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Worth upgrading from a Strolz ski boot?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I purchased a pair of Strolz custom skiboots around 5 years ago when in Lech and I have loved the quality of the fit.

I purchased their comfort model (can't recall the exact model) but it isn't as forward leaning as their 'sports' model, and is fairly soft when flexing the boot forward.

This year I have managed around 3 weeks of skiing and I'm feel like I have made a bit of a minor breakthrough in that I am starting to ski faster with more control than I have managed before. One specific issue I have realised (which I know is skiing basics) is I wasn't quite applying enough progressive forward pressure on the downhill ski during the turn. This was limiting the amount of grip the ski would generate. So I now feel I am making good progress in improving this which is in turn helping my short turns and also improving my carved turns on slightly steeper terrain.

So that's all well and good. The question I don't know though is where is the point I should consider upgrading to the Strolz sport boot which is stiffer and has a bit more forward lean?

I realise in principle that a stiffer boot should allow more precise control of the ski. But I don't know at what level I need to be to take advantage of this extra capability.

I did try asking the boot fitter in Strolz this question, but as you can imagine it was a bit difficult discussing this nuance either in pidgin German or pidgin English.

All comments or thoughts gratefully received!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@eddiesteadygo, will you be near a Strolz dealer anytime before next ski? I could easily see over upright/oversoft boots being a hindrance.

But I was under the impression that Strolz were modular? so you could perhaps have more inclined and rigid cuffs fitted?
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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?
@eddiesteadygo, Glide and Slide in Otley, near Leeds are the Strolz dealer/fitter in the UK. Maybe give them a call and see if they can help?
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Glide and Slide are helpful people so if you can't visit them then a phone call should be easy enough.
As to the boots, I know that some models (maybe all) have plastic inserts down the back (?) which can be swapped over to change stiffness (flex) and also that cuffs should be interchangeable for fit, height and maybe some stiffness; maybe lean too?
As to your question about when: it's a very difficult one. Boots are so personal, and you usually can only make the real and right judgment call once you're good enough to know what you're talking about: which is often way after the stage at which you want to ask the question and start messing around with changing boots... (I may insult your skiing level here, in which case I apologise; only speaking about my own level.) I think that most properly-good skiers would say that as long as you have a good and comfortable fit, for a recreational skier you should be able to get to a pretty good stage of ability and technique without needing to upgrade your boot. (Bit like being a good car driver without having to get a sports model.) If you need new boots because the old ones are worn or the fit is wrong or you just like spending money on new shiny boots then that's a good time to upgrade as your skills progress.
IMHO, if your boots are comfortable and you're happy with your stance (and lean) then I would concentrate on technique and stay with boots that work for you. But if they are seriously too soft for you (and an Instructor can probably answer that one pretty quickly) then, yes, upgrade. Maybe 5 year old boots is a good time to upgrade anyway if your skills have also upgraded.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I understand that their “comfort” boots, which were black when I was in their orange model, are really quite soft. One of their boot-fitters described them as being geared to an once-a-year skier, who likes to “sway” down a slope in comfort.

I actually found their orange boots soft, but I am 193cm and 88kg. Our relationship fell apart as I got better, and I moved on... to a more conventional 4-buckle boot in 130 flex. Chalk and cheese. Made a huge difference.

What does this mean for you? Not sure!

If you think you will improve in new boots, and you can readily afford them, then go for it. Belief in your equipment goes a long way to building confidence.
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Thanks guys - interesting replies.

I decided to have another go with the Strolz store and see if I could find someone who might be able to give some specific advice.

The chap I spoke with this time said the following; "you know you need stiffer boots at the point you realise that you current boot has quite a lot of flex". I thought that was quite a neat way of putting it.

@Grizzler - you are quite right about the boot inserts. The person I spoke with showed me there was two changes he could make to the boots (free of charge) which would improve the stiffness and one of these was changing a plastic insert on the back of the boot.

If he made both changes he said it would increase the stiffness by around "10 points" (presumably on some ikind of flex scale?) and would give a similar stiffness to the 'orange' boot, albeit that the shell would still be made from softer plastic. He advised some caution though as he thought it would make a big change to the feel of the boot and he wanted me to ski it afterwards to check it wasn't too significant a change.

Will look to get this change done and will report back if it made a positive difference.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
So I went ahead and got the small plastic insert at the back of the boot changed. This supposedly increased the standard boot stiffness from around 110 to 120.

I tried that for a day. TBH it didn't make a massive amount of difference - slightly stiffer but not so much. So I went back to Strolz on my last day in Lech and they made the next change, which looks much more significant. They replaced a large piece of plastic section at the back of the boot to a stiffer version. They said this should increase the stiffness from 120 to 130.

Unfortunately I couldn't test it and so I won't know until December if it is a worthwhile change or not.

Also, fyi, the changes to the Strolz boots were free of charge, even though the boots were 5 years old.
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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!
Just got back from a week in Lech. A friend in our group was thinking about buying Strolz boots and asked a few of the instructors at the ski school about them. The feedback was that they are softer more comfortable boots perfect for teaching or relaxed skiing but when they get a day off to free ski they use stiffer boots. Maybe that last adjustment will help for a while, but if you're skiing has progressed and the boots are on the softer side and 5 years old, you might really benefit from a new pair.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Strolz do two main types of ski boot - the more comfortable one, which is the one which I purchased and which starts with a flex 110 and which can be increased to up 130, depending upon the inserts mentioned previously.

Or you can choose what I would refer to as their more sporty boot. This has a stiffer shell and starts with a stiffness of 130. I also asked if that could also be increased, and he said yes, by another 10 points taking it to around 140.
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eddiesteadygo wrote:
Strolz do two main types of ski boot - the more comfortable one, which is the one which I purchased and which starts with a flex 110 and which can be increased to up 130, depending upon the inserts mentioned previously.

Or you can choose what I would refer to as their more sporty boot. This has a stiffer shell and starts with a stiffness of 130. I also asked if that could also be increased, and he said yes, by another 10 points taking it to around 140.


A true 130 flex is stiff! Above that and you’re getting into race boots. I very much doubt any Strolz boot gets anywhere near a true 130 flex
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BobinCH wrote:
eddiesteadygo wrote:
Strolz do two main types of ski boot - the more comfortable one, which is the one which I purchased and which starts with a flex 110 and which can be increased to up 130, depending upon the inserts mentioned previously.

Or you can choose what I would refer to as their more sporty boot. This has a stiffer shell and starts with a stiffness of 130. I also asked if that could also be increased, and he said yes, by another 10 points taking it to around 140.


A true 130 flex is stiff! Above that and you’re getting into race boots. I very much doubt any Strolz boot gets anywhere near a true 130 flex


You might be right. I've not done any benchmarking so I'm not sure. I'm also not sure if there is a standard way of measuring stiffness to allow comparison between different boot companies. These are the figures though the guys in Strolz told me.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I went from the stiffer, ie orange, Strolz boot to Atomic boots in 130 flex. I know that flex ratings are not standardised, but the Atomic boots were far, far stiffer.

@marcs44, I actually got a similar view from a Strolz boot fitter!
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