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Atomic Redster Boots

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On the way home from skiing today, I stopped in the local Philly area ski mega-store and tried on Atomic's Redster 110 ski boot. I have narrow foot and the 98 last is appealing. My present boots, Nordica Speedmachine 14's are too big according to modern fitting standards and are designed for a wider foot, so, I've been hoping to downsize. The Nordica's are also a 130 flex, far stiffer than the Atomics. The extra space in the Nordie's has been filled up very nicely with Intuition liners and I've no problems with heel lift or side to side play, my toebox does have a lot of space. I' 6'1", 205 lbs.

A dryfit of the Atomic indicated about 5/8" of space behind my heel, and, the sides were very close to my foot. We put my aftermarket footbeds in the boots. The result was a boot that felt very close to being able to go out and ski. Toes a little tight, arch well supported, no heel lift. They are a full boot size smaller than the Nordies. In Tahoe last season, I tried on several boots in smaller sizes and found nothing I would consider due to pain.

What is concerning is the 110 flex. My thinking about flex is very much in lock-step with PMTS in that a stiff boot is better as it permits the leg to be centered between the front and back of the boot. No pushing of plastic. I spent much of the ski day simply working on fore/aft balance, paying attention to weight distribution in my feet remaining centered, moving forward somewhat in the bottom half of the turn. Stayed in contact with the boot front, never really crushing the boot forward. It's hard to let go of the thinking that a stiffer boot is better.

So, it was very strange to be in a softer flexing boot. Atomic does make a 130 flex the same boot, but, it's not stocked in the shop. Naturally, I'd like to be fitted in what I'd wear on the hill. I'm not an aggressive high speed skier, certainly not getting any younger, so going to a 110 may make sense. I spoke with Philpug following the fitting, and, he skis Fisher Vacuum boot in a 110, loves it, and thinks a 110 may fill my needs nicely. Others who have transitioned from softer to firmer flex seem to find more performance with the stiffer flex.

So, if you have any thoughts, please share. My thinking is that if the right boot shows up this season, I'm willing to give up my now 5 year old Speedmachines. No rush.

Mike, my thinking is that it is far easier to soften a stiff boot, than to stiffen a soft boot.  I went through this with my Inferno 110's, which I found just did not have the beef to hold myself (at 6'2", 220 lbs) and a pair of stout Dynastars on steep slopes and in heavy crud.  I was just overpowering the boots.  Adding industrial grade, triple-ply Booster straps seems to have solved that, but Boosters aren't for everyone, and I recall you mentioning you weren't a fan of them. 

In any case, I was peeved, as I had only had the boots for one season, and it seemed I had already outgrown them.  I regretted not buying a 130 right from the start, and softening it to suit temporarily.  I may still switch, if I find the Boosters are not the final solution for me (too early to tell).

Eg. Gary skis a Lange RX130, and you know he's no Thor.  But he has significantly softened that boot to work for him, and he can still reverse some of the tweaks if needed.  Ask him for details on what he did -- definitely the spine bolts are out; but whether he cut some of the inner shell I'm not sure.

If the shell of the Redster 110 is a perfect fit with minimal work required, then how about buying a 130 online and paying a bootfitter for a few tweaks? Or see what's on offer at Ellicottville at the end of the month.  There is at least one really good store there -- ask G for the name.

The Redster is certainly an interesting boot design.  The shell is shaped so that the foot sits flatter on the bottom (flatter lower shell profile), supposedly giving better edge control.  And the cuff can be rotated on the vertical axis to allow the knees to track straight.  Kind of like traditional cuff alignment, but in the other plane.  Cool.... 

Hope this helps.

PS:  there is a big difference between one brand's flex indices's and another, and even within the same brand (Dan may disagree with me here).  Through some boot testing in the spring, I found several at 130 flex that were significantly softer than my Infernos at 110, including another Tecnica (go figure).  Other 130's felt about the same, and only one or two were actually noticeably stiffer.  Turns out my 110s are pretty solid after all, which was reassuring.  Not sure what the Redster feels like, but if it's solid in the shop, then it will be more so out in the cold.  Bottom line - I wouldn't pay too much attention to the numbers, but go by feel instead.


Thanks for the thoughts. You are quite correct about the differences in flex ratings. The fitter at the shop commented that if I wanted Atomics to be as stiff as my 130's, then I would have to look to the Atomic 150 World Cup Boot. The 110 boots are a LOT softer. And, yep, I agree that going to a 110  is not a wise decision at his time.

Of interest is a thread on Epic about the Atomic Redster. A poster in Toronto bought the 130 in a 28.5, has only skied it for hours, and, it's too big. He just posted it for sale yesterday in the Epic forums. Are there any shipping issues sending from Canada to the US such as customs or taxes?

Since you have no federal sales tax, you will not have to pay any tax on this.  US Customs might charge you some duty, though.  It all depends on what the seller/shipper declares as the value of the product.  Since this is a sale between two individuals, and not retail, there is some, er, fudging room, if you know get my drift...  ::) 

Shipping is pretty reasonable -- I ship 2 to 3 lb packages by FedEx ground regularly from Toronto to PA, and each costs about $15 to $20.  Ski boots may be a bit more, but not exorbitant.

Will send you a PM....

I'm sure you've considered this, but I just have to ask:  I assume the owner of the Redsters has not done any major modifications? Punch outs? Grinding? Since your feet are not like his, you wouldn't want to live with bumps and hollows where you don't need them.   ;D


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