Dodge boot report

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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:43 pm

Got my Dodge boots dialed in today no more whining about pressure points, very comfortable. We did boot alignment for the "Dodge Gang" today and Bill fixed my heel spear. Skied with Bill Doble and Dave Dodge this afternoon, very informative session. My concerns about fitting the Dodge boots have been relieved. Even if you are a fanatic like I am and need to get into a 25 shell.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby Max_501 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:55 pm

h.harb wrote:My take on Dodge Boots is different from Riley's. First I would not make them softer, no need just fine if your stance is correct, you don't have to push on the front of the boot. I absorb any impact with knee flexing anticipation.


Riley's response was to a question I asked about using the boots for things like big jumps. Most of the freestyle skiers I know like a boot with some forward flex so they don't get bad shin bang when they land.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:20 pm

Discussion with Dave Dodge today, no, to loosening the screws on the back to make the boot flex, I agree completely. No need, no shin bang noticeable in these boots with the medium flex. Bumpers are used to totally different set ups. Swivel, twist, and pivot flex boots.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:29 pm

J3 racer I put in Dodge boots yesterday beats most J1 age racers in secret race at Vail today, places second overall. He has never done this well before. A J3 is 14 yrs max, and J1 goes to 18 years.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby MonsterMan » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:43 am

J3 racer I put in Dodge boots yesterday beats most J1 age racers in secret race at Vail today, places second overall. He has never done this well before. A J3 is 14 yrs max, and J1 goes to 18 years.


' got video?
"Someone once said to me that for us to beat the Europeans at winter sports was like Austria tackling us at Test cricket. I reckon it's an accurate judgement." Malcolm Milne
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:25 am

In fact I do and will have by sometime this week.

Saw the video today. Unfortunately It's on a digital camera and I didn't have the connectors for my computer. I'll try to get the file to post on You Tube, so we can watch it from the forum. The skier in mind, did a much better job of hooking or shortening the radius just under the GS gate, which really sets you up for the next turn. Fore/aft balance was better and edge angles were amazing. He pulled out an amazing recover, which he could never have done on his Atomic boots.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:37 pm

This morning I did a foot and in boot assessment for Warner Nickerson, the racer that beat Bode, Ligety and Neurethier, all in the same races, last summer. Slight adjustment to the alignment, only by 1/2 degree but that can help tremendously.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:46 pm

BTW, as a side note, the junior racer's coach is Crawford Pearce, former US Ski Team coach for 10 years. We have been working closely with Crawford for the last 5 years with his athletes and coaching methods. Crawford is a strong believer in PMTS and the Essentials book. He carries it everywhere. The finish result list, for the J3 category in the race I mentioned were, top three, all Crawford's trained athletes with PMTS techniques.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:27 pm

Colby Lane raced on DODGE Ski Boots and finished 2nd Saturday in Vail’s First Annual SSCV Secret Race GS. Colby is J-3 and beat many J-1s. Way to go!
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby BobD » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:37 am

If any of you folks skiing on Dodge boots are considering posting additional thoughts on your experience, please do.

Inquiring minds are standing by!

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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:59 pm

I keep adding to the list of benefits, but the recent one is Fore/aft balance. The boots are so light it's much easier to pull the feet back.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby arothafel » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:15 pm

This is pretty much a re-hash of what's already been stated on this forum. My only disagreement with Geoff is with the initial fit. For me, the boots were incredibly tight. However, I have very flat feet that spread like pancakes when I step down. As a result of this constant expansion/contraction I pack-out liners pretty quickly. So, within 3 days the Dodge Boots were incredibly comfortable.

Meanwhile, this is a review I wrote for the boots on a different blog. It's much less technical. Bottom line: Best boots ever and totally worth the cost.

Dodge Ski Boot Review

Just for comparison, I’m including my stats for context.

Stats:
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 185
Age: 57
Skiing Level: Advanced (unless I’m with Harald or any of the PMTS coaches!)
Skis: Head TT80 170 cm; Head Monsters (old version) 170 cm
Feet: Very Narrow (low volume) Size 12 - very flat-footed
Old Boots: 2005 Nordica Doberman 150 (re-worked to soften)

Background / Skiing Experience
Grew up in New England and raced as a junior from ages 7-12. Stopped skiing when family moved to Florida. Moved back to Vermont and skied from age 16-20. Then moved to California and only skied 1-2 days a year for the next 25 years as career, family, kids, etc took precedence. Then, in 2001, I tried out some shaped skis for the first time. My love for skiing was immediately reinvigorated. I started skiing about 30 days per year and joined a Masters Racing Program at Mammoth. Took both racing and PSIA lessons where the coaches and instructors encouraged me to widen my stance, get square to my skis and a dozen other things that totally screwed up my skiing -- which resulted in sore knees and sore lower back. In 2005 I attended my first Harb/PMTS camp and have been re-learning to ski ever since. I’ve attended 6 camps. I no longer suffer any of the previously mentioned physical ailments from skiing.

Goals
My current goal is to rid myself of all “equipment excuses” and to continue to improve my technical proficiency through efficient and bio-mechanically correct body movement patterns.

Most skiers have several equipment issues that prevent them from making the correct movements. The issues range from boots, alignment, stiff skis, wrong pole length, etc. In my case, the Nordica boots had me too far forward negatively affecting my fore/aft balance.

Purchasing the Dodge boots and having them properly aligned is, what I believe to be, my last equipment issue.


The Fitting
My fitting is conducted at Harb Ski Systems in Dumont, CO. on Dec 9, 2010, with Greg (staff) and Chris Brown, shop manager. It is pretty straight forward with very little adjustment required. Only one “hot spot” on the right boot just under the bottom buckle (the pointy bone at the bottom of the 5th metatarsal). The boots feel incredibly tight. I am suspicious of the sizing, but simply “go with it.” I am attending a PMTS camp, so I know that Harald Harb and the coaches will be able to take a look at my alignment and fit -- and fix things on-the-spot if needed.

Day One
The first thing I notice is how light weight these boots are. Riding the chairlift it is immediately apparent that I’m not hanging a couple of “boat anchors” off the lift. On the very first run my fore/aft balance is definitely better and I’m feeling more of the ski underfoot when carving.

On subsequent runs, I notice it is much easier to tip the skis. Tipping is snappy. Again, I believe this is due to the low weight of these boots. Nonetheless, they still feel very tight. I loosen the bottom buckle at the end of every run. I am still suspicious of the fit. However, it’s close and I’m confident that with a little re-work, everything will be fine.

Day Two
Today the boots feel a little better. The “hot spots” are much less severe. I am still learning how to get in and out of them. There is a heel channel which makes things easier once you learn to use it. With my Dobies, I had to put on the liner and then slip into the shell of the boot. It was never easy.

On the hill I continue to notice how much easier it is to tip the skis. The free foot almost feels too “grippy.” Harald tells me the way to control this is to not tighten the boots too tight. That works.

The PMTS camp coaches watch our videos at night. As such, they, along with Harald pay particular attention to my alignment and make a few shim adjustments under my right boot as I am knock-kneed. Harald also makes a cuff adjustment for the same issue.

Day Three
O.K. today these feel very different. They are very comfortable. I believe this is because I’m beginning to “pack-out” the liners. Within two runs the hot-spots are gone. My flat-feet tend to expand and contract with pressure. When I step down, my feet are like pancakes. This is having an obvious effect on the liners and they now feel much more molded to my feet.

However, about mid-day I’ve begin to notice that my left heel is getting a little numb. Not sure why. It is highly unusual. Even in my Dobies, I never had any issues with my heels.

Day Four
As I’m about to put my left boot on, I reach my hand inside to feel around and see what might be causing the issue with my left heel. Aha... What I find is the liner fabric has somehow become loose and stretched out and is bunching-up around my heel when I put the boot. on. I ask Harald about it and he immediately decides to replace both liners. However, they need to be ordered.

That’s actually a good news / bad news scenario. On the one hand they need to be replaced. On the other hand, these boots feel better and better each day as my feet “pack-out” the liners and the boots become very comfortable. I’m not looking forward to breaking-in the new liners.

Summary
After a total of 8 days in them, I feel the Dodge Boots are incredible and well worth the $1,500 price tag... if you have the right kind of feet.

The Dodge website proclaims that most people may be underwhelmed at the performance of the boot … until they slip back into their old boots and feel the difference.

This was not the case with me. I felt the difference right away. I felt the difference just walking around in them. I felt it on the chairlift. And, of course, a HUGE difference on my skis especially in the fore/aft department.

Also, at the end of the day my knees, ankles and other lower joints all felt great. I am assuming this is the result of having lighter weights on my feet. Us "older" guys take this into consideration!

There is no question in my mind that this is the direction of ski boots. From a marketing standpoint, they are lighter and easier to maneuver than standard boots. The temperature does not effect the shell allowing for easy entry and removal of the foot. Also, because the materials are unaffected by temperatures, they maintain a consistent stiffness and
flex on the hill. Finally, after a minor “break-in” period, they are incredibly comfortable.

If the pricing comes down, I believe ski boots made of this material will simply explode onto the marketplace.
Last edited by arothafel on Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby h.harb » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:51 pm

I said this once before, I don't make money selling Dodge boots. It's an image thing and that's why I sell them, they are currently the best technology available and I want to be on the cutting edge. Also, Bill Doble and Dave Dodge have been friends for decades and I want to help them, as they are helping me.

The Dodge boots are only $300 more than a Doberman, World Cup 150, at retail. We spend the time fitting and adjusting the boots, by then, what ever margin I had in the boot is gone. I make much more selling regular plastic ski boots. But if you want the best, this is it. That's why we sell them; they are the best.

I've told many people this story before, but for the record, I did not want to get into the ski shop business. The reason I did, was to supply our students with top line equipment, because they were not getting equipment that helped them ski better at other ski shops. I still believe this, and as anyone who has been to our shop knows, it's a work shop, not a retail giant. We wouldn't make a living with the shop, even if we sold ever bit of everything, ever year, we just don't do that kind of volume, however, we take care of our customers and skiers, better than anyone else.

And the bonus, we have the most knowledgeable boot fitters and alignment specialists in the ski industry. We fit the best skiers in the USA and if you come to our shop or make an appointment, you will have easy access to the people who work with and set up many of the best profession skiers.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby grambo » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:28 pm

I absolutely LOATHE the boot fitting process! :x The last and first time I did a foam, I thought my feet would have to be amputated afterwards, but these new Dodge boots sound like they're worth the pain. Ski boot technology needed a bump, so glad it finally got one. Time for an equipment upgrade.
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Re: Dodge boot report

Postby arothafel » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:19 am

h.harb wrote:I said this once before, I don't make money selling Dodge boots. It's an image thing and that's why I sell them, they are currently the best technology available and I want to be on the cutting edge.


Of the skiers who have actually purchased the boots and skied in them, the Dodge Boots are a fantastic Value Proposition. No complaints. They all claim they're worth every penny (including me). No one has stated that they tried them and then gave them back.

The over $1,000 price tag for boots is a psychological pricing "threshold" for most recreational skiers. The same type pricing thresholds have been true of golf clubs, bikes, guitars, etc... and the same grumbling goes on until the mainstream catches on that the new technology is worth it. Especially when it significantly improves their skiing, golf game, cycling or guitar playing.

The Dodge Boots are an "enthusiast" boot. And, among enthusiasts, there are always "early adopters" who are willing and have the means to take advantage of the latest technology. Others will sit on the sidelines thinking about it and try to determine if they can reset their price threshold for boots. And they will continue to think about it until they see more and more people taking the plunge and showing improvement.

And, finally Harald, your shop is considered "cutting edge" as well as a leader in the sport. So, from that perspective, it's expected that you would carry the latest technology available and be one of only four shops in the country qualified to carry, fit and align the Dodge Boot.

Here's a funny little video about leadership (metaphor) but it also applies to early adopters of products and services.

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