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Is a new age of soft boots dawning?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I wonder it the freestyle boots, like the Salomon SPK, are going to become more mainstream just like twin-tips did after the Salomon 1080. The two are sort of comparable in that both represent an innovation that simplifies things. Just when it seemed like elaborate carving innovations like K2's Mod technology, Salomon Pro Links, and Volkl/Marker Piston system where the thing to get, twin tips and fat all mountain twins all of a sudden took over, offering a simpler, hipper, and more comfortable to ski design, especially for big mountain and powder, and for those who dared, pipe and park.

The two buckle, snowboard-esque boot design, especially in the leather-bound SPK Pro Model, present a comfortable, freestyle oriented experience, that people are beginning to see will work all over the mountain. One could argue that for top performance you will definitely need something stiffer, but the first pair of Salomon 1080's were not heralded as a ski for conquering all mountain terrain, rather as a product that was letting the pros push the limits in the park and pipe, as well as carve well enough to ski from the lift to the park entrance.
post #2 of 7
The SPK looks to me like exactly like the 80's alpine touring boots.
I have always been looking for a boot to jump with that would have 10 cm higher upper shell than a racing boot. That would eliminate the need to put plastic sheets in the boot shaft to even out pressure from bad landings.

"80's style" alpine touring boot.
http://www.scialp.it/notizie/scarpon...ch/koflach.htm

Current alpine touring boot.
http://www.ems.com/catalog/subcatego...=1192513570428

Oldschool galore? Hotdogging?
http://twintipnation.com/shop/07_sal...ot_pr_150.html
post #3 of 7
What goes around comes around. Here's a Raichle Snowboarder hardboot from yesteryear - an uncanny likeness!



More details:
http://www.alpinecarving.com/boot_models.html
post #4 of 7
Totally thought this was going to be another Hawx thread.
post #5 of 7
Salomon are working on a Falcon/Impact derived SPK with other factories due to follow suit.
post #6 of 7
The boots that popped into my mind when reading this thread were the Krypton, Il'moro and Rampage models. The Storm that I'm skiing in is soft enough, and they've added the Kryzma to the women's line as a stiffer version, but I'm seeing a bunch of interest in these softer boots.

But them I'm a Krypton Storm kinda girl.
post #7 of 7
Counterpoint: Obviously, softer is better for hiking or absorbing irregularities, it definitely forgives mediocre technique, and it'll give boot makers a new advertising tool to pry open your wallet. Again. I own a pair of Sollie Guns for most of above reasons. But Wave of the Future?

Didn't Al Gore just won the Nobel for his efforts to get the word out to even dummies like us that the climate is, ah, changing? Skipressworld, Sports Illustrated etc. are publishing unsettling predictions about what Whistler or Davos will look like in a decade. So what future are we talking about? Where is this snow that AT wannabes will be hiking to, and why will it be soft instead of sun baked crust?

OK, you could argue that all that crud will help sales of soft boots. To intermediates.

But beyond that, having hiked to that chute or ridge, I may be hitting some seriously unfriendly conditions at decent speed, and the last thing I want is a boot that'll wait a few extra beats to transmit my commands to my ski. Notice in fact that AT boots are getting stiffer and beefier year by year, probably to reflect the higher demands placed on them by good skiers in bad conditions. Just my .02
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