I am a small "senior" woman with child sized feet. I ski groomed blues and some blacks in the midwest. I do occasional recreational racing. I needs new boots and have few resources in this rural area. I now have junior boots. Before I order new boots this year, I wonder if I should try to find adult boots. How do junior boots compare to adult boots in terms of features? I want boots that let me ski to my ability which I am told is expert level. My size is mondo 22.
junior racing boots vrs. high end womens' boots
The most important difference in Jr vs. adult boots is the liner. The lower level (softer) jr boots are quite a bit cheaper than adult models and the liners are cheap just like the boots are. Those liners have a very short life span and poor fit tension on the foot.
As the flexes get stiffer, the Jr. boots start to converge with adult models and the liners get better and better as the price goes up. Generally, you can expect a 90-100 flex jr race boot to have a comparable liner to a similarly priced adult model. (Probably $450-$550 give or take)
Fortunately size 22 or the US/UK equivelant is very common in this type of boot.
Thanks for the info. In regards to the junior boot, how would I determine the appropriate flex for my ability and whether I need a short cuff or regular cuff model? I would think that my weight and stature would have some bearing on these choices.
You are correct, weight, strength, and leg length are going to be very important. Most women under say 5'6" will probably be looking at short cuff models and most of the better Jr. boots in this range are short(er) cuffs anyway. Flex ratings are all over the map as far as comparisons so one brands 90 flex is not necessarily the same as another. To determine the flex, ideally you would put them on and have someone with a practiced eye watch you flex. A good boot fitter can tell whether you are at least in the right neighborhood by watching how you stand and flex. There are some other factors involved as well such as your range of ankle motion.
Thanks for more input. Here is one last question before heading to our local ski shop. Can you recommend a flex based on my height (4"11") and weight (113)? My skier level is very advanced intermediate to expert level. However, because of my age, I am not as strong as I used to be, though I am still keeping up with my husband and skiers much younger. I know a boot that is too stiff will hinder my skiing but too soft a flex will impede skiing too. I need enough stiffness to do occasional Nastar League races and to hold an edge on the Midwest ice and hardpack runs. Would you say that most higher end junior boots and upper end, short cuff women's boots ( $450- 500 range) will be suitable?
With women your size and ability range we are generally selling boots that are 80-100 flex give or take a little. Keep in mind also that a boot that is not a short cuff can be made that way by cutting down the shell and maybe lowering the power strap. The boots that keep coming up are the Nordica Dobermann 80 Jr and the Lange Race 90. Both of these are true Jr. boots. Then the Tecnica Race 90 comes in with a nearly adult level liner. The Lange 110 short cuff is not really a 110 but is stiffer than the Tecnica and is an adult boot. Other Langes that work well are the Exclusive RX 90 and Exclusive RX 100. These are the usual winners for the most common narrowish foot shapes. If you happen to have a higher volume foot in this size many of the recreational boots could be a fit. Practically all are sold in size 22 but some caution should be exercised as some of the recreational level boots don't come in a "true" size 22 shell and are size 23's with short liners.