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Boot "feel" and performance - or thinking outside the shell

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Had a bit of an epiphany last night - at least for me. Put my boots on and walked around the house to provoke the Snow Gods. No snow but a discovery.
My current boots are two year old Krypt Pro's (306mm) with after market Intuition liners. Would like to say that they have been great, but I have never been able to get the fit right, even with three reheats. Have had major toe crunch despite several spot heatings of the toe box and some attention with a hydrolic or airdriven stretching device. I got bony feet and chicken ankles. Even with custom beds, and cranked buckles I have loose heels and some ankle swim. Very nice upright stance and warm but ultimately not a stirring experience.
So I take one off and put on a nine year old pair of Tecnica XT 17 plugs that the Krypts replaced. Laced up the leather Doberman liner and shoved it into the shell. Gorgeous. Even at 303mm they have more toe room. Zero ankle slop. Zero heel lift. The Tecnicas feel like a glove, with my foot contacting every part of the shell. The Krypts like a mitt. With my foot contacting every part of the liner.
What I noticed with a Krypt on one and Tecnica on the other is the "feel" of the shell. And that is an amazing difference. With the Tecnicas the heel is planted, not because it is jammed back by the lateral forces generated by the buckles, but because the shell of the boot seems to conform to the shape of the back of the foot - like it is contoured. So the heel does not lift because the shape of the shell holds it there. Not so much with the Krypt. I have to crank down the boot with the force generated by the middle buckle strap pulling the foot back. Seems most unnatural and ultimately unsuccessful and inefficient.
And then I "edged" both boots. In the Tecnica I could feel the big toe pressing against the shell to engage. A very "positive," tactile sensation. The same movement in Krypton felt disconnected - like I was pressuring the liner with no noticeable contact with the shell or feedback.
I came away with the feeling that plug boots are made the way they are to match as closely as possible, the contour of the foot - or to be sculpted that way. And the thin liner serves as a shock absorber with some insulation. Just so happens my foot must match the prototype for the Tecnica because never had any shell work done to deserve that perfect fit. With the Krypton, the shell seems only an approximation of the foot, with the liner designed to fill in the gaps.
Frankly, while the Tecnicas have always been a great fit, I reluctantly replaced them. They are so damn cold for the typical January and February day in Maine. Not just because the lace up liner is the thickness of a light spring glove, but because no amount of duct tape could keep the snow from blowing into the boot where the shell overlaps. And my attempts at weather stripping have failed. It pulls off every time I shove my foot in or pull it out. The boot has an aggressive forward lean and are stiff, as you might expect. Problem is that my shins have a small circumference. And even with a Booster strap around the liner, I am well into a flex before my shin even pressures the shell. So when that shell is ice rigid, flex is only a cynical word.
I would love to find a boot that combines the best of both these boots. From the Krypton, I would want the very nice, upright balanced stance and responsive, tight cuff. A litle warmth might not be so bad. From the Tecncia, that secure feeling that the shell has been molded to my foot and that it is the shell, not the liner, that I am doing business with. Oh, yes, and that gorgeous progressive flex of the Tecnica. Boot guys - does such a boot exist? From Tecnica? Or Nordica (130 Pro?)
Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 8
try the new lange comp pro on one foot and a Fischer progressor 120  and maybe the tecnica agent 130 on the other and see if one of those doesn't meet your needs. 
post #3 of 8
Sounds like you might want to keep in the back of your mind a custom pair of foam ski boots if do not find the perfect fit. Check out my web site for details.  If you have any questions I'd be happen to answer them...

post #4 of 8

I, like you, love my old Tecnica XTs and still use them from time to time.  They fit my feet without any fitting efforts too.  I have been skiing the Nordica Pro 130's & 150's for the past few years and found them to fit well (a little fitting needed) and ski better than the XT's.  These boots should certainly be on your short list! they have a better, slightly stiffer flex, and a nice stock liner.  Though I have not had the opportunity to ski the new EDT's with the aluminum rail, I have heard from Mike Rogan they are very responsive, yet a bit colder?  Ah the price we pay for performance!
post #5 of 8
Not a bootfitting solution, but a Boot Glove solves the snow intrusion and cold problem.<<ducking out of boot-guys forum>>
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Bud, thanks for yours. I know you are an XT alum and one of the reasons I am lookng at the Pro 130 is because you and many others have made very successful moves to the Doberman line. I read and reread the recent post on the Member Gear Review forum re the 150, which refs the 130 Pro.
Could you give me a side by side of the XT vs the Pro 130? Would be much obliged. I am heading over to local shop this afternoon to play Cinderella.
Much obliged,
post #7 of 8
 You might want to try a Zip-Fit liner in the Krypton Pro. It provides far superior heel hold and overall foot retention without excessive pressure. Much better fit then the Intuition.
post #8 of 8

I like the flex of the 130 Dobie better because  it doesn't seem to mush at the end of it's  stroke (if you understand suspension lingo) The XT seems to  fold rather than offer  progressively stiffer near full stop.  The angles  on the Dobie seem  pretty similar  if not a slight bit more  upright.   Take your XT's with you and  try on side by side with Dobie!
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Boot "feel" and performance - or thinking outside the shell