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boot fitting locations? close to San Diego / Big Bear Area?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

OOPS, just realized there is an Ask the boot guys page.  Moved it there, sorry :(.

 

Link is here:

http://www.epicski.com/t/105619/general-questions-about-boot-fitting-and-locations-close-to-san-diego-big-bear-area#post_1369249

 

Original post

 

Hi All,

 

I just recently got back into skiing after a 10 year break from age 13-23.  Previously I skiied from 5 to 13 and then I started snowboarding for 10 years.  Anyways, I got bored of snowboarding and started skiing again last year and i forgot how fun it is.  ITS SUPER FUN!  If I were to judge my skill level, I'd say I'm intermediate / advanced.  I have a need for speed, can do blacks fine, and started to get into jumps / tricks.

 

So, I'm looking to get custom fitted boots and I was wondering if the closest good / great boot fitter is the one listed in this thread

http://www.epicski.com/t/3986/epicski-index-of-boot-fitting-masters

 

I'm looking at the skinet sports one located in LA.  It's not really updated so I'm not sure how accurate this is still.

 

So I'm looking to spend 400-600 on boots, is that reasonable to get custom fitted boots (if not, what is?)?  The reason I wanted custom fitted is because I have a problem w/ my shin being too loose.  I wear size 9.5 when I rented and my foot was in pain, but my shin was tight.  However, if I jump to 10, my foot felt fine, but the shins were too loose and I didn't have enough control.  If I lean forward, my heel lifts off the boot as well typically.  When I rented the high performance demo gear, I had everything on the tightest adjustment, so I don't think a regular boot will cut it.

 

Anyways, I hope this is enough information to get started... any links to reading about gear or information on boot fiitters would be AWESOME!

 

For now, I'm planning to buy a good pair of boots because that's very valuable to me.  I'll be renting high performance ski's to figure out what brand I prefer for this season.

 

THANKS !


Edited by rontruong - 10/5/11 at 10:59pm
post #2 of 11



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rontruong View Post

 

 

I'm looking at the skinet sports one located in LA. 


 No one answered you? Hum      I thought someone looks for and takes care of this type of thing on this site.

 

 I don't know of anyone close to where you are. { I'm suggesting the ones I know of and would recommend.} 

 

 A pair of boots is your most important purchase of ski gear. Don't rush it and going to someone that knows what they are doing is key.
 

 Skinet is Claude's shop. Call to see if he can help you out with what you want, for the money you have budgeted.

 

 Going MUCH further north.{ I would suggest a skiing trip for a few days to take advantage of the next two. That way, get fit for a pair, ski them. Then go back for any touch ups if needed from them. Also you could rent some current ski offerings from some of the best ski makers there are. }

 

 Footloose in Mammoth would be the next closest shop  to you.

 

 Start Haus would be the next shop further north in Truckee.

 

 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

thanks for the reply skimalibu !

 

Yup, boots are the most important, which is why I'm buying them first and buying them right.

 

Is Claude @ Skinet > Footloose in Mammoth?  Or the other way around? (in terms of pricing + skill)

 

It is probably easier for me to go to LA to visit Claude to get a boot fitted.  I might plan a weekend trip to Mammoth if recommended to try Footloose while skiing a day and then return to Footloose if needed.

 

However, Mammoth is so far from SD , 7 hour drive! :(

 

I'd much rather prefer skiing in Big Bear and then going to LA to readjust.

 

So if the boot-fitting level of expertise and price is the same for both stores, I'd probably pick Claude's shop... what do you think ? :)

post #4 of 11

 IMHO I think it is hard to beat Claude at Skinet for his experience and location. You should call him and clear the time first. (So he isn't in the middle of something with someone else) Tell him what your looking for, give him your background, specs. and boots that fit you the best in the past. He might have sort of an idea from that what your foot is shaped like. If you feel like you have a rapport going with him after that. Take the next step and come have a look, or buy a pair. Once he sees your foot, he will have a better idea of what brands and models you should be looking at. Claude excels in keeping current on what is available in the market place. And his suggestions are very helpful in saving you a lot of time.

 

Footloose in Mammoth is kind of hit or miss depending on who is working. They have many Fitters. I've tagged along there with numerous friend's that developed hot spots that have appeared while we were skiing earlier in the day.( I'm an admitted "ski gear-oholic", so I go for if nothing else, just to drool in their shop. Yeah sometimes it seems like I need a bucket to catch it.)  My experience there is some Boot Fitters at Footloose were true pros. Some not so much, but they did get the job done. It takes experience, knowledge, the right personality with lots of patients to be a good Boot Fitter. It is a two way street in the boot fitting  transaction. The buyer/wearer of the boots has to be dead honest in their answers to the Fitter's many questions. Otherwise you end up in one crazy time consuming circle of work and re-work.

 

Good luck to you.  

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Great, thanks for the advice.  I'll definitely give Claude a call to see if I can come in on 1 weekend.

 

I'll keep you guys updated once I go :).  Hopefully within the next 2-3 weeks! :D

 

i'm really exited haha, can't wait!

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

ALRIGHT, appointment set at Claude's! Going to get my first boot fitting on saturday :) so excited

post #7 of 11

I'd love to hear what your experience was. I walked in today just to see the inside of the shop and if he had the boots I'm ready to buy. He did have the boots and I was doing backflips inside. I was ready to pull out the wallet.... Until this dude named Claude started to tell me what his process was. I just wanted him to know that I wasn't a novice and that in fact was/had been a ski instructor for years. This nutjob started YELLING at me saying, "I don't care that you were a ski instructor. I don't care what you are".   

 

Thank god I didn't give this joker a dime. And no, I didn't give him any attitude for him to blow like that and treat me like dirt. I found my boots. I'd go to Target to buy boots before ever going back. Go to Mammoth or Tahoe and get fitted by a real professional.

post #8 of 11

I live in San Diego and I'm in a somewhat similar situation with trying to find a boot fitter. I've read a few of these Claude horror stories, and one of the big things I'm noticing is that he's very "no, you're buying this" if that makes any sense. Even his website says that the first thing he does is to make a custom footbed. Does that even make sense? Shouldn't finding a boot that actually fits before we get into all of that actually be the most important part? What if I already have footbeds? It's the small things that are just very worrisome.

post #9 of 11

I went to Claude last February - despite reading the above comments.  I am so very glad I did.  I found him to be a complete professional, both on the first fitting and when I returned for tweaks after skiing the boots for about 10 days.  The boots he chose for me (Dalbello Kryzmas) weren't even on my radar, but I figured if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't need a bootfitter.  Yes, he made me footbeds but only after he picked and fitted the boot.  I needed heel lifts, which was new to me.  I completely trusted him and I am glad I did.  His motto  is (clearly posted in the store) If you don't love them, you don't own them.  

 

I have been skiing for 40 years.  This is not my first trip to a bootfitter!  Claude is excellent and I would highly recommend him.  Of course, if you already know everything, you don't need a bootfitter.

post #10 of 11

Claude is good at what he does but it can be a humbling experience. He doesn't seem to be the most "user-friendly" guy around. I learnt to just to sit down, shut up and let him complete his work as fast as possible. For every second you're in there, he charges you money while your boot is being "adjusted". I wasn't exactly sure where it need to be adjusted at the time but I knew they didn't feel quite right. I need to wear a pair of boots for 20-30 minutes before I get a good idea of what needs to be done but time is money.

 

I think due to my experience, I'll just try on boots at REI, etc. next time I need boots and go with the best ones I think fit and stick to the "stock" boot.

I actually ran across Clause and some of shop guys on the slope once at Big Bear. They were some of the nicest guys around though...

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by lott42 View Post

Claude is good at what he does but it can be a humbling experience. He doesn't seem to be the most "user-friendly" guy around. I learnt to just to sit down, shut up and let him complete his work as fast as possible. For every second you're in there, he charges you money while your boot is being "adjusted". I wasn't exactly sure where it need to be adjusted at the time but I knew they didn't feel quite right. I need to wear a pair of boots for 20-30 minutes before I get a good idea of what needs to be done but time is money.

 

I think due to my experience, I'll just try on boots at REI, etc. next time I need boots and go with the best ones I think fit and stick to the "stock" boot.

I actually ran across Clause and some of shop guys on the slope once at Big Bear. They were some of the nicest guys around though...

Maybe it's different if you go in with boots you bought somewhere else and want him to adjust for you.  I know I stood for a solid hour in my boots last time because I wanted to make sure that the hot spot was gone.  It was.  Claude did not rush me either time.  In fact, he told me to take my time on both occasions.  However, I did buy my boots from him because I wanted the full advantage of his expertise.  I found him informative and friendly.

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