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Guest GalaxyToad

Lets talk about boots

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Guest GalaxyToad

Let’s talk about boots. I like HO Superfeet Animals. I have been caught claiming that if Herb O’Brien ever stops making them I’d buy 10 pair and throw them in the closet. I have made one observation though that intrigues me. It started with the O’Brien Bio. I never looked at it seriously until now. It appears to me like they are trying to morph the best of a hardshell with the best of a traditional high wrap. This observation combined with the news from D3 that they are releasing a new boot with the same approach called the D3 “Driver” makes me go hmmmmmm……

Is anyone riding O’Brien Bios that would like to comment on their performance and how they compare to _________?

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I tried them on a 6am I rode for a few sets and I hated them. They were terribly uncomfortable and they didn't really offer much more support than the regular KD pivots that I came from. The Approach boots are much more comfortable and easier to get into and I get much better edge control from them.

They have a lower lace and an upper lace and by the time I got those all done up and snugged I was tired- like putting on my drysuit the first time in the spring. Then there is so much string flopping around that the loops got taggled around both legs.

I like the approach boots. In addition to the other new boots coming onto the market, I know that Terry Winter has a new boot coming out soon too. Interesting perspective he's coming from.

Let’s talk about boots. I like HO Superfeet Animals. I have been caught claiming that if Herb O’Brien ever stops making them I’d buy 10 pair and throw them in the closet. I have made one observation though that intrigues me. It started with the O’Brien Bio. I never looked at it seriously until now. It appears to me like they are trying to morph the best of a hardshell with the best of a traditional high wrap. This observation combined with the news from D3 that they are releasing a new boot with the same approach called the D3 “Driver” makes me go hmmmmmm……

Is anyone riding O’Brien Bios that would like to comment on their performance and how they compare to _________?

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NorCaliBu

Can someone compare Approach Boots to Animals? I have "pre"-Superfeet animals and I am looking to get new bindings and I can't decide between the two.

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skislut

I vote for the Approach Boots also.

Unfortunately my comparison is based on Animals, Animal Superfeet, A set of Wiley (don't know which), Phantoms, & the Approach.

I started out on Animals -- huge step up from the bindings on my 1992 Obrien Synergy. They were ok for a couple seasons. Then onto the Superfeet -- a bit more snug and seemed to offer more control. Hopped onto a friends ski who had Wiley's -- they claim to be high wraps for slalom that he got on a KD ski he bought off Wiley's, but I can't believe it since they felt like I went back to the Synergy bindings.

Then two summers ago I bought a set of the Phantoms -- WOW -- awesome edge control, with the forward ankle cant it made me keep my knees bent - the ski felt like an extension of my foot -- BUT - man were they tight -- at the end of six passes I couldn't wait to get out of them -- toes were turning blue from lack of blood flow. They were also annoying to try to put on as they had no holes or straps to pull your foot into.

This summer I went to the Approach boots. They are awesome. Still have that edge control and lock in feeling, but there is a huge comfort increase. I can ski in them for a long time before I even feel a slight tightness. Plus now there are some grab holes to help get your feet into them. I agree with skisix on the excess laces flapping around but I have figured out a way to weave them into the velcro strap which gets them out of the way.

My ski partner who had the Wiley's on his KD also bought a set of Approaches and he will never go back to the Wiley's.

I jumped back onto my old Phantom (the ski, not the boot) which now has the Animals on them and couldn't believe how "loose" they feel.

GT -- try some Approach's in the spring -- I think you'll change your tune.

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HRemington

I'm on a Connelly F2, originally with a Stoker Xwrap front and RTP. Last year I was able to find one Stoker rear boot, the older style, because I wanted to try double boots. The weird thing is that the only rear boot in the world was a M and front is a L, but my foot is kind of a tweener, with left foot just a hair shorter, so they fit OK. However, I took an a$$-over-tea kettle spill on my maiden voyage, and though I liked keeping the ski with me and both feet in the whole time, my left ankle hurt the next day like a sprain, and was discolored, though I felt nothing after the fall. It continued to bother me thoughout the season.

Do you think this came from a too tight boot? Does anyone know if HO boots will fit a four year old Connelly? I'd like to get a new pair of boots if I can find some that both fit my feet and my ski.

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Addictedto6

Be careful with the Approach/Phantoms. IMO, they have a design flaw in that the strap across the forefoot is higher up on the foot (close to the ankle joint) for the front foot. in the back foot, it's closer to the middle of the forefoot (lower). I took an OTF at the wake, front stayed in, back foot came out. The result was ugly - I ruptured my achilles and dislocated my posterior tibial tendon. Achilles rehab went well, but the tibial tendon dislocation is extremely rare and missed by the radiologist and ortho surgeon. 11 months later I had second surgery and finally got to ski again after missing 14 months.

I've had a number of friends with ankle injuries in OTF at the ball as well in lace up style bindings even when their feet stayed in the ski (typically the front would come part way out, or twist in the binding itself while compressed).

After the injury, I knew I was going to switch to hardshells. I did a lot of research/reading while injured (had nothing else better to do!) and decided to go with Paul Jager's Fluid Motion 66s (releasable hardshells). I am very happy with them.

www.jagersport.com

Edited by Addictedto6

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NorCaliBu
....the strap across the forefoot is higher up on the foot (close to the ankle joint) for the front foot.  in the back foot, it's closer to the middle of the forefoot (lower).

Did you have Phantoms? Or Approaches?

The Approach Boots look like their straps are located similarly front & back. Anyone with Approaches want to chime in?

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Addictedto6
....the strap across the forefoot is higher up on the foot (close to the ankle joint) for the front foot.  in the back foot, it's closer to the middle of the forefoot (lower).

Did you have Phantoms? Or Approaches?

The Approach Boots look like their straps are located similarly front & back. Anyone with Approaches want to chime in?

I had Phantoms (pre-cursor to approaches). Got my money back.

Looks like from the pic they realized their mistake and adjusted their design....hmmmmm. HO might get another call from me. Badmood.gifRanting.gifRanting.gif

(EDIT: that call, btw, might be to yell some more!)

Edited by Addictedto6

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tvano

i skied sixam w bios. hated the foot bed. really uncomfortable.

one of the crew skis the approach. hated the setup time until he cut off the velcro.

says it is better now.

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MIKEGOUGH1

I've got the KD double Vise bindings on my CR7, really comfortable. I have considered the hard shell, I would like to try them out first, I would hate to change the setup on my ski and not like them.

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baumer

Michael,

Addictedto6 is right on the money with those Approach bindings. I took off mine just never really felt right and on top of that they starched so much that I couldn’t even get them tight any more. At first I thought it was me but when Barbara was having the same problem then we know that those bindings had issues. The straps that go across are week and don’t support your ankle on bit. I went to the Goode hard shell setup and really like them so far. I wanted a hard shell setup that released both feet at the same time so to reduce the possibility of an ankle injury. If I didn’t put those hard shells on I was going to go back to my old animal bindings that I never had a problem with.

Phil

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beef

Always a lot of talk about hard shell vs. rubber... I haven't seen the hybrid's yet. Have you thought about trying Wiley's? Some people use their slalom bindings with the trick wrap overlay for the extra support. (They'll make you ski like CP! Biggrin.gif )

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Chaabo

I have the O'Brien Bios on my Siege.

They are not very comfortable. It takes too long to get into it, and fasten, and secure all these straps. While riding the straps often come loose and the whole binding never feels "good" around my feet. (The boots never seem to be tight enough. )

I will definitely switch to the Animals next year!

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HRemington
Michael,

they starched so much 

Phil

no wonder they felt so stiff... that's why I never take my boots to the cleaners Crazy.gif

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Chef23

I skied an HO Venom all year and was never crazy about it. I felt it held my foot okay but I am not a big fan of all the laces on the bindings. I picked up a Wiley's cheap in the fall and am going to give that a try in the spring. It reminds me of the bindings I skied on when I was younger which always seemed to hold my foot fine.

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SunriseH2OSkier

Great topic, GT! Thumbup.gif

Been riding the Animal Superfeet now for about two and a half seasons and really like the feel. However, I switched the overlays to ones from Wiley's midway through the second season, because the hard rubber of the HO overlays kept digging into the outside of my left (rear) leg (to the point of drawing blood). The only way to get it to heal was to stop skiing (yeah right, like that's gonna happen during the season! Crazy.gif ). I now have what appears to be a permanent scar there.

Anyway, with the HO overlays, my feet never released from the boots during a yardsale. Not so with the Wiley's overlays. I have had the rear foot come out on a couple spills, and I have had both feet come out. I consider myself very fortunate not to have done any damage. I've been planning on investing in a new pair of bindings before next season, and have been seriously thinking about the Approach.

Looking forward to the dialog!

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Baddog
Great topic, GT! Thumbup.gif

Been riding the Animal Superfeet now for about two and a half seasons and really like the feel.  However, I switched the overlays to ones from Wiley's midway through the second season, because the hard rubber of the HO overlays kept digging into the outside of my left (rear) leg (to the point of drawing blood).  The only way to get it to heal was to stop skiing (yeah right, like that's gonna happen during the season! Crazy.gif ).  I now have what appears to be a permanent scar there.

Anyway, with the HO overlays, my feet never released from the boots during a yardsale.  Not so with the Wiley's overlays.  I have had the rear foot come out on a couple spills, and I have had both feet come out.  I consider myself very fortunate not to have done any damage.  I've been planning on investing in a new pair of bindings before next season, and have been seriously thinking about the Approach.

Looking forward to the dialog!

Are you feeling fortunate because your feet came out or because they stayed in?

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BrianM

If you want extreme comfort and great control try hardshells. I was on a set of Wileys and considered the Approaches but heard lots of stories / rumors that they may not release when needed. I switched at the end of this season to the Fluid Motion Carbon 6 http://www.jagersport.com/doublesix.htm and they are awsome. the heat moldable liners make them a perfect fit and the release is seamless. Absolutely the best change I have made.

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skistud1

I had the Animals and found them to be very tight across the instep, painful. I tried the Approach but didn't like how the boot forces you forward like a snow ski boot does. Maybe a more advanced skier than me might want or need to be in this position, I just didn't care for being forced forward. To their credit, the Approaches were plush compared to the Animals.

I ended up going with a Venom and a adjustable RTP. I think that the Venoms have a little too much room across the forefoot.

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Chia

rats, I am getting a sixam with double bio's for Christmas. Now the boots are no good. On the plus side I get to try the setup out in Havasu in March and can return until the end of June. The setup was such a good deal too. I will be reading these posts with interest to find replacement boots.

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SunriseH2OSkier
Are you feeling fortunate because your feet came out or because they stayed in?

In general am much more comfortable with both feet strapped to the stick when I yardsale. Keeps legs from twisting around in directions they are not meant to, and the damage that results.

As a close second, I'll take both feet releasing. I rank this second for two reasons. First, is because I have been hit by the ski after coming out, and that wasn't very pleasant either. Second, I never ever ever want only one foot to come out (for obvious reasons), and I find it hard to set up bindings that are capable of releasing both feet but not just one.

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Answers:

Yes, I tried a Venom, it was too soft for my taste.

I run a venom for my back foot and I like that I can move my back foot a little. Because I do move my back foot a little. When I tried the 9700 it was with 2 Approach boots and I could tell that the back one was keeping my foot in and down when I naturally wanted to rock up on the ball of my rear foot.

That boot that Terry Winter is working on may be "The D3 Driver" Can't wait to see one.

I doubt that. Terry is no longer affiliated with D3, his design may come out on a Connely though. That'll be interesting.

That comment about hardshells is word-for-word what I typically get from hardshell users. "Best of the Best" I just can't get my self to try them yet. They just look like they'd be destructive to boat interiors and platforms.

Thanks for the "jager" link, I'll check it out.

I agree here too. The one thing I can't get over is that most of the top skiers in the world don't use them, why? I come from the point of view that I dont' really want to ever come out, maybe I've just not had the kind of crash yet that would learn me otherwise. I have come up of my ski once since the Approach boot and I came out of both, really exploded out.

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UWSkier

I thought about hardshells too, until I went to the Malibu Open and almost everyone was running Animal Superfeet, no matter what they were skiing on... If it's good enough for the best skiers in the world... :)

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BrianM

I think a lot of people (Especially the Pros) are hesitant to change from something that they have been using and has been working for a long time. I decided to give the hardshells a try and am glad I did. I am by no means saying that any hardshell system is the answer for everyone but do think that if you are thinking of changing the boots you should at least give them a demo. Fluid Motion and Goode both offer a great demo program. Might as well take them up on it and see what they are all about.

As for coming out of the boots. I think that in most situations you are safer from an injury standpoint coming free of the ski. I have not and I sure don't want to have an injury where I wish I would have come out of the ski. Everytime I have released with the FMs it has been smooth as silk and the ski came nowhere near hitting me. Everytime I ejected from my Wileys it was not nearly as smooth (one foot then the other) and seemed like I was always covering up trying not to get hit by the ski.

Haven't had any problems with them tearing up the boat interior or the platform. Just have to be carefull not to toss the ski around but I haven't changed my habits a bit from when I had rubber.

Just my experience so far.

Edited by BrianM

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baumer
Michael,

they starched so much 

Phil

no wonder they felt so stiff... that's why I never take my boots to the cleaners Crazy.gif

Ok, now that’s funny. ROFL.gif I didn’t see that I was trying to get that posted real quick before leaving for work this morning.

The bindings stretched out so much I couldn’t get them tight. Ya, that’s what I meant, really Crazy.gif

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