lilcliffy wrote:The soft sole issue is a trend that I am seeing across the board in supposedly "heavy-duty" Nordic touring, hiking and backpacking boots. The trend is for everyone to expect a heavy-duty hiking/backpacking/Nordic touring boot to feel like a sneaker or birkenstock under your foot- right of the box! Boots in this class need stiff supportive mid-soles, both to provide stability and power transfer- BUT also to ensure the longevity of the sole.
Yeah, nothing better than a perfect fit in store for an easy sell! Also, as Alfa has let me know indirectly via e-mail, the space freed up by avoiding the use of a stiffer midsole material can be used for an insulating midsole, which is a great benefit when on long winter walks!
I've been thinking of this duality lately. Perhaps we are still lacking the perfect material to be used as a midsole that is 1) sufficiently stiff, 2)light, 3)insulative 4)durable? We can go super uber stiff and super light: kevlar fiber (no flex for tele though). We can go super light and insulative: EVA foam or similar (flop). The Med-stiff midsoles that are just right in terms of stiffness (usually some form of plastic (Nylon, etc.) are relatively heavy and not at all insulating. I'm thinking some R&D may be required here... Thoughts?