i've just broken in my 3rd pair of malamutes now. i wouldn't worry too much about the forward flex--this will loosen up a lot after a few days. actually, every time i get a new pair i find the boot very difficult to ride for the first day because it is so stiff, but this will definitely change. the upper laces also have a big effect on flex.
i actually have the opposite problem, and find that the boots get too soft after about 40 days or so. at some point the structure begins to weaken and there is way too much forward flex, and you will noticed that you have to ratchet your bindings down tighter, but eventually to no avail. i'm not blaming salomon for this--i think it happens to all boots and most claim that malamutes resist this more than others. you will notice that toe side traverses become painful.
but still, in my opinion it's crazy that boots get weak so fast. i'm worried my new pair may not even last me this season, so i'm still using my old pair for touring days when the riding isn't too critical, to keep enough life in the new pair for inbounds and for more critical descents.
has anyone else noticed how fast boots fatigue? also, i'm still somewhat new to touring, but it feels like a day of touring is putting a lot of wear on boots, with a bit of forward flex on every step. i'm worried the boots will get weak even faster now! i just can't believe anyone has used any pair of softboots for more than 100 days, unless they don't like stiff boots. i never considered hardboots before, but if i were going to do a couple more full seasons, i would seriously look into them if they would last longer (plus the efficiency benefits of touring).
i also find that touring puts a lot of impact on the front of my toes due to the flats and small descents. the slight lift that the karakoram interface creates probably doesn't help, but then it's nice for slight uphills. i have carved out sections of the liner to give my toes more room. i had already done this for my big toe, because my left foot is a bit bigger than the right. worked great.
i have never heat molded my liners--they seem to work fine with body heat. anyways, you can find malamutes for half price every spring. good to keep an inventory handy--i wish i had a bigger stock now.
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:28 pm Posts: 453 Location: Cottonwood, UT
Zero is right. After 3 days in bounds and 1 day touring I have noticed a significant reduction in stiffness. No more shin bang and the forward flex is about perfect now. Now that I have a day of touring with them I can say that that have improved the feel dramatically. Less ankle roll than my old Burton Rulers and much more support. I am very happy with them now. I hope they don't get as soft as soon as Zero says.
Do any of you use the orange J-hooks that slide in on the sides of the liner? I haven't tried them yet. Should I bother?
I picked up a pair of malamutes this season and like someone else said, right away I noticed how light they were. With all the hype about how stiff they are I was expecting alot but I didn't find them overly stiff at all and I can feel them getting softer everyday. I do love them though but I was wondering if they is anything else stiffer. I rode hard boots on my split for two years and that's pretty good for just pow cruising but I felt(for me) that in technical terrain, those hardboots compromised my safety. I just don't have the same board control. As for on a ski hill they would be a nightmare for me. But apparently they work quite well for some people. I think for an ideal freeride boot, it would have a bit of plastic in the uppers that you could possibly change depending on how stiff you needed your boot. This is the next thing that snowboarding has to conquer. The split bindings are now basically perfected, what we need is a great freeride/splitboard specific boot!
I wonder, how you can ride with stiff boots? I bought Burton Ions and those are too stiff for me. If I tight them to max, I lose board control and it feels like board drives man and not vice versa. What I have noticed, I like to bend knees and ride low. So when slope is bumpy I can smooth ride with my knees. Also I get better maneuverability because I can use lower body. Well, those are just my experiences and it might just be where each other are used to.
I thought mine were softening up after about 20 days on them. Then I realized that the laces were just slowly loosening. I started lacing them through the top quick-lacing twice then through the clasps and they stayed tight all day yesterday. They were almost too stiff again. It was nice.
Also, are you guys using the inserts that make them stiffer? I've also seen people take the tongues out of old ski boots (scarpa boots are removable) and put them inside their snowboard boots and they get stiffer and stay that way.
I'm mostly happy with my Malamutes so far and I haven't cooked them yet. Just wish the shell size was smaller. My drivers shells are over an inch shorter in the same size.
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:25 am Posts: 8 Location: California
I got a pair of the Malamutes beginning of the 09-10 season. They are my work horse, i ride them on the mountain as well as touring in the BC. I have never had any problems with them until i went on a thee day 20+ mile tour. I've read that some of you never had your feet get wet, even after multiday tours. I know that i sweat a lot, and i have to make sure to dry my liners out every chance i get. i sweat if my feet are freeeeeeezing, it doesn't matter.
well on our last day, i thought my feet were going to fall off, as i had to walk the last 1/4 mile back to the car... gnarly blisters and hot spots from my feet being wet and the liners not being able to dry out at night.
has anyone replaced their factory liners with intuition liners? i don't want to replace the whole boot, but the intuition liners are rather pricy. i'm thinking i need a better liner, one that will wick moisture/dry faster. Anyone out there with any experience with aftermarket intuition liners in their Malamutes?
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1503 Location: Colorado
On overnights one needs to pay very careful attention to drying the boot liners and always using dry socks. Best way to accomplish this is to pull the liners from the boots every night, and sleep with the liners inside your sleeping bag-your body heat will dry them overnight. Do the same thing with your socks, and always have a spare pair of dry socks for emergencies.
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:25 am Posts: 8 Location: California
Yes, i pulled the liners out and slept with them every night and had a fresh pair of socks each of the three days i was touring. My liners would not dry in my bag, and they have since become very compressed and are not much when compared to the intuitions i have seen.
I am going to order the pro tour liners and hope for the best...
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:42 pm Posts: 124 Location: Seattle, WA
I bought a pair of Malamutes this season and I've been pretty happy with them. It took me a little while to get used to them, particularly b/c of how stiff they are, but now they feel pretty comfortable. However...
I did a 10-hour tour this past Saturday and developed a blister on my right heel. I actually started feeling the hot-spot early on in the tour (I eventually stopped to put on some mole skin and duct tape. Heel was pretty torn up at that point, though). I've done a handfull of tours with these boots (and a bunch of resort days) but never had this problem. Has anyone else developed heel blisters with their 'mutes? I'm wondering if I just didn't have them tied tight enough and there was a bit too much slop. I have very hard-to-fit feet, so finding boots (of any kind) is always tricky. I tried on a bunch when I was shopping, but the 'mutes felt the best. I guess the liner could be packing out a bit, too, creating more room in the boot-?. My right foot is a bit smaller than my left, so there's always a little more room in that boot/shoe. I also have pretty low-volume feet and (from what I've heard) the 'mutes are more high-volume. However, I didn't notice too much room when I first tried them on. Maybe just a bit, but not too much. Didn't seem like it would be a problem.
Anyway, if you've had similar problems, chime in. Overall, I still think it's a pretty awesome boot.
A couple weeks ago I wore out my second pair of Malamutes this season (first pair already had some use on them) and switched over to a brand new pair. I kept using the same board, same bindings, and riding the same terrain I had been doing about 4-5 days a week all season.
But going from a pair of boots with 30-40 days on them to a new pair was just an unbelievable difference. This was my 4th pair of new malamutes, but seriously nothing prepares you for how stiff these are in the beginning. There are pros and cons for sure, but it just reminds me why I always think the boots are the most critical part of the gear.
My guess is most snowboarders never have a chance to ride a really stiff boot, and don’t really know what they are missing, but it’s really an amazing experience, even with the downsides. Turn initiation can be tough especially on tighter or lower speed terrain, but the power and stability through the turns is truly unbelievable.
I had recently been switching up between my normal pow board (hovercraft) and my older big mountain board (salomon burner). With the new boots, the relatively soft hovercraft felt as stiff and powerful as the burner on steep groomers. Anyways, the differences I felt just between the age of the same model boots (and the old ones still have a lot of life in them) is probably greater than between any boards I have ever ridden.