Just to preface this thread. I know that going to a boot fitter is the overall most suggested and recommended (for good reason) advice for getting boots that fit correctly. But I live in the middle of BFE and I unfortunately do not have that luxury. There is a ski/bike shop about 2 hours away that does heat molding on boots, but I’m quite certain that they don’t get much more advanced than that. Also the selection of boots they have is lacking and I would most likely need to order in advance. But on to my (2-ish) questions.
A little bit of background on myself.. I’m 6’1” and weigh 195-200 lbs with an athletic build. 25 years old and I’ve only been skiing one year. Although, even though last winter was my first winter skiing, I got around 30 days of skiing in. I don’t know if that’s a lot, your judgment call. But only after last winter I felt like I improved substantially, quite quickly. I was skiing the entire mountain with confidence, but I wasn’t absolutely bombing the black runs or hucking any cliffs. About a third of my days last winter we’re spent in the backcountry. And I skied a 120 flex (Tecnica Zero G Tour Scout) boot, for in bounds and out bounds. I’ve never owned a true alpine boot.
In order to give myself a better experience at the resort, and give my touring boots some more life. I’m looking to invest in some alpine boots.
Although I know that flexes differ from boot to boot, and a 120 flex touring boot is not as stiff as a 120 flex alpine boot. I’m having some trouble picking flex. Local shop down the road sells some ski boots, but the shop doesn’t have any boot fitters. I tried on a pair of Atomic Hawx Ultra Xtd 130 and the 120s. Because they don’t sell the alpine version (Haux Ultra 130 and 120). After strapping up both of the 130s, standing in the shop I felt like I could barely flex them forward. They moved a little bit, but not much. I did the same with the 120s, and I could flex them forward a bit more, but I wasn’t entirely sure if I was flexing them forward enough. They didn’t have a 110 flex to try or I would have. I also felt like since I rode a 120 flex tecnica last year that there shouldn’t be reason to downgrade.
So it’s quite confusing for me what to pick. Without a reliable bootfitter and without many boots at my disposal to try. With my height and weight I would think that a 120-130 flex boot would be a good fit. But I wasn’t able to flex the 130 atomic touring boot that well (to my knowledge at least). And the 120 was a little easier, but I’m not sure if I was seriously flexing it enough.
Also to add to all of this, I ordered a pair of Tecnica Mach1 LV 130s. I’m already suspecting that they might be too stiff for me. But we’ll see when I get them. I’m more interested in the fit of the boot actually. I know that I need a low last boot as my last is quite narrow and measuring in at 97 and 99mm. And I have ridiculously small ankles and chicken legs. So yeah, the whole flex thing is perplexing me without a bootfitter to look at me. I’m decently heavy and kinda tall… but I’ve only been skiing for one year. Also I’ve read that this “ankle dorsiflexion” is a factor for flex. I’m not sure if mine is good or bad. I can bend my knees over to the tops of my toes (not past the toes) without my heel coming off the ground. But if I try to drop into a deep squat with a shoulder width stance, I would fall flat on my ass if I tried to do that without lifting my heels up.
The question about sizing is pretty hard for people to answer over the internet, but I’ll try to explain. My tecnica zero g tour’s are a 29.5. They’re great and roomy. Feels great for touring. They don’t feel loose or anything though. But I’ve read and heard that I should get something a bit tighter for an alpine boot. When I put my foot down on the fancy scale at the store, it reads my big toe stopping perfectly at the 29.0. I tried on those atomics I mentioned above in the 28.0/28.5 and the 29.0/29.5. The 29.0/29.5 boot had my toes touching the liner when standing straight up, but when I leaned forward in the boot my toes had plenty of room and weren’t touching the liner. The 28.0/28.5 were pretty tight and pressing on toes when I stood upright, but when I leaned forward it felt decently better… but my toes were still touching the end of the liner. So I’m just not sure how tight a boot should feel prior to heat treatment. Like I said, I most likely have to order ahead of time, and yes heat holding is an option for me.
And Jesus Christ I can see now that I wrote way too much for a forum thread. But if anyone can give me some helpful tips, that would be greatly appreciated.
**This thread was edited on Nov 24th 2021 at 1:41:06pm