We will always talk about biomechanics when related to ski boots because, though the subject seems a bit like turning a dead horse into Alpo, strict adherence to biomechanical principles translates to functionally better and more comfortable ski boots.
The reason the discussion is ongoing is that for every piece of knowledge gained by science there is a demonstrable benefit for the boot designer, the skier and the bootfitter. All things evolve. Skis certainly have!
For a number of years ski designs were well ahead of the boot guys when it came to creating new, more effective, more fun and popular products…shaped skis became a driving force behind the resuscitation of an industry that was bordering on flatline. In the relatively recent past there has been a commensurate evolution in boot designs predicated on sound biomechanical principles.
This ensures that the products we put out will give skiers the greatest opportunity to enjoy the sport. We, bootfitters, retailers, ski instructors, coaches, are also assured that when the client needs real solutions for fit problems, stance dilemmas and performance issues we have a much better platform upon which to realize a resolution in good time…after all, skiing is why people go to ski resorts!
With the precision built into skis and boots there is less tolerance for ill-fitting ski boots. Controlling foot function is absolutely the first step (2/3rds of a pun) in a good boot fit.
With a biomechanically correct footbed a huge number of problems that have plagued skiers for decades simply do not occur.
Superfeet have been at the forefront in developing insoles for every walk of life. Starting with the “Insta-Ski-Thotic” in the late -70’s, Superfeet’s product line reflects their adherence to strict biomechanical principles. Now known as the “Kork”, it is the flagship of the Superfeet product line and the best ski specific custom footbed on the market. For problem solving and comfort there is nothing better…almost everyone from beginning skiers to the most proficient advanced professional should have aSuperfeet Kork under their feet in their ski boots.
The Demo thing!
In 1980-1981 a unique idea emerged from brain of the founder of Footloose, Sven Coomer; trying ski boots before buying them. “Try before you buy” became the byline of a program that allowed skiers to ski in boots before they made their purchase. At the time it was a novel concept that was roundly maligned although ski demos had been around for some time prior.
Many ski area specialty shops have successfully emulated the Footloose ski boot demo program. What better way is there to figure out if a ski boot will work?
Try before you buy!
Ski boot testing
There is a distinct methodology to testing ski boots; first is skiing on the same skis through the process.
For boot testing the skis I use are; the Nordica Top Fuel, 178 cm 78mm underfoot, a 185 cm Nordica Hellcat 90mm underfoot, then a 185 cm Nordica Enforcer @ 98mm underfoot…basically covering the gamut of available ski widths apart from really wide, full rockered skis.
All the boots are tested throughout a ski season as opposed to one or two runs. This enables me to find the differences between the boots in all the conditions and on all the terrain Mammoth Mountain has to offer.
Of course I ski all boots with my Kork footbeds.
The first few runs on any boot are structured insuch a way as to find out how a boot will ski at different speeds, turn shapes and turn lengths. Then it’s pretty much “go skiing”!
Testing ski boots is not to determine if one is better than another, it’s to find the differences between them. All the boots at a given performance level or price point are good…period.
Ski boots are the critical link. The products available to us now are so much better that it is virtually assured that all types of skiers can find a ski boot that will give them all one can ask for. To quote a noted haberdasher; “I guarantee it”.