Rossignol Boots 2001-02
Rossi’s gone Soft and is making no apologies.
There’s no reason skiers should have to endure pain to get performance, Rossignol says, and the company’s innovative new design is proof. The new Soft boot takes Cockpit technology to a new level. The Cockpit frame, now incorporating an elastomer flex-management device on its spine, handles all the support duties with its rigid sole, spine, and lateral reinforcement. Within that skeleton of support, a “wrapping structure” of cushy leather and/or textiles is bonded securely to the frame with a special closed-cell foam that yields its own insulative and dampening properties without adding any slop. Inside the wrapping structure is a traditional innerboot. The result is the kind of warmth and comfort once reserved for soft-boot snowboarders. Even the buckles are affixed to textile straps, so there’s virtually no rigid material over the instep or in front of the ankle and shin. And the top buckle integrates a 360-degree power strap, accommodating all calf sizes. So it’s engineered to be comfortable, obviously, but strictly a low-end offering for social skiers, right?
Actually, Rossi insists there’s enough support to keep all but racers and the most aggressive experts happy. From the outset, designers worked with the stipulation that any boot bearing the Rossi trademark had to perform well. The key is the elastomer flex-management component, trapped between ledges on the upper and lower shell, where it compresses during flexion. “There’s no plastic deformation, so it’s incredibly smooth and progressive and free-flexing,” says product manager George Couperthwait. Who is it ultimately for? “Because it’s cutting-edge, it will appeal to a wide range of skiers-basically anyone whose feet have ever been cold or uncomfortable in traditional ski boots.”
Still molded close to the foot, the Cockpit employed in the Freeride series is slightly softer-flexing than the Race boots and a bit roomier-but still powerful in a tight situation on the backside of the mountain.
Modified: Freeride XXX, Freeride XX, Freeride X/L.
Two new models combine the support of Rossi’s Cockpit frame with a soft inner wrapping structure that yields all the comfort of a hiking boot. The Soft 1 gets a leather wrapping structure and features adjustable shaft-alignment; the Soft 2 wrapping structure is made of synthetic material. Inside the wrapping structure of both boots is a conventional innerboot.
New: Soft 1/L, Soft 2/L.
Returning largely unchanged, the Race boots are still Rossi’s ultimate performance vehicles. They employ co-molding, using hard plastic to form a power-frame Cockpit and softer plastics for precise wrapping and fit. In the Race series, the Cockpit is molded close to the foot for maximum responsiveness.
Modified: Race 1 Pro, Race 1, Race 2/L, Race 3/L.
Rossi keeps the Cockpit close to the foot, but softens up forward flex considerably for a boot designed to stay primarily on trail. All the lateral power transmission is still there, making it quick to the edge for today’s shapes. Modified: Carve ZX, Carve Z/L. Salto/Saphir Series Roomy, abundantly padded, and easy to flex, the Salto (Saphir is the women’s version) makes an amiable companion for skilled by not aggressive intermediates and low experts. The Cockpit has been moved away from the foot, which leaves room for a more forgiving feel and greater comfort.
Modified:Salto/Safir STX, Salto/Saphir SX, Salto/Saphir X.