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Buying vs. Renting Boots; Boot fitter in South Lake Tahoe?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Good afternoon, and happy Fall!

 

I just have a quick question on boots I'm hoping you guys and gals can help me out with.  First, a little bit about me.  I'm relatively new to skiing.  I did it several times as a child in Colorado and was handling blue trails in Colorado without issue.  Since that time though, I have only skiied twice.  Once at a terrible resort on the East Coast in college, and once last year at Tahoe.  The trip to Tahoe, I took a lesson, and my skills started to return to me, though my center of balance is decidedly different now (I am now 32) :).  Still, I felt comfortable overall on greens, and didn't fall at all (or come close).

 

All of this is to say, I am not an advanced skier.  I'm not after high end racing gear.  Now that I live in California, I plan to ski a few times a year recreationally.  Probably not often enough to warrant buying boots from a "price" standpoint, but I'm considering it mainly for comfort.

 

Specifically, my rental ski boots on my last trip left a nasty raw friction burn right under my calf (I have rather large calves).  It took weeks to heal up.  Luckily I was only skiing the one day - I would likely have not been able to ski a second day with the burn.  This leads me to believe that the rental boots simply were not fitting right - does this make sense?  If so, I'm thinking a good boot, properly fitted, would be well worth the price if it increases comfort.

 

Does this makes sense to those of you with more experience skiing?

 

And if so - can anyone recommend a good place to get fitted for and buy boots in South Lake Tahoe?  I'm probably headed up this fall, so I could make the purchase while I'm up there in advance of skiing this winter.  I could consider North Lake as well, though I usually ski in South Lake (for now) so it would be better to have a place there in case I need tweaks when I go up to ski.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 10

Welcome to EpicSki!  As you've already learned, rental boots are not . . . comfortable, ever.  Even if you are only skiing a few times a season, it's worth getting your own boots from a good boot fitter.  Just as it's probably worth having a warm jacket and ski pants.  Don't have to buy a current year model.  Prices are much lower on last year's stock or you may even get lucky and something in the back of the shop will fit that is a great deal.

 

Click on Articles in the menu bar to get to info related to buying gear in general.

 

Note that having properly fitted ski boots is not only more comfortable, it makes it much easier to ski better because the connection to moving your skis in subtle ways is better.

 

As for recommendations of where to shop, I leave that to folks who know Tahoe.

post #3 of 10
Rental boots are designed to fit a multitude of feet equally poorly. Buy boots. I can understand your desire to buy boots where you will be skiing, and there are some good fitters that come to mind in SLT with Dixon Brown being the name that comes up first. Dixon is near the base of the goodie at heavenly, not sure of the name of the shop. Do not forget that first and foremost the boot is a tool, a tool that transfers your energy to the ski, yes it should keep your foot warm and dry, but let's not forget the purpose of it. With that said, a well fitting boot will be comfortable. If you do not find help in South Lake and want to take a drive to the North side of the lake, we at Start Haus in Truckee can help you.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Rental boots are designed to fit a multitude of feet equally poorly. Buy boots. I can understand your desire to buy boots where you will be skiing, and there are some good fitters that come to mind in SLT with Dixon Brown being the name that comes up first. Dixon is near the base of the goodie at heavenly, not sure of the name of the shop. Do not forget that first and foremost the boot is a tool, a tool that transfers your energy to the ski, yes it should keep your foot warm and dry, but let's not forget the purpose of it. With that said, a well fitting boot will be comfortable. If you do not find help in South Lake and want to take a drive to the North side of the lake, we at Start Haus in Truckee can help you.

 

Thanks for the input!  Searching the forums - it looks like Dixon is in "Powder House Boot & Demo Center" in Heavenly Village.  Does that sound right?  If so I'll try to stop by when I'm up there this fall, before the winter rush!

post #5 of 10

I would strongly suggest a visit to Brent Springbet form Powder House in South Lake.  He will look at your foot and make recommendations based on width and what you tell him about how you ski, or what your skiing goals are.  He will adjust your boots all year, come back the next year and buy foot-beds and he will adjust them some more.  You may want to make an appointment as he can get busy.  After 1/2 season of renting my wife wanted boots because every rental hurt her foot one way or another.  He was so patient with my wife just picking out a boot, and then he had to modify it many times because she has some funky feet.  He adjusted buckles, grinded, blew out areas, and gave us great advice on places to eat.  So I ended up picking up a pair of boots too the next year when he told me there would be a new softer Lange, and he had to bump out a few places, lift here, tuck there - he really knows his stuff.


 

Just keep in mind boots are not cheap, his prices are in-line with local prices, but online may be a little cheaper but not only are you paying for the boot, you are paying for an expert boot fitter too so you are wise to not buy boots on line.  Bring or buy on site very thin ski socks no matter where you go also.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorp1072 View Post
 

I would strongly suggest a visit to Brent Springbet form Powder House in South Lake.  He will look at your foot and make recommendations based on width and what you tell him about how you ski, or what your skiing goals are.  He will adjust your boots all year, come back the next year and buy foot-beds and he will adjust them some more.  You may want to make an appointment as he can get busy.  After 1/2 season of renting my wife wanted boots because every rental hurt her foot one way or another.  He was so patient with my wife just picking out a boot, and then he had to modify it many times because she has some funky feet.  He adjusted buckles, grinded, blew out areas, and gave us great advice on places to eat.  So I ended up picking up a pair of boots too the next year when he told me there would be a new softer Lange, and he had to bump out a few places, lift here, tuck there - he really knows his stuff.


 

Just keep in mind boots are not cheap, his prices are in-line with local prices, but online may be a little cheaper but not only are you paying for the boot, you are paying for an expert boot fitter too so you are wise to not buy boots on line.  Bring or buy on site the socks you'll be using no matter where you go also.

ftfy

post #7 of 10

Worth take a look in Tahoe Sports Ltd in SLT, situated next to the big supermarket, 3 minutes walk from the gondola. Price is more reasonable with very good service.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scavenger View Post
 

Worth take a look in Tahoe Sports Ltd in SLT, situated next to the big supermarket, 3 minutes walk from the gondola. Price is more reasonable with very good service.

Hey there, thanks for the input!

 

Anyone specific you would recommend at Tahoe Sports?  

 

I contacted Powder House, but they aren't doing any fittings until after November 1.  With the holidays and whatnot, I don't think I'll be able to get up there in November, and was really hoping to get it taken care of before the "prime ski season" madness :). 

 

Tahoe Sports is doing boot fitting now, and the guy on the phone was very helpful.  I also like their store (have been there before).   So I'm tempted to go with them, but just want to make sure I'm getting a good fitting.

 

Again, I'm basically a beginner - so I probably don't need high end "speed" tuning or anything similar.  Just an effective, reasonably comfortable boot that won't kill me after a day!

post #9 of 10

Azmordean,

 

I see you are posting from Mountain View, If that is where you are at I suggest you check out Sports Basement on Lawrence Ave. They have some great staff, their selection varies but the prices are always good. If you are not too bothered about the latest colors consider previous seasons offerings, you typically expect to pay at least 30% less than current products.

 

These guys also do good rentals deals - last season it was $30 or $40 for ski's boots and poles for up to 5 days, this is cheaper than the day rate at most Tahoe resorts and the gear is of similar quality. I think they also do a season lease for about $150 where you take the gear and bring it back in May. This could work as you will be the only person wearing the boots so they should have time to mould to your feet, it may take a few days of skiing to get to this point.

 

Other post are right, buy good boots the best thing to do, the problem with rental boots is that the inners mould to the previous users feet so even if you rent the same make, style and size the experience can be completely different.

 

Yokey

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azmordean View Post
 

Hey there, thanks for the input!

 

Anyone specific you would recommend at Tahoe Sports?  

 

I contacted Powder House, but they aren't doing any fittings until after November 1.  With the holidays and whatnot, I don't think I'll be able to get up there in November, and was really hoping to get it taken care of before the "prime ski season" madness :). 

 

Tahoe Sports is doing boot fitting now, and the guy on the phone was very helpful.  I also like their store (have been there before).   So I'm tempted to go with them, but just want to make sure I'm getting a good fitting.

 

Again, I'm basically a beginner - so I probably don't need high end "speed" tuning or anything similar.  Just an effective, reasonably comfortable boot that won't kill me after a day!

 

Despite how much the Retail and Xmas industry wants to hype it, winter actually doesn't start until Decemember21.  I wouldn't really worry about the crowds if you can get to Heavenly before say dec15.  Especially if you go midweek, or sacrifice a morning or afternoon to get the boots all squared away.

 

Both the Tahoe Sports Ltd and Powderhouse to me look like they have everything set up with fitting stations and have whole gammut of boots including the vacuum fits.  I would advise if you're concerned about getting the fitting right, inevitably one of the first questions they will ask is do you have a budget?  If you start that conversation out with "what's on sale", don't expect to get the best fitting.   Alternatively if let them know money is no objects, and you are willing to pay msrp for the right boots, and at least semi-custom footbeds, and take however much time with the best bootfitter they have to get things fit well, then I think they will square you away.

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