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How to find the correct boot for a beginner?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I read many threads here about how to choose the correct boot.

I am in an area where the local stores does not have a good boot fitter (Pittsburgh, PA), so I am trying to do my best alone.

I went today to the sale of the local shop (Willi's), and I am quite confused regarding the correct boot size.

 

My street shoes are 8.5. I measured my foots today, and my right is exactly 26 while my left foot is almost 26. The width is regular (I think) but they are little bit flat.

I tried some boots in 26.5, but they felt big. I then tried 25.5 but they felt too small. I know that my toe should touch the boot, but I felt like all my fingers were cramped.

I tried some brands: Salomon, Tecnica, Nordica, Dabello. I tried even wider boots, like the Head Edge+10.5, with a last of 104mm, but in 25.5 I still felt this squashing.

The only exception was with Atomic Hawx 80 2011, size 25.5 and 100mm last. They felt OK with the length exactly as I read- my toe touched the boot, but went back when I flexed them. The other fingers were, surprisingly, OK too. However, I felt a lot of pressure on the upper sides of my legs, and it didn't pass even after a while inside the boots.

 

What size should I then look for?

 

Thank!

post #2 of 9

Have you read this?

 

http://www.epicski.com/wiki/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

 

Fitting boots for any ability level is pretty similar, you need the plastic shell to fit the shape of the foot as well as possible. Do a shell fit on any boot before even trying it on, better yet, find a bootfitter (they are out there if you just look a tiny bit) to help guide you... or buy something really cheap because you will be buying the wrong boots, which is pretty much inevitable if you are new to this and working by yourself.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

Yes, sure.

 

Quote:

Fitting boots for any ability level is pretty similar, you need the plastic shell to fit the shape of the foot as well as possible. Do a shell fit on any boot before even trying it on, better yet, find a bootfitter (they are out there if you just look a tiny bit) to help guide you... or buy something really cheap because you will be buying the wrong boots, which is pretty much inevitable if you are new to this and working by yourself.


I can't find a bootfitter in my area. Since I'll be skiing here, I need to find someone around.

 

I did the shell fit. With 26 boots, there is too much room behind my left heel. With 25, I have 1.5~ cm behind my right heel, and I feel that my fingers cramp.

post #4 of 9
When you say fingers, youmean toes right? I wear size 10 street and 26 boots. Get size 25 most likely and the boots will pack out if you are not going to see a bootfitter. If regular width foot, you shoud look a
t 98mm width. Good luck, as previous poster stated buy them cheap because most likely youll be buying twice.
post #5 of 9

1.5 cm (15 mm) is on the roomy side for shell length. When you put your fingers in behind your heel, your toes should be up against the toe. That's the idea. And with the liner in, the boot should be very snug, especially around the ankle. Your toes should just touch the end of the boot when you stand normally in a store, and pull back a cm or thereabouts when you flex into a skiing stance. Don't go for street shoe fit or you'll be swimming in them after two weeks when the liners start to pack out. So don't go any bigger than 25. To give you an idea, I wear a 10.5-11.00 street show and ski a 26.5 boot. 

 

I'd suggest going on the Boot forum and asking where the nearest good fitter is. It's worth driving a little, trust me. Whiteroom speaks the truth. For instance, there must be a ski shop somewhere near the slopes you ski. Better to buy there, and you can come back to the shop in the afternoon for tweaks. 

 

But if you're dead set on doing this yourself, no adjustments or real fitting, then buy a decent footbed with arch support. Insert it before you choose a boot. That'll actually make your foot take up less room side to side. I do not fully agree with shoa007; 98's are fine if you have a narrowish foot and/or seek a high performance boot for serious carving. But if your feet are 102, and you can't get the boots ground or stretched, a 98 will make you cramp up within 2 runs. Pay attention to height over the instep with the footbed. If you have a high arch, make sure the top of the boot doesn't press on the veins across the top of your instep.

 

The new Heads and Salomon have a reputation for more forgiving fit, meaning they tend to be a bit wider in front but still narrow in back where you need the snugness. I liked the Head Blasters a lot, but everything has a new name this season, so unclear what they're called now (Raptor? Vector?) Keep in mind that each brand tends to have its own characteristic last shape, so some brands will tend to be best for high volume feet, some for narrow, and so on. So think about your own feet; are they meaty, bony, wide at the heel, etc? In general, you'll be easiest to fit if your feet are not too wide in front. Seems like more companies have lasts for wider ankles and heels, which apparently characterize more males. Good luck. 

post #6 of 9

I agree with the others.  You really have no chance of doing this by yourself if you dont have the experience.  Ski boots are not like shoes that can be just "laced up".  You need to look at fore foot width, heel width, arch hight etc.  And that needs to match the boot, or be close, then you modify the boot to fit.  It is worth waiting to you are somewhere they can fit right.  Too many variables here to list.

 

But if you are going to do it here is another point to remember:  How the boot feels when on, when new, is largley irrelevant.  The liner will pack out alot in the first few days, especially in recrecational boots, so the boot will "get bigger", this is why the shell fit is so critical, as the shell wont change, but the liner sure will.

post #7 of 9

Find the closest bootfitter to where you live and go there, even if the closest is 200 miles away.  Spend a few days skiing near the bootfitter in case there are some minor adjustments needed.  In the long run it will be worth it and you will also save money by not needing to buy more than one pair of boots.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I hear what you are saying. In any case, I won't be able to ski a few days near a bootfitter.

 

I found in my local shop Tecnica Firebird in 25.5 from last year (102mm width). They are OK, but I still feel this squashing of my toes in the right foot.

This shop has another branch in the resort that I am skiing on (seven spring), so they may be able to do some adjustments.

However, I didn't find them too professional- they suggested me to try the 26's since they will be more comfortable.

 

What do you suggest me to do:

1. Buy them in my local store, and then go to the closest bootfitter that I found (Geiger's Ski & Sport Haus in Ohio). If I'll have problem after skiing, I'll be able to use the store free bootfitting service.

2. Go to the bootfitter in Ohio, and buy there according to his recommendation. If I'll need further modification, I'll need to pay my local store for that.

 

Please keep in mind that I am a beginner, and will ski for a week every year (on average).

 

Thanks!

post #9 of 9

call #2 and see what they sound like,  If they ask more questions that is a good thing.   Or even better, stop by and see how the work.

 

DONT by 26 boots,  they are too big in any brand.   25 and 25.5 are the same shell, so after the liners stretch in a few days, they both will feel the same

 

re-read the wikis posted above.

 

buy  the 25 boot that holds your heel down the best, and yes, your toes might be a bit tight, but that can be made both wider and longer.   Also:  wear thin socks,  leave the toe buckles loose or even off (you said the boots are too tight, so dont make them tighter) and try them with a better footbed

 

 

or just buy red boots.

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