It's a fact of life. Most ski boots hurt. the techniques associated with alpine skiing require a stiff, tight-fitting shell, which supports fast, carved turns on steep terrain. Those that don't like it have two choices: switch to snowboarding or try one of the new soft ski boots that resemble snowboarding boots.
The Stiff Boot Dilemma
Skiers that can stand like an expert skier can probably ski like one, says ski caoch Lito Tejada Flores, who authored "Breakthrough On Skis." On his website, Flores sheds light on the issue that keeps skiers from assuming an an athletic stance. He asserts that stiff ski boots prevent most skiers from developing the ankle flexion required for expert skiing. As the average skier tries to flex her ankles forward, the stiff ski boot pushes back, causing pain and discomfort. Pain inspires skiers to keep their weight on the heels. This type of backseat alignment causes skier to initiate their turns from their ski tails. Carving and directional control are almost impossible from this position.
Rossignol Soft Boots
Rossignol was the first company to create a snowboard-inspired soft boot design. The Rossignol Soft Light substitutes a softer synthetic leather material for the plastic usually located in the boot tongue area. This change eases ankle flexion, and offers a much appreciated farewell to the dreaded shin bang associated with traditional ski boots. Its two microadjustable buckles, its power strap and fiber laces work in concert to create a perfect fit.
Best For Ski-boaders
Ski-boards are the "mini me" of alpine skis. Traditional, heavy ski boots may overpower these boards, but the Kneissl Rail Ski Boots offer a suitable option. The Kneissl Rails, with their two straps, resemble a pair of snowboard boots. The boot has a snowboard-inspired lace-up liner and a soft outer shell.
Soft Boot Splurge
While ski technology continues to flourish, ski boot technology moves at a snail's pace, says Denny Hansen, who created the Apex ski boot. He started with a walking boot and added snowboard-inspired lacing system and a carbon calf cuff for edge control. These boots also have a carbon chassis, which attaches to the boot soles and remains in the binding when the skis are not in use. In other words, when you go to lunch, remove your skis, leave the chassis in the binding and experience the easy walking ability enjoyed by snowboarders. All this luxury comes with a price. As of January, 2011, the Apex boots cost $1,295.