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

byronm

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 11:40:03 pm »
Thanks guys for taking the time and giving of your experience and insight to help. I am gleaning a ton of relevent information here.  My thoughts as they pertain to some of the dialogue;
 
Dan- Other than skiing last year....I tried a number of tests for stance and flex. Back of boot elevated .5", skis on/off, flat and on slight incline. Each test done with a lateral and front on view in a mirror I use to practice my stance, swingplane, stack, etc for golf.  With the boots buckled normally, at room tempurature, using both legs together, it is impossible for me to flex the boots forward noticbly regardless of the "angle of attack" or how I position my hips in relation to my knees. While in my bindings, with one leg, driving nearly as hard as I can, I can flex one boot at room temp maybe 2 to 3 cm.
 
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. 

Epic....Gary's description above reflects exactly what it feels like..(unable to apply enough leverage to get there or in wrong position from the git go to obtain a good stance) Everytime I "press" forward to engage my tips or initiate turns, either the angle at which my shin is contacting the tongue, or some other factor is causing a distinct feeling of weight shift or "bouncing off",  redirecting my balance and weight rearward to my glutes and heels. In fact, when skiing, it almost feels recriprocal. In otherwords, press>backseat>recover  >press >backseat>recover and so on. Not sure if that makes any sense...but that is the feeling. Granted, could be technique entirely, but I'm not so sure that accounts for 100%.
 
Jim - I did some posting last year about these feelings after skiing these boots, although I probably articulated it poorly. Spoke to some members, Svend, etc about the backseat feeling, tip control/wild tips, etc. and the notion of binding placement, a point also raised by Gary as a potential factor. I ski blizzard mag 76 and volkl kendo. Only the kendo's have fore aft ajustment capability at this time. While the slant board drills brought the issue back to forefront, my op was really more of a culmination to include last years skiing. That said, I only have about six or seven outings in these boots, which acounts for 80% of my outings since my return to skiing, and I did think they would soften some. To your point, definate need for more on snow eval and some good instruction.
 
Svend and Dan, in addition to Gary's suggestion, another good idea for field test in terms of shimming. Certainly the price is right on these tests and potential for more garnered info good. 
   
Again, thanks for the excellent feedback.
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 05:40:09 pm by byronm »

Svend

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2012, 08:47:39 pm »
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.


This is so true.  Somewhere in the Gear section here I posted about the dramatic differences in flex between different brands, and even different models within the same brand, of various 130 flex boots that I recently tried as a replacement for my Tecnica Inferno 110's.  Most were significantly softer, at 130, than my present Inferno 110's.  This included a Tecnica Cochise 130 boot that was so soft that it basically collapsed in the instep area upon flexing and offered almost no support whatsoever.  OTOH, at least one boot, the Salomon X3 130, was rock solid and was an absolute bear to get it to move even for me at 220 lbs in a warm shop. 

Byron, my point is that your boots may simply be too stiff for a guy your size and weight.  Not sure if all Salomons are generally stiffer than other brands, but if my quick test holds true for other Salomon models, then your 100 flex may be the same as another's 120 or 130.  The flex index number is basically almost meaningless, in other words, and should serve merely as a very rough approximation, if that.

I hate to say this, but if you can't bend the boot, and you can't get centered by modifiying forward lean, then this is a serious impediment to your skiing and skill advancement.  I'm a firm believer in getting the gear equation spot-on correct (boots, skis, tune....the works), so that all you have to do is focus on the skiing and let the gear fade into the background and get out of the way of having fun and getting better. 

byronm

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2012, 10:15:48 pm »
Svend,
 
I wished I had initially went to a qualified boot fitter (none avail in my area) rather than a box store. Although I did spend quality time and tried on about 12-15 pairs of boots over a three day period, the absence of an experienced fitter and extra wise eyes has proven challenging and perhaps costly. 20/20 hugh?
 
Ironically, during my search, I tried on that Salomon x3 130 because my foot was swimming in everything else. It fit like a glove...AND....meta l mold... :) I have disconnected the backbone of my boot which is supposed to make it marginally more flexible but it does not make too much difference. I noticed last yr on HH site he was fitting lighter adult men and some women with the Head Raptor 90 for performance fit w/out being overly stiff. Something like that I think is perhaps where I need to be.
 
In a few days I will be trying the on hill tests/exercises suggested in terms of leaving upper loose, shimming, etc. to get a comparison/contrast and better line on what is happening and a way to articulate something quantifiable/useable to an experienced fitter.
 
Hopefully he can adjust my boots because in terms of  fit, overall support, warmth, end of day comfort, etc. they are stellar. If I can just get to point where they aren't working against me. Not withstanding operator error, if adjustments can't be made....well....we start over...."reboot" perhaps... :-\
 
 
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 11:38:21 pm by byronm »

Gary

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2012, 09:24:28 am »
Byronm...a word of encouragement...."hang in there".... :D It will all pay off. At least now with the kind of input that's been gererated here, you have some idea of what some of the potential factors are and you can speak the language when you get with a fitter.

I can say for myself and I know with Svend...it took us a full season and then some to dial in our boots. But once there, the feet stay warm, no sore spots and amazing performance. The rest....just getting on the snow baby!

OH yeah....make it happen!

G

Svend

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 03:31:31 pm »
Byron....

Don't try this at home:  If your boots are still too stiff even after removing the spine bolts, a good bootfitter can cut away some material from the inner cuff area to soften the flex.  Some boots even have scribed lines to indicate where to cut, meaning that the boot manufacturer is on-side with this mod.  You can get a peek at yours and see if they have these by pulling away the front flaps of the upper cuff and looking at the side areas of the shell beneath,  You will be looking for some U-shaped scribed or marked areas originating at the top edges of the inner cuff at the sides of where your lower leg would be.  If this is cut away (carefully) on both sides of the boot, then it will soften the flex considerably.  This surgery is irreversible, so be sure about this before committing yourself.

Good luck with all the tweaks and tests, and let us know how it goes.  As Gary said, it took me the better part of last season to get my Tecnicas dialed in, and now I am finally there and happy.



« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 03:32:38 pm by Svend »

dan.boisvert

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2012, 08:52:56 pm »
Where do you live?

Getting your boots set up right makes all the difference in the world.  Getting the forward lean right, getting the cuff cut down to the right height, getting something that's got the right hole size so you don't have to buckle to tourniquet tightness is all really important.  While there's certainly some variation, I have a suspicion the big flex variances you guys are reporting are more due to boot setup issues than raw stiffness.  Svend's 220lbs should easily flex anything out there, if it's set up right.

If the boot's so upright that you can't get past that camming angle to the point where you can apply pressure to it, an 80 flex boot will feel impossibly stiff.  If the boot's set up right to let you get on it, a 150 flex boot feels pretty darned manageable.

If the spoiler doesn't get you past the bouncing point to one where you can flex the boot, I'd second Gary's suggestion of loosening the top buckle.  I'd only loosen it by one notch though, and I'd use a Booster strap against the liner tongue cinched pretty tightly.  That way, you're skiing mostly on the Booster strap (which is comfy and gives you a more progressive feel), but have the rest of the cuff there for support when you get really forward and want to drive the tips.


Okay, stepping off my soapbox now..  ;D

Svend

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2012, 10:18:07 pm »
Hey Dan -- interesting comments.  No apologies re. soapbox needed.  Some very helpful insight into the relationship between forward lean and perceived stiffness.  It took me a minute to figure through what you were trying to say, but when it clicked it made perfect sense.  A simple matter of the physics of levers and torque.  Should come in useful for my next round of boot testing (whenever that is....).


byronm

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2012, 01:30:23 am »
I am Az Dan outside of phoenix. I went back and looked at some dialogue I had with a professional bootfitter in Salt Lake via email the end of last season. I explained the issue and asked if they could tighten up the heel for me and address the flex issue.....His response was "we can do all that and more, however, the first step is making sure the boot geometry is right for you". 
 
Corroborating the point, I ran across a paper written by a fitter to other bootfitters and he spoke to "starting out with the right boot geometry", (paraphrasing) otherwise, the angles and design intent of the boot is made largely moot because it doesn't fit the skeletal nomenclature of the wearer.
Thus Dan, I think your point could be right on in that the angles, rather than the "raw flex" may be the issue. 
 
Interesting you used the "cam angle" anology. In a previous post I set about desribing my shin "feeling" like the apex of an inverted camshaft lobe, my back and mid torso the larger mass of the lobe, each time I flex at the knee and press, the apex engages the tongue and moves me into the back seat. The feeling being reciprocol in nature when skiing. Ultimately, I omitted that part of the pior post to save space.

 
Thx guys....I have a ton of excellent information here and chomping at the bit to get somewhere where I can do the field tests and more importantly get with a good bootfitter. I am sure I can get it worked out, even if I have to start over....I am inclined to think if the boots take a "ton" of work to "morph" them into something that works, it might be time to ebay'em and start fresh.
 
Just fyi....the paper I was reading...not sure how current it is...but I found it very interesting in terms of alignment, fit, etc. Have to admit....quite alot of it was over my head. Link at bottom of each page takes you to the next.
Thanks guys.
 
http://beckmannag.com/alpine-skiing/alignment/01overview
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 04:39:34 am by byronm »

Gary

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2012, 06:47:58 am »
Byronm...how did you get a picture of Jim for your avatar?

I'd say very generous of him...and Jim....nice way to keep the face warm! :D

jim-ratliff

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2012, 07:02:56 am »
Byronm...how did you get a picture of Jim for your avatar?

I'd say very generous of him...and Jim....nice way to keep the face warm! :D
Now that's funny. Well done my fellow octogenarian.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Gary

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2012, 07:13:59 am »
I'm falling off my chair laughing..... :D

AND your'e right....we both just might look like that given....ANOTHER 100 YEARS! :-X

byronm

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2012, 09:11:53 am »
I found myself wishing for the strength and vitality of youth, the courage of a lion and the wisdom that comes with age to slay my vexing boot issue and start this new season with a bang.
Then I went to shave this morning....... :o 
Aaaaa...pparently I failed to articulate the full scope of my request..... :-X
 

Gary

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2012, 10:38:35 am »
Go to The Emerald City and see the Wizard..... :-[


Wait....YOU ARE THE WIZARD.....!!!!  :o


dan.boisvert

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2012, 11:14:53 am »

Interesting you used the "cam angle" anology. In a previous post I set about desribing my shin "feeling" like the apex of an inverted camshaft lobe, my back and mid torso the larger mass of the lobe, each time I flex at the knee and press, the apex engages the tongue and moves me into the back seat. The feeling being reciprocol in nature when skiing. Ultimately, I omitted that part of the pior post to save space.

[snip]
 
Just fyi....the paper I was reading...not sure how current it is...but I found it very interesting in terms of alignment, fit, etc. Have to admit....quite alot of it was over my head. Link at bottom of each page takes you to the next.
Thanks guys.
 
http://beckmannag.com/alpine-skiing/alignment/01overview

I saw your reference to a cam earlier, and knew exactly the feeling you meant.  I spent a few years in the wilderness before discovering great bootfitting, and that feeling is one I remember distinctly.  :D

I read through some of that link, and he seems to use a lot of words but not say very much.  I disagree with his approach to footbeds though, and think his focus on bootboard angle is a bit odd.  Maybe it would make more sense for people with no flexibility in their ankles, who can't adapt to a degree or two difference inside the boot...or perhaps it becomes necessary when you lock the foot up with a rigid footbed, like he advocates doing?

I think it's a great example of what I see as the biggest problem with bootfitting, to be honest--namely that there are a ton of incredibly nice and very well-intentioned guys out there who each have their own take on the timing of when the patient should be bled relative to the mandatory leg amputation for patients with an ingrown toenail.  Guys doing the bootfitting equivalent of this get tons of recommendations from skiers who've never experienced anything better, and don't realize that the bootfitting equivalent of "modern medicine" already exists.

So, how do you find the really, really good ones?  I know the Harb-trained fitters are outstanding, and all use "modern medicine".  If I remember right, jbotti has spoken highly of Jim Schaffner at Start Haus in Truckee, and jbotti's had enough experience with Harb-trained guys that I'd consider him a qualified reviewer.  Aside from that?  I have no idea.  I've been through a couple of fitters who were on the super-highly-recommended list on other fora and magazines, and they were still practicing Civil War-era medicine.  I've also seen boots from a few others that were brought to my fitter to be fixed because they never skied right, and heard the explanations of what was wrong, and why.  I wouldn't go to any of those guys, either.  It's a really tough situation all around.


Jim, isn't that the photo Lynn carries around in her wallet of you?  ;D

jbotti

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Re: Boot Questions/Heel Lift??
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2012, 05:42:49 pm »
Just to clarify, Jim Schaffner at Start Haus is a great boot fitter and his work foaming my liners was also excellent. It is important to also realize that his alignment work is done with a very different approach than what Harbskisystems espouses and they do not do on snow alignment checks, which are necessary to dial in alignment. As well they offer two different types of footbeds and one of them is the rigid kind which does not allow the foot to articulate in the way it needs to ski at a high level.