New boots suggestions

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New boots suggestions

Postby Cipivts » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:03 am

Hi all,
As per another topic, and after recieving various advices, i decided to go to Portes du ski in Holland for boot fitting. I discussed with Jasper, and he suggested me to buy whatever boot i want and come to him for adjustments. His selection is pretty restricted and won't be able to offer models i envisage buying.

I did a bit of research, and tried over last 2 weeks following models: atomic hawx 130 last 98mm, nordica gpx 130, rossi forgot the model black-re flex 120 or 130 and salomon xmax 130.

All boots have a 98mm last, all have 130 flex, size 26.5, but there is a substantial difference of how they fit (salomon tight and good Heel hold; rossi a bit looser, atomic tight but very comfortable, nordica way too loose - ankle moves)
In terms of flex i felt salomon the tightest, atomic next, rossi and nordica softer.

I still want to check followig models, but i cannot find them nowhere anymore (end season)
Nordica Dobie 130gp
Nordica Dobie 130 wc edt
Lange RS
Head Raptor RS

I currently wear the Nordica Firearrow f1 3 buckles boot, which after 5 seasons became quite loose and at 100mm last i get front foot and ankle movement. Flex is 135, feels very stiff (maybe due to boot design)

Questions:
1. among all models listed above, how do they compare in terms of inner room - tightness, instep height, heel pocket size. To me xmax was the closest i liked in terms of fit, but there are a lot others i didn't yet try. Clearly 98mm is the largest last i should get, but i wonder if i have to go as low as 92mm or stick to something between 96-98mm

2. for the models above, flex is relative and different brand to brand. I am 182cm tall, 80 kg, and my ski level is good to advanced (10+ years of ski, but only last 6 years skiing more than 20 days a year). I am selflearning pmts, and hopefully with the advices received here, will improv and Also join Austria camp next year.
So for my body specs, what would be a good flex i should aim fot? All tested models above at 130 i was able to flex quite well while in ski shop, but outside in cold, and boot fully tighten, can be a different story

3. are the world cup, racing models something to consider, or should i limit myself to high performance on piste boots?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby kirtland » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:30 pm

If you're having to ask the question about "race" boots, then you are probably self excluding yourself from "race" boots, with a couple of qualifications. The "race" boot shells in the softer 130 flex or lower. Generally race boots take a lot of grinding and punching to get a good fit, in the proper size, but they do have solid soles which accommodate canting.
Keep in mind you can generally soften the flex of some boots, for powder and broken conditions, through adjustment of the buckles and the power strap. To fine tune the flex to your personal taste, some boots, like some Heads, have a flex adjustment determined by the number of screws (1 to 3) in the flex adjustment at the rear of the boot. In the case of the boot I have the flex is rated for 1 screw flex 120, 2 screws 130 Flex, 3 screws 140 Flex. Some other boots have variable flex also.
Consider, if you do not have naturally close to straight leg and foot alignment, which the boot is designed for, the boot needs provisions to accommodate adjustments for alignment. Mainly cuff lateral adjustment, forward lean adjustment and possibly the ability to cant the soles. Either with replaceable canted soles like Atomic uses on some models or a solid one piece sole that can be machined to install cants on the boots. Unless someone has figured out a way, which I am not aware of, to cant boots with replaceable soles. Other wise the cants will have to be installed under the bindings on the skis, if they are needed.
I have not tried the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130, but it has the appeal of Memory Fit, which allows the shell to be heated and custom fit to your foot, it is supposed to be able to be adjustable from 98mm to 104mm, also it has replacement canted soles, if you do need sole canting, further it has cuff adjustment for leg alignment, adjustable flex and adjustable forward lean. I think the same features apply to the heavier Atomic Hawx 130.
Last edited by kirtland on Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby Obrules15 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:35 pm

Cantology plates can be used to cant boots with replaceable soles.
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby kirtland » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:35 pm

Cantology plates can be used to cant boots with replaceable soles.


Looks like a good solution, nice to know.
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby jbotti » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:58 pm

Cipivts wrote:
Nordica Dobie 130gp
Nordica Dobie 130 wc edt
Lange RS
Head Raptor RS



Those are the boots you should be focused on. They have geometries that work well with PMTS and HH and Diana have skied these boots and in general use them and like them (they don't carry Nordica anymore but its still a solid PMTS boot). You can add the Head RD series as well as well an the Lange WC RP if you can fit into that thin of a last and the Dalbello Scorpion race boots. IMO all other boots are somewhat problematic. Non race boots come with cushy liners that generally suck and just make the fitting process more complicated. Many of the 98 lasted recreational boots have the same geometries of their racier cousins but many don't and then you are into unknown territory. Lange recreational liners are a disaster and have so little room in the toe box that most have to get a different liner. HH has issues with Atomic, Tecnica and Fischer boots (and that abducted stance is in general a problem) and they should pretty much be avoided for PMTS skiers. Salomon has some race boots that work but no one on this site (that I know of) knows them well enough to steer you correctly with them.

If you can't get what you need at this point of the season you are better off waiting and doing it at the beginning of next season when everything is in stock. As well if you don't have the correct knowledge to select the right boot for your feet, you are making a mistake buying the boots on your own without the help of a high quality boot fitter.
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby DougD » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:21 am

Agree with everything jbotti said (as usual) except maybe this:
Lange recreational liners are a disaster and have so little room in the toe box that most have to get a different liner.


I'm in Lange RX130s. Skied 3-4 seasons in the stock liners until they packed out. The toe box was plenty spacious and the liners when new were firm enough to respond pretty well. When they packed out I replaced them with firmer, custom fit liners and those certainly ski better. But I wouldnt quite call the stock liners a disaster, especially for a less advanced skier who isn't used to race boot responsiveness.

Regarding flex, you don't need softer than 130 and that may be too soft, depending on the boot and liner. I'm 1.78m but <60kg (skinny) and Lange's 130 is the softest I'd go.

Echo jbotti's suggestion that picking boots without the presence of a skilled fitter is a crap shoot.
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby Cipivts » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:25 am

Thanks jbotti, doug for your advices, but unfortunately i seem to have no choice as Portes du Ski cannot help me with any of these models, and i personally don't trust the majority of salesman & fitters in most ski shops in my area... especially now end of season, everybody is after selling their last crappy boots at the highest price possible..

I found today a shop where they stocked the Head RAptor RS speed in black which i think it's new 2017-18 model. Last is 96mm, flex 130. they seemed very narrow but great fit for my ankles and heel. Amazing heel pocket. I stayed in them for like 5min and i had pressure points in the navicular area, i was happy to remove them from my feet to be totally honest.
Then they had the Lange 130 RS u fortunately in Wide 100mm last, which was crap.
Last i tried was the Dobermann 130 Gp that although a bit wider than the Head Raptor (98mm) it still offered very good support for ankle, heel not so fixed, but good feeling, overall tight but with minimal pressure points comparing to the Raptors.

I really liked them to be honest, very natural stance, feels like alignment can be done with minimal adjustments.. at least it seems so from my unexperienced opinion. I was honestly a bit worried that the fit was so good (no pain) out of the box. Can it get loose quickly?? Should it feels as it requires cuff work to be ok?

The head for sure i won't be able to use without some work...
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby jbotti » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:54 pm

Cipivts wrote:
The head for sure i won't be able to use without some work...


That should be your boot. Do you know how to do a shell check? Good fitting boots for most require some grinding and or punching. What you want is a boot that fits your foot nicely assuming you did not have any protrusions. Those spots can easily be ground or punched out and then you have a very nicely fitting boot. If you buy a boot that is wide enough for your protrusions it will not closely grasp and support your foot, said another way: slop!

I wrote up some boot buying basics a few years ago when a friend of mine and his wife were going to buy boots. I sent them to a great shop that services the local Tahoe racers and they went in with my write up and they came home with great fitting boots.

Here it is. Let me write this disclaimer: always best to work with a great PMTS trained bootfitter which is a much better approach that doing this on your own but if you have to, read below:

Boot Buying Basics:

The first thing you need to know is that most people buy boots that are too big. A boot that is a little too small can be worked with and the plastic can be ground and punched and even if the boot is a little too small you have a fighting chance. A boot that is too big will always be too big and all the modifications that you can do to it are nothing more than band aids.

The next thing to remember is that we don't ski in the conditions that exist when we try on boots. Our feet expand with heat. Some people's feet expand the first day they are in altitude. My feet shrink a ton in 15 degree weather. What this means is that what feels great in the store will likely too big and sloppy in cold weather on the slopes.

The next thing to remember is that the boot liners pack out over the first 25-30 days of skiing. They will lose several millimeters of thickness. So again what feels great in the store likely will be somewhat sloppy in 15 ski days as the liner packs out.

This is the single most important thing to know about a ski boot. If it feels good and really comfortable in the store there is a 98% chance that it is too big!!

Boots in the store should feel quite tight bordering on uncomfortable but not unbearably tight. Now having said this, I think your foot is quite thin and there may be no boot that is uncomfortably tight on you. So…..

How do you avoid buying a boot that is too big? A: the shell fit. Take the liner out off every shell you try. Put your foot in and gently touch your toe/s to the front of the boot. Use a flashlight (bring a small one with you) to see how much space is behind your heel in the boot. The standard rule of thumb is that 2 cm behind the heel is a tight recreational fit and that 1 cm behind the heel is a tight race fit. I personally don't think that 1 cm is all that tight but everyone is different and I don't want you to leave with boots that will take a ton of work to be comfortable. But just so you know I ski in boots where there is no room whatsoever behind my heel in a shell fit. I have high arches so when I do a shell fit I put my custom insoles into the boot which actually shortens my foot. If you or your wife have high arches bear in mind that a custom insole inside the boot will shorten your foot as it supports the arch often by 5mm or more.

The boot guy may not love me saying this but I would aim for a 1cm fit. 1.5 is OK. By no means go over two centimeters behind the heel. Often times people measure the distance with the width of fingers. Generally the width of finger is around 1 cm (measured from the fingerprint area to the nail, actually talking the height of the finger when it is flat on a surface). You have small thin feet and you need a reasonably tight fit.

Once you have chosen a shell that fits (again no more 1-2 finger or CM behind the heel, then start to try them on with the liners.

You are going to need to be in a thin boot. Many of these are race boots. Don't be scared of race booths. For people with thin feet they are great. Flex will be the main thing to get right. Flex ratings have numbers between 60 for kids and 150 for racers. I ski in 130-150 flex boots and really can't ski in anything else. Here is another key point you are better off in slightly stiffer boots than in boots that are too soft. You can always soften a boot but you can never make it stiffer.

Women's boots are notoriously voluminous especially the softer flexing boots. I ski in a 95mm lasted boot. 95mm is the width of the boot at it;s widest point. Many Women's boots have lasts of 102mm or larger. These boot suck , are almost always too wide for the people in them and generally keep people skiing poorly. But they are comfortable because they are so fricking wide.

Lastly, there are two brands that you should avoid. The first is Tecnica. The boots have a ton of forward lean. If you are tall like me with very long femurs forward lean is not a big issue but it is for people that aren't as tall as I am. The other Brand is Fischer. Fischer race boots and some percentage of their non race boots have an abducted stance. This can work well for bowlegged people but is terrible for knocked kneed skiers. Best to just avoid them.
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby DougD » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:34 am

Agree with jbotti 100%... from your description the Heads are the best fit. One or two pressure points is what you should expect from a good fitting boot. That can be dealt with. The other boots, even the Dobies, are likely to pack out to a less than ideal fit.

Read the rest of his post carefully. It's a gold mine. Thumbs up!
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby skifastDDS » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:41 am

jbotti wrote: Lange recreational liners are a disaster and have so little room in the toe box that most have to get a different liner.


However, the Lange full race liner that is in the RS140 and the plug is superb. It's good enough that HH uses it in his Dalbellos...
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And that has made all the difference."
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby Cipivts » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:07 pm

Boot saga continued...

I measured both my feet , and i measure 258mm on right foot and 256 on right one. Both feet are strange shaped, very short toes, high arches, 102mm width, foot volume measured heel over navicular and other side of heel measures 265mm. I normally wear 41.5 or 42 shoes (8.5-9us) as i cannot fit in anything smaller due to foot volume and width.

As it's difficult finding boots in ski shops due to end of season, i ordered online a pair of Dobbies 130gp size 26, 98mm last. Price was ver good 260 eur, and i can return them if not good.

So, i measured outer sole, and they measure 305mm, inner boot size is around 280mm
I put my feet inside boot without liner, and i can fit exactly 2 fingers back of my hee, so probably a tad above 2cm.

Due to the strange foot size, it seems to me my short toes are actuall making the foot shorter than it is, especially when compared with the higher foot volume.

Boot fits very good, especially after sliding in my custom made insoles, giving a snug but still spacious fit enough to wiggle toes and have limited ankle movement. As i shared above, i am worried that if i take them like this, maybe they will become too loose when liner gets used, but same time i wonder if i should go for 25 size with my otherwise high arches and high volume.
I honestly tried to fit into a raptor 25.5, and it was impossible to slide my foot inside. Head 26 was very tight.

Expecting some opinions
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby Cipivts » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:11 pm

Image

Some photos with my feet
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby Cipivts » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:14 pm

Image
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby Obrules15 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:25 am

Cipivts wrote:Boot saga continued...

I measured both my feet , and i measure 258mm on right foot and 256 on right one. Both feet are strange shaped, very short toes, high arches, 102mm width, foot volume measured heel over navicular and other side of heel measures 265mm. I normally wear 41.5 or 42 shoes (8.5-9us) as i cannot fit in anything smaller due to foot volume and width.

As it's difficult finding boots in ski shops due to end of season, i ordered online a pair of Dobbies 130gp size 26, 98mm last. Price was ver good 260 eur, and i can return them if not good.

So, i measured outer sole, and they measure 305mm, inner boot size is around 280mm
I put my feet inside boot without liner, and i can fit exactly 2 fingers back of my hee, so probably a tad above 2cm.

Due to the strange foot size, it seems to me my short toes are actuall making the foot shorter than it is, especially when compared with the higher foot volume.

Boot fits very good, especially after sliding in my custom made insoles, giving a snug but still spacious fit enough to wiggle toes and have limited ankle movement. As i shared above, i am worried that if i take them like this, maybe they will become too loose when liner gets used, but same time i wonder if i should go for 25 size with my otherwise high arches and high volume.
I honestly tried to fit into a raptor 25.5, and it was impossible to slide my foot inside. Head 26 was very tight.

Expecting some opinions


The minute they pack out even a mm, you're screwed.
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Re: New boots suggestions

Postby Cipivts » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:31 am

I am driving to italy tomorrow where i found same model in 25.5. let's see. Thx
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