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Full Tilt Drop Kicks 2016/17 build quality/experiences

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Sorry if this has been done to death, I have searched forums but not found anything recent/specific to these particular boots from the 16/17 season.

Anyway as the title suggests, I am looking for anyone who has had experience with and used Full Tilt boots in the last year or so.

I picked up a pair of 2017 Drop Kicks online for a decent price, did some research figured that in principal the boots would suit my foot type, worse case if they didn't I'd send them back and get a refund (got 100 days to do this - bought through glisshop).

For reference, the boots on initial fitting do feel VERY snug and lightweight, But slightly short in the length for my left foot (which measures approx 290, compared to the right which is 285 - i bought a 28.5 MP, tried the First Chair 6's in a 29.5 but they leave a huge gap around my skinny calves and felt a bit
Too roomy).

Anyway, what really struck me is the build quality, considering the RRP, I really expected more to be honest. the power straps and buckles do not appear very durable. The method in which the removable tongue is attached to the boot also seems very cheap. The power strap seems a lower grade and less robust material than that of my salomon quest pros and the micro adjusting rachet mechanism buckle doesn't look as though it would take much to snap off or become stuck (interestingly the wider aluminium buckles of the first chair 6's look and feel more robust).

I'd be interested to know if anyone has encountered any bad experiences using the 16/17 season Drop Kicks or are my concerns unfounded?

I have read of previous years having problems with buckles and wires but was hoping FT would have ironed these issues out in their design development.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi,
I haven't seen a pair of the 2017 drop kicks in the flesh but they are very very similar to the original raichle flexons from the 1980s. There have been some changes (shock absorbing boot board, better liners) but the shell, tongue arrangement and buckles are essentially the same.
Now that is good and bad! A significant minority of skiers find that the flexon design just works for them better than other things. I'm in that camp having just returned to a pair of full tilts more than 20 years since I skied in raichles. The downside is that they haven't had the benefit of 3 decades of improvements to the aesthetics and finish. On durability, I'd make a few specific comments but to bear in mind that one of the attractions of the design is that most pieces can be replaced very easily with a screwdriver or just by hand if the do break:
1. tongue mechanism - I've not heard of problems with this. Some skiers swap softer to harder tongues frequently depending on the temperature and what type of skiing they are doing. I think its a convenient elegant design
2. buckles - people tend to have a love hate relationship with the track / wire set up. On the one hand it makes fine adjustment quick and easy. On the other hand you do need to take a little care getting the wires in the right grooves and the buckles can get bashed and damaged. Fortunately they are very easy to replace. That said I've done 20+ weeks in raichles/ full tilts without having had to do that.
3. powerstrap - yes, they look a bit flimsy but in practice I've had no problems.

If you have the right shape feet (narrowish, particularly in the heel) and don't need a super stiff boot then I think the heel lock, smooth flex and light weight of full tilts has a lot going for it and this more than outweighs the lack of polish in the finish and detailing.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Like Jedster said - some good and bad bits, personally I've never broken anything on Full Tilts, Kneissls or Flexons since 2000 - whereas the Salomons and Nordicas I had before ended up in the bin because of broken parts.
Most bits are replaceable and you can order them from Full Tilt or their dealers, or buy a knackered pair off ebay for parts. For the most part they are interchangeable too, doesn't matter which model you buy, the parts are the same (other than tongue stiffness/colours).
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Quote:

For the most part they are interchangeable too, doesn't matter which model you buy, the parts are the same (other than tongue stiffness/colours).


Although note that Full Tilt do have a new last used on some models which uses different tongues to the classic range
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've had a pair since 2010, bought due to their fit as the only reason.

Since then I've been away twice a year and enjoyed them. Yes, they might appear flimsy but they've proven to have been robust. Had one buckle sheer off But easily fixed once I found somewhere in St Anton to sort it.
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm off to Japan in the winter so don't want to end up waiting for parts to arrive in the post should anything break. Not sure if there are any dealers/suppliers in the niseko area. At least it seems you've had little problems. Annoyingly I can't seem to get the boot tight enough around my calf.... I have quite long and narrow feet 28-29's but pretty skinny legs and high calves (I'm told). The 28.5 drop kick fits nicely around the leg but is uncomfortably short in the foot (even when in skiing position) and the 29.5 first chair fits well in the foot but too lose around the calf. The power strap seems to do very little to tighten the fit around my legs. So might be back to the drawing board! I figured that being in the French alps (Morzine) I might find a good boot fitter around but it seems everywhere is set up for mountain biking this time of year... resulting in numerous funny looks when asking about ski boots!
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@Drifter210,

I can imagine that being an issue - I have medium width feet, narrow ankles/heels but chunky calves and they seem to fit me perfectly (I don't need to tighten the top buckle and powerstrap very much) so I could believe they are a bit room around more elegant calves!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I wonder if the pro liner that comes in the first chair 8's would provide a tighter fit, I think it has an extra foam layer or power wrap as it Les marketed on the FT website.
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I like Full-tilts, I have owned two pairs of drop kicks which are a cheap build as they are mostly plastic. I have never had any problems but it is cheap and easy to replace any damaged parts. As with any ski boots I would recommend ones that fit you well rather than a trendy brand. The 99mm last is great for me as you can a pretty narrow boot with plenty of flex.

The only thing to watch out for is the sizing. I am in a 27.5 mondo full tilt at the moment but it fits closer to a 26.5 with the 210mm sole lenght. Nice and snug Smile
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@Drifter210, I'd expect a tighter fit due to a liner to be somewhat temporary...
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princeeliot wrote:
..... a 26.5 with the 210mm sole lenght. Nice and snug Smile


Now that is snug Toofy Grin
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@princeeliot, thanks for your thoughts, yes I definitely want the right fit. Admittedly It was a punt buying these having done some research they looked in principal to be what I would need but to be honest I'll probably be returning both pairs. On reflection, the first chairs feel too roomy and the drop kicks too small in the length (toes are quite uncomfortably curled even in skiing position). Maybe the drop kicks in a size up would be a better fit...

I was kinda hoping to pick up something in the sales that would fit me well with use of my custom insoles and just minor tweaking/modifications in resort if required. ultimately I will probably have to get properly fitted but I just don't know anywhere decent with a broad selection to be honest. Not much in Morzine area at this time of year, so maybe somewhere in the UK either in London or Yorkshire somewhere.

How'd the devil you fit a 265 foot in a 210 boot?? Think my toes would snap! Shocked
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Drifter210 wrote:
@princeeliot,......How'd the devil you fit a 265 foot in a 210 boot?? Think my toes would snap! Shocked

It's a typo. Should be 310mm.
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