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Scruffy

Making fresh tracks
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The ankle closing is a good question. I think you need some range of motion before you hit the wall of a concrete boot. McPhail says one should have 15 deg before resistance in order to activate the stretch reflex that helps balance, protects your knee etc. So locking the lower leg, (and foot/ ankle too) is not a good thing. In fact, likely quite bad. I suspect one acl I blew years ago in literally a split second was from an overly locked up shin/lower leg.
I suspect a lot of the problem of stiff boots is they're just not set up properly and/or the feet/ankle or lower leg is locked up some how. Even having a cuff too tall could be a serious problem. Couple that with not enough forward lean and they'll never be able to "get over" the front of the boot. Like being in a hole.

Mushy boots one can get away with a bad setup.

I've done some work on my own boots ala McPhail: flat foot bed, no orthotic, 2 deg delta, toes spread, room to pronate and evert, top buckle loose so shank can get into stretch reflex and not lock up the ankle. I'm into it. I'm not a fan of the "wall" though. I use a softer boot tongue (120 flex on Dalbellop cabrio boot ), with a booster strap.
I'm loving it so far, been skiing this setup for over a year now. I can obtain higher edge angles while carving. I'm getting the automatic foot evert and rotate around the ankle as I rock from heel to first metatarsal during transition.
 

BLspruce2

Getting on the lift
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I think most people who use the booster straps would recommend them. If your between two models go for the heavier versions. These straps can last a long time and be taken off old ski boots and put onto new ones but they do degrade over time. They are kind of school as they have been around a long while and not sexy but are proven. Booster straps ($40) and DryGuy Bootglove Ski Boot neoprene covers ($30) are the two older items that have proven the test of time and I think are a great value. They are simple, low cost solutions that work as stated.
 

Ron

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Booster member since 2004.

Skied all day today with both upper buckles unbuckled and just the booster. I like Fischer's bale catch so they don't come completey loose, flop around and mangled when impaled on hard snow.

Is anyone highly particular how they tighten them? I just heard someone talking about opening the ankle- plantar flexing strongly with the boot buckled, before tightening the booster. That to put the plastic under tension.
He considered not doing that a waste.

I buckle just snug, but easy to close (1 finger) bails and then keep WC booster fairly tight, I find this provides plenty of support.
 

Josh Matta

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There are feet that need plug boots, just like there are feet that need 104mm lasts and very high volume.

there are skiers that need plug boots, not feet.

Its suck that they dont make them in more last widths. My feet are super high volume, but it kills the fun of skiing so much for me that I will only ski in stout boot. The worst feeling the world is when you tips hits something and flexes the boot to the point my lower leg is going to feel like its going to burst. For me un bendable boots are just more fun, its safer.
 
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Tom K.

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Had the WC versions on my last two pair of Fischer boots (so they lasted 10 years without a hiccup). Loved them.

The stock straps on my new Raptors are so cool -- and similar in nature to Boosters -- that I doubt I'll need to retrofit Boosters.
 

Monique

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Honestly I just like how easy it is to get the right tenison, and be able to let it off when needed.

Velcro straps are a pain. Every other strap I have tried is a pain, Boosters are simple and work.

+1 QFT on both of those.

These straps can last a long time and be taken off old ski boots and put onto new ones but they do degrade over time.

I've had mine for a decade I think - no wear and tear that I've noticed.
 

Doug Briggs

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I use the non-elastic Fischer RC4 Pro (from a couple years ago) on all my boots including my Hawx XTDs. I like the simplicity of tightening (and releasing) the strap and fit it more reliable than velcro. My strap goes outside the cuff and is snug, not tight. I just want it to hold the cuff in the position that the buckles put it in when they are buckled. If I adjust the top buckle, I adjust the strap accordingly to match.
 

markojp

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there are skiers that need plug boots, not feet.

Its suck that they dont make them in more last widths. My feet are super high volume, but it kills the fun of skiing so much for me that I will only ski in stout boot. The worst feeling the world is when you tips hits something and flexes the boot to the point my lower leg is going to feel like its going to burst. For me un bendable boots are just more fun, its safer.

Horses have 4 legs and a tail. So do Zebras, therefore all horses are zebras. (Not all plug boots are 150's)
 

Doug Briggs

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I'm going to experiment with softening my RC4 Pro 130s. First the top bolt...
 

Doug Briggs

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there are skiers that need plug boots, not feet.

Its suck that they dont make them in more last widths. My feet are super high volume, but it kills the fun of skiing so much for me that I will only ski in stout boot. The worst feeling the world is when you tips hits something and flexes the boot to the point my lower leg is going to feel like its going to burst. For me un bendable boots are just more fun, its safer.

What does your leg feel like when your top hits something and your boot doesn't flex but your body continues forward and presumably your lower leg tries to move forward?
 

Josh Matta

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no my my legs feel like it will burst when the boot over flexes from a compression or bump.

My unbendable boots make that situation safer, as my quads can hang with the force, but my ankle joint/Achilles can not. I have never had something scary from snow interaction in a stiffer boot, but my Mach 1 130s pretty much promise at least once a day, I ll hit something and feel the boot flex so far it hurts.
 

David Chaus

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I use the expert booster, under the boot shell, as snug as I can make it on the liner, with upper two boot buckles fairly relaxed, just tight enough to have a firm grip on the liners. I don’t need boots to be stiff, but I do need them to be responsive.
 

Doug Briggs

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no my my legs feel like it will burst when the boot over flexes from a compression or bump.

My unbendable boots make that situation safer, as my quads can hang with the force, but my ankle joint/Achilles can not. I have never had something scary from snow interaction in a stiffer boot, but my Mach 1 130s pretty much promise at least once a day, I ll hit something and feel the boot flex so far it hurts.

I know from another thread that you have lateral alignment issues. Do you also have ROM issues with your ankle?
 

Josh Matta

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no, I am pretty flexible.

It just I have gotten used to my lower leg not moving from hits. in a softer boot I get knocked around much more because the boot just isnt supportive. Sometime I get knocked around so much I feel like I could get hurt.
 

ski otter 2

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I know some amazing skiers who like a concrete or nearly concrete boot setup.

And good skiers like different booster straps, used in different ways.

I've hit two booster strap patterns a bunch of guys use, that were both recommended to me by long-time users and bootfitters. First, for a bunch of racers (in both plugs? and definitely RS 130s), the W.C. straps are used, on the outside, tightened to taste. First hand, I've seen this setup with G.S. race ski/Lange boot setups in particular, high school up to U.S. development team (at Copper and A-Basin, mostly).

Second pattern was for more powder/backcountry folk, in RX 130s, experts. Expert/Racer strap, not W.C. Usually under the first bit of cuff, at the top. This often deforms the plastic flex of the cuff, especially under and near the third buckle/boot strap; so usually, these guys belt sand or dremel a few mm off lower part of that third buckle strap, making it less wide and thus keeping it from bottoming out on the boot below.


For myself, I've used the W.C straps with two successive pairs of RS 130s, and also RX 130s, strap on the outside.
( I didn't like it on the inside. and I didn't like the Expert/Racer strap with these boots, either.)
I have sort of low volume feet and lower legs, so I buckle the boots tight as well as the strap. This setup flexes about right for me, dialed in.

When I tried the W.C. and less stiff Expert/Race straps under the top cuff, it made the flex stiffer in both the RX and RS. And I needed to belt sand and narrow the third buckle strap at the bottom, to get the flex right, in an older pair of RX 130s I experimented with.

But I've found, for me, possibly because I'm between sizes and, again, have low volume calf/foot, that I still like the first alternative/booster pattern better, with W.C. straps on the outside, on both the RX 130 and the RS 130.

(With other boots, results may be different: for example, at this point, I haven't seen Head RD racers using the Booster straps. And so far, for another example, I haven't felt like replacing the Nordica Doberman GP 130 strap with a Booster: the original strap just seems pretty smooth and progressive at flexing already. Eventually, I may experiment with Boosters though.)
 

Tom K.

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What does your leg feel like when your top hits something and your boot doesn't flex but your body continues forward and presumably your lower leg tries to move forward?

Broken?

Or was that one of them there trick questions?! ;)
 

Rod9301

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no my my legs feel like it will burst when the boot over flexes from a compression or bump.

My unbendable boots make that situation safer, as my quads can hang with the force, but my ankle joint/Achilles can not. I have never had something scary from snow interaction in a stiffer boot, but my Mach 1 130s pretty much promise at least once a day, I ll hit something and feel the boot flex so far it hurts.
What boot are you using?
 

markojp

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Noodler

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My understanding of the operation of the Booster is that it makes the flex pattern of a 2-piece boot more "progressive" instead of linear (same force required and then you hit a wall). So the boot will flex a bit more easily and then steadily get stiffer as the elastic is stretched to capacity. The stiffer the elastic (i.e. WC model) the more quickly you use up the range of elasticity of the strap, thus being a bit more responsive. How tight you make the strap allows the skier to dial-in their preference for responsiveness versus forgiveness (or groomer zoomin' vs off-piste bump bashing).

My Head Raptor boots actually have a dashed line embossed on the inside of the top front of the cuff that says something like "cut here". It's a line that shows you where you should chop off the top of the cuff if you want the Power Booster strap to be "free" from being on the outside of the shell. I chopped my shells long ago and have skied them that way with the Power Booster directly against the liner from day 1 in these shells. Not sure if other shells make it easy to get rid of the top of the cuff that can interfere with the Booster (and I don't like trying to run the Booster under the top front of the shell and then having to buckle "over" it).
 

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