Full Tilt Ski Boots: Past & Present (Ep.92)


  • Current Position & Background (3:30)
  • History of Full Tilt (11:00)
  • 2-Piece / Overlap Boots vs. 3-Piece Boots (13:45)
  • Swappable Tongues / Adjustable Flex Pattern (15:30)
  • Changes to FT’s flex pattern naming conventions (17:33)
  • Standardizing flex ratings (19:00)
  • What’s changed & what hasn’t? (21:55)
  • New Pro Tongue Liner (25:00)
  • Pro Tongue Liner vs. Wrap Liner (27:25)
  • What sort of skier ought to consider Full Tilts? (30:43)
  • Range of top skiers in Full Tilts (35:03)
  • Boot-fitter-friendliness (40:10)
  • Sammy Carlson’s new Full Tilt pro model (45:52)

Full Tilt ski boots are beloved by some (including athletes like Bode Miller, Tom Wallisch, Seth Morrison, and Sammy Carlson), but they also get pigeonholed by others who think of them as only being for park rats.

So we are joined by Austin Peters, the Ski Boot Engineering Manager for Full Tilt and K2 Ski Boots, to talk about the history of Full Tilt; what makes Full Tilts unique; why you might opt for a Full Tilt vs an ‘overlap’ ski boot; and what’s new for 20/21 (including Sammy Carlson’s new pro model).

Ski Boot Engineering Manager for Full Tilt and K2 Ski Boots, Austin Peters, goes on Blister's GEAR:30 Podcast to discuss the history and future of Full Tilt Ski Boots

17 comments on “Full Tilt Ski Boots: Past & Present (Ep.92)”

  1. I love my classics. Nice forward-lean and ramp, effective at transmitting forces around my foot and into the ski, and easy on/off. Can’t see myself skiing anything else. Looking forward to checking out the podcast.

  2. I’d be interested in the actual difference between the FTO and FTS forefoot fit. I’ve been in FTO’s or the equivalent Raichle or Kneissl for 20+ years. It would be nice to have a grippier (and replaceable) heel and toe just for the parking lot walks. But if I’m giving up the fit of the FTO on my chicken feet, then no go.

    Are they so close that one could call them the same?

        • Sven Coomer was a genius, and the FTO last was a masterpiece in boot design. From what I recall he was accounting for 140 variables in foot shape and movement. No offence to Austin, and I’m sure he’s working with some knowledgeable bootfitters, but the newer designs aren’t in the same class of sophistication. You’re not wrong on the liner issue either – adding layers of low density foam enhances shop fit and boosts sales, but compromises performance and longevity.

  3. Jonathan, you totally whiffed that tele / social-distancing joke.

    Everybody knows that the “distance” is because telemarkers are unwashed granolas.

  4. Shawn, I spent a very short time in a KR2 just to try them.

    Same size in a Krypton is way more roomy all around (comparing to FT original shell). I could have gone down a shell size on the KR2 and punched the big toe for length but I bet the shell would have still been roomier overall.

    The KR2’s have 4 dif tongues to alter flex but the stiffest, which must be stupid stiff because I thought the B flex was more than stiff enough, is impossible to find. If using a real intuition HD liner I’d probably want their softest tongue.

    Where I think the KR2 really sucks for me is boot board ramp at 2 degrees and max fw lean at 13 degrees. FT original with 4mm stock wedge is 14 degrees and boot ramp is 4 degrees (which to me is “normal”). I like traditional skis and have a much more race derived style so others may feel very differently.

    They quality is very good in the Dalbello product but the FT is just way simpler. And o love the cable buckle system of the FT, especially with the new wide track alu buckles. The Dalbello is sort of a cable/traditional buckle hybrid.

    The panterra has a 4th buckle and is wider but still a 3pc. The Lupo is crazy upright and has a lugged sole and walk mode.

    To be honest, if they fit you, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t ski full tilts. Not kidding. That linear, accessible flex plus the ease of on and off and comfort. I guess when many have been in a super stiff overlap boot for years coming to one of these would be difficult to adjust to. It’s pretty much all I know for inbounds.

  5. Love my FT ski slippers! Is there a general “useful life” on the tongues and has flex been tweaked at all? My First Chair 10s from about a decade ago seemed like a 130+ compared to other brands I was trying on. Bought an 8 tongue which seemed 110-120, now my ‘17/‘18 8s seem slightly softer than that. I was going to a/b the tongues this spring, but then things changed. I’d also say the new fit is slightly more roomy, but some of that could be the pro wrap vs power wrap liner. Definitely glad to have replaceable toe and heel pieces now! Other than slightly lower volume fit, the only thing I’d like changed is somehow putting the lower buckle on top of the boot like Dalbello since it gets kicked up and snow packed/iced up during hikes.

    • Dadbod, my belief is the soul shell (like your first chairs) is roomier than the original shell: it’s not just a little more toe room and replaceable heels and toes, thus my ask above.

      And IMHO, FWIW, a real power wrap with a 6 flex tongue is as stiff as FT’s pro liner with a 10 flex. The FT multidensity liners, even the pro, are a long ways off a full high density intuition in terms of support.

  6. Interesting pod as usual. I got to shoot many of the world’s best mogul skiers in Australia back in September.(Live video feed of the comp) Pretty much everyone was skiing Full Tilt with Intuition wrap liners. These weren’t park skiers, but full on mogul skiers like Mikael Kingsbury et. al. I noticed quite a variety in the cosmetics of the boots (the Japanese girls had pretty ones of course) but I don’t remember seeing any of them not in Full Tilt, even while they skied a variety of ski brands. Definitely got me thinking.

  7. Hmmmm. Austin says specifically that swapping different tongues to achieve different flexes is unique to Full Tilt, but that’s just not the case. You can use a soft or hard tongue in a TLT6, and Dalbello makes a lot of different stiffnesses. I’ve played around with my Kryptons’ flex quite a bit. In several of these podcasts I’ve noticed a representative from a company has ignored (or flat out denied) that a competitor does something…competitive, and I find it insincere. Austin knows Dalbello makes stiffer and softer tongues. I assume he also knows that 3-piece (“cabrio” or whatever) Dalbello boots are ALSO absurdly easy to get on and off–I know that’s something some people put low on the totem pole of priorities, but it’s a deal-breaker for my 66-year-old father. I want to know what Full Tilt does that separates their boots from their really obvious competitor in the 3-piece boot market, and I wish you had drilled down into that. Do these company reps, like, make rules about subjects that will not be discussed?

  8. I’m 6’3. 200 lbs. Race background. East coast at Stowe. Rip groomers, trees, bumps, etc. Worried I’m going to blow through the flex of the new First Chair 130…even with the 12 flex tongue and new tongue liner. Thoughts?
    Skied a pair of Classics 5 years ago with a 10-flex tongue installed and they folded like a cheap suit! But loved the fit. Quads absolutely burned because they skied sooooo soft.

  9. Enjoyed the POD cast. On another site a comment was made that the FT First Chair was a “wet” boot. Have your testers noted this ? Thanks!

    • A wet boot? Like it gets wet inside easily? Since the buckles on the First Chair (Soul Shell) are identical to the Original shell, I can say from my experience that the answer is a resounding, yes: they do take on a lot of water. Of course the colder the conditions the less this will be an issue.

      I mention the buckles because it’s the buckle bolt holes on the lower shell where the water gets in. Just put some patches of gorilla tape over them/the nuts on the inside of the shell and your feet will remain dry in the sloppiest spring skiing.

      3 years too late with this reply.

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