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What's a plug boot?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Please forgive my ignorance but...
post #2 of 19
post #3 of 19
From the link provided by bjohansson:
Quote:
True plugs are stripped of virtually all extraneous features and their liners are wafer thin. They fit, as Johnny Cochran once famously said, ā€œLike a glove.ā€ That makes them extremely difficult to get on and off.
And this is why cgeib needs a boot heater in his car and takes FOREVER to get his boots on.
post #4 of 19
Trek,

You know better than to use absolutes like "need" & "forever"! Max will turn this into a 300 post thread now

How did I get sucked into this anyway?

bjohansson's right, they are more difficult to get on and off. Especially so when cold.

As to this forever thing, it's just typical isn't it, I take my time having a cup of coffee and putting on my boots while waiting for Trek to figure out her outfit, coordinate a dozen schedules to meet on the hill (remember, one lift and two routes down, chat with any passerby, take half a dozen calls from MI ...and selective memory now turns this into being me taking forever
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
From the link provided by bjohansson:

And this is why cgeib needs a boot heater in his car and takes FOREVER to get his boots on.
One of the days at ESA Aspen my group (which included Bob Barnes and cgeib) had breakfast in Aspen, during which our boots froze in the car. Why we didn't bring them inside with us I'll never know, but anyway... I seem to remember that I was the last one in our group to wrestle boots on -- i.e., cgeib and Barnes managed to heat theirs up with their hairdryers before I managed to get mine on. So an argument could be made that Chris doesn't take forever... I do.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Trek,

You know better than to use absolutes like "need" & "forever"! Max will turn this into a 300 post thread now

How did I get sucked into this anyway?

bjohansson's right, they are more difficult to get on and off. Especially so when cold.

As to this forever thing, it's just typical isn't it, I take my time having a cup of coffee and putting on my boots while waiting for Trek to figure out her outfit, coordinate a dozen schedules to meet on the hill (remember, one lift and two routes down, chat with any passerby, take half a dozen calls from MI ...and selective memory now turns this into being me taking forever
When we go to Stowe, I'll video you putting your boots on and we can do MA!:

As for me taking calls from Michigan........chit flows down hill. When it doesn't, MY phone rings!
post #7 of 19
Oh yeah, that will sure be some riveting footage!

Ya know I was just razzin ya on the phone thing. Having my own business, you know I have no issues with your phone ...gotta do whatcha gotta do!
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
You know better than to use absolutes like "need" & "forever"! Max will turn this into a 300 post thread now
I don't know which of those two words to start with!


To the original question. The short answer is that a plug boot is a boot designed for and used mainly by serious racers. Typically they are not available at your local ski shop but are found at shops that cater to racers.

Generally they are thicker and stiffer than the consumer models and they take a fair bit of customization work to get them to fit a foot because the volume starts off very tight (the idea is to get as tight a fit as possible). And when I say stiffer I mean STIFFER! When I was last fitted for boots I tried a Head RD (RD = Race Department). Even warmed up in a shop I could barely get my foot into that boot. Just pulling the shell apart took an amazing amount of effort. When I finally got my foot in the boot I realized there was no way I wanted to deal with that amount of effort. And taking them off when they are cold? Forget about it.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Oh yeah, that will sure be some riveting footage!

Ya know I was just razzin ya on the phone thing. Having my own business, you know I have no issues with your phone ...gotta do whatcha gotta do!
I know, we both do what we gotta do to get away as much as we can. For me its making sure that the chit still flows down hill.
post #10 of 19
More in line with answering the question..................

Every boot mold has an outside that forms the outer shape of the boot lower and a "plug" which forms the inner cavity. The term as it applies to current racing and semi race boots originated with Lange.

BITD Alberto Tomba was among the biggest and strongest racers in the world and he was always trying to get his boots stiffer. The technicians decided to take the mold plug from a smaller shell and use it in the mold for the next size up. IIRC it was a 7 plug in an 8 mold. The result was a boot lower that was exceptionally thick and monstrously stiff. This was a secret weapon for many years. and. Eventually, a plug was carved that approximated (more or less) the shape of Albertos' foot. Hence, the term "plug boot" was born. Other athletes eventually got to use Alberto's plug if the boot could be shaped adequately for their foot.

The second dedicated plug was made a few years later and (again) IIRC was a 4 built for either Michela Figini or Maria Walliser. Some time later some other higher profile athletes got their own molds too. I know for sure that Moe did, I think Stenmark did but somewhat surpringly Marc. G didn't. Apparently Tomba's was close enough to work and Marc was the only guy that ever regularly used the same flex that Tomba did.

Blasts from the pasts................:

SJ
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all and especially Jim for so much background information.
post #12 of 19
Jim's explanation is awesome, but c'mon wasn't it fun picking on Cgeib?
post #13 of 19
Come on, ya mean to tell me my redirection to Max didn't work? Let me try again...

See how Max pretends to pass on those two words, but then knowingly drops (in parenthesis so no one will miss it) that erroneous "as tight as possible" bait of his own.
post #14 of 19
"Plug" is the internal part of the mould, the same shape as your liner; The outside, second piece is called the 'suitcase'. If the 'Plug' is minimal it can be easily modified to accomdate the foot of each skier and therefore offers the maximum precision by offering the most plastic to be removed, a bit like too little ice in your whiskey, you can always add more, but in opposite! Can't think, after a couple of bottles of red, a better explination.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I tried a Head RD (RD = Race Department). Even warmed up in a shop I could barely get my foot into that boot. Just pulling the shell apart took an amazing amount of effort. And taking them off when they are cold? Forget about it.
I'll give you an A-man, A-men on that!!!!

Jjust got my new Raptor 150's I'll be skiing them at 140 with a Booster strap. that new double pull head strap is brutally stiff! All the fit work has been done. Easier to get into then the Rd. I am using the lace up liner so I am putting the liner on first and then shoving the whole sha-bang into the boot at once.

Definetly easier to get on then the RD and protects the ankle bones from those fiesty overlap ears!!!!

Only skiing in them will tell how the fit is. I expect one moe trip to the bootfitter!
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
I'll give you an A-man, A-men on that!!!!

Jjust got my new Raptor 150's I'll be skiing them at 140 with a Booster strap. that new double pull head strap is brutally stiff! All the fit work has been done. Easier to get into then the Rd. I am using the lace up liner so I am putting the liner on first and then shoving the whole sha-bang into the boot at once.

Definetly easier to get on then the RD and protects the ankle bones from those fiesty overlap ears!!!!

Only skiing in them will tell how the fit is. I expect one moe trip to the bootfitter!
Maybe I'm just crazy but I never really had a problem putting on my boots? I'm a size 11 shoe and wear a size 28 RT Ti 130. Granted its not as much boot as a 150, etc, but its still a lot of boot, and I've never had an issue slipping it on or off. I certainly have to stand up and give a little push, twist, and wiggle, but nothing like what you guys are describing.
post #17 of 19
First I unbuckle all four buckles. Then I pull the liner out. I put the liner on and smooth it out around my ankle. I pry the boot open with my hands. I slip in and buckle the buckles.

Trivial with a warm boot, painful and frustrating with a cold boot. Boot: Salomon X2, medium. Old school at this point.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Apparently Tomba's was close enough to work and Marc was the only guy that ever regularly used the same flex that Tomba did.

Blasts from the pasts................:

SJ
wow. Thats ... it's just, well ... uh ... yeahhhh.
post #19 of 19
Sierrajim waht a great post!!

plugs are not for me though.
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