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When will rear-entry boots return?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Whose boots are these last seen at the at the Chalet d' Arc and describe by easiski as a pair of floppy wellies

SX91
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
easiski, YESSS so they do. On a bunch of skiers who really should know better!!! (SX92s as it happens, mostly Equipes).
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easiski, I watched the film and brought the boots.....
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Obly time I ever wore rear entry boots (ok - hire) they made my shins bleed copiously Crying or Very sad
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Question to David Goldsmith then,

Are you latest top entry boots significantly better than your old rear entry Salomons ?
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My Old Nordica rear entry slippers Very Happy . Loved them they did disintegrate about four years ago, mind you there was a lot of dancing done in them and a bit of skiing wink

Bring them back
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I hope these monstrosities never return! Well, at least i won't wear them if they do. Just like any boot, if the fitted you they might have been OK but theyw ere totally wrong for me an they held my skiing back. I got rid of my SX92's for a pair of Lange Tii's with full race foam and I think that was the beginning of my "breakthrough". (Breaking through the barrier of being terrified on red slopes to being terrified everywhere wink )

I have gone in completely the other direction with a true front entry boot,. which most know as the Raichle. I managed to get a new pair a year ago before whoever make them now went bust. The best high peformance boot for those with narrow feet and nearly as old as the rear entry.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Its an interesting question. I wonder why they disappeared comletely - they were great "beginners" boots. I used them for years ( to the detriment of my skiing) - but they were a fashion item like so many other things in skiing ( limited use idea "marketed" to the general skiing population). They are too vague and your foot is too disconected from the shell to ski seriously in, but like I said, for someone starting out they are much easier..
Just out of interest I thought back through the daft things I have seen since a snowy staurday in january 1979 at Glenshee when I started all this nonsense.

1.With long ( 2m plus) beginners skiis , there was a plastic hoop type attatchment available to fit to the front of your skii to prevent the tips crossing - can't remember what they were called ? Anyone else remember these?
2. Compact skiis - unlike todays skiis that are short and curvy, these were short and straight and allowed you to skid turns to your hearts desire and think you were a great skier. By way of comparison mine were 165cm long ( that was really short in 1980!).
3. Rear entry boots - see above
4.Ski poles with a forward kink in them?? What was all that about ?? Another piece of fashion nonsense.
5. The one piece suit - some practical problems , but the "Event" originals of the early 80's were just the coolest of things to be seen in - possibly killed by that other great clothing crime ...
6 Dayglo skii clothing, aside from a hard core German contingent - this really couldn't die off quick enough ( and yes I did have an elho hat and shell Shocked rolling eyes )
7. Goggles with fans - great until the battry died in cold.
8. Skiis with "anti vibration damping" mechanisms in the tips - a mid 80's piece of techno jobby from dynastar - did these ever work? Not when I saw anyone using them ( several friends were hoodwinked into buying these )

God the list goes on - what is it in skiers genes that causes us to listen to the snaek oil salesmen and buy the next bit of techno rubbish ???? Puzzled
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stevepick, 8. I don't know if they did anything useful, but the little lead weight inside the red bobble accumulated rather a lot of energy. Early models werren't as strong as they needed to be and at least one chum was slightly surprised halfway down a slalom to find the front of his ski de-constructing and the top red bit with lead inside shooting past his ear at dangerously high speed.
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My first boots were rear entry, made by an outfit with an Italian name - Giorgio? - £40 in a sale in Kingussie (or thereabouts). They were very, very comfortable. Although they were rather soft beginners boots, I wore them for years and years, and only replaced them because I would worried that they'd break up the top of the mountain. When I did, I was astonished how much more control I had from the new boots (presumably because they were harder, not because they were mid entry).

Although mine were comfortable, it seems to me that with so much more adjustment available to mid entry boots, because of the number of buckles (my rear entries had 1), mid entries should be more comfortable. Doesn't seem that it necessarily works like that, 'though.

stevepick, your 4. I assume that these are for racers, so that in the tuck, the poles tuck in behind the body, instead of sticking out and causing the racer to grind to a halt because of the increased air resistance.

Your 8. Loads of skis claim anti vibration construction these days. It's always struck me as very impressive how the ski industry can charge absurd amounts of money for what is basically a strip of kitchen work top.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 17-01-06 17:15; edited 1 time in total
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They can't come back quick enough for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd like the next generation of skiers to suffer like the rest us, who had to learn on long straight skis and horribly inflexible (in every regard) rear entry boots. Comfortable boots skis that ski themselves, when I were a lad.............

As an aside, having to go through the scrum that passes for a ski fit when I take part in school trips, it would be great to have a choice limited to rental rear entry boots only, I might even keep the skin on my knuckles, as I have to persuade 40+ kids into alien boots.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
stevepick, Your No 4 - the kinks were so you could have longer poles and plant them further down the hill (AFAIK) - I always found them heavy. Dynastar Course gold SL, now that was a brilliant ski ............ nearly as good as my Rossignol Strato 102s ............... wink wink wink
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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
easiski, weren't they just a fabulous ski, I lurved mine. Oddly, I haven't got on with Dynastar ever since. The sweet spot just isn't in the right place.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
David Murdoch, Try more than one pair of the ski you test, ski to ski you should find one a little 'sweeter' than another. Seems a shame not to get along with Dynastar, graphics aside, they consistantly make high quality stuff and in my years here, we've never had a pair retuned and there are a few pairs in Chamonix. Would love to see how you get on with the 'ski-cross 11', pop by next time your in town i'll give you a pass for the Dynastar Test Centre at th G.M. makes for a fun day, Bochard to the car park in 6min? Twisted Evil
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SMALLZOOKEEPER, how does the Skicross 11 compare with last year's Skicross 10 (which I currently use)?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
SMALLZOOKEEPER, That would be most kind. Sat, January 27th will be my next excursion. Will confess have only tried one length (203, SL) each time and gave up some years ago. Always keen to try "new" stuff - although no other skis have caused my any sorts of problems at different lengths.

Is that s statement or a challenge? Can't recall the terrain so can't decide if 6 mins is reasonably fast or suicidal.
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I had a pair of SX82's years ago and yes they were a doddle to get in and out of, but I used to find that the heel retaining cable used to kill off all feeling in my feet. May they be left to rest in peace (the boots, not my feet).
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
David Murdoch wrote:
SMALLZOOKEEPER, That would be most kind. Sat, January 27th will be my next excursion. Will confess have only tried one length (203, SL) each time and gave up some years ago. Always keen to try "new" stuff - although no other skis have caused my any sorts of problems at different lengths.

Is that s statement or a challenge? Can't recall the terrain so can't decide if 6 mins is reasonably fast or suicidal.


They reckon 7-8mins for an seasonaire, however on days at the test centre you push the skis hard. 6mins is pretty good however couldn't extend for the last few turns, ended up at the car park on my butt. Pop by before the monday as i'm away sunday night for a couple of days. Twisted Evil
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SMALLZOOKEEPER, interesting. 6mins clearly quite good though I have an aversion to ending up on my butt in any situation.

We arrive Fri eve (assuming flights go to plan) and head to Morzine Sat night so I'll endeavour to drop by Saturday morning. Can't see anyone else having an issue with GMs unless weather murky.

Cheers!
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David Murdoch, P.M. me a day before, i'll put a little goodie bag together as i don't work Saturdays. Ask for Seb', you'll enjoy talking french with him, truly bizare. Twisted Evil
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I think the main point coming out of this thread is that it's good to see there's still some innovation still happening out there. One of the things that puts people off the whole skiing thing is the fear of the boots. Better boot fitting and people being aware how important it is is helping, but not eveyone is up for a 2 hour session and the cost that a good fitting boot can involve. It would be great to see some out of the box thinking for beginners and intermediates - keep the sport as accessible as possible. From what I remember my shopping list when I started would have been:

- Some way of knowing how "tight" these damn things were supposed to be - you don't get that feel for a while.

- I could walk without looking like I'd done something childish.

- I didn't slide all over the show when walking on ice, braining myself with sharp metal objects.

- Easy on & off.

- Didn't have to adjust at the top and bottom of every run.

- Didn't weigh a tonne - especially if you're a guy with large feet.

- Can wear happily in the pub for two hours when finished skiing.

If someone got these sorted I think I would have been a happy bunny until things like feeback and flex became an issue.

.. anyway back to work...
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Never hopefully Very Happy
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
stanton,
Quote:

Never hopefully

I'm with stanton on this, Very Happy
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Rear entry boots are about as likely to return as 210cm straight skis and nevica 'fart bag' one piece suits.
Like the dinasours "rear entrys" died out for a reason...
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Scottish Ski Bum, meteorite storm?

210s are great for downhill.

One pieces are great for powder.

OK, OK, rear entry is no good for ski boots.
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Just browsing to find some longer clips for my SX90's and stumbled on your really interesting discussion.

I have used my SX90's since '82 - keep on trying the odd pair of modern boots from hire shops [when the Ryan-goons set the luggage allowance so that I have boots or clothes]. And I Hate them - for me less control and hurtier feet. The only downside of my SX90's is that the vaguely unpleasant grey colour they started has turned to a sickly greeny yellow. But they still work fine - no sign of those nasty cracks which end with you skiing in socks while the sole of your boot heads off down the piste on your ski!!!

I cannot see from an engineering view why rear entry inherently gives you less control. You are clamped to a rigid plastic shell through a layer of some sort of foam, and most of the canting that steers the ski is applied through the ankle area of the boot where the leverage is applied. The only difference for rear entry is that it is your heel and sole clamping to the plastic rather than your black toes and top of the foot.

I am sure that ski boot manufacturers could have fancy CAD models to work out the dynamics - but I suspect the actual boot designers are spotty youths out of art college whose main hit is matching the funky i-pod looks with the right colour buckles. Engineers could only be trusted to make the boot work well - which wouldn't allow them to sell a new one from the next year's production!!!

If you take my cynical view then in due course the rear-entry will return when the style gurus decide we have all got rid of the last of our old boots and a new generation won't think they are old -fashioned.. like flares and quilted jackets [they got me with that one - the kids grabbed my old quilted jacket for the snowman.. hence the management binned it.. a year later every trendy was in a quilted jacket]

As a final thought - when I learnt to ski - about '78 - do I remember skiing on 240's??? Or am I fantasising? The Itallian goon in the ski shop had me hold my hand above my head [I am 6ft 4in] to work out how long a ski to use. When I said it looked too long he pointed to a picture of the Italian ski team holding scaffold boards as an indicator of how long skiis ought to be!!

Pete
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Flip flops and fit...!!!!!! so why would you go back to that..??

Only suitable for beginners ...

A decent boot now should have performance, fit and weight as its goals so the only advantage of rear-entry might be the ease to get them on...but then if you have a
an AT boot then that is that problem solved as well. Take the liner out nightly and put it near a warm source and all sorted.

Nothing in a rear-entry boot that I know off has anything going for it whatsoever
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My god, I actually agree with David Goldsmith. If they bring back rear entry boots I'd be first in the queue. I've never really got on with the multi-clip jobbies. They take an age to put on and off and are just flippin' uncomfortable...

However, I don't agree with bringing back long skinny skis. They were fine to ski on but a bit of a hazard to carry about. They can leave one-piece suits behind in the 80s too. For some reason mountain huts always seem to situate their loos down three flights of narrow stone steps, which are hazardous enough to negotiate in ski boots. Add to that the added dimension of wriggling out of a space suit in an area the size of a broom cupboard and you have a recipe for a small 'accident'. And no, I didn't before anyone asks, but there were a couple of close calls...
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You know it makes sense.
Haha, just realised this is an ancient thread resurrected. I guess the rear-entry boot rebirth didn't happen then. Damn shame...
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Are re-entry boots for gapers? wink
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Poster: A snowHead
big-pete wrote:

I cannot see from an engineering view why rear entry inherently gives you less control. You are clamped to a rigid plastic shell through a layer of some sort of foam, and most of the canting that steers the ski is applied through the ankle area of the boot where the leverage is applied. The only difference for rear entry is that it is your heel and sole clamping to the plastic rather than your black toes and top of the foot.


No, that isn't the only difference.

It may not need to be the case, but in general it always was the case that rear entry boots did not have nearly as much adjustment of the fit over your foot.

Sure, they can clamp to your calf just as well, and even hold your heel just as well, but if the toes & instep aren't held properly, you still won't have as much control.
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big-pete, well done for reviving this thread.
Whether the aim should be the return of Rear Entry Boots or re-thinking of the contemporary 4-clip boot, it is clear that the current design is seriously flawed.
You just have to watch the morning and evening ritual of groans and grunts to see the design is rubbish.

Some may recall the early discussions about so-called "carving" skis.
Derogatory criticisms abounded. They couldn't do this and they couldn't do that, and made you do this, and so on.
But without the snowbaorder threat the complacent ski manufacturers would never have changed from the tradition narrow ski.

Racers have nothing to do with recreational skiing.
They have different skis with different edges and they ski on ice. And they wear one-piece skin-tight lycra suits.

Whether your coat does up at the front, or does up at the back, it can still be made to fit.
I am sure there is nothing magical about entering the boot from the front.
Every morning I grunt and groan into my 4-clip Head boots and dream of my previous mid-entry Nordicas.

It just needs a designer/engineer with vision remove our daily misery.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I tried them once and swore never to do so again. Just awful.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this, but my complaint was that due to them being fastened in the back, my weight was also pulled back while skiing. I had the constant sensation while skiing that I was going to be flipped onto my backside. Not good when doing an activity where you're trying to get your weight forward.
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ami in berlin wrote:
I tried them once and swore never to do so again. Just awful.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this, but my complaint was that due to them being fastened in the back, my weight was also pulled back while skiing. I had the constant sensation while skiing that I was going to be flipped onto my backside. Not good when doing an activity where you're trying to get your weight forward.


I'm not surprised nobody has mentioned it.

I am surprised you think that was anything to do with where the boots were fastened. I can't see how that makes the slightest difference to where your weight would be.

It will be the "standard" angle the boot is set to (i.e. before you put on any forward pressure), combined with the amount of flex it allows that will determine where your weight is thrown.

Of course it is also possible that for whatever reason, the ones you were using hadn't actually fastened as tightly as needed, so you weren't getting proper support to the back of your leg, which would have much the same effect.
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Quote:


Sure, they can clamp to your calf just as well, and even hold your heel just as well, but if the toes & instep aren't held properly, you still won't have as much control.


The problem with rear entry was that you could not pull the heel hold too tight as it restricted the tendon on top of the foot.
There were rear-entry designs with plates which squashed the forefoot as well as having the heel hold, but they were not as effective as buckles. So, once you put a buckle or two on the foot, you are back where you started.

I stopped using my old Salomon SX71s three or four years ago. This year I finally got some comfort out of the replacements (after two tries with different footbeds, a change to thinner socks solved the problems). So I threw the old ones away (not having worn them in the interim - just did not get round to it).
What I really miss is being able to undo one clip and walk comfortably - which IMV boils down to the design of the liner. Now that should not be beyond the wit of a good engineer.

P.S. My wife does not know it but I threw her old SX62s away when we finished our holidays this year.
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ami in berlin and beequin, you are criticising boots that were designed in the past.
That solution to rear entry (for convenience) and firm hold of the foot (for skiing) may have been flawed.
But why just give up?
Why not see if there is another solution? A different design.
I wonder if something along the lines of the Freeride Boot may be the way to go.
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I used the SX??'s for 6 years and they were sooo comfy. Then was pursuaded to try some front entry ones after everyone laughed at my boots in Uni. Someone said it earlier in the thread "night and day" and I agree in terms of how much control improved. Having said that though I've had 3 pairs of front entry booths since and all have left my feet aching after a day on the hill. But hey that's part of it and if I wanted comfy boots I'd be a snowboarder
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Maybe this is how the snowHead community can make our fortunes? There must be some engineering types on here. Couple that with the in-depth knowledge of the bootfitting professionals and a few guinea pigs (waves hand in the air), it must be possible to design ski boots that are both comfortable and supportive AND easy to put on and take off...?

I suspect the problem here is that no two feet are the same. Even the ones joined at the pelvis! There seems just as many people on this thread that would love a return to rear entry boots as those that hate them...

Oh well, back to being a lowly graphic designer then...
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Some very polarised views here. Laughing

I don't supposeits as simple as this; all those people with narrow feet loved rear entry boots because they fitted and had all the advantages listed above whilst thise with wide feet hated them because they hurt ?

I'm sure they will be resurrected at some stage because they are such a beautifully efficient design, once all the fashion nonsense is stripped away.
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Did the arrival of carver skis not to some extent make rear entry boots history, more force going through the weakest part of the boot?
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