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Models of Best Bang For The Buck Boots?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey folks,


A few years back I had picked up a pair of brand new Volkl Supersport S5 skis.  Because they were the previous years model at the time, I got them at a really great price (like $350 with bindings).  I'm in need of some new boots now.  I'd put myself in advanced/aggressive category, but not expert or racer.  I really don't want to shell out $500 for a pair.  Does anyone have any recommendations for boots that are great, but cheap?  Or, boots that used to be $600 but can be had for $300 now because they're no longer made?



post #2 of 5

I think the same holds true.  

Whatever your ski shop has in stock from 1 or 2 seasons back is what will be on sale, and I think this holds true across the board regardless of make or model.  


Just like discount shopping, you're going to have to go in and see what's left on the rack rather then go in knowing what you want.  Ask the salesperson straightup that you are looking for a deal.


The recommendation of what is "great" is of course the boot in the particular category that fits your feet the best.

post #3 of 5

Whatever size your feet are, I know a shop that has some NOS boots that retailed for $1,000 now on sale for $300, but they are not your size. They are either 3 sizes too long or 3 sizes too short or 10mm too wide or 10mm too narrow.  Shopping for boots based on price is a great way to not have a lot of fun skiing.  I know because I did it for several decades.

post #4 of 5

There may be some NOS product around, but sizes are going to be limited.  As suggested, be up front that you are looking for a deal.  With the lack of snow in some regions, some retailers deviated from normal pricing earlier than expected.  You can get a deal, but you may not see 50% off savings.


Fit is everything.  Don't be afraid to pay a little extra for a boot that fits.  The boot that you end up saving lots of money on is absolutely worthless if it does not fit correctly.



post #5 of 5

Nobody can really suggest models to look at to save money, because boots are not a commodity.


Magazines love to compare performance of ski boots against one another, but it is pretty irrelevant in the real world. They get to ski a boot for one run, and it doesn't really matter how terribly it fits the tester- the boot is off before it's an issue.

You however, want the boot you buy to work for several seasons, and if your feet are cramping after 2 runs because it doesn't fit your feet well, whether a magazaine said it was a "good boot" is pretty irrevalant. Hiow much of a deal it was is also pretty irrelevant, because you will need to buy new boots that actually fit.


You need to approach buying ski boots a different way. First, understand that manufacturers have many different models of boots, but only a handful of actual different shell designs. A typical manufacturer will sell the same shell design, with the same fit dimensions, over 2-4 different performance levels, with differing stiffness, features, adjustability, etc. They also leave this shell design pretty much unchanged over several years. So, you need to follow these steps to try and get a boot that fits for the best price.


1. Go to a reputable shop with a professional bootfitter, and try on lots of boots. Most people new to this process will make terrible choices without the help of a bootfitter, and will buy a boot several sizes too big. The right boot will feel handhsake firm all over the foot with no pressure points. A professional bootfitter can also massage the shell to further dial in a boot, but that's getting ahead of ourselves.


2. Once you find the shell that fits best, you then want to start asking a bunch of questions. What other boots from this manufacturer use this shell, what do they cost, and what do I lose going to a cheaper model? Do you have any boots that use this shell design from last year? Going from a 120 flex boot to a 110 flex boot in my case saved $150, and while I am an expert skier, I also don't drive a ski hard enough to need the stiffer boot. You can also save hundreds by going to last year's boot.


3. If you can't find a workable deal with the bootfitter, I would expand your search to other stores, the internet, etc., price checking and looking for previous year stock. Its a dick move to waste a professional's time to buy elsewhere, so I would only do this if you simply cannot afford to buy the boot, not to save $20. I would also give the fitter the chance to match any better deal that you found, or at least come close- remember, they helped you find the boot, and if they don't get the business, they may not be around next time. 


4. If you still can't find a workable price, you may want to A) wait until later in the season and hope that prices come down before the boot sells out, or B) start hitting up ski swaps at the beggining of the season to see if you can find a used boot that is not too packed out that uses the same shell shape.


Its VERY tough to budget boot purchases. If you are trying to stick to a ski equipment budget, a lot of times that means you may have to bite the bullet and pay more than you want for boots, and stick to the budget by buying less expensive skis and other equipment.


You will have move fun skiing good boots and shitty skis than you will with shitty boots and good skis that you get to look at on the rack while you massage your aching feet in the lodge.  

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