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Something odd about new boots

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Cross-posted with equipment because I don't know where the problem lies

Old Boots = Nordica Trend
"rental boots", no frills, simple construction, lots of loft, fits fairly well, comfortable.

New Boots = Technica Rival X9 Ultrafit HVL
Lots of bells & whistles, fits fairly well, comfortable.

I've skied the Technical both in "off-the-shelf" form and after doing quite a bit of adjustment to make it feel just right.

Both times I've skied it I ended up with calf cramps and seemed to have little or no control of my skis.

The second time, which was today, I walked back to the car, put on my old Nordicas and it was like night and day.
I was able to control my skis again.

It was kind of hard packy and icy and I was doing the semi carving kinda skidding thing, but it was working and it felt pretty nice.

what gives?

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 23
Could be a couple things, Nakona. It is possible that these new boots are simply set up all wrong for you. All those adjustments are meaningful--forward lean, cuff angle, ramp angle, not to mention fit--and if one or more is not right for you, it will have a big effect on performance.

Or it could be that the boots are set up just right for you, and that you will just need some time to get used to them. The new boots are probably stiffer and higher performance than your old ones. The soles of the old boots were probably worn and rounded, making the attachment to the skis somewhat less precise.

In short, there is surely a difference between the old boots and the new. (At least, I HOPE so--otherwise you should have saved your money!) At best, then, you will need to get used to the change. Just like changing your technique, improving your equipment doesn't always feel "right" right away.

Ski them a little more, then get with a good instructor to assess your technique AND your equipment setup. Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, my old boots are actually in pretty good shape.
I just wanted something a bit higher performance because I felt the old "entry level" boots might hold me back.

The new boots are definitely much higher performance. Not a race boot, but a strong intermediate to advanced boot.

I'm kind of a slightly weak intermediate.
post #4 of 23
I'm not sure if this will help, but I found that moving from an entry level to a more "sophisticated" boot was a real challenge. At first, I was ready to run back to my cushy, too much volume boots. What's odd, is that the new ones felt fine in the store.

I've since discovered that a more high end boot is a little less "forgiving" of technical errors than an entry level. In the last workshop I took, my instructor told me to let her know anytime the boot was bothering me. Sure enough, most of the time I was doing something incorrectly.

You say you have calf cramps. Is it at all possible that you are skiing in the backseat? Or is it possible that your socks are too thick for the boot, causing too snug a fit?

I also found practicing ski specific foot movements every night in my boots helped me get a bit more comfortable in them,

Not an expert. Just wanted to throw out some ideas.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 19, 2002 09:31 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #5 of 23
When I got my new boots I thought: 'Gee, these fit so well, now I can surely rip harder than ever'. However, thinking that these new boots would be 'miracle boots', I sort of let my technique go a bit and found my feet incredibly sore. However I found my technique again and now I can rip harder and better than ever before.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, it's not thick socks. Backseat?

One of the reasons I bought the boot was the way the front of it felt like it was RIGHT THERE so that when I tried to bend at the knees and put weight on the tongue it would weight my tips real well.

I really did think that this boot would be a big step forward.

Maybe it's just that...
It's too far ahead of my ability.
Certainly I'm big enough to flex the boot but maybe it's not a question of strength but technique.

Actually, i hope it is, because otherwise I just wasted $350.
post #7 of 23
You're a pretty big guy. Could it just be that the Technicas have smaller cuffs than the Nordicas? They probably have taller cuffs too. Also, don't put ANYTHING in there other than your foot and your sock. No tucking the pants or even long johns into it.
post #8 of 23
Hi Nakona,
I don't know the Nordicas well enough, but I do know the Technicas are a high end boot. They are not very forgiving, and would hold you further forward than most.
Stick with them, I think you'll like them once you get used to them.

post #9 of 23
Can't help with your boot question but if you want to take a couple runs at Mt Creek some nite I can give you my .02$s.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Actually Bill, that would be good.

Any particular reason for going at night?
post #11 of 23
I ski one nite during the week and Sunday morning. It could be Sunday if you like. Saturdays are out,I WORK six days a week! Send me a PM if you want to do something.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 20, 2002 04:15 PM: Message edited 1 time, by BillA ]</font>
post #12 of 23
Nakona, if you're making your calves cramp, you may be tightening up the muscles in your feet in response to the changes in how your skis perform. Maybe even "gripping" the footbeds with your toes????

Another possibility is that the new boots have put you a little farther forward on your feet, so your calves are working harder.

I'd try skiing the new boots on some gentle terrain where you don't have to worry much about how the turns go and see if you can't relax the feet and let the skis do the work for you.
post #13 of 23
Bob Barnes hit on something. He mentioned ramp angle and forward lean. From my years of bootfitting for customers and in trying on various boots to see and feel their differences, I have learned that changes in ramp angle and increases in forward lean are felt most within the calf and achilles tendon.

I would try this fairly simple test, which requires you and another person.

Put on one of the old boot and one of the new boot. Stand as neutrally (centered in the boot, not flexing and not leaning back) and have your friend check your knee bend. This will show you any change in forward lean.

If the ramp angle change is big enough, you'll feel a difference between the two feet if you try placing a magazine simultaneously under both heels and then under both toes. If it's not that big, you may have to check the specifications on the two boots to get any ramp angle differences.

Hope this helps.
post #14 of 23
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
Nakona, if you're making your calves cramp, you may be tightening up the muscles in your feet in response to the changes in how your skis perform. Maybe even "gripping" the footbeds with your toes????<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Kneale, I've usually found that when I ski very hard snow and ice, I have a tendency to try to grip the snow by grabbing at my footbeds. Harkens me back to the primate days when we used feet like we still use hands!

In any case, I've found that the symptoms caused by the "gripping" are arch cramping and painful instep (top of foot), and sometimes pain at the very bottom of the shin.
post #15 of 23
nakona - I assume you are skiing the more "shaped" skis. You say you feel out of control and skis are going every which way. Back off the forward pressure and try to ski more centered. "Shaped" skis do not require a lot of tip pressure and with your new performance boot you may be driving too hard.

Large calves you may need and extended buckle to allow you to micro adjust more. Also a higher end boot really calls for the next step, a good pair of foot beds.

Floyd [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #16 of 23
Simply sounds like the forward lean angle is too much . Take out any spacers or wedges from the rear of the upper cuff, even if you have to unscrew them and set any forward lean adjustments as straight up as possible. If than doesn't work, consider heel lifts between the footboard and liner, or having a bootfitter alter the forward lean angle further.
post #17 of 23
Nakona, take some lessons with an instructor.
He ought to be able to tell you werther
the boots are too stiff for you or you need just to adapt, or go see a bootfitter.
I had the same problem years ago with my tecnica TNT.
Simply said, I "played" too much with the forward lean/stiffness adjustments, then forgot about it, and next time I went skiing, after a couple of run, coulnd't even stand.
Then realized where the problem was.
Too much forward lean, and too much stiffness
Since then, I've skied those TNT with max softnees and no forward lean at all.
Also because I ski too little, to "bend" the
darn boots to my will .
post #18 of 23
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nakona:
[QBBoth times I've skied it I ended up with calf cramps and seemed to have little or no control of my skis.

The second time, which was today, I walked back to the car, put on my old Nordicas and it was like night and day.
I was able to control my skis again.

what gives?

Any thoughts?[/QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do you have them on the right feet?
post #19 of 23
Ah yes! The infamous toe gripping maneuver! In all our conditioning classes, I have been making sure my students are not doing this. Not only does it directly cause cramping, but it gives you a too narrow base of support, which compromises balance. When this happens, other muscle, such as the gastrocs {calf} have to overcompensate. Check out the Toe Arpeggio thread. Its a great exercise to train you to "lengthen" your toes.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm getting the feeling that this might be all about technique.

Maybe what I should do is ski a few runs in the old boots to get my "legs" and then change boots and take a lesson.
post #21 of 23
If anybody here has not read this explanation of rotary vs. lateral boot design, it's a great read on Peter Keelty's new website:

It could also explain many things in regard to this topic.
post #22 of 23

Indeed, taking a lesson may go a long way to determine what could be wrong. Here are some other thoughts based on my experience.

I also have Technica boots (Icon XR). I keep my boots at zero forward lean (they have significant lean to start with) and because I am only 160lbs and I hate stiff boots, I keep the stiffness at 1/2 of maximum. However, you are 270 lbs (if I remember correctly), so I am sure that you can bend those boots easily!

I suspect that you may have a tendency to ski in the backseat and with the new boots you tend to pressure the balls of your feet even harder (or grip with your toes) in order to counter the effect of the forward lean and get back to your "comfort" zone.

The only suggestion I could give you is to pressure with the entire foot sole and flex your ankles. Raising your toes promotes flexing your ankles and helps to distribute the pressure over the entire foot sole. Eventually you won't have to use your toes to trigger all this, but at the beginning it helps. Talk to an instructor and experiment with all the ideas, but don't give up on the boots.
post #23 of 23
If you are getting toe grip...boot may be too large or loose in heel. Also, you may need a custom footbed. Actually, that's not may, you do need a custom footbed. Everyone does.
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