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finding small boots

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I’ve been on a search for boots that fit my very small feet.  Every place I’ve been to just want to sell me the smallest boot they have in stock which is always too big. I’ve been skiing in Head Dream Thang’s size 22.0 for the past couple years and they are too big. I just bought a pair of Nordica Doberman Pro 100 in size 3 which I thought was smaller but apparently are the same as a 22.0. I’ve worn them for 5 days of skiing so far and they are not any better than my old boots. The Nordicas are slightly narrower (98mm) which is better, but I can still move my foot around inside the boot (especially my heel). So, I just spent $550 and I still don’t have boots that fit. What I really need is a size 21.5 or 21.0. For street shoes I typically have to buy kids size 3. Last year at a ski resort in Michigan I tried on a pair of Lange RS 90 in size 21.5 and they seemed to fit but I didn’t want to spend money on boots right then. Now I really regret not buying them.

 

A little more context. I’m 5’0” and about a level 7 skier. I ski in the Midwest, I recently moved to Wisconsin and am currently checking out all the ski areas here.

 

Since I just bought the Nordica’s, I guess I’m stuck with them for a while. If I bring them back will they be able to do something about the heel movement?

 

Does anyone know of any place in the Midwest that may stock small sizes for next time I buy boots? Or should I just try and find some online and then take them to a bootfitter to be adjusted (the junior race boots are usually too tight around my calves)?

 

It’s been so frustrating trying to get boots that fit so any suggestions are appreciated. 

post #2 of 13

the solution is in the actual shell size, not the size that the boot sticker has on it.

 

in the case of the nordica the UK 3 is a 22. the shell length is 270mm. it is also a fairly generous fit in that size as a "pro " last of 98mm. many of the other "22's" are actually 23's with toe fillers or short liners. what you run into with these boots is the volume remains too high for the real 21 or 22 mondopoint foot. they are very poorly designed in the retrofit process. boot manufacturers use this method to save them from having to build additional molds. which in those smaller sizes they could never sell enough to justify and re-coup the expense.

 

there are a few true 21 adult boots out there that have shell lengths from 260mm to 263mm. most shops do not ever buy these sizes. if they did all of the manufacturers would build and sell them. as the chinese ski market develops, there may be a viable solution for all of the tiny footed women of the world. it is possible that some of the boot suppliers are thinking towards that possibility.

 

in the meantime there are a few good ways that you could get some of the volume out of your nordica. the first would be a full length neoprene tongue shim that gets glued to the tongue. this is the best fix to hold the foot down and back into the heel of the boot. you could also try adding a "five iron" or 2 to 3 mm shim between the boot board and the liner.

 

the other viable option is to use a foam injected liner to take up the excess volume, however the cost is higher and finding a shop that is buying or stocking foam injected liners in a 22 is non existent. and there is not a company that is making a 21 mondopoint injectable liner.

 

jim

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi, thanks for the info. I've wondered what the tiny Asian women do for boots, I guess they have the same problems as I do. Maybe eventually the market for small boots will grow enough for manufacturers to start making them. 

 

So, I am going to take my Nordicas back in and have them make it so my heel doesn't move around. If that can be fixed then I should be okay for awhile. I really want tight, stiff boots, but that doesn't seem to be an option in my size. I've been looking around online and I have seen a few 21.5s out there. Next time I may just have to buy online or see if I can get a store to special order for me. 

post #4 of 13

FYI:   as far as I know, the technica race 90 is the only adult boot in a true 21 (260mm)   the lange is a 22 shell, in a overstuffed liner.

 

If you can't find anyone locally with the technica, PM me.

post #5 of 13

at this point none of us have seen your foot and done an assessment to know exactly what it would take to give you the best fit and performance. 

 

you may not need a 21, because you have not had a 22 that is a true low volume fit. there are plenty of true low volume 22's in approx 90 to 110 flex which could work. 

 

head b5

nordica wc 100

lange/rossi zj or za soft

atomic redster wc 90 or 110

 

we stock all of these boots as well as the tecnica in the 21 90 flex.

 

but as i stated in my previous post, take the steps of trying to reduce the volume from least expensive, tongue shim and 5 iron, to next expensive, custom injected liner, to the most expensive option, buying a new boot with a shell that is closest to your volume and flex needs.

 

jim

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

HI, I've been searching online. In addition to the Technicas, I found that the Dalbello Chakras come in a 21.0/21.5 that is an actual 21 shell (BSL 262) so that looks promising. I'd actually really like to order the Dalbellos,  but since I just bought my Nordicas I can't really spend another $550 I'll just have to see what can be done to take up the extra space. Next time, I'm just going to order online since going to a bootfitter didn't seem to help, I just have yet another pair of boots that are too big. 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
 

at this point none of us have seen your foot and done an assessment to know exactly what it would take to give you the best fit and performance. 

 

you may not need a 21, because you have not had a 22 that is a true low volume fit. there are plenty of true low volume 22's in approx 90 to 110 flex which could work. 

 

head b5

nordica wc 100

lange/rossi zj or za soft

atomic redster wc 90 or 110

 

we stock all of these boots as well as the tecnica in the 21 90 flex.

 

but as i stated in my previous post, take the steps of trying to reduce the volume from least expensive, tongue shim and 5 iron, to next expensive, custom injected liner, to the most expensive option, buying a new boot with a shell that is closest to your volume and flex needs.

 

jim

How do I know if a boot is low volume? Can I tell that by the last? I think my Nordicas are a 98.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley View Post
 

How do I know if a boot is low volume? Can I tell that by the last? I think my Nordicas are a 98.

I don't think it's the volume, it seems like the boot is just too long. I don't have skinny feet, they are actually kind of wide at the forefoot but narrow in the heel. I just pulled out the liner in my Nordicas to check the shell fit and I have well over an inch behind my heel if I put my toes just touching the front. So I think the extra space is coming from the length rather than the volume. It seems they already put a heel wedge in to take up some space. 

 

I also just tried on my 10 -year-old daughter's (cheap) kid boots for comparison since hers are size 20.0. In the shell I have about 1/4 inch space, but with the liner my toes curl slightly. So I am thinking the 21 might be the right size for me. 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley View Post
 

How do I know if a boot is low volume? Can I tell that by the last? I think my Nordicas are a 98.

first of all since we cannot assess the volume of your foot over the internet, whether the volume of a boot is high or low, it is only relative to the volume of your foot. you cannot know if the boot is low volume unless 2 things happen…….

 

1. you try the boot on and it grips your heel, ankle, and instep like it wants to have a serious and long lasting relationship with your foot. and it does not matter if you have a lot of toe room ( because for warmth, comfort, and balance you can never have enough toe room), or if the toe box is squeezing the hell out of you ( because in any ski shop with a competent fitter you can increase any polyurethane mono injected shell by at least 1 full size, and make the toe shape any way that they want)

 

2. you get in front of a real boot fitter that has the skill set to assess your foot length, your foot width, your foots instep parameter, as well as being able to size up by eye the size and shape of your toes, heel, ankle, achilles, and calf. and with that real boot fitter there is a selection of boot models and sizes that could be an appropriate match for your foot and your skiing goals.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley View Post
 

I don't think it's the volume, it seems like the boot is just too long. I don't have skinny feet, they are actually kind of wide at the forefoot but narrow in the heel. I just pulled out the liner in my Nordicas to check the shell fit and I have well over an inch behind my heel if I put my toes just touching the front. So I think the extra space is coming from the length rather than the volume. It seems they already put a heel wedge in to take up some space. 

 

I also just tried on my 10 -year-old daughter's (cheap) kid boots for comparison since hers are size 20.0. In the shell I have about 1/4 inch space, but with the liner my toes curl slightly. So I am thinking the 21 might be the right size for me. 

 

yes, good process and good deductive reasoning. keep in mind that the mondopoint measurement of the foot and the length of the boot shell are only one dimension when choosing a boot size. in all ski boots as they increase in length they also increase in volume and width. so back to your nordica dobermann pro 100 in a UK size 3, volume actually is the problem.  that is why the cheapest and easiest fix with that purchase is to reduce the volume from the metatarsal heads through your instep, heel, and ankle.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alley View Post
 

HI, I've been searching online. In addition to the Technicas, I found that the Dalbello Chakras come in a 21.0/21.5 that is an actual 21 shell (BSL 262) so that looks promising. I'd actually really like to order the Dalbellos,  but since I just bought my Nordicas I can't really spend another $550 I'll just have to see what can be done to take up the extra space. Next time, I'm just going to order online since going to a bootfitter didn't seem to help, I just have yet another pair of boots that are too big. 

 

we have sold both of these boots, and stopped selling the dalbello after one season. it did not deliver the fit or performance for our small footed, low volume customers. so yes, it had the dimensions of length printed on the boot that you now think you are looking for, but it was more generous than a 23 mondopoint boot in the fit of the heel, ankle, and instep. the head b5 in a 22 mondopoint has a shell length of 263mm, yet it has a low instep, narrow heel and ankle shape, and has a short cuff that works well for women that are a little closer to the ground. it is also short lasted in the liner, meaning when you first put this boot on the liner does not touch the shell in the front of the toe box giving it the initial appearance of being a very short 22.

 

this is just my opinion, but i think you will be really pissed off when you buy a boot online that some whack job online boot fitters(myself included):o recommended without having a guided experience with a good boot fitter. do you have any interest in disclosing your location so someone on this site can help connect you with a good boot fitter?

 

jim

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

That's good to know about the Dalbellos. I guess junior race boots are the way to go, I just have to find the right ones. It's just frustrating that I can't just go somewhere and try on a few to see which brand fits my foot best since no one really stocks an array of small sizes. But it's the same with street shoes, if so few people wear a size it doesn't make sense to stock it. 

 

I'm in the Wisconsin, about 2 hours from Chicago. It looks like there are a couple bootfitters listed on this site that are in the Chicago suburbs. I can drive down but it may be awhile before I have time. 

 

A couple more questions:

 

I'm curious, when a manufacturer uses the same size shell for a smaller size as you mentioned (22 for 21), what do they do? Do they put something in the toe area? And is that something that could be done to take up some of the room in my boots? In wearing my boots it seems there is too much room behind my heel, if I kick it back it still slides forward because then there is a bunch of space in the toe area. If my foot could be pushed back and then the space on the sides of my heels filled in then I would be in good shape. Does that sound reasonable or is that not how things are done? (I'm curious about the magic of bootfitting :)).

 

Next question:

When I want to get new boots in the future, what time of year do shops order boots? Would most shops be willing to order something in my size if I figure out what I need?

 

Or maybe I'll just take a trip out west next time to get boots.

 

Thanks for all your help!

post #11 of 13

The fake 22's are 23 shells with a tighter, or overstuffed liner.  sometimes they put a toe cap on the end of the boot board to fill up some room

 

We order in Feb/march, and the boots arrive in the fall.  Sept for city stores, Oct for resort stores.  Out west the season goes much longer too, so might have worse luck in dec in the east or a city.

 

For special orders, we usually have small things in stock, and try to keep them year round.  But after Feb stock will go down for sure.    I think we have 4-6 different 22's in stock right now?   plus the 21 technica?   Your local stores might be better or worse?

 

sounds like you need better heel hold in what you have so your foot will not slide forward.  

 

Ya,  ordering online MIGHT save you a few bucks, but I think most customes need some custom work, and usually that is included in the boots price.   Again see what works for you.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
 

The fake 22's are 23 shells with a tighter, or overstuffed liner.  sometimes they put a toe cap on the end of the boot board to fill up some room

 

We order in Feb/march, and the boots arrive in the fall.  Sept for city stores, Oct for resort stores.  Out west the season goes much longer too, so might have worse luck in dec in the east or a city.

 

For special orders, we usually have small things in stock, and try to keep them year round.  But after Feb stock will go down for sure.    I think we have 4-6 different 22's in stock right now?   plus the 21 technica?   Your local stores might be better or worse?

 

sounds like you need better heel hold in what you have so your foot will not slide forward.  

 

Ya,  ordering online MIGHT save you a few bucks, but I think most customes need some custom work, and usually that is included in the boots price.   Again see what works for you.

The idea of buying online isn't to save money, it's because I can't find small sizes anywhere. It doesn't matter if I go to a bootfitter if they don't have anything my size. The boots I just bought were the smallest boots they had in the store, I didn't have options. And I have exactly the same problem with these as with my old boots. Really I should have just had them try to tighten up the heel in my old boots. 

 

If anyone knows anyplace in the midwest that actually stocks boots that might fit me I would be thrilled  to go there. I don't care how much the boots cost, I just want boots that fit. I currently own three pairs of boots that are too big. That's why I was thinking if I could find something online I could then take it to a bootfitter for any necessary adjustments. It sound like the technicas in a 21 seem to be a good option for women my size but as Jim mentioned maybe I just need a low volume 22. I just wish I could try on some of these boots to see which one is right for me. 

 

Maybe I should plan a vacation somewhere near a store that stocks small size (any excuse to take a trip :)). 

 

Thanks!

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Maybe I should plan a vacation somewhere near a store that stocks small size (any excuse to take a trip :)). 

 

not such a crazy idea, we have many customers that come in to tahoe to get their boots, break them in while they are here, and do any fit tweaks necessary to complete the process.

 

 

we understand your frustration in finding boots that are right for your feet. there are problems with what the suppliers are building, there are problems in ski shops mis-sizing and over-sizing boots, and there are problems buying boots untried online. the internet allows for the holy grail solution to exist, some other women will tell you in an online chat that she bought the XYZ such and such and it changed her life. or in your case you have been told that this model of tecnica exists and it is exactly what you need, except that no one on this forum has seen your feet and heard your entire story, so there is no way to actually know from the chair that i am typing in whether the tecnica will actually help you to be comfortable and perform well while skiing. to be clear there are 2 main issues:

 

1. only a boot fitting specialty shop, with a well trained fitter or staff will risk bringing in inventory that is on the outer edges of their market size curve. most, but not all of these specialists are closer to where skiing takes place. there are also regional differences, for example in texas you will find the women's sizing curve swings up towards the 25, 26 range where in tahoe we may sell 2 or 3 pair of women's 26 out of 750 pair of women's boots sold per year.

 

​2. the manufacturers are strapped into this position based on what the retailer understands about selling ski boots. the number of oversized ski boots sold worldwide is ridiculous. and the number of 21's they build is reflected by the number of 21's that the retailers order. 

 

​historically viking ski shop in chicago has had very good boot fitters and a good selection of brands and models. call them on the phone and talk to their best boot fitter and see what kind of feel you get in that conversation. les moise has had a big race clientele in the past and therefore a better chance of stocking some of the models already mentioned, however milwaukee/madison has never been known as the brain trust of performance boot fitting in the US. i hope i can get away with saying that because i started my ski business career in northern illinois/southern wisconsin. the way this usually works is that one of us will have an "i got a guy" to send you to. Unfortunately i have lost touch with the mothership and i do not have an "i got a guy" in your neck of the woods to recommend.

 

jim


Edited by starthaus - 1/7/14 at 12:21pm
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