The dreaded has happened. I think my boots are ruined.
I've been trying to find a great all-around bootfitter where I live for the last two years, without success. But the local shop, which doesn't carry any big ticket things I want, has been competent with such things as punching my boots, mounting bindings, doing base grinds/bevel setting. I also try to buy high margin soft goods, ptex, wax, etc from them.
Last week I took a new pair of boots in to them (purchased elsewhere), and asked for punches in the toe box and 5th met head areas. They marked the spots with a marker (see pics), and told me to come back in 5 days. When I went in to pick up the boots, I noticed right away that the 5th met head punches were almost invisible (plastic not discolored, and the punches not abrupt... it's hard to tell anything was done)-- but that the toe box punches seemed in the wrong place and huge in the wrong way. They are punch upwards outwards more than to extend the interior sole length. The worst part is that the plastic in the toe area is melty looking, soft, and so thin in a few places it's probably going to split on my first day out.
I asked about this and the guy told me to give them 2 to 3 hours for the punch to cool off and shrink. Seemed odd, since the punched areas were not hot/warm to the touch, but I didn't argue very forcefully. I also pointed out that in a strange, melty-foldy ridge (newly created) the boot plastic was so thin that it would flex in and out when I poked it lightly with a finger from inside or out. The first rock or hard/sharp object it hits it will tear right through. The closest thing I can compare it to is a plastic Heinz catsup bottle flex. Again, he insisted it'll be no problem in 2 to 3 hours.
Well, it's been 24 hrs-- photos taken right before posting this-- and the boots are still just like how they were when I picked them up. Am I overreacting? Should I go back and ask for some kind of compensation given the 2 to 3 hours didn't do squat-- like for the shop to find me replacements?
I'm inclined to go back and complain. After all, the end result is that I've paid someone to essentially ruin a brand new pair of boots... and the toebox wasn't even really extended so I've gained nothing. The thought of skiing with my big toe essentially exposed once the boots inevitably crack open there is frustrating to say the least.
Man... I wish I lived in a place with a great bootfitter. Also, I could use some snow to cheer me up.