EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Good Women's Ski boots for Intermediate/Advanced?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Good Women's Ski boots for Intermediate/Advanced?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My girlfriend just completed her first season skiing, and recently we've been shopping around for equipment so she doesn't have to rent anymore, and can have something that feels more like it was made for her. First order of business is boots, and I was hoping to catch some end-of-season deals.

 

Here's some data that some of you may find useful:

 

Weight: ~115 lbs (although she won't actually let me know her real weight)

 

Height: 5'5"

 

Foot Size: Her feet are actually different sizes, but I think she's measuring a 23.5 at the places we've seen.

 

Skier type: Right now I'd call her a pretty solid intermediate. Once she got her pole planting down, she looked absolutely graceful on easy blacks and hard blues at Kirkwood. Not too much experience yet in deep snow/bumps. Next year, I'm hoping to focus on those, and get her carving by the end of the season. Note that she's not incredibly strong and has had knee issues with other sports in the past. 

 

My goal is to get her in a pair of medium/high flex factor boots (so she can grow into them) that fit her the way a boot should fit. There's a pretty limited supply in the bay area these days, and I don't think that the boot fitters down here have done the most thorough of jobs, but we seemed to have settled on two candidates:

 

1. Lange Exclusive Delight Pro (90 Flex)

2. Nordica Hot Rod 90

 

We also tried the Hot Rod 80 and the Delight 70, but both seemed to be for a different foot type than hers, and neither fit properly (too tight on the ankle, so she was feeling pressure points.I think the Lange's fit her more snuggly (good), and put her into a good skiers-position (very good), but she had some trouble walking around in them because her default position was a little more forward. She didn't seem to have too much of a problem flexing either boot with her stronger leg. Her weaker leg could still flex, although it was easy to see an imbalance there.

 

Questions for you guys:

 

1. For boot fitters on the forums, what kind of feedback have you gotten from these boots?

2. Do you think that 90 might be a bit too stiff given that this coming season will only be her second and she's not crazy-strong?

3. The Langes fit a little better (or maybe she was trying to humor me because I ski on Langes), but when we took off her boots, her shins were a bit red. Is this something to be worried about?

 

Thanks a lot for your help!

 

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Something else to note. We've also tried on boots from Technica, Atomic, and Dalbello, since I wanted her to feel what all the different manufacturers felt like. Today, it looks like most boot makers have a few different foot/ankle/calf styles that they might be targetting, though, so we might not have been too exhaustive. Given the stats above, if you guys have any other recommendations for boots to try, let me have it :)

 

 

post #3 of 14

Is this going to be a present, or do you just do her choosing for her? If former, then it's hazardous to buy online and hope the boot will fit someone else's foot. Especially since you've already had some concerns about models she's tried, and she has "knee issues." This cries out for a good bootfitter working with her.

 

My tip, based on, well, it works: Find some white cardboard. Cut out a tiny pair of boots. Color them in, make them look cool. Put this into a card, with the address of the shop. Go to the shop beforehand and have them run your credit card/give them some cash. Give her the card. Make it clear it's all taken care of. Go with her and let the fitter do what he or she does well. Then go out to dinner. Then come home and enjoy your desert.

 

If latter, and you assume you need to make all her skiing calls for her, which boot is relevant only because she'll need mention the model when she complains about you to her next boyfriend. wink.gif

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Beyond, the advice in your second paragraph is ideally what I would like to do with her. Unfortunately, we're 4 hours away from a real boot fitter. If only I had known about StartHaus and the other shops when we were up in Tahoe this winter! I was hoping we might find a pretty decent one in our area, so we've actually been to quite a few shops so that we could find a good boot fitter, and the perfect boot. Based on my experiences with what a good boot fitter should be checking for, I don't think we've found one of those, and I'm not confident enough in my own abilities to definitively say yes to the "perfect boot" part.

 

In this case, I'm hoping for this to be a present (although I have a feeling I may have just blown myself out of the water with this one, because she's pretty search-savvy frown.gif), but I don't want to give it to her too delayed, which would leave me with the following options:

 

1. Figure out some totally awesome reason to get up to tahoe in the summer and kill two birds with one stone.

2. Convince myself in my choice with your help here.

3. Abandon this whole idea.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinaltap View Post

 

1. Figure out some totally awesome reason to get up to tahoe in the summer and kill two birds with one stone.

2. Convince myself in my choice with your help here.

3. Abandon this whole idea.


4) Post in the "ask the boot guys" forum, making sure to read the FAQ first.

 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Actually, I didn't even know about the boot guys forum. After reading through, though, it seems like this may still be the best area to post. I was really hoping someone on the forum might have some first-hand experience with either of those two boots. That said, the more I read, the more I feel like we missed when visiting all the stores in our area (in terms of things to check on when fitting). On the plus side, I feel like I'm learning a lot :)

 

Of course, I can always use more advice, so please pour it on.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinaltap View Post

Beyond, the advice in your second paragraph is ideally what I would like to do with her. Unfortunately, we're 4 hours away from a real boot fitter. If only I had known about StartHaus and the other shops when we were up in Tahoe this winter! I was hoping we might find a pretty decent one in our area, so we've actually been to quite a few shops so that we could find a good boot fitter, and the perfect boot. Based on my experiences with what a good boot fitter should be checking for, I don't think we've found one of those, and I'm not confident enough in my own abilities to definitively say yes to the "perfect boot" part.

 

In this case, I'm hoping for this to be a present (although I have a feeling I may have just blown myself out of the water with this one, because she's pretty search-savvy frown.gif), but I don't want to give it to her too delayed, which would leave me with the following options:

 

1. Figure out some totally awesome reason to get up to tahoe in the summer and kill two birds with one stone.

2. Convince myself in my choice with your help here.

3. Abandon this whole idea.


 

Start Haus will be here next year. Late summer should work, inventory starts arriving mid August. You can buy her something else for her birthday now and just wait on the boots. 

post #8 of 14

A lot depends on her foot width and shape. I know Nordica has several different lasts, at least 3 in the lighter flexing race boots. Head has at least 2. It is unlike skis in that I don't think it is really advisable to pick a boot - the foot defines the boot you need. The more issues with the foot, the more critical it is to have a top notch boot fitter involved. With her knee problems and lack of symmetry in strength, she is a person (like almost all of us) that needs a good boot fitter. 

 

By the way, the boot fitter forum may (or may not) be able to steer you to someone in your area.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

I totally understand that the best boot for someone is going to be unique to the shape of their foot/ankle/calve, and to their skiing style. The boots we were settling on above were settled on after trying out roughly 10 different boots. At each fitting, I'd have her walk around a bit, stand in the natural position that the boots were putting into, stand in a good skiers stance, and try to drive down into the boot as you would skiing. I also tried gauging her feedback on each fitting to make sure things were feeling the way they were supposed to (based on my knowledge, which is at least good enough to start honing in).

 

That said, I realize that saying, "We tried a bunch of different boots, and these were to two best" is not an equivalent statement to saying "We found the best boot possible for her." I'm hoping I had done a fairly good job, though. Oh well.

 

All this advice seems to be pointing to one inevitable truth. However, if, based on the info above, you think I can arrive at a good answer, advice on the specific boots mentioned would also be greatly appreciated (since it should help me save some $$). Worst case, I think I can always get some work done after the fact to help with strength imbalance, etc.

post #10 of 14

The problem with buying ski boots is that boots is that more often than not, if they feel good when you first try them on (even after wearing them for 20 or 30 minutes) they're too big. Boots and liners are designed to be stretched, ground, etc. and footbeds (somehow) reduce foot volume. The right boot often feels really wrong the first time you put it on, particularly if your only references are rental boots and street shoes. There's nothing intuitive about it.

 

It's like buying a suit - very few people can wear one off the rack without some alteration. However, if boots are too big, they usually hurt and can't be taken in.

 

Speaking from personal experience, if you want your girlfriend to continue to enjoy skiing, do the boots right the first time. My wife was a solid skier who retired from the sport shortly after we married, primarily because of uncomfortable boots. In the 20+ years since, no amount of cajoling, bribery, or our kids' sad puppy dog eyes has gotten her back on skis.

post #11 of 14

Take it from someone of the female persuasion who happens to be about your GF's "dimensions". Wait until you can see a bootfitter. I have gone through 4 pair of boots in 5 years because they were ALL too big for me. Even a self-pronounced "bootfitter" at a local ski shop will often fit for comfort vs. performance. Keep doing research about fitting so you can go in with at least some education about the process and therefore ask the right questions, etc.

 

Hold off and go see Phil at Start Haus. He got my husband dialed into a new pair of boots that took him about 2 days to break in, so to speak. Now they are quite perfect. And the breaking in period wasn't by any stretch painful, just some discomfort in his toes that has since gone away. (Thanks, Phil!)

post #12 of 14

I would definitely hold off and get her fitted by a good bootfitter. As such a new skier, she may not be able to truly understand what a really good fit feels like. When I first started skiing I didn't even "know", this despite the fact that I had done ballet (and been on pointe) for years when I was younger, so I fully understood that ski boots were not a comfort fit item. I can also say that I've had 3 pairs of boots over several seasons of skiing. The newest is the smallest and yet ironically the most comfortable on my feet. The pair before were a full 11mm longer in BSL, yet far less comfortable. However, for this pair of boots I really knew what I wanted and how it should feel. But I've only gotten to that point after many years of skiing.

 

Another piece of advice about getting her fitted boots - do it in the fall when the shop(s) will have a full selection of sizes. It is possible that she may actually need a boot smaller than 23.5, and the selection of boots in that size is extremely limitted to begin with, and only becomes more so as the season drags on and into summer. Also don't take her to get fitted when she's been wearing tons of sandals and otherwise "soft" or "loose" shoes. Her feet won't be "ready" to be in boots and almost anything may feel uncomfortable.

post #13 of 14

Don't select a boot,  select a fit...or a fitter if you need advice.

 

One good boot is money, time and effort ahead of the "usual" option.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hmmm, while I'm pretty sure most on this thread are assuming that my observations or my girlfriend's feedback really add much value to the boot-fitting, I guess I can't ignore the dissent either. smile.gif

 

I'm moving ahead with plan C (totally different gift, and I'll try to visit tahoe in the fall to get a proper fitting done), but would still appreciate any feedback on my original questions at the top. I still can't find review information on those two boots, so I guess this will help internet researchers out there.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Good Women's Ski boots for Intermediate/Advanced?