Basic race boot sizing, according to Nord.
Shell fit one finger is a good production race boot size. With the thin liner of a "plug" boot you can usually go down another shell size. However Head boots adjusts for this by making the thin race liner boots smaller. For example a size 26 Head N97 (thin race liner) boot is 300 mm long, while the thick liner version of this boot, a size 26 Head M103 is 305mm long. So this seems to imply that you only go down 1/2 mondopoint size when switching to a thin liner race boot. So if you go with the N97 you would stay in a size 25. I would also suggest a Foam liner. The head foam liner or pherhaps an Atomic foam liner.
Now comes the interesting part. I was a perfect fit in a Nordica Size 7 boot. Then they quit making them and started making size 25 instead. A nordica 980 in a size 7 was 2 or 3 cm longer than a Nordica 981 in a size 25. A race stock Gran prix boot in a size 7 was bigger than a production size 25 boot. Ancient history but it probably still holds true.
Mondopoint boots, (ie size 26, 27) etc are made in 10 mm increments. Shoe size boots like Lange, nordica race boots are made in 7 mm increments. For example a Lange L10 in size 7 is 298 mm long,while a L10 size 6 is 291mm long.
If the Nordica size 7 is still a 2-3 mm longer than a Size 25, and a Nordica size 6 is 7 mm shorter than a nordica size 7, then a size 6 is about 5mm shorter than size 25. Which makes the size 6 half way between a size 24 and a size 25.
To confuse things further. I looked at the below size conversion scale for the shoe sizes. This didn't agree with the above, unless ski boots are measured in Centimeters as opposed to mondopoint sizing. Whatever, the main point is a 25 is not a size 7. etc And shoe sized boots are made in smaller increments so they can fit and perform better.http://www.brannock.com/conversion.html
A little about the Head N97. There are at least three version of this boot around as of last spring. The 2001-2002 boot has a bi-injected cuff so the cuff is black and yellow it is 15% softer than the 2002-2003 boot. The flex adjuster on the 2001-2002 boot doesn't work and should be bolted in place with an additional fastener. The 2002-2003 has 2 or bolts in place of the flex adjuster. The third boot is called the World Cup G (it may be called a GARA also), which looks like the 2002-2003 N97 but is made of much stiffer plastic. The way you can tell the boots apart is the world cup G have a removeable upper cuff, so you can replace it with a different cuff (downhill/SG cuff?) and the buckles don't have the leverage doubler and dynamic response springs just real simple buckles.
My Head N97 boots ski as well as Lange L10 races if not better. These are the 2001-2002 (bi-injected cuff) soft ones as described above. The 2002-203 is supposed to ski much better.[ October 28, 2003, 01:19 AM: Message edited by: NordtheBarbarian ]