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Patroller Boot Recommendations?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I understand many factors -- comfort, performance, skiing style and snow conditions -- influence boot selection but I'd welcome recommendations from other patrollers.

Where I patrol in SE Michigan, we've got steeps and bumps but ski mostly on groomed slopes, sometimes icy or wind-blown snow that's often man-made as much as natural.

I'm 6 ft and 200 lbs, skiing 3+ days a week in my third year back on skis after an '06 double knee replacement allowed me to resume skiing after 25 years of little or no skiing. I'd been bone-on-bone in both knees for most of that time, but for fitness I'd cycled lots, up to 5,000 miles a year.

I'm looking to replace a pair of packed-out Tecnica Diablo Magnesiums that I'd bought used before last season.  In November I bought some new boots (Brand X, let's say) but found that their low hinge-point and three-piece-shell design made side-slipping (i.e., feathering the edges) quite a chore. 

So last month, in order to pass my S&T, I went back to the old Tecnicas.

I'm now leaning toward the new Tecnica Dragon 110, but would like to hear what others wear while patrolling. BTW my current skis are 170 Nordica Dobermann SL Pros.
Edited by CycleBob - 2/13/10 at 12:28pm
post #2 of 20
I was turned onto Daleboot by two patrolers in UT (I assisted an injured boarder until the patrolers arrived).  I am not a ski patroler, but an expert skier.  The boots are really popular with patrolers in Utah because Daleboot is located in SLC.  Consider this about Daleboot:
1) Totally custom boots since the seventies.  As in really custom.  Guaranteed to fit any foot right.
2) Component boot.  Just swap out parts as they wear out and you can keep them forever.
3) You can unhinge the rear cable (by popping the lever with your gloves on) for walking, working, skiing powder, etc.  This will make slide-slipping much more comfortable when putting up fences, taking a toboggen down a steep slope, etc.
4) The VFF Pro is certainly stiff enough for you.  Laterally, it is as stiff as any plug (race) boot.
5) They are now using a proprietary Intuition custom liner pre-lasted to the shell during production, and I like it. Light weight and comfortable.  Decent warmth.
6) The soles pop-off for easy canting or replacement.  Side canting does not work well, only under the foot canting works right (as every racer knows).  The soles make canting a literal "snap."
7)  You can vary the forward flex with a screwdriver.  This may make it easier for slide-slipping without going to their VFF model.
8) They are the most comfortable (because of the custom fit) performance boot you can find.
9) They have some odd features that really work due to the fact that Mel Dalebout still holds so many patents.  For example, the buckles are reversed to prevent buckles from popping open from boot out, slapping against moguls, etc.

The boots aren't cheap, but I think they are worth it.  I've met people who think they can keep their boots forever simply by replacing parts as they wear out.  This means, in the long run, they are a decent value.

Read my review on this site and/or go to www.Daleboot.com.  No, I do not work for the company. 

They got rid of the blue boots  (VFF Pro) and changed the color to mainly black, an improvement IMO.
Edited by quant2325 - 2/13/10 at 11:59am
post #3 of 20
The easy answer is the pair that fit. If you have to walk a lot then consider A/T boots, but realize you have to get A/T bindings as well.
post #4 of 20
I patrol in tecnica diablo magmas,the predacessor to the magnesium. It is a little stiffer but overall the same boot. Absolute comfort and performance right out of the box.The wonderful thing about it is the dual cuff adjustments.These allow the cuff to be adjusted to change the way they flex forwards if you are either knockneed or bowlegged a bit.  To answer your question about the Dragons,they are similar in flex.  They are a little more upright and have a little higher cuff which at your size may actually help you. I am a bit shorter and like the shorter cuff. The Dragon is supposed to have about the same volume too.  However, if you are on a budget, you can get larger size Magmas on ebay pretty cheaply right now. Try them on somewhere first as they run approximately one size larger than a lot of boots.  I wear a 9 and ski in a 25 boot.I know a lot of my fellow patrollers who made the mistake in getting them too big,wouldn't want that to happen to you.  Hope this helps
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post

The easy answer is the pair that fit. If you have to walk a lot then consider A/T boots, but realize you have to get A/T bindings as well.

Fully agree with the first part, except...Dynafit (Titan) and Black Diamond (Method, Factor) make AT boots that you can put DIN soles on and use in alpine bindings.  Also, Scarpa makes some DIN soled/alpine boots (Typhoon, Tornado) that have a walk mode like those on their (superb) AT boots.  Walk mode rocks for patrol.  
post #6 of 20
Why not get a set of Intuition liners and keep your boots if they work well.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post

Why not get a set of Intuition liners and keep your boots if they work well.

I've heard that Intuition liners are almost too warm. Considering my feet now sweat in just a very light pair of polypro socks, I wouldn't want them to be warmer. Good thought, tho --  thanks.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CycleBob View Post




I've heard that Intuition liners are almost too warm. Considering my feet now sweat in just a very light pair of polypro socks, I wouldn't want them to be warmer. Good thought, tho --  thanks.

 

You heard correctly.  I have intuitions in my Krypton's and on warmer  or strenuous days I have to change socks.  I ski a night shift and have had many days when the weather was still fairly warm when I arrived and got really cold once the sun went down.  fresh socks and I'm good.

I've been too warm in them often, but never -- or at least not often--- too cold

I second the idea of a boot that fits properly.  And I happen to like the Krypton for patrolling very much....you might try them if they fit your foot..
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post


 And I happen to like the Krypton for patrolling very much....you might try them if they fit your foot..

You hit my Brand X. I've got the Krypton Cross and have various issues I won't go into here. But when I referred to the low-hinge point, I had lotsa trouble sideslipping, went back to my older Diablo Magnesiums to pass my S&T.
post #10 of 20
Not sure I understand the problem re: sideslipping, I was a demo dummy for sled practice for our cadidates just last week----the S & T trainer wanted me to demo essentially pivot slips in the handles, side slip transitions both directions staying in a lane. 

I'm not sure just how the boot design would affect flat ski control.  Then again I don't have any joint issues. 

Anyway, if you like the overlap boot and it works better for you, then my preference in boots doesn't hold much water now does it!

Are you near a good boot fitter?? 
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post

"...I'm not sure just how the boot design would affect flat ski control.  Then again I don't have any joint issues..."
That's the point, as my new, artificial knees flex pretty well fore-to-aft but laterally not so good, especially with both legs relatively close to each other.  From a static cross-hill side-slip position, you can release or set your edges by flexing knees downhill or uphill.

If that won't do (as mine won't), Plan B is to flex or roll your ankles the same way, which is where the lateral stiffness and lower-hinge point of three-piece cabriolet design pose a problem.

With Tecnica's traditonal design (i.e., two-piece shell and higher hinge point), it's no problem at all and I can side-slip and pivot like crazy

But it took me a couple weeks at the start of our training season to realize why I'd regressed so much on simple side-slips and transitions.

 
post #12 of 20
If you are comfortable in the Magnesiums, seriously look on line at the Magmas. Same exact boot,only a little stiffer. There is a flex adjustment on them to soften them and you know about all of the other adjustments on them. Plus, you already know what you can and cannot do in them. That is the very reason I upgraded and did not change brands. Good deals are easily had on this boot because it is discontinued also.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveski7 View Post

If you are comfortable in the Magnesiums, seriously look on line at the Magmas. Same exact boot,only a little stiffer. There is a flex adjustment on them to soften them and you know about all of the other adjustments on them. Plus, you already know what you can and cannot do in them. That is the very reason I upgraded and did not change brands. Good deals are easily had on this boot because it is discontinued also.

Good thought, Dave. I've been looking, and new Magmas are easier to find than Magnesiums. And they're generally less expensive than the Dragon 110 at pro form.
post #14 of 20
I patrol in tecnica agent 130s, got them this year to replace tecnica xt 17s. I wanted to try the lange superblaster-they look like they'd be great for patrolling, walk mode, rubber soles, 120 flex.
I couldn't find any locally to try on (good deal on the nsp website) so I went with tecnicas, which I knew would fit.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I got squared away w/Brand X, who, finally, did the right thing. 

Now looking at Tecnica Dragon 110, for which there are some ridiculously fantastic clearance prices to be found right now. In a perfect world I'd go with the Dragon 100s but the 110 has the UltraFit liner, very similar, except for materials, to that in the 120.

Figure this is newer design/technology than that of the Magnesiums, which must be 5-6 years old at least. Anyone have much experience with the Dragon 110?
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

 

Just ordered my Dragon 110s at a wicked good price $150 below pro-form. I'll spend that much fine-fitting it w/ my boot guru, who doesn't carry this one cuz it lists just a smidgeon below 120s.

 

Barring hitting the lottery and winging down to Portillo, I'll see in December how this performs.

post #17 of 20

I just purchased a pair of the Dragon 120s to replace the older Diablos which I never really liked that much. Have yet to ski on them as opening day is still a month away (yes its Oz!) so will see how they perform. They were easy for Peter our boot guy to align and I really like the snugger fit around the ankle. The higher cuff may be problematic but the stiffer liner material gets my vote. The carbon steel buckles look flimsy but I guess they will hold up OK.

 

BTW at the same time my wife replaced her Nordicas with the new Hot Rod 100s which meet her needs. All in all worth the 4 hour round trip and the 3 hour fitting process. Now for some decent snow!

post #18 of 20

Catskill's Rule:  Ski Patroller's ski boot size is inversely proportional to how many lift tickets you pull.  In other words the smaller the ski boot size the more uncomfortable and irritable, which means you will pull more lift tickets.  On the other hand, if you have a larger ski boot size, you will be a lot more comfortable, less irritable, better mood, and a lot less likely to pull a customer's lift ticket.   

post #19 of 20

post #20 of 20

The quick an dirty of it is try on a lot of different boots, from different manufactures and buy the one that is most comfortable for you.  When I worked as a boot fitter for a local ski shop for eleven years, that mantra left more happy customers than not.  With shaped skis, in general you want a boot that is very stiff laterally, but softer in forward flex.  With your size, forward flex in the 110-120 range is probably a good starting point.  Another thing that will make a huge difference in your boots especially when you are wearing them 3+ days a week, if to get a set of professionally fit orthotic foot beds.  You'll be amazed at how well the make your boots work and the overall increase in comfort level as well.

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