2017 Brand Profile
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 is 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 only change in our coverage from last season is this introduction.
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 Tilts 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. Their Quick Fit™ liner will, in fairly short order, take an impression of your foot while you ski in it, a convenient form of auto-customization. Or, as with any Intuition liner, it can be heated up at the time of sale and the same process will be over in ten minutes.
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.
The latest development in the Full Tilt’s relatively stable world is the creation of a new model, the Drop Kick, by slipping a spiral wrap liner in a Classic shell.