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Strolz v. Surefoot? - Page 2

post #31 of 54
 I have a pair of strolz boots and they are the best there is for my foot, but the one thing that is not very adjustable on this boot is forward lean.  if you need to have them uprighted, which I did, then they had to cut it inside and rivot, completely obliterating any flex.  Hopefully someday Strolz will improve their design so that lean is adjustable too.  But everything else about the boot is fantastic.
post #32 of 54
Hey borntoski,

Glad to hear you have a good fit...

I am the Pacific Northwest retailer of Strolz.  Both the FSX and the SST (new shell as of 2001) have forward lean adjustments.  Did you go to a authorized retailer for the adjustment?

With the older FSX a Strolz retailer can adjust the forward lean right on the boot. With the SST you need additional parts to make it work. I have never had to cut or rivet to get the proper stance for anyone...


post #33 of 54
 Thanks for your comments on the forum.  Yes my fitter was trained and authorized strolz fitter.  He's been to Austria to their training there too. 

I can't remember all the details now.  I am high end skier, we chose the model that is not the red racing model but the black one just below it, can't remember the name..  There are many things going on with my foot, its not a simple solution.  I have opposing problems.  Fix one problem and it creates another, etc. One of my problems is very limited dorsiflexion.  In order to upright boots, most boots, including the strolz, have to have the back edge of the cuff trimmed off so that the cuff can move back enough.  Without this, I can't even keep my heel down, even after putting in heel lifts.   Inside the boot cuff there is this triangle shaped rubber thingy that kinda holds the cuff in place, you can replace this rubber thingee with a more or less stiff one to get more or less flex..  Its not clear to me exactly why, but after uprighting the boot for me, this contraption would not work.  So the cuff had to be rivoted to the shell.  

Pretty much every boot I have ever seen has similar problems except in crappy low end recreational boots.  My last boots also, had to be rivoted.  One guy here in Seattle tried to use heat to do it instead of a rivot, but destroyed the boots.  The problem with the rivot is that forward flex is quite literally zero with the rivot in there.  The tongue can flex forward if you buckle it loose enough, but the rest of the cuff doesn't move, which creates a bit of a disconnect between my ankle and the skis, especially since its looser at that point.  Its not ideal.  Strolz is probably the most adjustable of all boots, but this is one area they did not make it adjustable enough.  They should improve their design so that it can be uprighted without losing the functionality of the rubber contraption inside that connects the cuff to the rest of the shell.

Other than that, I still love them and can't see myself being in any other boots then strolz from here on out, but if they would just improve that design aspect, then they would be completely there for me.
post #34 of 54
remember that YOU are an indvidual and although the Strolz boot is a custom made very adjustable boot it has to function of the majority of the people using it, it sounds like your problem is pretty extreme and changes to the boot design to suit YOU may make the boot not as usable to others ....... it sounds as though your calf muscle binds on the back of the boot to help make the problem worse, riveting the cuff upright is one solution, but another is to have the top of the cuff flared backwards to accomodate the calf muscle where it hits the cuff, this allows you to weight the heel prior to the calf muscle loading against the back of the cuff
post #35 of 54
 The problem in my case is not a large calf.  Its limited dorsiflexion.  That boot does not upright very well, as is the case with most boots, as I said.  If Strolz really wants to own the adjustable boot market they should consider a redesign.  Don't get defensive about it.  
post #36 of 54
not defensive about it at all, the calf muscle does not have to be particualrily big to bind on the rear cuff if the flexion is limited... I don't sell strolz so have no influence on what they do or don't do with the design of their boots.... I do however fit a hell of a lot of ski boots every year, see a lot of people with limited dorsiflexion and understand fully what you would like to see, I just don't see a company changing their design to accomodate what they would consider a small part of the market as it may affect the performance of the boot in other ways for people without this problem.  changing a mould is not a simple job and it costs big money.... then you have to change the mould for each size..  a few months ago i was shown a new boot concept for 10/11 season by one of the major players in the ski boot market, i pointed out  what i considered to be a biomechanical problem with the design of the boot.... there was silence in the room followed by a swift e mail and phone call to varios bosses at head office... only 2 sizes of the mould had been produced and the change which was extremely minor cost around €15,000 to make.... i hate to think what it would have been if all 9 sizes of moulds had been produced

I should ask, is your limited flexion down to muscular tension of boney blockage at the head of the talus?
post #37 of 54
 Go to Daleboot in Salt Lake City.   If you fly int Salt Lake City They are on the way to either The Park City area or the Cottonwood Canyon areas.  They are the only true custom made boots made in The US  They guaranty the Boots for the life of the Boot.  All That at about 1/2 the price you would pay to get the full treatment from Surefoot or Strolz   
 If you have had good luck with surefoot that's great. Unfortunately  it's a roll of the dice with Surefoot. At $12.000 or more for a full custom package you would think that they would only hire the best boot-fitters they could find. Many of their employees know how to sell a the whole package. But they know very Little about fit. As others have said if you get the wrong guy you are not going to be happy. 
 IMHO your only choice in Daleboot or Strolz.  I don't work for Daleboot just very impressed with their products
post #38 of 54
 CEM, once upon a time we thought the world was flat too.  Anything is possible with a little ingenuity.

Strolz has gone out of their way to make a boot that is extremely adaptable.  Its an awesome product that leaves the other boots in the dust in this regard.   One area it falls a little short on is in its ability to be uprighted, which is not such an uncommon thing.   I've just spent a small fortune on my Strolz's so I will not be trying Dale boot anytime soon, but I will check them out when I'm in SLC because if they have a design that will accomodate my foot better then of course I should check it out.   My strolz was made in Park Ciy too.

I'm told my limited dorsiflexion is not something I can change through exercise...does that mean bone on bone?  

I will say these are the best boots I've had to date so far.  The absolutely only criticism I have is the fact that the cuff had to be rivoted to the spine in order to upright it.  Even if Strolz doesn't improve their design, I'm sure my  next pair would probably be Strolz again, unless Daleboot has a better design that way, which I will check out eventually.  I didn't know about them before.  
post #39 of 54
if you rhink about the surfaces we walk and run on (side walks, tarmac, concrete) the world is pretty flat ...that is why our bodies are as messed up as they are in many cases

sounds like you have a boney impingement stopping your ankle form flexing so stretching as you have been told will not help.... i personally would avoid thge dale boot for your situation, IMO there is far too much forward flex in the boot for you to apply presure to the ski without maxing out your ankle joint and causing pain...stick with the strolz and live with the need for it to be riveted, as you said it works for you and to be honest i don't think a modification like this is the end of the world

i said it before it all boils down to $$$$ when it comes to changing things

happy skiing
post #40 of 54
 CME you missed the point about the world being flat.  THINGS CAN BE IMPROVED.  Sometimes our limited understanding of the world can become changed and we can discover new and improved ways of doing things.  I am trying to inspire anyone at Strolz that might be reading this to keep designing.  I believe it can be done, and why not?
post #41 of 54
and you missed my point... IT COSTS MONEY,  we are in a recession, boot manufacturers are cutting back, not making changes which cost money

going back to the earth being flat..... i think we were all better off before we conctreted the world over and started wearing crap shoes

TBH i'm done with trying to get through to you, you may hope it is going to happen, you may wish it will happen , I wish you well with that, but being perfectly honest and realistic IT PROBABLY WON'T HAPPEN
post #42 of 54
I'm pretty confident this thread will be around long after the current recession is over.  You never know who might get the feedback one way or another.  Cheers CEM, no offense intended mate.
post #43 of 54
none taken ski happy
post #44 of 54
Originally Posted by CEM View Post

one thing which may be an option and cost a lot less than either of the options discussed is finding a really good boot fitter and having them fit a boot for your wife, strolz is a good [if somewhat old style looking] option if you want a shell specifiaclly for your foot width and you want it in black black or black but if you look at what a boot fitter does they select a shell from a range of boots narrow ones medium ones wide ones high inspet, low instep wide heel narrow heel etc etc.  if the shell is correct then the need for a foam liner may be reduced, ..... a good fitter should be able to take the closest shell to her foot and make some modifications to that shell, the liner is then just the interface between the foot and the shell, often foam is used where the shell selection is not right, it is the correct liner for some but not all. you mentioned that she is sensitive to the cold, foam would not be my first choice for a client presenting with this type of problem


how much skiing does she do in a season? does she ski hard? what sort of level does she ski at? these are all things which may need to be considered, for a warmer liner then prehaps the intuition, i she suffers from not being able to get a boot tight around the heel then prehaps a zip fit liner, both are more forgiving than the foam and warmer.....


the list of fitters at the top of the boot guys forum should give you a good fitter in or around your area, spend time with that fitter and get your wife the best boots she has ever had, buying into a system may be the right thing to do on the other hand it might not be.


good luck

CEM brings up an excellent point here. I found that most skiers do not understand the value of a real bootfitter, sadly their experience has been limited to "bootsellers" as access to a real fitter is less common. Not taking anything away from Strolz or Dale, they make a great product and are a solution for many people. That said, a true bootfiter is going to select a shell that matches the customers foot as close as possible and then make the needed mods to the shell as needed. This may mean grinding, stretching, flairin the cuff, changing forward lean and/or ramp angle etc. It also might mean for/aft and lateral alignment is addressed (this is often an extra charge). In my shop, 90% of the boots I sell need some degree of shell work and 75% need a good deal of shell work to be right for the customer. Comfort is one thing, but comfort AND performance is entirely another. In the end, finding a good fitter is #1, whether they sell Strolz, Dale, or whoevers boots. To the OP you seem to have gotten lucky with your Surefoots, from what I have seen at my shop that is not the norm, take it for what it is worth.
post #45 of 54

Strolz sounds like a great boot.  I skied last winter in St. Anton and Lech, but didn't notice their shop.

I also have to put in a good word for Surefoot.  

I bought a custom fit liner and boot in Verbier 2 years ago, after a particularly rough day off-piste in my Nordicas.  The bootfitter was excellent -- I have had nothing but great praise for the fit/comfort/performance of this solution.  I haven't needed any adjustments.

I can't say if I was lucky or the quality of staff was higher in Switzerland in general, having never been in a Surefoot shop in the U.S.



post #46 of 54
Pretty sure Gorsuch in Vail is a Strolz dealer. 

I've foamed about a hundred pair of Strolz during my days as a boot fitter...it is without a doubt the best foam liner on the market...follow the steps, prepare the foot, etc and the results were always excellent.  I've also foamed a few dozen Conformable liners...the results were less consistent, the foam sets up harder, I've had tubes pull out of the liner while foaming (BIG mess) and I don't think the foam tongue is a good idea. 

I skied in a Strolz for 4 years, extra hard shell (purple, then red).  While the fit of the liner was amazingly precise, I kept cracking the lower shells on the boot...3 lowers on my right foot and 2 on the left...by the time I was on lower #2 on both feet I was no longer working at the Strolz dealer (Jack Frost in Bethel, ME) and was living in CO...so getting new shells was a bit of a hassle...couldn't just replace them out of stock.  While they fit great and skied very wel, they were like trying to get your foot into a bear trap to get on and off...and I was in my 20s at the time...not a geriatric weakling, and despite the extra hard shells, the flex was too soft.  So for my next boot I got into a Nordica...but with a Strolz liner (bought from my old shop).  I skied in the nordys for 3 years, then got a Salomon, moved the Strolz liners into the Salomon and skied in them for 4 seasons...40-50 days per year...so about 300-350 days out of the liners.  Now I'm in a Fischer X100 boot with a ZipFit liner...the fit isn't as precise as the Strolz, but they've got a great heel hold and I can always add more material to tighten the fit if I want.  I'd still do a Strolz liner if given the chance, but I've been happier in other shells. 
post #47 of 54
I thought I would catch a few of you up to date, there is a newer shell design since the older FSX that I believe most of you are refering to.  The new SST is much lighter, a whole lot easier to get in and out of and does not have the flex/incline devise on the back, which added quite a bit of weight.  The SST is much sleeker and has solved quite a few of the issues that where a problem on the FSX.

Visit my web site for photos.

To a deep (and comfortable) winter...

post #48 of 54

At the bottom of the mechanism on the back of the boot is a hole with a narrow slotted post that can be turned to adjust the upright position of the stance on my particular pair of Strolz.
post #49 of 54

This is the new SST (actually it came out in 2001) however this year they changed the buckles (pictured here) which added a little more adjustment range, especially in the cuff.

There is three separate flex adjustments so even though they took off the flex/incline devise (pictured above), which took off quite a bit of weight, it still has plenty of flex/incline adjustment with the new design.  The liners have been updated, not so much in function but cosmetic.

The SST shell and liner - like all ski boots - can be modified/stretched to accomidate a faily wide foot.  I just foamed someone with 115mm wide feet (after shell and liner modifications), but that is as far as I would go.  Anything wider I would use the FSX.

Note: The FSX is still available for super wide feet (EEEEE), and in the 15 & 16 sizes. 
The SST is available up to size 14.

post #50 of 54
I have a pair of Strolz skiboots (from 1991 - model like the photo showb above by TrickySR).
My feet are really problemfeets and no skiboot ever fitted me until I bought the Stroltz boots in Lech, Austria.

Actually I have only good things to say about the boots, they are still very good even they are about 18 years old now - I ski 1-2 weeks a year (does not have mountains close here in Denmark (Europe)).

When a skiboot really fits - it requires less energy to transfer energy to the skies - your feet doesn't slide or move waisting energy.

After a long day of skiing I really don't feel like taking my boots off because they are that comfortable.

My boots were very customized, the shell was heated several times to make sure all of my toes had sufficient room - maybe my one foot has gotten wider or the plastic slowly obtained its original form, as it the last years has felt more narrow - but what can you expect after so many years - and furthermore new heals when the old are worn out, has beeb handed me with a smile.

I can only recommend Strolz skiboots - especially if you are having "off-spec" feets.
post #51 of 54
Great forum! I love the honest, good natured give & take here!

I don't mean to hijak it, but I need advice from you all! I'm a 66 yr. old gal, living in the Winter Park, Colorado area. My feet are 23.5 cm long (with short toes), wide in front, high instep, narrow heel, & I pronate, plus have a bit of extra volume due to scarring on R ankle, from bad childhood sprained ankle.

After years of sking in mostly poorly fitting boots (except for one black & white pair of rear entry Salomons that did fit me pretty well, but didn't last--liners broke down after only a few years), "Jacques" at Le Ski Lab (now Le Feet Lab) foamed me in his next to his last pair of the old orange & gray DACHSTEINS (V4 super FOAM).

Despite his wanting me to be barefoot or in stockings, for the foaming, I wore medium thickness ski socks (just for the foaming process), and then, when skiing, went to thin wool knee socks or stockings, giving me that tiny bit of extra room that made the boots fit PERFECTLY!

I skied in those Dachsteins happily (cruisers, bumps, powder), for 15 to 20 years, (used to be in 195 cm GS skis, and then went to 173 cm. Volant Power Carves, so forgiving, & so much like a GS ski), but finally, last year, the foam in the liners has started to break down, & I can feel the shell's rivits in my right ankle area (both sides of R ankle), through the breaking down foam in the liner. The shells are still in great condition.

Since no-one foams ski boots in Winter Park, CO any more (Jacques/Le Ski Lab/Le Feet Lab) stopped foaming boots years ago), I drove up to a Steamboat Springs ski shop the other day, to see whether their CONFORMABLE liners might work in my Dachstein shells. Not going to happen. Not enough room in the shells, to foam those liners. They were tight, without any foam!

One of their experienced boot fitters tried to fit me in some women's Atomics (Hawk 90 W's), but after a couple of hours sitting & walking in them, I felt more & more pressure points. So, here's a question:

What kind of FOAMABLE liners would you guys recommend, for my 23.5 cm. long feet, that might work in my old, wonderful, Dachstein (nice even flex, wide last, high instep, almost if not formerly a race boot, easy to get into & out of) ski boot shells?

I would rally like a foamable liner, that is high up in front, smooth, not fuzzy, and not hard as a rock, too.

And, who is a great, experienced bootfitter, closest to Winter Park, CO, who could do the foaming?

Thanks in advance!

post #52 of 54
best to find someone that foam liners, and see what they like to use (it is more the operator, then the tools)  any store can order a foam liner, but takes some regular skills to make it work well.

you might look into intuition liners as well.   warmer, lighter, not as stiff?


zipfits too are inbetween foam and intuitions

post #53 of 54
 kind of chiming in on some points late but here it goes:
(also in full discloser: I use to do a little work in the shop the North American distributor operates out of, just tuning skis and helping with the inventory, mostly hanging around watching Tim work :) )
I have been racing, backcountry touring and free skiing in Strolz boots for the last 8 years (multiple pairs, as I put about 40-70 ski days on them a year), and have watched a lot of fittings, most recently last night.

if you have an issue with the cold feet in strolz boots, most likely you are over tightening the buckles, and limiting blood flow.  The biggest killer for toes is no circulation or a gap in the front of the boot, but Strolz has a pretty good water dam there so I have never found it to be an issue. You could try better socks, going easy on the buckles and if desperate, put duct tape over the toes where you can see where water/air might get in (below the last buckle).  I ski in NE and out of the people I ski with (mostly racers) my toes usually hold up the best because I don't have to crank the buckles to get that snug fit.  But feet are very sensitive and everybody's are different.

Also in terms of how it skis- most of the Austrian national ski team members have the Strolz liner for what's that worth :) (but in their sponsors shell, Strolz isn't a big company and they don't need the advertising anyways).  The newest shell has addressed some issues with the older models and the new buckle system has really improved the fluidity of the flex.  The new liner has a better tongue and has a slicker top making getting in easier (right at the top where you put your heel to get in).

Skiing style has changed over the years and think a lot of racers are actually toning down the stiffness so they can really flex their boots over anyways.  But they still offer the red racing.  (I ski the black racing boot and I'm 6'1", 180, although I might try the red racing in my next pair) They are still working out the kinks with the new buckle system and in my opinion the shell has a bit too wide of a profile for the most serious of racers, but they again those types are up on massive plates usually.  The point behind the foam fit is that it fits perfectly around your foot so when you pressure your pinky toe or big toe, that transfers right to ski, no delay.  

Back to the advertising topic: The Strolz company can only make about 10,000 pairs of boots a year (hand stitched leather liners, etc) and they sell 5,000 pair in their own two shops in Lech and Zurs.  Only a couple hundred pair a year make it to the USA.  They really aren't pushing to sell more because they don't have more to sell.  Also to become a Strolz bootfitter requires a lot of training and experience, Tim, who is the boot fitter that runs the two shops in NH went to Lech for 4 months to learn about the boot from beginning to end.   You can't just teach someone to be a Strolz bootfitter in a weekend.  So from that stand point its very hard to set up shops to fit boots- a lot of boot fitters are young guys who bum around a little so the next year they might be gone.  The fitters I know and can recommend are both in the NE so I cen't help you out west.  But like anything, there are better ones and worse ones, I would say though, if the closest Strolz fitter can handle your feet that's usually the easiest but because they carry the most inventory and are the best connected to Lech, I would recommend talking to Tim in NH if you have a difficult case.

-As to the forward lean issue I'm not sure if you want Strolz to offer the walk/ski mode pin or just a way to adjust the forward lean in the fitting process.  The pin thing is just a novelty BS thing in my opinion so I'll assume you meant the second.  You can actually adjust the cuff I believe and you can change the boot board.  Strolz usually comes with a boot board slightly angled towards the toes but that can be switched out for a flat board (I don't recommend this as the only two people I know that did that did not like it.)  The boot fitter could sand that down even more if you wanted but you'd be leaning backwards by then :) 

Oh along the lines of expenses: Strolz actually is the only company in the world to have molds for every half size (I'm pretty sure), so instead of 10 molds or so they have 20+ I think.  So that gets expensive with every different model/style/size.

To answer some questions above that never really got answered:
-Not sure how other shops do it but Tim has wooden lasts that are the exact shape of the insides of the the shell (a different last for each shell size), he builds up the lasts with cork to the size he wants to expand the shell, and then heats up the shell and inserts the last and lets it sit.  Once it cools the shells have been stretched out giving the feet plenty of room.  I think Tim told me once he stretches more than half of the boots (not that the average foot needs a stretch, just that the average foot Tim sees has six toes or two arches).

-You usually shouldn't have to cant strolz boots because the foam covers it mostly, it runs under the feet and well as on the sides.  But if you do want to/need to there are heel and toe pieces with different degrees that can be put in place of the flat ones.  The cuff can also be adjusted to change the angles there.

A couple other points
-I've known three or four fitters now and the best I know is Tim Barnhorst in NH, he's been fitting Strolz exclusively for 5 or 6 years at at least 75 pair a year, if you have some crazy feet you could try and make his wall of fame (includes a former professional NBA player)  

-They are pretty hard to get into but there is a couple tricks, first get a heated boot bag, I leave mine in there on low all night and in the morning my foot is like a knife through warm butta :) and my feet are toasty warm for two or three runs.  Also when you go to put your foot in, pull the tongue down and to the outside to open up the lower cuff. 

@Muleski- I know a ski coach/former racer that was very set in his ways but was convinced to get Strolz.  It was hard for him to leave behind the idea of buying a boot that actually fit as oppose to one that is two sizes smaller than his shoe size.  (In my experience a stock boot thats the same mono size as a Strolz boot is actually longer than the Strolz boot, so I'm guessing that you increased the mono size when you went from the plug boot to the Strolz boot) He also tried to replicate the flex and the foward lean of his previous boot and so he had Tim use the red shell (too stiff in my opinion for a guy just cruising with little kids and standing around) and he uses the flat boot board that I mentioned earlier.  But when he got his boots he wasn't happy because they weren't like his old boots.  (What's the point of leaving the race boots for a custom boot when you just customize it to be exactly like the old ones?)  

Also I know someone that wasn't happy with the flex in the old model (the one you had probably), he has the new model this year and is very happy with how the new buckle system has improved the fluidity of the flex (I also recommend Booster straps to help with this too) 

Racers are the hardest to convert, we're very set in our ways :)

as its 3:30 in the morning here I think I should get off the computer and head to bed, got training at 9 tomorrow :)
post #54 of 54
I presently ski on Doberman 130's. I miss my Strolz!
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