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boots too soft?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have buyer's remorse. I just bought new boots. After I got home I visited the mfgr's website and discovered more info about them, and fear I have bought boots that are too soft (forward flex wise) for skiing the way I ski on the terrain and snow I ski on. So I have the details below, and three questions.

I race in a night league. I'm zooming through the gates every night for 10-11 weeks. I race in another league that has 5 more races. I am a new racer, but I'm better than most women my age anyway, and I'm getting faster. (Nastar golds and platinums, but I'm old and female so take this with a grain of salt.)
I ski in New England. Most of my skiing is on groomed and re-groomed man-made hard snow. Think icy. Very hard snow.
When I'm freeskiing, I like to go fast. I've gotten good at that, especially since I bought some very stiff Atomics that the guys said I couldn't bend (R11s), but evidently I do. Again, we're talking hard snow here.
New Hampshire where I ski has not been getting good powder lately, and since I've been here there hasn't been any off-piste skiing available where I ski all the time.

My previous boots were very stiff. While out on the snow I couldn't get them to bend at all. (Atomic T-9s.) People advised me to get boots with more forward flex to see if my performance on snow might get even better. So when the liners wore out I went boot shopping, thinking more forward flex.

There were two options. Stiff upperlevel boots for advanced/expert skiers (which I'm told by my ski club is what I am, and they see me ski every weekend) or softer flex boots (which two instructors who've seen me ski twice told me I needed; granted they are more knowledgeable about skiing in general). I needed to demo, but that just wasn't going to happen around here (NH) for boots. So what I hoped I would find was an upper level boot for advanced/expert skiers which I could flex in the store somewhat more than my current boot. This put the two opposing views together nicely, at least theoretically. But unfortunately it didn't work out that way.

I went to two bootfitters. The first bootfitter listened a long time to me and said I needed an upper level boot whose flex was not soft-he said if it fitted properly I could flex it, and the problem with the old boot is that it did not fit me correctly. He put me in a high performance woman's Technica with a tall cuff and a similar Lange, neither of which flexed any more than my Atomics. He thought both these boots would be good for me, but he wanted to put me in one more Lange that had not come into the store yet that might fit a bit better. He was of the opinion that I would not be happy in a soft boot, no matter what anyone said, based on my descriptions of my skiing (I crank the boot buckles very tight as I begin any descent, then loosen them for the ride back up because my feet get very very very cold - clearly I am cutting off circulation to get the foot-ski response I want.) That Lange that we were waiting for had a flex at 110 or 120, I forget. It still has not come in. His shop is much larger than the second bootfitter's shop, and he has many more boots so I've tried on lots during my three visits to him.

But I continued to remember that there was the opposing advice of more flex. Evidently my stance is back and I need to get it more forward somehow, either by force of will and practice or adjustment in the boots. So while waiting for his other boot to arrive, I went to another bootfitter in town with whom I've worked on the Atomic T9s. I wondered if he would agree with this first bootfitter. But no---he told me he thought based on my story that I needed a softer boot. He is a well-informed bootfitter, and we worked well together in the past, so I was willing to trust him. He showed me several boots (smaller selection in the store, remember), and I just decided to trust his advice, get the indecision over with, and do it. He told me the boot I was looking at was at the top of the non-pro line. I bought Lange Exclusiv FR 8 boots (Exclusiv=women, FR= FreeRide, 8=flex). It felt good, and promised to be warm. (I suspect he didn't have stiffer flex Langes in stock, so he gave me what he had, but I didn't think of that while standing there.) As I stood at the counter paying, the doubt crept in.

At home I got on the Lange website. They label skiers "good" (8) "excellent" (110) "expert" (110) for this line of boots. The ones I bought are for "good" skiers, which in this system must mean intermediate or less. Also, these boots are for powder as well as hard snow, and I'm not going to be in powder at all, nor am I going to be hucking off cliffs. I don't know if the design for "FreeRide" will affect my performance on the rigid snow I always ski on. I really think I have the wrong boot.

1. Am I right? Are these boots wrong for me (in terms of flex & "freeride" design features?)? I am 5' 5", 130 lbs, female. My bare feet bend forward very nicely at the ankles, by the way.
2. If yes, then how do I return the boots? They have been altered slightly. I have boot heaters attached to my footbeds; the bootfitter punched a hole down at the heel in each liner to allow the heater wire to go through it. It seems a better thing, if I try to return them, to do it without having skied in them so they won't be scratched up and dirty.
3. Can the boot flex be adjusted to be more stiff?
post #2 of 15
did you try a stiffer boot on then the langes? could you flex it? If you could maybe go up a model, maybe stay with what you have. Keep in mind that most boots stiffen A LOT in the cold too.
2) ask the store about returns, each store has differnet policies
3) a bit with a booster strap, or a second power strap (one on the liner, one around the shell). or a plate in the front of the boot. Again they will stiffen up a lot in the cold
post #3 of 15
The first red-flag I see is that you "have to crank-down to get performance". You shouldn't have to.

Is his your boot? - http://www.my-dynastar.com/product.p...t=92&acturub=7

What size boot do you have?
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, that is the boot. I have not skied in these boots yet. It was the old Atomic T9s that I cranked down. The size of this new boot is 24.5.
post #5 of 15
good call epic:

Liquid: 24.5 = mens 7-8 shoe = ladies 8-9 shoe usually. Boots too big for you?

what is the shell fit like?

remove the liner, toes touching the front of the shell, you should have 5-15mm behind your heel and the boots shell.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Fit is fine. I wear 8 1/2 shoes. Fit of boot to foot is not the issue ... what I'm concerned with is the design of the boot and my skiing needs. These boots are good and tight.
post #7 of 15
did you try a stiffer boot on then the langes? could you flex it? If you could maybe go up a model, maybe stay with what you have. Keep in mind that most boots stiffen A LOT in the cold too.

what is the shell fit like?

remove the liner, toes touching the front of the shell, you should have 5-15mm behind your heel and the boots shell.

Can we get a number for the size, not just a "fit is fine"?


not to be an ass, just trying to help answer your questions
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
Can we get a number for the size, not just a "fit is fine"?not to be an ass, just trying to help answer your questions
The boot fits me. I tried on the size above and the size below. This size fits; those sizes don't. That's not what I'm asking about. I want to know if the boot I bought has flex and other structural features that meet my needs. I fear that I need a boot with a flex at 100 or 110, not the 80 I bought. So I've given information about my previous boots and my skiing to help you experts tell me if I have the wrong boot or not.

I'd really like to get some responses to these issues. What do you think?
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
The boot fits me. I tried on the size above and the size below. This size fits; those sizes don't.
great to hear that the boot fits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
That's not what I'm asking about. I want to know if the boot I bought has flex and other structural features that meet my needs. I fear that I need a boot with a flex at 100 or 110, not the 80 I bought. So I've given information about my previous boots and my skiing to help you experts tell me if I have the wrong boot or not.

I'd really like to get some responses to these issues. What do you think?
OK I'll ask the same question a third time.

This is why I need some more info to say guess if your boot is too stiff or soft.

Boot flex is a measure of the force needed to move the shell. In general the higher the number (80 vs 100 vs 150) the stiffer the boot is. As boots get stiffer they are made for people who can flex a boot more. Many factors can allow someone to flex a boot more or less: The persons weight, strength, ankle flexion, terrain they ski, speed they ski at, skis sidecut, and there skiing ability in the terrain they have selected.

A small, but advanced skier will not be able to flex a boot as much as a strong, 200 pound guy that has never skied before. A hockey player will know how to flex there ankle from skating for year. many variables in every situation in regards to boot flex.

So it is hard to tell from your info if you can flex that boot (or any boot).
overall I think that it is fine for your stated ability and goals, but without a knowing what other boots you can or can't flex it is hard to tell what you need.



Wow that is a lot of typing for a "I don't know"
post #10 of 15
This question is AWSOME!!!

LF, you've posted this in at least 3 different places...you've recieved the same response everywhere.

Does the Boot Fit? You say YES.

Do you trust your bootfitter? You say YES, he's treated you well in the past.

It seems to me your sticking point is the 'freeride' designation. You ski hardpack and race in a beer league, you think freeride indicates 'soft snow'. It doesn't. It means the graphics correspond to the 'freeride skis' from the parent company, in this case Dynastar. It often also means a softer bootboard to absorb bad landings. That's IT. It's marketing-speak, so is the website. Ignore it and either trust your bootfitter or return the boots and find a different bootfitter. There are plenty of us, it's not hard to find someone else.

So, if you want someone...anyone, anywhere to agree with your over-analysis, I'll volunteer. Here goes:

The Lange Exclusive 80 FR is absolutely the wrong boot for you. Everyone knows freerider's only ski out west at Alta, Snowbird and sometimes Jackson Hole (and then ONLY when the snow is at least knee deep). Since you ski at Nashoba Valley or Wachusette and are on a RACE TEAM, you need a TEAM designation boot. You should return the boots ASAP and get a Lange Team 80 to replace it.

I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but your fear is unfounded. You might be right about the boot not being stiff enough (NO ONE, no matter how boot-savy they are, can tell over the interweb...) You might be better off in something else (we can't tell...it's the internet, without an MRI of your foot IN the shell...nothing). get it?
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
This question is AWSOME!!!

LF, you've posted this in at least 3 different places...you've recieved the same response everywhere.

Does the Boot Fit? You say YES.

Do you trust your bootfitter? You say YES, he's treated you well in the past.

It seems to me your sticking point is the 'freeride' designation. You ski hardpack and race in a beer league, you think freeride indicates 'soft snow'. It doesn't. It means the graphics correspond to the 'freeride skis' from the parent company, in this case Dynastar. It often also means a softer bootboard to absorb bad landings. That's IT. It's marketing-speak, so is the website. Ignore it and either trust your bootfitter or return the boots and find a different bootfitter. There are plenty of us, it's not hard to find someone else.

So, if you want someone...anyone, anywhere to agree with your over-analysis, I'll volunteer. Here goes:

The Lange Exclusive 80 FR is absolutely the wrong boot for you. Everyone knows freerider's only ski out west at Alta, Snowbird and sometimes Jackson Hole (and then ONLY when the snow is at least knee deep). Since you ski at Nashoba Valley or Wachusette and are on a RACE TEAM, you need a TEAM designation boot. You should return the boots ASAP and get a Lange Team 80 to replace it.

I'm sorry for the sarcasm, but your fear is unfounded. You might be right about the boot not being stiff enough (NO ONE, no matter how boot-savy they are, can tell over the interweb...) You might be better off in something else (we can't tell...it's the internet, without an MRI of your foot IN the shell...nothing). get it?

I'm not satisfied with the advice to "trust my bootfitter," since two trustworthy bootfitters gave me exact opposite advice, all of which I included in my insanely detailed original post. This is why I've posted additional posts in places where I'd expect bootfitters to chime in with technical information on the issue. But I guess people aren't willing to go there on this one for some reason. So, thanks, and I'm outa here.
post #12 of 15
well you obviously don't trust the bootfitter who sold you the boots ....so why did you buy them????

good luck
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
This is why I've posted additional posts in places where I'd expect bootfitters to chime in with technical information on the issue. But I guess people aren't willing to go there on this one for some reason. So, thanks, and I'm outa here.
Liquidfeet, people are chiming in all over the place. You aren't LISTENING. Your concern is that the boot is too soft due to it being a 'freeride' boot and freeride means softsnow, you race on hard eastern snow.

We get it.

It's an unfounded concern. You made up an issue. It's imaginary. The boots might not be right for you, but it's not because they say 'freeride' it would be due to fit.

You say that a number of instructors have said you need a softer boot...good feedback.

You say your new boots fit properly (absolutely no doubt from me that you tried on everything you could!)...that's good.

The internet has limitations...this is a case where those limitations absolutely prevent anyone from helping you. We can't see your foot in the shell, we can't watch you flex the boot...so we can't help.

We can tell you that the 'freeride' graphic and name are just marketing-speak. Don't worry about that. But...

If you are this concerned about the boot being inappropriate for your needs, return them. It's better to not have lingering doubt about gear, confidence in your equipment is REALLY IMPORTANT. Do whatever you have to to be confident in your purchase, in this case starting over might be best.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Gotcha, Whiteroom. Thanks.
post #15 of 15
It may be worth considering too that a foot that is longer relative to the tib/fib length will cause a boot to flex stiffer than the opposite (a shorter foot with a longer tib/fib). I can not tell for sure but it sounds like this leverage factor may be a factor in your set up.

Also note that your binding set up and internal ramp angle will also have an affect on the perceived flex of the boot and your ability to leverage the cuff.

These are just some factors to consider that none of us can evaluate here, but that play a role in whether this particular boot flex is right for you.

Have you had the fore/aft alignment evaluated? This is an important factor to consider, especially as a competitive skier. Getting it right will reap great rewards in your race times!

Good luck with your racing!
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