Everyone who's ever hit the mountain with me has probably heard about me complaining about my boots and/or feet more than I care to think about. Well, I finally decided that my K2s were too beat up and too soft, and went out and bought Burton's stiffest boot and their second-from-top-end freeride binding.
Riding in this setup reminded me a lot of going hard-booting. The edge hold was really good, but I got kicked around by every little bump. The boot seems to be not only stiffer than my K2s, but thinner - I think that perhaps the K2s were squishy enough to let the board move around more relative to them. These boots have no such intention, and while the highbacks on the new bindings have a little torsional flex, they don't seem to be interested in bending further back, which is allowing me to use significantly less forward lean on the back binding to achieve the same results.
Anytime someone asks, I'll say that I don't think that fancy equipment can make someone a better athlete, but I do think that inferior equipment can mess them up. I liked my old setup, but I think that I've progressed about as far as I was going to in it. This setup has the feel I was looking for - it's almost too much for me, so now I have something to grow on again.
If you want to know what the boots look like, come riding with me or find them on Burton's web site (I have them in black.) In a continuation of my previous post about my Frankenbinding, here's a picture of my board with the new bindings. They're big, shiny, and not broken.