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how to soften boot flex?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I tried the following post, plus a shorter one, in the boot experts section but did not get a response. I'm probably going to ask an "expert" to soften these boots but I want to know enough about the process so I can understand what he's doing. I've read repeatedly that you can soften a boot but you can't make one more stiff. If that's right, what are the points I need to understand to make sure it's done right? -- I wear a size 11.5-B shoe and have two pair of boots, size 28.5. Salomon Pro-Gun flex 95 and Fischer MX-Pro (yellow & black) flex 110. The Salomons are fitted with custom footbeds, heel lifts, toe punched and soles planed etc. The MX-Pros are stock with the old Salomon insoles. I love the way the Salomon's flex but I've always thought they were a little soft. The Fischers fit me better out of the box, primarily because of the lower instep and snug heel. My only issue with the Fischers is they are soooo stiff. I get almost no flex out of them on a cold (20 degrees or less) day. Next week I'm going to add Intuition liners to the Fischers and I read that the new liners will stiffen the boots even more so I expect to need to soften the shells. I'll use a professional to modify the shell, but what should I know about the boot softening process so that I can discusss it with the "expert" intelligently. What should I look out for to make sure they do not do more harm than good?
post #2 of 2
Take it slow!!!!!

Let me repeat myself, take it sloooowwwwww!

My experience with boot softening is not a good one. Apparently there are a number of ways of softening a boots. I had a very reputable shop cut a V shape into the cuff of the boot. I went from a very stiff racing boot to a noodle in about 3 minutes. I ended up fighting with the owner till he replaced my shells with new ones, which I ski unmodified today.

I would suggest running a search on the subject in the ask the boot guys section, spend some time on the subject, there are a lot of posts out there on the subject. You might even PM someone like Bud Heishman. Bud used to work for Salomon and knows boots!

I would also suggest talking with the person (not the shop) who is going to do the work. Have they done this before, if so how many times, on your particular boot, what was the outcome on your boot?

How do they measure/apply the degree of flex you are looking for against the work they are doing etc.?

As you stated up front you can't put stiffness back, so be careful.
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