perhaps a little dose of reality to a really funny post.
the "new" boots you are praising as the second coming of rear entry, have hardly proven themselves to have any real value to the market. other than for the youth/freeride category. last year full tilt was the #1 selling boot online. who is dumb enough to buy boots online? the next generation of youth skiers, that prefer to do everything online. those boots must fit pretty well if you buy them 2 sizes too big online!!!
i will hold off on the apex design as it is just making the hard journey into the market, and it cannot be lumped into this fake "new" group of cabrio designs. the creator of the apex has solid history in rear entry design and production and a proven track record with the very successful hanson brand in the usa. he has designed a boot intended to secure fit to the foot and separate out the performance with an exoskeleton shell made out of carbon fiber. it ain't no cabrio.
so far the best benefits of the cabrio designs are keeping shin pain at bay for jibbers, and guy's stompin the big stuff in the back country. just like back in the day when raichle's ruled the world of DH racing, and mogul skiing, those characteristics help today's ski movie stars to absorb shock at high speeds, straight lining exits to hairball lines. they certaintly are not helping anyone ski better on a shaped ski designed for carving in all conditions. so can we all agree that these "new" designs straightline better than 4 buckle overlaps? ok i will give you that one. check that off the list of what a nordica doberman does well. can you slarve on anything? absolutely. can you carve on anything? absolutely not!
no improvement in fit, no improvement in controlling the current crop of skis that the average consumer is using, no improvement in ease of entry or exit. no true benefit in the market.
there were a few reasons that rear entry went away, jim's comment was kinda close, although rear entry was already dying before the shape of skis changed in full scale. rear entries demise, was relative to the boom of the fashion without the boom of technological improvements. what i mean is that there were a few good rear entry designs that actually delivered on the promise of separating fit from performance. that was what salomon did so successfully in their inherent design, that few of their competitors where able to match. yes there were a few random boot models out there that also delivered. one of the reasons for so much of the junk that was produced, was salomon's brilliance of devising and capturing existing patents, that put them in a position to have the only rear entry boot where the cable path for heel hold down could travel below the hinge rivet point. all other manufacturers were forced to find other creative ways to address heel hold down without being able to really do a good job of holding the heel down. salomon was rabid about protecting their patents, and at one point were able to force raichle to change one of their designs that infringed on this important patent.
conventional overlap boots do not do a good job separating fit and function, however the last improvements over the past 20 years more than make up for that lack of design feature. also the cabrio designs do not exactly hit a home run in this area. the current cabrio's have not a great fitting last. it is no coincidence that the majority of those boots need
to be sold with a heat moldable liner. it is the only way to get average feet into these boots.
so there is a good reason why you can still rip on your salomon sx 92 e race boots. they did the best job of separating out the fit from the performance of any boot ever made. ultimately what killed salomon was the rash of crap that their competitors puked into the market that neither fit nor functioned. it was the perfect marketing storm that allowed 4 buckle overlap back to a position of dominance in the world market.
the point of my rant is that it is about to come full circle again. there is a fashion boom headed our way, that is not being backed up by a technological revolution. once more you will see the market trying to push concepts like ease of entry, shock absorbtion, separation of fit and performance (multiple tongue flexes), etc. and in the end the "magic" of a lower shell and a cuff that interacts with it will ultimately rule the world of performance skiing.
think about what is currently hot in the market....rubber boot boards, sublimated shell graphics, see through shells with rasta images on liners, vibram walking soles. most, if not all of these things are not bringing anything to the reality party, however they are all star guests at the marketing party.
so for the new year lets's have a toast to sore feet and high performance winning out over the crippy crap of the ski market.
see you during the next full circle, with my tongue safely inside my cheek,