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New Boot Setup and Adjustments (more boot-fitting hell!)???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So after going to all the shops in LA (which isn't a lot), I was fit into a Tecnica Dragon 100, the only problem was it was slightly too soft flexing and they didn't have my size in a 110.  So the shop told me that I should try and look for a Dragon 110 or Agent 110 elsewhere and bring it in to get adjusted.  I found last year's Agent 110 online and purchased it.  I took my boots into the shop that had done the fitting a few months earlier to have my skis and boots setup and adjusted.


I asked the guy at the shop to install my existing footbeds, heat mold my liners and adjust the cuff on my boot.  He proceeded to heat up my liners (I later found out he used a heat-gun and singed my micro-fleece liner), put the footbeds in and told me to put the boots on walk around the shop for 10 minutes.  The boots didn't feel as hot as I remember when I got my previous boots setup, but I did what he said and didn't question it too much.  I then had to poke and prod to continue the setup and have them adjust the cuff to make sure I was in a neutral position.  Instead of helping me do it and making suggestions, they told me how to do it myself and said just move it around until it feels right.  I did so, but at this point I'm not confident that I got the proper boot setup that I was looking for.  At no point did anyone ask me if I had any hot-spots, or if the boot was too tight in any area, or if my heel was slipping around, etc.  Does any of this sound inadequate to any of the boot-fitters out there?  I questioned the guy several times about making sure I was in a neutral position with the cuff adjustment and he just kept on insisting that the adjustment doesn't really do anything anyways and that if it felt good, than I was fine.  I also asked about the fact that my soft, furry fleece liner was now slightly melted down on the top of the liner and was no longer soft and furry on the top edge.  Again, he insisted that it didn't really matter as it wouldn't affect the performance and that's what happens when you heat mold synthetic material liners.  I always thought liners should be heated with blown air or an over (never a heat gun!).  My confidence with these guys is at an all time low.  I've had decent service from them in the past and am not sure if I'm being ultra picky and OCD, or if these guys didn't set me up properly.  Any insight would be highly appreciated... not sure what to do when I pick up my skis and boots from their servicing tomorrow!?



post #2 of 7

as business owner, bootfitter, certified pedorthist, trainer of other bootfitters and a life time member of the royal order of bootfitters, it is embarrassing to read stories like yours.


2 reasons why:


1. there are shops and individuals out there that are misrepresenting the craft by pretending to be boot fitters.


2. there are skiers out there that keep trying to run a thousand miles away from real boot fitters to trick the market into providing them with great stuff at low prices, that need no education or fitting.


yes, you should not go back to that ski shop and yes you did this yourself by getting that far into a boot purchase without a real professional for guidance.


LA right? you got 2 choices to do it right. go to mammoth by car, or get on a plane to Tahoe, Salt Lake, Denver, all quicker and easier then driving to mammoth. all those places have real bootfitters to guide you through the muck of a boot purchase. and they probably have a few pair of boots in stock as well.


good luck,



post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the insight Jim.  So it turns out I'm another guy that did it wrong :)  Last time I had a full-on fitting (custom insole, sole grind, canting plates, punches, grinds, etc.) I couldn't walk for a few days after my first ski trip, which is why I tried on just about every boot I could and made the decision for myself.  


I'm very confident that the boots I just purchased are right for my foot, but I need someone to help me do the last few adjustments now that I have them (heat mold, cuff adjustment, etc.).  If I was standing in your shop right now with my new (purchased online) boots and asked to have them adjusted, how would you personally handle that kind of customer if their boots were in fact the right size and shape for their foot?  I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, I'm simply looking for advice on how to make sure these particular boots are setup properly.



post #4 of 7

i can't speak for Jim, but if it was my store (and i am pretty sure he would do similar), we would happily make adjustments to your boots, heat mould them (with the correct tools), build new footbeds if required, stretch or grind shells, look at cant set up etc etc etc....all assuming that the boot was the right size/shape fior your foot, if it was say a little big we would explain why and the differences it will make and then let you decide what direction you wanted to take, work on the boot or whatever, if it was massively big we again would show you why, and suggest that you do not waste your money on trying to make them fit as the outcome is likely to be disappointing.


Jim is 100% right with is comments about bootfitters being misrepresented by salesmen and kids who have done a 2 day course and are calling themselves boot fitters, sure these kids have to get into the trade at a level and to do a 2 day course either shows that them or their employer wants to try and take things seriously, my personal belief is that boot fitters should be licenced in some way so that you know you are seeing a qualified profesional, much in the same way as a doctor or a pumber or any other trade/proffession ..then there will always be a few that slip under the net, but at least you know if they don't have certification on the wall then they are not as qualified as they my claim

post #5 of 7

i do not want to side step your questions by oversimplifying a response, but.......


we would treat you with the same respect and dignity as any customer that comes into our business. what that means is you get what you need based on your feet, your skills, your goals, and your budget.




post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help I guys, I do appreciate it.


CEM, just so I know moving forward, what's the proper method for heat-molding a liner on last years Tecnica Agent 110?  What's the proper method for checking cant/cuff and how is the adjustment made on these boots?  Any step-by step info. would be great.  Unfortunately it was the owner of the shop I went to that was helping (or not helping) me.  Could you educate me so I can either call him on his BS or know for the next time.  Unfortunately, there was no way for me to get up to Mammoth or Tahoe for a boot run (although I will definitely next time).  


You guys make this forum great.  Thanks for all the insight and help!



post #7 of 7

heating the liner is simple, it should go on a hot air blower as supplied (or sold) by the boot companies for 10 mins approx, depending on the machine, you don't need to do this but it will help pack the liner in a little quicker than if you don't do it and just go skiing

for the cuff can you need to be standing in the shells only on the footbeds, the cuff of the boot should be set up so that you leg comes out the middle, i.e. same gap between either sider of the kleg and the shell, sometimes there just isn't enough movement available and then you have to make some other sadjustments


hope that helps a little

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