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Newbie needs some boot advice.


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So I rode an alpine board for the first time and loved it and now it’s time to get the gear. So I guess boots are the first step. I used old style Raichle 121 with vibram soles in shell size 26-26.5, my mondo size is 26.5...... I have a widish foot if that helps with recommendations.....

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You are right in guessing that boots are the first order of business. Boots that work and fit well make or break a great day to a far greater extent than any other part of your equipment. Unfortunately, this is also the area where choice is most limited: Leaving aside the Mountainslope boots (unless you want to shell out close to $ 1,000), there is UPZ (two models of different stiffness, same shell shape), Deeluxe symmetrical (current models are the Track 325 and 425) and Deeluxe asymmetrical (Track 700). Head Stratos are no longer being made, but easily found in the classifieds.

Your hunt will likely include some trial and error. Some pointers: UPZ has the most narrow heel. Deeluxe are wider, Head is somewhere in between. UPZ is comparatively narrower in front. Most importantly, do get the correct shell size: Remove the liner, step into the shell so your toes just touch in front. There should be about 1 fingers width of space behind your heel, maybe one and a half. More is too much. To ascertain shell sizes, refer to the sole lenght. It is always printed on the outside, somewhere near the heel.

Fit can be tweaked by a bootfitter and/or by using a thermo-moldable liner. Once you are there, you can start playing with stiffness (tongues, springs ...)

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14 minutes ago, lonbordin said:

??? I've found UPZ's to be wider in the forefoot.  That's been the input of the board in the past.

I have ridden Deeluxe Track 225's and UPZ RC10's this year, and I also feel that the UPZ's are wider in the forefoot..

My RC10's are 2011/12 model, so I'm not sure if anything changed after these, or with the RC11's.

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I have no idea if any shop in your area would carry hardboots. To get a feel for the different shapes, you could start with 2nd-hand boots bought online (at this point, in a two-carver household, I have bought and sold five or six pairs which turned out to be not quite "it"). You will get burned a bit, but not as badly as with new boots.

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