Featured The New Sole of Skiing: Part 2

Discussion in 'Ski Boot Discussion by America's Best Bootfitters' started by Philpug, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    WTR and GripWalk slider 2.jpg
    @Dave Petersen Artwork​

    A year into the evolution of the new sole designs WTR and GripWalk, the dust is starting to settle. As was discussed in The New Sole of Skiing?, it is reminiscent of the old VHS-Betamax and Blu-ray-HD DVD wars: it will come down not to what is the best design, but to who sides with whom. As a refresher (and for the folks who to don't like to click on links): WTR, or Walk To Ride, could be called the French Resistance since it is the norm coined and adopted by the French brands Salomon (along with its sister company Atomic) and Look. Marker, zee German company, went all in with GripWalk. The other major player in the binding world, the Austrian Tyrolia, stood back in a wait-and-see mode to see where the momentum would shift.

    So, how was this to be decided? Well, the fat lady has yet to sing, but a leader is emerging. Will the final call be decided by the binding brands or by the boot manufacturers that have partnerships with the binding brands? Would the Tecnica Group, which owns Tecnica and Nordica, and the new private equity firm that just bought K2, Dalbello, and Full Tilt boots be the deciders? All of these brands are affiliated with Marker bindings ... and thus GripWalk. Marker also ingeniously made its new GripWalk-compatible bindings toolless so that it is possible for someone to step into a SoleID binding with either a traditional boot or GripWalk design and ski off safely. If a skier is going to use a WTR boot in a Sole.ID binding, adjustments by a certified technician will need to be made. Or, will Salomon and Atomic, the brands under the Amer Group, and the other French group with Rossignol and Lange win out?

    IMHO, as the dominoes started to fall, Tyrolia made a calculated call to support GripWalk on its system skis and Attack2 collection. Look, one of the original WTR companies, also revealed that its Dual toe piece can accommodate GripWalk; like the Marker, there is no adjustment needed so a GripWalk sole can be used in the alpine setting. Confused? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Maybe this will help a bit:

    [​IMG]
    As you can see, this not a discussion about whether WTR is better than GripWalk or vice versa; it is about who will control the market and which design will be the norm. With more ski-boot-binding combinations being GripWalk-compatible, the logical conclusion is that GripWalk will become the design of choice -- but we have been wrong before, and we will be again. At this point, however, if you are wondering which boot sole will have more options in the future, I would err to GripWalk. Please remember, too, that neither of these designs will work in a traditional race binding or the vast majority of bindings produced before 2016.

    *Please note the diagram was updated on 11/22/17 with changes.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
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  2. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Great graphic!!!!

    (and what a cluster with the festering 'norm' blossom.... :nono: )
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Brian Finch

    Brian Finch PT, CSCS, Cert- DN, FRCms, M|WOD Coach Industry Insider

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    Awesomeness in action! I'm betting GripWalk this season.
     
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  4. fatbob

    fatbob Out on the slopes Skier

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    Lack of backward compatability for boots is going to be a huge problem for those of us with quivers. Also are rental shops geared up for the customers who present with their own treaded boots, after all boots should always be the first gear purchase.
     
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  5. fatbob

    fatbob Out on the slopes Skier

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    From a Euro perspective I still bet on WTR though. Amer and Look put out a lot of stock.
     
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  6. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Don't you know it. That is one of the greatest fears, someone getting new boots and even beign told that they areon't compatible with their old bindings, the person going home, jaming the boot in and thinking, that the fitter was either A. trying to scare him or B. wanted to sell him more new gear. Sure you might be able to click in but you are NOT coming out in a fall.
     
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  7. Started at 53

    Started at 53 You can call me Jay Skier

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    :popcorn:

    I just bought traditional Alpine soles :yahoo:

    I think @Philpug posted that my Nordica Speedmachine 110’s are compatible with one of those soles. I can’t remember. I do think the technology will make walking around easier.
     
  8. Brian Finch

    Brian Finch PT, CSCS, Cert- DN, FRCms, M|WOD Coach Industry Insider

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    This should make the 'Marketplace' & ski swaps very interesting.
     
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  9. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Yours will accommodate the GripWalk sole but the ones that are on your boots are pretty darn good. Use them until they wear out, then if you are still in the boot and need new soles, switch at that point.
     
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  10. Brian Finch

    Brian Finch PT, CSCS, Cert- DN, FRCms, M|WOD Coach Industry Insider

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    Other reasons I'm stoked on 'New Soles' :

    Factory Set & replacible lifter. C'mon man the number of shops messing up high-end boots w poor router operating is just inexcusable.

    Rubber!!!!! None of us want to slip/fall while walking, but I'm betting the bulk of skiers are on piste & that tends to run firm at times. This is a legit vibration mediator.
     
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  11. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Just curious.. Has anyone met anyone in the industry that thinks this is a good direction?
     
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  12. Brian Finch

    Brian Finch PT, CSCS, Cert- DN, FRCms, M|WOD Coach Industry Insider

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    IMG_1413.JPG

    2018 Nordica Sole Compatibility
     
  13. oldschoolskier

    oldschoolskier Out on the slopes Skier

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    Which is why I like my race boots. Binding for racing should always work with race boots.

    Hope this didn’t jinx it.
     
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  14. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I think there is the underlying feeling that it is a good idea in theory and since the toothpaste is out of the tube..it is happening. I still think there is much confusion and the trickle down communication that is to get to the consumer is well... lacking and will need to improve and I believe we will need to be a part of the communication process.
     
  15. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Snow Skier Skier

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    Fascinating chess going on with these companies so it seems, especially the binders. As you describe it, it sounds like Tyrolia tried to position itself to cast the deciding vote on standards but Look, laying in wait, trumped them with designed in dual compatibility maybe now putting them in the driver's seat. What if either Beta or VHS but not both figured out mutual compatibility? Would that have secured them the standard? Would both standards have survived much longer or even permanently? Will Gripwalk now need to find mutual compatibility or a performance advantage? Case study here.
     
  16. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Meh... Sort of a solution to a problem that doesn't much exist for 97% of all skiers. Heck, if it were about walking around the parking lot or bar comfort, we'd all be in teley or snowboard boots.

    My new boots arrived yesterday... DIN all the way! ogsmile Vibram soles for the old shells, lifters for the new. If I really need to boot pack alot, out comes the AT set up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  17. Philpug

    Philpug The Ski'er Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I will play devils advocate, and address your purist views. This is from the "What will help the sport of skiing grow? " thread....
    I am not a 100% sold and I am still very skeptical and wonder is the amount of contusion that is being caused and will be caused over the next decade worth the difference with a whole new desing compared to what regular vibram sole would be.
     
  18. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Snow Skier Skier

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    Whether it succeeds in being a thing or not, can it reposition market share between binding manufacturers?
     
  19. Emil

    Emil Putting on skis Skier

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    Whats missing in the article is the AT boot standard. The question is do we need an intermediate sole inbetween the AT sole and alpine standard?

    Personally I have switched to muli norm compatible bindings on my skis so I dont have to change soles on by my boots all the time when changing to/from tech bindings.
     
  20. Superbman

    Superbman Putting on skis Skier

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    Quick question: I have the first generation Tyrolia Adrenaline 16's that I'd like to put on a new ski (probably a Head Kore 105). I am also shopping new boots, my question is, can this binding be adjusted to fit WTR and Gripwalk binding? I am assuming it can as it is adjustable between AT standards and alpine. But I just want to make sure there isn't some other factor other than height to consider with those soles. Thanks, and sorry if this is a dumb question.
     

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