Jan 16, 2013 by Nick Tuckwood
Ability Level: Intermediate •
Riding Style: Regular (80% All-mountain freestyle/powder 20% park) •
Days You Ride A Year: 119 last season
Hill - Fernie, BC. Early conditons/groomers followed by 160cms of storm pow in 5 days.
Niseko - Mainly powder and some park.
Started riding TM2s having previously ridden 32 Megalight and Prion.
I've always ridden 32s becuse they suit my wide feet well and for some reason the 32 "fit" is the one that feels most secure on my foot. I tried Salomon, K2, NorthWave and Nike when shopping for my latest pair (TM2s) and none seemed to hold my foot the way the TM2s did.
I really like the way they ride, feeling really connected to my board. They're rated as medium-stiff and this is pretty much where they come in at, if anything more on the medium side (when compared to a stiff K2 for example). They suit my style of riding well and I can really lean in to the fronts when carving groomers knowing the board will come with me and in powder they hold up really well when bouncing around in pillows but with just enough flex so as to be forgiving.
It's worth pointing out that I switched footbeds from the factory insoles to some Superfeet Orange and I find these support my arches better.
HOWEVER I find these quite a cold boot, which was never an issue with the megalights or the prions. I've never suffered from cold feet and found this quite strange. I even switched back to the factory insoles but no change, they were still cold. That said, they were fine in Fernie, where it averaged -6 but here in Japan where it's more like -12 average (with greater wind chill) I do find them cold. (Having tried double-socking, not cranking bindings as tight, not cranking laces as tight, reverting to factory footbeds... pretty much everything!)
Two other points of note:
1) while they are fantastic on the board, they're not fantastic when hiking. I appreciate this is not what they were intended to do, so it's forgiveable, but makes for some slidey times when walking on cat tracks out of the slackcountry or on short hikes up ridge lines.
2) I didnt get them heat moulded so as to prolong the life of the boot and it took a good couple of weeks to get fully comfy on my feet. Now, however, they are so cosy. If you're getting this boot for the season, stick it out, but if you're a vacation rider it might be worth getting them heat moulded in store.
Overall, the cold feet thing is a frustration but this aside the boot performs really well in all conditions and is wearable all day, all over the mountain and gives great response whether you're sessioning kickers or riding technical, steep tree runs.
(NB - I don't ride rails or boxes so cannot comment on this aspect)