I am in desperate need of some good professional advice. I've been having major issues getting fitted for some Dalbello Axion 12's.
I'm 6'4", 235 lbs and consider myself a level 6-7 skier (ski mostly single blacks in the Tahoe area) but I'm trying to progress into off-piste, trees, etc. My feet are size 11.5 (left foot slightly bigger than right) and are exactly D width, high arch, very rigid foot and I tend to over pronate fairly significantly. Both my big toes stick out like 1/2 inch past my other toes (I'd probably be a size 10.5 if it wasn't for that.)
In most boots I've tried, demo's, rentals, etc. my left foot is usually fine, but my right foot tends to go numb from the ball of my foot forward, especially my big toe. Once my big toe goes completely numb, nothing will save it (unbuckling, etc.) unless I take my foot completely out of the boot and let the circulation come back. I don't have diabetes or other circulation problems (I tend to "run hot" and am usually very tolerant of cold weather).
After explaining all this to my boot fitter, he recommended I get the Superfeet Kork Vacuum custom insoles first and then he'd fit me to a boot. He put extra material under the right insole big toe area, which he said would help with my right big toe going numb. Paid $150 for the insoles. This boot fitter is supposedly a Kork specialist and foot doctors in the area refer patients to him to get custom insoles made.
He then put me in the Dalbello Axion 12's in a 29.5, but didn't do a shell fit--he just asked me how they felt on my foot. He also had me try on the Salomon Impact 10 cs in the same size. Out of the box, the Dalbello's felt slightly more comfortable, so I went with those.
However, the first day of skiing in the Dalbello's with the custom insoles in, I realized as soon as I hit anything steep with bumps I had to crank the buckles down pretty hard to keep my feet from swimming around. The custom insoles KILLED my feet on the balls of both feet. I had to rip the custom insoles out and put the stock ones back in at lunch time. That alleviated the bottom foot pain, but my right big toe was still going numb.
I came to these forums and learned about shell fit, so did a shell fit at home. The 29.5 shell was WAY too big for my foot, with at least 1.5 inches behind my foot and 3 millimeters or so on each side of the foot. So I went back into the shop and asked to exchange them for the next shell size down. The 28.5 shell was much better on my foot with about 1-2 mm on each side and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch behind my heel. But the liners seemed way too small, with both my big toes jammed against the front of the liner. The boot fitter said that would get better when I lean into the boots. It didn't. Again, the shell fit seemed fine, but the liner was just too short for my feet. He insisted it would get better once I was skiing.
So I took the 28.5's out for a day (this time in Park City, UT) and both my feet were in excruciating pain the whole day, with my right big toe going numb and in so much pain, I had to stop after *every run* and take my boot off to let the circulation come back. Both big toes were also hurting from being crammed against the liner. Fun vacation day, huh?
When I got home I went back to the shop and the fitter did some grinding to the bottoms of my insoles, saying they were probably taking up too much volume in the boot. The boots felt a litter better in the shop (except for my big toes being crammed against the liner) and so I went out skiing for another day at Kirkwood. I had to rip the boots off after 2 hours and get some rentals. I just couldn't stand the pain!
In Kirkwood's demo shop they put me in Technica Dragon Slayers in a 29.5 and I put my custom insoles in them. They fit pretty nice in the shop. On the slopes they were much better on my feet, although now I was getting some significant pressure points on the outsides of my ankles, pinching in the back of my achilles tendons and shin pain right above my ankle. Right big toe was still going a little numb, but not nearly as bad as in the Dalbello's. At least I could ski in them the rest of the day, and unbuckling them when resting or on the lifts kept my right toe from going numb.
So now I'm stuck. I feel like my boot fitter doesn't really know what he's doing and it's a pain in the ass going back there (half an hour from my house) every time I go skiing, just for them to make another adjustment that doesn't work. I'm thinking about returning the boots and going somewhere else. I was thinking about getting fitted on the slopes, or somewhere near the slopes, where they can make adjustments right after skiing in them.
So my big (3) questions are:
1) Should I also try to return the Kork Superfeet and get custom insoles made at the next boot fitter I go to? If I can't trust the boot fitter I have now to put me in the right boot for my feet, how can I trust his insole craftsmanship?
3) I was thinking of trying to find a boot fitter in the Truckee area, or possibly Elite Feet at Northstar. OR, I will also be skiing for 4 days in Vail, CO in March and was thinking of possibly getting fitted at Vail if anyone knows of any good boot fitters around there?