Salomon's Custom Fit Technology

"CS" shells, now available in more models, are a quick fix for problem feet
Salomon's Custom Fit Technology

It’s an aggravating problem for any advanced skier who doesn’t happen to have the ideal foot shape. To get the performance you want, you want to go with a snug fit, especially in the crucial ankle-heel areas. But too often, that snug heel pocket comes with a commensurately narrow forefoot. That’s no problem if you’re used to employing the services of a bootfitter, but bootfitting takes time and costs money.Salomon’s CS shell technology gives you a simpler solution, and now it’s available in multiple models throughout the line, so you don’t have to be a full-on expert to get it.

Salomon builds a panel of special plastic called Kaprolene into the shell along the outside of the forefoot—the fifth metatarsal zone. It becomes pliable when heated, then retains its remolded shape as it cools. Any shop employee can handle the process, and it’s quick. You just heat it up (boiling water, heat gun or special oven), step in, buckle up, and give it a couple minutes to stretch and cool. Presto: a customized shell fit that combines comfort and performance.

Salomon introduced the concept in high-end boots last year, but it’s been so successful, now it’s available in 10 models, from race-ready rippers like the Falcon CS Pro ($950, 120 flex) to comfort cruisers like the Impact 8 CS for men ($695, 100 flex) and the Idol 8 CS for women ($695, 80 flex).


Master bootfitter and SKI Tester Bob Gleason making someone's boots better.

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2011 Salomon Instinct CS

Salomon Instinct CS (2011)

Up against stouter constructions in the category, the Instinct, with its compact fit, women-friendly cuff and 90 flex, held its own. Slender feet will find the 98-mm forefoot width plenty quick. For wider feet, the Custom Shell feature—expandable panels along the outside of the foot—allows the shop to add up to 6 mm more forefoot room. It’s a satisfyingly responsive performer.

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Salomon Ghost CS

Salomon Ghost CS (2011)

The two-buckle design isn’t just cool-looking. It also gets the job done in terms of closure. The snug fit of the lower shell provides good leverage over the edge; a more relaxed cuff lacks little for lateral quickness. The 130-rated flex feels more like 120, but it’s still plenty powerful. The Ghost is a big-mountain ripper that’ll drive the widest skis with ease.