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Race boot vs recreational boot

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

What are the differences between race boots and recreational boots for the same stiffness?

I had someone recommend me a race boot the other day and another fitter looked absolutely shocked to hear that :)

post #2 of 25

Usually it is width (I think). This is why you see racers with their boots undone on the lift.

post #3 of 25

I'll take Atomic as a random example......

 

The width of the last is probably the main factor. A racing boot like the Atomic RT Ti has a 95mm last. It also has a high performance and relatively thin liner. A boot like that WILL NEED WORK before you can use it. It will need to be punched and ground to match your feet. The RaceTec RS boots don't even have DIN -norm lugs. They are oversized and have to be ground to suit the individual skier.

 

The RT CS boots have a more forgiving width of 98mm. Wider than that and you're into the consumer high performance boots like Hawx (100mm), M-Tec (102mm) and B-Tec (104mm). Wider still and you're in beginner/rental territory.

 

The crossover area from consumer high performance to racing is around the 100 flex range. The softest racing boots (e.g. adult ladies) come in around 90 flex, and some of the consumer boots stretch as far as 120-130 flex.

 

Racing boots don't have fancy gadgets. No walk mode. No simple flex adjusters. To modify the flex you add or remove bolts/rivets.

 

None of this implies that you shouldn't use a racing boot. If a bootfitter can make it work for your feet and the flex is right then go for it. You don't have to have go so tight you need to unbuckle for every lift run. You may find the boots cold compared to a roomier shell with a thicker liner.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post

 

I'll take Atomic as a random example......

 

The width of the last is probably the main factor. A racing boot like the Atomic RT Ti has a 95mm last. It also has a high performance and relatively thin liner. A boot like that WILL NEED WORK before you can use it. It will need to be punched and ground to match your feet. The RaceTec RS boots don't even have DIN -norm lugs. They are oversized and have to be ground to suit the individual skier.

 

The RT CS boots have a more forgiving width of 98mm. Wider than that and you're into the consumer high performance boots like Hawx (100mm), M-Tec (102mm) and B-Tec (104mm). Wider still and you're in beginner/rental territory.

 

The crossover area from consumer high performance to racing is around the 100 flex range. The softest racing boots (e.g. adult ladies) come in around 90 flex, and some of the consumer boots stretch as far as 120-130 flex.

 

Racing boots don't have fancy gadgets. No walk mode. No simple flex adjusters. To modify the flex you add or remove bolts/rivets.

 

None of this implies that you shouldn't use a racing boot. If a bootfitter can make it work for your feet and the flex is right then go for it. You don't have to have go so tight you need to unbuckle for every lift run. You may find the boots cold compared to a roomier shell with a thicker liner.

 

So, for thinner feet it might be a good idea?

What say the Atomic RT CS vs Falcon 10 both in 100 flex?

post #5 of 25

really intersting Squawker that you pick atomic, as the boot i suggested to Gordon only the other day was a CS110

 

the main reason for selecting that over a falcon [witch i will have in stock in september] was the atomic is a bit more upright then the falcon which IMO has excessive forward lean

 

i would be intersted to know who was shocked at my recomendation please tell me it wasn't someone in a large chain store, my selection was based on your body weight and build and the "type of skier" you described yourself as, i fully apprieciate that you probably have done less skiing then i would expect for someone going into that level of boot but then again you seem to be happy to look at the falcon.....and the difference is?????  i would need to check the record, but i am sure you said to me that you were happy on any level of run and doing some off piste, but please correct me if i am wrong

post #6 of 25

race boots = narrow.  This is good for someone with a narrow foot, or someone who wants/needs/expects more performance that less foot movement will give them.

 

 race boots are 92-97mm range

 

they can be stiffer too, but some good options with the lange ZA and the nordica WC100.

 

 

CEM vs gordon.  I'll stay out of that battle  ;)

 

 

post #7 of 25
Quote:

relatively thin liner. A boot like that WILL NEED WORK before you can use it. It will need to be punched and ground to match your feet.

Very important points, even for a high end rec boot like a Nordica Doberman.  The thin liner can be cold and less comfy, but offer more performance.  The boot likely will need several adjustment sessions, so be sure the selling store knows what they're doing for shell modifications and is easy for you to return to for the work.  All modification work should be included in the purchase price.

post #8 of 25

No battle Dave,

 

just intrigues as to why some one would spend time with me, make decisions then go to a big box store at question those decisions

post #9 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonFreeman View Post

 

What are the differences between race boots and recreational boots for the same stiffness?

I had someone recommend me a race boot the other day and another fitter looked absolutely shocked to hear that :)

 

I bought a pair of Atomic RTCS boots which were the first boots I have ever bought with the word

Race on the side. I decided to ski on them without any changes to the boot from the shop and

found the forward lean too far forward which I corrected by removing the spoiler and I found the

lack of shock absorbsion in the sole uncomfortable so I added a sports Gel Sole between the stock foot bed and plastic innersole. My boots were a half size over so did not have a problem

fitting the additional Gel innersole. They had a wider more comfortable fit than my old Technica Icon Alu Comp boots but similar stiffness. Atomic market these boots for racers and skiing professionals but I am just a recreational skier but have more days in a season.

In summary you do not have to be a racer to enjoy race boots but they do need some minor tweaking for comfort also they can be time consuming and painfull to get on but should not be painful when on. I also found with these boots that once clipped up I did not need to retighten after a few runs.

 

 

 

 


 

post #10 of 25

Liner is also an important difference.

 

I currently have Head S13 which is I believe 120 flex index.  The S13 and S11 also had differing forefoot size with teh S11 being 3mm wider.

 

Raptor race series has much thinner liner and I believe varies from just under to just over 100mm forefoot width. 

 

One of the major differences is the thicknes of the liner.  The S13 has a very thick liner which can pack down and feel a bit mushy.

 

My previous four boots were all Tecnica (TNT, TNT AVS, TNT Explosion 8, TNT Icon).  The Tecnica had the thinner liner.  They never packed down.

 

The biggest two difference I have observed with these thicker liners is 1.  a small loss of performance and 2. warmer feet,

 

My next boots will be Raptor series because I am NOT a fan of think liners.  Not at all.....

 

(but I do like having warmer feet)

 

Mike

post #11 of 25

CEM:  maybe they don't wear a helmet skiing and that is showing up now?  ;)

 

ya,  funny to take all that time, with a pro boot fitter, then ask an tennis racket salesman what they think...

post #12 of 25

fter having my race boots punched, grounded, and shimmed about a dozen times, I will offer this advice for the benefit of my overworked boot fitters, and my aching feet: If you have knobby, beat-up, cold, sore and fussy feet due to genes or general age, don't buy racing boots, ever, for any reason, performance or whatever. The system and concept is way too unforgiving. Imagine trying to shape the shell to every lump and knot on your feet. Cumbersome and annoying. And you'll still be freezing and in pain, making great turns for sure, but damn!

post #13 of 25

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonFreeman View Post

 

What are the differences between race boots and recreational boots for the same stiffness?

 

 

Mostly color. Race boots are usually bright red, or bright blue, or bright orange... rec boots are dull grey or black.

post #14 of 25

bright red - Salomon

bright blue - Lange

bright orange - Tecnica

not as bright orange - Rossignol/Lange

white - Atomic

bright yellow - Fischer

 

Thin liner, reduction of gadgets to make adjustments in favor of making adjustment by altering the boots.

 

The ultimate in custom-fit race boots: a guy who skis with no liners at all. He has worked as a bootfitter himself, and spent a summer grinding and punching the shells bit by bit.

post #15 of 25

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post

The ultimate in custom-fit race boots: a guy who skis with no liners at all. He has worked as a bootfitter himself, and spent a summer grinding and punching the shells bit by bit.

 

WOW.  That is truly hardcore.  In an insane but good way.

post #16 of 25

You all forgot one last factor.....a race boot will cost you much more for essentially less boot....no gadgets, no multiple hardness plastics, no elaborate and warm liner.....and then of course the boot has to be custom fit which means even more $$$.

 

But I digress...I only ski in very stiff race boots, my feet do get cold quicker than most, but after having owned various performance boots in the recent past, I have never had as much control as I do with these.....I take the good with the bad.

post #17 of 25

 

Quote:

The ultimate in custom-fit race boots: a guy who skis with no liners at all. He has worked as a bootfitter himself, and spent a summer grinding and punching the shells bit by bit.

 

If it would only be true ;) It might be nice bedtime story but in reality, no matter how much time and effort someone would spend, there's no way anyone would be able to make even one single run with boots without liners.

post #18 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

 

 

 

If it would only be true ;) It might be nice bedtime story but in reality, no matter how much time and effort someone would spend, there's no way anyone would be able to make even one single run with boots without liners.

Funny you say that, before I had my boots worked on I couldnt even get my foot in them without pain....even with no liner it was way tight.
 

post #19 of 25

Richie-Rich I hardly believe this ;) I have pair of racing service Ficher RC4 WC Pro (for skiing) and pair of Fischer RC4 WC (for working) and none of those two pairs has liners thin like socks. On both of them it's pretty hard to get foot in without liners, but once you are in, it's so weird shape, there's no way any kind of "working on boot" would make it fit your foot.

And somehow I doubt boots from other companies would be much different then these from Fischer are.

post #20 of 25

In my limited experience, yes, race boots have thinner liners and stiffer flex, but the main point is that they seem to use better/different plastic, so the flex is smoother and more linear than rec boots. Taken with the thicker lateral plastic, you just get quicker and more predictable reactions. People always go on about longitudinal stiffness, but for me it's all about the feel...

 

That said, you're unlikely to find a plug that you'd want to wear all day in mixed conditions. That instant transmission of force each way can wear you and your feet out. 

post #21 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

 

Richie-Rich I hardly believe this ;) I have pair of racing service Ficher RC4 WC Pro (for skiing) and pair of Fischer RC4 WC (for working) and none of those two pairs has liners thin like socks. On both of them it's pretty hard to get foot in without liners, but once you are in, it's so weird shape, there's no way any kind of "working on boot" would make it fit your foot.

And somehow I doubt boots from other companies would be much different then these from Fischer are.


 

I don't know which part you disagree with but, I do agree that although the liners are cold, they are not that thin, thinner yes, but actually I would like them thinner since I feel too much "give" in the shin area due to the foam compressing when I apply pressure.   My liners are leather, I don't know if all race stock boots are like this, but it does not make for a warm boot, my feet are always freezing, and the volume is much less than recreational cloth boot liners.


Edited by Richie-Rich - 4/7/2009 at 05:46 am
post #22 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

 

 

 

If it would only be true ;)


 

No ... true! I saw them. No liners at all.

post #23 of 25

I'm coming late the discussion. As a former ski racer and someone that works on skis, here is my 2 cents.  I'd say for most recreational skiers, a good boot fit is key.  I'd suggest working with a good boot fitter and decide which shell fits the best with the least amount of modification.  I'd try on different models and brands.  In general, a true race fit is not that comfortable.  As a former racer, one is always standing around and waiting at the start.  Your coach scraps snow/ice off your soles, puts your boot in the binding and off you go to the start.  I know many excellent skiers (e.g., former racers) that can't wait to get recreational fit for their race boots.  Even with an excellent fit, race boots are still not as warm and probably too stiff for most skiers.  In this context, performance boots are different than true race boots. cheers, cmr

post #24 of 25

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlier View Post

I'm coming late the discussion. As a former ski racer and someone that works on skis, here is my 2 cents.  I'd say for most recreational skiers, a good boot fit is key.  I'd suggest working with a good boot fitter and decide which shell fits the best with the least amount of modification.  I'd try on different models and brands.  In general, a true race fit is not that comfortable.  As a former racer, one is always standing around and waiting at the start.  Your coach scraps snow/ice off your soles, puts your boot in the binding and off you go to the start.  I know many excellent skiers (e.g., former racers) that can't wait to get recreational fit for their race boots.  Even with an excellent fit, race boots are still not as warm and probably too stiff for most skiers.  In this context, performance boots are different than true race boots. cheers, cmr

 

I have boots in different flexes and have 2 pairs of semi race boots and have found the semi race

boots are the better boots for long Mid Fat skis eg 174 - 184 cm.  Is it common to expect race

or semi race boots to be better for longer 174cm+ skis?



 

post #25 of 25

quoted for truth, X 2 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

You all forgot one last factor.....a race boot will cost you much more for essentially less boot....no gadgets, no multiple hardness plastics, no elaborate and warm liner.....and then of course the boot has to be custom fit which means even more $$$.

 

But I digress...I only ski in very stiff race boots, my feet do get cold quicker than most, but after having owned various performance boots in the recent past, I have never had as much control as I do with these.....I take the good with the bad.



 

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