I'm used to Garmont Ventures which have a traditional sizing/feel and these were totally different. The duckbill is inflexible and the midfoot flex is super soft. So your foot takes all the bend rather than balancing between the foot and duckbill, which was all wrong for me. Plus they fit so tight you can only really wear like a thin athletic type sock, otherwise the toe section crushes you toes. Trust me pressure on top of your toes is not a good idea from a biomechanics standpoint for backcountry skiing into middle age. The cuff and strapping system seems to work pretty well, but it's hard to trust for durability. I even cut the duckbill on mine almost in half to make the front end more flexible, which makes the flex balance *almost* tolerable.
After buying these, I scoured the earth and found another pair of garmont ventures in my size in an outdoor store in state college, PA. I also went for aggressive rehab, gluing together my old pair with shoe goo and nylon patches. This response says something doesn't it :-(
Do the designers of this stuff, use this stuff or evaluate the current best in class? Seems not.
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