Author Topic: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit  (Read 1153 times)

HighAngles

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Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« on: December 29, 2012, 10:21:54 pm »
The number one "sin" of skiers is skiing in boots that are ill-suited to their foot anatomy and/or far too big.  Most skiers are led far astray by the stock liner and how that liner makes the fit feel in the shell.  The primary goal must always be to find the shell that fits your foot best - and best means really tight and closely matching the contours and volume of your foot.  Once you find the shell that's the best match then move on to finding the right liner - a liner that will work with your foot, shell, and footbed of choice. 


byronm

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 12:53:11 am »
Duly noted HighAngles...at the time I was doing dilligent "try-ons", wearing each prospect around the store for 15-20 minutes but again, sans an experienced fitter. I was naive about the actual fitting process in terms of "shell fit" other than too big is no bueno.
 
I have a fairly narrow (98.4) low volume foot, narrow heel and slender calves. The problem I ran into with shop inventories is that 60% or more of the stock in suitable flex range are designed for "comfort" and wider feet. Most others were race fit (well "fitting") but 130ish to 150 in flex. A bit stiff for my intended use and weight at 139lbs.
 
Only after joining this forum did I learn the real importance of professional bootfitting and some consumer based things I could have done to mitigate a poor purchase choice. I didn't go cheap and buy the "bargain booster" selection as I feel like generally one gets what they pay for in most cases. I think the Sal Impact 100cs is a good boot, although yet to be determined by a fitter, perhaps just not good for me.
 
I've learned a ton from the experienced dialoguers in this thread alone. While I can't garuntee I won't have another boot debacle, I can say the info gleaned here has significantly reduced the chances.

Dan..I felt the same way with regard to the article. The words were "purdy"....the substance kind of wondered in the vein of tarot reading.... 8)   I hear what your saying tho. There are sooo many variables (it seems to me) in that each skier views their needs through their own prism of limited or substantial experience, while the fitter must extrapolate what the skier thinks they need vs what they really need, as viewed through the filter of the fitter. Quite a paradox.
 
One thing, I  will definately halt the fitting process if my fitter pulls out a stainless reciprocal saw...... :o
 
 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 04:02:31 pm by jim-ratliff »

Svend

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 09:08:44 am »
I have a fairly narrow (98.4) low volume foot, narrow heel and slender calves. The problem I ran into with shop inventories is that 60% or more of the stock in suitable flex range are designed for "comfort" and wider feet. Most others were race fit (well "fitting") but 130ish to 150 in flex. A bit stiff for my intended use and weight at 139lbs.
 

Byron, I hate to say this, but your Impacts may be too wide for you.  They are a 100 mm last.  Did you do a shell fit when you tried them at the store? My rough guideline is about 1 or 2 mm wiggle room on either side at the forefoot, with the foot centered fore/aft in the shell, for a comfortable performance fit (less for a really snug performance fit).  BTW, in this regard I disagree with the Beckman guy, who states that 1 cm side-to-side is acceptable -- that is a massive gap, IMO. 

It used to be true that the only narrow-lasted boots available were 120 flex and higher.  But this has changed, and you can now get 98 mm boots down to 90 flex (lower for the Krypton boots).  I wouldn't rule out junior race boots either.  They used to be made with really crappy liners, but some of the current ones are using the same liners as in adult boots.  Eg. my wife has the Lange RS110SC, with the SC meaning "short cuff" -- this is listed on the Lange site as a junior race boot, but many women and smaller guys are buying them for their performance and fit.  They are identical in every way to the adult RS boots, including the liners, but just have a (slightly) shorter cuff and softer flex.  FYI, she is 5'7", 130 lbs, and has no trouble making that boot boogie.  To paraphrase Dan:  the geometry works.  In case you want to check that one out, they have a rather narrow heel pocket and slim cuff area for slender calves.  Might be an excellent fit for you if the Impacts are a no-go.

Cheers, and good luck with this. 



« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 12:53:01 pm by Svend »

Svend

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 09:38:02 am »
I think it's a great example of what I see as the biggest problem with bootfitting, to be honest--namely that there are a ton of incredibly nice and very well-intentioned guys out there who each have their own take on the timing of when the patient should be bled relative to the mandatory leg amputation for patients with an ingrown toenail.  Guys doing the bootfitting equivalent of this get tons of recommendations from skiers who've never experienced anything better, and don't realize that the bootfitting equivalent of "modern medicine" already exists.

So, how do you find the really, really good ones?  I know the Harb-trained fitters are outstanding, and all use "modern medicine".  If I remember right, jbotti has spoken highly of Jim Schaffner at Start Haus in Truckee, and jbotti's had enough experience with Harb-trained guys that I'd consider him a qualified reviewer.  Aside from that?  I have no idea.  I've been through a couple of fitters who were on the super-highly-recommended list on other fora and magazines, and they were still practicing Civil War-era medicine.  I've also seen boots from a few others that were brought to my fitter to be fixed because they never skied right, and heard the explanations of what was wrong, and why.  I wouldn't go to any of those guys, either.  It's a really tough situation all around.

Dan,  would you mind elaborating a bit on what you said? I think it might be extremely helpful and enlightening for those of us who aren't savvy to this, just what you mean by "modern medicine" vs. 19th century butchery.  Specifically, what do they do wrt. pre-purchase assessment and boot selection, and then post-purchase modifications, that other less-knowledgeable bootfitters don't do? With this in our back pocket, it would help screen the bootfitters we encounter and get an idea of their ability.  And perhaps help us to self-evaluate (if possible) if a boot is a good choice for us or not, if the advice from the shop is lacking.

As a more general comment, I completely agree with you that a truly good boot fitter is a rare bird indeed.  I think that of all the stores I have visited to try on boots, or have my family try on, I have encountered perhaps only 3 or 4 guys who really knew what they were doing.  That's a pretty small percentage, considering that I'm talking about ~15+ stores and dozens of shop guys.  Or at least those 3 or 4 seemed to know their stuff -- from your comments above, I am wondering if this was even true.  Looking forward to your reply to shed some light on this....  Thanks!


Gary

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 11:49:26 am »
HA...you're right on target regarding shell fit...it's HUGE. we're all different but with the liner out, I want the sides of my bare fore foot just lightly touching the plastic (not buckled). I also want the heel to feel nice and snug, I don't want any instep pressure, I want the 2 lower buckles with a light push of my fingers to snug up the fit, I want the right stance, correct alignment, I want to feel balanced in my boot, centered over my arches.

I want a bootfitter that knows what I want and how to get there. So even though I'm not certified (maybe certifiable nuts) I know enough because of boot errors in the past from fitters and ski shops alike....what I do know is that I've done things to make my boots perform and fit better for me.

I believe having a basis of knowledge, being able to verbalize what you feel in the boot....all makes for that much closer to getting it right.

G
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 11:50:47 am by Gary »

dan.boisvert

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 06:20:26 pm »
Specifically, what do they do wrt. pre-purchase assessment and boot selection, and then post-purchase modifications, that other less-knowledgeable bootfitters don't do?

Pre-purchase, it doesn't look like they do much.  They'll check out the size of your ankle and lower leg, to select a line of boots for you based on the hole size, and will then use a Brannock device for sizing length and width.  A good bootfitter will know right away which boots would be good fits for you (hole size is primary, then width and flex), and a brief conversation about what kind of skiing you do or what flex you're looking for will get you to pretty much the exact boot you should be in.  If it's a retail environment, he'll probably bring out another option so you feel like you're making a decision, and not just doing what you're told.

Post-purchase, there's a menu.  Casual purchasers may walk out with a boot that'll "work fine" for them out of the box (meaning they won't know what they're missing, don't want to pay extra to find out, and will leave happy with a boot that just fits well).  If you're more performance-minded (this would've come out in the pre-purchase conversation), you might have been encouraged to buy a narrower, lower-volume boot, which would include the expectation that it would be widened to fit your foot and had plastic ground out to fit the knobby oddities of your particular feet.  There is also a budget consideration.

If you're paying for a full setup, like you would if you were getting into a plug boot, to include alignment, etc, the process is much longer.  In that case, as soon as you buy the boot, he starts cutting stuff off of it.  He'd widen it to fit your foot, grind out the bootboard and interior so your foot sits properly in it, grind out whatever hot spots you detect in the store, probably cut down the cuff to suit your lower leg (or at least to get the plastic out of the way of the power/booster strap).  He'd talk about footbeds, and whether you need them.  If you need them, he'll make them.  Aligning the outside of the boot without doing the inside first is a recipe for disaster.  If the footbed conversation includes key phrases like "you pronate, so you need a posted footbed to support your foot", run away.  "Correcting pronation" is also known as locking the foot in the boot so you can't use it.  The pronating feet that need to be "corrected" are the ones that also have a twist in them, and it's the twist you want to address, not the pronation.  Rigid footbeds are a sign the guy doesn't want you using your foot inside your boot at all, so I'd recommend avoiding them like the plague.

Alignment is handled differently at various places, as well.  For it to work right, each boot should be aligned individually so you can stand on one foot well, and it will then work fine with the other when you use them together.  Your alignment should be confirmed on snow.  Your fore-aft setup should be checked out on snow, too.  Skiing includes a lot of dynamic fore-aft movement.  It's not a position you want, it's access to a range of motion, and for support to exist where you need it.  Your conversation with your fitter should be in these terms.

The biggest difference is really that a great fitter fixes causes, while the other guys treat symptoms.  A perfect example is one I ran into when I first got my Head Raptor 130 RD's.  The shop I bought them from was highly recommended, etc, and were very interested in making them work for me.  I spent probably 4-5 days going back and forth between the shop and the hill, finding new hot spots and problems, and them grinding them out.  Well, one problem that never went away was that my big toes always hit the end of the boot.  No matter how much room they ground out for me, my toes always filled it.  I eventually gave up on this problem (there were a series of others, as well) but, when I went to see a great fitter for a second opinion on the alignment (thanks to recommendations on the PMTS forum), he fixed my big-toe problem instantly, without my even mentioning it.  He pointed out that the boot had a 95mm last, and my foot was 98mm across the met heads when weighted.  Because feet and boots are both shaped like V's, the bigger V of my foot was always going to rocket to the end of the smaller V of the boot once I weight it, because it's seeking a width that'll fit it.  He widened the boot by a few millimeters, and my big-toe problems went away.

Fix causes, not symptoms!  It oughtta be a mantra..  ;D

Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.  I'm no expert or anything; I've just had my share of problems and spent a bunch of time hanging out with a really, really good bootfitter who's been absurdly generous about answering my questions and showing me stuff.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 08:44:19 pm by dan.boisvert »

dan.boisvert

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 08:55:01 pm »
Briefly returning to the boot stiffness thing, there's a lot of info about that on the PMTS forum that doesn't just apply to PMTS.  The Harb-trained fitters are the same way.  It's not like you have to ski PMTS to make use of awesome bootfitting; you'll be able to make whatever movements you want better with better-fitting and properly-aligned boots.

Here's a thread from the PMTS forum where HH gives more perspective on the how & why of stiff boots: http://www.pmts.org/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3487  He says it a lot better than I do.

I'm not sure what you guys are into as far as ski instruction or whatever goes, so I wanted to clarify that this stuff is useful for everybody, not just PMTS adherents.

byronm

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 10:32:48 pm »
 
Gary/Svend/Dan....I didnt do a shell fit prior...took some pics tonight showing the heal space etc as my boots are translucent....

Bare footed, I have about 3/4"-5/8" of heel space with toes touching...1/4"-3/8" side space with one side touching the shell.

Great info Svend on the lower volume boots..thx

And...despite my "Merlin..ish"...outward appearance......Joe Namath legs.....well with some photoshop help.... ;D

[old attachment deleted - file maintenance]
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:21:30 am by byronm »

epic

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 05:02:49 am »
Yeah.... that's pretty roomy.

LivingProof

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 09:48:58 am »
Byron,

Take a look at this Epic Ski thread, and, specifically Response 4. It's written by my personal Jackson Hole bootfitter, Skiing in Jackson who works right at the Tram base there and his sole business is fitting and fixing boots. He uses three different dowels to determine boot fit, One each for "comfort", "Performance" and "Racer". The most common issue he finds is that boots are bought too big, no surprise.

http://www.epicski.com/t/115935/boot-shopping

For what it's worth, my boots are closer to comfort fitting, but, during a local fitting session last year with a very good fitter, his thoughts were I could go to a shorter boot, but, my ability to withstand pain would be a factor. Not sure I'm willing to go there without also getting a shorter custom liner. I've yet to find a boot one size smaller that I felt comfortable on my toes. I skied for 2 years in a short boot and came to hate it due to pain.

dan.boisvert

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 10:20:33 am »
Yeah.... that's pretty roomy.

^--- what he said.


LP, why not go for the shorter boot and just have him blow out the toe box to fit?  That'd get you the snugger fit everywhere else and still plenty of room in the toes.  Grinding in the toe box is limited due to plastic thickness, but you can stretch the heck out of it..

Gary

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 11:08:17 am »
Hmmm..length of boot...OK..

I personally have found if the heel stays locked in place with a good heel shell fit and a buckle system that keeps the ankle pulled back into the ankle and heel "cave"...I find I can allow myself a wee bit more length in the boot as long as the side to side fit is snug and the forefoot overlap fits like a glove.

My Lange RX130's do that for me and my toes are warm...er , I can wiggle them up and down. Front of my toes never bang the front of the boots...


G

Svend

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 12:30:43 pm »
Pre-purchase, it doesn't look like they do much.  They'll check out the size of your ankle and lower leg, to select a line of boots for you based on the hole size, and will then use a Brannock device for sizing length and width.  A good bootfitter will know right away which boots would be good fits for you (hole size is primary, then width and flex), and a brief conversation about what kind of skiing you do or what flex you're looking for will get you to pretty much the exact boot you should be in.  If it's a retail environment, he'll probably bring out another option so you feel like you're making a decision, and not just doing what you're told.

Post-purchase, there's a menu.  Casual purchasers may walk out with a boot that'll "work fine" for them out of the box (meaning they won't know what they're missing, don't want to pay extra to find out, and will leave happy with a boot that just fits well).  If you're more performance-minded (this would've come out in the pre-purchase conversation), you might have been encouraged to buy a narrower, lower-volume boot, which would include the expectation that it would be widened to fit your foot and had plastic ground out to fit the knobby oddities of your particular feet.  There is also a budget consideration.

If you're paying for a full setup, like you would if you were getting into a plug boot, to include alignment, etc, the process is much longer.  In that case, as soon as you buy the boot, he starts cutting stuff off of it.  He'd widen it to fit your foot, grind out the bootboard and interior so your foot sits properly in it, grind out whatever hot spots you detect in the store, probably cut down the cuff to suit your lower leg (or at least to get the plastic out of the way of the power/booster strap).  He'd talk about footbeds, and whether you need them.  If you need them, he'll make them.  Aligning the outside of the boot without doing the inside first is a recipe for disaster.  If the footbed conversation includes key phrases like "you pronate, so you need a posted footbed to support your foot", run away.  "Correcting pronation" is also known as locking the foot in the boot so you can't use it.  The pronating feet that need to be "corrected" are the ones that also have a twist in them, and it's the twist you want to address, not the pronation.  Rigid footbeds are a sign the guy doesn't want you using your foot inside your boot at all, so I'd recommend avoiding them like the plague.

Alignment is handled differently at various places, as well.  For it to work right, each boot should be aligned individually so you can stand on one foot well, and it will then work fine with the other when you use them together.  Your alignment should be confirmed on snow.  Your fore-aft setup should be checked out on snow, too.  Skiing includes a lot of dynamic fore-aft movement.  It's not a position you want, it's access to a range of motion, and for support to exist where you need it.  Your conversation with your fitter should be in these terms.

The biggest difference is really that a great fitter fixes causes, while the other guys treat symptoms.  A perfect example is one I ran into when I first got my Head Raptor 130 RD's.  The shop I bought them from was highly recommended, etc, and were very interested in making them work for me.  I spent probably 4-5 days going back and forth between the shop and the hill, finding new hot spots and problems, and them grinding them out.  Well, one problem that never went away was that my big toes always hit the end of the boot.  No matter how much room they ground out for me, my toes always filled it.  I eventually gave up on this problem (there were a series of others, as well) but, when I went to see a great fitter for a second opinion on the alignment (thanks to recommendations on the PMTS forum), he fixed my big-toe problem instantly, without my even mentioning it.  He pointed out that the boot had a 95mm last, and my foot was 98mm across the met heads when weighted.  Because feet and boots are both shaped like V's, the bigger V of my foot was always going to rocket to the end of the smaller V of the boot once I weight it, because it's seeking a width that'll fit it.  He widened the boot by a few millimeters, and my big-toe problems went away.

Fix causes, not symptoms!  It oughtta be a mantra..  ;D

Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.  I'm no expert or anything; I've just had my share of problems and spent a bunch of time hanging out with a really, really good bootfitter who's been absurdly generous about answering my questions and showing me stuff.

Dan, that was an excellent response.  Kudos, and thanks for taking the time. 

Gandalf:  might I suggest we create a sticky somewhere here on the site on what good boot selection and bootfitting involves? Dan's post might be the starting point for some very useful info for many members.

Dan, I will get back to you shortly (getting ready to head out to ski at Blue on New Year's Eve).  I want to continue this conversation, and I have some questions relevant to my daughter who is having some issues with forefoot pain in a pair of Salomon Instincts (Falcon series).  New footbeds are needed, but I want to pick your brain on the posted vs. non-posted types.  Pronation is another problem.  Will touch base tomorrow, and I think I will start a new thread, as poor Byron is being hijacked here.

Happy New Year everyone!  All the best for 2013!  :)

« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 12:32:34 pm by Svend »

Svend

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 12:40:02 pm »
Hmmm..length of boot...OK..

I personally have found if the heel stays locked in place with a good heel shell fit and a buckle system that keeps the ankle pulled back into the ankle and heel "cave"...I find I can allow myself a wee bit more length in the boot as long as the side to side fit is snug and the forefoot overlap fits like a glove.

My Lange RX130's do that for me and my toes are warm...er , I can wiggle them up and down. Front of my toes never bang the front of the boots...


G

Byron, I agree with Gary.  For recreational skiing, even at a higher level, I see no need to suffer a too-short boot.  However, the boot should be very snug-fitting in the instep, forefoot, ankle, achilles, and calf/shin areas.  A simple but telling thing for me, is that if my feet are comfortable wearing a very thin ski sock, but hurt all over if I wear anything thicker, then my boots are bang-on perfect. 


HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 06:38:45 pm »
This thread is packed with great info.  Thanks for the posts from Gary, Dan, and Svend.

Keep in mind that the point in going with a shorter boot isn't necessarily about getting a "shorter" boot (huh, what's he smoking? ;) ).  What I mean is that as boots get shorter they will also get smaller in many of the other dimensions.  However, this isn't always the case depending on which brand of boot you're testing and which sizes you're moving between.  That's why it's important to always at least "try" the smaller sizes no matter how doubtful you are that you could actually fit into them.  I've gone down 2 full shell sizes in the past few years through my awareness of this fact and my willingness to open my mind to the idea of what a good boot fit was really going to feel like.

Also keep in mind that if your boot fit is only getting you solid ankle/heel hold down then you're missing another key control point; the instep.  For years I thought that my Flexons/Full Tilts were giving me a great a fit because my heel and ankle were fully held down.  But it wasn't until I got into my Head Raptors that I realized what I was missing in the instep area.  I thought that I had a good fit as long as when I was flexed forward my foot was held securely.  Unfortunately we're not always flexed forward when skiing and sometimes when we get into trouble when skiing (out of balance, etc.) it's even more important that the boot be holding all of the critical control points of your foot.  If I got set back in my Flexons my heel could rise up a bit due to the space between my instep and the roof of the boot.  Now my goal in a boot fit is to have a very firm glove-like fit across the entire foot and leg with just a bit of wiggle room for the toes.

byronm

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2012, 11:49:19 pm »
+100 to what HighAngles said. I find myself reading and re-reading (I went to a small school :D ) to absorb all the great info. and insight provided here. I would suggest that based on the breadth of knowledge and experience here that some "expert fitters" could do worse than adding this info to their resume's.
 
Quick Update: I contacted a bootfitter I was referred to in SLC, Utah and spoke with him this morning. He certainly impressed my as someone who "knew his stuff", I'm sure a feather in his cap based on "my" vast knowledge base.
 
I sent him the pictures of my bootfit (a few more than I posted here) and explained what I was feeling.
 
1) He opined that it could be the wrong boot geometry (he said he could tell me for sure in 5 minutes)
 
2) If the "shell" of the boot could be utilized he "May" be able to manipulte the set up, free up my ankle and get in the right position using different techniques up to and including a foam liner and the other things bootfitters do with shells and liners.
 
Obviously, the better option for me in terms of cost (providing the end result is effective) would be to make my boots work but "it is what it is".
 
3) If having to start new, the boot he would be looking at would be Soma's, Salomon Xmax, perhaps even a Lange but all would be in the upper $600 to $700 range..(Not counting any orthotic work...which can range from $200 to $500 :( )
 
Looking at traveling quite a distance and ultimately the better parrt of a $1000 dollar bill for boots.
 
While I absolutely understand the importance of boots and the general jist I get from you all here is that you would rather have "good boots" and ski on unfinished pine fence boards as opposed to the reverse. In my limited experience, I would agree. And, I know the cardinal rule is to NOT concentrate on the $$ factor as part of the fitting, easier for some then others. To be fair, the fitter cant be sure until he looks.
 
My question is; Is this expense pretty normal in terms of what I would find more or less a few bucks from any other expert fitting?
 
Suck it up, don't whine about the $$....it will be worth it?
 
Thx.....
 
p.s....In line with the suggestions provided earlier, I have decided to schedule some quality on hill instruction prior to going to see the fitter. During this time I can do the on hill tests, develop a litmus for what I can and can't do in the boots per the instructors guidance, solicit his or her input in terms of my posture and performance.....Arm ed with that knowledge I think I would be able to make a more informed decision and feel better about dropping serious dinero if needed.
 
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 01:33:31 am by byronm »

dan.boisvert

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2013, 03:23:10 pm »
My question is; Is this expense pretty normal in terms of what I would find more or less a few bucks from any other expert fitting?
 
Suck it up, don't whine about the $$....it will be worth it?

A few things:

1) It may be possible to put more money into a boot that's too big and make it less bad, but it'll never reach the point of being "good".  On the other hand, financial considerations are 100% legit so, if a good setup is too expensive now, it might be worth the money to make the existing setup less bad while you save for a better setup.  I'd say this is entirely a financial question.  A great setup was eye-opening for me and easily worth twice what I paid for it, to me.  I imagine you'd feel similarly, if you got a setup of the same quality.

2) If you're going to buy new boots, one consideration I'd pay a lot of attention to is whether the boots are what PMTS people call "lateral" or "rotary" boots.  "Lateral" boots have the hinge rivets positioned so, when you get forward, the cuff tracks either straight over the toe or a hair out, which lets you get pressure to the inside edge.  "Rotary" boots have the hinge rivets positioned so, when you get forward, the cuff tracks inside, which tends to make your tails skid out and makes it harder to get pressure over the inside edge.  I'm using the PMTS terms for this because I don't know anybody else who's come up with names for them.  It's not just a concern for PMTS people, though--Josh (bushwacka) posted in another thread about how he modified his Kryptons and got the cuff tracking like a "lateral" boot, even though it's a "rotary" boot out of the box.  If memory serves, many Langes and Salomons are "rotary" boots, so I'd be careful about which ones I was looking at and would want to check out the cuff tracking and such before buying.

3) I think the price range you're looking at is in the ballpark.  Personally, I only buy very-discounted race boots, so I spend less than your number.  My Raptor 130 RD's cost me $400 from the original shop, and then $250 to have my fitter fix them and make them awesome for me.  I just picked up a pair of B2 RD's for $350, and it'll probably cost me $300-ish to get them set up (including alignment, etc).  I'm in the minority of people who wouldn't benefit from a footbed though, so I've saved money there.  My understanding is that it's easy to spend more than I do, especially if you're buying current model year boots at retail prices.  I'm a big fan of the two-year-old boot that's still in the box and taking up space in the back room.  The way I figure it, if I can ski today like Hirscher (or whomever) did on the equipment of 2 years ago, I'd be content with that.  ;D


Good luck!

jim-ratliff

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2013, 03:49:37 pm »
Dan makes a good point. Get knowledgeable about what you need and what works.  I think my current Head boot retailed for $650 or so. Lynn found them for $200 online. I then skied the stock liner one year before upgrading to Zipfit liners the following year, so spread the cost out over time. I feel I should pay the bootfitter for his time and for his knowledge, but that doesn't mean I have to buy my boots on the spot.
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HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2013, 10:27:45 pm »
Byron - I've done some fitting work with Steve Bagley at Snowbird.  Not sure who you've been talking to, but I can definitely recommend Steve for his knowledge of boot fitting and alignment balancing.  Of course that was long ago (2006) and I've since moved over to the crew at the HSS Skunk-works.

Gaining experience with boot fitting isn't going to happen overnight, but going in as an "educated" customer reaps rewards no matter what you're purchasing.  Ski boot fitting is part art and part science.  The art comes from experience in understanding how to "creatively" solve some boot fitting problems.  The science is in understanding how all the variables are inter-related and their effect on alignment (fore/aft and lateral).  Finding a trusted "partner" to help you get to where you need to be is important, but you also benefit from developing an understanding of boot fitting so that you can better communicate with your fitter.

In the end, if I would have had to pay a boot fitter for the number of hours I've spent working on my own boot fit (testing the mix of various liners, footbeds, and shells) then I would probably be in $25K deep at least.

byronm

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 11:28:11 am »
HighAngles...I have been communicating with Jeremy at the Sport Loft in SLC. He was referred by Peter K last year near the end of last season. From what I can tell, Steve is still at Snowbird. Since I plan to do some skiing prior to bootfitting, no reason I coudn't stop in a chat with him too.
 
Valid points by all in terms of "real" cost of the journey to a good set up. Thus far, I have about $800 in my journey. $100 for cheap boots before I got re-addicted to skiing. $500 for current boots +$140 in footbeds and at least the balance in gas to and from shopping and services. So true, had I invested that money initially into a professional fitting, I would be far ahead. In a pragmatic sense, it would be foolish to continue to throw good money after bad for potential mediocre results as pointed out by Dan.
 
One factor in my favor I suppose is that the "raw" fit of the boots at this time is excellent (although the liners havent packed out yet) I do not have slop inside the boot with micro thin socks. I can ski them with the top buckles all but loose. However, I fear part of the reason for that could be the cork foot bed absorbing excess volume, while at the same time, as has been suggested, potentially locking up my ankle, exacerbating the geometry issue and actually causing the back seat problem and premature quad failure.
 
Great point also about skiing last years or the year before technology. I often do this with golf equipment. Heck, if each annual new line of OEM irons provided the "extra 15 yrds" as advertised, by now I would be hitting the ball 1760 yrds. I am quite satisfied hitting only 1700 yrds..... :D  Of course the challenge is finding a ski shop that carries over that type of inventory and discounts them accordingly. The knowledge to make the savvy initial purchase and then utilize an expert fitting service to dial them in I guess only comes with time and experience. Also true of maximizing the fitting process by understanding it better.
 
One thing I think will aid in my ultimate decision will be the ability to have my "old" boots at the fitting. Should it be determine I "need" to make a change, I can easily make side by side comparison as to how a potential new boot would feel in terms of fit and feel at the angle of attack. While it certainly wouldnt be all conclusive without on snow trial, better than nothing I guess.
 
Hopefully my experience and all the excellent information presented in this thread will serve to help others who are getting into or returning to skidom.
 
It may seem expensive and extravagant to buy upper end boots and utilize the skills of a professional fitter at the onset.  While the argument could be made that a "recreational" skier does not need upper end equipment and services to have fun, and no boot or ski will inoculate the learning curve with Olympian results. Depending upon your aspirations, expert guidance and good equipment up front in some cases is ultimately less expensive in the end game. At least until you develop a knowledge base to merge savvy purchases with a bit of equipment tweeking from a professional fitter as has been pointed out.
 
I'm finding that out the hard way....... ;D 
 
Thx guys......update to follow.......soon.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 01:02:33 pm by byronm »

HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2013, 04:02:11 pm »
I've got a bit of a "rep" for being highly opinionated and sometimes controversial.  While skiing today and observing other skiers booting up in the morning I had a thought and figured I would share it with our small community to see how it "plays".  ;)

My observation (and assumption) is that if you can put on and take off your ski boots without putting the liner on first and having to take your foot out of the boot with the liner on, then either:

1. Your boots are too big and/or too soft
2. Your liner isn't capable of doing what it should be doing for establishing true foot control within the shell

After downsizing 2 full sizes and moving to ZipFit and Intuition liners, I cannot possibly get into my boots without putting on the liners first.  I also can't get the boots off without taking the liner out along with my foot.  So my assumption is that either many skiers don't really know what a truly good tight fit is, or they're just not interested in having that much control through the interface of their foot with their boots.

I also offer that the mere act of continually taking a boot on and off without removing the liners will actually decrease the liner's ability to really achieve strong ankle/heel hold down and will most certainly hasten the life of the liner.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 04:03:12 pm by HighAngles »

midwif

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2013, 04:39:21 pm »
HA
And here I was thinking you a shrinking violet on this site.

Jim downsized a few sizes and once he got zip fits, needs to  put the liner on first.

I pretty much agree with you,
Anything that feels comfortable in the shop and is easy to get on/off is too big.

And i hate to say how long it took to  learn this.

Personally, I am unable to fit  a liner-clad foot into the shell due to the stiffness of the  foam liners and the boot shell modifications for  skinny ankle/lower leg.

However, it is true that  the ankle and heel were the first areas to feel packed in on year  4 .

Okay, you are opinionated and controversial, but I think you're probably right.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 04:59:03 pm by midwif »
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jim-ratliff

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2013, 04:57:54 pm »
HA:
What I most like about putting on my Zipfits first is hesitating just before the liner seats and being able to really seat my heel in the pocket.  I took the lacing off, so that allows me to work my foot out at the end of the day without removing the liner.

However, I would think that the stiffness of your boot is as significant a factor as the tightness of the liner/fit?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 06:02:14 pm by jim-ratliff »
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HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2013, 11:11:49 pm »
Jim - I'm surprised you're able to get your foot out of the ZipFits without removing the liner from the shell.  That's a pretty amazing feet (and one that's completely impossible with the internally leather-lined version of the ZipFits). 

Since I've come to appreciate the benefits of a stiffer boot and have experienced first-hand what it has done for my skiing, I still contend that my first observation (boots either too big or too soft) should be strongly considered when assessing whether or not you're in the right shell.

I used to tell people that my Flexons were a glove-like fit.  If that's still true then my Raptors are more akin to a vise-like grip - of course it's a vice with soft jaws though.  The hold is so strong and the fit so tight that I cannot move my foot into a "bad" position while the boots are buckled no matter I try.  My footbed still allows enough lateral movement so that I can pressure the walls of the shell though.  I guess this is my attempt at describing what a really high performance fit should feel like.  Of course I've never been in a true plug boot, but I can't imagine it feeling much different than what I'm in now - I'm lucky that me feet were pretty much designed for narrow race-lasted shells.  They just drop in without any mods needed (thanks to the the pairing with the ZipFits).

LivingProof

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2013, 01:18:05 pm »
I've got a bit of a "rep" for being highly opinionated and sometimes controversial.  While skiing today and observing other skiers booting up in the morning I had a thought and figured I would share it with our small community to see how it "plays".  ;)

My observation (and assumption) is that if you can put on and take off your ski boots without putting the liner on first and having to take your foot out of the boot with the liner on, then either:

1. Your boots are too big and/or too soft
2. Your liner isn't capable of doing what it should be doing for establishing true foot control within the shell

The new Atomic Redster 130's came with Sidas liners that are designed to be laced-up. Traditionalist that I am, some say stubborn, I've been putting them on/off in the traditional liner-in-boot method. It's been a fight, ask Gary as he saw the battles on our recent trip. Just got some bootfitting done, and, the fitter told me to use the laced up liners on my feet and then put in / take out. Did some home practice, used silicone as High Angles suggested on the rear of the shell to lubricate the plastic. At the mountain yesterday, it was an improvement...still not fun or fast....but better. I would agree that using the traditional method on these boots was beating up the tongue of the liner.

The issue with my boots is the lower part of the boot has to separate wide enough to permit the foot to slip in, and, my boots are thick and rigid at this point. Difficult to separate with the hands when warm, very difficult at the mountain. Not sure if it's solely a function of a too big or too soft. Race boots, like my Atomic, have smaller volume so that compounds the problem. My big feet do not help. Bought a small hair dryer to help soften up the plastic, just hope I can find an outlet at the mountain.

As the say, "your mileage may vary"....feet are a very individual thing. But, I can't argue with High Angles thinking that what used to be a good fit, may, be merely ok by some of modern boots and bootfitting.

HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2013, 01:27:39 pm »
LP - Did you pickup a heated boot bag yet?  I think that's the missing magic ingredient to finding "entry nirvana" with your new boots.

LivingProof

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2013, 04:36:41 pm »
HA
Not yet, looking for a great buy! Your the king of internet buying, so, let me know if you come across a great deal. Locally, I've been keeping them under the passenger seat floor so the heat keeps them warm. I really like my Transpack for it's convince of carrying all the gear as a backpack. Tough to give up.

midwif

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2013, 12:19:30 pm »
LP
I,  too, like the transpack for ski gear transport.

In addition to keeping the bag near the car vent during trips to the mountain, I find it helpful to put
a hand warmer in each boot, making sure it is  near the toes. Then I put a  glove or ski sock in the liner to keep the heat in.

I buy the hand warmers on STP in larger quantities, so they are usualy less than a $1/each.

Assuming these are colder days anyway, I  then use the handwarmers in my gloves. But, unlike you,  my finger tips almost always feel cold when in the high twenties and below.

The inside of the boot is usually warm and softer aiding foot entry.
With the hot tronic wires, etc, I find myself unwilling to pull the liner in/out each days. Lots of wear and tear.

OTOH, I am sure HA is correct. Loss of exact fit. It either wears on the inside or on the outside.
Given how stiff the nordica foam liners (less flexibility than the zip fits), I choose the keep the liners in.
My feet have suffered enough this year. I taking the easier way, for now.
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ToddW

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2013, 04:44:29 pm »
The new Atomic Redster 130's came with Sidas liners that are designed to be laced-up. Traditionalist that I am, some say stubborn, I've been putting them on/off in the traditional liner-in-boot method. It's been a fight, ask Gary as he saw the battles on our recent trip. Just got some bootfitting done, and, the fitter told me to use the laced up liners on my feet and then put in / take out. Did some home practice, used silicone as High Angles suggested on the rear of the shell to lubricate the plastic. At the mountain yesterday, it was an improvement...still not fun or fast....but better. I would agree that using the traditional method on these boots was beating up the tongue of the liner.

The issue with my boots is the lower part of the boot has to separate wide enough to permit the foot to slip in, and, my boots are thick and rigid at this point. Difficult to separate with the hands when warm, very difficult at the mountain. Not sure if it's solely a function of a too big or too soft. Race boots, like my Atomic, have smaller volume so that compounds the problem. My big feet do not help. Bought a small hair dryer to help soften up the plastic, just hope I can find an outlet at the mountain.

As the say, "your mileage may vary"....feet are a very individual thing. But, I can't argue with High Angles thinking that what used to be a good fit, may, be merely ok by some of modern boots and bootfitting.

LP,

Finally got around to reading this.

1.  Get a hotgear bag.  Slipping your liner into your shell will feel like a knife slicing through warm butter.

2.  If the floor surface is slick, put a cat track on the shell for friction before trying to insert your liner.  This will save you untold frustration.

HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2013, 05:50:29 pm »
There's also a product I used years ago that you stick in your microwave to heat up and then put them in your boots for the drive to the mountain.  They get your shells pretty darn hot.  Unfortunately I can't recall the name of the product at the moment, but they were basically like small socks filled with some kind of seed or something that can handle high temps over and over and not explode.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2013, 06:13:13 pm »
Now that sounds really interesting. Reusable, a couple of minutes in the microwave each morning in exchange for warm boots. Drop then in the boss, cover with the docks of the day, remember to remove before inserting feet.
If anyone knows or finds these let us know.
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HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2013, 05:31:54 pm »
They were called BootBurners and they were available on bootburners.com, but it looks like they're no longer an active company.  Some creative googling might find another version from a different company.  Google "BootBurners" or "Boot Burners" and you'll get some interesting info about how they worked and some testimonials.

Svend

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2013, 09:05:52 pm »
Jim:  a home brew version might be what Intuition Liners recommends for home heat molding their liners:  a stocking or sock filled with rice, put in the microwave, then inserted into the liner to warm it up.

https://intuitionliners.com/fitting/home-fitting-instructions/

You will not want to heat the sock as hot as they recommend, for risk of damaging your liners, so a shorter time in the microwave would be in order. 

You can also get similar results by using cherry pits or flax seed.  I have seen several heat packs filled with these -- my wife uses one filled with flax; works great for a sore neck or back. 

Fill a couple of old ski socks, and you'd have your own boot heaters for less than $2.  Let us know if you try it.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 09:10:10 pm by Svend »

HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2013, 07:24:00 am »
I have the feeling that flax seed is exactly what was used inside of the BootBurners.  They had a very distinct aroma once heated.

Svend

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2013, 07:35:46 am »
Quite possible.  Flax heating pillows are common.  And they do have a nutty/toasty aroma when they come out of the microwave.  May be a side benefit for Jim there....make his boots smell nice....  ;D

This would be the easiest thing to make -- an old pair of ski socks, cut off sturdy cotton shirt sleeves....any tubular fabric would work; filled with flax, tied at the ends, and Presto! you've got boot heaters for the car ride.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2013, 12:23:09 pm »
Jim:  a home brew version might be what Intuition Liners recommends for home heat molding their liners:  a stocking or sock filled with rice, put in the microwave, then inserted into the liner to warm it up.

https://intuitionliners.com/fitting/home-fitting-instructions/

You will not want to heat the sock as hot as they recommend, for risk of damaging your liners, so a shorter time in the microwave would be in order. 

You can also get similar results by using cherry pits or flax seed.  I have seen several heat packs filled with these -- my wife uses one filled with flax; works great for a sore neck or back. 

Fill a couple of old ski socks, and you'd have your own boot heaters for less than $2.  Let us know if you try it.
Thanks one and all.  I'm definitely going to try it. Nice that the socks can be refillable.  Buy the rice when I get to Colorado, throw it in the trash at the end of the week
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HighAngles

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts on Good Ski boot Fit
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2013, 11:48:06 pm »
You'll want to use a narrow/tight long sock for this - ideally made with a slick material that will slide into the boot liner easily.  That was the real key to the BootBurners - they had a slight angle to their shape and had a panel on the back side that made them easy to slide into the boot.