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Used Boots - never?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Judging from all the other posts and things I have read online, I am coming to the conclusion that it is NEVER a good idea to buy used boots.  Correct? (Professional fit = buy new. right?)  I can certainly understand the reasoning.  I have nice hiking boots that took me a long time to find and fit me great - some used pair off ebay could never be as good.  But I am just a beginning skiier and I doubt I will ever go more than 3-4 times a year, so I'm not in a position to spend many hundreds $$ on equipment.  So should I just continue renting?  Is there never a case when used boots - even if they're not perfect - would be better than rentals?  Thanks for any advice!

post #2 of 8

Morf, welcome to the neighborhood first and foremost.  

Boots are all about fit.  If you are renting boots, you are in used boots.  If you can find used that fit you it would be way better than used that do not, and most rentals do not. Having boots that fit you the same 2 days in a row won't hurt your skiing either.  If you choose to go used read up on how a boot should fit you there are a lot of threads here on EPIC covering this topic.  Always go for fit over fashion, never buy boots without wearing them for a while first (tough to do on the web).


Many boot fitters will happily help you with fit issues on most any boots you walk in the door with.  Expect that you will pay for this, but as you already know a good fit is worth it.


As for only skiing a couple days a year that's just fine.  You are helping pay for the lifts we all ride.  Enjoy.

post #3 of 8
Just a few things to know if buying used boots:

You need to know your measured boot size. Don't think of your size in the American Brannock scale. Almost every boot is measured in the centimeter based Mondopoint scale.

You might want to know how many days the boots have been skied in. If the boots were hardly used, the liners may not be packed out.

Do some research on the brand and model. That way you can get an idea who and how the boot fits.

Beware. Don't expect a cushy bedroom slipper fit. If you get that, your boots are too big.

post #4 of 8

Everyone is skiing on used boots after the first day.  If you buy new boots you buy the service of a fitter who will help you get a better fit.  As an alternative to used boots consider something on sale as it is last-years model, as some Nordica boots advertized in my local paper in a Sports Authority ad for $ 150.  Are they something for an expert skier? No, but that is not you.  Regardless of what many will say you don't need $ 800 boots (and $ 1 500 skis) to ski decently.  The vast majority of skiers are skiing on boots 1 -2 sizes too large, on skis that have not been waxed or sharpened in years and having a great time.   If you can find a shop with used boots (there is a recycle shop near me that does) which will allow you to try them and exchange them if they don't work for you, try it, but don't pay too much.  Don't buy boots on eBay as you will want to try them on before you buy.  The metric size is about the length of your foot in centimeters.  They should fit snugly but should not hurt.  


People ski on amazing gear.  I have seen rear-entry boots, 20 year old skis and rode up a lift with a guy skiing on skis he fished out of the recycle bin near my house.   He saved 100%.   Don't let lack of big bucks keep you from skiing. 

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Great advice from everyone.  I can understand the value of good products.  But, on the other hand, I play ice hockey on literally the exact pair of ice skates I wore 30 years ago when I was 17.  They look pretty dorky, but fit fine, and I keep 'em sharp, and have never felt the need to upgrade!

post #6 of 8
If going used you will also need to know your last as well as your mondopoint.
Last is the width, mondopoint is the length. Trace the outline of your foot on to a piece of paper. The overall length is your mondo point, the overall width is your last. With this info you will be able to research your used options. Mondopoint alone might get you into trouble if you have a wide foot (ouch) or a skinny foot ( too slopp),

A good set of fitted boots will last you for many years, buying used can be a lucky dip if you don't have the experience to know what a good fit is.

post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by morf2540 View Post

Judging from all the other posts and things I have read online, I am coming to the conclusion that it is NEVER a good idea to buy used boots.  Correct? (Professional fit = buy new. right?) 


Sometimes it makes sense to buy used.  The last time I bought boots, my bootfitter recommended a model that his store didn't carry, but I was able to find a (lightly) used pair which he then helped me with fitting.  These were Nordica Doberman pro 130, a stiff narrow racing boot.  Someone had bought them with the intention of racing in them, but they were just too narrow for his feet and so they were like new.


Most bootfitters will work on a fee-for-service basis, so it's not an either-or choice between professional-fit and used.


Compared with renting, a used boot that's been fitted to your feet is miles better. It is impossible to ski in rental boots.  I've tried it, and it can't be done.  if you feel like skiing is more difficult than it should be, it's because you're trying to ski in rental boots.

post #8 of 8

Before that as others have said try to find on sale leftovers and you might be able to get a good price, also swaps are gone now, so if they weren't able to sell their stuff in the swaps there might be good price, so try visiting stores that usually do swaps... if nothing else works and you don't plan on spending too much, than get used but again try the boots first if at all possible before buying!

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