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New boots, keep or return?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I bought new boots from big box store... Yeah I know about the inevitable go to boot fitter posts, but the local ones here barely discount any even in summer, so it's either new from big box, or stay with my oversized old ones.

The one I got is technica inferno blaze, 98 mm last, mondo 28.5. They feel great when first tried on, snug and easy to control. But when I got home and tried on for extended period of time it begins to feel tight. After 30 minutes or so I can feel pressure around little toes, and after an hour and half there are some pain.

I did a shell fit and the length is fine, but forefoot section I'm already touching the shell on both sides. Wish I could test them on snow, but then I wouldn't be able to return them.

Should I return them and get something else, or are all the 97/98 last boots like this and will wear in? Apparently I have wider than average feet.
post #2 of 19
Can you take them to a boot fitter to get them fitted? It sounds like something they can easily fix with a punch. They will also fit differently sitting around watching tv and skiing when your heel is back and fore foot is pulled back a little too. Isn't the liner heat moldable? That should help too.
post #3 of 19

What's the difference between the big box store buy and a bootfitter buy?  Maybe $300-$400? 

 

Consider that if the boot you just bought is too tight in the toe box, you're going to have to pay a bootfitter to punch or grind it.  I don't know how much this might cost.  But if you had bought from the fitter in the first place, you'd not have to pay for this- it's part of the cost. When you take the grinding cost into account, now how much is the difference in cost between the two boots?  

 

Is that cost difference worth being able to go back to the bootfitter again in case something else needs to be done (let's say you develop a blister on one ankle), and knowing it will be done for free by someone who knows how to do it?  Also, sometimes if a bootfitter works with you to choose a boot, does work on it, and it ends up not fitting right, he/she might take it back.  There's a guarantee of some sort going on.  You can think of the extra $$ you pay in a brick-and-mortar shop as your insurance policy on those boots in addition to paying up front for fitting adjustments, plus an expert helping you choose the right boot.  It's money well-spent.

 

Boots are not sexy like skis.  But they are the most important part of your gear.  Pay for the best, and buy discount/used skis to make up for the difference - it's easy to save $400 buying skis this way.  Thrift shops also are a great place to find $15 - $30 ski jackets and $10 ski pants, if you are so inclined to shop there.  That's hundreds more saved.

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post


Should I return them and get something else, or are all the 97/98 last boots like this and will wear in? Apparently I have wider than average feet.


To answer this one, you need to ski in them, but it sounds like you might need a punch or two. Most people have a certain amount of asymmetry in footshape and volume. A good fitter ( or self awareness through experience ) can help with this. And no, all 97/98 last boots don't feel the same. The last width is a 2D measurement in a 3D volume. In a 28.5, your boot is actually wider than the measure on the box. That 'standard' number is from a 26 shell.
post #5 of 19

Are you trying them on with you winter feet or do you still have your summer feet on? If you still are using your summer feet, you feet could be in shock, i.e. they are used to being in flip-flops and sandals and not a contained environment like a ski boot. Are you using a footbed, at least a semi custom like a Superfeet? And also what Markojp above said. 

post #6 of 19
Go to a good shop and pay full price, but get fit right, it pays off tenfold. However, since there's been no pack out yet, they should be snug, real snug. Hot spots can get fixed, if you can stand it, after you've put in ten days on them. If you can't wait that long, then fix them now, but they could resolve themselves during the pack out period.
post #7 of 19
It's not expensive to have a fitter look at your boots, the ones you have right now, to identify the problem spots and punch/grind the shells for you. If they're feeling a bit too tight now, and a little bitpainful after 90 minutes, that sounds like you're not far off from an acceptable fit. Natural liner pack-out and small shape adjustment to the shells should do the trick.

Also, i second Phil's suggestion of better insoles. The Superfeet ones (red) are quite good value. The reason for this is that a sturdier footbed will slighty raise and secure your heels at the back of the boots, and support your arches. This then results in increased toe room as your feet are held in the optimal position and cannot fractionally slide forward to squish your toes. Unfortunately, insoles are one component where boot manufacturers cut costs. The ones included with new boots are invariably flimsy.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbiebug View Post

It's not expensive to have a fitter look at your boots, the ones you have right now, to identify the problem spots and punch/grind the shells for you. If they're feeling a bit too tight now, and a little bitpainful after 90 minutes, that sounds like you're not far off from an acceptable fit. Natural liner pack-out and small shape adjustment to the shells should do the trick.

Also, i second Phil's suggestion of better insoles. The Superfeet ones (red) are quite good value. The reason for this is that a sturdier footbed will slighty raise and secure your heels at the back of the boots, and support your arches. This then results in increased toe room as your feet are held in the optimal position and cannot fractionally slide forward to squish your toes. Unfortunately, insoles are one component where boot manufacturers cut costs. The ones included with new boots are invariably flimsy.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new tecnicas have this thick faux footbed as opposed to the paper thin foam wafers they normally give you. It still doesn't do anything for you, but I was worried that the increased volume would scrunch my instep, the faux footbed kept it true to size.

post #9 of 19

Unless you really know boots and your feet, to the point you know what brands/last/volume will work for your feet, you really should just do it properly via a bootfitter. Think of it this way, if you are a casual skier, a good/well fit pair of boots could last easily 5 years (even 10 with a liner replacement) with maximal performance and comfort. Isn't that worth a few hundred backs (aka a few days of lift tickets?). As said above, save money on skis, bindings, outerwear and goggles by buying last seasons models online. Trying to save money on boots when you are not a boot/foot expert is not the way to go. I'd return the big box boots and bite the bullet at a real boot fitter, there must be some in Montreal.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new tecnicas have this thick faux footbed as opposed to the paper thin foam wafers they normally give you. It still doesn't do anything for you, but I was worried that the increased volume would scrunch my instep, the faux footbed kept it true to size.
The tecnica stock beds are as bad as any and will actually take up more volume than a proper custom bed.
post #11 of 19

OP, if you have a proper shell fit, then just wait and ski them with your thinnest pair of socks.  My boots always hurt a bit the first week or longer, until the liners pack down a bit.  It is fairly inexpensive (like $50) to have a boot fitter widen the shell a bit for your sixth toe.

post #12 of 19

Let me guess, you bought them at Oberson? If so, Laval or Brossard? Have you tried a lot of boots and they were the one who fit the most?

post #13 of 19

If you have 'some' pain after an hour and a half in new unskied boots with summer feet you should be fine. It's when you are completely hobbled and can hardly walk after 10 minutes you have to worry. Expect discomfort the first couple of full days of skiing. Stop and take the boots off every couple of hours if you need to or just ski half days.  You should have slight discomfort for a few days after that and the liners should be broken in after 5 to 10 days. Only after that period modify the shell if required. Boots are tough to buy because you are trying to predict what they will feel like 10 days skiing later not on immediate 'comfort' and that is just one of the reasons to go to an experienced fitter.


Edited by Castle Dave - 10/27/13 at 6:35am
post #14 of 19

Before dumping money into manipulating the new Technicas (which I am sure is a fine boot in the abstract), I'd return them to the big box, suck it up and pay the tariff from a specialty shop with a professional fitter.  For the extra investment you are getting a professional to analyze your feet, curate the boot wall and make intelligent selections for your feet and your skiing, fit the boots, manipulate the shell (as needed), build proper foot beds and most importantly, stand behind the fit and make adjustments along the way.  That is all part of the package and well worth the additional cost (which is marginal when you consider the cost of adapting a poorly fit, "bargain" boot downstream).  And do pay the extra $150 for foot beds - stock foot beds are garbage.

 

Pay retail for boots (I usually go for the pre-season sale when stock is at its highest and everyone is 20% off MSRP), but even now, just pay full retail (probably 10% off MSRP unless you are at the foot of a resort) and appreciate the full service experience.  Skis, bindings and soft goods are what you buy on sale in March.

 

Also, if you are going to a proper fitter, don't even bother reading boot "reviews."  Just let the fitter and your feet decide.  Boot reviews are even more useless than ski reviews because fit is the overriding factor.  All of the main manufacturers make a good quality product.  Just get the best fit for you in the appropriate performance band - don't worry about whether or not the boot was on the cover of Ski Magazine or which pro or Epic member rides it.  Totally irrelevant data.

 

Do boots right.  Skis are fun, but boots are what actually matters (and makes skis fun).  The only good advice here is a variant on the consensus - see a professional, in person.  And as a byproduct you are supporting your local shop so they will be there for you in the future.

 

Good luck and have a fun season.

post #15 of 19
Actually, the boots I bought this week from a local shop were ten bucks cheaper than any place I've since looked online. I was amazed. Even as paid I said, these were a lot less than I expected to pay..
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post

Let me guess, you bought them at Oberson? If so, Laval or Brossard? Have you tried a lot of boots and they were the one who fit the most?

Not a lot since my budget limits me to old models, the few I tried are similar but it's hard to tell just wearing them for a few minutes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Actually, the boots I bought this week from a local shop were ten bucks cheaper than any place I've since looked online. I was amazed. Even as paid I said, these were a lot less than I expected to pay..

Heh, but remember I'm in Canada, where we pay 50% premium on pretty much anything and the tax is 2 or 3 times higher.



I wasn't sure what to expect since I just moved to the correct mondo size from previous oversized ones. But it sounds like it's not that far off, so I'll keep it and use it, and find a reputable boot fitter to punch it.

I'll do it properly with a fitter in a few years when I have a higher budget, but at the moment paying retail is out of the question.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

The tecnica stock beds are as bad as any and will actually take up more volume than a proper custom bed.

Yeah, my point was that when I switched them out I'm glad I didn't have to worry about the new footbed taking up a lot more volume, because the stock one is thick as hell .
post #18 of 19

You "apparently" have wider than average feet and you chose a narrow-last model?  Good bootfitting should begin with a Brannock device to get an accurate measurement of both feet.  I ski in low-volume boots because I Brannock at 11.75-12 (R and L), right on the cusp of the A and B widths.  My forefoot measures 98mm exactly, so even the 97mm last (on a Mondo 26) is roomy to my feet.  Medium shoes fit a D width, and you can get last widths in 100, 102, 104 or more, so measuring your feet carefully should narrow the range of boots that are likely to fit you.

 

In other words, being "apparently" wider than average may indicate that your fit issues stem from too narrow a last for your feet, and that you can get a secure fit without a lot of punching and tweaking just by trying boots lasted for your foot width.  Good luck.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Some update.

Apparently like another body part of ours, feet shrink in cold as well. Got on snow for the first time this season last night, no pressure at all on little toe, quite happy with the result.

Did discover another problem, the corner where front of vertical cuff transit into horizontal top of boot is a bit abrupt, when hanging on the lift without foot rest it pressures against top of foot, not very comfortable but I can deal with that.
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