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Do I Need Freestyle Boots?

Twism86

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Hey all,

Ok, Im using the word need loosely but rather would they be beneficial for me is the question. My current boots are cheap, probably not much better than those you cant rent. I just got a newer pair of skis (used) that are big step up from my previous skis. I like to spend time in the park and am slowly moving up to bigger jumps. A freestlye boot with the shock absorption sounds really good after some harder landings.....

Main question; How much (if at all) will using a freestyle boot hinder downhill skiing performance? I spend half the day lapping the park and hitting jumps and the other half cruising groomers to relax between park runs, blazing down blacks and skiing the trees. My skis are Nordica Soul Riders, described as all mountain twins and I do use them all over the mountain. I only intend to have one pair of skis and boots to do everything.

Really love the Nordica freestyle line of boots.... http://www.skis.com/Nordica-Ace-of-Spades-Ski-Boots-2013/277393P,default,pd.html

Stiffness is also something I know little about and what is correct for different styles of skiing. I fully intend on getting a professional boot fitting when I upgrade. Hopefully I can find a good shop in the NJ area that sells the boots im looking for as most places seem more alpine oriented.

Tom
 

Nick

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This is an interesting question. Last year I had the chance to demo some Full Tilt Classic boots. I believe they are considered "freeride" boots, or maybe even park boots. They have more flex in them than a typical downhill ski or race boot.

Normally I ski on Dalbello Krypton Ti's, which are definitely a bit stiffer.

TBH, I find the comfort of the boot a bit more important than the overall flex. I might be in the minority on that. However, I like to really get "all over the mountain" - woods, groomers, some park, moguls - and a freeride boot is good for many situations but maybe not the best for any one situation (besides the park).

Sounds like you are doing the kind of skiing I do - everywhere, really. The sacrifice you make with a one-ski quiver and one-boot system is that you have something that is OK everywhere but not really great anywhere. That might be OK. I'm not interested in changing where I ski mid-day and running to my car to swap boots. I have two skis - one for most normal new england days and one for powder days (rare). That gets me through most everything. IF I could keep expanding I'd probably pick up something for those more icy days as well.
 

bigbog

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newschoolers.com is a good site where a lot of Park people hang... Would seem you want medium[-soft?] forward flex matching your weight/dorsiflexion(as well?)...for easy balance if thrown forward or backward. The stiffer boots will obviously offer quicker performance laterally...but gauge that by what it'll take to swing your particular ski around... Just my $.01 guess.
 
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Twism86

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This is an interesting question. Last year I had the chance to demo some Full Tilt Classic boots. I believe they are considered "freeride" boots, or maybe even park boots. They have more flex in them than a typical downhill ski or race boot.

Normally I ski on Dalbello Krypton Ti's, which are definitely a bit stiffer.

TBH, I find the comfort of the boot a bit more important than the overall flex. I might be in the minority on that. However, I like to really get "all over the mountain" - woods, groomers, some park, moguls - and a freeride boot is good for many situations but maybe not the best for any one situation (besides the park).

Sounds like you are doing the kind of skiing I do - everywhere, really. The sacrifice you make with a one-ski quiver and one-boot system is that you have something that is OK everywhere but not really great anywhere. That might be OK. I'm not interested in changing where I ski mid-day and running to my car to swap boots. I have two skis - one for most normal new england days and one for powder days (rare). That gets me through most everything. IF I could keep expanding I'd probably pick up something for those more icy days as well.

Nick, we definitely are on the same page with how we ski. Im not the type of person to stop and change up to new boots or skis. I ski fast and hard until im worn out, no breaks. That or I misjudge a gap and come down hard... then its time for a beer and some advil. I want something that I can wear all day, be comfortable and not be out of place anywhere on the mountain. If I had to choose, I want my setup geared more toward handling the park and jumps but still acceptable everywhere else. I ski twins in the park but they are mounted back from center (for all around skiing). Also, im not much for hitting rails and stuff. I like the bases and edges of my skis. Im just an adrenaline junkie for speed and air!!
 

gmcunni

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it looked to me, based on very non-scientific review, that the slopestyle guys in Sochi had the top buckle of their boots undone. either that or a new "style" of boot has a long tongue that protrudes and folds over the front of the boot.
 

Twism86

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it looked to me, based on very non-scientific review, that the slopestyle guys in Sochi had the top buckle of their boots undone. either that or a new "style" of boot has a long tongue that protrudes and folds over the front of the boot.

I wasnt paying that much attention. I also dont need a boot designed to do what they can do. If I tried that it would be a one way ticket to the ICU!
 

gmcunni

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wondered if opening the top buckle = softer/more flex for park activities? so buckle up for cruising, loosen up for tricking - all styles from same boot
 

Twism86

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I found some reviews on newschoolers about the boots I linked in my original post. People seem to love them and they are good for all around the mountain as well. I dont think Nordica still makes them but they are worth looking at, or their newest version. The ultimate decision will be what fits me best after a fitting.
 

Twism86

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New, better fitting, boots = closer body/ski connection = more instantaneous signals to the skis....

I know, and now that I have better skis I want nicer boots to go along. My current pair need to be cranked super tight to fit. They feel good going downhill and carving but when I get into some bumps at high speed and im fighting to keep my skis under me and parallel I can really feel a disconnect between my foot and the boot.
 

bigbog

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Does sound like not a great fit...BUT are you using a footbed inside? I'd start with getting footbeds...may be a distinct possibility that they might improve the fit enough to improve this boot's usefullness/FIT...but in stabilizing one's foot you'll make the boot-finding easier than if your foot is rolling around in the boot. $.01
 
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Nick

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Yeah - boots are one of those items you need to try on. every foot is different and every boot might work for one might not work for someone else.
 
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