Softer Ski Boots – A New Trend

July 17, 2006 by  
Filed under features

There’s a new trend in the downhill ski-gear market: Soft Boots. These boots are made with a combination of plastic, cloth and leather materials. They are designed to be warmer, more lightweight, and more comfortable than all-plastic boots.

Do they work as well as plastic boots? So far, the reviews are mixed. Some find the Soft Boots very comfortable, both for skiing and walking. The boots also perform adequately, especially for lightweight skiers staying mostly on groomed runs.

Soft Boots work well with the hourglass shape of modern skis. These skis can be steered using only side-to-side motions (Soft Boots have stiff sides for precise ski control). These new skis don’t require the forceful front-back motions that old “straight ski” models did- thus boots do not need to be so stiff in front and back.

Lightweight skiers, in particular, may appreciate Soft Boots. These skiers often can’t flex their leg forward in boots designed for heavier skiers. Such flex is critical for balancing on skis. These people will ski best in a softer-flexing plastic boot, and might also consider the new Soft Boots as an alternative.

The general consensus, however, is that expert downhill skiers should still choose an all-plastic boot. The Soft Boots lack support when skiing moguls or difficult off-piste snow, especially for heavier skiers. These reviews may change as technology continues to advance.