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No fitter to be found, little help please. [Seoul, Korea]

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

None of the ski shops where I live or ski have anyone that I would call a boot fitter, only people who sell boots.  It's too bad, but true, so I've read as much as I can and I'll give as much information as I can if anyone has the patience to read it.

 

I'm 6'0" 160#, not a kid, skied several days total in my life, mostly recently, but I'm skiing easier red slopes with control and speed,  carving and/or parallel steering as desired and hoping to progress to be capable at least of skiing anything on the front side (there is no backside here), fast, but just recreational.  I've only skied in rental boots. I do get them small enough but I'm usually trying to find ways to tighten the cuffs more (jamming things under the buckles, folding socks, etc.)  

 

From my lousy rental ski experience alone I cannot imagine worrying about a boot being too stiff(yet that's my concern anyway).  I feel like I want to lean harder on the front of the cuff and have it access the edge and support my weight much more.  This might just be about where I am on the learning curve though. A few days less experience and I felt that way even on green slopes, where now I just don't care either way on a green slope. The snow conditions near home are almost always groomed hard packed though, icy sometimes, but not glass.  I think there are some cross country trails, but not much if any backside alpine skiing.  I would like to venture out to other venues at some point and try other things, powder, moguls, not freestyle though, but I guess hard resort slopes will be my main thing.

 

The first boot I tried on was a Salomon X-max 100.  The salesman didn't even take the insert out for me to check shell size.  I did and quickly figured out to downsize that boot which later I learned is normal for that boot. I measure just barely at 270.  I have very long toes, about an E foot width, a high strong arch(HATE supports), and a high but not freakishly high instep.  265 seemed right in this boot, toes touch but pull away with knees bent.

 

The 100 just seemed too soft in the store to me.  The 120 felt better and maybe the 130 felt better yet (it seemed more snug as well as more stiff, milldly excessive pressure under arch but I think this is easily fixed).  I now understand that these don't have cuff adjustment.  While I didn't notice a problem maybe that should be a concern just in case, but I don't need professional perfection.

 

I also tried a noridica Dobermann edt 130 (non WC) . The salomon's seemed to have a more active springy (progressive ?) feel that I liked.  The dobermann sort of seemed like a better built boot though on first impression. I was surprised that the 98 last didn't bother me.

 

Just from some reading,  I'm worried that I'm getting myself into a boot that's too stiff.  I'm not worried at the level of professional perfection.  I just want to make sure that I end up way happier than in rentals and not hating my boots later.  

 

I also tried a couple of other boots without paying much attention unfortunately.  Some  atomic built like a tank put way too much pressure under the inside balls of my feet for whatever reason.  Some all-mountain 4-buckle technica just somehow hurt in every way possible in spite of not being too small.  And some boot that looked like much like a dobermann edt but wasn't (maybe spitfire) just felt really rubbery and inneficient like wearing rubber gloves, you could actually hear the cuff rubber squeaking over the base as it flexed and I just didn't like that.  I'm curious about the Hell and Back Hike Pro for something more versatile and different but the pro version doesn't exist here.

 

 

The salomon x-max 120 are the cheapest by a little.  Should I just shut up and buy them, and go ski this weekend or what?  Thanks for any help and for reading all that.

post #2 of 43
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I missed the separate forum for boots.  Reposting there: http://www.epicski.com/t/123681/no-fitter-around-a-little-help-please  .  Edit: and as informed by Posuane below, will carry on discussion here anyway.


Edited by PointDown - 12/9/13 at 9:26pm
post #3 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by PointDown View Post
 

Sorry I see that ski gear doesn't mean gear related to skiing.  I will repost in the boot thread. Please direct answers there.

Well, it does mean gear related to skiing.  However, "Ask the Boot Guys" is not open to public discussion and you will get only boot fitters responding there.  If you want general membership feedback, then this is the place.

post #4 of 43
Given you're talking red trails, I guess you're in Europe? Are you trying to buy in a city or at a ski area?

Remember the flex in the store is at room temperature. It will be stiffer in the cold.

I see Posaune nipped in ahead of me. He's right, us regular people can't answer you in that other forum.
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 

Oh.. great, sorry for my ignorance then.  I guess cross posting is actually ok anyway in that case then? Anyway.. please excuse my confusion and mods clean up the mess if/as needed. 

post #6 of 43

Where are you located ?

post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Given you're talking red trails, I guess you're in Europe? Are you trying to buy in a city or at a ski area?

Remember the flex in the store is at room temperature. It will be stiffer in the cold.

I see Posaune nipped in ahead of me. He's right, us regular people can't answer you in that other forum.

 

Since you asked, Korea.  Shopping in Seoul.  With the possible exception of one resort, that I might try, Seoul seems to be the right place to shop.  Yes I'm worried about temperature. I know views vary wildly on the topic of flex, and I've read several views here.  I don't need to dial in the perfect boot for my non-existant professional career.  It's probably better to get a good boot soon than a perfect boot someday, but I'll hopefully keep it awhile so I'd rather spend enough time to at least make sure it is a good boot for me.

post #8 of 43

clean up on aisle 7!

 

Seriously I just bought the XMax 120 at the tail end of last year.  I think they are probably too much boot for you for now.  I'm 5'7 and 180 but have been skiing almost as many (several) decades as you have days. 

 

Here is my experience so far with 3 days on them.

 

These boots have a moldable liner and lower shell too.  I have been skiing a Dalbello Krypton pro, a nice progressive flex performace boot,  for a few years and wanted to get back in an overlap boot.  What I really wanted was something in the Fisher vacuum line but they are not made in 24.5 so I opted for the Salomon.  I declined to have the liner heated last year since they didn't have any serious pressure points in the shop and I figured that its an easy fix this year if I end up with issues.  Skied them one fairly short day last season....last day of that year as it turned out and didn't have any serious issues at all other than they were a PIA compared to the Dalbellos to get into and out of....wrote that off as just part of the process with a 4 buckle close fitting boot.

 

Really skied then  2 weeks ago for the first time this season and had a painful day.  It felt like some one wrapped a strap around my foot, tightened it and kept on pulling.  It was just aweful.  took close to an hour to be able to walk normally when I finally called it a day and took them off, they hurt everywhere EXCEPT while skiing.  Riding the lift was painful, walking was less so but still not good.

 

Booked an immediate appointment with my fitter, went Saturday and in less than an hour  with much discussion I chose not to heat the shell but opted for a small shell punch and heated liners.  Skied the next day all day with great results.  It is a very nice boot. 

 

It was cold but not bitter cold yesterday, staying close to 20F most of the day.  I loved the flex and responsiveness of the boot yet I could stand up and cruise at will.

 

It is still a learning process to get into and out of in less than a 70 degree store, but thats something I'll get used to and figure out! they are certainly not my slippers.

 

The pros will answer specific questions regarding fit and finish.....these are just my thoughts.


Edited by skier_j - 12/9/13 at 10:06pm
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thanks skier_j for the thoughts.  I'm seeing nothing but good reviews on it other than some leak complaints, possibly from wrong sized or modified boots. Not sure if I should go for 130 and maybe that means I shouldn't, or something lighter.  I think the 120 has replaceable heel/toe plates but otherwise the 130 seems built a little better.   One salesman was really trying to get me in the Nordica Dobermann 130, and I certainly didn't hate it all.  Price was about the same for either in the 130.

 

As for getting them on and off.  I figure the right boot is worth the effort.  Maybe I need to do some reps on a rowing machine to work those pulling muscles. ;)  That should gain me a couple of pounds more weight/leverage on the boot too.

 

I just worry if I'm really undermatched for the boot.  I've been a fast learner though I think, and at the moment, with little experience to reference from, stiff feels better to me.

 

If it matters I think in all cases I'm talking about last year's models, maybe the Salomon's were available in a good price in this year's too.  I don't remember.

post #10 of 43

I reread and edited while you were writing,  I too think its too much boot for now and the doberman!  yeeps forget that for the time being too thats a beast of a boot.  Very nice if you have the skills to bend it.  The sales folks seems determined to sell great boots to the wrong consumer.

 

At your level try to stay in the 100 flex range and find the best fitting model you can and enlist the help of a good fitter

post #11 of 43
Based on his weight, I'd say 100 but based on his height I'd say 110 or even 120.

But I'm more concerned about him finding a fitter.
Edited by sibhusky - 12/9/13 at 11:46pm
post #12 of 43
Wow. I'm 6'3" and 215lbs, ski predominately off piste and have never been in a boot with a flex higher than 100. Yet we are talking 120+ for a low intermediate??
Is it because PD will be exclusively frontside skiing that 120 are required?
post #13 of 43
I like a softer boot off piste, but the OP won't be an intermediate forever, either. Boots are pricey. And you can always soften them, not make them stiffer.

And I'm pretty sure that the bootfitters here would put YOU in a stiffer boot. :-) But if you like what you have, then I'm okay with it.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigr View Post

Wow. I'm 6'3" and 215lbs, ski predominately off piste and have never been in a boot with a flex higher than 100. Yet we are talking 120+ for a low intermediate??
Is it because PD will be exclusively frontside skiing that 120 are required?

Honestly Craig, I don't know anyone your size other than a beginner who is planning to only ski a handful of days per season in a 1oo flex boot.... Unless they're after an über light touring set up.
post #15 of 43
Sorry PD, don't mean to hijack your thread but the 120+ flex for a low intermediate caught my eye.

I have a pair of Head Edge + 10 (2010 model ) which have a flex rating of 80/70. Have often wondered if I should be in a stiffer boot but I don't believe I've been held back by these boots. Guess I won't know for a while as I don't plan to upgrade in the forseeable future.
Cheers

Mark, definitely not a light boot.

Whitey, when you say you like a soft boot, what do you mean by soft?
post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 

I'm enjoying the argument.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

 but the OP won't be an intermediate forever,

 

 

 This is definitely a concern. I've skied maybe 10 or 12 days broken up over multiple years but at least half of that in the last year, I plan to ski much more often now.  I'm self taught (well I use the internet) and while I only ski red runs, since I'm not 18, I'm conservative in not tackling things until I'm very ready, but I wouldn't call my skiing style conservative by any means.  I ski easy reds because I'm comfortable skiing them fast or slow in heavy traffic, choosing my line, basically however I want. I don't ski them because I can just survive them.  That's not my risk tolerance style.  Partially because of that I want to advance because I hate worrying about which lift to get on.

 

Quote: 
Wow. I'm 6'3" and 215lbs, ski predominately off piste and have never been in a boot with a flex higher than 100. Yet we are talking 120+ for a low intermediate??
Is it because PD will be exclusively frontside skiing that 120 are required?

 

The last day I skied I was an intermediate skier I suppose.  There is no way at all that level 4 describes me.  Reading the textbook definitions I'm not level 5 either because I never wedge to enter turns or to stop, in fact I started parallel with hockey stops on day one and kind of discovered wedges later just as a way to fool around on top and bottom.  Based on experience alone though maybe 5 is fair.   

 

Anyway, while intermediate now, a few days less experience and I was struggling on the green slopes.  The point is I think things are clicking very quickly for me and yes, I've already gotten a feel for the skis more than well enough to know that on hard steep ice, responsiveness and stability is important.  Wedging that pen under the buckle makes a huge difference.  I have a feeling that I have a natural preference for a stiff ski, and certainly there is huge varition in natural preference.   I just worry that my perspective for knowing that for sure isn't great based on rental boots.  I don't think this is a wish to be machismo since I felt this way before I knew anything about that. Actually I feel it's probably in some ways takes more skill to ski on a soft boot.  

 

All that said, I'm not saying you're wrong of or else I wouldn't be asking, but yes room for progress and hard pack front side skiing are issues. Oh and also I'll be on rental skis (as opossed to boots) for a little while longer probably, and those are still soft.  I know, some nice ski edges would do a bunch to help with the hard stuff too.

 

I guess a big question is how huge a difference does it really make.  I mean will a 130 vs a 110 really matter one way OR ANOTHER (emphasis on or another) that much for a guy who isn't in racing leagues.


Edited by PointDown - 12/10/13 at 2:34am
post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post
 

I reread and edited while you were writing,  I too think its too much boot for now and the doberman!  yeeps forget that for the time being too thats a beast of a boot.  Very nice if you have the skills to bend it.  The sales folks seems determined to sell great boots to the wrong consumer.

 

At your level try to stay in the 100 flex range and find the best fitting model you can and enlist the help of a good fitter

 

yah.. if there's a fitter somewhere around he's hiding well.   While I worry 130 is too high, I do worry 100 is too low.  The salomon 100 felt really soft to me in the store, but I guess the thing I don't know is how much stiffer it really gets cold.   Hmm.. I guess I answered my own question about does it really matter though.  Yeah. the feel of the 130 vs 100 was enough thinking about it.  I guess it does matter.

post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post
 

I reread and edited while you were writing,  I too think its too much boot for now and the doberman!  yeeps forget that for the time being too thats a beast of a boot.  Very nice if you have the skills to bend it.  The sales folks seems determined to sell great boots to the wrong consumer.

 

At your level try to stay in the 100 flex range and find the best fitting model you can and enlist the help of a good fitter

 

Ok thanks.  I've read the dobbie is a beast, and price is good and I almost want to buy that one in particular for the wrong reasons.  It's funny though I've read comments by experienced people saying it's soft for a 130 and others saying "it's a beast".  I think I can find the same contrast of views for pretty much every boot though. To me it seems similar flex to the Salomon 130, just not as springy, so yes maybe harder to ski. 

post #19 of 43

One of the things I disliked about the Dalebello was that in warm weather (think spring 35+ degrees F) the boot got so soft fore and aft that I could collapse the tounge with not that much  effort.  On a cold mid winter day I could not do that.  I did have them set up as soft as they would allow.  they had a claimed 100-140 flex range.

 

The Xmax 120's in the store when good and warm would flex very easily, not as much as the Krypton in the spring weather but quite a bit more than they would once I got outside.  It is hard to quantify flex.....but just be aware there is a significant difference between what happens in the shop and how they feel once cooled down.

 

sibhusky makes a good point about maybe not going too soft.  I still think 100 is probably just fine for a few years and no more than 120.  You do seem to like that 120----thats the 2nd most important thing....fit being the most important.

 

I had to ski in rental boots once a year or so ago when my carryon bag, with boots inside didn;t arrive with me....long sordid story best left for another time....anyway.....the shop gave me the sturdiest rental boot they had and it was still crap.....jumping from something like that into a good fitting performance boot in the 120 range will be an eyeopener.

 

sj

post #20 of 43

PD, don't get too caught up in the numbers.  Boot makers don't have a standard for stiffness and number the stiffness by their own standards.  A 130 from one company might be more like a 110 from another.  Ignore the stiffness number and go by feel.  Remember that a boot will stiffen in the cold too;if it feels stiff in the shop it will be noticeably stiffer on the hill.

 

​In a country with a ski industry the size of Korea there has got to be some boot fitters. Local experience is local knowledge, seek it out.  Have you considered walking into the ski school office of your local hill and asking them who they use and recommend?  Read you are self taught a pro ski patrol room would be an option if you are more comfortable with them. Those folks want performance and comfort too; they have a go to guy someplace. Find him, your feet will thank you.

post #21 of 43

I hear a lot that boots can be softened but not stiffened. My experience is that Intuition wrap liners will increase the stiffness of a typical tongue liner boot by a significant (10-20??) amount . Not sure about the side flex but certainly the amount of force required to crush the cuff is increased and the transfer of leg/foot movements to ski feels more precise and timely.

 

It may be worth considering as an upgrade path for a developing skier where they can start on a softer boot but as they want to ski faster the liner upgrade will allow more control and stability.

post #22 of 43

Access to boolgogi but no access to a bootfitter, what a tradeoff.

post #23 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 

Access to boolgogi but no access to a bootfitter, what a tradeoff.

It seems far easier to find bulgogi in the U.S. than a bootfitter here. I've already tried some contacts that should turn up leads, but didn't. Thanks all for all the feedback.  Someone probably has to see me flex a boot in the cold to say anything real useful, but I have a bracket around the idea now at least.   

post #24 of 43
Sounds like an income opportunity... Clearly there's a shortage that needs filling.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigr View Post

Sorry PD, don't mean to hijack your thread but the 120+ flex for a low intermediate caught my eye.

I have a pair of Head Edge + 10 (2010 model ) which have a flex rating of 80/70. Have often wondered if I should be in a stiffer boot but I don't believe I've been held back by these boots. Guess I won't know for a while as I don't plan to upgrade in the forseeable future.
Cheers

Mark, definitely not a light boot.

Whitey, when you say you like a soft boot, what do you mean by soft?

 

 

The flex number written on the side of the boot isn't all that relevant. What matters are the forces present that bend a boot. You see some in the shop: body mass, height (position of CoM), length of the lower leg, shoe size, ankle mobility, etc.... and see more when skiing as 'acceleration' enters the equation. If a large beginner can fold a boot in the shop, they'll fold it on the hill. You might well be happy in a very soft boot. Does it help your skiing? IMHO, I think you'd benefit from a stiffer boot. You've been able to compensate as many good skier do and  won't know the difference until you're in a stiffer boot for a couple of days. What we have to be careful of here is recommending our own experience if that experience is a bit of a statistical outlier. Can a 215-220 lb intermediate or even beginner ski in a stiffer boot? The answer as always is in some cases, 'yes', others 'maybe', and some 'no'. All the boot needs are the forces to flex it. If the forces to over flex it are there, that makes a skier work much harder than necessary to get the job done.

post #26 of 43
Cheers Mark.
New boots on the list for down the track. Possibly not for awhile as I'll be still floating around Hokkaido on fatties for the next couple of years.
post #27 of 43

How are the mountains in S. Korea anyway? I know japan has a lot of good skiing but I've always pictured Korea to be rather flat. S. Korea has been at the top of my list for places to visit though (I LOVE their food) and good skiing would make me want to go just that much more.

post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigr View Post

Cheers Mark.
New boots on the list for down the track. Possibly not for awhile as I'll be still floating around Hokkaido on fatties for the next couple of years.

Been there and done that when the two Ross's were the only Aussies in town.smile.gif
post #29 of 43
I saw a couple of locals last time:D
post #30 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 

How are the mountains in S. Korea anyway? I know japan has a lot of good skiing but I've always pictured Korea to be rather flat. S. Korea has been at the top of my list for places to visit though (I LOVE their food) and good skiing would make me want to go just that much more.

 

I don't have much to compare to. This is where I've learned to ski. Of course the 2018 Olympics will be here so it's not terrible, for racing at least.   I mean sure, I've been out west, but not to ski resorts. I've spent some time here and there in mountains with more snow.  Korea is certainly nothing like flat.  There are very few places you can see a flat horizon actually.  However the mountains are not so tall.   The tallest one is just under 2,000m (6,500 feet) and that one is on Jeju island (google does find a tale of some powder adventure there).  The longest runs are 4 or 5 km including the green runs they feed into at the bottom.  I don't think there's much opportunity here for off-piste and/or deep powder.  I haven't seen or heard of it really and there are very few fat skiis in the shops. On piste though is fun.   Courses are generally very safe with fences and its rare to find a tree in your way. The lower slopes are super crowded on weekends, but I've managed to get above most of that. The snow blowers work hard when needed and the slopes seem well groomed to me.  Views are quite pleasant.  

 

The best resorts are a bit far from Seoul.  YongPyong and High1 are I think indisputably the best two.  If you like to race steep blacks, YongPyong has the edge, but many prefer High1.  

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