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

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.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

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.