Author Topic: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??  (Read 1154 times)

byronm

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Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« on: December 24, 2012, 07:33:31 pm »
As I was doing some dryland tipping drills in my boots the other night I kept getting the sensation of being bumped into the back seat as I would flex my knees into an athletic stance over my toes. My  boots are Salomon Impact 100 cs and at room temp. when I put all my weight on the tongues there is zero flex. Which would be ok if I felt like I could "get athletic" bend and get my knees out over my toes without ending up in the back seat. This feeling presented itself last year as I was skiing. I really believe my boots are working against me. Has anyone had this sensation or is it my imagination?
 
The next thing I did was undo the backbone of the boot which theoretically is supposed to make the boot easier to flex. This helped slightly. Then it occured to me that my custom footbeds might be exacerbating the problem as there is cork under the ball of my foot and toes. I took the footbed out and standing on the floor, all weight was generally distributed to me heel.
 
So I got to thinking...since I have the 2nd  mtg. paid off that I used to pay for them initially, naturally, it might be time to cut them in half... ;D I am thinking about using the heel part of the footbed as a wedge/lift since they do help to secure my narrowish heel in the boot and I believe I could use a bit more angle. Has anyone tried this, thought about this or am I way off base here?
 
Generally, I think that if I get the boot mod done to give me some slight flex and utilize the heel wedge, my boots and I can get along better.
 
Thoughts appreciated.....

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« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 07:34:33 pm by byronm »


epic

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2012, 10:33:37 pm »
Be aware of binding delta. In all likelihood, your toes are down when you are on skis relative to when you are standing in just your boots. Be careful about making an adjustment without accounting for that.

byronm

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 12:06:20 am »
Thx Epic....Will do....If I snap in the skis on level ground and get the same sensation as I flex downward, would that be a reasonably good litmus of whether I need more angle? I cut some cardbard that maybe I can experiment with before I invest in lifts. With regard to the corkvac footbeds some opine that the superfeet trim to fit are better in terms keeping the foot more natural in the boot and giving the most feedback.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 12:15:58 am by byronm »

Gary

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 06:01:49 am »
B...a thing i do with new boots besides struggle at least 1 ski season, is when in my boots clicked into my skis, poles in hands, in my ski stance, knees relaxed...whew..I like to feel as if I'm centered right over the arches of my feet. This feeling allows my pressure on the front and the rear of the cuff to feel equal. Meaning, I'm not leaning against the cuff in this stance or feeling pressure on the back of my calf.

If you already feel like you're in this position, there might be another issue.

I find that I need to be able to provide just enough force forward (moving my center mass) to charge the shovels for turn shape. Also, moving fore and aft equally allows me to use the entire ski tip to tail.

If your boots are too stiff, when you pressure them, the flex motion kicks you back onto your heels...in other words, you can't hold the pressured upper cuff forward enough to keep the energy generated to the front shovels.

Given your svelt 139 lbs....you might consider softening the boot flex. As there is no standard in how manufacturers establish their boot flex, "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"...finding that right flex patten for me at least....is critical. Me at 150 lbs is in a pair of "highly"modified Lange RX Pro 130. I had to soften them up significantly to give me the right flex. A wee bit at a time but I got er done and they're are spot on for me.

Hope this helps, Best, G
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 06:06:05 am by Gary »

jim-ratliff

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2012, 10:30:19 am »
Thx Epic....Will do....If I snap in the skis on level ground and get the same sensation as I flex downward, would that be a reasonably good litmus of whether I need more angle? I cut some cardbard that maybe I can experiment with before I invest in lifts. With regard to the corkvac footbeds some opine that the superfeet trim to fit are better in terms keeping the foot more natural in the boot and giving the most feedback.
Byron:
I would go slow and not rely too much on "feelings" and wait until you get some feedback from another set of eyes, or at least until you get on snow feedback.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

epic

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2012, 11:33:26 am »
Yeah, what Jim said. I'd be very careful about going off of feel. Just as far as delta goes, I'd use a micrometer to figure out how much delta I have and then find a shim that thick to tape onto the toe.

Even then, I'd want any change at first to be non-destructive and reversible. Mostly because alignment can be counter-intuitive, often times what seems like it will move you back actually moves you forward.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2012, 11:37:40 am »
Yeah, what Epic said.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

byronm

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2012, 11:31:31 pm »
Gary-If your boots are too stiff, when you pressure them, the flex motion kicks you back onto your heels...in other words, you can't hold the pressured upper cuff forward enough to keep the energy generated to the front shovels.

 
While I think Gary hit the nail on the head there....all advice duly noted....I can already tell that my unrelenting urge to engage in backyard mechanicin is exceeding the purview of my knowledge at this point. While I own and can use a mic, my delta angle is likely to turn into the bermuda tri-angle without some professional intervention... ???
 
 
Reasonable and sound advice fella's...I skied em last year sans fatality and my memory is shorter than my...well...I lost the post-a-note that was attached to my head at the end of last season. It had the notes about my skiing wishes and woes. Under further review, skier has decided to take a few runs...refresh the memory and potential for tweeks and changes....then get some professional help as required.
 
Thereby avoiding a scenario reminiscent of the guy who tried to sell me a car.  "Everything works like a champ, I just charged the AC so its cold, hold the steering column here with this hand and turn the key to start it, if a fuse blows, there's some in glovebox, other than that she's all good".....you know him, the guy that's always broke down on the side of the road.
 
I like my skinny legs and unique snout too much to be THAT guy.. Peter had referred me to the fella at Sport Loft in SL...I think perhaps the guy you mentioned Jim...I have to find the post a note.. :D

Gary

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2012, 07:27:11 am »
Byronm....instead of going Dr. Frankenstein on your boots...try this on snow test..

Buckle up your boots how you normally would..then loosen the top buckle so it just barely stays connected. Then fasten your cuff strap oh so lightly. This little bit of extra movement will facilitate enough motion to the upper cuff and allow you to become the "master of your shovels"!

Now, this only would  illustrate that with your boots normally fastened, you're not able to get into your "attack" position. My first encounter with this very same experiment was with Harold Harb in 2000....it was through his direction that I tried this and all of sudden, the front of the shovels responded.

If this test works, a good boot technician can soften the upper cuff in 15 minutes...

G

byronm

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2012, 07:51:35 am »
Sounds like a plan!! Will do.....thx Gary

dan.boisvert

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2012, 03:18:04 pm »
Erm, softening a 100-flex boot for an adult?  There very well could be something wrong with your setup, but I don't think it's that the boot's too stiff.  That's already pretty soft for a full-grown person.

When you flex into your "athletic stance", are you stacking your hip sockets atop your knees?  It sounds like you might just be lowering until your knees are in the right spot, with your hips going back as much as your knees are going forward, which would put you back.  You want the knees forward, and the hips atop the knees.  If you feel more tongue pressure come on as you flex, you're doing it right.  If you stack yourself this way, you'll find that nearly any boot will bend just fine, and might even be a bit softer than you'd like.  If you feel like you're having trouble getting your knees forward, a spoiler between the liner and the boot cuff might help get you across the balance point where it goes from "really hard" to "totally manageable".  That would also give you more leverage over the boot, making it feel softer.  In the absence of a spoiler, a folded-up trail map makes for a field-expedient substitute.

I'd be really surprised if the best solution was to soften the boots.  For reference, I'm 5'7" and 170lbs, and the only time my 130 flex boots are stiff enough is when it's below 0F outside.  I actually just picked up a pair of 150's..

epic

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2012, 06:02:08 pm »
So here's my question - why would you guys expect that a softer forward flex or loosening the cuff/booster would help you to engage the tips? If you move your body (shin) forward and your boot either moves out of the way, or isn't there, you won't be engaging the tips, will you? As I said before, often times this stuff can be a bit counter-intuitive. I'm also not saying that you are wrong Gary, I'm just asking you to tell me how that works as my experience has been the opposite.

Gary

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2012, 08:17:41 pm »
The idea behind the test if you are stacked correctly in a neutural stance, I've found for me that if I can't move my center forward stacked, then the butt pops out or the effort of trying to pressure the shovels with a boot that's too stiff keeps me from getting to   position that allows a center stacked body to apply enough energy to the shovels to get solid response.

The exercise of undoing or loosening the upper buckle allows the skier to stay stacked and move their body stacked fore enough to provide enough energy to the shovels.

Dan.....100 flex for one boot could be totally different for another. Byonm is a light man and flex patterns so vary boot to boot. I've found it's not about the number it's about the results.

Ideally, the least amount of fore aft movement in my book is ideal as long as the desired results (control tip to tail) can be achieved.

Guys, I do see you point..there are other factors that may be at play....This conversation makes me think of another possiblity....Byonm, not sure where you binding is located....it is possible the binding may be mounted to far back. There are skis like Head and Kastle that I typically have to mount the bindings 1-2 cen forward from center. But that's just me. To the point I now only use bindings that I can move the bindings to accomodate my preferred mounting point. The results for me of a ski mounted to far back is I just feel like I'm in the back seat all the time not being able to work the ski tip to tail equally.

My personal focus is to set myself up so I'm stacked vertically and balanced, working the ski tip to tail evenly requiring the least amount of fore/aft pressure. To achieve this it's been a combo of correct boot flex and binding mounting location.

Interesting stuff guys...g

jim-ratliff

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 08:47:45 pm »
Interesting discussion, but remember that Byron started this discussion just based on his work on a slant board.

Mr. Dremel Tool (aka Gary). Your point about some skis matches my thoughts.  I do the same.

Epic. In the general case, I agree with you.  In fact I've heard Harald saying that the plastic isn't there to bend, it's there to push against to get yourself back into balance.  Of course, I think that assumes a lot of other things about the alignment are already  correctly set up.

Byron:  File the information away, but wait patiently for a bit. Everything might "feel" differently on the snow, in the bindings, moving dynamically rather than standing statically.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Svend

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2012, 10:08:49 pm »
Byron -- I concur with Dan's suggestion of experimenting with shimming the back of the boot cuff to give you more forward lean.  Most of the boots made in recent years put the skier in a rather upright stance, which works for some, but not others, and definitely not for me. 

Last year I played with both increased binding delta as well as forward lean to achieve a more balanced stance.  I found that increasing the delta did little except make me feel disconnected from the tails of my skis.  But I really liked the effect of increased forward lean.  I grabbed a bunch of trails maps, and then started stuffing them down the back of the boots between liner and upper cuff -- first one map, then another after about an hour of skiing, and so on until I felt comfortable.  Final result was that about a 1/4 inch extra forward lean was the ticket.  It helped a lot to get my hips forward and make me feel centered. 

It's a simple experiment, and a cheap fix if it works.  Easily reversible too.  Some boots are sold with removable spoilers to so you can adjust this, but for others you will have to paste some bootfitters foam in there.  Most of the spoilers are wedge shaped to allow a range of adjustment -- the farther down you shove them, the more lean you get.  FWIW, the spoilers that came with my Tecnicas were too thin to give me the lean I needed, and I had to add some trail maps during my test day to push me even more forward.  As a final fix I used some thicker shims from Gary's Langes that he didn't need and donated to the worthy cause.  If your boots didn't come with shims, ask your shop if they have any Lange spoilers in their odds bin they can give you.  They taper from less than an 1/8" to more than 1/4", and are the best I have seen.

On the hill, use your spoilers (if you have them) or keep stuffing maps back there until you go too far, then back off to where it feels good and ski the rest of the day like that just to be sure you have it right.

BTW, Salomon boots seem to be stiffer than most.  I've tried a few over the years, and they always feel stiffer than most others of the same flex index.  I recently tried an X3 model in a 130 flex that was stiffer than all other 130's I had tried from other brands.  Darn solid boot.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 10:13:23 pm by Svend »