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Boot Flex

machski

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I find this interesting! I have shopped online since 2007 mostly on Evo.com. We have not gone in to a store for a boot purchase since. We know what flex range we like, we know our foot last, we know what we want for features and most of all we stay in a couple boot brands Lange and Dalbello. We are also not a cram the toe in types. Feet get cold fast with a tiny bit of wiggle room feet do not get cold so fast. We are also lucky none of us - wife myself and four boys ever had foot issues. Also, I certainly do not find a good store and pay their price. I would want to shop around - screw driving to find a deal. Online I can find compare read reviews and find the best pricing - also buy last year models.

With all that. If you never had stiffer boots then I would agree with going to a shop. If you do not mind shipping things back then you can try online. We have only one return and was due to my son not liking the flex of his new boots.

I think in the 110-120 range there is not make a huge difference but your size might find the difference.




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I know my last sizing, but I can tell you the toe box can vary greatly from brand to brand. I have found Atomics match my feet best, currently am in the White/Red Hawk Ultra 130. While I could buy them online, these boots are designed to have the shells baked and then liners and feet in to mold for a form fit. I would not try doing that on my own, and if you don't buy from a shop, they will (and rightfully should) charge you for that service. Some folks are lucky an off the shelf boot works ok for them. But even if that is the case, I can guarantee a boot selected just for your foot form and the custom fit would take your skiing to a whole other level.

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kelly001

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If you are in CT, you may want to consider a drive up to MA to see Tim Mitchell. He's the bootfitter at SkiMD in Natick, MA and ex-racer, ex-ski racing coach at Brighton, UT and for the Harvard Ski Team. He holds a master degree in Exercise Physiology/Biomechanics.

SkiMD is not a ski shop. They do not sell skis or boots. They specialize in servicing skis and boots for ski racers. Top of the line work. Time will work with you to recommend the right boot to purchase and then bootfit as needed.

https://skimd.com/
 

WWF-VT

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I have read your replys and trust me I value all your input, but I really think online is the way to go for me. I'm comfortable shelling out 300 bucks on a pair of boots. If they don't fit I can return them. Some of the reviews even mention bootfitter tweaking, so I'm fairly confident this can be done at a shop even if I didn't buy them there. If I have to shell out more in the area of $500 I want to try them on in a store.

The whole process seems grueling and it's not unreasonable to expect mercants to be accommodated for any service provided. But trying on multiple boots at different shops seems extreme. I should mention that I would be lucky to ski 10 days in a season, so thats a factor in my purchase. On the same token, I would like to make the most of those days.

I would rather be able to say, "I can ski a Black Diamond well" then "well, I skied a Double Black..."

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Good luck finding a performance boot that fits without any issues for $300. Like just about everyone in his thread has told you - go to a shop with a real bootfitter and be prepared to spend north of $500 for the right boot for you.
 

mister moose

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This thread illustrates the dilemma of the 10 day a year skier that wants to choose equipment knowledgably and advance to being a better skier. It's even worse when the 10 day a year skier lives far from the skiing. Gifted athletes aside, the average 10 day a year skier is going to plateau on skill level. 10 days just isn't enough days on snow for the average cubicle dweller to be able to get out there and rip it up. If I were to rate my overall athleticism on a scale of 1-10, I'd give myself a 4. I'm just not the first guy picked for softball. Ever. But because I ski 100 days a year, and benefited from lots of coaching, I ski at 8.5. The same can be said for ski equipment knowledge. If you ski a bunch of different skis over 100 days, you know where you're headed to buy the next pair.

That said, how does the 10 day a year skier maximize his equipment choices and skill advancement?

1) Recognize you should get 150, maybe 200 days out of your boots before the liners pack out. At 10 days a year, that's 15-20 years. If you spend another $200 to get a significantly better boot and fit, that's an extra $13 a year over 15 years.

2) Recognize the $300 boot just doesn't have the goods the $500 boot does. I have never, ever, not in the deepest off season sale, seen the boot I ski for $300.

3) Consider ways to squeeze more days in. Make it a 3 day weekend instead of a 2 day. Do some day trips to whatever is closest.

4) Realize that a superb fit in a $300 boot is probably going to ski better than a lousy fit in a $500 boot.

5) Realize that assuming you have at least a mediocre fit and mediocre skis the reason you have difficulty in skiing Black trails is something foundational in your skiing, not so much your equipment. Seek to fix that as well.

What better boots will deliver is support for high pressure spikes in the trough of a mogul or in the apex of the turn. You will be able to support the edge of the ski with far less effort at higher edge angles and higher G forces. You will be able to wear the boot longer, more hours in a day. You will be able to ski with precision, the slightest adjustment in your foot/calf gets transmitted to the ski exactly. You will have the feeling of being welded to your skis, the skis are a natural extension of your leg, as opposed to feeling like your skis have a mind of their own sometimes.

I am not the same skier at day 1 as I am at day 20, or day 40, or day 60. Day 10? Just getting the cobwebs out and feeling my limitations. Day 60? Legs do what I want without asking. Day 100? I can ski with big energy for long distance. There is no substitute for days on snow. There just isn't.
 
Last edited:

dblskifanatic

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Was your son able to determine the flex wasn't right out of the box or did he need a few days on the hill? This is one of my concerns with an online purchase. I'd like to have this all figured out for the few days I do get out. I don't think I'd be able to return boots online by the time ski season rolls around.

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It was a gradual change over the years. Their feet changed in size over the years as we made boot purchases we bought stiffer boots because their progress was really good. They all ended around 110 flex in the Dalbello line. They are all around 6 ft tall and ski a wide variety of terrain.

Also too soft allows for cases where one cheats into the back seat and the stiffer boots prevent that to a degree. They all have a good forward lean these days as I stress that stance.


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kingslug

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It like when they tell someone who is just starting out to get cheap stuff..then they have a miserable time and quite..usually because their feet are killing them. Boots are the most important part..if your feet hurt because of a bad fit and your all over the place..then your having a bad time. Get good boots from a shop and have them fitted. $300.00 is what decent pants cost...boots $500.00 to $1000. 00
For a 15 year investment..thats not bad. Its like buying tools..crappy tools..crappy work and they end up in the garbage.
I'm 215 and use a 130 flex..and I pound the shit out of them at very high speeds..never felt they were too soft. But flex is brand specific and I use AT boots which are usually not as stiff as regular boots but much lighter.
 

mbedle

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Not a skier here, but did have a friend that built a modifiable flex system on my boots. Still playing around with exactly what is the best level for each foot. IMG_0033.jpg
 

Domeskier

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It like when they tell someone who is just starting out to get cheap stuff..then they have a miserable time and quite..usually because their feet are killing them.

The cheap stuff is usually quite comfortable - that's the main focus of the base product lines. It's when your feet are wedged into poorly fitted performance boots that pain happens. The main problem with the cheap stuff, as others have mentioned, is the slop the comes from boots designed for comfort out of the box. A 10-day a year skier won't reach the apex of the sport in cheap, comfort focused boots, but that's true even if he's skiing Lindsay Vonn's boot. A cheap boot might hold him back a bit, but it's not going to prevent improvement, and if he improves to the point where he feels like cheap boots are a liability, that's the time for him to consider a properly fitted performance boot.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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The cheap stuff is usually quite comfortable - that's the main focus of the base product lines. It's when your feet are wedged into poorly fitted performance boots that pain happens. The main problem with the cheap stuff, as others have mentioned, is the slop the comes from boots designed for comfort out of the box. A 10-day a year skier won't reach the apex of the sport in cheap, comfort focused boots, but that's true even if he's skiing Lindsay Vonn's boot. A cheap boot might hold him back a bit, but it's not going to prevent improvement, and if he improves to the point where he feels like cheap boots are a liability, that's the time for him to consider a properly fitted performance boot.

+1 Good point. A power strap will help stiffen up a bit for not a lot of money.
I have a pair of Scarps AT boots that I was able to buy stiffer tongues , made a big difference.

https://boosterstrap.com/
 

darent

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PUGSKI.COM has a nifty little article on boot buying,It answers a lot of questions and gives good direction on the buying process. Check it out
 

granite

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I have never purchased a pair of ski boots without putting my feet into the shell with out the liner. Slide your toes to the front of the boot so they are just touching the toe box of the shell, there should be about 1/2 inch of space between your heel and the back of the shell.
 

Bumpsis

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twinplanx, if you typically have no issues with your feet and most shoes that you buy fit you just fine, you'll probably do just fine buying ski boots on-line. If you ever bought something like really sturdy hiking boots and they fit you fine with little or no break-in time, buy your new ski boots on line.

As to the flex, I'd get something with a flex of 100. As it was mentioned (BG), this index is not a uniform standard among manufactures, but in general,flex of 100 will be probably medium.
This will give you plenty of push power to carve even on more demanding terrain and also give you nice comfy feel. Unless you're piloting super stiff skis, medium flex will work great. Stiff boots will beat up your shins and keep sending you into the back seat.

Looks like most people who have already offered their advice are steering you towards buying in a shop and especially, using a bootfitter. This bootfitting thing is probably a good way to go if you have foot issues but if you don't, why pay for the premium service that you may not need. Don't get me wrong, some people really need the custom fit but I feel that one can get obsessed with that.

For some people the bootfitting and footbeds is a religion and unless they spent a fortune on the boots and then had them worked on, they feel they are not getting the full experience.
Buying in a shop can also be a sketchy experience and you may end up in a boot that's just not right for you. And you'll pay premium for the experience. A shop just wants to make a sale and often, you're being serviced by some clueless kid who is just doing his job.

I've bought a few boots from EVO over the years for my two sons and my wife and everyone is very happy with what they have. I am especially happy with a pair of Dalbello Panterras I bought a few years back. Here's and example:
https://www.evo.com/outlet/alpine-s...274/dalbello-panterra-100-ski-boots-2019-.jpg
Just for reference, I'm about 175lb and ski most of the terrain here in the east as well as out west.
 

mister moose

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For some people the bootfitting and footbeds is a religion and unless they spent a fortune on the boots and then had them worked on, they feel they are not getting the full experience.
Buying in a shop can also be a sketchy experience and you may end up in a boot that's just not right for you. And you'll pay premium for the experience. A shop just wants to make a sale and often, you're being serviced by some clueless kid who is just doing his job.

Just for reference, I'm about 175lb and ski most of the terrain here in the east as well as out west.

Let's set the baseline. Yes, of course you can buy everything online, and get your instruction and purchase advice from YouTube. Clueless kids in ski shops no doubt exist. Why would you go to a clueless kid?

In spite of this astute assessment of how to buy equipment, frustrated intermediate skiers looking to advance exist in large numbers. There's a reason.

I have to tell you your assessment of getting quality boots by a knowledgeable bootfitter is "a religion" and just so you can "feel you're getting the full experience" is some of the worst advice I've seen dispensed on a ski forum. I don't sell ski boots and I don't work at a ski shop. I have no reason to promote something more expensive other that it is highly recommended for any "advanced intermediate" (Wildly broad term used by anyone who has gotten down a Black run regardless of actual skill level) who is looking to move into more precise, confident, advanced skiing.

Yes, if you have the magic factory last shaped foot, and in one shot can throw a dart at the correct model and size, you don't need a boot fitter. Never mind what benefits a better footbed delivers. It's just the shape that determines pressure distribution between you and the ski. I've also seen a skier spend thousands on a custom shell, liner, and footbeds, and thousands more on stylish clothing and new skis, and they are not a head turner on the hill. I've seen that high dollar equipment not be able to make a parallel turn. The best equipment does not make you the best skier. But getting good equipment, at a level that has headroom for you to learn and grow into, does make sense if you want to improve.

Or, if you're happy just muddling through your ski skill advancement, you only go a few times, not worth the expense, it's fun the way it is, you don't need precision tools either. That's ok. Just don't try to mix the two.

Becoming a higher level skier takes changing your technique, adequate equipment, skiing with targeted purpose, and sufficient repetition. You can't skip any of those.
 

skiur

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twinplanx, if you typically have no issues with your feet and most shoes that you buy fit you just fine, you'll probably do just fine buying ski boots on-line. If you ever bought something like really sturdy hiking boots and they fit you fine with little or no break-in time, buy your new ski boots on line.

As to the flex, I'd get something with a flex of 100. As it was mentioned (BG), this index is not a uniform standard among manufactures, but in general,flex of 100 will be probably medium.
This will give you plenty of push power to carve even on more demanding terrain and also give you nice comfy feel. Unless you're piloting super stiff skis, medium flex will work great. Stiff boots will beat up your shins and keep sending you into the back seat.

Looks like most people who have already offered their advice are steering you towards buying in a shop and especially, using a bootfitter. This bootfitting thing is probably a good way to go if you have foot issues but if you don't, why pay for the premium service that you may not need. Don't get me wrong, some people really need the custom fit but I feel that one can get obsessed with that.

For some people the bootfitting and footbeds is a religion and unless they spent a fortune on the boots and then had them worked on, they feel they are not getting the full experience.
Buying in a shop can also be a sketchy experience and you may end up in a boot that's just not right for you. And you'll pay premium for the experience. A shop just wants to make a sale and often, you're being serviced by some clueless kid who is just doing his job.

I've bought a few boots from EVO over the years for my two sons and my wife and everyone is very happy with what they have. I am especially happy with a pair of Dalbello Panterras I bought a few years back. Here's and example:
https://www.evo.com/outlet/alpine-s...274/dalbello-panterra-100-ski-boots-2019-.jpg
Just for reference, I'm about 175lb and ski most of the terrain here in the east as well as out west.

If you go to a good ski shop not in the flatlands you will not be serviced by some clueless kid, and to call it sketchy and that you will still get the wrong boot and they just want to make a buck is just ignorance.
 

cdskier

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If you go to a good ski shop not in the flatlands you will not be serviced by some clueless kid, and to call it sketchy and that you will still get the wrong boot and they just want to make a buck is just ignorance.

I completely agree. I've literally had shops in the past refuse to sell me boots (even though they had boots) because they didn't have any left that were right for me (this was later in the season when this occurred). That same shop did sell to my brother though (we were similar skill levels at the time, but the differences in the shape of our feet/ankles/lower leg meant different brands/models of boots were better suited to each of us).

That said, if someone personally believes they've had success ordering online and are happy with the results, more power to them. I know for me personally, I wouldn't be comfortable with that based on my own experiences.
 

djd66

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I have been skiing in Lange since 1984. I am on my 5th pair. I have always gone with the racing boot - they didn't have a flex number early on. My last pair of boots, i went to a shop that did not carry the racing models. They sold me a Lange XT. They felt great in the shop and felt ok when I skied them. The longer i skied in them, the more i thought I bought the wrong boots. They felt squishy and were not stiff - especially in warmer weather. Over time, I developed a neuroma and at the end of the day, I would take off my boots and it felt like my toe (between 3 and 4) was on fire. I sucked it up for 4 seasons. Finally, this season, I went to another shop that sold the Lange race boots i have always skied in. I bought the RS 130. OMG,... what a difference. These things made a huge difference in my skiing. I felt like i was skiing on rails with 10X more control and power.

As far as the online thing - if you know what you want and they have not changed the boot in many years, i would have not issue buying online. I recently bought my daughter Lange RS boots on Evo for $127.00 (they are normally $800)

Nice to be chatting about something other than the of BS on the endless threads of you know what!
 

twinplanx

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twinplanx, if you typically have no issues with your feet and most shoes that you buy fit you just fine, you'll probably do just fine buying ski boots on-line. If you ever bought something like really sturdy hiking boots and they fit you fine with little or no break-in time, buy your new ski boots on line.

As to the flex, I'd get something with a flex of 100. As it was mentioned (BG), this index is not a uniform standard among manufactures, but in general,flex of 100 will be probably medium.

Looks like most people who have already offered their advice are steering you towards buying in a shop and especially, using a bootfitter. This bootfitting thing is probably a good way to go if you have foot issues but if you don't, why pay for the premium service that you may not need. Don't get me wrong, some people really need the custom fit but I feel that one can get obsessed with that.

I've bought a few boots from EVO over the years for my two sons and my wife and everyone is very happy with what they have. I am especially happy with a pair of Dalbello Panterras I bought a few years back. Here's and example:
https://www.evo.com/outlet/alpine-s...274/dalbello-panterra-100-ski-boots-2019-.jpg.


Interestingly enough, the Dalbello Panterra is one of the boots I had my eye on. I believe there flex was rated at 120 though. I'm almost certain they are on sale for about $250...

According to many of the reviews and there own product description these boots tend to fit better for wider feet. I don't think I have a particularly wide foot, as most things fit me right out the box. Just wondering what your experience has been. If I have a normal foot, will this boot be too wide for me?

Its not even June, I have plenty of time to get this sorted out by ski season. With Evo's 366 day return policy I could reassess the fit in colder weather. Even in my somewhat more comfortable financial situation, I'm still having a tough time justifying the cost and hassle of a bootfiter. It's just not something the typically Long Island skier does...

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skiur

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Interestingly enough, the Dalbello Panterra is one of the boots I had my eye on. I believe there flex was rated at 120 though. I'm almost certain they are on sale for about $250...

According to many of the reviews and there own product description these boots tend to fit better for wider feet. I don't think I have a particularly wide foot, as most things fit me right out the box. Just wondering what your experience has been. If I have a normal foot, will this boot be too wide for me?

Its not even June, I have plenty of time to get this sorted out by ski season. With Evo's 366 day return policy I could reassess the fit in colder weather. Even in my somewhat more comfortable financial situation, I'm still having a tough time justifying the cost and hassle of a bootfiter. It's just not something the typically Long Island skier does...

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Frequenting this site is just not something the typical LI skier does either.
 
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