Boot Flex

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Thread: Boot Flex

  1. #1

    Boot Flex

    I'm considering some new boots. I live in the Flatlands so this will be an web purchase. I'm considering flex in the range between 100-120. I guess I'm an advanced-intermediant skier. My glory days may behind me, but I do enjoy sking Black Diamonds. I have attempted Double Blacks, but at that point its more survival mode then actual skiing. My tecninc could use some improvement. Lol

    I'm embarrassed to admit I have never paid much attention to boot flex. I just bought the boots I could afford. I'm finally in a position to get some decent boots, but I still want to get a good deal. The big questions are: Will I notice a difference between 100-120 flex? Should I consider something even stiffer since I am over 200lbs? Does weight even matter in terms of flex?

    I thought there was a category for gear related posts here, but I couldn't find it. Anyway thanks in advance for any assistance here. Looking foward to some sort of normal 2020-2021 ski season



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    Life's to short for warm-up runs
    All skis are rock skis

  2. #2
    Best advice I can offer is to not buy boots online. Best case scenario you use your boots in roughly six months. Wait until things get better and visit an established shop. If the boot fitter gives you less than a half dozen boots to try on, find another shop. Personally I have found superfeet to be a worthwhile investment.

    One of my kids coaches once told me there are only three reasons people stop skiing: too expensive, too cold or their boots hurts. Eliminate the one you can.
    The true happiness of a man can be found in the mastery of his passions.

  3. #3
    Edd's Avatar
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    I believe weight does matter, like it matters when youre deciding on skis. Youll also hear that flex ratings arent the same across the industry. Ive bought a lot of ski gear online, but never boots.


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  4. #4
    Boots are first about fit, then performance. Very few skiers are going to get a good fit right out of the box off the internet. Realize a good fit doesn't mean just comfortable, it needs to be superb foot/ski contact and then be as comfortable as possible.

    On that vein, consider custom footbeds, they are one of the biggest bang for the buck items in achieving the best fit. So right away you're into purchasing from a good boot fitter in a quality shop, not a big box store or the internet.

    When it comes to what in your old boots may be holding you back, you don't know what you don't know. If you can afford it, discover what great boots do for your skiing. Some shells are now heat moldable, another process best done by a knowledgeable fitter.

    Flex is somewhat up to you. As a general rule, the better the boot, the higher the flex, up to about 120. Over that starts looking more like a race boot. You're looking for the forward pressure you send to the boot to get transferred to the ski. If the boot mushes out instead of resisting, that pressure doesn't get delivered. You also want side strength to deliver strong edge control, and a firm fit to deliver those pressure changes and not get lost in liner slop or compression.

    Many intermediates don't ski the front of the boot, and if you aren't sure what flex you need, this may describe you. You're right that tall and weighty will need a higher flex. Try on 100 and compare it to 120. You should be able to flex the boot to get your knee over your toe. If you can't do that in a 65 degree store, you'll be in a really stiff boot in 20 degree ski day. Yet another reason to buy in a good ski shop. I'll go even farther, and tell you that you should try on several boots in at least 2 different shops, talking to 2 different boot fitters. If you want to improve your skiing, you need to do the time.

    After that, take a few lessons to get some instruction on stance, timing and pressure management during the turn.

  5. #5
    There are 2/3 somewhat legitimate ski shops on all of Long Island. One of them may have 6 boots in my range to try on. I doubt there is a decent bootfitter anywhere on this island. I hoping to find a boot that fits well enough to be tweaked by a bootfitter up North.

    Sent from my LG-K373 using Tapatalk
    Life's to short for warm-up runs
    All skis are rock skis

  6. #6
    Don't buy your boots online or from a ski shop in the flatlands, go to a good shop in the mountains. I buy almost all my gear online but for boots you need a good boot fitter and you will most likely have to go back to him/her for adjustments after a few days. Also I highly recommend getting custom footbeds with your boots. Ask the fitter your questions about flex.

  7. #7
    The frustrating thing about boot flex is it isnt standardized. What this essentially means is boot flex doesnt really exist. I mean, sure, boot flex is of course a real thing, but if a 100 boot flex in Nordica is a 90 boot flex in Lange & a 110 boot flex in Rossignol, then it's value as a metric isnt as valuable as I think the typical consumer marketed to (who I dont believe understands this) believes.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  8. #8
    Choose your compromise. If you want to be passionate and be the best skier you can be, get yourself to an excellent boot fitter. Prices now until this fall should be as good as they'll ever be. In the mountain shops most boot fitters are gone in the summer, so call around. Buy boots where you ski. If you're a roamer and ski all around different places, then you have another compromise. No decent after the sale service. What if you buy a boot and it turns out to be a half size too big? Then the best fitter in the world won't be able to fix it, only make do with it. What if a better boot for you didn't feel right off the shelf, but when molded correctly would have been the best boot for you?

    As an intermediate, some of the what the best boots offer will be lost on you. But wouldn't you rather have some headroom to grow, rather than be limited by what you bought? I guarantee you that if you get your first well fitted responsive boot, you will have a revelation on your skiing. So much so it might feel like you can't quite ski your old way on your new boots. And after only a few days you'll realize how much you didn't know.

    If you aren't that passionate, then make your best guess on what will work for you, and go with that inevitable set of compromises. Be advised that most people choose the wrong shell and shell size when on their own. I appreciate your desire to get a good deal. The problem is boots are the most labor intensive piece of equipment to buy, so it's hard to get that quality labor on the internet or big box store. You just can't go that route to get the good fit that better skiing requires. (You should plan on several after-sale tweaks) So the best deal on boots is the off season. Late spring or early fall at a knowledgeable well stocked dedicated ski shop. There's a few places where there's lots of quality shops - Killington and Ludlow for instance. Maybe North Conway, but I'm not a NH skier. Save your internet deals for tickets/passes, jackets, gloves, poles, maybe skis.

  9. #9
    Edd's Avatar
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    Fit is so goddamn important. I think Im on my 4th set of boots lifetime. Two seasons ago I got Atomic Hawx 110. Id been fitted for boots every time but I think they were always too big. I dropped a full size and, at the beginning of the last two seasons, I experienced foot PAIN like Id never felt, causing a couple of short days. It went away after a few days each season.

    However, the fit is incredible. My bump skiing has improved, and the boots are light AF. For the first time, boots were a game changer for me.


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Edd View Post
    ...but I think they were always too big. I dropped a full size and, at the beginning of the last two seasons, I experienced foot PAIN like I’d never felt, causing a couple of short days. It went away after a few days each season.

    However, the fit is incredible. My bump skiing has improved, and the boots are light AF. For the first time, boots were a game changer for me.
    Exhibit A.

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