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Thread: AT Boots

  1. #1
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default AT Boots

    OK Guys, Iím in need of some advice regarding the fit of AT boots vs. the race-fit Langes Iíve been skiing for the last 15+ years. Iíve been to two different boot fitters who both tell me the shell is the right size for my foot, weíve tweaked it in several ways, including custom footbeds, and it has helped, but I still canít get the performance Iím used to without cranking the boot so tight that it kills me. Iím skiing a Garmont Adrenalin, which Iím very happy with while skinning and hiking (with the buckles loosened, of course) but when it comes time to make turns, I feel like I have little control without cranking them down. I have been advised that it might be my technique needs tweaking now, which sounds logical, but Iím looking for a second opinion. Have my Langes allowed me to get lazy? Is it just a matter of getting used to not being as closely connected to my skis? My feet donít slide around in the boot, but I do find myself ďcrabbingĒ with my toes while skiing.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default Im a beginner...

    But boots have come a long way in 15 years could an upgrade fix you problem? Possibly go demo a pair and see if they work better and then you would know.
    Last edited by byrd_hntr; 02-25-2010 at 15:02. Reason: add some stuff.
    I'm going to ctrl-alt-delete you so hard your mama's computer is going to reboot.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Racing boots are very, very stiff and are designed to keep you in place when throwing your weight hard forward into a turn - especially old race boots. Even race skis are shorter and have more flex now, thus boots have gotten softer in the fore-aft range and a bit stiff torsionally, as they don't need to create such force to get the ski to flex into a turn. Furthermore, AT boots by design are softer and have less bulk. It's just a different design so that weight savings and comfort on the ascent can be realized. Ultimately, what it requires is more balance on the part of the skier since they can't rely on their boot to hold them up as they drive forward and sideways. The skis can practically turn themselves, so the movement required to turn have become much, much more subtle. It's not really an issue of improving your skills, but adapting your skills to new gear. Smaller motions, more centered balance will likely be the ticket.

    I also ski on race boots at the resort, but just ski a bit lighter in my AT boots in the backcountry. I can still ski very agressively, but I need to stay more centered and let the sidecut and flex do the work for me.

    Hopefully that makes some sense?

  4. #4
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Yes and no.

    That makes sense, but I'm still not convinced. I don't have any trouble with these in powder, or even on steeper hardpack or bumps for that matter, but on the groomers, where I've been spending a fair amount of time with my son, the tips of my skis just seem like they're all over the place. I think I need to just take a day and force myself to stay on the groomers until I get used to how these things react.

    A large part of my motivation to go with AT boots was to get a boot that was comfortable while skiing with my 7 year-old. You know, lots of stopping, waiting, sitting down in the trees, hot chocolate, etc.... My Langes are great for tearing down the mountain and hitting it hard, just don't stop or you have to unbuckle quick before the tears start to flow!

    I guess I was just hoping to have the best of both worlds, but it looks like that may have been a bit naive of me. Comfort or performance, but not both. Ski boots haven't come that far yet

    Thanks for the help.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post
    OK Guys, I’m in need of some advice regarding the fit of AT boots vs. the race-fit Langes I’ve been skiing for the last 15+ years. I’ve been to two different boot fitters who both tell me the shell is the right size for my foot, we’ve tweaked it in several ways, including custom footbeds, and it has helped, but I still can’t get the performance I’m used to without cranking the boot so tight that it kills me. I’m skiing a Garmont Adrenalin, which I’m very happy with while skinning and hiking (with the buckles loosened, of course) but when it comes time to make turns, I feel like I have little control without cranking them down. I have been advised that it might be my technique needs tweaking now, which sounds logical, but I’m looking for a second opinion. Have my Langes allowed me to get lazy? Is it just a matter of getting used to not being as closely connected to my skis? My feet don’t slide around in the boot, but I do find myself “crabbing” with my toes while skiing.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
    Love my garmont endorphines. The boots certainly arent the weak link for me. Good modern AT boots should excel at the park as well as the back country.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post

    I guess I was just hoping to have the best of both worlds, but it looks like that may have been a bit naive of me. Comfort or performance, but not both. Ski boots haven't come that far yet

    Thanks for the help.
    Yes they have. :-)

  7. #7
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Giving-up on Garmont.

    Well, I was at REI this weekend and decided to give the new Lange Super Blasters a shot. Wow! I walked around in them for a good half-hour with no pain at all. Just for comparison, I tried an Endorphin on my left foot and was cramping within just a few minutes. The right foot in the Lange was still comfy as can be, and the walk mode seemed even more flexible than Garmont's. The down side...The Langes are heavy...real heavy. I've poked around a bit online and I can't find an official weight, but one member of a different forum claimed 14# per pair; that dwarfs the weight of the 8# 14oz Adrenalins. Oh well, I guess for my purposes, I'm willing to sacrifice the weight for some comfort. I just don't think my feet are designed for the Garmont fit.

    Anyway, thanks for the input guys. Now I just need to find-out how these things ski!

  8. #8
    Member mmusashi2k's Avatar
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    Smile Have you baked the liners?

    I took my Radiums to Jim at Girdwood Ski and Cyclery and had him bake the liners and custom fit my boots. When I first used them they hurt so bad I had to unbuckle and rest after every few North Face runs but now they're as comfortable as my resort boots and much lighter. One thing I noticed before the fitting was that I could not stand on one foot in them but now they're well balanced which I feel is mandatory for good turns, especially on groomers where there is less tolerance due to firmer surface. I haven't touched my old Soloman "race" boots since and am now completely switched to AT gear.

    Some good points were made concerning new ski design and technique. You no longer have to drive the knees forward to bend the fronts of shaped skis and can turn them by simply tipping them on edge. The "secret" is balance and free "inside" foot management. One may need to humble himself to groomers for a while to put the sequencing of moves together but once you get a handle on it the new skis rock like the old ones never could. I used to feel a sense of pride standing in the tram with my old 200 cm race boards poking above all the short fat skis but those days are over as the new gear is Nirvana.

    Anyone thinking about heading toward Turnagain or Summit this weekend?

    One more thing to consider is that I find myself still forgetting to switch from tour mode to ski mode which leaves o lot of flex in the boots although I am certainly not suggesting anyone else might do the same.
    Last edited by mmusashi2k; 03-24-2010 at 12:30. Reason: One more point.

  9. #9
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Sticking with the Super Blasters

    Thanks mmusashi2k. I'm gonna stick with the Super Blasters for now. They're comfortable, even if they are heavy. I still haven't skiied them though, so we'll see. Touring around my property, they seem to do o.k.


    I'm heading-up to Summit tomorrow afternoon for a few hours of solo goofing around on some safe and easy stuff. I'm hoping to get a feel for the boots going uphill a bit before committing to an all-day blister-fest with any die-hard b/c addicts.

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmusashi2k View Post
    Anyone thinking about heading toward Turnagain or Summit this weekend?
    Thinking about it. I'm going to ski somewhere on Saturday, though I haven't decided where yet.

  11. #11
    Member mmusashi2k's Avatar
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    Default Maybe Saturday

    Brian
    I have two lift tickets that expire the end of Mar. I'm using one tomorrow so if I go AT on Sat I should be able to get the other used by Tue. Let me know where you decide and I'll try to meet up with you there.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I tried to pull it off, but I don't think I'm going to be able to make it tomorrow. Maybe in another week or two? Hope you have some good conditions if you make it out.

  13. #13
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    Default Dynafit?

    So are the 700 dollar Dynafits worth the coin? Beaver Sports has them for 30% off right now and I like the way the fit but wow that is a lot of money for boots.
    I'm going to ctrl-alt-delete you so hard your mama's computer is going to reboot.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by byrd_hntr View Post
    So are the 700 dollar Dynafits worth the coin? Beaver Sports has them for 30% off right now and I like the way the fit but wow that is a lot of money for boots.
    dynafits are worth their weight in gold. a lightweight dynafit setup will change the way you look at terrain.

  15. #15
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
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    Default Good to know

    Ive been watching the off season sales. If I find a pair of boots Ill be off to the races in about 6 months!
    I'm going to ctrl-alt-delete you so hard your mama's computer is going to reboot.

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