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Do shock absorbers in boots really work?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 




I am getting back into skiing after boarding for the last few years. Last boots I had were some ancient Nordica 981 four buckle front entries. One new thing in some ski boots is shock absorbers and suspension and anti-damping features. Do these features actually work? If shock absorption does work, which boot(s) are really good at it.


I like the 100mm last on the hot rod series (not the 125 which is a 98mm last) and I'm 6'2' and about 210-215 pounds. I would like to try the hot rod 105 but the flex may not be stiff enough (hard to tell at room temp). I could go stiffer with the speedmachines as they have the same last but no shock absorption features. Looking for a versatile all-mountain boot.


Thanks for your imput.

post #2 of 3

Some Dalebello, Full Tilt, Flexon and related 3-piece shell boots come with a boot board (sits in the shell and your inner boot is on top of it) which is a shock absorbing rubber. My Krypton Pros came with both the regular and shock absorbing boards. I have used both, and there is definitely a difference. They absorb shock, but soften the feel of the boot/ski connection, so I did not like them for carving on hard snow.  I believe they are designed primarily for use in the park and pipe.


I also bought a pair of the shock absorbing boards from a Full Tilt dealer for my wife's old Flexons for $25.


Some boots also come with springs or bumpers under the heel of the board boards. These do help on big hard hits, but not a lot. The problem is that anything which gives you real vertical shock absorption inside the boot is literally changing the fit of the shell or inner boot when it works, which is not a good thing.


I do not know about any other brands, but I would guess that some park/pipe specific boots have some sort of system. You should also consider the forward flex adjustments of the boots. The ones listed above also have adjustable forward flex that acts as a horizontal shock absorber.

Edited by mudfoot - 10/25/10 at 12:15pm
post #3 of 3

IMO shock absorbers are really unnecessary and usually do more harm than good (as pointed out by mudfoot).


Your goal should be to achieve the most solid connection possible between your foot and your ski.  The Full Tilt/Flexon/Krypton rubber bootboards (I have experience on all of them) create an imperfect link between your foot and the ski when edging on hard surfaces.


If all you ever ski is soft snow then the issue is probably moot, but almost none of us get that luxury.  It also doesn't matter if you're a park rat.

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