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Experience with boots too stiff? (Salomon Falcon 10)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

after I have chosen my new ski (Head iXRC800) next up are new boots. My first problem is my duckfeet and my bent knees, but I am working on that. I am now wondering at how stiff my boots should be. I am a big man (6'6", 215 lbs) so a little bit stiff should be good. But my feet somehow seem to prefer the very stiff ones, probably because of the nice supporting liners and tighter fit for the heel.

So far the best option (by far) I tried is a pair of Salomon Falcon 10. However they also seem very serious to me. The word 'Race' on the liner is ofcourse nice, but hardly describes me. I am a beginner - early intermediate already happy if a harder blue goes nicely parallel. The boot places me into a more forward stance automatically which I imagine makes intense skiing better. On the other hand I will also be going slow part of the time when I am with my girlfriend in particular.

The question is will I like this boot or will it start to become irritating after a few hours of skiing. Will I become a better skier with it or will it be too hard for me controlling this? I am especially interested if people had a bad experience.

p.s. also in any other brands I tried the stiffer boots fit me better, so even if I find a fischer (see my duckman thread in the boot-guy section) I imagine I'd like a stiff one.
post #2 of 14
If you have serious duckfeet and knee issues, I'd likely go to a good bootfitter to get an evaluation on what would be suitable for you. I have the very same problem and altough many boots fit good out of the box to me, few have the forward lean or stiffness that suit me best. Also, forward lean might not lead to increase performance for you, in fact, more and more boots are becoming upright since forward lean can lead to unwanted rotary movements wich can be the exact opposite of what modern technique advocates. Excessive forward lean will also put you in the back seat.

Stiffness is only a very small part of the equation, alignment and fit are much more important IMHO (since you can make a boot softer or stiffer if you want, but you are stuck with it's foreward lean.
post #3 of 14
the rear rivets come out of the Falcon 10 to make it a bit softer to start with. That and ddoing up the power strap around the liner should help soften to the boot to start with, and are all changeable if you don't like it, or improve and need a stiffer boot
post #4 of 14
Look at the Salomon Gun, classified as a "freeride" boot..

It is the exact same shell construction and liner as the Falcon 10, but slightly softer plastic for more flex. Salomon rates the F10 a 110 flex while the Gun is a 95 flex. Also, I understand that the Gun shell's "custom" foot bed has somewhat more shock absorption than the Falcon shell's foot bed.... for the jump guys. Shell is clear (which I like as you can tell when/if foot sweat/moisture is building up) but the boot graphics are geared toward the younger crowd.

I too was looking for a F 10 (the Falcon's just fit my narrow foot so well) during end-of-season sales but everyone sold out of the them. Gun's seemed pretty well stocked as no one seemed to have heard about them and I was happy to get them at half price (375?). Although I'm an expert life-long skier, in my late forties, a softer boot is probably better than full race boot for me now.
post #5 of 14
I agree with the bootfitter suggestion given your duck feet, etc issues. IMHO -- You really can't get good advice about boots over the internet because there are simply too many variables (foot size, width and shape, weight, and skill).

For what it's worth - I've used the F10 for two years now (I weigh 175, 5'11" & I'm an aggressive skier). The F10 has outstanding lateral stiffness, but the forward flex is quite reasonable. It does well in speed cruising (great control, but not as much as a true race boot), bumps, crud, powder, etc. Note that the F10 is actually a toned-down race boot (and the Gun is toned down a small bit more) - Salomon sells Falcon race boots, and the F10 is really not in that category for someone your size. For someone of your size, the forward flex should not be a problem; however, I don't know how you ski - again - take the time to discuss with a boot fitter. The liner has NOT packed out despite having put 160 days in this boot, which is a good thing. Some low end boots that feel good in the store because they have a soft liner actually do more harm because they get sloppy so fast and provide little control.

I have a "race fit" (my foot is a size nine, my boot is a size seven) and I can wear these boots all day w/o discomfort/problem when skiing. However, that is for my feet. If I have a day when I might be standing still alot (e.g., at one of my kid's races) I leave the boot at home, but that is only because I have such a tight fit.

In all, I love these boots and have not heard any negative comments from other who use them.
post #6 of 14
You might also wanna take a look at the F 9 or 8, softer and less expensive versions. Also there's the Impact on which I'm on (they say that the I 10 as the same flex index as the F 10 but being an all-terrain boot they're a little softer ( also they're slightly larger (+ 2mm if I remember correctly)))

But they're great boots, they have that high density liner which is SUPPOSED that pack out less with time (so far so good for me).
post #7 of 14
If you have good muscle control and balance you might enjoy having a little better control over your skis with the Falcon, than with a mushy lower level boot. At 210 lbs, I don't think you would find the boot all that stiff. The words "race" and most of the hype is designed to sell boots by flattering customers. Just ignore it.
post #8 of 14
Remco, I am very pleased with my Salomon Crossmax 10 boots, with a 110 flex. In my experience this should work well with guys of our demensions.
My first boots (lower end Salomons with a 90 flex) were to flexible after my third week of skiing, I constantly had the feeling I "pushed trough" the boots. Never had any regrets and never felt they were to much boot for me. I you live anywere near Amsterdam, I could go to: http://www.wiflosport.nl/
He's a pretty good boorfitter!
post #9 of 14
I am 5'6", 165# skiing the Falcon Race for 1 year, which per specs is stiffer than the 10. I came out of a Lange 130 after 3 years. Prior to that I was in mushy high-end advanced Salomons. The Lange 130s and the Falcon Races are both very smooth flexing with no pressure points, though stiffer than other current boots. I did not find them overly stiff , I concur with the previous comments about better control from better boots and the rivets as a Falcon tuning option. The rivets made a huge difference, I tried the boots without the rivets and it was much more flexible (more flex than I wanted, for me I put the rivets back in).

Overall I am very happy with the Salomon fit (I also have duck feet). I added an off the shelf conformable foot-bed and the combination has me locked in with no pain. FWIW, the Salomons are also a little more forgiving to enter/exit.

I am now a born again Salomon believer.
post #10 of 14
f10s are the best recreational ski boot ive ever owned...

i used to rock langes a few years ago when i was still chasing sticks...these give me the same low volume, low instep fit with great heel hold, but do it with a much nicer liner.

im about 190 or so and i find the 110 flex to be ok...firm enough i can give 'er but still soft enough that i can be lazy from time to time.

best boots ive ever owned
post #11 of 14
Recently I was discussing boots with an experienced boot fitter. IMHO get the stiffest rock solid boot you can (plugs) and get them professionally fit; even if you never plan to race. Retailers and even peeps here may deter you, but in my experience the stiff, close fitting boot made all difference in the world...but the key is to get the boots properly fitted, if you don't do that then stick to soft mushy boots that will double your time to excel. I know there is a learning curve to move up to such boots, but let me save you some time and money, go for the goods, get them fitted by a pro and you will be happier than you have ever been. My .02
post #12 of 14
Another boot you might try - Nordica Supercharger Enforcer. They were a little lower volume in the instep and more snug in the heel than the falcons (which were a close second for me).
post #13 of 14
You don't mention what kind of conditions you usually ski in. I own the Falcon 10's for hardpack, ice, and life in the NE. They are 110 flex, but don't really feel that stiff for eastern skiing. In fact, feel too soft these days for actual gates. OTOH, I tend to take a pair of Sollie Guns out west, where the 95 flex is a bit more forgiving for soft snow, bumps, slower speeds. Both are fairly temperature dependent, BTW; so also factor in your area's prevailing climate.
post #14 of 14
Again, you need to see a good bootfitter, that handles a good variety of brands with various fit and flex options.

However, the Falcon 10 (which I ski on myself because I have a low volume foot) is built on a 98mm last meaning that it is not for wider(duck) feet. Salomon does have models that are lasted for wider feet(up to 102mm that might work with your size.) But you might find a better fit in another brand.

In addition, "duck" feet are frequently expanded due to "pronation" which means you should discuss custom footbeds or orthotics with your bootfitter. An additional expense but very necessary.

All that being said, in my opinion, given your size and ability level, a 110 flex should be alright for you.
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