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  1. #1
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    How to choose boot flex?

    Here's the deal: Taking the ladyfriend to get her first new boots ever. Yes, we're going to a bootfitter but I want some background knowledge on how to choose boot flex. I feel like I intrinsically know if I like the flex of a boot or not, but I don't expect her to.

    Based on my search, I learned that:

    - Ankle flexion plays a role. Limited ankle flexion => stiffer flex.

    - Heavier skier => stiffer boots.

    - I always kind of assumed that the faster/more aggressive the skier, the stiffer the boot.

    And yes, I'm aware that the last two are guidelines and not set in stone.

    Agree/disagree? Anything else?
    We heard you in our twilight caves, one hundred fathom deep below, for notes of joy can pierce the waves, that drown each sound of war and woe.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Number one piece of advice I learned the hard way: Don't push your girlfriend to get equipment above her ability level or that you want. Don't push her to buy skis or boots that have a higher perceived "coolness" factor to you. I had to learn that one the hard way, now after replacing skis, boots and bindings multiple times my wife has settled on the gear that works for HER. She ended up with a pair of unexciting mid-fat Rossignol park skis with "soft" touring boots. Yup, so much for the rad pow skis and stiff boots. Guess what- she skis better on the less exciting gear and has more fun.

    That being said, I know lots of women who are happy with the Lange RS short cuff for an Alpine boot and Dynafit One for touring. Both are great boots. If you are spending the money for a really high quality boot fitting, trust the boot fitters judgement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    trust the boot fitters judgement.
    This.

    Stiffer boots will offer more support when getting thrown around; they'll help keep you in the right position instead of folding over on you. That said, they need to be soft enough so that they can be flexed into turns. How much force the skier can put into the boot is a factor of weight and speed/aggressiveness.

    Keep in mind that boots always feel softer when the plastic is warm (in the store).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    16,256
    1. Warmth, warmth, warmth. Boot heaters, enriched uranium pellets, whatever it takes. Certain brands that don't start with L and end in E may be better in this regard.
    2. A boot that flexes ok in a 72F ski shop will turn into a wc plug boot outside at 15F, or at least feel like that to her.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    The blue ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Jackson
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    892
    Stay away from the stiffest and softest and you're probably OK. I like to just ask the customer to flex the boot. It tells me a lot about how much skiing experience they have. A 110 LB skier chick can flex a stiff boot but a 160 LB southern chick may not even know what i'm asking her to do.

    Also, don't stress about flex, find the boot that fits correctly. It's pretty east these days to make a stiff boot softer. Making a soft boot perform better is tough.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    The blue ones.
    Really? My boot flex should be blue?

    Lots of good comments -- totally agree that warmth is key and a good footbed / orthotic is a good idea.

    But this thread is about BOOT FLEX and how to choose it.

    Saying that I should trust the bootfitter is all well and good, but how do they decide? What other factors besides: skier ability, height/weight, ankle flexion are they taking into account? What are they looking for regarding flex when I try on a boot? This is what I want to know.
    We heard you in our twilight caves, one hundred fathom deep below, for notes of joy can pierce the waves, that drown each sound of war and woe.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by sar13 View Post
    Stay away from the stiffest and softest and you're probably OK. I like to just ask the customer to flex the boot. It tells me a lot about how much skiing experience they have. A 110 LB skier chick can flex a stiff boot but a 160 LB southern chick may not even know what i'm asking her to do.

    Also, don't stress about flex, find the boot that fits correctly. It's pretty east these days to make a stiff boot softer. Making a soft boot perform better is tough.
    Good answer, thanks.
    We heard you in our twilight caves, one hundred fathom deep below, for notes of joy can pierce the waves, that drown each sound of war and woe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Truckee & Nor Cal
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    A good boot fitter will get in her a boot with the proper flex. Something you don't really need to worry about.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2011
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    Wasatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterscotch View Post
    Really? My boot flex should be blue?
    Yes, my wife decided on Blue Flex, and she is very happy. Thus I'm very happy.

    They match her helmet and jacket.

    Best to listen to the boot fitter, and your wife.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    16,256
    Quote Originally Posted by telecp View Post
    and your wife.
    I think she's still just a gf. He's obsessed with flex. I'm guessing she could care less. This experience will be an important test of their relationship.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    I use all of what you have said. and I want to see the customer be able to move the boot to the boots maxium range of motion.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    More general advice: don't get too involved. It'll be your fault if they're not comfortable, but you'll get no credit if they do work. Best to let the shop dude take that fall.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfree View Post
    More general advice: don't get too involved. It'll be your fault if they're not comfortable, but you'll get no credit if they do work. Best to let the shop dude take that fall.
    Wise words my friend. Wise words.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2008
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    387
    Quote Originally Posted by butterscotch View Post
    - I always kind of assumed that the faster/more aggressive the skier, the stiffer the boot.
    Anything else?
    FWIW, Alpine racers often use softer boots for downhill than for slalom. Both are pretty stiff by the standards of mere mortals, but faster doesn't always mean stiffer. If you need to react to terrain a softer boot can be much better. It's one of the reasons people like Kryptons so much, they are stiff laterally while still being fairly soft and even flexing in the forward flex.

    Unless the boot is a complete piece of junk, you should be much more worried about fit than flex. It's much much better to be in a slightly soft boot that fits perfectly than in a too stiff boot with a sloppy fit. Boots should match the flex of the skis, after the whole point is that the boot should be just stiff enough to transfer the force to get the ski to flex. Anything more and you're working harder than you need to.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Missoula, MT
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    It's not necessarily the speed that necessitates the stiffer boot, as whether or not you like to really drive forward or stand centered.
    Being able to bend it a bit at room temperature is a good starting point. If you can't really bend it at all in a hot store, and you're not racing, it's too stiff.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  17. #17
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    Jan 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfree View Post
    More general advice: don't get too involved. It'll be your fault if they're not comfortable, but you'll get no credit if they do work. Best to let the shop dude take that fall.
    Another vote for this one. Although I'd say it stronger--let the man do his job. One thing to consider--a boot can be softened, up to a point, but not stiffened. So don't freak if they are a little too stiff.

  18. #18
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    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfree View Post
    More general advice: don't get too involved. It'll be your fault if they're not comfortable, but you'll get no credit if they do work. Best to let the shop dude take that fall.
    QFT \thread
    Quote Originally Posted by john c View Post
    Most of us are trying to have fun, not be Luke Skywalker and blow up the fucking death star, save the galaxy, and be the coolest Jedi at the next movie premier.

  19. #19
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    Mar 2011
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    352
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Another vote for this one. Although I'd say it stronger--let the man do his job. One thing to consider--a boot can be softened, up to a point, but not stiffened. So don't freak if they are a little too stiff.
    Bootfitter was telling me he can stiffen boots pretty easily by putting in a couple bolts. Pinning the upper to the lower near the back of the boot.

  20. #20
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    Aug 2011
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    All about the fit. That brig said If she's is gonna grow into a boot (ie get better) then try to choose something that has a stiff or soft setting usually will adjust by a +/- 10 rating.

    What the guy said up in the top of the post don't get something too stiff off the bat. Then she's gonna hate skiing, relationship takes a turn for the worst then, no sex, then next thing you know she's dating some swedish guy Sven. Seen it a million times.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Two06 View Post
    Bootfitter was telling me he can stiffen boots pretty easily by putting in a couple bolts. Pinning the upper to the lower near the back of the boot.
    I stand corrected--about stiffening. I still stand by the OP staying out of the way.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,160
    I noticed over the years most people dislike their first pair of boots very quickly. Most don't understand how tight boots have to be until they get thrown around in them. My girlfriend got her first boots for $40 at a ski swap. Within a year she "got it" and went down two sizes.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    387
    Quote Originally Posted by Two06 View Post
    Bootfitter was telling me he can stiffen boots pretty easily by putting in a couple bolts. Pinning the upper to the lower near the back of the boot.
    Riveting the cuff is an "all or nothing" solution. Doesn't work well if you want "just a bit stiffer". Custom liners can help with "just a bit stiffer".

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    cordova,AK
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    [QUOTE Originally Posted by bfree
    More general advice: don't get too involved. It'll be your fault if they're not comfortable, but you'll get no credit if they do work. Best to let the shop dude take that fall.][/QUOTE]
    great advice best thing you can do is stay out of the entire process.
    in case your interested
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ots?highlight=
    off your knees Louie

  25. #25
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    Mar 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    The blue ones.
    This is just WRONG. Everyone knows it's red.
    Gravity. It's the law.

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