Where is a good place to buy some new boots in the Atlanta area?
The two best shops in Atlanta are Peter Glenn and Rocky Mountain Snow and Ski shop, but I wouldn't recommend buying boots at either of them and I absolutely wouldn't buy boots at Sun Ski and Sports at Discovery Mills.
I purchased a pair at Peter Glenn a couple of years ago and worked with what I thought was a really good bootfitter, but the boots were too big and after the liners packed out a little I had all sorts of problems. Wound up having to buy a new pair in Breckenridge this year.
My advise is to do a search here on bootfitters and buy a pair from a good bootfitter near where you will be skiing.
You suggested "not to buy in Atlanta" but only purchased at 1 shop. Here's what I know for a fact: All boots at resorts are LOTS more expensive because they have a very short window to pay very high rent plus they have you as a captive consumer. All shops in Atlanta are 100's less expensive than a resort, I'll guarantee you this and you can look it up on line.
I have always bought my boots at Rocky Mountain and I was told that their #1 problem was customers wanted boots that were too big because they felt better right off the bat. I was exactly the same way. After several minutes of showing me what I needed to know, fitting me with several adjustments, I slowly started feeling the comfort in my boots. they also gave me a boot "workout" routine before i left on my trip so I could make sure my boots continued to fit properly.
BTW, they also give a lifetime boot fit guarantee. This is backed up by the fact they "brand" their boots with a real branding iron right into the sole of the boot so they can identify their customers. This showed me they were serious about what they were doing. i would suggest you give them a try and I think you will be surprised.
Hi Chuck. I'm another southern boy and strongly suggest that you get yourself fitted for boots when you get to ski country.
Chances are that the boot fitters in the mountains will have much more experience than your local fitter, and a knowledgeable fitter is of incalculable value to you as regards proper boot selection, fit, and alignment. Having the fitter available near the mountain makes it easy to arrange for adjustments, fine tuning, tweaking and etc. on any given day.
You will most likely pay more for boots near a resort than you would at home. So what? In the long run, the cost of a well fit pair of boots will completely eclipse the few dollars that you think that you are "saving".
Not to knock your local shops, but you'd better have an angel on your shoulder if you get your boots from them. I love the fact that I've got a shop around here, and want them to stay in business. I do try and give them as much business as I can, and buy our clothing, helmets, and such from them. I'm very friendly with all of the long time employees, and they fully understand my reasons for looking elsewhere for my boots. In fact, the fitter there concurs with my rationale.
I know it seems logical that buying a ski boot at a resort where you can "try it out" is the best thing to do. However, having worked and fitted ski boots for 40 years I can tell you 3 things for sure: 1. You will pay hundreds more for your boots at any resort shop. 2. Most resort shops only carry "upper" priced boots because they must sell expensive stuff to pay the rent so you will be mainly buying upper priced Mercedez Benz boots. 3. If they have to "fit you" that usually means an added $100-$200 for that fit. Since you are "stuck" at the resort they can get away with all of these things. A $300 city shop boot will be priced typically around $459 at a resort.
The reason you work out in your boots (at home) is so you can simulate your movements and get your feet to put pressure in the same areas so the boots will begin the process of compacting to your feet. There is no question that actual skiing will absolutely be the best way to get this compression but it can be done pretty well, if not perfectly, in your own home with a 3-4 day effort on your part by building up each session by about 20 minutes each time. When you have built up to being in your boots for 1 1/2 hours then your feet should have had enough time to give you the sense of how these boots will feel when you actually ski in them. After fitting 1000's of boots and having 1000's of repeat customers I can tell you that city shops sell tons more boots than resort shops, at lower prices, and with a high success rate. Of course this all requires that you get a proper fit in the 1st place and that is whether you buy from a city or a resort shop.
On top of everything else I can also tell you that being in a resort costs you quite a bit of money every waking hour you are walking around. You can use those waking around hours to either ski or you can use them to "shop". If you use them to shop and fit and refit your boots that is another added cost to you because all of your friends will be skiing while you are wasting time (expensive time) trying to find the right pair of boots. Finding your boots at your local ski shop is a lot less expensive and will leave you with more "skiing time" while you are at the resort.....which is why you are paying the big bucks to be there in the first place.
As a side note, I get a kick out of those that think because they live near the mountains that they know more about skiing than someone that lives in the South. I think they confuse the fact that they are a "better" skier as being the same as knowing more? Customers that live in the South are different in their desires and their abilities and I believe "resort salesman" have a very difficult time identifying with them and many many times "oversell" them on boots that are too stiff and too high end for a 1 week per year skier. I noticed a long time ago that an intermediate skier from the South is different than an intermediate skier that lives in Vail or Aspen.
I sincerely hopes this helps out.
My wife and I and both purchased new boots from a shop in Atlanta this season. After 4 trips to Lone Mountain Sports in Big Sky to fix everything that wasn't done right the first time, they now fit pretty well. If you want to save money, buy them locally, but just plan on visiting a real boot fitter - especially after you have the opportunity to ski in them. What feels fine for 5 seconds in a store has little bearing on how they feel when you ski in them for a few hours.
To Istvan's point on cost - time at a resort is certainly valuable, but $100 to $200 for a boot fitting is pretty far out of line with what I've experienced. No doubt it varies by location, but I've seen more in the $30 to $50 range.