Full Tilt prides itself on maintaining close ties to its roots, so product turnover isn’t the priority it is elsewhere. The only change to the 2017 line was the addition of the Drop Kick, a slam dunk from a product development standpoint as it adds a spiral wrap liner to a Classic shell, or pretty much where both concepts began 25 years ago.
The new boots for 2018 are both athlete-associated re-assembly of existing shells and liners. The B&E Pro uses the wide, 102mm Evolution shell of the Descendant 6 with the Descendant 8’s Pro liner. (Full Tilt follows its own star when it comes to applying a flex index to its boots, hence the 6’s and 8’s in place of 90’s and 100’s). The Tom Wallisch Pro uses the same shell as the First Chair 6, with new bi-material, treaded walking soles.
That’s it for the news; now back to our regular programing.
To old-timers, Full Tilt boots represent Raichle resurrected; to today’s high-flying Pipe & Park population, they’re dope. Kids who cavort and contort in the halfpipe or on rails feel about their Full Tilts the way Charleton Heston felt about his rifle, although it’s actually pretty easy to slide out of any of their 3-piece shell models whether your feet are dead or alive. The external tongue rocks completely out of the way, and the open-throat shell likewise poses no obstacle for exit or entry.
The irony of what was once Raichle’s World Cup race boot now serving a generation that intentionally aims backward down the hill – while lining up for a launch pad – is immaterial to the daredevils who have embraced Full Tilt as their preferred footwear. Landing big airs in switch position asks a boot certain questions to which Full Tilts know the answer: have an elastic range no 4-buckle boot can match, supple at the top of its movement and consistently resilient thereafter.
The biggest influence on a Full Tilt’s behavior and a key differentiator among their models is the flex resistance of the external tongue, indicated by a flex number that works on a logical 10-point scale, with 10 being the stiffest. Should the standard issue be too firm or flimsy, any model can be retrofitted with a softer or stiffer tongue. What won’t change much is the fixed volume in the forefoot area, so be sure the Full Tilt you fancy is a good match for your foot’s widest point.
As Raichle did before them, Full Tilt has infiltrated Intuition™ heat-moldable liners throughout their line. The Pro and Performer use Intuition’s distinctive, multi-density wrap liner; the Classic is a more traditional, tongued liner with its own recipe of soft and firm foams.
Aside from their exceptional range of forward flexibility, another prized attribute of Full Tilt shoes is their weight, or rather, the lack thereof. Their lightest models feel like they don’t weigh more than a baguette, a feature you value if you have to spin your feet three times around your head before you land.
You have to give Full Tilt credit for focus: every boot in their line is built on the same principle and aimed at essentially the same audience. Some are wider, some are stiffer, some are lighter, some can suck up a little more shock; but all use the same fundamental architecture with a shared bundle of benefits. If you take to the air a lot, you’re bound to land one day in a pair of Full Tilts.