I hope not
When I was still in school and racing I was the cool dude for a while when I showed up on the heel with a Marker (triangular shaped) toe and a regular long thong set up for the heel. I only recall one release out of this contraption and that was in a local ski race right in the starting gate. I must not have tied my long thong properly. In any case, he was a friendly starter and after retying my 8 foot strap he let me go again.
No one knew any better, but you felt safer because it was a "safety binding". Go figure. I would not recommend for enyone to use this stuff anymore! It is dangerous!
They were pretty bad. A properly set up cable system would sort of release. The old lace-up leather boots did very little to support and protect the ankle, so it was easy to stretch, sprain or rupture an achilles tendon in a forward fall. The toes would, in theory, release laterally but without an anti-friction pad the boot-to-ski friction usually prevented lateral release in most forward falls.
My first alpine binding rig featured the original side-throw Marker Rotamat heel, which did NOT release in a forward fall. And it sprained my ankle.
Bear in mind that after the introduction of the Kandahar binding in the mid-30s -- the first binding to lock the heel down alpine-style -- about one-third of the racers in any downhill race could be counted on to finish the course on a sled.
How was it to ski without a releasing heel?
I have been thinking about something recently, and thought people here would know the answer. Either from back then, or if they go out on the hill on the old gear.
The question is, how bad were the old systems with a non-releasing heel? A lateral release toe and cable hold down?
It would seem it would result in a lot of broken legs, but I suspect it might not have been so bad. Did people keep the toes loose enough that any twist along with the fall would cause a release? Or were the boots soft enough that the ankles bent enough to protect the leg?
Anyone still take these set-ups out on the hill?