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Ski Boot Flex: What's A Flex and Why Does It Matter

Ski boots are one of the most important piece of equipment yet having so many odd components to them. From mondo points to flex, booster straps and width. Some boots are made for beginners others for experts / professionals. How can you tell which is which? The flex is a huge indicator for who your ski boot is made for.

First what is the ski boot flex? Ski boot flex is the measurement in which the boot that specifies the stiffness of the boot. The softest boots are around 60 for females and range up to 150 for olympians. A beginner would want a softer boot to keep control while learning the basics of skiing.

As skiers progress so does the flex. You begin to ask your boot to accommodate a more aggressive ski stance.

You shouldn’t be looking to get into a flex rating to say that you’re using said flex. Your flex preference is a personal one that is unique to your body and ski level. Kind of like a snowflake. Not all advanced skiers prefer a very stiff boot, some may prefer a softer boot for comfort and other reasons. The only way to get know your flex rating is by being professionally boot fitted. This can only be done a true boot shop. No this doesn’t mean your big box stores. Were talking ski boot shop only, where professional ski boot fitters know the ins and out.

Lets take a look at the difference in ski flex by comparing two boots as a comparison. The boot on the left is an Atomic Redster flex 130. This is also known as a plug in boot or race boot. It is made of thicker plastics than the typical alpine ski boot. This is an extremely stiff flex rating.

Notice when you flex the boot, the boot is reactive but provides immediate feedback for the skier. The boot also keeps you in a frontward stance.

Lets look at the right boot now. This is a Technia Zero G Touring 115 flex. This boot is made for back country touring. Hence why on the heel there is a walk mode. Typically speaking the touring boots flex usually feel a bit less stiff than their “ flex rating” due to walk mode to keep the mobility for uphill travel.

When the Zero G is being flex you can see how much easier it to flex this boot. The effort it significantly less taxing. It also bends much easier than the Atomic Redster. This is due to the flex rating being lower than the Redster. Also for the fact that it is a touring boot, and made with different plastics.

When you go to get those sweet new ski boots remember, have an honest discussion about your ski type and preference. This will determine which boot is best for you. Always seek out a qualified boot fitter. Its going to save you big in the long term.


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