Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

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JfSki
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Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby JfSki » Tue May 03, 2016 7:35 pm

Hello,

I am starting to do classic roller ski.
I am doing it on flat asphalt with speed reducers for interval training with double poling, kick double pole and diagonal stride.
I am a good skier on snow.

After a few hours with my winter boots (~2008 Salomon racing no carbon), I find that my heels are too often off to the side of the ski during diagonal stride.
I never have this problem on snow even though my boots are old and less stiff. It seems to me that torsional stiffness is more important in roller skiing than on snow due to the lack of guiding tracks. Most likely the biggest driver is my lack of rollerski technique, but still I wanted to see if stiffer boots could help. I was considering buying new stiffer carbon winter boots, but then I saw that there was roller ski specific boots.
Therefore I started investigating roller ski specific classic boots. Unfortunately, I cannot try them. I can only order them from the Web.

Does anyone has experience with roller ski specific classic boots ?
Are the roller ski specific classic boots more torsionally stiff than the snowski ones ?

I have seen on the Web the following models:
Alpina: http://www.alpinasports.com/product/ecl_summer_2_0/511
Alpina: http://www.alpinasports.com/product/acl_summer/514
FIscher: https://www.fischersports.com/us_en/rcs-roller-classic
Botas: http://www.botas.cz/Produkt/LB45291-7-401/classic-roller-sns/70#.VylOTqsgHv8

Thank You

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Magnus Johansson
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby Magnus Johansson » Wed May 04, 2016 1:59 am

Hello!

JfSki wrote:It seems to me that torsional stiffness is more important in roller skiing than on snow due to the lack of guiding tracks.

Yes, classic roller skiing should really be performed in tracks. On a hard and even surface the skating technique is the natural one. However, I do not know of any attempts building roller ski tracks. Roller skiing in tracks would likely need a new type of roller ski.

JfSki wrote:Does anyone has experience with roller ski specific classic boots ? Are the roller ski specific classic boots more torsionally stiff than the snowski ones ?

I use roller ski specific combi boots (Alpina Sport Combi Summer) when classic roller skiing and I find their ankle support advantageous. I don't believe classic roller ski boots are torsionally stiffer than classic snow ski boots.

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skiffrace
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby skiffrace » Thu May 05, 2016 9:07 am

People are divided into those who are naturally "pigeon-toed" (fingers of their feet point straight forward, like a pigeon) and "duck-footed" (fingers point sideways, like a duck)
Most of us are in the second category. So, it is natural that our feet want to turn sideways, whether on snow skis or rollerskis.
Perhaps increasing the stiffness of the boot may not help. Consider that the boot is attached to the ski only in 1 small place, and if your feet want to twist sideways, it will happen no matter how stiff the boot is.
How about comparing how wide your feet are when snow-skiing on the track vs. rollerskiing. Chances are your feet are further apart when rollerskiing - this seems to be typical for rollerski beginners. If that's the case, then it might cause your heel-off problem. Also, do your rollerskis track straight? If not, it may be another problem.

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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby Magnus Johansson » Thu May 05, 2016 10:20 am

skiffrace wrote:People are divided into those who are naturally "pigeon-toed" (fingers of their feet point straight forward, like a pigeon) and "duck-footed" (fingers point sideways, like a duck)

That categorization is new to me. Where can one learn more about it?

"Fingers of their feet"? Do you mean toes?

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skiffrace
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby skiffrace » Thu May 05, 2016 10:47 am

That categorization is new to me. Where can one learn more about it?

Google "pigeon toed vs duck footed"
Here is one of the articles:
http://www.footdoc.ca/www.FootDoc.ca/We ... lities.htm

"Fingers of their feet"? Do you mean toes?

Me English many more bad than yours, sorry :shock:

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Magnus Johansson
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby Magnus Johansson » Thu May 05, 2016 11:07 am

skiffrace wrote:Here is one of the articles:
http://www.footdoc.ca/www.FootDoc.ca/We ... lities.htm

Thanks. However, those are abnormalities and not categories that healthy people belong to.

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skiffrace
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby skiffrace » Thu May 05, 2016 11:12 am

Thanks. However, those are abnormalities and not categories that healthy people belong to.

Correct. However, when you stand upright, with your feet at their natural position, do the toes point straight ahead, or slightly to the sides? How about when you walk, run? I, and most people I know, have their toes a bit sideways in these situations.

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Magnus Johansson
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby Magnus Johansson » Thu May 05, 2016 11:47 am

skiffrace wrote:Correct. However, when you stand upright, with your feet at their natural position, do the toes point straight ahead, or slightly to the sides? How about when you walk, run? I, and most people I know, have their toes a bit sideways in these situations.

But isn't that normal or within normal deviation? Being "duck toed" or "duck footed" is an abnormality. Do you believe JfSki has that abnormality?

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skiffrace
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby skiffrace » Thu May 05, 2016 11:48 am

Do you believe JfSki has that abnormality?

Most likely not. I suspect what he sees is "normal" for someone who starts with rollerskiing.

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Magnus Johansson
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby Magnus Johansson » Thu May 05, 2016 12:03 pm

skiffrace wrote:Most likely not. I suspect what he sees is "normal" for someone who starts with rollerskiing.

I do not think it is normal; especially not for a good skier. I think JfSki should check his or her equipment, like you suggested earlier. Do the roller skis run in a straight line? Are bindings and boots functioning properly?

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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby JfSki » Sun May 15, 2016 7:47 am

Thank You Magnus and skiffrace for your replies.
Sorry for my late reply. I was relying on the forum's email notification, but I did not get any email notification.

I was finally able to try four pair of boots by walking with them indoors inside a ski shop (not on roller skis):
Fischer RCS carbonlite classic: https://www.fischersports.com/us_en/rcs-carbonlite-classic
Fischer RCS roller classic: https://www.fischersports.com/us_en/rcs-roller-classic
Fischer RCS roller combi: https://www.fischersports.com/us_en/rc-roller-combi
Salomon S-Lab classic: http://www.salomon.com/cafr/product/s-lab-classic-1.html?article=377498

For reference my feet are 44, rather narrow and duck type (normal and no medical adjustement needed).

My impressions were:

- Analyzing Fischer's web site, it seemed to me that the Fischer RCS roller classic is the equivalent of the Fischer RCS carbonlite classic (their top of the line). I could not feel differences in flex, torsional stifness and fit between both boots. I found only two minor differences: the lack of thermal insulation and perhaps a thinner toe box by design allowed better control for the roller model. For me one important aspect of controlling a classic roller ski is directional control: lifting the front wheel and steer using the aft wheel as a pivot point. The second minor difference is that the laces of the roller model put less pressure on the forward tendon at the junction of the foot and leg (tibialis anterior). For me the roller model was promising better control than the winter model, but not by a lot though.

- The Fischer RCS roller combi was roomier inside both laterally and vertically in the toe box than both Fischer classic models. The sole was also stiffer. The ankle support seemed to me that it could prevent the ski to roll down on its side, for begginners perhaps. But the extra room inside kept me thinking the Fishcer calssical roller model would offer better control despite the less stiff sole.

- The Salomon S-Lab classic seemed to me to have the stiffest sole. However its thicker thermal insulation led to greater feet movement inside the boot both laterally and vertically in the toe box when compared to the Fischer classical models, but not to the Fischer roller combi.

Therefore I bought the Fischer RCS roller classic because they were promising the best control.
I tested them yesterday for the first time on roller skis (SkiGo classic carbon 780 mm, standard wheels #2).
I did 1 hour double polling intervals with some kick double pole. I am not able yet to safely do diagonal stride.
The boots behaved as anticipated. I had the impression to have bought the best of all four boots for control. I could not find negative points.

Maybe my sentence in my first post was not clear enough: "... I find that my heels are too often off to the side of the ski during diagonal stride". I meant by that is my old Salomon boots lost so much stiffeness that they were able to twist and flex so that the heel of my boot could get aside the ski while the toe of the boot was still on the ski. This was happenning during the recovery of the kicking leg when the ski was erroneoulsy deviating inside (I am a begginer on roller skis). Based on my roller ski test, I don't believe that any of the four boots would allow this to happen. I think my old Salomons were just too old and soft.

Thank You.

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Magnus Johansson
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Re: Classic roller ski specific boots vs snow boots

Postby Magnus Johansson » Sun May 15, 2016 1:07 pm

You're welcome, JfSki, and thanks for your detailed review. Nice to see that you found and purchased good gear.


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