Forums Boots Your dream snowboard boot?
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  • #573152
    russman
    692 Posts

    Thought I would start a topic on boots…

    Background: I am continuously frustrated that SOFT snowboard boots don’t have the level of quality engineering that skiers get. Instead of spending money on design and materials, companies throw so much of their funds towards looking cool and marketing.

    In a dream boot, I would like it to ride and flex like a moderately soft park boot but still have the capability to sidehill super well, kick steps like a pro, and take a semi-automatic crampon.

    Key features I would love to see:

    Top quality Intuition Liner that is moldable to ANY foot.

    Traditional Laces: In a mountaineering setting, if your Boa or Burton laces break, you’ve had the can. Traditional laces are not only more adjustable, but if a lace breaks it is easily fixable.

    Internal Ankle Harness: We don’t even need to talk about how terrible heel slippage and sprained ankles are…

    Possible adjustability of flex pattern: Remember, I’m talking about SOFT boots… Having a boot that you can do long approaches in would be epic! Fast, light splitboard assaults of the highest mountains in 1 set of footwear is the dream.

    Snowboard specific Vibram Mountaineering Sole: The lug sole of mountaineering boots is amazing for climbing, but not optimal for snowboarding. I want to have enough traction and stiffness to climb anything short of 5:8 rock, but still be able to feel the board and terrain under my feet. Remember, ride performance is critical, and Koflach’s just don’t cut it. The sole should be as thin as possible, with a 1 degree drop in the heel. Burton is the only company that realizes that dropping the heel into the back of the binding astronomically increases board feel.

    3/4 length carbon fiber shank: Apply rigidity to the sole without adding any weight.

    Rubber last around toe box: I’m tired of ripping boots apart on rock and crampons!

    Minimalist profile: This boot should take up as little volume as possible. Salomon has done a great job with this, but it could get even better.

    Semi-Automatic Crampon Capability: Strapping on aluminum crampons works great, but I’d still like to be able to climb vertical ice in my snowboard boots, and clipping in the heel adds the cramponing performance of even the highest-end mountaineering boots. Plus, the toe-bail crampon design gives a more intimate feel with the ice and reduces the overall length of the boot. Adding a tiny plastic lip at the rear of the shank wouldn’t add any weight, as it could just be shaped into the shank itself.

    LIGHT WEIGHT: This boot MUST be MUCH lighter than plastic AT ski boots, and should compete with the 32 Prime in weight.. Every ounce gets swung through a range of motion thousands of times during tours, and fatigue after 14 hours of climbing and riding can be profound.

    Cool looking: Not going to lie. Sex appeal is critical.

    Overall I want to be able to ride these hypothetical boots every day. Should be phenomenal in any type of riding. From park and pipe, to pow slashing, steep ice, crud, chunder etc., and excel at at vertical ice climbing and general mountaineering.

    Tell me what you think!

    #627174
    Scooby2
    624 Posts

    Easy, but it will take you a year and about $2,500 to 3,000 US.

    1. order a pair of pierre gignoux boots, lower part only and without a tongue. have him ship those to you.

    http://www.skintrack.com/skimo-racing/pierre-gignoux-444-behind-the-scene-of-the-lightest-ski-boot-in-the-world/

    http://www.pierregignoux.fr/France/XpMountain.php

    2. take a pair of light soft boots, I like the Ride one or maybe the Burton Ruler, cut off the sole.
    3. grind away much of the carbon shell, leave the toe box and enough material in the back to support a highback later. maybe leave at least about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of shell.
    4 Attach the soft boot tops to the carbon lowers, the resoling guy in SW CO could do this well. maybe drill stitch holes with a 1/32 bit in a dremel and run stitching too.
    5. send the boots back to gignoux to have a custom carbon highback laminated and attached with spacers so it clears the softboot portion. Or laminate the highback yourself or in the US by a race skate boot maker.

    You might give it a go using a used pair of Scarpa F1’s first. I would guess that the Scarpa Version would be at or near 3lbs, the gignoux at about 2 lbs.

    #627175
    Scooby2
    624 Posts

    I don’t think you could ever get any more features and weigh less than 2 lb 32 ultralight or Ride boot. those boots are so light because they essentially have a sole made out of sneaker material. add a sole with strong lugs for bales, vibram, you have to be at 3 or almost 3 lbs, And really, you probably want the sole to have enough structure so you could use a plate binding instead of a 2 pound soft binding.

    Also, you could make a custom plate binding out of crampon bales, attached as minimally as possible to a slider track.

    #627176
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Hard Boot:

    Designed from the ground up as a snowboard boot (new molds for snowboard specific flex, not AT boot molds). Dynafit toe, DIN toe and heel for plate binding use-but much better flexing than any stock AT boot. Light, sub 3 lbs. per boot, with a two buckle design.
    A hard boot designed from the ground up for splitting could be made to flex anyway one would want.
    Intuition liner.
    Climbing sole, but boot is designed for a small footprint (short sole length and compact shell) for better riding and climbing performance.
    Right now modded AT boots can get most of the above performance, but a boot designed for snowboarding could be even better.

    #627177
    russman
    692 Posts

    Barrows, you are awesome!

    I think a company could offer both a soft and hard option for splitters.

    I think rather than trying to tear apart other boots, I’d like to design this thing from the ground up. Using all the modern foams could prove to be essential. How am I going to have adjustable flex though?

    #627178
    Scooby2
    624 Posts

    You guys remember these from K2’s past?

    http://www.saltypeaks.com/products/7054/K2-Sidewinder-Step-In-Boots-Tan-Grey-Black-#21-Mens-Size-9.html

    unfortunately they weigh about 4 lbs, 11 oz. each, too much plastic in the shell, and tons of steel for the clicker backing.

    I was really hoping Shimano, now Yonex, would thrive and maybe develop one of these, but engineered light like today’s boots.

    #627179
    russman
    692 Posts

    @Scooby2 wrote:

    You guys remember these from K2’s past?

    http://www.saltypeaks.com/products/7054/K2-Sidewinder-Step-In-Boots-Tan-Grey-Black-#21-Mens-Size-9.html

    unfortunately they weigh about 4 lbs, 11 oz. each, too much plastic in the shell, and tons of steel for the clicker backing.

    I was really hoping Shimano, now Yonex, would thrive and maybe develop one of these, but engineered light like today’s boots.

    Oh my gosh those boots are crazy! I kinda do remember them!!

    I do like how they have the crampon lips, but you don’t need one in the front. K2 had a great idea with the clicker thing, but we could design something so much higher performing, lightweight, and clean looking. Those things are ugly as sin!

    Basically, I just want to take a k2 T1 or Burton Ion style of flex, change a couple materials to be higher quality, add a thin carbon fiber shank in the sole, and add a crampon lip in the back.

    I would be epic… You could climb a sick line in the morning, drop your pow, and then shred the pipe in the afternoon!

    #627180
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Russman:

    I think we will need two models of boot to suit both of us (no worries!). I prefer a boot that flexes like a Driver X/Malamute, you appear to prefer much softer flexing boots. In any case, do not think that plastic shelled boots have to be stiff. With the technology currently available a plastic shelled boot could be developed that would flex as soft as you want.
    While I understand your desire for a low heel, I would suggest that such a boot is biomechanically problematic for hiking/climbing putting way too much strain on the achilles tendon/calf area (skinning would not present a problem, as a positive ramp angle could be incorporated into the heel lifter).
    Ultimately I think a boot weight of just under 3 lbs. is reasonable, and the best weight savings would come from saving a lb. by using a plate binding. I would also greatly prefer buckles, good ones are bomber, and much easier to manipulate in backcountry conditions than laces. With a well designed boot, and a properly fitted molded liner, internal harnesses and laces are not needed, and would just add extra weight and complexity.
    We can always dream…

    #627181
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Anyone heard of, or tried Rossignol Enduro Soft AT Boot?
    http://galacticsnowsports.com/rossignol-enduro-ski-boots.html

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #627182
    russman
    692 Posts

    If there was indeed a boot like the one I’m talking about out there (not saying there is;) how many of you on here would buy it over what is currently available? Let’s say it retailed for $370-$400. Keep in mind the materials and craftmanship would far surpass most snowboard boot makers, and it would still be cheaper than a set of Ions…

    #627183
    affix snow
    521 Posts

    Oh yeah. Id buy it!

    #627184
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    @russman wrote:

    Overall I want to be able to ride these hypothetical boots every day. Should be phenomenal in any type of riding. From park and pipe, to pow slashing, steep ice, crud, chunder etc., and excel at at vertical ice climbing and general mountaineering.

    If you really want to use them for ice/mountaineering you should really take a look at the Spantik.

    That being said, I don’t think you are ever gonna get the boots you want for a $400 price tag. You may be able to get a manufacturer to bite on your wishlist, but my guess is you will be paying AT boot prices for such an item.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #627185
    russman
    692 Posts

    So today I bought a pair of THESE:

    http://ridesnowboards.com/boots/strike

    I’m planning ripping off the sole, inlaying a carbon fiber shank, and then applying THESE:

    http://www.vibram.com/index.php/us/SPORTS/SnowSports/Products/Snowboard/VIBRAM-Driver-X-Sole

    It appears that I am obsessed with BOOTS, as this marks the 4th pair of boots I’ve purchased this year. Do you think there is a self-help group I could go join to overcome this obsession, or should I just go balls deep and build this thing?

    Its too bad that I don’t have 50K just sitting around to start this dream boot company….. FML!!
    :bananas: :bananas: :bananas: :bananas:

    #627186
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Russm: Have at it! Please keep us informed how this project proceeds.
    BTW, I would guess you might need more like $250K to start up a real boot company. Boots are the hardest (and most expensive) thing to make, especially if one wants good fit, light weight, and good performance. A board start up company is a piece of cake compared to boots-this is why most good ski and mountaineering boots are still made in Europe, the design and manufacturing expertise just does not exist in the far east (where the toy snowboard boots come from).

    #627187
    NatasKaput
    40 Posts

    a pair i could get more than a couple of months out of

    My love head wound and your free head wound
    Don't know but I even wanna try to be

    #627188
    PUNKY
    95 Posts

    A pair that actually fits

    #627189
    b0ardski
    251 Posts

    I’m with Barrows on this 1, rando race boots come close, but I’d add a couple features;
    lockable lateral flex at the hinge pivot, bellows at the toe like tele and rando race boots for better stride hiking & skinning.
    The same lower boot shell with vibram style sole, bellows for walking flex but stiff enough for ice climbing crampons, dynafit inserts & plate binders eliminating the need for straps and highbacks, can be mated to softboot flex cuff and tongue for duck and lower angles, or hardboot cuff & tongue for steeper alpine style angles.
    Using existing rando boot molds can lower startup costs with minor adjustments for lateral lockouts. New plastic formulas and flexy liners for the softy version, existing plastics and stiffer liners for the hardboot version.
    we’d still be looking at AT boot prices but a feature stripped version with cheaper materials could hit $400 price point

    #627190
    b0ardski
    251 Posts


    Product Description
    A new Dynafit boot to once again change the ski mountaineering market. The unique choice for anyone looking for the best boots to challenge long distance and high altitude tours with agility. Also the best option for tours with difficult climbing both on ice and rock, thanks to its short rockered sole and perfect compatibility with crampons. And as if that’s not enough, the Downhill Booster tongue makes it extremely supportive during even the most technical and steep descents. Plus the racing derived Ultra-Lock System provides incredible cuff rotation and uphill agility with one super fast movement, to transition between walk and ski mode.

    The Mountain version is made with a Pebax cuff for a great combination of lightness and downhill performance, and is targeted at a wider range of users…And combined with a superior comfort TF-X liner.

    Backcountry Magazine Editor’s Choice winner

    Specs:
    • Color: White/Green
    • Shell: Grilamid
    • Cuff/Spoiler: Pebax
    • Buckles: Ultra-Lock System
    • Forward lean: 15 degrees + release for walking
    • Cuff rotation: 60 derees
    • Sole: Claw
    • Weight: TF-X: 1225g (size 27.5)
    • Sizes: 22.5 – 30.5 + 1/2 sizes
    • Bindings: Dynafit Quick Step-In, compatible with standard touring bindings
    This is close; with the softer tongue & cuff the only missing element is a lateral flex lock out in place of the cuff hinge. At 1220 gm as light as a good soft boot w/out the need for sraps & highbacks. expensive at $750 but way more durable than any soft boot :drool:

    #627191
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    I checked out the above boots at the shop. I was hoping they would work for splitboard use (’cause they are freakin’ light) but the welt ledges are not DIN, and I am definitely sketched on whether these would always stay clipped in to a plate binding. It appears to me that high torsional forces might allow a release, and I cannot risk a release.
    The forward lean mech is a little sketchy as well (hard to describe, you need to see them and try it out), but perhaps mods/work arounds could be done for that. The boot would still require some modding for softer flex, but it could be made to work.
    I still think the Scarpa F3 is the best AT boot to mod up into a great performing split boot. Too bad they are no longer around.

    #627192
    JJH
    5 Posts

    My dream snowboard boot will ought to be ready to be tested latest sometime in April. It will have proper mountaineering Vibram sole and heel clip for semi-automatic crampons. Otherwise it´s a normal soft snowboarding boot.

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