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Full Tilt Bumble Bee

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here is a review of the Full Tilt Bumble Bee boots I recently purchased.

Me: I'm a 42 year old recreational skier, living in Denver. I've been skiing for years, but just the occasional weekend or ski week. Every year I get a little better, and I've been working on the bumps for the last couple of years. I wear 9.5 D (27.5) street shoes. I think my feet are medium volume.

My skis: Dynastar Legend 4800, Look pivot 10 bindings

History: Intially, I went through an unfortunate experience of being shell fit to 26.5 Rossignol boots. (I do recall asking about the Raichle Flexons, the predecessor to the Full Tilt, back then--they were green & purple as I recall--and was discouraged from trying them.) I was fit with inserts that tilted my foot on edge to make my foot shorter and I was told to wait for the boots to pack out. This did indeed result in close-fitting boots. But the stance was unnatural, and I'd get bruising under my my big toenails every season and lose them.

Up until now, the only boots that really fit me well were the Lange GX7 (ACD series--a little wider than the classic Lange fit). Unfortunately, I found the flex of the GX7 to be overly stiff, particularly when it gets cold. I bought the Tecnica Diablo Flame a couple years ago. Unfortuantely, while they felt right in the store initially, they ended up being just too high volume, in spite of in-store adjustments.

The Bumble Bees: I liked what I read and they sounded right for me. The local merchant (Larry Houchen at Larry's Boot Fitting in Boulder--who is great, and more on him below) was out of stock for the season, so I couldn't try them on, but they were nicely discounted at online outlets, so I thought I'd give them a try. I absolutely agree that in general one should try on boots before buying them, so shame on me, but I couldn't resist.

I've been in them several days now, once before the molding of the Intuition liner and twice after.

My overall impression is THESE ARE GREAT. My feet are in a nice, natural stance, and I feel "low in the boot" and really connected to the skis. (I didn't get that "low/connected" feeling with the Nordicas or Salomons I tried.) Just as I was hoping, the flex is great in the bumps. It's now MUCH easier to maintain balance over my skis as I absorb the bumps. But, in addition, I find the boots to be plenty stiff enough laterally, so they're plenty responsive when I want to turn, steer, or skid. I may have been unconsciously influenced by the engineering stuff on the Full Tilt site, but I've got to say that the virtues of a 3-piece design (progressive flex forward, stiff laterally) really worked out for me.

I also like how light they are.

The boots were already nice without custom molding. But they have been terrific since the molding. Although I wasn't able to buy the boots from Larry's Boot Fitting, I set up an appointment custom molding, which was done at a very modest price (he could easily charge 2-3x more). His methods were similar to home methods posted another forum, but having someone who knows what they're doing assist you makes a big difference in avoiding creasing, crunch in the toebox, etc. If you live in the Denver/Boulder area, I really can't recommend him enough. The result is warm, responsive boots with a great heel pocket and no hot spots.

The only downside, which is minor, is the ratcheting buckle system. It isn't as easy to use as regular buckles with micro-adjustments. I've seen that the Dalbello Krypton is a 3-piece design that uses conventional buckles, but it was much more expensive and I didn't bother trying it out.

One other issue is that I have skinny calfs, and I have to crank down the top buckle to near the end of its range to fit. If I pack out too much more that could be a problem. But this has been an issue in all my boots. Given how natural my foot/stance are now, I really don't want to sacrifice foot fit (i.e. by going down a size) just to fit my calfs.

Overall, I'd say that if you're a low- to medium- width/volume foot, and you don't need a racing boot, you would do well to check out the Full Tilts.

This is my first review. I hope it may be helpful to anyone considering Full Tilt boots.
post #2 of 7
Great review.

Light weight is a great point. I see people using them as AT boots.

Also, there are four different tongues that you can swap out. Lots of people are ordering two or three tongues and trading them out for different conditions. The orange world cup tongue is the most popular.
post #3 of 7
For skinny calves: What I do is just get a sheet of the sticky back black rubber like material that bootfitters use to cut into pads. I cut a big rectangle and put it on the back of the liner near the top. Here's a visual aid of a Thermoflex liner that I just retired from my Flexons. My new liners are fat enough not to need it now, but this should snug them up fine.
post #4 of 7
Another approach, if (like me) both your calves and your heels are skinny, is the DaleBoot Heel Nest.
post #5 of 7
Originally Posted by denvermouse View Post
Here is a review of the Full Tilt Bumble Bee boots I recently purchased...

The only downside, which is minor, is the ratcheting buckle system. It isn't as easy to use as regular buckles with micro-adjustments...

I skied in the Flexon (Bumble bee's predecessor) with an identical buckle system for years. Once you get used to them I think you will find they are actually a better design than many conventional buckles because they don't get clogged with snow which makes on-hill adjustments with many conventional buckles something of a nuisance. Setting and adjusting the ratchet buckles becomes intuitive after a short while.
The knock on the ratchet buckles in the past was breakage though I didn't find that to be an issue (one broken cable in two decades in several pairs of them).

Great review.
post #6 of 7

full tilt vs. dalbello krypton pro id

im looking for a boot that can do it all, i have a backround in racing and, and i skied moguls competitavely on a national level for 5 years, and i still like to rip the bumps now and then. i need one boot to do everythin for me. i have 5 pairs of skis, race stock gs (193) and sl skis(165), pow skis, mogul skis, and park skis. and i do just as much of one as i do the other. i ski hard and fast, and my boots are usually toast after one season, right now im on lange freeride 130's and im reasonably happy with them. ive also been looking at dalbello krypton pro ID. let me know what you think, do you think the full tilt is right for me? or are they to light for intense carving on northeastern ice
post #7 of 7
I not sure there is one boot that will "do it all" equally well. For powder, moguls and the park, a Full-Tilt model or a Krypton model will likely excel because of their progressive flex.

Both Full-Tilt and krypton have interchangeable tongues that can stiffen or soften forward flex somewhat. But they are not plug or semi-plug race boots. There is an aftermarket super stiff Flexon tongue that was once produced but it is extremely hard to find. It will fit both Full-Tilt and Krypton boots.

More than a few mogul specialists were skiing in Flexons at this past Winter Olympics including several medalists even though the boot was no longer being produced at the time. A stiffer forward flexing boot will be more responsive in a race course- if it's not too stiff. Either Full-Tilt or Krypton models will carve just fine on ice.

It really comes down to whether those models prove a good fit for your feet. Since Full-Tilt and Krypton do fit differently from each other you should try them both and see if either is a close match for your feet.
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