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Making the Plunge to race boots/true boot fitting

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm a college racer for a club team in upstate NY. I started racing my senior year of high school, so I'm definitely not a great racer by any means. However, I love to ski and I started racing to increase the amount of skiing I could do. When I'm not racing I enjoy pushing myself to ski faster with better technique and control (otherwise it can get boring making laps at Bristol).

6' 3 215 strong beginner/intermediate racer

Ski about 45-55 days/yr for past 3 years, about 20 for 8 or so years before that.

Currently use original Nordica Beast Model (29.5), to which I had some minor grinding out of the toebox. These boots have been skied roughly 150-170 days.

Problem-Question: Here in cold upstate NY we stand around at the gate forever and my feet go beyond numb by the time I'm actually in the start gate. My liners are definitely packed out, so I started looking for after market (intuition). However when I talked to someone here locally, they said no one in the area stocked them and suggesting looking into new boots that were completely fitted (he is a employee, kind of his job I guess) to improve my skiing. He did have a solid deal on some Doberman 130's in 29 ($300) and the flex felt so much smoother than my beasts. I've also come across an amazing deal on the Doberman 150 WC softs (even cheaper) and wondered if they could be made to work for me.

In short, is it worth it for me to go all out and spend about 500 on new race boots with custom liners and boot work to get the extra feeling and control considering I'm only a novice racer? Or should I stick with my Nordica Beasts and get new intuition liners for warmth/fit?
post #2 of 8
IMpossible to say with information given, but can say that boots you are considering are much lower volume than Beasts and will certainly be more responsive. Much more.

That said, for the boots you are considering with boot fit $500 is cheeeeaaaaappppp. Maybe some caution and time in other shops is warranted.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
What other information is needed. I tried on the Doberman in the shop, the fit was snug and, but not unreasonable. Given I know that in the shop the plastic is warm, not a perfect indicator, etc.

At this point, I'm kind of wondering how would the Doberman 130's compare to the 150 WC soft plugs?

The place that would do the fitting here in Rochester is called The Foot Performance Center. Was told custom footbeds would be around 240, but all other work would be significantly discounted if footbeds were purchased.

I think the reason why its coming up so cheap is the cost of the boots, which are a year or two old and seriously discounted.
post #4 of 8
You are right. The boots are cheap and that is why the price looks so distorted. So if I had read more carefully I would have been able to give better answers.

The boots you are considering will ski rings around the Beasts. Just a function of lower volume and stiffness. Can't answer about stiffness, both are damn stiff but you have enough height and weight to flex either.

However, your question was about cold feet and I think I would recommend electric boot warmers rather than going to an Intuition in the boots you are thinking of buying.

post #5 of 8
Going to the Dobies is going to get your feet colder, not warmer. Just fair warning. The liners are much thinner!

I love my Aggressors, but they ain't a "warmer boot" by any stretch of the imagination!
post #6 of 8
Agree with Lou, while the Intuitions are warm they sacrifice a bit of snow feel under the foot as the material is spongy compared to a stock liner which has a noncompressable material under the foot. It all depends where your priorities lie.

Low volume race boots are NOT necessarily cold. This depends on how good the fit is and how the boot envelopes your foot. If nerves and vessels are compromised the feet will get cold.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice so far, I'm pretty much set on taking the plunge into the low volume fitted boot world.

The question for me now is whether to go with the dobie 130 or the 150 plug, both of which I can get cheap (the plug being about 100 cheaper). Either way I'm expecting to spend at least 300-400 on fitting and custom footbeds and I know it will take a while to get everything dialed in.

So when it comes down to it I've been told both boots are good, and the flex of the 130 felt extremely smooth in the store, I was amazed at the difference compared to the beasts. How will the plug model compare? I know it will be a bit stiffer, but I'm not very concerned about that as they can be softened/I'm certainly big enough.

Do you think the plug boots are overkill, or are they the direction I should be looking in?
post #8 of 8
Well, I ski the plugs and enjoy them very much. The flex is progressive and smooth. They can easily be softened if you'd like, but I ski them everywhere (bumps, crud, frozen chunks, etc.) and they work just fine without having been softened. YMMV, so you may want them softer, but that's easy.

In short, especially since the plugs are cheaper, why not?

BTW, are you sure the shell fit is right? Remember that the plugs have a lot more plastic in the shell so you can (and I think should) go a bit snugger in the shell fit and let the specialist carve your foot's shape out of it.
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