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.
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.
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.
A complete disaster and they are recommended by MasterFit U.
Let me know your thoughts,