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Softening Boots?

#61
This article measures the Shift as being 9mm higher in the heel. That being said, the Aattacks have more ramp angle than Squires, for instance. IIRC the Aattacks are about 5mm higher in the heel.

https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/
I’m not sure you can compare the numbers of that article for tech bindings with an alpine binding delta.

Quoted from article: “Know that due to how tech bindings such as Dynafit function, the spreadsheet numbers are not the binding delta/ramp as you would measure with an alpine binding. Instead, they are the distance from ski top up to the center of tech binding pins. Thus, the numbers are for COMPARISON between different ski touring tech bindings. (We do have some angles calculated in the spreadsheet, for specific boot sole length and with a few mm added to the heel fitting height to make the results more reflective of real life.)”

Although with them measuring in this way, makes me wonder how they measured the Kingpins and Shifts since they don’t have pins for the heels.

Considering I've been under the impression that heel lift has always been bad for me.
Keep in mind heel lifts inside the boot are different than ramp/delta on the boot sole. A heel lift inside the boot opens your ankles and keeps the forward lean the same. Additional delta in a binding will keep your ankles in the same position, but will increase your forward lean.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#62
I’m not sure you can compare the numbers of that article for tech bindings with an alpine binding delta.

Quoted from article: “Know that due to how tech bindings such as Dynafit function, the spreadsheet numbers are not the binding delta/ramp as you would measure with an alpine binding. Instead, they are the distance from ski top up to the center of tech binding pins. Thus, the numbers are for COMPARISON between different ski touring tech bindings. (We do have some angles calculated in the spreadsheet, for specific boot sole length and with a few mm added to the heel fitting height to make the results more reflective of real life.)”

Although with them measuring in this way, makes me wonder how they measured the Kingpins and Shifts since they don’t have pins for the heels.



Keep in mind heel lifts inside the boot are different than ramp/delta on the boot sole. A heel lift inside the boot opens your ankles and keeps the forward lean the same. Additional delta in a binding will keep your ankles in the same position, but will increase your forward lean.
I’m not sure how they compare, either. I do know that I skied some Shift bindings two seasons ago and they were definitely higher in the heel than I cared for.

And yes, great way to describe changes inside the boot vs. outside the boot.
 
#63
I’m not sure you can compare the numbers of that article for tech bindings with an alpine binding delta.

Quoted from article: “Know that due to how tech bindings such as Dynafit function, the spreadsheet numbers are not the binding delta/ramp as you would measure with an alpine binding. Instead, they are the distance from ski top up to the center of tech binding pins. Thus, the numbers are for COMPARISON between different ski touring tech bindings. (We do have some angles calculated in the spreadsheet, for specific boot sole length and with a few mm added to the heel fitting height to make the results more reflective of real life.)”

Although with them measuring in this way, makes me wonder how they measured the Kingpins and Shifts since they don’t have pins for the heels.



Keep in mind heel lifts inside the boot are different than ramp/delta on the boot sole. A heel lift inside the boot opens your ankles and keeps the forward lean the same. Additional delta in a binding will keep your ankles in the same position, but will increase your forward lean.
It was different boots where I discovered that lower ramp angles on bindings also worked better for me. Does that still hold true in different boots that also have different amounts of forward lean etc.? I have no idea..
 
#64
It was different boots where I discovered that lower ramp angles on bindings also worked better for me. Does that still hold true in different boots that also have different amounts of forward lean etc.? I have no idea..
Not necessarily. The ramp angle is created by the boot board angle and any additional heel lifts added, then the binding delta adds additional slope to that angle. The forward lean does not affect the ramp angle, but the binding delta can affect the forward lean...clear as mud?

So, in your case, your old boots might have had, say, 5 degrees of ramp from the boot board. If 5 degrees was your “ideal” ramp angle, then anything additional from the binding might throw you off. Then your new boots might have 3 degrees of ramp, now you’d want your bindings to make up the extra 2 degrees to bring you to an ideal balance point.

With that being said, I think most skiers are adaptable within some range of ramp angles, some people probably have a smaller “comfortable” range than others.
 
#66
@elemmac thanks, good food for thought and explanations, it all gets a bit muddled sometimes. I’ll definitely take a look at that series! This is all a good wake up call to do some further experimenting all around with my setups and a reminder to keep an open mind to the feedback. It can be easy to form opinions from past experiences of what does and doesn’t work for you and then not revisit and fully understand the why behind it and what was actually happening.
 
#67
Today I skied the Atomic hybrid boots again. Went that way because I wanted to ski them in my class and also because my regular Sheevas are in the shop for a badly needed sharpen back in MA, so I won’t have them back until next week. I also added the inserts that came with the boots to supposedly make them a “1/2 size smaller”.

Well, literally after our first bump run today I was riding up with my instructor and he was says okay you are absorbing And flexing much better today. So I was like oh I’m in a softer boot! Haha He said it was very noticeable of a change. So that was good! The bad is that while the left boot feels good with the insert, the right side seemingly gets pushed out of the heel pocket.. so I might take them out for tomorrow. Not positive because they felt more responsive overall with the insert but my right heel wasn’t secure like it was last week when I skied them without the insert.

I’m contemplating doing the touring Intuition liners in general to snug things up around the ankle/heel/instep and thinking it might also make my heels feel better because dang the left is still just unhappy and I can’t even figure out what is poking it or if the bone just pokes into the shell because there isn’t much density to the stock liners back there.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#68
....dang the left is still just unhappy and I can’t even figure out what is poking it or if the bone just pokes into the shell because there isn’t much density to the stock liners back there.
Take a magic marker with you next time you ski. When you remove your boot, pull off your sock and find the spot on you rheel where it hurts. It will probably be red. Draw a circle around it. Take a bunch of photos. When you see a bootfitter next, show those photos to the bootfitter. Even better, get thee to a bootfitter while the ink is still there. This is stuff bootfitters deal with all the time. If you wait all season, your heel may grow a hard bump there and it could get worse.
 
#69
Take a magic marker with you next time you ski. When you remove your boot, pull off your sock and find the spot on you rheel where it hurts. It will probably be red. Draw a circle around it. Take a bunch of photos. When you see a bootfitter next, show those photos to the bootfitter. Even better, get thee to a bootfitter while the ink is still there. This is stuff bootfitters deal with all the time. If you wait all season, your heel may grow a hard bump there and it could get worse.
Good plan, my heels very clearly show where the anger is. I will take some pictures. Planning to head to a bootfitter soon about this for sure!
 
#70
I was comparing my boots today, and struck by how similar the seem to be for forward lean and cuff height etc. since they feel sooooo different balance wise. Flex obviously feels very different as well, and that isn’t a visual thing but may be affecting my balance? One thing I feel looks notable is how much space is actually there to allow for flex between the buckles on the lower and upper shell. There is a lot more on the white Atomics. Also, is there any indication that balancing is easier on a longer platform when you are in a larger boot than sized down to a shorter boot? I assume not since so many people do it, but just wondering if there are other factors I should be thinking about beyond flex.

As a reminder, the blue Lange is a 23.5 and 110 flex and the white Atomic is a 24.5 and 95 flex.

01433BFB-11C8-428F-887C-860404164066.jpeg EFBB650B-68A0-4B5A-9E33-0BBC5F8A9D2C.jpeg 89B24393-8D46-4116-878D-504C0DCE88D2.jpeg
 
#71
I also found this from Lange which I found interesting! It specifies how much flex you can lose by taking out each screw (different for top and bottom or both screws! That was my next step, so that's easy enough, but I don't know that I have the "supplied clips" anymore if they came with my boots.. Any idea if you NEED to replace with the clips for some reason of structural integrity? Previously when I had screws removed for softening flex the hole was just covered with duct tape to keep snow out, so I'm assuming that's the actual purpose of these clips..

https://www.lange-boots.com/skiboots-faq-flex-adjustment
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#72
@MissySki, which ones are the new ones? The sized-down ones? I am assuming this is the case.

110 for a Lange is not necessarily stiffer than 95 in an Atomic. There is no standard, and mfrs do not compare themselves to each other when they assign flex numbers.

Do you feel a significant difference in flex when you are out on snow and the boot plastic has gotten cold? If yes, do you sense a negative difference in your control over your turns with the new boots? If yes, are you sure that negative change is coming from the flex difference?

I ask because I'm trying to get an idea of how much influence the numbers are having on your concern over flex, vs how much difference you are actually experiencing when skiing.
 
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#73
@MissySki, which ones are the new ones? The sized-down ones? I am assuming this is the case.

110 for a Lange is not necessarily stiffer than 95 in an Atomic. There is no standard, and mfrs do not compare themselves to each other.

Do you feel a significant difference in flex when you are out on snow and the boots are cold? If yes, do you sense a difference in your control over your turns?
The blue Langes are my 5 year old boots that are feeling too stiff, especially in bumps but other places too. Is just doesn't seem like the boot moves much if it's quite cold out.

The white Atomics are the new pair I got for my hybrid AT setup. I never intended to be skiing them for lift served, but wanted to get comfortable on my setup ahead of an avalanche class next month. They are very significantly softer flexing, to the point of almost being too soft feeling though I'm starting to get used to that difference. I've skied them 3 days now so far and I feel so much more balanced in them. My instructor commented immediately on my ability to absorb better in bumps this weekend before knowing that I was in a different boot for example. I was wondering if that was due to a larger platform length or if it's all about the flex and being able to stay forward so much more easily. He thinks I should definitely be looking for something softer than the Langes and more towards the Atomics when I get fit for new downhill boots next season.

I'm also going to try getting the Langes softened in the meantime, so I'm hoping the flex can change quite a bit as easily as the article I linked to seems to indicate. The actual fit on the smaller Langes is much superior to my AT boots that I went with in my "normal size" rather than sizing down for comfort hiking on the uphill. I do miss that more secure snugness of the Langes being sized down.

I feel like I can feel and engage the tips of my skis much better if that makes sense whereas I've been having a bear of a time really feeling that in the Langes on cold days. It's like I hit a wall and can't get past it. The Atomics do take away some of the really fine tuned control I feel like I have on the Langes where I just think and the ski moves much more quickly (on warmer days when I can actually flex them..). I wish I could merge the two boots right now haha, I'd like the fit of my Langes with the flex of my Atomics (or just a smidge stiffer..)..
 
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#74
I was comparing my boots today, and struck by how similar the seem to be for forward lean and cuff height etc. since they feel sooooo different balance wise.
The ramp angle created by the boot board would be a huge defining factor as well.

Also, is there any indication that balancing is easier on a longer platform when you are in a larger boot than sized down to a shorter boot?
With a longer sole your binding delta won’t matter as much...so it could be a factor. Not sure how much of an effect it would have with a 1cm difference.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#75
Have you skied the Langes with different skis?
I'm not sure that your issue isn't actually that your loss of 10 lbs. makes it harder to flex the SKI. I know from experience that this can happen. Want to do an experiment? Carry around something that weighs 10 pounds while you are skiing. I had a serious AHA moment last week when I had to ski from the upper parking lot to the lodge with a pair of Blizzard HRC skis that were 182cm long. I'm guessing I had 15 pounds worth of skis on my arms (they are race skis--heavy.) I was shocked at how much I was flexing the ski, and that's not a ton of weight, really. I do realize you seem fine with the softer boots, I suppose it could be the softer boots with those skis just works better with your current weight. Have you skied your Astrals?

Of course, an easier experiment would be to pull one of the bolts out of the boots vs. grabbing a 10 lb. bowling ball and sticking it under your jacket like you're 9 months pregnant. :laughter:
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#76
@MissySki the more I try to learn the more I am convinced that flex as a number has minimal meaning. Another thing at play different brands use different plastic mixes which behave differently in different temperatures.

Where are the cuff hinges located since you noticed cuff spacing differences in the front. Something I recently noticed on my own boots....the white boot on the left is a 95 flex and the one of the right is a 110. I suspect my anatomy jives better with the lower bolt/hinge placement on the inside of the ‘stiffer’ boot. The outside bolts are almost at the same height on each boot, they are the same size and BSL and cuff height. I can flex the new ‘stiffer’ boot better than I ever could the ‘softer’ one and I even had the spine cut in an attempt to soften the boot.
 

Attachments

#77
Have you skied the Langes with different skis?
I'm not sure that your issue isn't actually that your loss of 10 lbs. makes it harder to flex the SKI. I know from experience that this can happen. Want to do an experiment? Carry around something that weighs 10 pounds while you are skiing. I had a serious AHA moment last week when I had to ski from the upper parking lot to the lodge with a pair of Blizzard HRC skis that were 182cm long. I'm guessing I had 15 pounds worth of skis on my arms (they are race skis--heavy.) I was shocked at how much I was flexing the ski, and that's not a ton of weight, really. I do realize you seem fine with the softer boots, I suppose it could be the softer boots with those skis just works better with your current weight. Have you skied your Astrals?

Of course, an easier experiment would be to pull one of the bolts out of the boots vs. grabbing a 10 lb. bowling ball and sticking it under your jacket like you're 9 months pregnant. :laughter:
Haha! Preference definitely goes to removing a bolt than the bowling ball idea. :rotf: Recently I actually did ski down to the shop from my rental condo with skis and poles in my arms and a box of new skins to be cut barely fitting zipped under the front of my jacket. I had to look ridiculous!! Unfortunately or fortunately it was the bunny hill, so I'm not sure I got much out of that for the question at hand, but I didn't have any issue skiing down there.

I've only skied the Astrals once this season so far and it was a couple of hours night skiing. Mostly I've been on the Sheevas. Oh I did spend very early season on the Black Pearls with the bulls since they are my rock skis, but our early season was so warm..

My weight loss is actually almost 17 lbs now.. I don't weigh myself all the time, so kind of lost track. It blows my mind to lose so much from a diuretic (that I'm not using for that purpose obviously). Like do I not need all of that water??? I spoke to my doctor about it very recently and told her I'm within a couple of pounds of my high school weight from 20 years ago and she thought that was great lol. I was like yeah except I of course lost in some places that I didn't really want to lose and also would like it to stop now. I'm usually a size 4 in jeans and those are all getting somewhat baggy (I usually have to go through hell to find jeans that fit right and I like, so this is REALLY annoying!!). I've been living in leggings and pajamas for the most part since last March working from home, which is probably why I don't notice it as much as I should.. Hopefully I'm at some equilibrium.

I did end up removing the bottom bolt on each boot the other night, and they do in fact feel and look noticeably easier to flex and move deeper. At one point I had the Lange on one foot and the Atomic on the other to compare, but it's hard to flex that way because the feel is so different from one to the other. The Lange is definitely moving more than it was though. However, that's in a warm 70 degree house, so I won't know if that makes a good difference until I get back on snow this weekend. At least it seems I can remove both bolts to try if the one isn't enough. I took both off of one boot and that felt really soft in the warm house so I'm not going to start there.
 
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contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#78
17 pounds is a lot on a small frame like yours. I can relate. That can make a huge difference all around in how both the skis AND the boots feel. (I can also relate to losing weight in places we don't want to! :laughter:)

Removing the bolt should feel quite a bit different for the fore/aft movement. I will say to not shy away from Lange in your new boots if you and your fitter determine they are the best fit for your foot. The Dual Core shells are really nice. It's the same shell as my Rossi ZJ. Very smooth, and not horrific to get on and off. That being said, all the boots have undergone big changes in 5 years.
 
#79
I will say to not shy away from Lange in your new boots if you and your fitter determine they are the best fit for your foot. The Dual Core shells are really nice. It's the same shell as my Rossi ZJ. Very smooth, and not horrific to get on and off. That being said, all the boots have undergone big changes in 5 years.
I'll definitely keep an open mind for any and all options Torin comes up with for me to try on. :smile:

17 pounds is a lot on a small frame like yours. I can relate. That can make a huge difference all around in how both the skis AND the boots feel. (I can also relate to losing weight in places we don't want to! :laughter:)
The weird part is that I don't feel like there is any big difference looking at myself, until I put clothes on and they fit differently. Kind of amazing that almost 20 lbs isn't more noticeable in general to myself but I guess if it's from all over it can be hard to see except from the areas you miss. :noidea:
 

Patronainthe801

Certified Ski Diva
#80
The more days I get in my Rossi ZJ (92mm last boot, 120 flex!) the more I am understanding why the fore/aft balance is probably more important than any. Whether it's extra cold or not, it's much easier to adapt to the change in boot stiffness without fussing a ton with the cuff buckles. In fact, I am getting some looseness in my right foot, probably because I'm in an Intuition liner and it's packed a bit, but because my stance is good, and my upper cuffs are snug, I still can stand centered and STAY centered. I'll probably just replace the liners every season.

I'm sure many of you have read or heard the same thing--get the fore/aft dialed and you're 90% there. But getting it dialed is NOT easy! I have a 3mm toe shim on my boot sole. I'm in a 22.5 boot (263mm) and am hyper-mobile in my ankles, so it's possible that I'm extra sensitive to the fore/aft alignment. I also think there is something to the Lange/Rossi Dual Core shells. There's a compliant smoothness to the flex that I haven't felt in other boots.

A Booster allows for a more progressive feel in the flex vs. hitting a stiff piece of nylon.

As to the weight loss--your feet and ankles lose some volume, too. "A millimeter is a mile" in boots. I'd steer you towards some aftermarket liners, but your boots are 5 seasons old, so you're on the cusp of needing new ones anyway. Instead of foam C pads or something similar, layering some duct tape in those problem areas can help snug things down to get you by. Or, since it's the heel cup, some foam on the tongue that goes down towards the instep to push your foot back into the heel pocket more can help. I did this last season prior to getting the ZJ; just got some thinner boot fitting foam with adhesive on one side (since I'm lucky and have access to such things) that wasn't super dense, then cut it in the shape of the tongue of the boot. http://svst.com/Boots/Foam-Boot-Fitting-Aids/Boot-Foam-1-8X42X36-Soft.html Looks like you can order some from Tognar: https://www.tognar.com/ski-and-snowboard-boot-fitting-foam-10-x-10/ The key is you have to cut it to follow the curve of your instep into your boot. I had removable tongues at the time, so took them out and traced the foam to the tongue. It doesn't need to go to the top of the tongue, but ideally it will reach to the top buckle. I can take pictures of it later if you'd like.
After reading this I really just want to have a day spent skiing with you, and listening to all of your advice. I went and did a custom boot fitting at Alpine Sports, which was fantastic. They sized me down a whole size, and put in the intuition liners. But I am back to having a similar problem as OP. Too much slip in the heel and not feeling secure enough...and constantly worried I am going to catch an edge. I'm not sure if I just need to suck it up and get used to it, or keep working on a solution. I was going to head back and talk to them about a heel shim, but you've piqued my interest in the boot-fitting foam, with the idea of putting it on the tongue to push my foot further back into the heel pocket. Please post pictures if you can!