SL performance.

post #13 of 19
Remember that lateral stiffness is just as much, if not more important than forward flex. While forward pressure initiates a turn, it is the lateral pressure that maintains much of the edge control, especialy in slalom where you roll from edge to edge quickly. This is more true with todays sidecuts.
If you can, try a stiffer boot of a friends to determine how much flex you want. Just don't let the friend's boots comfort affect your decision.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
So would a the L10 junior version due? My Vector 5 has a flex of 50 and is the cheapest/lowest model lange makes.

post #15 of 19
The hallmark of the L-10 series is a firmer liner that will give you the "instant" response when you roll em on edge. The recent versions of that liner, both junior and regular, are that they are heat molded to your foot ..... and can be re-heated if you grow or change socks.

The best part is that response ..... when you move, the ski moves. There is little delay lost like with a spongy liner. I moved up from a mid version Lange and there IS a difference...... and a lot more comfort too. That came as a suprise.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Question L10 jr. vs Banshee Pro: Which one?
post #17 of 19
While a stiffer boot does transfer your moves to the ski more precisely, along with mistakes, one must also take into account one's physique (sp?). A Salomon flex of 115 was too much for me, but it may be too little for someone else. I'm just too dang short. There's not enough length and therefore leverage from ankle to knee to bend those suckers. I had the weight but not the height. I've lost about 20# so it would be even worse now. I remember concentrating hard on staying forward and still they would throw me into the backseat in certain situations. I got them deflexed a bit and that solved the problem. My skis still respond instantly to what I tell them to do. The notion that you have to have the stiffest boot in the world to be precise and if you don't you aren't a good skier or something is wrong with your skiing is a sad concept. What's right for you? As Bob says there are too mnay variables to consider without going to a boot specialist.
post #18 of 19
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:

One thing that boots do NOT need to be able to do--contrary to popular opinion and "conventional wisdom"--is FLEX to control your skis! Your skis respond to pressure. They really don't care whether your boots are bent or not! And stiffer boots will give you more immediate and direct control of that pressure--IF you are in balance, properly aligned, and have the skills. Do not believe those who tell you that you must be able to flex your boots deeply as you go through a turn. It ain't so! The latest trendy belief (read "misconception") is that today's shorter, softer skis with deep sidecuts, for some reason, require softer-flexing boots. Nope--they STILL just respond to pressure, not "flex"!

OK - you seem to know your stuff - so can I ask a couple of questions? Thanks
(we don't really have a particularly good range of bootfitters here)

I have been told I have poor range of dorsoflexion.(about 15degrees) One person insists that this means I should be in a STIFF boot. Another insists a more upright but not quite so stiff boot is the answer, to let me use my available range of dorsiflexion.

Any ideas?

Also I understand the need for a stiff boot laterally - but does a boot need to be stiff fore/aft? ie if the new soft boots worked as decribed would they be useful?

I have really dodgy feet(have an orthotic with 9/10 correction for walking - podiatrist REFUSES to make a ski orthotic - not his area) I am getting very different messages & am getting confused

post #19 of 19
Well, allow me to stick my foot in my mouth once again. What Bob points out is quite true. However there is some reservation here and there. A tremendous forward lean tends to cause some people to compensate which causes them to sit back. Part of this may be skill or lack thereof; part may be due to physical make up of the skier.

Fore/aft stiffness definately will impart more or less instataneous control to the skis. Do you need this much instantaneous impartation? As we get older we lose some of our reflexes. We cannot respond as quickly as some of you younger bucks! The younger fellas don't believe this. Give us old fogies a break. This is why my boots are now down around 90 or so instead of 115 or higher. Lateral stiffness is a must, in my opinion.

When I hear of the softer boot needed for the shaped skis, I take this with a grain of salt... or perhaps 3 or 4 grains! It all depends on your own reflex actions, if you are racing, or what ever else you are doing on the slopes. My employer has mentioned that my balance is fine. I also took a level 2 class in which I did very well and learned much. The instructor was pleased with my performance and attitude. But then,... do I race? No. I don't have the reflexes nor the skills for racing. I leave that to you younger, invincible guys to lead the way. More powr to ya!

What will be a good combo for you... ski. boot, binding, ability, usage, age. Unfortunately all this can be a alot of trial and error which costs buckazoids, big time. But then some fall right into what works for them. ... Lucky stiffs!

Such a pain ain't it? But we love it!
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