The Pro’s Gear: Bode Miller (Ep.163)

On this episode of GEAR:30, Bode Miller makes clear that his different and creative ways of thinking weren’t just hallmarks of his approach to racing — they define his approach to skis, ski boots, bindings, and eyewear, too.
Bode Miller

We had Bode on the Blister Podcast (ep. 154) talking about education, mental preparation, and more, and that is a not-to-be-missed conversation. This time around, we dive deep into gear talk, and Bode makes clear that his different and creative ways of thinking weren’t just hallmarks of his approach to racing, they define his approach to skis, ski boots, bindings, and eyewear, too. You’re going to love this one.


  • Race ski design priorities (5:09)
  • Materials & Tennis analogies (10:48)
  • More on race skis (14:02)
  • Ski Boots (18:30)
  • Raichle & Full Tilt boots (23:42)
  • Ski boot flex patterns (35:15)
  • Ski bindings (39:18)
  • Eyewear & Optics (41:24)
  • Update on Crosson skis (57:15)
  • What We’re Celebrating (1:03:37)


12 comments on “The Pro’s Gear: Bode Miller (Ep.163)”

  1. Excellent podcast.

    I could never understand the complaint that Full Tilt’s weren’t laterally stiff — but I now know that’s because I lucked into a pair of Drop Kicks with a stiffer tongue. Thanks for sharing the info about their design and flex chacteristics!

    • Drop Kicks come with a “6” tongue. It is not stiff, but it is by miles my favourite (but I am lighter and shorter than Bode…he may or may not be a better skier).

      “I love the progressive flex.”

      “They aren’t laterally stiff.”

      “The buckles are junk.”

      I’m sure there are more nonsensical statements made out of ignorance about these boots.

      I am well aware of the Soul vs Original shell difs, but it was only after some significant research in the local ski shop where myself as well as a couple of the bootfitting staff went over, in good detail, the differences through measurements and fitting my foot.

      I wanted to know how similar/different the FTS was in shape/fit than the FTO shell. After about 2 hours (most of which was me trying to will my 26.5 FTO shell to fit in length) we parted ways now very knowledgable to the differences.

      Other than the toe box, FT mention little if anything else about the volume differences. The Soul is a much more accommodating clog and I would assume would fit a vast majority more skiers than the FTO, but it is disappointing to me that it took that amount of effort to discover the differences do not end at the toe box as advertised. They are different enough that the FTS should be marketed as higher volume. Funny, I’ve skied in the original shell (also Raichle and Kneissl branded) over ~20 years and have always wondered about the Soul shell since it came out.

      Very enlightening info from Bode.

  2. I’m pretty sure the original Flexons were pebax clogs. Pebax is a mix of nylon(grilamid) and polyether plastic.
    If I remember it was more like grilamid than the flexy pebax of telemark boots.
    This may also account for some of the differences between older Flexons and current Full tilts which list the clog as pu.

  3. I wish Full Tilt would make an “Ascendant” out of the original narrower shell. The newer Descendant shell has a wider last that my foot swims around in, even when sized aggressively.

    Does Bode tour at all? Someone in his weight class needs to talk to Full Tilt about this..

  4. Hopefully Full Tilt called Bode yesterday. I was Full Tilt curious and was thinking about a pair of First Chair, but that now is utterly changed. After hearing Bode talk about boots, I’d be utterly sold on FT B collab.

    And can that guy ever talk about gear. You should rope him in on the coffee talk.

  5. ^^ They probably did call him, but it was their lawyer suing for the upcoming tanking of Soul shell sales.

    Thanks JE. I cannot think of a more interesting interview than Bode Miller and this did not disappoint.

  6. Great Episode! Try to get Bode again, or just come to Bodefest or Bodebash in NH. He skis with all the kids for the morning and signs their helmets. Loved the story about winning on broken boots and the boot flex in general. I wonder if a 4 buckle overlap boot could be designed to flex straight forward? add/remove material here and there.

  7. Wow … talk about being in tune with your gear. Bode continues to blow my mind. I would have loved to hear is take on liners. I think he’s a zipfit guy? Do you know if he was skiing them his entire career? Foam injection?

  8. How do we get more detailed specs on Bode’s full tilt boots? From what I heard he’s running dropkick lower shells, a custom white TPU ~16 flex tongue, and “a different cuff”. What cuff is he running?

    What’s the difference between the Classic lower shell and the drop kick lower shell?

    What boot board is he running?

    What liners is he running?

    I’m not trying to make a copy of Bode’s boots (I am a mere mortal) but I’m curious what levers are available to pull to change the performance and curious which lower shell and cuff platform I should buy to build on.

  9. Any thoughts on the SC boots? Probably suffer from the same flex pattern as the typical ascendant. Was hoping they would be my new backcountry boot and occasional resort boot.

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