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Technica's 2011 Phoenix Air Shell series(boots).....anyone yet get a feel for these?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Aside from "does the air chamber"-thing appear to work, if anyone has looked at both "90" and "100" boots, from all images/icons it looks as if the lower cuff of the 90 is a bit more narrow than that area in the 100..y/n?  ...Just the image..?

 

thanks,

Steve

post #2 of 27

I have tried on the new Phoenix 90 & was very impressed. I have a bunion that any boot I have owned had to be ground or stretched to fit. The air bladder falls behind the bunion area & the toe box width has been enlarged to 102 mm. The heel hold was also very good. This should be a Boot Fitters delight. Pump this boot up beyond a firm fix & your eyeballs will hit you glasses. I"m waiting to try the 100 before I make a buy. Also, the liner removes easy with the air bladders attached to the shell. I think Tecnica has a winner.

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

That's really good stuff to hear...a few boots to try on already.


Edited by HaveSkisWillClimb - 8/22/10 at 1:46pm
post #4 of 27

Picked up a pair of these at REI after their 20% typo got me about $90 off.  Definitely an upgrade from my older kit.  I'm apprehensive about the flex, but they felt stiffer than a pair of 110 flex Salomons I tried on.  Room temp is just no way to try on a pair of boots.  

 

Can't wait to try them out on the mountain and hopefully solve my chronic heel slippage problem...

 

p.s. REI didn't carry the 100 flex model, so I can't answer your question about the cuff.  My feet are 99mm wide and have somewhat high volume arches--they felt great.

post #5 of 27

huh? what typo? doesn't it say "doesnt apply to ski, boots or bindings"? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForrestM View Post

Picked up a pair of these at REI after their 20% typo got me about $90 off.  

post #6 of 27

I skied in these last year and they are like taking a shower with a raincoat. They are comfortable and isolate any feeling from the snow. As far as being a boot fitters dream, more like a box store's dream. 

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForrestM View Post

Picked up a pair of these at REI after their 20% typo got me about $90 off.  Definitely an upgrade from my older kit.  I'm apprehensive about the flex, but they felt stiffer than a pair of 110 flex Salomons I tried on.  Room temp is just no way to try on a pair of boots.  

 

Can't wait to try them out on the mountain and hopefully solve my chronic heel slippage problem...

 

p.s. REI didn't carry the 100 flex model, so I can't answer your question about the cuff.  My feet are 99mm wide and have somewhat high volume arches--they felt great.



Nice score.........that 20% off is waaaayyyyy more important than proper and professional  bootfitting.

 

SJ

post #8 of 27

I don't get it.  Seems like adding air between foot and shell is guaranteed to sacrifice performance.

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

I don't get it.  Seems like adding air between foot and shell is guaranteed to sacrifice performance.



Yes....you do get it. Air is not a fit material.

 

SJ

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Kinda my innate sentiments SJ...will take solid resistance over air anytime...especially with my narrow heel/lower-leg, wide forefoot, high instep..

 

Philpug...ROTFL..

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Yes....you do get it. Air is not a fit material.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaveSkisWillClimb View Post

Kinda my innate sentiments SJ...will take solid resistance over air anytime...especially with my narrow heel/lower-leg, wide forefoot, high instep..


I've never skied using boots that have an air bladder, and am not trying to be argumentative, just curious...

 

Foam liner/added foam heel padding is "solid resistance"?  Isn't it air in the foam that provides a balance of resistance and cushion?

 

If a boot fit was close, and then used air pressure to firm up the liner/padding fit, why would that be deficient?

 

I have that same "narrow heel/lower-leg, wide forefoot, high instep" profile. Got a good fit last season after I worked with a second pro boot fitter, but another couple weeks worth of skiing after that and things were starting to get a little less firm, and when I pulled the liners out at the end of the season to allow them to dry thoroughly before storing for the summer the added heel padding came off (adhesive broke down for some reason - was not exposed to any temp extremes). So I'll be seeing another pro boot fitter in a few weeks to get things snugged up properly again.

 

Don't really have a problem with all that, but from a consumer perspective I have to admit I'd be interested in a design that allowed me to snug things up myself as they naturally became less firm over time.

post #12 of 27

I don't really understand the "air is not a performance material" comment either.  The air bladder's stiffness is a function of the internal air pressure of the bladder--enough PSI and it will feel as hard as a rock.  

 

More importantly, the bladder is a complement to rather than a replacement for a proper thermal-fitted insert.  When the foam gets packed in (or in my case when my freakishly narrow heel starts to slip) the air bladder can be inflated to maintain the fit.  

 

Look at me...haven't even skied a day on these and I'm defending the concept.  Typical for someone who has just spent a couple hundred bucks on something that's not a tried-and-true industry technology, I guess.  

post #13 of 27

 

 

Quote:
huh? what typo? doesn't it say "doesnt apply to ski, boots or bindings"? 

 

According my fitter at REI, there were a bunch of 20% off coupons for members that were (mis)printed without the exclusion of boots and bindings.  Everyone at REI was really cool about it and honored the discount (likely because they are just good people AND because there was probably a few people before me that had fought that battle already...).

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForrestM View Post

I don't really understand the "air is not a performance material" comment either.  The air bladder's stiffness is a function of the internal air pressure of the bladder--enough PSI and it will feel as hard as a rock.  


I understand it.

 

The bladder will fill your boot up and make it snug.

 

What it won't do is make it firm.

 

Power transmission inside a ski boot is all about reducing the amount of ancillary movement, so that moving your lower leg (or a part of it) transmits force to the shell, and from there to the binding, and from there to the ski.  Each of those interfaces potentially introduces slop.  Slop diminishes control.

 

This is a design where slop will not be a minimized byproduct, but a built-in design "feature."  To me, that makes as much sense as trying to race a '73 El Dorado at the Nurnburgring.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

That's it ForrestM...fit is something that has to be tried....

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaveSkisWillClimb View Post

That's it ForrestM...fit is something that has to be tried....



Best point made yet!  Give me a month or so...

post #17 of 27

Anybody remember Head had a boot back in the early 70's that had an air bladder liner? Didn't last long in their line if I remember correctly.

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

Anybody remember Head had a boot back in the early 70's that had an air bladder liner? Didn't last long in their line if I remember correctly.


I bought a rear-entry, intermediate Nordica?(y/n?..might've been HEAD) boot back in the 81'-84' timeline...  If I remember somewhat correctly most of the bladder was centered over the instep...  I really didn't have much of a clue of how to successfully get down a mountain with snow on it then....so no remembrance of its worthiness...

$.01

post #19 of 27

I think most manufacturer had some sort of air boot in the late 80's, Raichle, Koflach, Nordica...ect. 

post #20 of 27

What about the ability to adjust the pressure in the bladder for varying skiing situations? I like the idea of having a "looser" feeling boot while casually skiing with my children with the ability to "tighten" it up for my more typical runs. Reebok uses an air bladder in their hockey skates that IMO works great. Aren't the principals of a hockey skate and a ski boot similar? Transferring the most energy from the leg to the surface? I hope to try a pair of these this winter and form my own opinion.

post #21 of 27

[tongue firmly planted in cheek]You can used helium in the bladders if you want to lighten the boots. Also, make sure you release out of the liners on airplanes due to the change in cabin pressure. [/tongue firmly planted in cheek]

post #22 of 27


 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForrestM View Post

I don't really understand the "air is not a performance material" comment either.  The air bladder's stiffness is a function of the internal air pressure of the bladder--enough PSI and it will feel as hard as a rock.  


 

Unlike a rock, an air bladder will NOT pass any shear forces, or any twist forces that do not change the overall volume of the bladder.  

 

You are relying on the casing of the bladder(s) (like tire sidewalls)  to do both of those.   If the casing is stiff enough to actually do the job, it is also too stiff for instant comfort.  

 

Extreme cases:

 

Imagine a boot with -one- bladder surrounding your foot (i.e. one or zero casings).    Sure, you can kick forward, or stomp down and have it feel stiff.   And -no matter what the pressure of the bladder-  you will be able to twist your foot in the boot and find zero resistance.

 

Imagine a boot with a very high number (approaching infinity) of bladders (and their casings) surrounding your foot.    This is /no different/ than a closed-cell-foam liner.

 

post #23 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post


 

 


 

Unlike a rock, an air bladder will NOT pass any shear forces, or any twist forces that do not change the overall volume of the bladder.  

 

You are relying on the casing of the bladder(s) (like tire sidewalls)  to do both of those.   If the casing is stiff enough to actually do the job, it is also too stiff for instant comfort.  

 

Extreme cases:

 

Imagine a boot with -one- bladder surrounding your foot (i.e. one or zero casings).    Sure, you can kick forward, or stomp down and have it feel stiff.   And -no matter what the pressure of the bladder-  you will be able to twist your foot in the boot and find zero resistance.

 

Imagine a boot with a very high number (approaching infinity) of bladders (and their casings) surrounding your foot.    This is /no different/ than a closed-cell-foam liner.

 



Spot on.

 

SJ

post #24 of 27

I think it's a great idea:

 

Start with an oversized boot that's shaped like the box it came in, add fitting materials (air) to take up volume... done. Instant on-demand comfort (maybe) AND performance (heck, you can demand a unicorn... you won't get one, but whatever).

post #25 of 27

The Air Shell boots are like any other boot out there, in that there is always an appropriate customer for them. IF, IF, IF the shell fit is close to correct AND the skier is not interested in any REAL performance, the Air Shell might be a viable choice. This skier better have a really wide foot and be more concerned with skiing on easy terrain. No matter what anyone says, the air will not transmit forces like a PROPERLY fit, performance boot will, and no you will not get that kind of fit from REI or any other box store.

post #26 of 27

So, at the very end of last season, my 14 y.o. son got fitted by a bootfitter in VT who put him in a Tecnica Phoenix (non-air shell) boot.  Since it was the literally the last week of the season, we ended up just renting the Phoenix for the week. 

 

Fast forward to last night. We were at our local ski shop and the bootfitter there put my son in the same boot -w/o us mentioning what the prior bootfitter had done - but now it has the air shell. 

 

Here is the crux of the problem:  He has ankle flexibility issues that cause either his toes to lift off the ground when he flexs forward (yes, it is wierd to see but with stretching it has improved).  Pumping up the front bladder removed the space above the ball of his foot and made him feel much more secure in the boot.  We've had a hard time finding a boot that was narrow enough above his forefoot so this seemed like a good choice but you all have me a bit worried now.

 

I'm thinking that since the fit is good elsewhere (I believe the side to side fit and the heel fit was spot on without the bladder being pumped at all) that these boots might still be a good choice in his unique situation.

 

What think ye?  (and thank in advance for taking the time to respond)

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I think most manufacturer had some sort of air boot in the late 80's, Raichle, Koflach, Nordica...ect. 

Everything old is new again.

 

I tried on a pair of the 100s, and did not like them. The air bladder thingy did seem to work, but by work I mean "I could feel the bladder pressing against my calf when I pumped it up."
 

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