Yes, you read that title correctly! During the late 60s and early 70s, NASA was in the early stages of developing the modern spacesuit. During this process, they ran into a big issue with the design in that the heating, cooling and electrical lines that ran throughout the suits, which powered the suit and kept the astronaut alive. These lines would kink, crease and crimp when the astronauts would walk and flex their arms, therefore cutting off electricity.
Al Gross with Dixie Rinehart ultimately came up with a solution to include articulating hinges with ribs that allowed a natural flex in the astronaut’s ankles, knees, and elbows; preserving the shape and functionality around the joint. Think of these hinges acting like a bendy straw. They can bend and maneuver, without compromising the performance of the straw.
When Gross and Rinehart eventually left NASA, they knew they were onto something with their ribbed design. When they found employment with a small company in Aspen known as Comfort Products, headed up by former racer Eric Giese. At Comfort Products, Al Gross applied his knowledge of space-age technology to skiing.
Do these ‘ribs’ that allow a natural flex sound familiar at all yet? Try looking at the tongue of your Full Tilt Boots! Al Gross was able to take the ribbed design they used on NASA spacesuits and transform the design into a fully functioning ski boot.
The 3 Piece Boot Is Born
With a ribbed tongue, a ski boot has the ability to bend and flex without compromising performance or causing any distortion in the boot (think of the bendy straw example). Armed with this new revolutionary design, Al Gross, Dixie Rinehart, and Eric Giese paved the way for the 3-piece boot to be created and ultimately made history in the world of skiing.
If you didn’t know already, Full Tilt Boots are created with a simplistic 3-piece design. In short, our boots are comprised of three elements:
The Lower Shell
The Upper Cuff
Without the tongue, any Full Tilt Boot can flex freely, without any resistance. This is where your flex comes into play. All Full Tilt tongues feature a ribbed design, making for a more efficient and naturally flexing boot. There is no distortion or bottoming out, along with no shin bang.
Perhaps the greatest thing about this 3-piece design is how you can change the tongue, or change the flex. Depending on your skiing abilities, you can put on a softer tongue for more flexibility, or a stiffer tongue for a more aggressive skiing style. You can even change your flex based on the current skiing conditions.
Change Your Flex
Changing your flex is easy and can be done in seconds. Simply unbuckle the boot and open the tongue up all the way. You will see a little hinge holding the tongue in place, simply pry this hinge open and slide the tongue out of boot. Grab your new tongue and insert it into the boot in the same fashion.
Skip to 1:25 to get a tutorial on changing your tongue
Ski boots are quite possibly the most complex, high tech piece of footwear that you’ll ever own. They perform a vital job day in and day out on the mountain. From connecting you to your skis, to keeping your feet warm and dry, to allowing you to rip groomers, moguls, park, and pow, your boots are a very important piece of equipment. That’s why it is imperative your boots fit properly.
Comfort Is Performance
It’s no secret that Full Tilt Boots are known for their comfort. They are the easiest boots to get in and out of on the market. But, there are more factors than comfort to take note of when trying on your boots.
Your bootsshould feel extremely snug when you first try them on. In fact, you should feel your toes touching the end of the boot. This may seem counterintuitive, but the more snug your boot feels, the more control you will have on your skis. Not to mention, when you are leaning forward in your ski stance, you toes will slide back from the front of the boot, relieving that pressure feeling.
Take note of the width of the boots. Ski boots come in different lasts (widths) to account for the different foot shapes of skiers. Do you know if you have a wide or narrow foot? In the case of Full Tilt you can get a boot with a 102mm last or a 99mm last. If you don’t know whether your foot is classified as wide or narrow we recommend trying on one boot for each last and determining which feels better.
You don’t want to be ‘swimming’ in your boots. This is a slight re-iteration on the first point, but that’s how important it is to ensure your ski boots are not too big. If you can feel empty space in your boots, then they are too big. They may feel comfortable when you first try them on, but that will change once you start skiing. When you have room to move in your boots, you will have less control of your skis, and your feet will slide around thus causing you more pain than if you had a snug, secure fit.
Perform a shell fit. Remove the liner from the shell of the boot. Step into the shell and slide your foot all the way forward until your toes are touching the end of the shell. Now test how much space you have between the shell and your heel. For this, you can use the finger test. If you have more than 2 fingers worth of space between your heel and the shell, the boot is too big. If you have a 1-2 fingers width of space between the shell and your heel then the boot is a good size. Now perform the same test on the side of the boot, on both sides of your ankle to determine if the width is right for you.
Ensure you are in the right flex. Finally, you want to determine if you are in the right flex for your style of skiing. If you are a casual skier, you may want a softer flex. If you are an expert, hard charging skier, a stiffer flex is for you. Ensure you have the flexibility you need in the boot, and remember you can always purchase aftermarket tongues for your Full Tilt Boots.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when finding the right ski boot. It is also important to note that over time, your boot’s liner will wear down thus giving the boot a slightly bigger feel. Just another reason to ensure you are getting a boot that is snug and secure on your foot, and not too big.
So check out all of the Full Tilt Boots that we have to offer, and don’t forget to go to your local boot-fitter to ensure you are getting the best-fitting boot you can.
Shin Bang. The dreaded pain that all skiers fear. Whether you’re new to skiing, or you’ve been doing it for years, sooner or later, you’ll experience the feeling of shin bang. Many people tend to think it occurs from one’s shin simply ‘banging’ against the front of the boot, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that.
Causes of Shin Bang
It all comes down to the size and fit of your boot, and your typical skiing style.
Let’s start with the obvious. Your ski boot is too big. If you have too much room to breathe in your boot, then it’s pretty obvious that your foot and shin will be moving around while skiing. Instead of having a ‘roomy’ feel, you want your ski boot to be as snug as possible. Many professional skiers will actually size down from their typical shoe size in a ski boot in order to increase control and limit the possibility of shin bang. Not saying you have to be like a professional skier, but a tight boot is the way to go.
You’re skiing and/or landing backseat. This is where the mis-conception that shin bang relates to purely from ‘banging your shin’ stems from. Rather, when you consistently ski or land in the back-seat position, you are actually causing a great deal of stress on your shins. Instead of banging and bruising them, you are tearing little tissues and muscles within your shin, similar to that of shin splints.
Your boot is the wrong flex. Flex, of course, relates to how stiff your boots is. In the case of Full Tilt, flex numbers can range from 4-12, with 4 being soft and 12 being stiff. While with many other companies you may see flex’s ranging from 80-130. In simple terms, if you are relatively small and lightweight, you should not be in a stiff boot as this will cause less mobility and therefore strain your shin. However, if you are a heavier, aggressive skier, you shouldn’t be in a soft boot, as too much maneuverability will onset shin bang as well. In order to find your perfect flex we suggest talking to your local skip shop and getting properly boot-fitted.
Your liner is worn out. Overtime, your boot’s liner will become ‘packed out.’ In other words, the comfy foam that your liner once had, will dissipate overtime and there make the boot more spacious and less padded.
Preventing Shin Bang
Shin bang can make or break a day on the hill. Don’t let it stop you from getting after it. Make sure you have a boot that fits properly. Nice and snug, not loose like your shoes might be. Make sure you’re skiing in the proper stance, and if you can’t stop landing backseat then work on strengthening your legs. The stronger your legs are, the less likely you are to land backseat!
The lifts have stopped spinning. The snow has melted. The ski season has officially ended. We know, it’s pretty sad. But, just because the ski season is over doesn’t mean you should neglect on properly taking care of your gear during the off-season. Check out these few tips to ensure you are extending the longevity of your Full Tilt Boots.
Wash Your Shells and Liners
For the sake of your mom, dog, and everyone else in your house, you should definitely be washing your shells and liners after every ski season. Using warm water, anti-bacterial soap, and a soft cloth, wipe down the inside and outside of your shells.
With your liners, give them a good rinse with a mixture of hot water and anti-bacterial soap. After rinsing, wipe them with a soft cloth just like you did with the shells. We strongly recommend NOT throwing them in a washing machine- the last thing you want is your liners to rip!
After washing, set out both the shells and liners to air dry- no rush right? You’ve got all summer… Avoid throwing your liners in the dryer as you don’t want the hot temperatures to mess with the mold.
Check Your Buckles and Heels
Are your buckles and heels in good shape after a year of wear and tear? If you spent a lot of your winter walking to and from a parking lot, chances are your heels are pretty beat up. It’s not a bad idea to replace your heels each year to ensure proper safety and bindings release mechanics.
Buckle Em’ Up
You want to keep your boots contracted so that the liners stay form fitting and don’t loosen too much over the summer. So buckle them up, store them in a comfortable, room temperature setting, and continue counting down the days until the chair lifts start spinning again.
It’s that time of year again. The snow is melting (or is already gone) and you might be getting those ‘post ski season blues.’ We know the feeling all too well. Instead of moping over the fact that winter does start again for 208 (gulp) days, get stoked on skiing by checking out some noteworthy highlights on how your favorite athletes performed this season on their Full Tilt Boots.
Henrik Harlaut takes home the Bronze at Dew Tour Breckenridge on his B&E boots.
X Games Aspen
Mathilde Gremaud wins Gold in Women’s Big Air on the Soul Sister
Maggie Voison takes home Bronze in Women’s Slopestyle on the Soul Sister
Our Full Tilt team riders were killing it all season long. From crushing the competition circuit, to putting out banger content, it’s pretty easy to see that the best skiers in the world ride full tilt boots. Be like your favorite pro and find the Full Tilt Boot that is right for you.
It is no secret that Full Tilt Boots are used all over the world by freestyle skiers alike. Whether it’s training bumps, hot lapping the park, or getting after chutes and steeps, the best skiers in the world know they can rely on their Full Tilt Boots to progress their skiing, and most importantly, keep their feet comfy while they’re at it.
We’ve reached the time of year where the snow starts to melt (or has already melted), and the slush and corn prevails. So, whether you’re looking to get after some final spring time laps, update your kit for the summer shred, or find some killer deals at your local shop, make sure you’re gearing up with the Full Tilt Boot that is right for you
It can be a sad time of year for us skiers. Temperatures are warming up, the snow is melting, and some chairlifts have stopped spinning. But it’s no time to be sad, instead get stoked for next winter by checking out the new boots Full Tilt has in store for the 2020 ski season.
We’re coming out with new boots, revamped boots, new graphic designs, and even the addition of Aprés Booties. But in the meantime, check out some our our new offerings below!
Full Tilt 2020 Ascendant
The raved about Full Tilt Ascendant is back and remains unchanged for the 2020 season with the exception of a fresh new paint job. With tech inserts, a removable tongue that opens up a massive range of motion, and the tried-and-true Full Tilt fit and performance you deserve, The Ascendant doesn’t compromise.
Full Tilt 2020 Descendant 8
The Full Tilt Descendant 8 is a prime example of comfort meeting performance. A 102mm last, 8 flex tongue, gripwalk outsoles, a walk mode, and a 100% intuition wrap liner. Charge hard on and off of the mountain with the Descendant 8.
Full Tilt 2020 Drop Kick Pro
With a fully customizable Pro Liner, and the engaging, precise Full Tilt Original Shell, the Full Tilt Drop Kick is the boot of choice for Olympic freestyle skiers. With a reliable 6 flex tongue decked out in Oxblood Red you’re sure to turn some heads in these.
Before you know it these boots will be hitting the shelves at your local Full Tilt Dealer. So don’t be sad that the ski season is coming to a close. Be stoked that you can grab a pair of new Full Tilts and get after it next season!