2016 Lange Ski Boots: Product Line Overview // Ski Reviews
If you follow our blog or have recently shopped our ski boot selection, chances are you know we just added a whole bunch of 2016 boots to our inventory. A couple weeks ago we took a closer look at our selection from Salomon and went over some key technologies, in what models they’re used, and for what type of skiers they’re best suited. This week we’re going to dive into another important ski boot brand, and another from which we have new inventory, Lange.
If you’ve never heard of Lange, you’ve probably never been skiing. Or at least you’ve never looked at someone’s ski boots. Lange has been a leader in the ski boot world for over 60 years and has innovated and led the charge on tons of technology and progress in their industry. Starting with Bob Lange’s first attempts at a plastic ski boot in 1948 Lange has always been on the forefront of boot development and is credited with the first consumer plastic ski boot in 1962. Since then they’ve become a household name in the ski industry and one that is synonymous with precision and performance with their brand earning an impressive amount of World Cup and Olympic titles.
Today, when most people think of Lange boots, they think of their race shells, also known as the RS series. The blue Langes have become a staple of the ski world and chances are someone in your ski group has a pair. In recent years, however, Lange has introduced a much more diverse line of boots and we’re going to take some time to look at each model that we have available here at SkiEssentials.
First of all, we don’t want to take anything away from the RS series so that’s where we’re going to start. Also, most of Lange’s boots borrow some design elements or technology from their race boots, so it’s an important segment to become familiar with. Lange’s RS boots have become famous for their race-inspired fit, neutral stance, and efficient, precise power transfer. There’s a reason you see so many Lange boots on top of World Cup podiums, they’re extremely well engineered. These days the RS series encompasses a huge range of boots in different widths, flex ratings, and cuff heights. The normal RS boot is 97mm wide, while the RS “Wide” versions are 100mm, and the top of the line World Cup plug boots are 92mm (not available on SkiEssentials.com and we wouldn’t recommend purchasing a WC plug boot without first visiting a boot fitter). If you see “SC” in the name of the boot it means it has a short cuff, best suited for younger skiers, women, and some shorter men. Then you have a big range of flex ratings from 70 all the way up through 150 flex WC boots. What this means is if you want a performance oriented boot that’s fantastic at putting the power down on groomers, Lange has a boot for you no matter your size, ability level, or level of aggressiveness.
Next up we have the Lange RX line. You’ll see a bit of a trend as we go through each Lange model in this article with them becoming more forgiving and targeting different terrain and skiers. If you put a RS and a RX next to each other you’re going to notice a lot of similarities, and that’s because the RX uses a lot of the same design elements as the RS, but put together in a package that’s better suited for all mountain skiers. Where the RS uses non-replaceable plastic race soles, the RX uses replaceable rubber soles. That alone is a nod towards the differences in the boots. They also use slightly more comfortable liners and are designed to enhance circulation to help your toes stay warm. Just like the RS, the RX is available in different widths. Contrary to the RS, the normal RX boot is 100mm wide, while the RX LV (stands for low volume) is 97mm. There’s also a wide range of flex ratings. Here at SkiEssentials we have the RX ranging from 80 to 130 flex ratings. These are great boots for a lot of skiers. They perform really well on groomed snow as they share the same technologies as Lange’s race boots, but allow you to more comfortably ski other terrain like moguls, trees, and powder. They’ve become a favorite among all mountain skiers from intermediates all the way up through seasoned pros.
The next Lange line is the SX series, which is relatively new. Skiers with wide feet rejoiced over the introduction of the SX series, as Lange increased the forefoot width to 102mm. Very often when a ski boot company makes a wider boot they lose some precision in the fit and ultimately hurt skiing performance. Lange has done a fantastic job with the SX series by keeping really good heel retention, something that Lange has become known for, while building in a more forgiving forefoot section. SkiEssentials has the SX available in both a 100 and 120 flex rating. They’re great all mountain boots for those with wider feet or those who just want a wider, more comfortable ski boot. Again, if you put a RS, RX, and SX next to each other, they all look relatively similar. The SX essentially delivers the same high performance Lange feel, but is now available in a boot that won’t have to be grinded and stretched to oblivion to fit a wider foot.
The last boot we’re going to take a look at is the XT. The XT is Lange’s touring boot line and was introduced to meet demand from skiers who use touring bindings and skins to access backcountry terrain. Once again, Lange has used the same overall design elements that give their boots such high performance, but has integrated touring features. Their patented Power V-Lock system uses a metal on metal locking mechanism that ensures when you’re in ski mode you’re getting proper power transfer. After all, it’s still a Lange, and they wouldn’t put their name on something that doesn’t have precision performance. The boots also use the new WTR rockered soles that will work with both Alpine DIN bindings and touring systems. They also make walking exceptionally easier than a typical ski boot. Go walk around the resort in a RS 130 then do it in a XT 130 and you’ll know what we mean.
Now you have a good sense of the overall feel of the Lange ski boot line. Essentially when you go through the RS, RX, SX, and XT lines you’re carrying over a lot of design and performance elements, but giving them small tweaks and features that make them more appropriate for either certain foot shapes or certain applications. Ski boot shopping can be a confusing process, so never hesitate to give our customer service team a call if you have questions about particular models. If you order boots from SkiEssentials.com and need custom work done, Lange’s website lists a number of certified boot fitters all over the world that will be able to help. Lange has become, however, known for their “out-of-the-box” fit, so as long as you’re getting the right boot there’s a good chance you’ll be headed to the slopes without needing any custom work done.