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The boots, hard to soft??


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Yes I am sure this has been beat up but I am going to ask anyway:

I have been riding hard bootss for many years,Raichle SB124 with F2 Proflex plates. I ride an Arbor Roundhouse 167. Most important I am not a carver, racer or a park rider. All mountain, I like the steeps, some bumps, and of course the powder. My boots are worn out, this past weekend I double ejected out of my bindings, nearly broke my arm, and did brake the toe piece on one binding.

So of course I need some new equipment. I don't have a pile of $$$ either, a trip to BDC planned in March. So the big question hard or soft? The entire industry is now soft booted. Are they stiff enough? I switched because the old, old old, yes 20+years ago bindings killed my feet. Now all I hear is how comfortable the new soft set ups are. Has anyone switched from hard to soft, any suggestions on what brands, and models of boots and bindings, there are sooo many to choose from.

Thanks for the help.

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Soft boots and bindings now are Way better than they were 20 years ago. I am considering going back to soft boots 100% due to the fact that I don't want to buy 2 sets of snowboarding gear anymore. I am currently riding the Burton Driver X boot which works well for me. Another stiff soft boot to consider is the Saloman malumute. I think the driver x is supposed to be the stiffest soft boot available. As far as bindings go Ride, Nidecker Burton all make good bindings. Of course you can't demo boots or bindings but You won't have to spend a fortune to try them. The Burton boots are 319.00 new- less if you can find a pair from last year on close out. The bindings can be had for less than a pair of plate bindings. Give it a try and see what you think. I know several people out here in Colorado that used to ride hardboots. I might be one of them. Not trying to be anti hardboot here. I still have alpine gear but I don't know if I will want to spend money for a new pair of hardboots when the time comes?

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My boots are a 1/2 size too big. I have lived with that but now the liners are shot. Overall the boots are fine, if someone wanted to put new liners in them they would be good to go. I just can't see spending the money for new liners when they still will not fit like they should.

The bindings released on my this past weekend. Freeks me out now. I now cannot be sure it will not happen again. I don't want to be in BC and have a binding failure. Not like anyone would have parts or even replacment bindings.

I was looking at the Malamute and Diver X boots, much more $$$ then I expected. They claim to be the stiffest soft boots. Is there anything in a less popular and less $$$ brand that compairs to them? But again how do they feel compaired to hard boots. I put on my sons K2 boots, with mid flex. I see the boot bellowing out on the tongue area.

Edge control is huge to me. Lots of ice in Maine!

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You might consider putting some new Deeluxe Speed Model Red liners in your existing boots.


Heat moldable liners are the silver bullet. Then get a used set of TD2 out of the classifieds.

I recently rented a Burton softy setup in Jackson Hole, and as far as softboots go they were great, but I was still more comfortable and in better control in my hardboots, even off-piste. I only liked the softies better in powder.

So where do you ride, neighbor?

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For what it's worth I ride the 32 focus boa with custom footbeds. Most comfortable soft boot I've ridden. My feet feel like they are in slippers all day. Plenty stiff enough for carving, but soft enough allow for absorbtion for trees/bumps. Also, all 32 boots come with heat moldable liners and I have to say heat molded liners + custom footbeds = very happy feet

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I just put some Speed Red liners into my old 224s and I really like them. They have a lot more volume than the stock liners - I think you will find that they suck up that 1/2 size no problem, especially if you add footbeds to them. Also, are you really sure that your shell is too big? Raichle made shells for a range and adjusted by different liners. If you get the right sized liner you should be OK.

I'm in the exact same situation as you - riding hard boots all-mountain for the last 20 years and not really sure if the new soft equipment would do the job or not. I'd like to try but the available rentals are always too soft/low end. I'm sticking with what I know, still works well for me.

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I ride hard boots and plates when its stiff snow and then Burton C60s and CO2s when its soft. You can surf the net for the Burtons and find them in the $400 range new $100-140 range used. These two models have carbon fiber in them and are super stiff. Try boots with the BOA system and then over tighten them. That is what I am doing with some Vans I got, pretty stiff this way.

Vans Boots $40 on C-List

CO2s $75 on C-List

I knew that even if I hated them, I could get my $$$ back out of them and resell them.

Did the same with Flow bindings, and then sold them, I hate them. But my wife tried them for $50 and loves them so much she just got some new ladies NXTs, aluminum and stiff.

With C-list, ebay and bomber, you can try stuff on the cheap and then see if you want to spend the big money for new.


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