Author Topic: A lesson (expensive one) in bootfitting  (Read 634 times)

Ron

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A lesson (expensive one) in bootfitting
« on: September 19, 2006, 11:41:20 am »
Gary has endured my quest for the perfect fitting boot and the search for a fitter who knows what they are doing. It's a long tale so I'll cut to the chase and leave some of my wisdom (bought and paid for) to all who are in search of the perfect fit.


Two seasons ago I was referred to a fitter in beaver Creek who was suposedly famous in the Vail Valley. Long and short, this guy didn't really know what he was (or is) and fit me in a boot that was too voluminous and canted me by adding strips below the bindings in my skis. he filled the volume by adding Bontex strips.  This isn't all bad but not 3 or 4. He then instructed me to simply wear thicker socks!  The strips under the binding is OK if you only ski on one pair and that's all. He aslo said I didn't need footbeds. I thought I knew enough to know if this was correct and I did question the multiple bontex strips and thick socks.  What I learned is that you need to know as much as you can before you go to that fitter. Ask around and speak with the fitter to understand that they understand you and how/what you ski. If you think something doesnt seem right (like thick socks) question it and don't just let them talk you into it. 

Update- went back to the fitter and demanded new pair of boots, got new boots but he se them up wrong again so here I am now. Also, had footbeds made, theyare useless, I have flat feet and need arch support.

Lesson: $300 for fitting and $125 for beds. Am I a fool?  yes, did i learn? I hope so.  Don't make the same mistake, there are a lot of folks on this site (including Harold, himself) and others over at epicski.com who can help you finda good fitter who will check you over, evaluate your body including ankles, feet, fibia, tibia, knees and hips.

Solution: I am meeting with billy Kaplan here in the Phili area.  Billy came highly endorsed by several skiers on epic, two of which I know personally (now, after the whole CO fitter thing).  Billy spent nearly a half hour on the phone with me conducting an orientation of sorts and explaining exactly what he does, why and how. I will post how my fitting goes but I thought it would cool if you could list what to look for in a good fitter. 

1-A- REFERENCES from knowledeable skiers who you trust
1-experience
2- process for evaluating body, stance, allignment

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jbotti

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Re: A lesson (expensive one) in bootfitting
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2006, 09:14:13 pm »
Ron, the one lesson I learned in getting my last pair of boots (Head Rs 96) is that most bootfitters don't really wnat to deal with the aggravation and issues that occur with a truly tight fit. I worked with Harald a ton (and my firend Thro Kallerud) and they both told me to buy a plug type boot that was unskiable before work. It was very painful before the work and most bootfitters don't want to do all the work necessary in a boot this tight.

Toes can easily gain 5mm in a plug boot so there is no reason to have any room up there. My boots before work had less than .5mm behind the heel when shelled. After 2 hours of work and footbeds by Diana, they are the most comfortable pair of boots I have ever had.

Again, most bootfitters don't want to take the risk that you will decide that the boot is too tight after all the work. You will need to ask for it.

Personally, I wouldn't have anyone besides Harald and Diana set me up in boots, but living in CA it's easier for me to get there. JB.

Ron

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Re: A lesson (expensive one) in bootfitting
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2006, 07:07:50 am »
I would love to have Harold fit me!  Not an option forom good ol' New Jersey. In fact, there are very few fitters around here worth anything, Your comment regarding them not wanting to get involved is correct. This reminded me of another important tip, That don't bother with the "free" fitting service that is included when you buy boots. You pay for what you get! (unless you are going to a certain "double diamond fitter" in Colorado named "Kenny", then you are paying a lot for a terrible fit! ;D

Barrettscv

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Re: A lesson (expensive one) in bootfitting
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2006, 09:33:02 am »
Hi Ron,

I also have flat feet and have gone through several boots in search of the perfect fit. I'm getting closer, here is a report on the Green Mountain Orthotic Lab at Stratton;

My 17 year old daughter and I were skiing Stratton last year when she commented that her left boot was super comfortable and her right boot was a real pain.

I told her we should go to the GMOL boot-fitters here at Stratton to see what they could do. I also wanted my to have my new Salomon Course?s analyzed and probably canted.

As we arrived, I had visions of $250 modification costs and boots that were practically reengineered to our specific needs. I had always heard that the GMOL are the best boot-fitter?s; but that they were EXSPENCIVE.

Nick Blaylock completely analyzed my daughter feet, legs and stance while discussing her unique needs. The boots were checked for fit, and her Nordica Beast (110-120 flex) were a very good match for her foot shape and the right size. Her ankles were strong but very stiff with a limited range of motion. The boot sole was slightly twisted. He added a lift to the heels internally, giving her ankle a little more range of motion and planed the soles flat. He checked the ski lifter for delta. Nick said that that should do it.

As I went to the cash register I prepared myself for sticker shock. Nick spent a moment pricing the bill and said ?$38.00 please? I almost fell over. We skied and she immediately looked better with improved balance and more aggressive turns on the steep & icy runs. I asked her how everything was, and she said ?so much easier?.

I came back at four o?clock for my fitting with my new ?03 Salomon Course 130 flex. I usually need 1 or 2 degrees of canting, plus my stance and back have not been right ever since I broke my ankle 5 years ago. (the ankle is great, but not my stance)

After a lengthy analysis Nick said that the stance is not balanced and that the healed break was probably producing a longer leg on that side. He carefully checked the need for canting and said the twist in the boot sole needed to be uniformly flat but kept in place, since it was providing some canting benefit. He added a lifter to the boot on the healthy (but shorter) leg. Again I went to the cash register assuming the worst and again I paid a very fair price.

I like the philosophy at the GMOL. They provide a very complete analysis and only make a few key changes that provide a great return on investment.

We live in Chicago. My son will need new boots in 2007. We will buy at the GMOL, without hesitation.

Cheers,

Barrettscv
« Last Edit: September 21, 2006, 12:53:24 pm by Barrettscv »

Ron

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Re: A lesson (expensive one) in bootfitting
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 12:36:36 pm »
I don't know how I missed your post, sorry. I am seeing a loacl philly fitter on Oct,4. I spoke with him during a kind of a orientation for a 1/2 hour. He will conduct a very similar if not identical evaluation on my feet, ankles, legs and hips. He also has some new tool that will measure rotation when flexing forward.  More to come after the fitting. I got his name from over at Epic and spoke to some of his clients. One is a Dr. I bought my 82's from and this guy swears by him. He skis all over the world (literally) so I take this as a good reference. In speaking with him, Billy Kaplan, I really got a good sense that he already had a good grasp of my skiing and problems. I can't wait!  After the disaster with Kenny Friedman from Gorsuch in Beaver Creek, I am really pissed that I waisted about $300 on "fitting" and foot beds. A total waist of money.  I am goin gto pay the Gorsuch mgr a visit in December and have a calm, but firm talk about the "work" done by Kenny, They already had to put me i brand new boots last seson after Kenny fit me boots too voluminous.