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Importance of Boot stiffness and colar height

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I posted a similar question in the boot expert forum, but haven't heard anything.

I was an avid skier for many years, but haven't gone much in the last seven years due to my young family. My old (really old) boots (Hanson, enough said) died and I'm replacing my whole rig. I spent quite a bit of time trying on new boots and of all I tried, the best fit were:

Tecnica Agent 80: $250
Nordica Speedmachine 14: $600

My vitals: 6'1", 175 lbs, U.S. size 10.5D with high arches, advanced intermediate, love powder and GS arcs, but ski what I can get--usually blue or single diamond. I'm probably good for 6-10 days a year (but wish it was much more).

Both boots fit well with the Nordica being a little nicer on the upper leg due to it's higher cut. Surprisingly, I couldn't tell a huge difference in the amount of flex in the store. I bought the Agents (80 flex), but am thinking of taking them back (unused) and getting the Nordicas (120-130 flex) because I'm concerned the Agents will be too flexible. I'm also wondering if the higher colar height would be appreciated.

The Tecnica Diablos didn't fit nor did some Salomon's I tried (but couldn't find any Salomon Impact 10s).

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 10
The Agent 80 sounds too soft for you and would be a disappointment on the hill. Perhaps an Impact 8 or a Speed machine 10 would be more suitable. Basically something in between on flex. You might try the Dalbello Proton 12 or 10 as well (great bang for the buck).

Did you happen to have some Hexcel skis to go with the Hansons? Just teasing.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Did you happen to have some Hexcel skis to go with the Hansons? Just teasing.
Almost. I have some Kneissl (black with green star split across the skis) with Look N77 bindings (I still love the bindings). At least I didn't have Burt Bindings on them (although I remember really wanting a pair).

Just bought some Nordica Hot Rod Afterburners that are ready to be broken in. I guess that technically gives me a two ski quiver, right? If I buy Nordica boots that almost guarantees Nordica will be out of business in a few years.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reep View Post
If I buy Nordica boots that almost guarantees Nordica will be out of business in a few years.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay, went and tried on the Speedmachines (10 and 14) and learned a couple things. First, my size 10D feet appear to take a 27.5 ski boot. Second, the Speedmachines at 27.5 have a little side-to-side play around the ball of my foot--this can't be good. 26.5 is way too short. I tried on some Salomon Impacts and they just didn't fit as well in several areas.

So, I can't decide to live with the side play (very minimal, but present) or look for boots I haven't tried yet.
post #6 of 10
My two cents...

Don't rush the boot fitting process - in the long run , you will keep your boots for years so it's best to get it right. So try on boots until one works.

Avoid shopping for boots at large sporting stores - rather go to a specialized ski shop for the best advice. Or better yet - find a good boot fitter and listen to his/her advice - There ought to be one somewhere in S. California. Perhaps a bear can help you out with this.

It is hard to judge boot flex in a warm store.

The Technica Agent might prove to soft in the long run.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reep View Post
26.5 is way too short.
Did you do a shell size check? If so, how much space was between the heal and back of the boot?
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Did you do a shell size check? If so, how much space was between the heal and back of the boot?
I did not do a shell check. Just tried on the 26.5, 27.5 and 28.5. The 26.5 I couldn't even get my foot in.

I'm very close to just going to see a fitter. I don't see a point in spending $700 on a boot that still has play in the forefoot. I also have high arches and superfeet just don't have enough support under my arch.
post #9 of 10
step #1, shell check.

please read the sticky on the bootfitters list.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reep View Post
I don't see a point in spending $700 on a boot that still has play in the forefoot.
Me neither. You can get the boot stretched, but they don't shrink. Keep looking until you find something that isn't too big.

Shell fit will give you the right length (1 to 2 fingers for a good compromise between performance and comfort), but length isn't the only dimension to consider.

Lots of post-purchase boot fitting and tweaking is worth it in the end.
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