or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

boot flex

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
What do you all consider a soft boot? How much should the boot actually flex to be considered enough?

My wife and a lot of other women skiers seem to be in boots I consider too stiff. She is 5 ft and 110lbs, decent intermediate, can lay down nice arcs when she wants to. Her previous boot, Salomon Evolution2 8.0 flex index 70 (yea right) would not budge. I know two other women in this same boot and they cannot budge it either. Several fitters tried cutting a bigger V in the back but it still barely moved under her weight. She would get bruised shins cause the tongue was so hard. Last week while in the Mammoth area she saw a fitter and he made her a deal on a Technica Rival X9, again flex index 70. She does have wide feet and he swore this was the right boot and correct size for her. I still thought it was too stiff so he made some cuts in the back of the shell. The tongue is much more padded then the Salomon and it did flex a little better, she liked the fit and all so we took them.

With the new skis and technology I thought stiff boots were not necessary any more, especially for recreational, non-aggressive skiers like my wife. So many women I see cannot flex their boots either. Do boot manufactures think all women are hard charging experts that need these stiff boots? Should all <120 lb women be in beginner boots with a flex index of 60 so they will flex? Why do supposedly knowledgable fitters keep fitting women in these stiff boots?
post #2 of 6
Being able to flex a boot is important and also somewhat indivdual. Some people new to the sport and movements (not sure this is your wife's case) just have trouble with the new movement and using muscles in this manner. Also tiny woman with running, dancing, skating, weightlifting, soccer or many other backgrounds can handle quite a bit of boot although some still initially find the movements foreign and difficult.

The flex indications are somewhat contrived and are only a comparison to other boots of the same manufacturer and assume the same foot and sizing for each boot. Your wife is not a large woman by any means but you don't mention the size boot she is in or shoe size she wears or other activity she participates in or her fitness level. If her foot or the size boot she is in is disproportionate to her size and strength that would have an effect.

I don't know the Technica but the Salomon she was in is very good for accomodating wide feet, BUT also accomodates a high instep very well. If your wife's instep is low then she may not be positioned to effectively apply force to the flex zone the boot is designed with. If you try a heel lift you may find that she can feel a noticeable difference in her ability to flex the boot. Overall the heel lift may or may not be a good idea but can help see if the above issue is the source of the problem. As well a boot that is too big may create the problem in a similar way. CHECK THE SHELL SIZE. If her foot is disproportionately big compared to her tiny body she may have a similar leverage disadvantage.

Also if the boot pushes her too far forward she may be more forward than she wants to be already and the inability to flex the ankle becomes more an innate desire to maintain balance than a lack of strength or too stiff a boot. Too big a boot or disproportionate large foot can exacerbate the too far forward issue. I don't want to slam whoever sold the boot but first thing is to check the shell size. I don't know all the details and or what the problem may be but I think it's important that you take the time to find the difference between a GOOD bootfitter and a 'supposedly knowledgeable one'.

[ June 19, 2003, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: L7 ]
post #3 of 6
All that L7 said, plus .......

If she has no ankle flexion, then she wont be able to flex ANY boot, regardless of brand and flex index.

With her foot flat on the ground, and pointing straight ahead, how far forward can she get her knee? Past her toes?

If not then a heel lift, make the boot more upright, and STRECH.
post #4 of 6
Part of the problem may be her height- someone who is short has less leverage than one who is tall. Have you considered trying a kids race boot? Salomon makes a kids version of their Course T race boot that is nearly identical to the adult one (same buckles and design, flex index of 50, lower cuff) that is also a bargain- list $350 (compared to $700 for the adult version), but I paid only $99.00 at CO Ski and Golf last fall. My son (15 years old, 85 lbs, 5'4") skis in them. They are also available in very large sizes for a kids boot (I think up to mondo point 27.5).
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies.

The fitter at Mammoth did measure her feet, examined her type of foot (wide and flat), shell sized her, the whole bit. We’ve purchased enough boots through the years I do know the correct procedures. I am confident the size is correct (23.5). Her Salomon is also a 23.5. She did try on a Technica Icon Jr. race boot (22.5) and could easily flex it. I don’t think she would’ve had proper control of her skis in that boot, actually too much flex. They did not have that boot in her size, the 22.5 was way too tight. She wouldn’t have bought it anyway.

I just think she would be a much better skier if she could get more forward with more range of motion in her legs. Those stiff Salomons were holding her back and beating up her shins. I think we are on the right track with the Rival X9’s. The tongue is much softer and the forward lean looks more angled. Heal lifts sound like a good idea. We have experimented with those before. Once she gets them out on the snow and broken in a bit I think these will be fine.
post #6 of 6
This is off the wall but.. My wife after years of not quite right boots (she hadn't been happy since her Cabors) took a woman's Tele clinic, got hooked, and never looked back. She skis Scarpa T-3s with the low cuff and can ski anything intermediate with style.. years of gymnastics. Says tele is really suited to a womans lower center of gravity and is into the ballet-like movements. There are a lot of Tele chicks here in Utah who really, like, really rip.. you ask them how the got into it and they'll say "soft boots."
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion