Here are a few points to ponder........(BTW I ski in a Hot Rod primarily and a Krypton Cross occasionally)
Kryptons are stiff laterally..........Sorry not true. This design never has been.
This is why (Vreni Schneider notwithstanding) the primary impact of the design in raceland was in speed where softer laterally was a good thing.
Shin bang doesn't happen..........Again not true. The things that cause shin bang are not primarily related to shell design. When I worked @ Squaw Valley in the mid 80's the Flexxon was vastly popular among the bump crowd, their wanna-be followers, and to a lesser extent among the nascent clan of big mountain skiers. (this was before they knew that's what they were)..............
Many had no issues, but quite a few did. If they did have a problem with it, shin bang was often the issue.
Narrow fit...............................No. This a medium fit with a moderately low instep and a medium (at best) heel. This boot as it is currently offered does not have much anatomic shape in the upper tube and is lacking in shell definition in the ankle areas. (this is being changed to some extent)
The Intuition liner is not a magic bullet either. This liner often needs very precise and extensive prep work on the foot before forming. It can, however, be very very good, but it is not automatic. In order to really make these work for a low volume foot or exceptionally narrow heel, I have occasionally made cork overlays for the liner.
Having said all these things, I want to assure everybody that this is a superb
design, it is just not quite magic. As others have said, this boot has a very progressive flex and is great at absorbing terrain weirdness. The adjustability and tuning features are more effective than most and the lateral stiffness is adequate for any of us that are not going to the Masters Nationals. For the skier whose reason for living is the rough and tumble conditions found in the off trail, this design is very very good. Naturally, as in all boots, the effectiveness of the design is more related to matching fit preferences than to any inherent superiority in design.
As to why any number of the Squaw Valley heroes are skiing in these, the answer is probably the same now as it was BITD........free boots fit and ski great.
As an aside.............I had my hands inside many many Raichle race boots and they were a far cry from the designs that were sold to the public. In many respects, the reason that the Flexxon design never worked well at the highest levels of racing is similar to the reason that the Tecnica "cutthroat" design was not very effective. The "open throat" robbed the boot of any possibility of the level of lateral stiffness necessary for that level of performance. The race versions had the rear "U-notch" filled with glass cloth that was then reinforced with rows of vertical rivets. Even with that, the open front was just not effective. I never saw one of Schneiders boots, but for two summers, I worked alongside a fitter with close ties to the Raichle race community. He said that her boots had an aluminum block that was very carefully machined to fit the rear "U-notch" and then installed with rivets.
Raceland...............stranger than fiction.............