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Selection of a boot fitter - or is it fair to shop shops?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Somewhat of a open question and I'm interested in what others think.. 

My mission is that I'm looking at new boots this fall.

In general we read and try to take the filtered information, we take the observations from our ski pro's (ie "your boots need to be more upright") and try to relate that back to the boot fitting process.

 

In another thread both Lou R and Bud H talk about flex and stance relating that to ankle movement and a neutral stance and in general terms 'the boot fitter should observe and take this into account' this is not a direct quote just a general statement on my part.

In the past I've asked other ski pro's ( I am also a CSIA instructor) for recommended boot fitters in our area. Even willing to drive a couple of hours if need be. In the end I have a good relationship with a fitter and  I've worked thru 3 pairs over the last 15 yrs. However not once that I can remember did the fitter look at the range of motion of my ankle and relate that to stance. You may think that this isn't really an issue other than in my own experience my ski school supervisor (L4 CSIA) made the observation about my needing to be in a more upright stance and ankles being locked. In this case I took my boots to the fitter and between us we mod'ed the boots to be more upright and a skiing improvement was made.

 

So as we sink money into a expensive purchase you want to make sure that your getting value and an acurate assessment of what is required.

Now would it make sense to go back to same fitter but bring up the topic of ankle motion and it's relationship to stance? The only time I've had stance position mentioned is when the have you stand to make a set of foot beds. My past shopping experience has the fitter do a shell fit, foot beds, hot spots and cant check. This seems to be the standard approach in most shops that I have used over the years.  

I live in that skiing hot bed of southern Ontario were most, it seems, but with no real evidence to support my statement, stores hire and give basic training to staff so they can fit the kids.

 

I'm sorry for being so long winded, i'm just trying to paint a picture somewhat. In the end the basic question would be..

 

"So how can one ascertain the shops level of training?"

 

Thanks for reading...

post #2 of 3

steveb,

 

It is not an easy answer, and just like shopping for doctors or surgeons, no two are the same.  As a level III PSIA and level III CSIA instructor and long time boot fitter I can tell you the key is to find a boot fitter who understands ski technique and how equipment angles (10 different angles) affect skiing performance.  The only way to do this is to inquire and research as much as possible in your region to find the best qualified person.  Check with race teams and elite skiers for their recommendations.   Getting these ten angles as close as possible to ideal for your morphology is a big key to finding your peak performance.

 

I would not be so vague as to look for the most reputable shop but focus in on the most reputable boot fitter.  Just because a shop displays an "America's Best Boot Fitter" emblem does not mean doodle.  It is the guy or gal who has the reputation and history that matters.  Here in America, if your shop sends an employee to a one or two day boot fitting clinic and pays an annual dues, they can claim and get marketing support that claims they are one of America's best boot fitting shops, which is very misleading to say the least.  Word of mouth and reputation are the most important.  Ask lots of questions and form your own opinion then go with your best choice and trust them.

 

Unfortunately, many "boot fitters" or boot sales people don't know what they don't know and think they know all they need to know to fit your boots.  Ignorance doesn't know they don't know.  Educate yourself and ask lots of questions to find the right person to trust your boots to.  You can start with the boot fitters listed here at Epicski in this forum because these guys are some of the best around and have been hand picked by myself and Colin to post here.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
 

Educate yourself and ask lots of questions to find the right person to trust your boots to.  You can start with the boot fitters listed here at Epicski in this forum because these guys are some of the best around and have been hand picked by myself and Colin to post here.

Thank you Bud for taking the time to answer..

 

In brief could you suggest some questions, or types of questions to ask? and ultimately what kind of response should I hear?

 

Cheers..

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