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boots too small?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

For the last 8 years I've been a tele skier but then decided to give alpine a try. I quickly started liking how I could ski all day and a lot faster and better on all the same runs (I like to ski double blacks at Taos). I was skiing in these gigantic beginner boots I bought used from a friend super cheap a few years ago so that I could alpine now and again. At the end of last season I decided to commit to alpine and buy real boots. I went to Taos ski & boot to get fitted. Well, first I went to Santa Fe and quickly realized it was a bad idea -- they were putting me in boots that I knew were too large and they didn't have much in stock. A few years ago I got properly fitted for tele boots by a real boot fitter so I knew that when they didn't even check the shell fit that that was not good. So I went up to Taos.


Being the end of the season they had 2 boots for me to try. Then they told me that basically if I was an advanced skier, it was down to this one boot, the Tecnica Viva Inferno Crush. They fitted the shell, kept sizing down. I think I'm in a 5.5 equivalent, normally I wear a 8 street shoe. If you push on my left arch my foot gets shorter -- one foot is 1/2 size different than the other because of that. My tele boots are size 24 for comparison. I think these boots are a 22 or 23 -- I can't find the number on them. Sole length is 270.


Anyways -- I've skiied 2 days end of last season and 3 days this season. I normally love skiing but I'm started to dread it. My first day this season my toes got super cold. And my big toe, the tip and the nail hurt for a few days. Second day this season I kept going in and out of the bootfitters. They ground near the big toe area a little and I could feel the difference immediately, but it still is quite crowded in there. I can feel some pressure on my instep and skied some runs without buckling the lower buckles. The boot fitter stressed the importance of not getting in the backseat and also of properly tightening all the buckles. So next run we warmed up on a groomer then headed for our favorite black mogul run that day -- Spencers. I tightened my buckles at the top of that run then skied. My feet still hurt. My toes still were really cold afterwards. The rest of me was not cold. It was probably 20 out but I was dressed for the conditions.


My toes basically go cold or asleep (or both?) by the time I get off the lift in general. I have since been told by friends to unbuckle all the buckles on the lift which I haven't tried yet. 


I feel like I have no wiggle room at all in my boots. I almost have foot claustrophobia in them. I also feel a lot of pressure on my instep and I wonder if that could be causing some of my toe issues. 


I did get custom footbeds. I am wearing thin socks the shop recommended. I'm thinking of trying even thinner if I can find something. I am 100% sure that the shell is not too large for me. But I wonder if I needed a different boot. I keep thinking that I could have probably skied the hell out of an intermediate boot if I could ski the ridge in gigantic beginner boots last year (but admittedly it was quite challenging being bounced around in those huge boots). 


Anyway feeling like I screwed up and should have tried on more boots. I did have one day skiing in them last spring (April)  where I managed to wear them all day long ( I remember i didn't take them off at lunch because they are so freakin' hard to take on and off and my feet were sore from the bootfitting the day before -- a couple beers might have helped with them feeling better, dunno). So I feel like maybe there is hope. Maybe I'm just rusty this season and my form was better? I'd say right now I'm skiing a level 7+ whereas last season I was an 8. My quads have been killing me as well -- almost like tele. I don't remember that so much last year -- but then again I started the season on tele and my legs were very strong by the time I started alpine skiing.


 I've never had a problem with cold toes before. And when I poke my big toe with my fingernail, the left big toe doesn't feel quite right. (last day I skiied was Friday, just two groomers then had to take boots off . I'm worried I'm damaging my feet. I'm about ready to go back to tele…


So a few questions -- should I go get a second opinion? I like these guys but Boot Doctors is just a 100 feet away.  I might head up to Taos this weekend just to work on the boot issue some more -- I don't really want to ski the local ski area in these boots as they are right now. 


post #2 of 5



Fortunately a small boot can be made larger---


The toe box can be enlarged and the instep moved upward


Yes the instep can make your feet go to sleep, don't over tighten.


Buckle the ankle as tight as possible (so tight it would hurt then back off till it is just comfortable) this will hold your heels in the back of the shell---don't tighten the lower 2 buckles as they will make your feet hurt.


see you fitter


save the beers to celebrate a great day on the slopes---not to tolerate your boots



post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips on buckling. I'll give it a try and try and head up to Taos soon for some more fitting. 

post #4 of 5

mike's advice is solid. there is always room to be made in the toe box and in the instep (where blood flow and nerve path goes on the way to the toes).


if your current boot fitter is not moving at a pace that is making a major difference, it is time to jump ship. 


there may be times when your ability, your technique, or your choice of terrain influence already existing problems with your boot fit, however i do not see the benefit in blaming you and those things for the fit problems that have not been solved by your boot fitter.


the burned out quads is another smoking gun that in addition to the fit problems is possibly involved in the overall equation.


steps to take:


get new fitter


have fitter do a complete assessment of your length, width, instep dimension, ankle range of motion, arch flexibility, forefoot mechanics, and basic shape of your foot, ankle, and lower leg.


have fitter make all adjustments for boot ramp angle, forward lean, fit, cuff alignment, and sole cant.


go ski in comfort and balance.



post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

thought i should update. I finally made it up to Taos to teh Boot Doctor a week and a half ago. I missed a bunch of pow but I came away with some nice boots. The Boot Doctors tried me in some similar Tecnica Viva Inferno blah blah blah in the next shell size -- too tight on the instep even in a larger size. From there we just started trying on a bunch of boots. I ended up purchasing a pair of Atomic Hawx 100. And promptly went out and skiied the rest of the day, and have had a good time ever since! I even managed to hike up my local ski area in them today (although not really something I want to do a lot -- next up are AT boots!)


My old new boots I've lent to a friend and she'll probably buy them off me. Thanks for the advice -- I think in my case my problem was not trying on as many boots as possible before I bought.

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