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Went boot fitting in New York review

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Guys,

I have been reading this board since more than 1 year now. This is my first post though since I prefer to read, read and read.

I finally decided to change my 5 year old ski boots. After reading about boot-fitting I finally decided to go and see what NYC metro has to offer.

Ski Barn, NJ
Went to the Barn because they are recommended by Masterfit University. I started to look at boots when Brian came to help. Ski Barn carries Lange, Atomic, Rossies, Salomon and more .
I explained to him the type of skier I am 8 out of 10, aggressive, going off-piste 35%. Immediately he said, Salomon Xwave9 or 10. This was my first red flag since he never looked at my feet.
He measured my feet and got the size based on his charts.
He brought an Xwave9 and 10 out in 9. At my request I asked to shell size first. He agreed.
My heel was 2 fingers from the shell at which he said that this is normal. Second red flag.
When I tried on the boot there were big pressure points around the 2nd buckle. He tried to explain to me that they will grind the boot and make sure it does not hurt.

I told him I will not modify anything until I don’t try some more brands. At this point he called the MasterU technician. The guy was very cold and after looking at me from 5 feet away said that the Xwave was my boot and he will help relieve the pressure points, if I am interested. At the same point he insisted that I do not need footbeds since I have only a medium arch.

The boots did feel tight, but my footarch felt pushed down and the suckers were hurting. So I thanked them and left.

Because of the bad experience at Ski Barn I told myself SureFoot here I come.

SureFoot
I went on a weekday at 4pm. Told them that I wanted to be fitted and the type of skier I am. Off hand the sales guy, said he recommended Lange and if budget is not an issues also custom footbeds and custom liners. I told him that I do want footbeds if they recommend them, but I am not interested in liners. He gave me a 5-10 minutes speech why I need custom liners. During this another guy teamed up with him and tried to convince me.
They never looked at my feet for a second. I told them that I am fairly versed in ski technology and understand what I need, but they still tried to sell me.
Deeply disappointed I left, since I was not going to trust their decision, no matter how good it would be.

Princeton Ski Shop
They carry Lange, Rossies, Salomon and some more.
Went there and Jennifer offered to help. After I explained to her my skills she asked me to take my shoes of and look at my feet. She measured them and said that Lange is the way to go. Brought a set of Lange 80 in an 8.5.
She shell sized the boots first. Not more than 1 finger. Good.
I tried the boot on and it felt snug. No pressure points. She had me flex it for 5 minutes or so.
She had me flex it and it seemed easy to flex. At which she suggested the Lange 100 which was not in stock. She did offer to order it for me and come back in.

I asked to try another boot, and she brought a set of yellow Teknica’s, which I felt good but were heavier and didn’t have the snug feeling of the Lange.

Overall a good experience, Jennifer was knowledgeable and knew the basic techniques in fitting. She tried to explain why I need footbeds but was not very specific, so I wasn’t convinced. They do offer to work on them as long as need be.

There was another boot fitter there helping someone else, I watched him and he was great in asking for feedback and recommending boots. The guys he was fitting had feet of different sizes, so it was interesting.

Paragon
They carry the most brands off all the shops visited. Atomic, Lange, Salomon, Teknica, Head, Rossies.
Walked in and Doug offered to help.
He took my shoes off and gave me some really thin socks. He measured both feet and took notes on my weight and foot size. Next he looked at the wear on my shoe soles. He had me stand up and flex my knees as much as I could in the ski position. I have big flex.

He started to draw conclusions, such as I need a stiff and fairly narrow boot and some footbeds to keep my feet in position.

He brought out Lange 100 in 8.5 and some Superfeet footbeds since they are thicker than the regular ones and wanted to make sure that the boot feels as good with the extra thickness.
He did a shell fit first using a stick.
Once I put the boot on he closed only the upper to buckles and explained that they should feel snug with the bottom ones open, since the liner will unpack later and force me to tight them up a little. He took the time of explaining every step he was taking.

I started to flex the boot and it seemed great. But he wanted to make sure. He went back and brought a pair of Lange L8. They were stiff. I spent 15 minutes or so flexing each pair.
He told me the price difference (about $300) and insisted not to base my decision on price.

He did recommend custom footbeds and added that the store will work on them anytime I have a problem.

I didn’t buy the Lange 100 yet, but I will this week.

Some of my conclusions
I expected the service from Paragon to be the worst, since they have such big traffic. But they were the best.
Before going to Princeton Ski Shop I head them placed at the same level as Paragon. The boot fitter I used was going by the book, she clearly lacked experience but she stuck with the technique. Plus I do believe that the other tech would have been great.
SureFoot in NYC
I will never get my foot in this store again. A bunch of sales people trying to convince me in spending $1200 on boots, before even looking at my feet. They might do good work, but they need to leave the sales pitches at the door.
Ski Barn
A complete disaster and they are recommended by MasterFit U.

Let me know your thoughts,
.Mdrei
post #2 of 48
This sounds pretty familiar! I had the same experience when I first started looking for ski gear. I had not skiied since HS and I had done some research on what was new in gear. I started looking all over Chicago-land for all new gear, clothes included. I went to all the shops that got all the press, including so-called Gold Medals from Ski Magazine. I ended up at a store in the south suburbs that is closest to where I live. They were so helpful and over the past three years, I have gone out of my way to steer my friends and ski club friends to stop in and check them out! They did everything that I knew a good shop should do. They never pressured me and they were always helpful!!

If you are serious about your skiing, you have to have a good relationship with your ski shop!!! It is almost as important as having a good doctor! I go to my ski shop ten times as much as I go to a doctor. Do yourself a favor and find a great ski shop. Unless you know exactly what you need, steer clear of the cookie cutter stores. Get a great shop and you will get great gear.

By the way, my shop is Snowcrest Ski Center on the south side of Chicago! Snowcrest Ski Center

Ty
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Mdrei:
SureFoot in NYC
I will never get my foot in this store again. A bunch of sales people trying to convince me in spending $1200 on boots, before even looking at my feet. They might do good work, but they need to leave the sales pitches at the door.
I think that this is the biggest mistake that you are making. They are the BEST in the buisness, not just in nyc. I know that some people in this forum will not agree with me for some reason or another.(everyone is entitled to there own opinion) I have had experiences with many excellent bootfitters all over the world, and consistintly I always recieve the best service at every surefoot I have walked into. With a rock solid guarantee, how could they stear you wrong. If at anytime you are not happy with there product you have over 20 places all over the world to get the problem rectified. for example if you are skiing in copper mtn. with a pair of boots you bought from paragon, well you better get used to surefoot, because even most of the local shops there will just send you strait to the surefoot at the bottom of the mtn...where they will charge you for the repairs. If you buy the boot at surefoot here, they will help you out free of charge at ANY of there locations. Even if it means refunding your $$ to make you happy. With a program like that, its I can't believe that everone does not feal the same way I do. As for them not looking at your feet... With there new foam boot program, they really dont need to. They are essentially making a boot for you. Its a shame that the salesperson did not seem to explain that. I have a VERY difficult foot to fit. I purchased the new surefoot setup last year and I was blown away. I have never purchased a pair of boots and NEVER had to have them adjusted, even after over 50 days of skiing. . They were perfect!!!
I would give them a second chance and don't forget; They are the best bootfittters around, but they are also salesmen that need to make a living.
Just my opinion...
post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 
@ coppernyc,

I am sorry but I do not agree here. SureFoot is as good as their people. Second, why would I pay an extra $350 for a custom liner since the stock one could be ok. Third, they recommended Lange without looking at my feet; what if I had wide or bulky feet?

I do see some advantage of being able to have your boots worked on at any other location. At the same time, I ski since I was 5 years old and I never went into a boot shop, but only to either buy new boots or to get a new liner. Even if you have problem feet I do not see the need to go every season to a boot fitter.

The money back guarantee is a marketing play for me; I do not want my money back, I want a great product for the money I paid. The other boot fitters in town are willing to adjust the boot free of charge also.

They have great technology, but they are mainly sales people trying to make a living. I did not feel a passion for the sport the entire 40 minutes I spent there. How about this: They even told me that I should be fitted ASAP since Killington is "privately" open : . WTF was that? or “Lange supports our technology and they put our name on their boots”, do I look this clueless? :

Bottom line, this is my experience and you have yours. If you are getting serviced according to your expectations, great. As for me I will stay away.

.Mdrei
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Mdrei:
Third, they recommended Lange without looking at my feet; what if I had wide or bulky feet?

Even if you have problem feet I do not see the need to go every season to a boot fitter.

The money back guarantee is a marketing play for me; I do not want my money back, I want a great product for the money I paid. The other boot fitters in town are willing to adjust the boot free of charge also.

“Lange supports our technology and they put our name on their boots”, do I look this clueless? :

.Mdrei
First, I have VERY wide feet (EE), I am skiing in there Lange setup, with no adjustmenst necessary.
seconed, You might not need to see a fitter every year, but it sure is nice to have somewhere to go if there is a problem.??
third. How are the local bootfitters going to help you out if you are not in nyc where there is no skiing??
Fourth-Lange does support surefoot... This is very true. Look at the boot they have. IT says SUREFOOT by lange on it. Did you even look at the boot?
Obviously you can go wherever you want, just make sure that you get all of the information before making assumptions.(ie. lange wont fit, cause with surefoots liner, it will.)
post #6 of 48
Thanks for the summary- the individual salespeople recommendations to me is almost more important than the store, as everyone carries virtually the same product.

Where is Paragon located? Not familiar with them, but know the rest from shopping trips over the years.

[ November 11, 2003, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: Longboarder ]
post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Longboarder:

Where is Paragon located in NJ? Not familiar with them, but know the rest from shopping trips over the years.
Paragon is located in Manhattan, 2 blocks up Broadway from Union Square.

.Mdrei
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by coppernyc:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Mdrei:
Third, they recommended Lange without looking at my feet; what if I had wide or bulky feet?

Even if you have problem feet I do not see the need to go every season to a boot fitter.

The money back guarantee is a marketing play for me; I do not want my money back, I want a great product for the money I paid. The other boot fitters in town are willing to adjust the boot free of charge also.

“Lange supports our technology and they put our name on their boots”, do I look this clueless? :

.Mdrei
First, I have VERY wide feet (EE), I am skiing in there Lange setup, with no adjustmenst necessary.
seconed, You might not need to see a fitter every year, but it sure is nice to have somewhere to go if there is a problem.??
third. How are the local bootfitters going to help you out if you are not in nyc where there is no skiing??
Fourth-Lange does support surefoot... This is very true. Look at the boot they have. IT says SUREFOOT by lange on it. Did you even look at the boot?
Obviously you can go wherever you want, just make sure that you get all of the information before making assumptions.(ie. lange wont fit, cause with surefoots liner, it will.)
</font>[/quote]It seems like .Mdrei jumped to a few conclusions himself just before apparently storming out of the NYC Surefoot. I just purchased their Lange foam package and was blown away. The salesmen was very knowledgable and also tried a number of other boots on as options. After the initial Foam speech that turned- off .Mdrei, they looked at and measured my feet more thoroughly than any other place I have been.
In the past I have been in and out of boot fitting stores trying to get my boots tweaked here and there (and have even returned a pair that did not fit so I like to have a guarantee.) and if these boots ski anything like they fit I am in heaven.
post #9 of 48
Heinos on Rt. 23, a bit north of Wayne. Greg is a long time skier and supporter of the local racers. They don't push a "corporate line" based on the bottom line. Patience in fitting and a long history in the business.

When I go into the "mega-stores" .... lots of product but for the most part, those kids are absolute black holes when it comes to product knowledge.
post #10 of 48
What Yuki said. Heinos is a small store with big service. Call ahead if you want Greg to fit your boots, he's a busy guy. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #11 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BillA:
What Yuki said. Heinos is a small store with big service. Call ahead if you want Greg to fit your boots, he's a busy guy. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
How good are they with ski mantainance?
.Mdrei
post #12 of 48
More kudos for Heinos. I bought my Lange Banshee 110's there last winter. They are also part of MasterFitU and carry InstaPrint custom footbeds. I've had probably 6 or 7 other custom footbeds over the years (most recently Superfeet cork), and IMO the InstaPrint beds that Greg made are better than any others I've tried. If you're planning on going, definitely call ahead and schedule an appt with Greg.

They have a good selection of boots, which includes (but is not limited to) Lange, Salomon, & Atomic.

As for skis, one of their tech guys had a minor brain fart with one of mine last year, but it was corrected immediately. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again for any ski work.
post #13 of 48
Hey Mdrei, thanks for taking the time to write up your experiences at all these stores! Though I stay away from Paragon after a not-so-pleasant experience regarding a tune-up, it's nice to know that the two most convenient locations accessible by MTA (Paragon and Princeton) gave you pretty decent service in their boot departments. From what both you and coppernyc are saying, it sounds like I'll need to hit up all the areas and just go with the one where I get saddled with the best fitter, but it's very helpful to have all these opinions on shops in the area.
post #14 of 48
^^^ check the date of the posts in this thread... 6 year old info might not be as helpful as you think!
post #15 of 48
psssshh, that's what I get for being trigger-happy on the "New Posts" button. I guess I should have listened to the little voice in the back of my mind saying, "Hey, isn't Princeton closed?"
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
^^^ check the date of the posts in this thread... 6 year old info might not be as helpful as you think!
HYSTERICAL!!...besides, I think Princeton just filed for Chapter 11...almost no ski ships left in NYC...Scandinavian gone and anyone else around struggling....not to resurrect, but I can't believe folks who go into a retail ski outlet the likes of SKi Barn and expect a "custom" fitting...Ski Barn while it has absolutely no custom fitters, but does have probably the most complete complete gear and clothing.
post #17 of 48
Heino's is still a great shop. I bought my boots there this past fall and Greg did a fantastic job with the fitting. He examined my feet and asked a lot of questions. He recommended several boots based on the size and shape of my foot, shell fit each, and had me wear them for quite a bit of time in the shop before I (we) decided on the best fit. He made custom footbeds, then had me take the boots home to wear before he ground and modified the shell. Now I have the best fitting boots I've ever owned. All this at an extremely fair price.

As for Ski Barn, when I called there to make an appointment with a bootfitter, I was told that I didn't need an appointment, and that all of staff in the boot department were bootfitters. This didn't instill confidence, so after some investigation, I wound up going to Heino's instead. I'm glad I did.
post #18 of 48
Heino's is out for me, since it's not easily accessible by public transit

Emilio's is still doing pretty well, though, out in Queens, just off the E,F line. If I ever try to buy boots from them I'll post a review in this thread and make it a little more up-to-date!
post #19 of 48
Yeah Princeton is gone.

There is still SkiStop on the service road of the LIE and also Sno-haus in Hempstead and Huntington Long Island, NY.

A girl at Sno-Hause said that if Princeton didnt close its doors they would have been out of business.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillT View Post
Heino's is still a great shop. I bought my boots there this past fall and Greg did a fantastic job with the fitting. He examined my feet and asked a lot of questions. He recommended several boots based on the size and shape of my foot, shell fit each, and had me wear them for quite a bit of time in the shop before I (we) decided on the best fit. He made custom footbeds, then had me take the boots home to wear before he ground and modified the shell. Now I have the best fitting boots I've ever owned. All this at an extremely fair price.
I purchased my boots there several seasons ago and have been back for minor fitting every year. Greg has always been great. Every time I think it will be a major deal to correct a problem he has fixed it for less than half the price of a lift ticket. There aren't many shops like Heino's around anymore.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by coppernyc View Post
As for them not looking at your feet... With there new foam boot program, they really dont need to. They are essentially making a boot for you. Just my opinion...
well it may be from 6 year ago but that is the biggest pile of BS i have ever heard, any boot fitter of standing will look at the foot, foam liner or not the shell shape must be correct, too many places are guilty of using the foam liner to fill up excess space in a badly selected or oversized shell...the nett result is that the lienr has to do too much work and breaks down quickly.... i have nothint against foam liners BUT they need to be in the correct shell, without seeing the foot how can the fitter tell what the correct shell is.


as for the comment someoen made about lange supporting their technology, you can get your name on pretty much any product if you buy enough volume and pay a bit of money
post #22 of 48
I have to second the recommendation for Paragon. This was about 7 years ago, but I went into the store, and after 30 minutes, came out with an awesome pair of Lange's that I've used without problems for 7 years since (after some modifications by northern ski works in ludlow).

I didn't think paragon would give me good service, since it's not a specialty ski store, but I was pleasantly surprised. I think that if you have "special" feet, it might not be the place for you, but if you have normalish sized feet, then you don't need some world-renown expert to fit your ski boots. A+ for paragon.
post #23 of 48
I would highly recommend Greg at Heino's as well and not just because Heino's is part of Epic's certified bootfitter list but simply because I've had great experience with him. My feet are unique as they are over pronated (flat) with a wide front and very narrow heels. In addition, my left foot has a big bunion and is smaller than my right foot. How much more unique can my feet be? BUT my boots (both pairs) were fitted by Greg and I ski fairly comfortable.

As for other areas, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ski Barn in Paramus which I went to before I found out about Heinos. I got my orthotic insoles from Willy at SkiBarn and showed them to Greg (where I purchased my boots). Greg said the orthotics made by Willy were as good as he could make them.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdrei View Post
SureFoot
I went on a weekday at 4pm. Told them that I wanted to be fitted and the type of skier I am. Off hand the sales guy, said he recommended Lange and if budget is not an issues also custom footbeds and custom liners.

Paragon
They carry the most brands off all the shops visited. Atomic, Lange, Salomon, Teknica, Head, Rossies.
Walked in and Doug offered to help.
He took my shoes off and gave me some really thin socks. He measured both feet and took notes on my weight and foot size. Next he looked at the wear on my shoe soles. He had me stand up and flex my knees as much as I could in the ski position. I have big flex.

He started to draw conclusions, such as I need a stiff and fairly narrow boot and some footbeds to keep my feet in position.

He brought out Lange 100 in 8.5 and some Superfeet footbeds since they are thicker than the regular ones and wanted to make sure that the boot feels as good with the extra thickness.
He did a shell fit first using a stick.
Once I put the boot on he closed only the upper to buckles and explained that they should feel snug with the bottom ones open, since the liner will unpack later and force me to tight them up a little. He took the time of explaining every step he was taking.

I started to flex the boot and it seemed great. But he wanted to make sure. He went back and brought a pair of Lange L8. They were stiff. I spent 15 minutes or so flexing each pair.
He told me the price difference (about $300) and insisted not to base my decision on price.

He did recommend custom footbeds and added that the store will work on them anytime I have a problem.

I didn’t buy the Lange 100 yet, but I will this week.

Some of my conclusions

SureFoot in NYC
I will never get my foot in this store again. A bunch of sales people trying to convince me in spending $1200 on boots, before even looking at my feet.
So surefoot is no good because the fitter instantly recognized OPs foot shape when he walked in the door? They sound like better boot fitters than salesmen. They need to change their sales pitch, "We'll measure you up, but I'll bet you ten bucks right now you'll agree the Langs it best."

BTW I was undersold at Sporting Life on Young street in Toronto; I should have got the custom liner. They honour their fit guaranty, but it is a pain it the a$$ going back again and again and again to get the boots punched out and liners worked on. They didn't punch out the side of the boot enough in the first place, but I suppose that's better than too much. There are other places where I have problems. I have very strange feet - instep high and prominent bone on instep, heel and ball of foot from karate. Heels going one way, balls going the other, tiny tiny heel/achiles area, large ball, ankle bone lower than any last, bone in side of foot never the same after whatsisname kicked it (just got other foot out of cast didn't want to get it checked out - stupid youth), etcetera.I honestly think that perhaps Solomon was not the way to go in the first place, but I'm through messing with it. Next time I'm going full custom with a highly recommended fitter.

BTW, Yesterday I was actually to ski the whole day nonstop from 9:00 to 4:00 with actual ski socks (very thin ones) without stop and my toes did not freeze solid and did not turn purple or fall off. I decided the wool in the liners was giving my ankles a bad rash when skiing without socks. I don't need to do up the 2nd bottom buckle at all and they still fit tight in that area.

I hate buying new boots.
post #25 of 48

Greg at Heino's is a must for anyone in New Jersey.  If you want to not only BUY boots, but would like to be FIT in boots, you would be doing yourself a great disservice going anywhere else.  In fact, you would be getting no service because I have found no other place that is willing to or seems to know how to go about fitting boots.  This is one of the most important aspects skiing and is unfortunately taken lightly by every ski/sports shop in the tri-state area (and I have been to them ALL).  Greg knows his craft, is so well versed in boots of the season, and will take the time to figure YOU out (or at least your feet).  After purchasing my boots there this year, I will never go anywhere on the east coast again!

post #26 of 48

For those that have gone to Heino's, how accesible is it from NYC? I could borrow a friend's car, but don't really know the area that well. It sounds like it might be worth the trip though.

 

Also, as someone that has never bought new boots that I've paid for, what sort of price should I expect if I get new custom fit boots? Really don't know anything about the process, so any help is appreciated.

post #27 of 48

Heinos is probably 30 or 40 minutes from NYC depending on traffic. Prices are competitive.

 

Call and make an appointment before you go. Schedule with Greg if possible.

 

http://www.heinosskiandcycle.com/

post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA View Post

Call and make an appointment before you go. Schedule with Greg if possible.

 

http://www.heinosskiandcycle.com/

I'd say, schedule with Greg, or don't bother going there.  I've had work done there (not by Greg) that he later fixed (no charge) because he didn't like the way it was done. Everyone else there was nice, but he knows his shit.

 

 

post #29 of 48

This thread was super helpful to me. I'm from the west coast and moved out to NYC about 3 years ago, and I am in desperate need of a boot fitter. I scheduled an appointment with Greg from Heino's for this weekend (renting a Zipcar to drive out there). I'll give an update when it's all said and done.

post #30 of 48

I got my Head boots couple years ago when I was at SLC for a really good price and I really like them.  It’s a race boot none the less so it’s a bit on the stiff side but it’s the only one that fit my small feet.  This year while skiing in Vail, my instructor told me Head’s make great boots and recommend me to keep them.  Go get a costume footbed if it’s uncomfortable, he said.  So now I’m back at NYC and looking for a good boot fitter for further recommendation and fitting. 

 

It will be a great help if you would let me know how’re yours experience goes with Greg.

 

Thanks.

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