talk to me about ski boots

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  • talk to me about ski boots
  • jjt
    Member

    DEFINITELY get yourself down to your local Snow+Rock or whatever other ski shop you have.

    I paid about £350 for a middle of the range all mountain type ski boot including custom soles, custom fitting and free adjustments for life.

    You will have the anatomy of your feet and legs analysed and have the most suitable boots suggested to you. There are loads of subtle differences between manufacturers so one will be a better fit than another. I actually did my final year project on ski boots a few years ago so know a little about the processes and technology out there.

    No more pain and your skiing will improve too so winwin!

    Comfy boots are a must and can make or break your enjoyment, as you know!

    Only thing I can recommend is try on lots of pairs and work out which brand best suits your foot shape. Some just won’t work for you.

    Boot liners compress over time in use so will pack down, don’t buy too big to try and achieve comfort or you will get movement which can lead to other problems, not just poor skiing but pain too. It’s harder to make a boot smaller, but there’s lots that a good fitter can do to relieve tight spots – grinding and stretching over pressure points. Snug even pressure is what you are after.

    Most fitter start with a shell fit – try the boot without the liner, so you know it’s going to be close.

    I’d advise take your time, get a good fitter, ensure there’s backup in terms of fine tuning the fit and don’t buy solely on price. Better to spend a bit more than waste the lot.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny
    Subscriber

    Check out whatever boots now come with linings that mold to your feet using heat. I think it is Salomons that have this special liner. The shop heat it up, you stick your feet in and do the boots up tight, wait a few minutes, and bobs-your-uncle.

    Check for flex also. I am big bastard, ski hard, so need a 130 flex which is very stiff indeed. A lighter skier of good ability something like 100 would be ideal. YMMV of course.

    Would also be improved with a custom insole. As for shops, no idea, sorry (alghough I did live for years in Inverurie… *waves*). Tisos in Edinburgh is good though.

    After my last pair dying (not sad, they were always rather uncomfortable Atomic pieces of shit), and putting up with horrific boots my whole life (I have very large wide feet with a high arch and other randoms funny bits), I got a new pair recently.

    I almost got Salomons as above, but they just did not quite fit right over my hammer toes. But the heat fit thing gets great reviews.

    Instead, I went nuts and got a proper custom fitted foam liner and fitted shell. http://www.heierling.ch/

    if you are ever in Davos, go there. **** incredible fit and has even made me a better skier.

    peterfile
    Member

    A decent boot fitter will look at many things, including, the shape of your foot (including instep), your posture and range of movement, the profile of your leg, your skiing experience, weight and strong/weak you are.

    Many manufacturers have a unique fit, so don’t expect to fit them all.

    If you can go at the end of the day (once you’ve been on your feet all day) then it’s generally better.

    We used to also let you take the boot home (once you have bought it) to make sure the size definitely fits (it can be hard to assess in a shop). Make sure you don’t wear it anywhere it could be scuffed etc. Don’t sit down in the boots and don’t wander around in them aimlessly. I always used to suggest doing something like the ironing! If they don’t feel right at home then take them back and exchange for a more appropriate size. Don’t get too OCD about wearing them at home though, it’s a ski boot, not a slipper. You’d be amazed at how many people would bring boots back and say that they weren’t comfy when wearing a home, then they’d mention that they tried them while sat down watching a movie for 2 hours. It’s really just an opportunity to wear them without the pressure of being in the shop.

    Once you are happy with them, have the inners heat moulded (if appropriate).

    If you normally wear insoles then get some.

    You need to communicate with your fitter and be completely honest. Seriously, this is the most important part. I’d often ask people about their skiing ability – men seem to always claim to be better than they are, and women often undersell their level of skill. You need a boot which is designed for the type of skiing you will be doing. If you tell the fitter that you will be skiing tough blacks all day then you will get a very different boot than if you said you were just starting to get to grips with easy reds. Some people seem to have a hard time admitting that they haven’t much experience, presumably because they spend all day telling their colleagues what a great skiier they are 🙂

    Also, avoid the busiest periods if you can. If you go on a Saturday afternoon you’ll often have a fitter who only works part time and has 10 customers at once. Going midweek can often mean you get your fitter’s 100% attention.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    you’ve got a single pressure point on your feet ?

    Find a good fitter before you do anything else

    take virtually any boot to a decent fitter and they can stretch it to fit at that point. If you just look for a boot to accommodate the sticky-outy bit you risk having ill-fitting boots over the rest of your foot

    bajsyckel
    Member

    You’re lucky as there are plenty of decent ski shops not a million miles away from you to try boots on in. Can’t really help with recommendations on fitters though other than saying I like the guys in Braemar Mtn Sports. I have a set of touring boots from their Aviemore shop and they were good with the fitting even though I have pretty unfussy feet. Might not be ideal choice of downhill boots but worth considering as they have reasonably local shops. Have also heard good things about Alain Baxter’s setup in Stirling that might make it worth travelling the distance.

    ^ good points from peterfile there too…

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    Snow & Rock… I just get the impression that they want to sell you the whole “custom fitting by experts” BS. [edit] without actually being “expert” at much [/edit]

    Instead, I’d recommend you try lots of different boots from different manufacturers. Some are built on wide lasts, some narrow.
    I have skinny feet and ankles = Lange shaped feet.
    Fatter feet = Atomic for example.

    Basic fit needs to be pretty damn good before you start thinking about customised liners or whatever.

    dantsw13
    Member

    Get the best reccommended fitter from UK ski forums. Tell him your issues, and buy the pair he suggests. Colour/brand/fashion are completely irrelevant. IMHO. I’m a southerner and had mine fitted at Ellis Brigham in London. They offer lifetime return to refit on their boots, but I haven’t had to.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Avoid snow and rock, they are not great. If you have problem feet you need a proper boot fitter. I don’t know anyone that far north but I can highly recommend Colin at Solutions4Feet in Bicester, he did a brilliant job fitting my somewhat odd feet.

    legend
    Member

    Snow + Rock can be avoided. There’s a Craig Don in Aberdeen isn’t there? Think i’d start there.

    You don’t actually go looking for the right boot, use a boot fitters experience to find the right boot for you. Forget what you think you know/like and be open to trying on anything – even if you don’t like the colour.

    jjt
    Member

    Re Snow+Rock… fair enough, each to their own. I however had a great experience at the Sheffield store. Was in there for a whole afternoon and didn’t feel any BS was being fed to me. I was armed with a lot of research prior to the visit though.

    Checking out a specific ski forum for their advice on what store to go to is a good plan.

    trail_rat
    Member

    I NEED SKI BOOTS

    my feet are in bits today thanks to the salomon hire boots.

    i have a sticky out bone on the inside of both feet that blisters something chronic – EVERYTIME

    realistically i only go a couple times a year but the pain i get off hire boots is rediculous and puts me off going again for ages.

    dont want to spend a heap but want comfy boots that are compatible with hire skis….and i dont know the first thing about em

    live near aberdeen – any shops i should be looking in , im not buying without trying and thought i might grab a bargain buying just now how ever the ski seasons still in full swing up here – had a great day up glenshee over in glas maol yesterday !

    trail_rat
    Member

    aye , really dont care what colour they are as long as they prevent that…. it doesnt look like much but when trying to get up the hill to tows it was causing agony and having to fanny about taking skis on and off when my mates were just herrinboning – which i was doing fine in the morning but once my feet got into that shape i had to take skis off and walk.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Ouch.

    Would also recommend Colin @ Soultions4feet. OK Bicester is nowhere near aberdeen, but I’m sure he’d give advice and know the best guy up there to see.

    nbt
    Member

    Alain Baxter has set up as a bootfitter in Stirling – a lot closer than Bicester and a chap who knows a thing or two about skiing

    Premier Icon DaveP
    Subscriber

    I have tried getting boots in the sale for the last few years. Nothing special about my feet or size of feet and have failed to get any during this sales period. They don’t appear (down South) to carry a large amount of stock and especially now at this point of the season.

    As an aside, I had real problems with my boots, had to unclip on every lift. Then had them fitted whilst in Whistler. He even resorted to taking a knife to the outer shell. Never had a problem since. Best money I have ever spent.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    A decent boot fitter will look at many things, including, the shape of your foot (including instep), your posture and range of movement, the profile of your leg, your skiing experience, weight and strong/weak you are.

    Alternatively, try as many brands as you can ie that will mean going to more than one shop. When you find a brand that fits your foot you will know.

    With a lumb like that they will be able to alter the shell of the boot to accomodate your weirdness 🙂

    IMO thats not a difficult area to manipulate and get right, just make sure the place where your buying from will offer you an alternative boot if they cock it up, and not turn round and say sorry mate not our fault.

    Edukator
    Member

    Get someone to fit you a set of boots properly, say you need to sleep on it and buy the next size up online.

    Like any footware, wearing something you haven’t worn before all day will prove uncomfortable. Wearing the same the next day will probably be very uncomfortable. Break them in, your lawn won’t thank you but your feet will.

    Craigdon do full custom fitting, just off George Street in Aberdeen. My new Atomics have been returned today for a final tune fr full custom fit. Highly recommended trail_rat.

    70% off at the mo too…

    legend
    Member

    Edukator – Member
    Get someone to fit you a set of boots properly, say you need to sleep on it and buy the next size up online.

    lol wut? And would you really use up (potentially) hours of a shops time and go elsewhere? If so, you’re a bit of a **** imo.

    Get someone to fit you a set of boots properly, say you need to sleep on it and buy the next size up online

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Craigdon do full custom fitting, just off George Street in Aberdeen. My new Atomics have been returned today for a final tune fr full custom fit. Highly recommended trail_rat.

    70% off at the mo too…
    Or if you go to Perth Craigdon, Dave will sort you out just fine as well.
    Get them fitted properly, and buy from a place that fits them.

    msjhes2
    Member

    seriously consider getting them fitted in resort. Problem with getting them done in the uk (unless you are in a Scottish ski resort in winter) is that they always urge towards too big as they only have one shot and can not adjust them as you use them, and the last thing they want is really unhappy customers coming back after a weeks holiday moaning about being crippled.

    As has been said above a good fitter can tweak almost everything so in resort places can be much more aggressive about getting perfect fit as if it is wrong you can come back that night for a tweak. If you go to Cham places like Sole and Footworks will be able to sort you out.

    Edukator
    Member

    Too big! Every fitter I’ve tried has attempted to squeeze me into boots too small using thermo-form inners, stretching tools and precision-guidage-conduite bla bla that forgets I’m going to be wearing the things all day not just for an ten-minute warm up and a two-minute descent.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Mr rocks ….. Cheers for that.

    legend
    Member

    msjhes2 – Member
    seriously consider getting them fitted in resort. Problem with getting them done in the uk

    the problem with buying in resort is that they know fine well that they can sell you shit, tell you that you’re still breaking them in whilst knowing fine well that you’ll be leaving in a week or so!

    Edukator – Member
    Too big! Every fitter I’ve tried has attempted to squeeze me into boots too small using thermo-form inners,

    sounds like you’ve been picking some bad fitters

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Alain Baxter has set up as a bootfitter in Stirling – a lot closer than Bicester and a chap who knows a thing or two about skiing

    Just remember not to inhale.

    sounds like you’ve been picking some bad fitters

    Or else they just wanted to get you out of the shop as quickly as possible. Either way, WRONG!

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I’ve had my own boots for years and finally persuaded the other half to get a pair this year – makes such a difference having comfy boots which you can ski in all day for a week without so much as a single blister….

    Edukator
    Member

    Bad fitters or fitters that expect customers to want performance rather than all-day, every-day comfort? Anyhow, there are enough people moaning about painful boots on STW to suggest that many fitters get it wrong. I buy ski boots on the same basis as I buy sandals. If I put them on and they feel fine jogging around the shop they’ll be fine skiing. If someone suggests modifying sandals so they’ll fit (obviously they don’t) I try a different pair, same with ski boots.

    IMO people get too caught up in the technology/price/gimmicks/colour/translucent/brand/custom fit/foam/thermoformable/stretch nonsense and forget they’re buying a pair of shoes which should feel comfortable when you put them on and run around the shop.

    legend
    Member

    Edukator – Member
    Bad fitters or fitters that expect customers to want performance rather than all-day, every-day comfort?

    still a bad fitter. Any half decent fitter knows the difference between a performance and a comfort fit.

    If I put them on and they feel fine jogging around the shop they’ll be fine skiing.

    or they’ll pack out, leaving a very uncomfortable boot for actually skiing in.

    when you put them on and run around the shop.

    Skiing ? Running around a shop.

    What an utterly absurd concept.

    Why don’t my Asics squash shoes work while I’m running? Well, because they’re designed for squash. My running shoes are rubbish on a squash court too, as it happens. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    I suspect the boot fitters just wanted to get you out. Fast. As I’m sure you were very busy telling them they were wrong because you’re somehow omniscient.

    I’ve worked alongside factory bootfitters from the likes of Salomon, Atomic, Nordica, Lange, Dalbello and more. They’d laugh you out of the shop, I’d agree with them.

    Edukator
    Member

    My last boots came from a shop in which I spend at least a grand a year, we have a good laugh but the owner is too good a business man to laugh money out of the shop. If I do the trophée du pic d’Anie at the end of the month I’ll have to run at least 2km in my ski boots.

    legend
    Member

    Good business man and shit boot fitter by the sound of it 😉

    If you’re doing a ski mountaineering race, why are you using alpine boots?

    If you’re doing a ski mountaineering race, why are you using alpine boots?

    Sandals, surely? Same fit, after all! 🙂

    Edukator
    Member

    Dynafit zeros for the race. I had custom fitted Scarpa F1s from anothe r shop before but sold them after a few months as the custom fit inners don’t beathe and my feet didn’t like being in a sauna. My Alpine boots are cheap black ones that feel and fit like slippers.

    In all seriousness I find basic felt inners that keep your feet warm, dry and soon take the shape of your foot better than any customisable inner.

    Trail rat….. Ignore all of the above and go to craigdon in town and ask for Nick or Gus.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Go onto snowheads.com and ask there for a recommendation of a fitter local to you. But please remember, a well fitted boot will not feel like a slipper in the shop, no matter how well they fit they are still a piece of hard plastic. Tell them what you want from the boot (comfort, all day skiing, not racing, etc.) and a good fitter will sort you out. If you can then take them skiing for an hour or two at a dry slope and see how they feel, you may find you have the odd pressure point, if so, take them back to the same fitter who will fix it.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    There is a lot of rubbish being sprouted on this… Boots should feel comfortable as soon as you put them on. If a ‘fitter’ needs to do much to them it means they are getting you in to a boot that doesn’t fit you.

    The only exception is people with weird bits like the op.

    Again, try as many boots as you can. I’ve never met a sales person (sorry fitter) who has sold every range of boot available.

    Race boot or beginner boot, you will know as soon as you put it on if it fits or not. A good sales person (sorry fitter) will makes sure you get the rights size etc.

    justatheory
    Member

    My boots were uncomfortably tight before they bedded in. If it’d been up to me I would’ve gone a size up, but my boot fitter (Graham at Rivington Alpine), assured me that the liner would pad out and that boots too big are harder to refit.

    I used them at Chill Factore for a few hours over a week to bed them in and have been on a few trips this season and they now feel perfect. My ski boots are a whole size lower than my standard shoe/trainer size.

    Definitely go to a boot fitter rather than buying off the peg IMO. Good luck!

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