Originally Posted by Merlyn
carvemeister - How would you compare the fit of the XT17 to the Falcon. I'm in the XT17, which fit my feet very well. However, I'm looking for something a little softer. Plus, getting out of the XT17's at the end of a cold (-15 C or colder) day is a fairly painful experience for me ...
The XT17's fit my feet very well out of the box as well. My XT's are a 27.5 but a 311mm sole length vs. the "apparently" smaller Falcon in a 27.0, but which has a "longer" 315mm sole.
I believe both sizes are correct for my foot though. The XT17 is very low, and narow in the toe area. I can barely move my toes even with the thinnest of socks even after having some grinding out done in that area. Given the ultra thin liner, this has led to some completely numb and painfully cold toes on frigid days. Not a problem if the weather is reasonable however. I probably could get some more grinding done to help this, but it's still a pretty cold boot.
The rest of the XT fit is great in the forefoot, cuff and heel. I have pretty narrow heels and average to thin calves.
I love the light feel and quick response of the XT though. The flex feels perfect for my 215 lbs for freeskiing and even racing - where they could probably use just a bit more beef. This was a much lighter, quicker, better skiing boot than my Icon Carbons.
I decided to get the Falcons after suffering through frigid toes at Killington Race camp in December. I tried a couple boots on at a good shop nearby but the bootfitter recommended the Falcon right away based on my slightly narrow foot shape. He seemed to be right.
They fit like a glove. Just slightly snugger in the heel and ankle area and very slightly narrower in the cuff. But the cuff height of the Falcon seems an inch or so higher on my leg, so that may be the reason. Plenty of room to move the buckles out for a wider calf though.
The forefoot width is perfect for me. A hair wider in the forefoot and over my instep but considerably higher, wider and a little bit longer in the toebox - which will be a lifesaver for me now (I think). The liner appears warmer than the XT liner and looks a bit thicker without being too cushy looking. It still looks like more of a race liner although not quite plug liner thin, thankfully.
The Falcon liner is far nicer than the XT though. Sturdier, more moisture repellant and far more anatomical. I can barely tell my right from left on the XT liners. But the Falcons are superbly sculpted with a leather tongue as well.
The Falcon 10 flex is very smooth. Smoother than the XT's flex and it has more range. But at least inside at room temperature, they feel very soft to me. I'd say 20-30% softer than the XT's on the living room floor. This was the reason I actually wanted to buy the Falcon Race initially. But the salesman told me the plastic used in the Falcon 10 was more temperature sensitive than the Race and would stiffen to more of a degree in the cold. So I think these will probably be just right when I get them out on the slopes - whenever the hell that might be. I don't plan on racing on these however. I will probably keep the XTs just for that.
Lateral and rearward stifness on the Falcons seems close and probably equal to the XT. Falcons have a better, wider power strap and plenty of buckle range. Stance on the Falcons seems to have just a bit more forward lean than the XT, and maybe a little bit more ramp angle - not much, if any.
I can't wait to try these bad boys. Might be a week or two though. I'll try to report my findings after I break them in a day or two. I think that covers it for now!
Oh, and BTW - at least inside the house, the Falcons are much easier to get on and off. The liners don't try to crawl inside the boot like the XT's do when putting them on. You don't even need to pull up on that tongue loop thingy - but that helps even more. When the XT's were cold, my feet would get clawed taking them off. Seemingly not a problem at all when removing the Falcons - no hard plastic vs skin that I could see. That's a bonus!