goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (2022)

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (1)

The Scarpa Charmoz, for example,is a Flex 5 boot on the goHUNT Stiffness Scale. Learn what this means below.

Back in February the goHUNT Gear Shoplaunched a brand new footwear category — this is an areathat we have all put a lot of thought and preparation into. We hope that our customers are as excited as we are about the new assortment of boots that we now carry. If you are looking for a light and fast hunting shoe, we have that. If you are looking for a stiff, heavy-duty all leather boot, we have that, too. We are carrying all the top brands: Altra, Crispi,Hanwag, Inov8,La Sportiva, Lowa,Salewa, Scarpa,Schnee's, and more.In true goHUNT GearShop fashion, we will not be carrying a full line of generic boots from those brands. Instead, we have hand-selected models that we love and will suit the various demands of western big game hunting.

We have been putting out content to help you find the boots you are looking for, including sizing charts and how to’s, individual boot reviews on our YouTube page, and our own goHUNT Flex Chart. The flex of a boot is what I want to dive into here.

Boot stiffness

The sole stiffness or flexibility of a boot is going to fall within a range of soft and flexible to rigid and stiff. We also have models that fall between the two ends of that scale as well. My intent is to give our customers an idea on how we developed our scale, how they can use that to help them find a boot they will love, and offer some ideas for the type of flexibility we prefer for the hunts we go on.

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (2)

goHUNT boot page showing the stiffness scale tab. You'll also see the Flex Scale in the description under the "goHUNT Highlights."

The goHUNT Stiffness Scaleis unique to our site and among the selection we carry. You will see the goHUNT Stiffness Scale represented on each individual boot page.

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (3)

The goHUNT Boot Stiffness Scale

Flex Rating Description
Flex 1 Built for light and fast trekking. Think of your favorite trail running shoes,
but capable of rocky demanding terrain.
Flex 2 Flexible enough that they offer out of the box comfort but can handle miles of rocky terrain.
Perfectly suited for mild to moderate mule deer, elk, and antelope country.
Flex 3 Ideally suited for mountain hunts with moderate to steep technical terrain where more rigidity is required.
Some break-in time required but will likely become your favorite do everything hunting boots.
Flex 4 Best suited for hunts at or above timberline where the terrain gets steep. Flexible enough that it can handle
miles of comfortable climbing but stiff enough to offer support and rigidity with a heavy pack.
Flex 5 The stiffest boot options, best for alpine hunting and mountaineering.
Sheep hunting, mountain goat, and the toughest of elk and deer terrain.

Flex 1

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (4)

Built for light and fast trekking. Think of your favorite trail running shoes, but capable of rocky and demanding terrain.

(Video) goHUNT Boot Sizing Guide

The Flex 1 rating is given to very lightweight, flexible hiking boots or shoes. They may be ever so slightly stiffer-soled and less flexible than your day-to-day running shoes, but, overall, the Flex 1 rating will offer you a highly flexible boot/shoe that will be comfortable out of the box and will require almost no break in time. We carry both low and mid-height and all maintain the tread required for hiking off-trail over demanding terrain. There are some potential pros and cons for this type of footwear. The pros are that they are lightweight, comfortable, less expensive, and offer excellent foot control. The potential cons are that they typically wear quicker and will not offer the foot and ankle support of a stiffer boot, especially under a heavier pack.

When would a Flex 1 be a good option?

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (5)

Pictured above are theSalewa Wildfire Edge Mid GTX.

For many of us, a light, fast and flexible boot is a great option for early to mid-season moderate terrain hunts. Antelope hunting, desert and mountain shrub mule deer and elk hunting are perfect hunts to go light and fast. Even some early season high country deer and elk areas are conducive to light and fast flexible footwear. One other benefit that I have found is that a more flexible shoe/boot has actually improved my ankle strength and decreased the times I roll my ankle while hunting. I have a bad right ankle and I used to only use stiff-soled boots. I am now using a flexible hiker much more often — especially in rocky terrain — and have found that I roll my ankle much less because I have more precise foot control and grip. Within this category, the Salewa Wildfire Edge Mid GTXare one of my very favorite boots.

Flex 2

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (6)

Flexible enough that they offer out of the box comfort, but can still handle miles of rocky terrain. Perfectly suited for mild to moderate mule deer, elk, and antelope country.

Models with a Flex 2 label often have either a partial midfoot shank, a very thin one along the entire length of the boot, or just a bit stiffer sole in general. In most cases, the Flex 2 will offer taller uppers over a Flex 1 option, which allows for some additional support. Boots within this category will require almost no break-in and offer a flexible, lightweight boot with just enough support for more rugged and rocky terrain. Similar to the Flex 1 models, this category of boots will offer you a tacky sole, good traction, and excellent foot control. What it provides over the Flex 1 is a bit more support and can handle more rugged and steep terrain in general. Potential cons are that they typically wear quicker, both in the sole and upper region of the boot. You may also experience some fatigue and hot spots over multiple days under a heavy pack if the terrain is too steep.

When would a Flex 2 boot be a good option?

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (7)

(Video) Hanwag Boots Overview

Pictured above are theLa Sportiva Trango Techs.

Ideally, a Flex 2 boot is perfect for mild to moderate antelope, mule deer, and elk terrain. Within this category, the La Sportiva Trango Techs are one of my very favorite boots.

Flex 3

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (8)

Ideally suited for mountain hunts with moderate to steep technical terrain where more rigidity is required. Some break-in time required, but will likely become your favorite do everything hunting boots.

We carry more Flex 3 boot options than any other because this seems to be the sweet spot for most western big game hunters. The Flex 3 is stiff enough that it offers good support and rigidity, but does not require months of break-in time. The support and rigidity of boots in the Flex 3 category are provided by uppers that are typically taller, more rigid and offer a stiffer full length midsole. Flex 3 boots will require a few hikes to break them in, but foot fatigue or irritation should be minimal. The Flex 3 is great for moderate to steep demanding terrain and will get you through the bulk of your hunting season. You can archery elk hunt in them or add a gaiter and move into late season mule deer and elk.

When would a Flex 3boot be a good option?

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (9)

Pictured above are theHanwag Makra Combi GTX.

Benefits of a Flex 3 are that they require minimal break-in time and most are comfortable out of the box. They offer a good base for heavy packs and enough foot control and traction that moving through technical terrain is manageable. If you need a do-it-all comfortable boot with minimal break-in, the Flex 3 boots should be your choice.

(Video) NEW Crispi Boots Overview - Which Boot Is Right For You

Within this category, the Hanwag Makra Combi GTX are one of my very favorite boots.

Flex 4

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (10)

Best suited for hunts at or above timberline where the terrain gets steep. Flexible enough that it can handle miles of comfortable climbing, but still stiff enough to offer support and rigidity with a heavy pack.

Flex 4 boots jump you up into a more rigid, less flexible sole. Typically, the Flex 4 boots are going to offer a thicker, full length nylon or composite insole section. Boots within this category are ideally designed for alpine climbing and descent over multiple days and miles. The stiffness of the sole gives hunters the rigidity to obtain toe hold and support with each climbing step, which is perfect for multi-day pack trips in steep terrain.

When would a Flex 4boot be a good option?

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (11)

Pictured above are theSalewa Rapace GTX.

A pair of Flex 4 boots is going to require some break-in time, so plan accordingly. Some of our personal favorite high country mule deer and elk hunting boots fall within the Flex 4 category. The major benefit of a Flex 4, or even Flex 5 boot, is that they are often more durable and although not as comfortable out the box, often cause less leg fatigue when climbing with a heavy pack. Boots in this range can feel a bit clunky when technical rock hopping is required and they are tougher to break in, but, with some work and the right terrain, a Flex 4 is a great boot.

Within this category, the Salewa Rapace GTXare one of my very favorite boots.

Flex 5

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (12)

(Video) Lightweight Boot For Hunting: SALEWA WILDFIRE EDGE MID GTX

The stiffest boot options: best for alpine hunting and mountaineering. Used for sheep hunting, mountain goat, and the toughest of elk and deer terrain.

The stiffest boots in our gear shop are going to get the Flex 5 rating. Certainly, there are stiffer boots in the mountaineering market, but for all intents and purposes, we selected boots that will take hunters into the roughest steepest terrain in the West while still offering what we believe is a comfortable boot that can be worn over miles of trekking. The biggest difference between Flex 4 and Flex 5 is that, in most cases, Flex 5 will have a slightly thicker shank. The thicker shank is going to yield a stiffer, yet extremely supportive boot.

When would a Flex 5boot be a good option?

goHUNT’s boot stiffness scale explained (13)

Pictured above are theSalewa VulturEvo GTX.

The Flex 5 boot options are going to require break-in time and are ideally suited for navigating rocky alpine scree fields and steep technical terrain. Consider the Flex 5 the perfect option for dall, Rocky Mountain sheep and goat hunts — and anything else that calls the high alpine terrain home. Sizing is important with stiffer boot options. Pay particular attention to our sizing charts and find the best fit for you.

Within this category, the Crispi Briksdal SF GTX,Salewa Vultur Evo GTXand theScarpa Charmoz are good options.

Conclusion

If you have questions about boot fit, flexibility, sizing or even application, do not hesitate to shoot us an email, call us or drop a question on this article. We have used every boot in the lineup we carry and can offer you ideas on what will suit you best. Nothing will ruin a hunt like sore feet, so do the research, start early and get a boot that you know is going to do the job. Don’t forget that we are here to help!

FAQs

What is Crispi flex rating? ›

Technology Built Into CRISPI Colorado GTX Boots

4 Flex Rating: On CRISPI'S scale from 1-5, this is a little stiffer than your average hunting boot. We've found it's the perfect stiffness for spending plenty of time on those really steep north facing slopes chasing elk or side-hilling when searching for deer.

What is flex rating on boots? ›

The flex refers to the level of resistance the boot provides when you bend your ankle forward. In general, the flex index varies between 60 and 140. The lower the number, the more flexible the boot – and the higher, the stiffer.

Are stiff ski boots better? ›

A stiffer flex is desirable for the more aggressive skier as energy transfer from leg-to-boot-to ski as well as the rebound will occur more efficiently. Boots with a stiffer flex are designed to deliver maximum speed and responsiveness.

How tight should hunting boots be? ›

The boots should fit snug around your instep and ankles. You should also be able to move your toes. If the hunting boots pinch or cut off circulation, they're too small. Walk around in the boots and try to find an incline to walk up and down on.

Should hiking boots be stiff or flexible? ›

Stiff boots might not sound like a good thing, but for long hikes on rocky, uneven terrain they can mean greater comfort and stability. A stiff boot won't allow your foot to wear out by wrapping around every rock or tree root you step on.

Are Crispi boots made in USA? ›

Crispi Boots are designed for backpacking, trekking, hunting, mountaineering, climbing, hiking and other outdoor activities. Made by hand in Italy and tested throughout the world including the Alps, Rocky Mountains, and Himalayan Mountain Ranges.

Is 120 flex too stiff? ›

- A flex from 100 to 120 is designed for sport skiers (intermediate to advanced). - A flex from 130 to 160 is designed for expert skiers. Warning: - Too stiff or rigid of a flex can limit a skier's ability to progress.

What happens if ski boots are too stiff? ›

A boot that is too stiff will result in the skier leaning back. But there is a catch; often the softest boots are very poorly designed and are very wide. Find a soft flexing boot that is not too wide, and not made out of poor quality plastic.

How much should I be able to flex my ski boots? ›

Men's Ski Boot Flex Ratings

Beginner-Intermediate men's ski boots range from about 65 to 80 flex index, with Intermediate-Advanced boots going from about 90 to 100. Advanced-Expert boots normally are in the 110 to 130 range.

Is 130 ski boot too stiff? ›

Ski boots come in a variety of flex points, generally along a spectrum of 60 to 130, where 60 is considered soft and 130 considered very stiff. On the beginner side, men's ski boots usually start at an 80 flex and go up to 100.

How do you know if ski boots too tight? ›

Ski boots should be snug, but not too tight that they are painful. With your foot in the liner of the shell, there should be enough room around the forefoot that you can wiggle your toes back and forth, and the toes should be slightly touching the front of the boot when the heel is all the way back.

When should I get stiffer ski boots? ›

In general, upper-intermediate and advanced skiers are going to need a stiff flex in their boots. Many advanced skiers enjoy flying down runs at full speed and laying into their turns. Having a good deal of rigidity will help control through the entire carve.

Should boots fit tight or loose? ›

Your boots should not feel tight. They should feel snug on the forefoot, they should have plenty of room in the toe box, and the heel should not slip more than a quarter of an inch.

How long should hunting boots last? ›

The initial investment might sting the pocketbook, but with the proper care, those boots should last 10 years or more. Referring to the part of the boot that covers your foot, the upper in hunting boots is leather, nylon or some combination.

Should you size up for boots? ›

As a basic guideline, it's preferable to get a slightly larger shoe-size boot than smaller shoe-size boots With the right pair of any boot type, your feet should feel snug.

How stiff Should walking boots be? ›

Wear your boots inside the house.

Wear the socks and insoles you'll be wearing on the trail and tie your boots snugly, but not too tight. Make sure your tongues and gussets are straight. Your new boots will be a little stiff at first, which is fine.

What is considered a stiff soled shoe? ›

The sole of the shoe should be stiff in the middle and flexible at the toes. To test this, grab the heel of the shoe, place the toe box on ground and press down with as much force as possible. If the shoe collapses on itself, it is too flexible and it won't be supportive.

How much heel slip is normal in hiking boots? ›

In a properly fitting boot, they should be able to get roughly one finger between your heel and the back of the boot. If they get significantly more or less than that, the boot is too large or small. (Note that you can't check this yourself; your foot and heel lift forward when you bend over.)

What does EE mean in Boots? ›

Foot Width:

Boots are typically available in 6 widths: B (extra narrow), C (narrow), D (regular), E (wide), EE (extra wide), and EEE (triple wide).

Can Crispis be resoled? ›

I filled out a card and sent them to Gary's shoe store; 126 North Main Richfield, UT 8470. They do the resole for Crispi. It took right at one month to get them back.

Are Kenetrek boots made in the USA? ›

Where are Kenetrek Boots manufactured? The Kenetrek Pac Boots are currently assembled in Thailand, the Kenetrek Mountain Boots are made in Italy, and the Kenetrek Light Hikers in Romania.

How do I adjust my boot flex? ›

Lange Boot Flex Adjust - YouTube

How long do ski boots last? ›

Ski boot technology may not change as fast as ski technology, but ski boots do have a shelf life. Manufacturers say that boots should last about 200 skier days, though ski boot liners tend to pack out well before then, even before the shell begins to lose its integrity.

Why are ski boots so heavy? ›

Ski boots are heavy because they are constructed with rigid plastic molds that protect your feet and ankles from extreme forces as you slice through the snow at speed. Their weight also gives you more control, and different types of boots can range in their weight, comfort, and control.

Do I want a stiffer ski? ›

Generally speaking, skis that have a stiff flex will feel stable at speed and have good precision on hard snow. Stiff skis grip better on hard snow, too, because they maintain full-edge contact and don't bounce off the snow. However, a ski that is too stiff will buck you around and burn out your quads.

Do you lean forward when skiing? ›

You only need to lean forwards enough to put your centre of gravity over the middle of the ski. The reason that this has become a myth is that one of the most common mistakes made by people learning to ski, is that they lean back, and that instructors are always telling them to lean forwards.

Do you lean forward in ski boots? ›

Most current model boots have a 14 degree forward lean (Entry level designs often have greater forward lean angle) with no way to move the cuff rearward, consigning skiers with more than 14” in circumference calf muscles to ski the rear of the ski, out of balance.

How do you make ski boots stiffer? ›

HOW STIFF SHOULD YOUR SKI BOOTS BE? - YouTube

What size Flex boot should I get? ›

How to Choose Ski Boots - Size, Fit & Flex - YouTube

What is a freeride ski boot? ›

As a type of ski boot, the modern Freeride boot attempts to combine the downhill performance of an All-Mountain boot with the lighter weight and touring range of motion of the Backcountry boot.

What is a stiff ski? ›

STIFFER SKIS. Generally speaking, skis that have a stiff flex will feel stable at speed and have good precision on hard snow. Stiff skis grip better on hard snow, too, because they maintain full-edge contact and don't bounce off the snow.

How do you make ski boots stiffer? ›

HOW STIFF SHOULD YOUR SKI BOOTS BE? - YouTube

What size ski boots do I need calculator? ›

Use our conversion chart and revolutionary Ski Boot Size Calculator to figure out your optimal ski boot size.
...
Ski Boots Size Chart.
Ski Boot Size (Mondo)Men's Shoe Size (US)Women's Shoe Size (US)
25.57.58.5
26.089
26.58.59.5
27.0910
18 more rows

How do you read ski boot size? ›

If you take a tape measure and measure the length of your foot in centimeters, you would get your Mondo size. One thing you should know, ski boot shells come only in full sizes. An example of this is a size 27.0 and 27.5 both share the same shell size and have the same inside length. Both are the larger 27.5.

Do skis get softer over time? ›

YOUR SKIS FEEL DIFFERENT THAN THEY USED TO

Every ski softens over time, due to material fatigue. A tired-out ski feels softer and lacks its original pop and energy.

What is ski forgiveness? ›

A "forgiving" ski simply allows for grosser body movements without instantaneous reactions. Say you regularly let your hips fall behind your feet; a forgiving ski will give you time to regain your balance without repercussions, while an unforgiving ski will dump you unceremoniously on your rump.

Do skis lose stiffness? ›

After 100 days of skiing, your ski won't have the same feeling or snap it did on day 1. Over time and use the materials lose their rigidity, edge and even flex.

Is 130 ski boot too stiff? ›

Ski boots come in a variety of flex points, generally along a spectrum of 60 to 130, where 60 is considered soft and 130 considered very stiff. On the beginner side, men's ski boots usually start at an 80 flex and go up to 100.

How do you increase flex on ski boots? ›

Adjustable Ski Boots

Many different ski boots are equipped to adjust the flex rating easily and stiffen. Ski boot can be adjusted by screwing the rivet on the back of it with a four-millimeter key. To stiffen the boot, you need to turn the rivet to the right.

Why are ski boots so heavy? ›

Ski boots are heavy because they are constructed with rigid plastic molds that protect your feet and ankles from extreme forces as you slice through the snow at speed. Their weight also gives you more control, and different types of boots can range in their weight, comfort, and control.

Should I size up or down for ski boots? ›

Pro Tip: Size up or down based on your true shoe size depending on your ability level. If you're a beginner, size up for even more of a comfort fit. The more experience you have, the tighter you'll likely want to keep your boot, so you can always size down as you get more comfortable skiing.

What is a 25.5 ski boot size? ›

Ski Boot Size Chart
Mondopoint (Comfort Fit)Mondopoint (Performance Fit)Men / Unisex (US)
25247
25.524.57.5
26258
26.525.58.5
33 more rows

Does Full Tilt run small? ›

Full tilts fit on the smaller side. Have a look at the BSL measurements rather than Monod point sizing. From memory the classic shell of a FT is a 335mm in a 30.5. Which would be more equivalent to a 29.5 in other brands.

How many mm is a 26.5 ski boot? ›

Salomon Ski Boots Size Chart
Size ConversionBoot Sole Length (mm)
MONDOFoot Length (mm)Unisex S/Race
26 - 26.5260 - 269305
27 - 27.5270 - 279315
28 - 28.5280 - 289325
9 more rows

How long do ski boots last? ›

Ski boot technology may not change as fast as ski technology, but ski boots do have a shelf life. Manufacturers say that boots should last about 200 skier days, though ski boot liners tend to pack out well before then, even before the shell begins to lose its integrity.

What is my Mondopoint size? ›

Measure from the base of your heel (bottom of the sheet of paper) to the mark you made at the tip of your toe in a straight line. That's your Mondopoint. Mondopoint sizes have nominal half sizes, but the size of the shell actually doesn't change between a 25 (250mm) and a 25.5 (255mm) - it is the same shell size.

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