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-   -   can't figure out how closed toe bindings are supposed to be better than open (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=796290)

austin 11-30-2012 3:00 PM

can't figure out how closed toe bindings are supposed to be better than open
 
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Please help me understand. Almost all pros wear closed toe bindings, so that would seem to imply that they are somehow better than open toe. But for the life of me I cannot figure out how. I am trying to move from open toe to closed toe bindings, but so far I have been very unhappy with the experience.

I am attaching some nice little drawings to illustrate what I'm talking about. I tried some LF Harley bindings, and they fit like the picture labeled C1. My big toe hits the end of the boot just barely enough for it to be uncomfortable, but there's acres and acres of space around every other part of the front half of my foot. So I obviously can't move down a size with my foot already uncomfortably hitting the end of the boot, but if I move up to a larger size there will be even more space. I don't have the opportunity to try the next size larger Harleys unfortunately, but I imagine the best case scenario would be like what I have drawn under the label C2. The area around the front part of my foot would be completely open, but the best I could hope for would be that the laces might extend a little further down the front of my foot allowing me to tighten down on the top of my foot a little further down. But how is that any better at all than open toe bindings? See picture O1 for how open toe bindings fight tightly along the top of the foot all the way down to the toes if you get the right size.

I have also tried some Ronix Ones, since everyone says they are supposedly the best. I have almost the same experience with them. With the size 9s my big toe touches the end, though not quite as uncomfortably as with the Harleys (the Ones feel like they have a bit more padding in the toe), but there's still open space above the front part of my foot and toes. With the size 10s, there's space everywhere around the front half of my foot...which doesn't seem any better than an open toe binding.

So are closed toe bindings a total scam? What is the actual point? Is it to keep your foot from sliding forward in which case you actually want closed toe bindings where your toe touches or almost touches the end? Or is the point to have something over the top of your toes so that when you lift up on your toes it pushes up on the binding and consequently the board in which case maybe you want larger bindings where the laces extend a little further forward down the foot? In either case, a good pair of correctly sized open toe bindings seem to perform equally as well if not better in my experience.

Do I just have alien feet?

migs 11-30-2012 3:05 PM

try on some Ronix Cells or Ones and tell me if you still feel the same about closed toe.

westsidarider 11-30-2012 3:06 PM

They are modeled after snow boots. If you have ever been fitted properly for some you would know that your toe is supposed to be touching the front just a little bit. When you bend your knees your toe will come back a bit. Your knees should be bent 100% of the time while riding.
I personally gained more control of my edges when I switched years back.
They aren't for everyone though. That's why a lot of companies still make open toes. I believe LF even has an open and closed toe version of all their pro models

austin 11-30-2012 3:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by migs (Post 1796491)
try on some Ronix Cells or Ones and tell me if you still feel the same about closed toe.

Re-read my post in its entirety. I have two pairs of Ronix Ones on my feet right now.

john211 11-30-2012 3:27 PM

"Re-read my post in its entirety."

^^^

migs 11-30-2012 3:46 PM

its Friday - i went straight to your pics :/

11-30-2012 3:47 PM

How do you have 2 pairs on?? no wonder they dont fit:)

I too had an issue with the ones and my big toe feelin too crammed in their but switched to my Watsons and have zero issues. U couldnt pay me to ever wear open toe again.

austin 11-30-2012 3:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LR3w8kbrdr (Post 1796501)
How do you have 2 pairs on?? no wonder they dont fit:)

Lol, alright I was exaggerating. I have two pairs of Ronix Ones sitting on my floor, and I'm trying them on alternately to compare the fit. :P

stephan 11-30-2012 4:05 PM

I think the idea that lifting your toes somehow makes you edge better is silly. I think the primary benefit to a closed tow boot is snug contact on all parts of your foot and they aesthetically look better. If you get a boot that is known to have characteristics that fit your foot (i.e.. wide/narrow) and then you take the time to mold the boots to your feet, you will end up with a very comfortable setup. This year I rode the Webb System boot and realized that it didn't quite fit right. For 2013 I will be riding the Process as its a wider boot and new out of the box was vastly more comfortable. Try a few different types and find one that works. It is a little funky at first but at this point, I would never go back, I love my CT.

Orange 11-30-2012 5:09 PM

I noticed a large improvement in board control when I switched to closed toe boots. My take on why is not the mere fact that the toes are closed, but because they tend to use higher quality lacing systems and are more specifically sized for your foot. For instance the open toed bindings I have for my boys fit sizes 7.5 though 11.5 where mine are for one specific size. My guess is if they made open toe boots for one specific size, I would not find anywhere near the degree of improvement with a closed toe boot because it would be closer to the size of my foot.

I personally find a large difference in control, but it may be for reasons that are not specifically due to the closed toe. I recall that Ronix used to make or may still make an open toe boot that is sized much more narrowly and uses the higher quality lacing systems and stiffer construction found on their close toed boots (Ronix Kai?). Just my opinion... Not sure it is gospel.

simplej 11-30-2012 6:33 PM

Okay so you've tried on 2 different pairs of closed toes... You don't fit. When you're buying a new running shoe you don't just buy a Nike or Adidas, you try them until one fits...

yeahhh 11-30-2012 6:38 PM

You're right austin, skateboarders should wear flip flops and snowboarders should cut the front of their boot off. Everyone would ride so much better.

gnarslayer 11-30-2012 8:04 PM

i used to think it was a scam too untill i went back and rode some open toe bindings recently. when my toe lifts up it uses the top of the boot to get more leverage when edging.

i ride boots that are too small, and wait about 5 sets for them to stretch out to the perfect fit. sooo good

Dustfarter 11-30-2012 10:06 PM

Wait til you slam hard enough to push both feet through the toe holes up to your ankles and someone has to cut you out.
It really sucks trying to get around on two destroyed ankles.......after that I made the switch:)

501s 11-30-2012 11:29 PM

It's called heat molding, and it's what makes the Ronix boots so amazing. Heat mold the smaller size, ride them 1/2 a dozen times and then try open toes again. It's night and day difference man.

wakerider111 12-01-2012 12:46 AM

Try a few others on from different brands, they are all different. Hyperlites system boots i think have the most unique fit. they feel like a cross between a shoe and a wake boot, hard to describe. i think they would be the least likely closed toe boot to have excess space in the toe box for you.
You were right to notice that Ronix has more padding in the toe box. year after year ronix seems to be the best in this department.
Personally i like closed toe and I buy my boots on the large side and then i fill the space by wearing thick neoprene socks. i like the added coosh, but this method is VERY unorthodox, but you might consider it? I find that it also allows me to share my boots with a few different sizes of feet this way and the release on a bad fall is better IMO. The CWB prism boots are kinda like my adaptation...sorta... and have removable neoprene boot liner.

MOSTLY, I like closed toe because i feel more like i am one with my board. I ride the Slingshot RADs

Benefits of Closed Toe as I see them (no particular order):
1.) Warmth (if you ride in colder water)
2.) Protection from rails catching your toes - i haven't realy heard any horror stories of someone losing a toe, but it always is on my mind when i hit rails though it is not often
3.) Leverage and control, this could be a placebo thing, and maybe not
4.) The distraction of water lapping at your toes when edging deep and hard is gone
5.) Appearance (eye of the beholder)
**6.) some models allow you to walk around in the boots at the cable park (i.e. Hyperlite systems, Slingshot RAD and Shredtown, CWB Prizms, )

If you are convinced that open toe is best for you, Great! Run... or ride... with that conviction.
Maybe give Bob Soven's new bindings a try. They are Liquid Forces new Pro model open toe but they have an extended toe with a velcro strap on the end to tighten it down over the top of the toes for more leverage like the feeling of closed toe... or so they say. (never tried them myself)

Anaru 12-01-2012 2:47 AM

It was a weird concept for me at first, but now I've made the change to closed toe I couldn't go back.
In the LF range I like the vantage CT, I've tried the sovens and watsons but like the easiness of the vantage. Riding systems now for cable and vantage ct for boat.

tampawake 12-01-2012 6:41 AM

I know people love Ronix ones and cells. I had both and hated them. Now this was about 4 years ago. I do ride a viva. I tried LF watsons and absolutely love them. Try a pair of those. They tend to be at the top of the list with Ones.

andy_nintzel 12-01-2012 9:00 AM

My Obrien CT GTX boots fit prefectly. I am in the same boat as JB, I tried to go back and mt CT just work better for me.

jsweat 12-01-2012 9:38 AM

Yea CT for the win. You have to heat mold them and then they will be perfect. You should never have a boot where there is that much distance between your big toe and the front of the boot.

downfortheride 12-01-2012 10:46 AM

Riding 50 deg water my closed toe keeps me A LOT warmer then open toe. That's my only reason :)

wake77 12-01-2012 2:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustfarter (Post 1796567)
Wait til you slam hard enough to push both feet through the toe holes up to your ankles and someone has to cut you out.
It really sucks trying to get around on two destroyed ankles.......after that I made the switch:)

Dude, I am dying imagining this. I have been cracking up for about 5 mins now. Funniest thing I have read on hear in awhile.

downfortheride 12-01-2012 3:18 PM

^^I went through on my left foot, it was hell.^^ Kind of funny picturing 2 feet though :)

cwb4me 12-01-2012 3:42 PM

I like the CT boots better.I had Watsons and Marius CT.I liked the Marius the best.Gave the Watsons to a young student of mine and he loved them.So try different CT boots and see which are best for you.

DatTexasBoy 12-01-2012 8:03 PM

My feet would always slide forward in an open toe. Other than that, not bad.

MICAH_HARPER 12-01-2012 9:43 PM

nice drawing...lol

Dean Smith wears open toes

Cisco 12-01-2012 11:29 PM

Open toe bindings look better on chicks who wear pretty nail polish.

If its tight, its tight and it don't matter.

That goes for the bindings and the chick.

Hooya 12-02-2012 4:17 AM

I think you use your bridge of your foot and back of the boot more than the ends of your toes so not sure the drawings really apply.

Have to say the thing I like about my closed toes (audios) are that they have nice opening. I always found with opens if the fitted nicely when on they were always a pain to get on. With my audios just undo the lace and pull out the tongue a bit and you can put your foot in and out at will.

Agree with other comments about other sports' boots. It is a very similar fit to snowboarding boots and I certainly wouldn't change those either.

I am not sure but I would assume there is stiffness in a closed toe binding that you couldn't get in an open toe. Some may like that.

baitkiller 12-02-2012 7:17 AM

When your second toe is longer than your big toe it's called "Mortens toe" and has long been regarded as sign of above average intelligence.
This condition runs in my family and my closed toe Answers are super comfy.
Take this to mean that closed toe binding are meant for smart people. You apparently require open toe bindings. Dont forget your helmet>.. :):D

JoLo_Si 12-05-2012 6:07 AM

Try them in cold water and you will answer your own question. There are other advantages but that really is awesome this time of year.

Wiatowski 12-10-2012 9:20 PM

To quote Orange " the open toed bindings I have for my boys fit sizes 7.5 though 11.5 where mine are for one specific size."

Bingo! Biggest advantage of CT. For skiing, snowboarding , and of course wakeboarding having a binding that is the same size as your foot is going to help with control, feel and all of that.

Let's put it this way.... it would be pretty hard to wakeskate in clown shoes, which, in my opinion, is what you can refer to multi size open toe bindings as. :D

12-10-2012 9:28 PM

Ok...so for ***** & giggles i rode open toe domain 8-12 on saturday, landed off a kicker and sure enough...my foot slid through the open toe. I have slender feet. Stopped after that and switched to my watsons and felt much more secure, comfortable and piece of mind. Wont do it again

austin 12-11-2012 5:58 AM

I appreciate all the sincere and/or good-natured comments that have been posted here.

Those of you who are saying I need to try more closed-toe bindings to find one that fits me well, I really, really wish that were possible. The only two wakeboarding shops that I'm aware of within 200 miles of where I live don't really carry much in the way of closed-toe bindings. I don't think I've ever seen any in my size at either place, and most of what they carry is just board and open-binding packages. Even when I've gone to bigger shops in other cities that carry larger inventories of bindings, I still frequently find that they don't have anything in my size or they maybe only have one of their models in my size. If by some miracle I do find something in my size, the next size up and/or down is never ever available for me to try on for comparison. I've never ever been to a shop anywhere that had more than a single pair of closed-toe bindings that were even remotely in the region of fitting me. And, yes, I'm always on the lookout for wakeboarding shops whenever I go on business trips or vacation.

I have to laugh a little bit about those of you who are talking about your feet going through the toes of open-toe bindings. We are definitely talking about apples and oranges here. There's a vast difference between the bottom end open-toe bindings like the Domain bindings someone mentioned and the "top" end open-toe bindings. I really doubt any of you could put your foot through the toe of a properly fitting pair of LF Tansit or Vantage bindings or Ronix Kai bindings...and definitely not through the new LF B1 bindings. I think a lot of people here who are saying, "You couldn't pay me to go back to open-toe," are comparing closed-toe bindings to cheap, low-end open-toe bindings or open-toe bindings that are several years old. I bet a lot of you if you tried a brand new, properly fitting, top of the line pair of open-toes, a lot of you probably could be paid to wear them. There is just a massive difference between the low and top end of open-toe bindings. I myself would refuse to ride low-end open-toe bindings like the LF Index or Ronix Divide no matter how much you paid me, but I think the Ronix Kai or LF Transit are perfectly competent bindings.

I'm going to give the size 9 Ronix Ones a shot. Unfortunately I have to wait until next spring to ride them. Maybe I'll revisit this thread once I get to really use them next year. I'm definitely going to try to sell my 2012 8-10 Harley bindings though. (They've only been ridden twice if anyone wants a good deal on an almost-new pair of bindings!)

skiboarder 12-11-2012 7:34 AM

My foot is about a 10.5-11 in most every shoe made. I wear a size 9 Ronix closed toe boots and never heat mold them. My toes are a little crunched at first, but they break into a snug fit.

williamburell 12-11-2012 8:09 AM

I bought the company closed toes when they were dirty cheap. I ordered 2 pairs b/c I wasn't sure about size. I kept the smaller pair, heatmolded them, and sold the other pair for the same price. As cheap as they were and might still be it was worth it. I can't explain it but they just feel more responsive on cuts.

jarrod 12-11-2012 9:51 AM

I still rock open toes. Your drawing illustrates exactly how the extra material over the toes is pointless. I've tried to switch several times, every single year as a matter of fact. I just don't get it. They're less comfortable, look goofy, and don't do anything that my OT's don't do.


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