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Thoughts on stiffening boots

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've got some brand new Impact 10 boots they fit my foot amazingly well. The only downpoint is that they don't feel stiff enough. So I talked about it to a local bootfitter and he told me there was 2 possible options: 1┬░riveting the back of the boot to the support piece inside (he told he wouldn't do it personnally ...) and the second would be putting a piece of plastic between the 2 upper buckles and the boot and screwing it to the buckles using the remaining buckle adjusting holes. I was wondering if any of those options would be appropriate and efficient.

Thanks, Hellevhisse
post #2 of 10
Have you skied the boot yet? What makes you think they are too soft?
post #3 of 10
the impact 10's are not that soft, and stiffen up a bunch in the cold

1) the shell already has extra rivits in it so that won't help much

2) better option, but again do you REALLLY need the 10 stiffer?
post #4 of 10
The flex/plastic hardness of the upper and the lower need to be relatively proportional. The lower shell cannot be stiffened appreciably at all. The upper can be stiffened somewhat and in a boot that is already riveted as the I-10 is, there are a couple of options. One is the "driver plate" as found on some Nordica and Head boots. The other is a tongue overlay. This involves cutting the tongue out of a moribund boot and cutting out all the foam padding etc leaving only the plastic outer skin of the tongue. This is then applied on the outside of the existing tongue.

Then again....are you really sure that......

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've skied those boots 10 times already this year. They're not too soft but i'm weighing a solid 200 pounds and i'm using a strong style. But i simply feel that i'd get more by having the boots stiffened up a little. For the plastic front piece, i was thinking of buying a piece of polyethylene (6$) and heating so it would take the shape of the boot). But again i'm only still considering it. But thanks for the advices.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh and by the way, the only 'problem i have with those boots is that each of my big toes are going kinda numb after 1-2 hours and if it's cold, they freeze. I talked about it with my bootfitter and he didnt knew too muich about it. I'm guessing it's circulation problem since i dont feel pain at all. Any advice on what could be the problem?
post #7 of 10
flex wise, try a driver plate [without screwing it in place for a few runs, to see if it wsorks for you] and / or a world cup booster strap, this will not stiffen the boot as such, but it will give you a very dynamic rebound, which may have the same effect

as for the numb toes, sounds like you EITHER may be over tightening the boot a little in an effort to make then stiffer...are they the correct size, or the toe box shape is a little pointy for your foot...off to the fitter for a little investigation
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Alright, I'll give a try to the driver plate, and see what it does. I'm also gonna try to loosen the front clip of the boot to see what happens with the numb toes.

Thanks, Hellevhisse
post #9 of 10
Good advice from all the pros.

Here is a few thoughts on the driver plate. Depending on your lower leg shape and fit into the boot, a driver plate can have 2 completly different effects. The length of your lower leg, your strength, the way the boot contacts your instep and ankle area, your style of driving the ski (edge angle vs. rotary force), can all effect the way a driver plate will work.

For some adding the plate can bring leverage higher up the leg and make the boot feel softer because of the incresed leverage over the cuff drives it easier over the lower shell. For others it will feel like the boot has stiffened.

Also the placement is a big factor in net feel. If the driver plate is raised high above the cuff strap (5 to 30mm). it will have a different feel then simply putting it in even with the top of the cuff.

So...Take CEM's advice take a driver plate or polyethylene plate and just slide it in beneath the cuff straps and ski for a day. During the course of the day try it high, then try it low and see what feells best. These combinations with a expert booster strap could also be tested without permanent installation.

With numb toes, it is usually nerve or blood flow related, and a good bootfitter should be able to swim upstream from the numbness to locate the cause. My list of top choices: check ankle range of motion, (limited range brings greater force onto ball of foot and toes in skiing, especially with a boot that has easy forward flex) Check the base of support (footbed) for proper trim, molding at the toe, raised 1st or 5th, or just overall volume. Check width compression at ball of foot( possible nerve copression between met heads. And last but not least pressure on the instep ( over buckling? )

The best advice the pros have already given to you: Find a good boot fitter that can help guide you through the discovery process.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi, I haven't had a chance to put my hands on a plastic sheet yet, but I should have time to do it this week to try it upcoming weekend and I'll experiement with 2 or 3 different lenghts and placements.

For the numb toe part, I went back to my bootfitter for a pressure point on the outside of the foot, so he locally flattened my molded sole (which solved the problem) and he told me to first try to loosen the boot (simplest solution possible), I did it and it solved 95% of the problem (almost no 'numbness' after 4 hours.

Thanks, Hellevhisse
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