Me: 37 yrd old, level 8 skier
Other boots that I like: Lange Freeride Series...have a pair of FR 110s that fit me quite well
Skis I ski (in case this has any impact on your perception of the kind of skis I ride and how it relates to boots and peformance): Volkl Bridge 185, Volkl Gotamas 183 and Praxis POW RX 189
Conditions: Copper and Vail...packed powder and soft spots in places of a couple of inches..lots of good bumps
Did a fit test in the ski store a few months ago and really liked how these boots stacked up to similar offerings from other manufacturers. Thought the flex was much smoother than the Lange Banshee Pro and was a more snug fit than the Rossigonol offering (can't recall the exact model). The boot also felt a bit lower to the deck than my Langes. I saw them on sale and Evogear and decided to pick up a pair and try them for myself.
First and foremost...these boots are a BITCH to get on your feet! The lace up liner is great...except for the fact that they made the leash lenght about 2 inches too short. Its very difficult to get the upper cuff and throat of the boot to open wide enough to jam your foot in there. You need good leverage and to be able to pull on the lower part of the upper cuff to get your foot in. I read where someone else described this as similar to a "birthing experience". I am going to have to agree. This really sucks and is very frustrating..I tried everything I could think of and pulling these on outside of the car in the parking lot is near impossible. I can't believe Solly didn't figure this out while testing the boots pre-production.
That said, once you actually manage to get them on your feet, they are probably the most responsive and smoothest flexing boot I've ever hard. The two buckle system (plus the powerstrap) gives you every bit as snug a fit as the traditional, 4 buckle Lange design. The angled buckle on the top of the foot really does a nice job snugging the boot over that area. The heel pocket is quite snug and I get virtually no wiggle from my heel. The flex really allows you to be in a powerful, but comfortable, ski neutral position where you are perfectly balanced over the skis and able to react to any terrain the mountain throws at you. When there is now POW, I ski as many bumps as I can find. This boot was great in the bumps and the smooth flex was super nice in the fairly deep and carved out bumps I encountered. There are plenty stiff enough to handle anything the mountain can throw at you...but not so stiff that they are like cement boots. I skied plenty of crud along with bumps and some time on the groomers, and I found them every confidence inspiring.
I plan to ski them back to back with my Lange's to try to more specifically describe the differences in feel and performance. For now, the best I can say is the Langes feel like a more traditional race design that has been tweaked for freeride (rubber footboard for impact absorption on jumps) but, other than that, not much different from their race models. I still like my Lange's quite a bit and will probably use both boots, but I like the flex pattern of the Ghosts significantly more and that might make me lean that way. However, getting into the Ghosts is such a pain in the ass, I'm wondering if that could become a dealbreaker long term. I'd really love to know if anyone else on the board has these boots and has had the same experience.
That's all I've got for now..other than I'm growing depressed that the weather is warming up and the season seems to be slipping by way too fast!