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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    do boot shells ever really die?

    Hello Maggots.

    The question is in the title. Assuming one can replace buckles, power straps, heel/toe sole pieces, and other components of a ski boot, does the actual shell actually ever 'wear out?'

    Another slightly different way to say it is - given the availability of high quality aftermarket liners (intuition, zipfit, etc), is there really a reason to buy entire new boots once your shells are dialed in?
    It's not your job to be as confused as Nigel.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    372
    Interesting topic. The plastic certainly will soften through time. And one will eventually walk through the sole. I get about 3-4 seasons out of a shell before I rotate in a new one (with the same last). I have gotten 10 seasons out of my current zipfit liners and foot beds. I get 2 seasons out of intuitions in the touring boots.

    I would say... once you find a shell last that fits, don't change lasts unless you have to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine Coast
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    3,702
    I think the two main culprits are uv exposure to the plastic leading to softening and the soles wearing causing binding interface problems as mentioned above

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    西 雅 圖
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    4,618
    Over several years, the flex softens. Over many years, the plastic can get brittle enough to break. Thin polyamide shells (typically Grilamid or Pebax touring boots) can actually wear through. Soles get worn down to the point of non-compatibility with bindings.

    But in general, an alpine boot shell should last about 3 times longer than the liner, so if there are no significant structural/design changes to your preferred boot and/or it took a bootfitter a lot of work to modify the shell to your liking, a new liner makes sense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    I don't think it happens much anymore but who else remembers those Scott boots blown apart and tossed in the corner of the day lodge ?

    I would agree one should find their boot and stick with it
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    On the field
    Posts
    787
    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal Olson View Post
    Interesting topic. The plastic certainly will soften through time. And one will eventually walk through the sole. I get about 3-4 seasons out of a shell before I rotate in a new one (with the same last). I have gotten 10 seasons out of my current zipfit liners and foot beds. I get 2 seasons out of intuitions in the touring boots.

    I would say... once you find a shell last that fits, don't change lasts unless you have to.
    Are zipfits as warm as intuitions

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Big in Japan
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    50,297
    If my last Full Tilts had replaceable toe pieces I'd still be in them.

    The world is perfect. Appreciate the details.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    panhandle locdog
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    7,544
    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Over several years, the flex softens. Over many years, the plastic can get brittle enough to break.
    A kid in my Boy Scout troop bought some old boots from the thriftstore and had them explode on the 2nd day on the mountain. I think they were old nordica rear entry boots or something. He "walked out" of the binding but the din sole was still attached to the ski.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    21,833
    It used to be that over the long term, maybe from UV, the plastic got stiffer, which was actually the plastic getting more brittle until possibly cracking.
    With the plastics they've been using for the past 2 or 3 decades, I think the short answer is no.
    No longer stuck.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Warm parts of the St. Vrain
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    2,456
    This reminds me I need to find some DIN soles for 265 titans.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    If we're gonna wear uniforms, we should all wear somethin' different!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    6,621
    I saw a pair of rear entry just explode from plastic failure while waiting in the lift line. I asked the guy how is rear entry boots skied being so old. He said they ski fine, he took a step and they exploded. He says “guess it’s time for new boots”


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
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    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16, 24, 32, 35

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,426
    I've broken a cuff before on a pair of 4 year old boots. Replaceable toe and heel pieces would definitely help prolong the life, but I wouldn't think anyone should expect indefinite life out of a ski boot shell. Plastic subjected to UV, temp changes, stress and friction will eventually wear out.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Verdi NV
    Posts
    10,185
    Yes they wear out. I’ve bought the exact same boot because my boots just weren’t right anymore

    Put old liners and foot beds in the new shells. And perfect. It was one of the shells.
    And both had gotten sloppy over time
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,973
    IME boot shells fatigue over time. After a couple hundred days of skiing I've had a pair of Dabello's break and split from the overlap to the toe lug.

    It happened while skiing and not from a crash. Just flexed the boot one too many times and POP! Then I had to buy a pair of boots from a shady character in the parking lot so I could keep skiing at BBI16.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    26,589
    I got a free pair of the exact same Dalbello i'm using in from someone on TGR, I just had to pay shipping and enough $ for a beer so I wonder if the plastic will still be affected by age in spite of not being used ?

    How does pigment affect the plastic, my Dalbello are clear plastic
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    LV-426
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    I have been skiing in a Garmont Shaman for many years. This season, the boots were feeling a little weird - flex just felt "off" somehow. Tried different liners, still weird.

    Pulled out a new unskied pair I had stored, swapped over the Boosters, and have about 5 days in them. The magic is back.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    7,859
    Had a pair of Krypton Pros for years. One day skiing it felt like my binding was way out of adjustment as my foot was flopping around. Didn't figure it out until I pulled boots off that the heel block was broken, just hanging on to the rest of the shell bit a small piece of plastic.

    There had been no impact or other rough treatment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    232
    I've had multiple shell lowers crack above the instep/ankle. They can last a while after that, but I get at most 8 years out of my boots.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    an old saloon
    Posts
    205
    This guy infamously used the same pair of Caber boots his entire career. In the end, my guess it was more of a franken-boot, as this photo would indicate. I believe those buckles shown are actually from the model boot that followed the Alfa, the Competition "D". Rumors of the boot work his techs accomplished included the grinding of the soles completely off and block replacements being added over the years. A practice that sounds oddly familiar now days, no?

    Cindy was also a fan of the Alfa. An interesting read can be found here:
    https://www.skiinghistory.org/online...heir-ski-boots


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Crippled but free, I was blind all the time, I was learning to 'ski'.

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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    73
    i find my shells (lange rx130) start to get softer after about 3 seasons (~400 full days; work in 'em) and then i'm overflexing them leading to foot issues (particularly my haglunds as my heel lifts).
    also depends on the conditions and your skiing style. I find harsh firm snow hastens the process if you're skiing fast and really working the boots.
    as an example, with the harsh snow in the sierras this year and last, i'm already starting to feel like my current shells are getting soft on me.
    soft pow requires so little input. it's sort of like a cars. if you baby 'em, they'll last a long time, but if you really push them hard, they'll wear faster.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    upper eascoas homeless
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    198
    Interesting replies.

    My takeaway here is liners go 2-4 years while shells maybe 8-15. Obviously, results may vary.

    I just got new (but older stock) boots off the board and will report back whether I notice the 'newness' of the shells.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    voting in seattle
    Posts
    4,910
    They defiantly lose their rebound and can develop play around the pivot points. You can notice a difference in response and energy between a new shell and one with a ton of use. I know people who have gone through multiple shells with the same zipfit liner.

    Very few boots explode on people anymore but the plastic can eventually have a catastrophic failure.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,540
    In Full Tilt Classics, I get 4-5 seasons (they lose their spring) out of the tongues, 7-10) they crack at the top of the forefoot) out of the clogs, and 20+ (I don’t notice any deficiency in mine, which are from the early 90s) for the rear cuff. Other parts are replaced regularly as necessary.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    S-E-A-T-O-W-N
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    I put 5 or 6 years on my old Kryptons before one of the shells cracked right above the middle buckle. I thought I'd gotten enough out of 'em and bought some Krypton 2s.
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    238
    I have 174 days on my salomon XMax shells so far. Usually get in about 40 - 50 days a season, being a weekend warrior and not living in a mountain town. Have been using zipfits in them from day 1, and can't say i can tell any difference with how they feel or ski now vs the day they were unboxed. They've taken a lot of bootfitting work to get to the point now where i can buckle in and ski all day for multiple days in a row without any nagging problems. So i would love it if these things last for 10 years or more.

    The thin toe and heel replaceable soles on salomon boots suck, though. I'm already on my 2nd set.

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk

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