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No fitter around, a little help please.

post #1 of 8
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 8

Long story but unfortunately not enough in the novel to provide all the help you'd like unless you only want to talk about flex.  In an earlier post I mentioned flexes aren't comparable between manufacturers and even between boot models and certainly that is true.  However, in general most 130s unless in a touring model with a walk mode are certainly stiff enough to move them beyond what is typically considered appropriate for mid-weight beginners and actually even very heavy weight beginners.


Your desire to be propped up by the boot (my interpretation) is not correct skiing and some time spent in the tips and instruction pages here may help you rethink your decision.



post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks.  Well as for desire to be propped up actually I think that is a bit what it used to be when I felt that way the first days of skiing green slopes.  Obviously the rental boots are not propping me up taking reds fast, so I don't think I've learned that bad habbit yet, and I am taking reds fast even if I haven't tried the hardest reds yet.  Tightening has still certainly been key for me though but thinking about it more it's very possible I'm confusing some "propping" issues from early learning with lateral stability issues more recently.  The rental boots are probably junk for both especially when packed out and on my skinny shins, but yes, maybe I shouldn't over-project my idea what ankle flex I need.


I realize that flex (and rebound and progressiveness, and lateral flex) is different  between different boots and that's why I mentioned a couple.  Let me know other information that can be useful. By the way, I plan to get better and ski more. I'd like to keep the boots awhile.  So far I think I'm learning at a quick enough pace and I'd probably object to beginner (I'd object relative the hords of beginners out there, not relative to you), but since it's a temporal term, it's certainly reasonable.


Flex isn't the only thing, but without sending you a cast of my foot... well tell me what other words will help to choose a boot without an actual fitter present.

Edited by PointDown - 12/10/13 at 4:30am
post #4 of 8

Since there are more boot sellers out there than boot fitters---it might be worth your while to travel to see one---we have folks come in from all across the USA to purchase boots and I am not at a resort.  The cost to travel would be worth every penny of gas you spent to get there because you will have more control and confidence.


The Salomon's you mentioned have no ankle adjustment because the shell is heat moldable and will conform to your leg shape when heated.


The best advice we could give you as a relatively new to the sport skier would be to seek out a fitter that is nearby, because, we can't see your feet from here.


What Lou said about flex.




good reading above!



post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've read the link before thanks.  I'm in South Korea which isn't as close to South Carolina as it sounds. 


I wondered about the cuff alignment and molding issue so I searched that and read some thread here with mixed opinions about it.  I think the cuffs are  not moldable right? But I can see how lower boot molding should be enough to tip the cuff a degree or two.  Anyway the Salomon seems comfortable and given that it is easily moldable, that seemed like a point in its favor for being done by a not-so-expert shop.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok, so here's a more limited question.  I've read some claim that the Salomon X-max 120 is the same shell as the 100 just with an extra bolt in the back.  At least a couple of folks have added a bolt to the 100 to stiffen it.  I don't suppose anyone can confirm or deny this claim?


 I also then wonder about the 130.  It has a different liner.  Maybe the liner is the only thing making it stiffer than the 120?  If these are really all three the same shell then I wouldn't need to worry so much about which one to get. 



post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I've tried more boots and hoping for some suggestion.  You cannot see my feet but I can tell you everything I've observed from various boots.


I measure 27 and about 110 wide probably.  Pointy instep but I'm learning not high volume really at all.    


First the Salomon X-max 120 sized down to 26.5  size fits like a glove without molding in comparison to anything else and I like the feel of it in every way, especially the lively springiness and light weight.  I'm a little surprised that the 98 last works but its VERY comfortable. I think my foot is only wide at a point.


BUT the cuffs are canted out 3 degrees and has no adjustment.  I now notice this is about 4 degrees too far for me as I want to stand firmly on the inside edges of the boots.  Maybe not the boot for me :(


Doberman EDT 130 (non WC) fit quite (felt like 110's to me compared to other things) well with two notches left on the lower buckles, but they kind of bang my shins and hurt even flexing in the store.  Maybe shin pressure is too low and not well distributed.


Nordica speedmachine X 110 (felt stiffer than the dobermann 130) are canted perfectly flat but I felt it too easy to push my heal up, too much volume in this boot with #2 buckle full tightness, otherwise they fit well.  Some other boots had similar volume problems. 


Rossignol Alltrack 110.  This boot felt pretty comfortable in the 270 and was closest to the glovelike feel and springy responsiveness of the Salomon. No shin bang type issue at all as the cuff has even pressure and extends high.  Also not the cheapest.  Instep buckle half way tight, great. Very slight canting problem again but again it has cuff adjustment. But maybe it felt a bit long. I can almost get 3 fingers behind the heel with shell only.   I then tried the 265.  Mostly it probably held my foot a little better and toes had enough room, but it did get hot spots in that size outside the ball of my little toe and inside the arch.


So I'm thinking of

1) going up in stiffness(probably not ideal) to a Salomon 130 and I believe the solid heels and toes in the 130 can be modified to fix the canting problems?  Is this true?


One of  you said you can do some cuff alignment with the custom shell but the customizers here don't know that and there seem to be mixed opinions about how well that works here on epicski as well.  


2) Or adding an insert to the speedmachine X to take up some volume.


3) Or trying to decide which size Rossignol to buy. Big, or small and punch out hot spots.


4) Ok, should I really not worry about the X-max canting.  Can I definitely get 4 degrees out of the custom shell? 


5) Or, now that you know what fits.. more suggestions?


Thanks for any free advice!



Here's some disagreement about the X-max cuff alignment thing:



While the post is recent enough, it's possible that his opinion was based on earlier models of x-max that I believe had partial custom lower shells. 

Edited by PointDown - 1/2/14 at 6:22am
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Correction, the Rossignol #2 buckle was fully tight on the 270 but heel pretty secured then.  On the 265 it was half tight.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › No fitter around, a little help please.