Dave & I are putting a lot of effort into better quantifying and understanding the Dodge Ski Boot.  I know it sounds strange, but even with theory, sometimes things happen for reasons you don’t fully understand.  And, being kinda geeky, we don’t rest until we understand the reasons so we can better improve and apply the findings to the next project.

One of the things we suspect/feel is the Dodge Ski Boot is just plain faster when gliding (like in a wax race or on the flats for downhill.)  We don’t have the quantitative tests for it yet, (we’ll need to set up timing on a flat hill) but to our feet, it feels a lot faster.  Why?  Good question we’ll be digging into.

Dave will probably correct me, but I think it might have something to do with the Dodge being so much more sensitive and responsive to small corrections you make to your balance and the changing snow surface.

Follow me here.

The muscles in your foot are always firing to maintain balance.  Try standing barefooted on a hard floor.  You’ll feel it.  That’s normal and good.  If you could stand barefoot on one of those moving sidewalks in an airport, you would feel your muscles firing even more to maintain proper balance.

Now, if you have hard orthotics, place them under your feet on the floor.  You’ll likely feel a difference in the firing of your muscles, probably for the better, as your foot is stabilized.

Next, stand barefoot on one of those cushy exercise mats.  See how much more your muscles are firing to maintain balance, even with your orthotics.  And, you will notice the duration of the muscle firing is longer than the short bursts you felt standing on the hard floor.

I think this translates into footwear.  A soft, really cushy shoe or boot forces the muscles in your foot to fire for longer duration to maintain balance.  But even more, because the feedback is dulled by the cushioning, your muscles are always chasing your balance point, or playing catch up.  So, you get more out of balance and your muscles have to fire harder and longer to compensate, until you either move to a new position or fall down.

If you’re in a high performance shoe/boot that doesn’t dampen the feel, your muscles are able to react quicker and with less effort to maintain balance.  So you don’t get out of position and the corrections are slight.  Translate this to a ski, and that means you glide faster.

This is what we will have to test on the clock, because the clock don’t lie.

I can hardly wait for a speed event skier to chuck their rubber boots and ski on a Dodge to really see how much faster they are.  Who’s it gonna be?

Ski bum race today.  Will let you know how we made out.


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