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Old 12-05-2010, 10:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Boot stiffness comparison: Salomon

I'm looking for a stiff pair of boots, moving up from my Salomon Ivys, which I do like. I ordered a pair of Salomon F22Ws online - tried them on today and they don't feel a whole lot stiffer than my Ivys, although they are supposedly quite a bit more responsive.

Is the stiffness level of a boot a subtle thing (as in, I'd notice a difference in performance on the mountain, but not so much in my living room) or am I supposed to notice a significant different immediately?

I am trying to decide whether to return the F22Ws. I don't want to keep them if they will be too similar to my Ivys, since the Ivys are still in great shape. However, if I return them, I will have to eat the shipping costs, which is something I don't want to do. Of course, if I try them out, I don't think I can return them....

What to do?
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Depending on the difference in stated flex, some are more readily noticeable than others. You stuck within the same brand so technically you should be able to tell. Of course, some people are more in-tune with these types of matters than others. Myself, I can't really tell between a 1 flex difference. There is no better way to test it out other than riding it so that's going to be tough.

I do have a small suggestion for you though that won't ruin the boot. Lace in and strap into your board and do a carpet session in both of your boots.

Note that boots will always soften up a little bit after packing out. So if your new F22 boots feel very similar in flex now to your already packed out Ivy, then the F22's have a strong chance of feeling a bit softer than the Ivy as they pack out.

Stiffness is in the cuff of the boot. The stiffer the cuffs, the more responsive they are.

I just looked up both of your boots. They are very similar in flex rating indeed. I can see where the confusion might have arose. Salomon's flex rating scale is on a 5 scale. The Ivy is rated 3. I see a few sites that use a 10 scale and the F22 is rated 7 on those. The general overview goes:

Salomon Ivy: Medium flex

Salomon F22: Medium-stiff

So this is why they feel the same to you. Where did you buy your boots?
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I ordered my boots from Sierra Trading Company.

It's frustrating because the Ivys are a 3, and both the Optima (the most responsive) and the F22W are rated a 4.

Basically, my small foot size means that I am stuck on very soft boards, so I am looking for ways to maximize the response I get out of them. I considered buying both new boots and new bindings, but now I'm wondering if they'll really make that much of a difference.

I like your carpetboarding suggestion. I'll try that out tonight.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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But alas, I'm a lady. Can't fit into those boots!
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Honestly, I really don't care for the difference in boot flex performance. To me, it only matters when the boot is real soft or real stiff. I ride anything in the middle of the flex spectrum for all-mountain purposes. A couple of notches up or down in flex rating is negligible. My biggest concern with boots is comfort so that makes me more flexible (no pun intended) with my flex ratings.

I ride a fairly stiff board with stiff bindings and a mid-soft boot. While I normally recommend that people stay within the same flex range for boot, board, and binding, I prefer mid-soft to mid-stiff boots because I find them to be most comfortable. Park boots are too loose for me and freeride boots are too stiff. Well, the ones I've tried on so far at least.

I do rock a forward lean on my bindings though so that helps out with response. I love forward lean anyways

That's something you could also try to increase your response. Put some forward lean on your highbacks.
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