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New Boot Selection, Fit, and Alignment

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
For those who helped or may be otherwise interested in boot fitting and alignment stories:

Well I'm back from trying on the Nordica Aggressor 100, Lange FR 120, and the Tecnica Diablo Race Pro 110. The narrow, 95 mm last on the Aggressor would have taken a LOT of work to make it work for me so it was ruled out. BTW (especially for Steve), the offset toe did make a visible difference in my alignment. As expected, it clearly improved the tracking on my right (previously 2 degrees "in") and made my left (previously 1.5 degrees "out") somewhat worse.

Both the Lange and Tecnica fit pretty well. The fit of the Tecnica, however, was a little less aggressive at the heel but still quite snug, and in fact a bit snugger in the forefoot. Also, I had some concern about the higher cuffs on the Lange. The initial problem with the Tecnica was that it had more forward lean than my previous boots and I felt like it was too much. However, after realizing the rear spoiler (velcroed to the back of the liner) could be removed I found the forward lean to be pretty close to what I had previously used in setting up my old boots (that had adjustable forward lean).

So, with that I got the Tecnica 110. After deciding, I was pleased to also learn the Diablo has polyether plastic in the upper half of the lower shell and the entire cuff - a very positive attribute I think. For now I did not have any grinding or blowing out of the shell. The cuff adjustment let my lower legs come closer to being centered but not quite (I'd say 60/40 or so). If anything I expect I may need the medial ankle areas blown out on the shell to give a little more ankle mobility but I will ski them for a week before I decide. Hopefully, I can get by for a week in Aspen without having to pay for any mods but the need for some minor shell work should be the worst case. I have taken out the upper bolt holding the cuff to the lower shell in order to slightly soften the boot. This, I think, will make it a little easier to break in. After skiing it I can decide if I want the second bolt back in order to bring it back to a 110 flex. I expect I might.

I will however, work on my (lateral) alignment and may try to get that finalized in Aspen. A quick (lateral) alignment check seemed to verify that I continue to need 2 degrees thick side cants on the right and 1.5 degrees thick side out on the left to get my knees to center and track straight ahead during flexion. I may try to see if Eric Ward's (footfoundation.com) SBS/internal canting system can give me what I need. I am doubtful, however, based on my previous attempts at internal canting (with a previous boot having 3 degrees of cuff canting available for support this approach) as well as the general consensus that you just can't get alignment correct with internal canting. However, a couple of simple shims inside the boot is just so attractive it may be worth another try. If not, there are a few places in Aspen where I can get the boots planed, lifters installed, and the toe/heel routed to din as soon as I verify my alignment during a week on snow using temporary canting wedges between the boot and bindings.

Also, I will evaluate my fore/aft alignment on slope. Hopefully I can find some help on this if needed, as these boots don't have much adjustment (Zeppa or forward lean) that I can play with. I don't think it will be practical to put temporary heel or toe shims under the boot if I already have temporary lateral canting shims there (binding tolerances). My feeling is that I should get the lateral canting done first and then look at any ramp angle changes that might be needed. Any thoughts on this?

That's it for now. Hope that some may find this helpful.
post #2 of 13
Yes the Diablo has polyether plastic. It is thin, though...
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sywsyw View Post
Yes the Diablo has polyether plastic. It is thin, though...

Do you think it's a problem?
post #4 of 13
Si, a thinner plastic is only a problem if you need a punch or grind in some area that doesn't have enough plastic to give it. Otherwise, its all about weight. So, once again, it depends on your fit and the extent of modifications you need.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Si, a thinner plastic is only a problem if you need a punch or grind in some area that doesn't have enough plastic to give it. Otherwise, its all about weight. So, once again, it depends on your fit and the extent of modifications you need.
Thanks Cirgue,
The boot fitter I went to felt that while the shell on the Diablo is too thin for a lot of grinding it punches quite well (and easily). I wasn't worried as I don't need any major plastic moved and maybe none at all. Of course I'll know much better after skiing these a few days. I gotta say, that I expect the break-in is going to be a lot easier with the warm weather that is predicted for Aspen next week when I'm skiing.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I got one email on this so I thought I'd just add it in. I got these for 40% off - $400. From a quick check on the web this is the better than anything I can quickly find. At least there's some advantage to living in Michigan : . I'm sure they'll go down more as the season draws to a close but I didn't have any choice.
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by Si View Post
Do you think it's a problem?
only if you need a lot of grinding... and that is the way the Race Pro was designed to work. It fits very well wothout the need for custom grinding. IMO it accomodates medium volume feet best.

I have a D width forefoot with a medium-narrow heel and i can tell you that the Diablo Pro fits my foot very well. IMO it fits C, D and E width feet very well. It does not fit AAA, AA ,A or B feet very well (IMO).
If your foot is narrower than C/D i recommend the Race R (the true plug). It is narrower and fits narrower feet very well.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Good info sywsyw,

I have a B/C forefoot which is also low volume and the Diablo seems to fit pretty well. Also, the bootfitter mentioned that he finds this to be a boot that a pretty wide range of feet can fit into (much more so than the Lange FR 120 or Agressor). I don't know about an E width foot fitting into this though?

For someone like me, who's going to use this boot for some backcountry and climbing, though, a true plug with an even thinner liner doesn't seem like an option. I think this boot is just about the limit (in terms of a sub-race boot) of what I would consider for what I do. Luckily, I don't have a super narrow foot that requires a full-on plug.
post #9 of 13

If the Diablo fits well, keep it. If the heel pocket holds your heel very well i see no reason to get another boot.

Now Tecnica offers two models: the Pro for those with medium and slightly wider feet (which can fit into the Pro with some grinding like an E width foot) and the R for those with narrow feet. It depends on your needs. The Race R is the true plug, so what? That shouldn't scare people away. It is just a narrower version of the Pro with the same geometry. If i had an AAA, AA, A or B width foot i would look at the Race R. If i had a C, D or even E width foot i would look at the Pro. The difference in fit is that the R is narrower in the heel, mid foot and forefoot than the Pro. The instep height is the same. They simply thinned out from the R. The Pro is about 2mm wider in the heel than the R on the medial side and 2mm on the lateral side thus the thin plastic. The Pro is like a pre-ground plug.

Back in the days of the XT we only had only one race boot choice based on a narrow last.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks sywsyw ,

Perhaps you can answer one more question for me. Historically I've been told that Tecnica's have a lot of forward lean. When I tried on the Diablo Race Pro 100 I very much was able to see and feel that. When I removed the spoiler, however, I found the lean to be closely comparable to the setting (a little more forward lean than mid-setting) on my old boot (which I had on the other foot), said to be a fairly upright boot.

Do you by chance have numbers for the forward lean with and w/o spoiler?
post #11 of 13
The rear spoiler is credited with 2 degrees of forward lean. I was told that the Race Pro is at 18 degrees (with the spolier). It is at 16 without it. I don't know how to measure the forward lean. I don't think that knowing the exact numbers will help us. What really matters is the geometry. I like the geometry of the Diablo. Without the rear spoiler it is very close to the XT IMO. With the rear spoiler it has more forward lean but w/o it is very similar.

Yes the XT had more forward lean. I noticed that many (ok most) boots on the market today have more forward lean and only a few high performance boots have less. The Nordica HR/Dobie have less forward lean (but with more ramp). Same goes for the Head RD/RS (semi-plug). I don't know if the same thing goes for the Raptor. The Atomic RT, the Lange WC and (apparently) the new Salomons have more forward lean with more or less ramp angle. It depends on your needs. I know that the ramp and forward lean can be modified (other things too) but IMO it is best to find a boot which matches the needs of the skier. Why? Because there aren't many good bootfitters who can modify the boots.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
As an experiment I measured the distance between the compressed interior edges of the back of the liner (w/o spoiler) at the top of the boot with the boots back to back (7.75"). I subtracted off the distance between heels (estimated 1"). Then I took the difference (6.75), divided it by 2, and divided it into the height of the cuff above the footbed (12").

Although there was some approximation with this, it resulted in an ARCTAN of .28125 or an angle of 15.7 degrees. Pretty close to 16 eh!
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I received a PM about whom I worked with on my boots. The only person I am comfortable with in the wider Detroit area is Mick from the Ski Co. in Rochester, Michigan. Mick may not offer the full range of services that Bud Heishman or Jeff Bergeron do but he is a capable boot fitter and understands the basics of boot alignment. The Ski Co. also offers higher end boots and skis that are not all that common here in this area.

Also, their end of year sales are early and substantial!

I don't go there regularly anymore (I did when my kids were younger and we needed new gear for somebody all the time) but I do not know of anyone as competent in this area.

The only person that I knew in Ann Arbor whom I knew to be competent is not in the business anymore.

Edit: One other point, I am fairly knowledgable and know how I want to approach things. Mick is very accommodating in this repsect. However, if someone comes in and needs a lot of guidance he can do that as well. This is something that can't be said of all the "ski boot guru's" I've talked with. Of course, our Epic Ski bootfitters seem to be open in this way as well. I'm sorry I don't live close to any of them.
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