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  1. #1
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    Do I want a plug boot?

    A couple of weeks off snow now due to work and messing with boots...obviously finding ways to spend money I probably don't need to spend with a project I probably don't need to put time into but...curious.

    I didn't grow up skiing, wasn't a racer, but have enjoyed working on improving over the last few seasons. I do not have a good local bootfitter so I've tackled all of this on my own so far. I have no real sense of how good a boot could be but I've been steadily making improvements to my boots and I definitely notice the better the bootfit has gotten the more confidently I ski. I've been in 120/130 flex boots which I've never had any trouble actually flexing, but I don't think I need a 140/150 or anything like that. I'm 5'11", 180lbs, athletic build. Big calves, moderate instep, normal width feet.

    Current shells are a Rossignol SI 130 and a Lange RX120 LV both in 26.5 with a ~1cm shell fit. I don't think I could get into a 25.5. I have Zipfit liners that I transfer between the shells. The Rossi shells are getting old but fit very well. The Langes seem a little bit roomier in the forefoot and ankle - no boot work at all and I'm wishing the forefoot was a little bit more snug along with a little more ankle hold when driving bigger skis. No numbness in either boot. I need to add some cork to the Zipfits around the ankle / in front of the ankle and see how the Langes feel.

    But, I'm very curious about trying out a 95mm or 96mm plug boot. If the 97mm Langes are OK without bootwork what are my chances of getting into a 96 or 95 last boot without needing serious modifications? The 97mm lasted Lange is about as tight as I'd want over the instep (a Tecnica Mach 1 LV is too low on the instep after a while, for example) - which is my biggest concern before I start on this project.

    Is the juice worth the squeeze here? Assuming I'll need to get fitted while traveling and this will end up being a big time suck...is the end result worthwhile versus the Langes which are pretty good? And lastly, if yes, which boots should I be looking at / trying on?

  2. #2
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    Not understanding why you would consider a plug boot but don't want to modify it for optimal performance.

    I haven't bought a plug since 2003 but back then, they only had a passing resemblance to a human foot. Could not wear them for 5 minutes until I got them ground. Maybe they're different now...

  3. #3
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    Prolly.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you should check out a Redster Club Sport (CS) 130 - the plastic thickness is akin to a proper world cup race ("plug") boot but with additional anatomic shaping in the forefoot & navicular. Unless you are actually racing for FIS points, it should do the trick.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsAugustWest View Post
    Not understanding why you would consider a plug boot but don't want to modify it for optimal performance.

    I haven't bought a plug since 2003 but back then, they only had a passing resemblance to a human foot. Could not wear them for 5 minutes until I got them ground. Maybe they're different now...
    I'm assuming I will need to have some professional fitting done, but just given how far I am from a reputable race style shop it's probably not sensible for me to buy something that requires a dozen visits to make work. Appreciate the realistic experience - that's what I'm after.

    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Prolly.
    Name checks out.

    Quote Originally Posted by onenerdykid View Post
    Sounds like you should check out a Redster Club Sport (CS) 130 - the plastic thickness is akin to a proper world cup race ("plug") boot but with additional anatomic shaping in the forefoot & navicular. Unless you are actually racing for FIS points, it should do the trick.
    The Redster CS at 96mm sounds like it could be what I am looking for - which is just a touch more precise fit all around.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2018
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    Having skied all my life in different 120-130 flex bots with 97-100mm in 27,5, I'll never forget the day I skied a 95mm salomon xlab+ in a 26,5. I had no work done to it, and I don't think I could ever be comfortable in that size, but the skiing was really something else. Incredible edge control and power transfer on groomers that my current Lange RX130 can only dream of. I don't think I've ever carved as powerfull turns ever since.

    If the power and precision is needed on freeride skis is hard to say, but if you enjoy race skis on low tide days, I'd say go for it.

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Oct 2015
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    687
    You should probably get the Bluetooth Redster
    https://www.levelninesports.com/atom...UaAqhFEALw_wcB

    Or, wait for the BOA version?

  8. #8
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    Too bad your not a 27.5. I've got a pair of Doberman 150's I'd give you for the cost of shipping. I only used them in the spring but have started doing more spring touring so haven't skied in them for several years. It really is another level of ski/edge domination compared to my RS and RX LV 130's. If anyone else wants them hit me with a PM

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    I'm assuming I will need to have some professional fitting done, but just given how far I am from a reputable race style shop it's probably not sensible for me to buy something that requires a dozen visits to make work.
    Oh.
    Dude, I thought you knew what a plug boot was. Itís a plug of plastic.
    Letís say you have a size 11 foot, theyíre gonna give you a 9 boot (forget about 1 finger or whatever), and theyíre gonna shave away plastic until it fits your foot. It takes a lot of visits if you want to get it right.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  10. #10
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    Oct 2018
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    Just to clarify terms, I donít think most people view a Redster CS or Head Raptor WCR as a ďplugĒ, theyíre usually described as masters race, recreational race, race stock or something similar.

    In terms of whether itís worth it, I noticed a very significant improvement moving from a ~5 year old Atomic Hawx to a Head Raptor WCR last season. I get much more control over bigger skis in the Raptor than I could ever manage with the Hawx, I think at least part of why was the softer boot was sometimes the weak link in the chain between my leg and the ski (so the boot deformed instead of the ski with very big skis like a Legend Pro Rider). Obviously a lot else could explain the improvement, including things like going from an old clapped out boot to a new one or less mediocre technique. Still I like the bigger boots and will stick with them for the future as long as they can be made to fit.
    Last edited by DumbIdeasOnly; 01-21-2023 at 02:03 PM.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Oh.
    Dude, I thought you knew what a plug boot was. It’s a plug of plastic.
    Let’s say you have a size 11 foot, they’re gonna give you a 9 boot (forget about 1 finger or whatever), and they’re gonna shave away plastic until it fits your foot. It takes a lot of visits if you want to get it right.
    That's what's involved with a traditional 93mm plug boot, right? I figured the 93mm boots don't make sense for me on the whole right now - just from the amount of fitting probably required and I'm probably not going to extract the performance out of a boot like that yet.

    I guess I am more interested in the 95-96mm boots that are maybe a bit less intensive...and maybe that means they aren't a true plug. Just think I'd like to try a bit closer fit than is possible with the Lange 97mm shell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thomas View Post
    Too bad your not a 27.5. I've got a pair of Doberman 150's I'd give you for the cost of shipping. I only used them in the spring but have started doing more spring touring so haven't skied in them for several years. It really is another level of ski/edge domination compared to my RS and RX LV 130's. If anyone else wants them hit me with a PM
    Nice offer, hope someone picks them up from you.

    Quote Originally Posted by DumbIdeasOnly View Post
    Just to clarify terms, I don’t think most people view a Redster CS or Head Raptor WCR as a “plug”, they’re usually described as masters race, recreational race, race stock or something similar.

    In terms of whether it’s worth it, I noticed a very significant improvement moving from a ~5 year old Atomic Hawx to a Head Raptor WCR last season. I get much more control over bigger skis in the Raptor than I could ever manage with the Hawx, I think at least part of why was the softer boot was sometimes the weak link in the chain between my leg and the ski (so the boot deformed instead of the ski with very big skis like a Legend Pro Rider). Obviously a lot else could explain the improvement, including things like going from an old clapped out boot to a new one or less mediocre technique. Still I like the bigger boots and will stick with them for the future as long as they can be made to fit.
    I think this is more what I'm looking for. Appreciate the comparison and clarification on the terms.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    I guess I am more interested in the 95-96mm boots that are maybe a bit less intensive...and maybe that means they aren't a true plug. Just think I'd like to try a bit closer fit than is possible with the Lange 97mm shell.
    ...
    I think this is more what I'm looking for. Appreciate the comparison and clarification on the terms.
    My DD is RX130 LV with zipfits. Last season I tried '21 Raptor 140s (stock liners) and it's a significant step up in precision. So much so I only wear them when I'm up for it. Makes for a good inbounds boot quiver.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Thomas View Post
    Too bad your not a 27.5. I've got a pair of Doberman 150's I'd give you for the cost of shipping. I only used them in the spring but have started doing more spring touring so haven't skied in them for several years. It really is another level of ski/edge domination compared to my RS and RX LV 130's. If anyone else wants them hit me with a PM
    say, when are you coming to town next?

  14. #14
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    Just buy a RS130 in a 97mm last and call it a day. No the juice isnít worth the squeeze. They are miserable and there isnít a day I wish for them back. The little bit of control and snow feel I lost, I happily trade for getting in and out of my boots easier and my boots now are way warmer.

    If you are in a Zipfit corsa you will probably want to go to a lower volume as well for your plug. My regular corsa worked, but my corsa 92 was leaps and bounds better.

    FWIW I ski all langes as well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    say, when are you coming to town next?
    I'll be coming through town Monday morning and coming back through sometime Tuesday afternoon. Will send PM

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    That's what's involved with a traditional 93mm plug boot, right? I figured the 93mm boots don't make sense for me on the whole right now - just from the amount of fitting probably required and I'm probably not going to extract the performance out of a boot like that yet.

    I guess I am more interested in the 95-96mm boots that are maybe a bit less intensive...and maybe that means they aren't a true plug. Just think I'd like to try a bit closer fit than is possible with the Lange 97mm shell.
    .
    Grinding, punching and other dark arts are involved for many people, including me, in fitting into the 96 mm last boots. There are also some people who can wear the 96 mm ones stock apparently. The narrow ones I have basically never heard of anyone wearing stock without going 2 sizes too big and they seem to require a lot more work.

    Still, the 96 ones arenít easy. From memory, to get my (104mm wide) foot into a Raptor WCR in size 28.5 my fitter ground the boot board down with a belt sander and did some additional grinds on the interior of the boot with a dremel for some major hot spots, this took about 2 hours before I could wear them without pain and then my feet went totally numb after wearing them for 1 hour while trying to ski. Round 2 was another 2+ hours of dremel work and punches. Round 3 and 4 were more minor. I canít imagine doing that stuff myself without training and experience, but your feet may be closer to what Head, Atomic or Lange think a human foot is supposed to look like than mine are.

    Anyway, TL; DR - the wider boots are still hard if you have wide feet, Iím too dumb to DIY them but maybe youíre not.

  17. #17
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    Dec 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoVT Joey View Post
    Just buy a RS130 in a 97mm last and call it a day. No the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. They are miserable and there isn’t a day I wish for them back. The little bit of control and snow feel I lost, I happily trade for getting in and out of my boots easier and my boots now are way warmer.

    If you are in a Zipfit corsa you will probably want to go to a lower volume as well for your plug. My regular corsa worked, but my corsa 92 was leaps and bounds better.

    FWIW I ski all langes as well.
    RS instead of the RX? Inner last is the same on both, right? The RS is just maybe a heavier plastic? I probably won't bother as it's not the stiffness of the shell that's a concern so much as the closeness of the fit. I'll see if I can take up the space in the RX with a bit more cork in the ZipFits but I don't think I can do much about the forefoot.

    For whatever it's worth, I did ski the Langes with the stock liner and whatever that foam "footbed" is. Feet went numb in like 15 minutes of skiing and had pressure points around the ball of my foot. With the ZipFits and proper footbeds it's the opposite - forefoot isn't as locked down as I'd like laterally.

    Quote Originally Posted by DumbIdeasOnly View Post
    Grinding, punching and other dark arts are involved for many people, including me, in fitting into the 96 mm last boots. There are also some people who can wear the 96 mm ones stock apparently. The narrow ones I have basically never heard of anyone wearing stock without going 2 sizes too big and they seem to require a lot more work.

    Still, the 96 ones aren’t easy. From memory, to get my (104mm wide) foot into a Raptor WCR in size 28.5 my fitter ground the boot board down with a belt sander and did some additional grinds on the interior of the boot with a dremel for some major hot spots, this took about 2 hours before I could wear them without pain and then my feet went totally numb after wearing them for 1 hour while trying to ski. Round 2 was another 2+ hours of dremel work and punches. Round 3 and 4 were more minor. I can’t imagine doing that stuff myself without training and experience, but your feet may be closer to what Head, Atomic or Lange think a human foot is supposed to look like than mine are.

    Anyway, TL; DR - the wider boots are still hard if you have wide feet, I’m too dumb to DIY them but maybe you’re not.
    Super helpful - thank you. I think I'll have to try on some of the ~96mm boots if I can find them and decide if it seems doable. I haven't really had to grind anything yet - that would be new for me. I'm not opposed to doing minor shaving / grinding and have a Dremel with all the bits and a flex shaft for it. I don't think I'd be up for major boot surgery having no prior experience with ski boots.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    RS instead of the RX? Inner last is the same on both, right? The RS is just maybe a heavier plastic? I probably won't bother as it's not the stiffness of the shell that's a concern so much as the closeness of the fit. I'll see if I can take up the space in the RX with a bit more cork in the ZipFits but I don't think I can do much about the forefoot.

    For whatever it's worth, I did ski the Langes with the stock liner and whatever that foam "footbed" is. Feet went numb in like 15 minutes of skiing and had pressure points around the ball of my foot. With the ZipFits and proper footbeds it's the opposite - forefoot isn't as locked down as I'd like laterally.


    Super helpful - thank you. I think I'll have to try on some of the ~96mm boots if I can find them and decide if it seems doable. I haven't really had to grind anything yet - that would be new for me. I'm not opposed to doing minor shaving / grinding and have a Dremel with all the bits and a flex shaft for it. I don't think I'd be up for major boot surgery having no prior experience with ski boots.

    theres a new mv Lange rs140 that’s a 95 or 96. Try that.

    and here. The Rs and Rx fit different. The Rx is higher volume.
    https://www.skitalk.com/threads/lang...-rs-130.21440/

    https://www.lange-boots.com/by/product/world-cup-rs-140

  19. #19
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    Actual plug boots are made of thick plastic and do not come foot-shaped, and have extra-thick soles, with toe and heel lugs that need to be ground down to fit into a binding (this is done so that you can cant the soles for leg alignment). At minimum, you will need a bootfitter to plane the lugs to DIN standard, and I canít see them being comfortable for most people out of the box. They are intended to require significant shell modification.

    If you have access to a good bootfitter with experience fitting plug boots (this is key), you wonít find a better-skiing boot, mainly since the shell is essentially a blank canvas that can be shaped to your foot. And if fit properly, they will be the most comfortable boots youíll own. Plug boots come in many flexes, so they donít necessarily have to be stiffer than an off the shelf race-oriented boot, depending on the flex you go with. But without an experienced bootfitter, a race boot with a more anatomical fit out of the box is probably a better call.

  20. #20
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    ^^^ this.
    I guess the OP doesnít understand what I was saying or what I am.
    I am a blank canvas of thick plastic that is ground, (slowly and over many visits), to fit your, and only, your foot.
    I am often sold directly from the rep, not the shop, with the shopís knowledge of the work on me to come.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  21. #21
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    One of the best skiers that I regularly ski with and a die hard plug boot user for decades no longer uses Head plug boots. Heís entirely happy skiing in a Kore 120. You canít tell the difference in his skiing and he says itís nice not having to sit in the lodge for an hour so he can take his boots off


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  22. #22
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    Tecnica Firebird R 140 96mm last.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    One of the best skiers that I regularly ski with and a die hard plug boot user for decades no longer uses Head plug boots. He’s entirely happy skiing in a Kore 120. You can’t tell the difference in his skiing and he says it’s nice not having to sit in the lodge for an hour so he can take his boots off


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Not that people need to go full World Cup with their boot choice, but making the jump from a World Cup race boot to a Head Kore will 100% require him to work more, be better balanced, be more technically proficient, etc. because the boot isn't doing the work for him. He has to be more stable rather than the boot being more stable. If you think his skiing looks the same, it just means that he has to be doing way more work to achieve that.

  24. #24
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    A couple of notes on “plug boots” from my side:
    • The term “plug” seems to be a North American/English-speaking word only. No one in European boot R&D & manufacturing refers to these boots like that, or uses their language’s equivalent. They’re just race boots over here.
    • They are made the same way as any other boot: a foot-shaped aluminum last in an aluminum mold.
    • The last looks like any other last in the ski boot world- it’s just far narrower than normal “narrow” boots, often requiring lots of stretching & grinding to fit comfortably.
    • The plastic is generally far thicker than normal ski boots, but this is not always the case. Our “non-plug” CS boot is much thicker in many areas than our STI boot, which everyone would consider a “plug” boot.
    • They can be insanely stiff (especially at the World Cup level) but they are available in more human flexes, even down to a 70 flex.
    • They can be made with thicker sole areas that require grinding in order to fit into bindings, but not necessarily. This is an option in the molds where a boot can be made with the thicker sole or a normal ISO 5355 profile.

  25. #25
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    Do I want a plug boot?

    Quote Originally Posted by onenerdykid View Post
    Not that people need to go full World Cup with their boot choice, but making the jump from a World Cup race boot to a Head Kore will 100% require him to work more, be better balanced, be more technically proficient, etc. because the boot isn't doing the work for him. He has to be more stable rather than the boot being more stable. If you think his skiing looks the same, it just means that he has to be doing way more work to achieve that.
    He was using a 120 Head WCR before and he thinks the performance difference is noticeable but only worth the discomfort and precision when heís racing which is at weeknight rec skiing. Other than that he much prefers the Kore.




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