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Expert Boot Advice given by Jeff, Boot Fixation - Page 3  

post #61 of 178
I am a 46 year old male, 5'9", 175 lb. who just skied for a day and a half for the first time in 22 years. I have medium width feet and I used to be a strong intermediate but woudl rate myself a 3/4 presently. The Dalbello boots I rented at Killington were murder on the bottom of the balls of my feet and toe pads by the 2nd day when I exerted downward pressure.

I would like to get back into the sport which would mean 10-15 days per year - mostly in the NE and maybe one week out west. I would like to buy boots (maybe hold off on skis for a bit) that could help me improve, are versatile in different conditions, but my main priority is comfort and not being spent by 2 PM. I also dont want to be back in the market for a new pair after a year. Questions

1) What are a few boots you would reccommend I try.

2) What should I expect from a good bootfitter? Any in NJ ?

3) I've read good things at bootfitters.com about the Salomon Performa and Rossi Salto but I saw that you are not very fond of them. May I ask why that is ??

4) Would you reccommend any off the rack insoles or are custom the only way to go?

Thanks very much for you help. May your kindnesses on this forum be returned manyfold.
post #62 of 178
I'd really like to thank Jeff for taking his time to really meaningful advice on this board.

So anyway, I'm 16, a ski racer and an instructor. I weigh 200 lbs and am 5'10" tall. I consider myself an advanced skier who has mastered the groomed but leaves something to be desired in powder, but we don't get much of that in Wisconsin. I own a pair of 2001 Salomon course boots, which fit my feet well and are pretty comfortable in the foot area. I wear a pair of merino wool socks with padding on the shins and the bottom of my feet whenever I ski. The problem is, after standing on the hill and teaching for approximately 2-3 hours, my shins hurt quite a bit, but my feet are still very comfortable. It is not a shin splint type of pain, but instead hurts when I flex the boots. If I freeski, I do not experience the pain. I notice, however, that if I buckle my boots any looser than they already are, I experience quite a decrease in both my freeskiing and some of my higher level demos. My question is:

1. How can I relieve the pain in my shins during lessons which may entail periods of 5-10 minutes between demos without decreasing my ability to demo well?
post #63 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr.T:
Yo, Jeff
Is it true that "The Best Boot Fits Best"?
Usually, but not always. Performance and fit are both important, but do not always work together. For instance, I had a guy in my shop who is trying to get back on the Austrian ski team who had very wide feet. He was skiing in the Nordica Dobermann which is the narrowest boot currently made. The fit was not good, but he felt it was worth the sacrifice of comfort. In general, most skiers can find (if they know where to look) an excellent balance between performance and fit.

And a custom foot bed and getting the foot into a Talis neutral position will fix most probs. that skiers have?
That is often a good place to start, but really only touches the surface of proper alignment.

That would have saved that sk8ter $900.00 clams.
What about Pronation VS supanatiated (sp?)feet?
Too vague of a question.

Pos delta and neg delta?
Like the last question, this is quite vague. These are important issues which are very involved and include numerous facets.

Thanks for your reply in advance.
BTW, MR.T just bolts his boots driectly to his skis and deals with the pain!
post #64 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by shmerham:
Hi Jeff, thanks for the help in advance and for all that you've given so far.

I'm 5'7", 145 lbs, male, expert skier. Instruct / assist once a week with the handicap program. Ski all conditions and turn shapes. I'm in Rossi carve zx's for the past year. Flex is decent, could be a little more progressive. Fit great (the only boot I could fit in that would keep my heel down) with the exception of 4 problems:

a) When I'm not on edge constantly, the balls of my feet hurt (burn and cramp up)

b) When I ski bumps my outstep cramps up, particularly earlier in the day

c) I have low and wide calves

d) My toes get cold pretty easily

I've heard that a loss of circulation in your calf area can contribute to cold toes.

1. Should I keep my boots and just get them worked on and footbeds?

2. Should I consider a woman's boot like the Rossi 9.2 Woman's?
Shmerham,

It sounds to me like you have a circulation problem of some sort. This could be caused by...

A. Boots too tight in the calves or just simply biting in that area.

B. Not enough room over the instep.

C. Being out of sagital (fore and aft) alignment.

Because I cannot see you, I cannot say for sure what is going on. Most likely, it is a combination of calf tightness and excessive forward lean.

I do not like the older Rossignol boots (pre- 2003), so I think you might want to try the newer Rossi Power 9.2 W. I feel it is an excellent boot, and the lower height of the cuff may help you.

One issue that you do not mention is what kind of bindings you are using. Your problem may be that the bindings have too much ramp angle and basically throw you on the balls of your feet. This can cause many problems, including cramping and poor circulation. To determine the ramp, measure the height of the toe piece and the heel where they contact the boot. (Include the ski height in this measurement. Then subtract the difference. This will tell you the amount of heel lift. Post this fact and I can tell you whether it is small or large. (Unfortunately, I cannot tell you where you should be without seeing you.)

Good luck,
Jeff
post #65 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by AlexG:
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for helping us.

Background - my 4-y.o daughter. Last year we bought her some barely used rear-entry kiddie boots - they were fine, with enough room in front and around the foot, so with an extra pair of thick socks and an insole she was OK. This year, she fills the boot completely - duh!, but her toes are just barely touching the toebox front end when she stands leaning back. Once she leans her knees forward - the toes are fine, and there is plenty of wriggle room.

However, as she was walking around house in those boots (getting ready to hit the slopes), she said that on the inside, where the heel becomes arch, she feels pain.

Questions:

1. Is there anything that can be done for her with these boots, or do we need to get her another pair?

2. Will the pain of walking go away when she starts skiing - or will it get worse?
AlexG,

This is an unusual problem to which there is probably an easy answer towards. I would check the stock footbed first, and then look at the ramp of the shell. Sometimes, there can be problems there. Beyond that, I would have to see her and the boots.

Good luck,
Jeff
post #66 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by AlexG:
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for helping us.

Background - my 4-y.o daughter. Last year we bought her some barely used rear-entry kiddie boots - they were fine, with enough room in front and around the foot, so with an extra pair of thick socks and an insole she was OK. This year, she fills the boot completely - duh!, but her toes are just barely touching the toebox front end when she stands leaning back. Once she leans her knees forward - the toes are fine, and there is plenty of wriggle room.

However, as she was walking around house in those boots (getting ready to hit the slopes), she said that on the inside, where the heel becomes arch, she feels pain.

Questions:

1. Is there anything that can be done for her with these boots, or do we need to get her another pair?

2. Will the pain of walking go away when she starts skiing - or will it get worse?
AlexG,

This is an unusual problem to which there is probably an easy answer towards. I would check the stock footbed first, and then look at the ramp of the shell. Sometimes, there can be problems there. Beyond that, I would have to see her and the boots.

Good luck,
Jeff
post #67 of 178
I am an expert skier that struggled with boot pain for a long time. Finally in desperation about 13 years ago, I visited every ski boot shop at Killington and discovered Koflach boots which fit my wide, high instep foot much better than anything else. I have owned two pairs of Koflach boots since and been a relatively happy camper. Does the fact that Koflach has been acquired by Atomic make Atomic the logical supplier for my high volume foot, or are there other boot companies that also will be able to accomodate my fitting problem when the time comes.

Thanks for sharing your expertise so generously.
post #68 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Clayton:
Jeff, The Boot Guru. Hello, I am 190. 5'10". Intermediate level, was advanced until ACL operation to my left knee. Want to progress again with my skiing. Problem, I have wide feet w/heavy pronation, and skiiny ankles and calves and some circulation issues in my toes at times with tight boots. What boots should I look at that might be best suited for my situation. I will never be a expert skier, but if I can get back to skiing at a semi agressive level in powder or groomed conditions, no big bumps that will be fine. I am so tired of having to stop 3 times a day and take my boots off for an hour before I can go back at it. Thank you, Jigstrike
Mark,

As I have mentioned before in this thread, there are no boots that are wide in the front and narrow in the heel. You have my sympathy. However, here are a few boots that may work at least fairly well for you.

Since circulation seems to be a problem, make sure any boot you buy has enough room over the top of the foot. (This area is where you get much of your blood flow from.)

Nordica Beast and W series (W12,11,10,8)
Atomic Tri-Tech series (SX11, etc...)
Atomic Bi-Tech series [+15% wider (SX9, etc...)]
Head 103mm series (FR 10.5, World Cup, etc...)

Good luck with your knee and your feet,
Jeff
post #69 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by rvwink:
I am an expert skier that struggled with boot pain for a long time. Finally in desperation about 13 years ago, I visited every ski boot shop at Killington and discovered Koflach boots which fit my wide, high instep foot much better than anything else. I have owned two pairs of Koflach boots since and been a relatively happy camper. Does the fact that Koflach has been acquired by Atomic make Atomic the logical supplier for my high volume foot, or are there other boot companies that also will be able to accomodate my fitting problem when the time comes.

Thanks for sharing your expertise so generously.
rvwink,

The Atomic boots have quite a bit of room in the forefoot, but sometimes not enough over the top of the foot (instep). This year they started making the Bi series boot, witch is 15% wider than their regular boot. The only question is does it have enough room for your instep? I talked to a friend of mine who works for Atomic, and he told me that next year's boot will have more room over the instep. I think it needs the room, soo this should be a good thing.

Another boot you might consider is the Tecnica Rival, which I feel is the highest volume boot I have ever seen.

Good luck,
Jeff
post #70 of 178
Thanks, Jeff, for coming here to answer questions. My question is very basic. I tried on a Dalbello Avanti V-10 boot and it fit perfectly. Can I expect other Dalbello boots, either in the Avanti line or in other lines, to fit similarly, or are there big differences?
post #71 of 178
Thanks in advance for your insight and advice, Jeff. Greatly appreciate your efforts.

Background: 5'11" 185 lb male; strong skier; NSP regional ski&tobaggan trainer/evaluator; no longer young (50yo) but very fit.

Current skis: Volkl 6s 161cm; Volkl Vertigo 184cm.
Current boots: 5+ yo Nordica Grand Prix, custom footbeds and blowed out fitted shell.

Questions:

1) I need replacement soon for my aging Nordica's. I like the way they fit, but they are getting old. What are current models I should look at with same or better flex pattern and compatible with my skis?

2) My aging toes are starting to feel the chill. Any models (or advice) to keep my toes cozy?
post #72 of 178
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by powpig:
[QB]Hi Jeff -

Thanks for all the great tips and for helping people out!

I'm a guy, 40, 5'9", 160 advanced expert skier, 50+ days a year, love the pow & steeps, only ski groomers as a means of access. I like a narrow heel pocket as I can't stand my heel slipping when I ski. I have a high arch which is proving to be difficult to manage.

Ski'd on Lange Zero X 9 - Size 7 - 298mm boot sole length
from 96-99. Had custom footbeds in 'em, lots of custom bootwork, ground down the baseboard and lots of toebox grinds/punches. Loved these boots, eventually the shells cracked.

Replaced w/Lange L10 race fit in same - Size 7 - 298mm boot sole length.
Could never get these to fit properly. Again had baseboard ground down, lots of toe box grinds. Big toes and right pinky toe were always crunched and my high arch always caused pain on highest point of top of both feet. This pressure caused the toes to go numb sometimes and hurt always. Eventually had what the boot fitter called a "tongue-ectomy" where a quarter sized section of the liner is cut out and replaced with a thinner foam material to lessen the thickness and therefore the pressure on the top of the feet. The results were marginal at best.

It was recommended to me to try some Head boots as they had a nice narrow heal pocket but more room in the toe box. I got a deal on a pair of
Head WorldCup Ti N-97 - Size 26.0 - 300mm boot sole length.
Whereas the toebox is nice & roomy and the heel is nice and snug, I'm still stuck with my arch trouble. The baseboards were ground down but the tops of my feet are still screaming. I've only ski'd a couple days on 'em and don't really wanna go the "toungue-ectomy" route being recommended again.
I did try wearing the boots around the house with the stock footbeds, just to see, but the top of foot pain was worse than with the custom ones.

1) Is there a brand/model of boots you specifically recommend for high arched feet?

2) Any suggestions on what I can do/have done to alleviate my top of foot pain with the existing boots?

3) Will a custom liner like a zipfit solve my troubles?

Powpig,
1. Long letter you have here. High insteps are one of the biggest problems in bootfitting. Not only does it affect comfort, it affects circulation. Therefore, it is important to get it right.

The other problem is that you hate heel slipage. I cannot blame you for this, but most boots that are high in the instep tend to be big everywhere. There are two notable exceptions.

A. The Nordica Dobermann WC soft and xs (extra soft)
B. The Rossi Plug boot (not a production one, but the "real" race model.

Another way to go might be the regular Rossi race boot, the Power 9.1 or 9.2. It will not be as tight in the heel, but should still be acceptable.

2. I think you probably need that tongue-ectomy which you described earlier. Another possible issue is in how your footbeds were lowered. A common error is to grind the underside of the footboard, which causes it to no longer fit into the boot. Sometimes this raises the arch in relation to the forefoot and heel.

3. I doubt any custom liner, and especially a zipfit, will help whatsoever. I would fix your boots or try another boot.

Jeff
post #73 of 178
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by JeanMarie:
[QB]Hi Jeff,

I am looking for a new pair of boots that will better fit my feet. I currently have Tecnica Icon XR LVL, women's size 9. They are too big. When I ski aggresively I get bruises on the sides of my ankles.

About me: I'm 5'8", 150 pounds. My feet are long and narrow. I wear size 10.5 women's shoe, feet are width A/B except for large bunions, flat feet, pronator with slight bow legs. I like to ski single black diamonds.

Questions:

1. What boots do you recommend for my feet (i.e. long, narrow, flat)?

2. Recently someone told me the only difference between the men & women's Tecnica boots is that the women's have a shorter cuff.
I thought the LVL meant that the actual volume of the boot was less. What is the difference?

Thanks!

JeanMarie,

I also have long narrow feet, and my difficulties in getting boots to fit are what got me into bootfitting. So I understand your frustration.

1. Which boots you want depends on how tight you want your boots to be. If you want the tightest boots possible, you are going to need a true race boot. These boots will fit you best, but are colder and harder to get on and off. Options here are the...

Nordica Dobermann WC XS (extra soft)
Tecnica Icon XT-17 (a full race boot that shares nothing with the other Icon boots)
Salomon X2
Atomic Race Tech (very hard to get this year)
Rossi Plug Boot in a B flex

These boots will probably require a fair amount of bootfitting to make them comfortable. Some may be too stiff for you without modification.

If you just want a good mix of comfort, warmth and a reasonably tighter fit, then you really have only one option.

Lange Comp 100 or Comp 120 LF (Low Fit)(avoid the MF, or Medium Fit boots.)

2.LVL stands for Low Volume Last, which means you get the same wide, high volume shell with extra padding. In my opinion, the LVL's do make the boots tighter, but never deliver the needed performance. I only recommend them for skiers with few concerns about performance.

Good Luck,
Jeff
post #74 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by SteevB:
I am a 46 year old male, 5'9", 175 lb. who just skied for a day and a half for the first time in 22 years. I have medium width feet and I used to be a strong intermediate but woudl rate myself a 3/4 presently. The Dalbello boots I rented at Killington were murder on the bottom of the balls of my feet and toe pads by the 2nd day when I exerted downward pressure.

I would like to get back into the sport which would mean 10-15 days per year - mostly in the NE and maybe one week out west. I would like to buy boots (maybe hold off on skis for a bit) that could help me improve, are versatile in different conditions, but my main priority is comfort and not being spent by 2 PM. I also dont want to be back in the market for a new pair after a year. Questions

1) What are a few boots you would reccommend I try.

2) What should I expect from a good bootfitter? Any in NJ ?

3) I've read good things at bootfitters.com about the Salomon Performa and Rossi Salto but I saw that you are not very fond of them. May I ask why that is ??

4) Would you reccommend any off the rack insoles or are custom the only way to go?

Thanks very much for you help. May your kindnesses on this forum be returned manyfold.
SteevB,

1. The main thing you need to do is buy a boot that is high quality, is a good shape for your foot and is shell fitted. Some boots to consider are the Nordica W series (W12,11,10,8),
Tecnica Icon DP or DPXR, the Atomic Tri Tech series (SX11, etc...) and perhaps the Salomon XWave.

2. A good boot fitter will do a shell fit (pull the liner out of the boot, slide the foot to the front of the shell and see how much room you have behind your heel). Any good bootfitter will do this. Then try on the boot and wait. See if you develop any hot spots. Try a few boots on and buy the boot that is snug but feels relatively comfortable.

Ironically, I am from NJ originally, but I do not know of any good NJ bootfitters. If I were you, I would try to buy boots up in Vermont in a place that guarentees its fit. The only good botter I knew there was Dave Goodspeed, and I do not know if he still works on boots. (He lived in Rutland and worked at Pico at the time.)

3. In my opinion, both of these boots ski poorly. I think you should look for a higher level boot.

4. It really depends on how bad your feet are and how good your bootfitters are. Most bootfitters are not capable of making anything that is better than an off the shelf product, so maybe that is where you should start.

Good luck,
Jeff
post #75 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Takecontrol618:
I'd really like to thank Jeff for taking his time to really meaningful advice on this board.

So anyway, I'm 16, a ski racer and an instructor. I weigh 200 lbs and am 5'10" tall. I consider myself an advanced skier who has mastered the groomed but leaves something to be desired in powder, but we don't get much of that in Wisconsin. I own a pair of 2001 Salomon course boots, which fit my feet well and are pretty comfortable in the foot area. I wear a pair of merino wool socks with padding on the shins and the bottom of my feet whenever I ski. The problem is, after standing on the hill and teaching for approximately 2-3 hours, my shins hurt quite a bit, but my feet are still very comfortable. It is not a shin splint type of pain, but instead hurts when I flex the boots. If I freeski, I do not experience the pain. I notice, however, that if I buckle my boots any looser than they already are, I experience quite a decrease in both my freeskiing and some of my higher level demos. My question is:

1. How can I relieve the pain in my shins during lessons which may entail periods of 5-10 minutes between demos without decreasing my ability to demo well?
618,

Without seeing you, it is very difficult to say where this shin pain comes from. One option is technique. Skiers who lock themselves on the front of their boots tend to get a lot of pain there.

Another option is flex. The older Course boots were exceptionally stiff, far stiffer than their true World Cup race boots (X2's). Perhaps some softening is in order.

Lastly, sometimes the shape of the tongue is the problem. In all likelihood, it is combination of the boots being too stiff and being locked to far forward in your technique.

Good luck,
Jeff
post #76 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by josseph:
Thanks in advance for your insight and advice, Jeff. Greatly appreciate your efforts.

Background: 5'11" 185 lb male; strong skier; NSP regional ski&tobaggan trainer/evaluator; no longer young (50yo) but very fit.

Current skis: Volkl 6s 161cm; Volkl Vertigo 184cm.
Current boots: 5+ yo Nordica Grand Prix, custom footbeds and blowed out fitted shell.

Questions:

1) I need replacement soon for my aging Nordica's. I like the way they fit, but they are getting old. What are current models I should look at with same or better flex pattern and compatible with my skis?

2) My aging toes are starting to feel the chill. Any models (or advice) to keep my toes cozy?
Josseph,

You have given me little information about the shape of your feet. I can give you better advice if you describe certain aspects of your feet to me. Are they wide, is the instep/arch high, are the heels wide or narrow, etc...

Jeff
post #77 of 178
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Bergeron, Boot Fixation:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by josseph:
Thanks in advance for your insight and advice, Jeff. Greatly appreciate your efforts.

Background: 5'11" 185 lb male; strong skier; NSP regional ski&tobaggan trainer/evaluator; no longer young (50yo) but very fit.

Current skis: Volkl 6s 161cm; Volkl Vertigo 184cm.
Current boots: 5+ yo Nordica Grand Prix, custom footbeds and blowed out fitted shell.

Questions:

1) I need replacement soon for my aging Nordica's. I like the way they fit, but they are getting old. What are current models I should look at with same or better flex pattern and compatible with my skis?

2) My aging toes are starting to feel the chill. Any models (or advice) to keep my toes cozy?
Josseph,

You have given me little information about the shape of your feet. I can give you better advice if you describe certain aspects of your feet to me. Are they wide, is the instep/arch high, are the heels wide or narrow, etc...

Jeff
</font>[/quote]Jeff, my feet are average to low volume; adverage width; very low arch/instep; average to narrow heel. My stance is slightly bow legged. My calves are muscular but not excessively huge,nor are they skinny. My current old Nordica grand prix seem to fit just fine except that the shell needed to be blown out to accomodate a couple of small bunions over my little toe.
post #78 of 178
Hi Jeff,

My Background - 1.7m tall 85kg 27yo Male. Level 3 APSI (Australian) Instructor, Trainer & Examiner.

I teach skiing 200+ days a year, but when given the chance am an aggressive skier. I like to ski fast on & off piste, love powder, crud & corduroy, and bumps are a necessary evil.

I have very skinny calves and ankles, a wide forefoot and also fallen arches. I am also quite pronated however have corrected this with my footbed.

I'm currently in a atomic ride 10.50 but have a Masterfit Instaprint 'Eliminator' tongue insert to fill volume in the cuff, and push my heel back into the pocket. I have also had to cut/grind a lot of the excess material off the liner around the forefoot & big toes to create some volume & relieve pressure. I also experience chilblains on the soles of my feet - some work with a podiatrist has almost 100% corrected this, but I have noticed that on the occasions that I can wear a touring boot the extra room/comfort causes the chilblains to disappear.

What I am after is a boot that will accomodate my wider forefoot, but allow for my skiiny ankles calves.

I am thinking that foam, especially a foam tongue, would go a long way towards reducing the volume in the cuff.

Thanks in advance
post #79 of 178
Hi Jeff, your help is really appreciated!! I am a 36 year old 6'1" male, 200 lbs, with size 11 feet. My feet are moderately wide, and very flat, I guess my heals and arches are in proportion to the rest of my foot, (no areas of narrowing or such)and my ankles and calves are average size for my build (I think). I'm just returning to skiing after 10 years of living in FL. When I last skied I was an intermediate/advanced skier and I plan on getting back there again. I'm considering all mountain carver skis and I ski various conditions but mostly groomed slopes. I'm also on a tight budget as I'm having to buy a whole ski package for myself and one for my daughter who I'm going to teach to ski! I hope that's enough info to help you answer my following question:

1. How are the Atomic E.5 or E.7 boots? I've found a pair of E.5's I can get for $150. Do they suit my purpose? Are they comfortable for long ski days? Are they a good value for the money? If not, do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks a lot for your help!
Shawn

[ January 14, 2004, 11:09 PM: Message edited by: SKogut ]
post #80 of 178
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Bergeron, Boot Fixation:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by SteevB:
I am a 46 year old male, 5'9", 175 lb. who just skied for a day and a half for the first time in 22 years. I have medium width feet and I used to be a strong intermediate but woudl rate myself a 3/4 presently. The Dalbello boots I rented at Killington were murder on the bottom of the balls of my feet and toe pads by the 2nd day when I exerted downward pressure.

I would like to get back into the sport which would mean 10-15 days per year - mostly in the NE and maybe one week out west. I would like to buy boots (maybe hold off on skis for a bit) that could help me improve, are versatile in different conditions, but my main priority is comfort and not being spent by 2 PM. I also dont want to be back in the market for a new pair after a year. Questions

1) What are a few boots you would reccommend I try.

2) What should I expect from a good bootfitter? Any in NJ ?

3) I've read good things at bootfitters.com about the Salomon Performa and Rossi Salto but I saw that you are not very fond of them. May I ask why that is ??

4) Would you reccommend any off the rack insoles or are custom the only way to go?

Thanks very much for you help. May your kindnesses on this forum be returned manyfold.
SteevB,

1. The main thing you need to do is buy a boot that is high quality, is a good shape for your foot and is shell fitted. Some boots to consider are the Nordica W series (W12,11,10,8),
Tecnica Icon DP or DPXR, the Atomic Tri Tech series (SX11, etc...) and perhaps the Salomon XWave.

2. A good boot fitter will do a shell fit (pull the liner out of the boot, slide the foot to the front of the shell and see how much room you have behind your heel). Any good bootfitter will do this. Then try on the boot and wait. See if you develop any hot spots. Try a few boots on and buy the boot that is snug but feels relatively comfortable.

Ironically, I am from NJ originally, but I do not know of any good NJ bootfitters. If I were you, I would try to buy boots up in Vermont in a place that guarentees its fit. The only good botter I knew there was Dave Goodspeed, and I do not know if he still works on boots. (He lived in Rutland and worked at Pico at the time.)

3. In my opinion, both of these boots ski poorly. I think you should look for a higher level boot.

4. It really depends on how bad your feet are and how good your bootfitters are. Most bootfitters are not capable of making anything that is better than an off the shelf product, so maybe that is where you should start.

Good luck,
Jeff
</font>[/quote]Jeff, thanks so much for your input. Two more quick questions

1) I'm reading that the Tecnica is geared toward wider feet, which I do not have. True?

2) As stated, I'm just getting back into it after 20 yrs, and was only an intermidiate then. Are some of the boots you reccommended over my head?. Am I beter suited to a Salomon Ellipse / Performa level.

Thanks in advance.
post #81 of 178
[quote]Originally posted by SteevB:
Quote:
Jeff, thanks so much for your input. Two more quick questions

1) I'm reading that the Tecnica is geared toward wider feet, which I do not have. True?

2) As stated, I'm just getting back into it after 20 yrs, and was only an intermidiate then. Are some of the boots you reccommended over my head?. Am I beter suited to a Salomon Ellipse / Performa level.

Thanks in advance.
I am not Jeff, but I'll give you my two cents:

1) It depends on the model. The models that Jeff mentions are typically average to a little narrower than average (C widths).

2) This is one of my pet peeves. I think that boot "levels" are more about cost than actual performance, and that most of us would be better off with "better" boots than our ability might suggest. The higher-level boots have better plastics, better liners, and more reliability than the lower-level boots. If you read this Bob Barnes post on boot stiffness and this post on his preferences and recommendations to give you some additional input for this process.

I hope this helps. I'm sure Jeff will have additional comments, but I know that he's been swamped and it may take him some time to get back to you.
post #82 of 178
Jeff,

Thanks for this fantastic thread and for giving us your time and expertise!

Background: recreational skier for about 15 years, finally bought my own gear this season. Ability: advanced, enjoy skiing all over the mountain mixing up terrain but I avoid moguls at almost any cost! Gear purchased: Atomic R:8 skiis and Salomon XWave 09.0 ('03).

Being new to owning boots etc my questions are basic....

1) Should custom fit insoles be dealt with (fitted / purchased etc) before heatmolding the liner, or is it the other way around? (Do you heatmold with a finished insole inside the liner for best fit?)

2) At the moment I have put a footfix insole that I've used for about 4 days into the new boot. THis insole had already conformed to my foot quite a lot. But it is a size 28.5 insole and the new boot is 27.5. Is this not recommended? (The store originally sold me a boot 1.5 sizes too big, thats why I have the larger insole right now!)

3) The new '04 XWave 9.0 comes with (according to website etc) a heat moldable INSOLE as well as the custom fit liner. My '03 manual doesn't mention this so I presume the 03 insole wasn't heatmoldable. Mine came wth a TECNICA insole anyway (I have extreme doubts about the professionalism of the boot seller!), but how good is that Salomon heatmoldable liner on the 04? Would an 04 owner simply heatmold the entire thing all at once? I guess you'd recommend custom insoles instead anyway?

Those are my questions, I'd like your advice before heading out to a DIFFERENT store for the cusomisation on these new boots. Powder conditions at Christmas was great, but the 1.5 sizes too big really put a damper on it.
post #83 of 178
Hello Jeff,

To echo others, thanks for this wonderful service.

I'm in the market for a new pair of boots and was hoping you could lend some suggestions. I currently have some 12 year old Nordicas (can't recall the name right now).

I'm 6' and weigh 240lbs. I ski fast and aggressive, preferring large radius turns to short, quick ones. I ski a pair of 184 Stockli Stormrider XL skis most everywhere on the mountain quite comfortably.

To give you a picture of my feet:
--Fairly average shape, size 11 tennies, size 10 dress shoes.
Un-modified boots (both my LaSportiva Makalu mountaineering boots and my current ski boots) actually fit me well once broken in with little to no modification. Nikes always fit tightly around the middle of the foot but wide tennies (E?) are too wide.
--The arches aren't completely flat but they're far from being considered "high"
--My current boots used to fit well but have become very packed out. Tightening too much produces pain in the instep, ankles and cold toes.

My biggest concern regarding boots is that they'll be too soft for my size and style of skiing. My second concern, of course, is comfort. Any suggestions? I was eyeing the Nordica Dobermans, Lange Comp 130, Salomon X-wave 10 and a Tecnica that I can't recall. I'm planning on purchasing the boots around here (Front Range) and probably bringing them up to you for a fitting. Right now I'm just looking for some guidance on what's available.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers,
dan
post #84 of 178
Hi, Jeff. Hope you and your feet are well!

It's time for me to look for new boots - hopefully, it won't be too hard for you to look at my "measurements" and make some make/model recommdations. (Our bootfitting resources here, as well as my abilities to wade through the product offerings, are kinda scarce!)

Greedily, I was hoping you might also address some questions regarding foot pain, ankle movement dynamics, and boot flex, which may or may not be interrelated. I'll totally understand if you prefer to pass on some or all of that, but maybe you (or other readers) could refer me to other sources of information.

FYI, my specific questions are at the very end of this rather long email.

I really appreciate your time and your help!



Measurements, etc.
Age - 43

Gender - Girl

Height - 5'5"

Weight - 145

Shoe Size - about 7.5. (Longer right foot is often a little jammed at the big toe, but 8's are way too long.)

Forefoot Width - medium/medium-wide (C, I think)

Heel Width - Average

Calves - Pretty skinny, for a girl who isn't!

Instep - High and pressure sensitive

Arches - High, but "weak". About 10 years ago, they screamed
out and were rewarded with prescription orthotics, which they love.

Pronater, more severe on right foot.

"Knock-kneed", more severe on right.

Skier Type/Goals
Been skiing for 15 years, the last 6 as an instructor. Really consider myself as more of a professional student skier than a teacher though. Not expert yet, but still striving. Have been told by some smart folks that I really need to develop more effective ankle movement patterns. It's not coming along so well! My ankles themselves are pretty flexible.

Current Pain Issue
Last season I developed moderate, but frequent pain just behind the balls of both feet (metatarsalgia, maybe?). Usually, I'm not aware of the pain while I'm skiing, but afterwards, whether in or out of boots, it feels like I'm walking and standing on a tender bruise, even when my feet are bearing no weight!

I went to my podiatrist, who modified my prescription orthotics and sent me off. I had dutifully shlepped along my ski boots (with ski shop, not medical, custom footbeds), but I couldn't persuade him to look at them...even though I was spending more time in those everyday than in my shoes!

Ski season ended, the pain went away, until I started skiing again this year. I first experienced this type of pain, maybe 10 years ago, in my very first pair of boots (Salomon rear entries), but it happened so rarely, I just ignored it. Now, it's an everyday thing.

Current Equipment

Boots
'99 Tecnica Icon XRL, size 7 (24)

I believe these are probably at least a half size too big. At the end of last season a shop added under the liner insoles, including a small heel lift to take up some slack. I think it worked well. My feet don't move around at all and I keep the two bottom buckles on the loosest setting.

The cuff buckles are a different story. I still need to crank these pretty tight to achieve a close fit. Lightbulb! - maybe that's messing with the flex?! (Comic relief time: George Bush as a bootfitter: "Don't mess with Flexas.") Sorry couldn't resist...

I ski with the flex softened all the way (also done at the end of last season). Prior to doing that, I was the victim of a frequent shin bang when hitting unfriendly and/or unseen hard bumps.

I ski with the lean adjustment set as upright as possible.

Liners packed out

They leak, as did my last Tecnicas!!!!!!

Skis
'02 K2 T-nine X

Bindings
'02 Salomon S912 Ps (I think)
I had the shop put a slight canting wedge under my right one, to help with the knock-kneed thing. Not sure if it helps, but there was so much written about the importance of lateral alignment a few years back, I became rather obsessed with it.

Questions
Based on my anatomical information, what makes/models should I focus on?

Any advice on the best way to attack the metatarsalgia?

Do you want to comment on the relationship between boot cuff fit and a skier's ability to achieve adequate ankle flex?

Last but not least, is there anyone more awesome than you, Jeff?! (No answer required, but feel free, if you want to.)

[ January 28, 2004, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: Downwardly Mobile ]
post #85 of 178
Jeff, great stuff. Size 12 street shoe, 27.5 in the Tecnica Alu Hot form. Boot seems to fit ok except on the back of my heel the part below where the acheles tenton attaches. Can that part of the boot be ground down to accomodate that part of my ankle or would boot stretch work better. My Tecnica Icon 10 (last boot) was a 28.5, so this boot is a little snug.
post #86 of 178
Jeff,
I currently own a pair of Tecnica Icon Alu Comp boots but i am interested in the XT 17 model. I weight only 70 kg and i have modified the Alu Comp by removing the inner slots from the cuff and i have also set the boot in flex position. So now it probably has a flex index of under 90. The XT 17 has a flex index of 100 so my questions are:

1. DO you think that the XT 17 might be too stiff for me?
2. Weighting only 70 kg might be the key to make the good decision so do you think that this is a good choice?
3. How can i soften the XT 17 because more than likely i will have to do this?

Thanks,

Cosmin

[ January 29, 2004, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: redcarver ]
post #87 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Snowbear:
Jeff,

Thanks for this fantastic thread and for giving us your time and expertise!

Background: recreational skier for about 15 years, finally bought my own gear this season. Ability: advanced, enjoy skiing all over the mountain mixing up terrain but I avoid moguls at almost any cost! Gear purchased: Atomic R:8 skiis and Salomon XWave 09.0 ('03).

Being new to owning boots etc my questions are basic....

1) Should custom fit insoles be dealt with (fitted / purchased etc) before heatmolding the liner, or is it the other way around? (Do you heatmold with a finished insole inside the liner for best fit?)

2) At the moment I have put a footfix insole that I've used for about 4 days into the new boot. THis insole had already conformed to my foot quite a lot. But it is a size 28.5 insole and the new boot is 27.5. Is this not recommended? (The store originally sold me a boot 1.5 sizes too big, thats why I have the larger insole right now!)

3) The new '04 XWave 9.0 comes with (according to website etc) a heat moldable INSOLE as well as the custom fit liner. My '03 manual doesn't mention this so I presume the 03 insole wasn't heatmoldable. Mine came wth a TECNICA insole anyway (I have extreme doubts about the professionalism of the boot seller!), but how good is that Salomon heatmoldable liner on the 04? Would an 04 owner simply heatmold the entire thing all at once? I guess you'd recommend custom insoles instead anyway?

Those are my questions, I'd like your advice before heading out to a DIFFERENT store for the cusomisation on these new boots. Powder conditions at Christmas was great, but the 1.5 sizes too big really put a damper on it.
Snowbear,

First of all, thank you for following the format.

1. What generally works best is to make the footbeds first and use them in the heat molding process. HOWEVER, excessive heat can be a big problem for footbeds, so you only install them AFTER the liners have been heated. One exception are the thermoflex liners, which retain so much heat that they usually warp footbeds even when they are installed after the heating. For these it is better to simply use a stock footbed as a filler, and put the custom footbeds in only after the liner has cooled.

2. Your insole almost certainly needs to be trimmed to fit into your new boots. Other than that the size should be no problem.

3. I feel that you generally gain very little with these heat moldable liners, because all they really do is shorten the break in period of a boot. They certainly do not fill volume as an injected foam liner would. These heat moldable liners can be helpful for skiers with irregular shapes to their feet (such as bone spurs, etc...).

Just as a note, I would not dismiss a ski shop for giving you Tecnica footbeds with a Salomon boot (a size too big is another story, however). I only use stock footbeds for approximately 1-2% of my clients. Most people do much better with a well made custom footbeds. Keep in mind that my clients tend to be very serious about their skiing, whether they ski a lot or only a little.

Good luck,
Jeff
post #88 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Downwardly Mobile:
Hi, Jeff. Hope you and your feet are well!

It's time for me to look for new boots - hopefully, it won't be too hard for you to look at my "measurements" and make some make/model recommdations. (Our bootfitting resources here, as well as my abilities to wade through the product offerings, are kinda scarce!)

Current Pain Issue
Last season I developed moderate, but frequent pain just behind the balls of both feet (metatarsalgia, maybe?). Usually, I'm not aware of the pain while I'm skiing, but afterwards, whether in or out of boots, it feels like I'm walking and standing on a tender bruise, even when my feet are bearing no weight!

I went to my podiatrist, who modified my prescription orthotics and sent me off. I had dutifully shlepped along my ski boots (with ski shop, not medical, custom footbeds), but I couldn't persuade him to look at them...even though I was spending more time in those everyday than in my shoes!

Ski season ended, the pain went away, until I started skiing again this year. I first experienced this type of pain, maybe 10 years ago, in my very first pair of boots (Salomon rear entries), but it happened so rarely, I just ignored it. Now, it's an everyday thing.

Current Equipment

Boots
'99 Tecnica Icon XRL, size 7 (24)

I believe these are probably at least a half size too big. At the end of last season a shop added under the liner insoles, including a small heel lift to take up some slack. I think it worked well. My feet don't move around at all and I keep the two bottom buckles on the loosest setting.

The cuff buckles are a different story. I still need to crank these pretty tight to achieve a close fit. Lightbulb! - maybe that's messing with the flex?! (Comic relief time: George Bush as a bootfitter: "Don't mess with Flexas.") Sorry couldn't resist...

I ski with the flex softened all the way (also done at the end of last season). Prior to doing that, I was the victim of a frequent shin bang when hitting unfriendly and/or unseen hard bumps.

I ski with the lean adjustment set as upright as possible.

Liners packed out

They leak, as did my last Tecnicas!!!!!!

Skis
'02 K2 T-nine X

Bindings
'02 Salomon S912 Ps (I think)
I had the shop put a slight canting wedge under my right one, to help with the knock-kneed thing. Not sure if it helps, but there was so much written about the importance of lateral alignment a few years back, I became rather obsessed with it.

Questions
Based on my anatomical information, what makes/models should I focus on?

Any advice on the best way to attack the metatarsalgia?

Do you want to comment on the relationship between boot cuff fit and a skier's ability to achieve adequate ankle flex?

Last but not least, is there anyone more awesome than you, Jeff?! (No answer required, but feel free, if you want to.)
DM,

I have noticed that Metetarsal pain seems to be far more common in women than in men. Here are a few things to think about.

1. For most women, the answer for this pain is they need footbeds that have materials that absorb shock. Sometimes neoprene or Dr. Scholls can help here. In my opinion, many podiatrist make orthotics that can be too hard for women to ski in.

2. Excessive ramp angle or forward lean in ski boots can sometimes cause this kind of pain. You Tecnicas have a fair amount of ramp angle. This can also be affected by what bindings a skier uses, although your Salomons should be fairly flat.

What I would do if I were you.

1. See if you can add some softer material to the top of your orthotic. Perhaps your podiatrist can help you here?

2. Try Lange's Comp 100 LF ladies boot in a tighter size but make sure you have a bootfitter who is good a getting more big toe room. Just stand in the boots for fifteen minutes and see if your feet start hurting. Also, there are now many low volume race boots that work very well, and can even be made to flex well. They do tend to be colder, so may want to consider this fact before you buy one of these. The Nordica Dobermann XS is a great boot and should work for you (with some grinding).

3. As far as the calf goes, the lower volume boots should fit your calf adequatel as long as they are in the correct size. If the flex is too stiff, a good boot guy can modify them.

Now, is anyone more awesome than me? I am almost offended. Actually, I recently had a guy in my shop who does some work with the Austrian team and with some of their associated manufactures. He asked me if I had any idea of how other boot guys there were in the world who could do what I can do to boots. I guessed it was probably less than ten, and he said from his experience (which means a lot of travelling) there were less than five. The other guys are in Europe, so expect to do some travelling.

That said, there are probably some good boot guys in the US and Canada that I simply do not know. If anyone out there knows some exceptional bootfitters, I would love to hear who they are. Do not be surprised, though, if I know who they are and I am just not terribly impressed. Still, a good boot guy is always better than a bad one.

Jeff
post #89 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by thebuzard:
Jeff, great stuff. Size 12 street shoe, 27.5 in the Tecnica Alu Hot form. Boot seems to fit ok except on the back of my heel the part below where the acheles tenton attaches. Can that part of the boot be ground down to accomodate that part of my ankle or would boot stretch work better. My Tecnica Icon 10 (last boot) was a 28.5, so this boot is a little snug.
thebuzzard,

You did not quite follow the format I requested in the beginning, but your email is short enough that I will still answer it.

In general, I will grind a boot before I will stretch it. The area you list is very easily ground, but it can require a skilled boot fitter. You may also consider grinding the toe box.

Good luck,
Jeff
post #90 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by redcarver:
Jeff,
I currently own a pair of Tecnica Icon Alu Comp boots but i am interested in the XT 17 model. I weight only 70 kg and i have modified the Alu Comp by removing the inner slots from the cuff and i have also set the boot in flex position. So now it probably has a flex index of under 90. The XT 17 has a flex index of 100 so my questions are:

1. DO you think that the XT 17 might be too stiff for me?
2. Weighting only 70 kg might be the key to make the good decision so do you think that this is a good choice?
3. How can i soften the XT 17 because more than likely i will have to do this?

Thanks,

Cosmin
Cosmin,

Thank you for following the format.

1-2. You are plenty big enough to flex the XT17, although it may require slight flex modification. Still, this boot will probably flex better stock than your Alus do.

3. That is information I do not care to give out. A good boot guy should know how to do it; it is not difficult.

Good Luck,
Jeff
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