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Me: quite a good skier but hot and cold. I ski on the Head ti Titan Super Speed (short) 170. It's a great ski for me but I would say it is at top end of my physical capacity. I am 65 and have had troubles with conditioning and fatigue. But I like to crank turns... been skiing forever.

For a current boot, I am skiing the Salomon Course. I think it's a 120 but it has been radically softened - something like 90 to 100. I have an extremely loose foot, too much mobility. I have a lift in the front of the boot. I have purchased 6 pairs of boots over the past 10 years. This has been the best set up so far.

When I ski, the lower three buckles are snug but the top one is as loose as I can make it without coming unbuckled. The power strap is left with additional room so it does not come into play unless I flex deeply. I have never been able to flex a boot to put me in position to ski well without all of the softening and the crazy stuff that goes on at the top of the boot.

I work with great boot fitters, and it has been suggested that I consider a women's boot. Please don't tell anyone. I was hoping to get feedback on this idea. Has anyone ever seen a women's boot used for a man? I am seriously tempted.
 

Eleeski

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My Full Tilt Mary Jane (women's boot) work well for me. I like the flex especially for bumps. The shell fit also is nice for my wide forefoot narrow heel feet.

The stock fit was horrible. Custom orthotics and Intuition heat molding fixed that. However, the liners only lasted a year. New Intuition (male) liners replaced the furry women's liners and have lasted a couple years.

If the fit and flex are right for you absolutely ignore any gender limits to a boot.

Eric
 

Tricia

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Yes, several times.

Am I correct in understanding that your calf is "athletic" and you have a hard time buckling the top buckle because of that?

Some women's boots have a lower cuff height and some boots have features built in that make it easier to make the calf bigger. These features don't come on mens' boots quite as much.
 

Andy Mink

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By loose foot do you mean you have a lot of range of motion in your ankle? If that is the case a stiffer, more upright boot may serve you well. Salomon X-Max perhaps? I believe they have a fairly upright stance. One drawback, if you have "athletic" calves as @Tricia noted, you may have issues with the top of the cuff being pretty small in that area.
 

Eleeski

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Yes, several times.

Am I correct in understanding that your calf is "athletic" and you have a hard time buckling the top buckle because of that?

Some women's boots have a lower cuff height and some boots have features built in that make it easier to make the calf bigger. These features don't come on mens' boots quite as much.
To @Tricia 's point, my bird legs needed redajustment to the tightest upper calf setting. But it did fit well after the adjustment.

Eric
 

Tricia

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Yes, several times.

Am I correct in understanding that your calf is "athletic" and you have a hard time buckling the top buckle because of that?

Some women's boots have a lower cuff height and some boots have features built in that make it easier to make the calf bigger. These features don't come on mens' boots quite as much.
Example, here is a Tecnica women's boot that has a plastic built into the cuff that can be heated and made bigger or smaller for a custom fit.
Here is a post from Reports from the Floor 2017.
https://www.pugski.com/threads/sia-2017-reports-from-the-floor.3962/page-4#post-88934
IMG_4245.JPG
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
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"Athletic calves"? Translation: those aren't calves, they're cows!

Actually the reason for lower upper shell height on women's boots is that women's calves are proportionally lower on the leg, compared to men.
 
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My calves are well defined but my lower leg is slim in nature. I do not keep the top of my boot tight/loose because of big calves, I do it to improve my ability to let my knee move further over the binding. When I flex forward, there is a ton of room that opens up at the rear of the boot. It's important for me to be aware of "hanging in the boot (or binding)".

I think that a women's would help me with flex and leverage.

I tried on the Head Raptor 120 in a 27. Nice liner. The boot that the shop would special order for me would be a Women's Head (race model). Keep in mind, a 27 in a women's boot is large for most women.

I really appreciate the help.
 
Last edited:

otto

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Head does not make women specific "race" boots. No one does... I think there may be a misunderstanding between what your boot fitter is saying and what you are hearing.

The critical factor in what is going on at the top of the boot is what is going on with the flexibility of you ankle joint. The net forward lean of the boot is determined from the bootboard angle and the forward lean of the boot spine. If you have softened your boot and you have to leave the top buckle and the power strap loose to get forward, there is something else going on here. To ski with precision and accuracy you need to be able to tolerate contact all encompassing around the lower leg. Any gapping of the cuff and the lower leg means that you are doing a lot of work to ski. And not good work...

Based on your description of buying 6 boots in the last 10 years, and the compromise you are using on the current boot that you seem to like, I am going out on a limb to say that you are going into some pretty lame ski shops with a sticky note on your back that reads "kick me". The idea that you could buy a boot with a "womens" label to solve your problem is way off the mark. You need to find a professional boot fitter to figure out your needs and the the best combination of fit and alignment to help you be the best skier you can be. The information you have received to date from skis shops and this forum have been bogus. IMHO you have not had anyone do a proper assessment on your body and skiing goals.
 

Pequenita

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Usually "loose foot" refers to loose ligaments in the forefoot. I feel like it's more of an observation and something a custom footbed can easily sort out.
 

Andy Mink

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tolerate contact all encompassing around the lower leg
This. As you flex forward in the boot the whole cuff should come along for the ride. That doesn't mean it needs to be crushing your lower leg but it should be snug enough to leave very little gapping between the tongue and shin when you're neutral and very little gap between lower calf and cuff when pressuring the tongue.

I find I have a very fine line in my Raptors between good and too tight. It can be as little as one or two turns on the top buckle and a couple rows of velcro on the strap. I do have a bit of space between my shin and boot tongue that I filled in with some high density foam to provide a more accurate pressure. I have bigger calves and a very mobile ankle. We spread the back of the cuff some to provide some room and I ski the boot with all three bolts, so it's a 150 flex. I also weigh in at around 220 so there's that. On warmer days I can still squish the boot; on cold days it is much stiffer. Flex can be deceiving in a 70° ski shop.
 

Sibhusky

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I'm a bit confused as to why there is a lift in the front, because it sounds like you are saying you can't get your knee over your toe. The lift to me would just make the problem worse? And you've softened the boots to get to a 90 flex, but you're talking about buying 120's?? Why not just buy a softer boot? Or is that why you thought to look at women's boots?

Can you give us a broad idea of your weight and height? The idea that you can't drive a boot that is 120 or less makes me think you are down below 120 pounds? I mean, when my daughter was 120 pounds and 5'3" and racing she was in a 130 plug boot. Yes she was younger, but not getting how, even at your advanced (but younger than me) age you can't flex a 120 unless you're short and light and skiing pretty slow.
 

neonorchid

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My Full Tilt Mary Jane (women's boot) work well for me. I like the flex especially for bumps. The shell fit also is nice for my wide forefoot narrow heel feet.
-
Eric
That's pretty cool. I've often wondered if that particular aspect has actually been incorporated in the shell mold of a given womans specific boot or if it's purely a case of same molds, shrink it and pink it, maybe give it a lower cuff (or lower rear cuff attached spoiler), different liner and possibly make more of the same molds in two smaller shell sizes?
 

François Pugh

Making fresh tracks
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I got the same advice once when renting ski boots. It was a solution to a fit problem (one of many) I have; my foot measures about 5" across the ball and 2" across the heel. The women's boot I ended up renting did have less room for my heel to swim around in.

However, the real solution came when I went to a good boot fitter and ended up with a custom-foamed liner in a set of Koflachs, along with custom Kork footbeds. Both the boot shell and the liner needed extensive work, even after the custom foaming.

I didn't know what Course boot you had, so I googled up this

https://www.evo.com/outlet/alpine-ski-boots/salomon-course-sp-2006

That boot seems like a good starting point, but if you ski aggressively on harder snow you will need more support, even if you cannot flex them standing on a floor - momentum, dynamics and gravity will do it for you when you're skiing. If your just noodling around then their flex should be OK. I guess (all I can do from here) your problem is you have never had proper heel hold down.

If you truly have a good boot fitter, then the shell he recommends is the one you should go for.
 

Eleeski

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@neonorchid I had Full Tilt Bumblebees before. I did add heel pads to make up some volume but I never had them molded. The Mary Janes had to be molded right away so I'm not sure if the shell volume is different but the molded fit was nice.

I preferred the buckle setup on the Mary Janes. The shell seemed similar otherwise and the liners were interchangeable. The flex was a little softer, especially with the women's liners, but it was wonderfully progressive adding resistance with displacement in a non linear increasing manner that suits me well. The boots would pressure right away but they also let some real ankle/knee displacement happen. With large ankle/knee displacement, it took very strong pressure to get more displacement. The boots got stiffer the more they flexed so I can really drive them or just give a subtle touch. Wonderful feel!

Eric
 
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My boot fitting problems are significant. I am pleased with the feedback you all have given and I appreciate the help.

To answer some questions; I weigh 185, 5'10" - I really do ski well, but like I said... hot and cold - according to the way my boots feel on a particular day.

I have worked with great boot fitters: Nick Baylor, Bill Haight at GMOLab and Garrick from Steiners. They all are top notch. I never work with fitters that I don't know. My foot beds were made by Gerrick. Most boot fitters want to build new ones right off the bat, until they inspect what I have. My orthotics are excellent. Garr wants to put me into the Fisher Vacuum boot. I said no thanks.

The suggestion to try a women's boot was not definitive, but a consideration - I liked it. I tried the Head Raptor and everything about the boot was great, even the firm liner. The problem... lack of forward flex. Rebound was sweet.

The Course that I ski in now is 12 plus years old. I need to get rid of this boot, but like I said earlier, the boots that I have purchased did not work out at all. To me they were toys.

I think that I have a leverage problem. My heal is fine. Maybe the insufficient forward lean of most boots is a concern? The room below my calf in the back is excessive and it allows me to bounce back with no support which can cause a crisis!! I want to be able to have better use of the top of the boot without sacrificing leverage. Boots out of the box make me feel late in pressuring the tongue and prevent me from dropping down in aggressive turns and in the bumps.
 

Andy Mink

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Head Raptor
Which Raptor? I found the 120 to be noticeably softer than the 140. Then there are the 80 and 90 models that are designated women's.

Maybe the insufficient forward lean of most boots is a concern?
The Raptors have a pretty aggressive forward lean at 16 or 17°, I think. You're not going to find many boots that have more lean with a softer flex. I'm not trying to sell you the Raptor, just that I have experience in the 120 and 140.
 
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