Snow Ski Boot Stiffness & Skiing On Shaped Skis

Posted on November 27 2017

We're gonna talk about skis and boots and how the world has changed.

If you're a skier you pretty well understand that the ski world has changed with side cuts, deeper side cuts, wider waists, that sort of thing. But what isn't as obvious is that the ski boot world now has finally caught up to the shapes and the designs that the ski world has had for a number of years now. In particular, what that means is we have boots that are softer flexing fore and aft but stiffer laterally. And the reason for that is that in the old days of the pre shaped ski days, to make a ski turn we put a lot of weight on the fore body of our of the boot we loaded up the ball of our foot. We drove the tip of the ski into the turn and made a carve that way. 

Today we have skis that have all sorts of side cuts to them, all sorts of shape to them.

We don't load up the tip of the ski, instead we tip the ski, we roll it over on its side and we want ski boots that allow us to have the same amount of pressure on the fore body of the ski as we do on the tail and in order for that to happen we have to have boots that are soft enough to allow us to flex without on waiting our heels. That's not the way old boots work, so the biggest thing that we see in the foot lab, is that when people try on new boots and we ask them to flex we're seeing this old technique of coming far forward. In particular what we're seeing is the the boot at the heel actually lifts off the ground and that's telling us that you're way too far forward. It's a real common problem with women. If the boots too stiff two things happen. You flex into the boot and it throws you backwards. That loads up the tail, takes the weight off the fore body and you're in big trouble at that point.

The second thing that happens after your ski instructor yells at you for getting too far back and you and wants you to get far forward what will happen is that you're going to roll forward like this unweight the heels the tip of the skis going to dive into the turn and the tail is going to let go. So what we really want is a flex that's soft enough to allow us to flex and stiff enough to allow us to tip the ski up to make the ski turn.

If you have any questions about your boots we'd invite you to bring them into the foot lab and let us take a peek at them. There's lots we can do to make boots flex softer. We'd also recommend that you'd spend some time with your professional ski instructor and learn how these new skis are designed to be turned. Have a great day!

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