Originally Posted by ADKS
I finally was able to get on the snow for two days with my new mens' Vacuum 110s. These boots replaced my Nordica Speed Machine 110s, which were a little big. The Fischers are one shell size smaller than my old boots, and are definitely snug. We molded them a few weeks ago at 280 pressure, with the little toe condoms and some padding in other spots. I've since worn them in the house for a few hours. They definitely are shorter and snugger than my old boots, but felt good after wearing for a while. However, my toes definitely have less room than I'm accustomed to, particularly my big toes.
While they seem to ski well and otherwise are comfortable, after skiing a while, my big toe definitely hurt, and all of my toes were cold. My nails weren't bruised or anything the second day, but my toes definitely felt like they had been traumatized a bit. On the second, colder day (which was only a half day of skiing), my toes were freezing, and it took a while to get the feeling back in them in the lodge. Most of the skiing was with kids, so it was less active than I normally would be, but I've skied in much colder temps without such cold feet. In my old boots, I could wiggle my toes more, to get some blood flowing.
I was wearing one thin sock (the thinnest Smart Wool ski sock), and didn't crank the buckles down; the two lowest buckles were barely fastened.
I will go back to my fitter to see if we can make some more room for my big toe, but thought I would see if anyone here had any thoughts or other experience with these boots in the cold. Should I ski on them/wear them some more first and see if the liners pack enough to give more room, or do something to the boot?
Also, on perhaps a related question, my turns to the left are much more solid than my turns to the right. When I turn to the right, trying to carve on steep, firm snow/ice, my left ski often chatters. This happened on my old skis and my old boots as well. I was surprised that it happened in different skis and new, closer-fitting boots. I had thought it might be an alignment issue, but now suspect it more likely is technique or a strength imbalance.
I'll prolly catch flak for some of this...
Jamming anyone's toes into a boot to get 'performance', does none of that...
There a dominant thing in fitting now which trys to get everyone into the absolute smallest shell they could possibly stuff into. But, really control happens from the fit at the Ball O Foot and backward. The idea is to match the working width of the Ball O foot to the width of that spot in the boot - design. If one goes short shell then the Ball of the foot is placed more forward into the tapering/narrowing toe box and thereby jamming the toes OR if it's a wide design, the toes get jammed forward into the front of the toebox. None of which affords any better control.
Example - With my narrow foot, I tried on the old Speed Machine boot and immediately knew this boot design would never work, for me.
Working back, the next important area is the instep. The instep slope should be matched by the slope inside the boot (with tongue.. This is critical. The hold needs to be firm and needs to be even along the whole instep. Often, when the instep is not right, the foot slides forward, jams the toes forward and the heel escapes the pocket. The common working solution at the lodge, is to buckle down more. Not good. The better solution is to match a footbed which gets the instep slope and boot inside slope to align. This keeps the foot from sliding forward, anchors the heel in the pocket and helps drive from the Ball-O-Foot, without crushing the metas... The Proper Footbed, built properly means everything...
There's not enough information to tell, but that old Speed machine sheel size might have been the best one also in the much narrower Fischer. Hard to say without hands-on.
Crushed toes are just unacceptable.
But you're lucky - you have Fischer Vacs.
If it was me - I would go back and have the pro boot guy figure out how to get that toe space back - both shell and liner. I would spend some time working with footbeds to get the instep evenly held by the shell. SJ made the point that with Vac 'molding' what you use in one area you give up in another. Getting the instep/arch well aligned and supported is an important step, even in Vacs.
My strategy with Fischer Vacs would be - mold them at a not too high a pressure at first 200 -240, ski them until the liners feel packed down, and then go back and do another molding at a higher pressure, Then when the liners seem done - go after market liner and start the molding all over again.
Chattering - often technique and strength AND tune. Easterners deal with it always. Even though you mostly experience it underfoot, it's root cause starts at turn initiation. If, on hard surface, the ski doesn't hook up properly, that poor edge eventually comes to roost underfoot as a chatter.
If I'm on hard surface and getting tired, I start getting chatter.
A poorly tuned ski, which doesn;t hook up smoothly/properly will chatter no matter how strong you are. Hooking up the ski in the forebody is a technique thing, dependent on the ski and skier. A Good carve starts in the forebody and progresses underfoot until the tail passes the same point on the snow, and the edge pressure also increases smoothly through the turn. A chattered turn is a smeared turn on a hard surface. WIth Old School long straights on Eastern 'Powder' one learns quickly (or not...) how to smoothly start a turn from the forebody. We used to have hours of discussion on how to optimally tune a ski for this. I expect many Easterners still search for this 'perfect' tune.