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Atomic Tracker 130 - Can't figure problem: is it the liner or theshell

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello - This is my first post here, so please bear with my rambling.  I have been out of skiing for a while (raced a bit back in school) and am now getting back into it teaching my kids, so I do a lot of standing around on the hill with my skis off, and the old race boots were just killing me, so I went out and got a "touring" boot thinking I'd be able to walk up and down the bunny hill and never have to crouch down for the rope tow again.  It's a comfortable boot for the most part - last seems perfect for my foot, but the big issue is that from the get go there was a pressure point on the inner ankle area of both feet.  I cut a large pad of memory foam and stuffed it between the liner and the shell, running over the edges of the liner all the way from my ankle down to the metatarsal area and the sharp pressure vanished, the whole thing fit like a glove.  So great, I take them out on the hill and my feet are freezing even though its not that cold, so I figure the memory foam is killing my circulation at the instep, so I do some tracing and cut it down to a crescent over the instep and ankle bone and with a little tape I give it a try.  There is no pain now walking around, but when I ski it still hurts.  The issue is when I exit a turn or attempt to initiate a pivot.  Applying forward pressure on the ski feels great.  It's a little weird.

 

Which brings up a minor issue that may or may not be related: the calf is really hard to connect the buckle, like it's too small for my leg or something.  If I bear down on the power strap, I can get onto the first notch, and then once  when I buckle it down, there is no pressure, my foot is fine, and it doesn't seem small at all.  But it seems like maybe there is a problem with the buckle placement on the upper shell, which might be causing some free rotation and or lift in the ankle area as I ski.  They are already on the mfg's "biggest" hole. 

 

Now, one more thing is that I'm not using the laces in the liner.  I took a good look at my ankle and there is a slight hematoma where the eyelet for the bottom lace would line up.  And also I notice that the pressure point seems to correspond to the area where (i) the moldable liner meets up with (ii) the semi-rigid cuff sections and (iii) the edge of the tongue as it curves up the shin.  I am fairly certainty that if the tongue just wrapped the side of my ankle about 1/2" more inside the eyelets and eyelet stitching, there would be no problem.  Compared to the tongue on my old tecnica boots, this one is downright anemic looking. 

 

Anyway, I'm mulling over whether to (a) buy a third party liner, (b) have the ankle area of the shell punched out or ground, (c) stuffing a strip of memory foam under my sock where my ankle lines up with the lace stitching / eyelets, (d) drilling out another hold for the cuff buckles so they join up more comfortable, and hope that might do something to solve the problem, and/or (e) using the laces to try to pull the tongue down so it protects my ankle from the hard stuff on the cuff area of the liner.. 

 

 

I am in Ohio, and don't know any boot fitters here.  The ski areas around here are all little bumps and I'd wager they don't do much in the line of shell customizations.  Hopefully some of you folks on the forum maybe have done work on this boot and recognize what I'm describing on the liner design.  Advice on the best way to proceed, as well as recommendations for a "comfort" liner that will with this boot is appreciated.  Thanks. 

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
.Update... tested a couple things today. First i covered up the eyelets on the liner with moleskin. No hematoma on the shin, but still pain on ankle when skiing. Put some memory foam in socks and it hurt more. Conckusion... not enough clearance at ankle bone. Seems i either need to dhange out liner or get boots punched. So does anyone here know a good bootfitter for me in NE Ohio? Thx...
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Looks like 92 reads and not one person here has some advice? Well, I'll bait the hook one more time:

 

Iwent to the shop at my local hill today about punching out the ankle.  The boot guy there took one look at the marks on my shin, the ones that more or less line up with the lace eyelets on the liner, and told me the boot is too big.  It clicked that makes perfect sense, why the boots feel great when I try them on and flex forward, but why when I ski in them I am getting ankle rub when I finish my turn... the heel is coming up. 

 

He put me on the MP scale in a sorta sloppy way (gave me about .1 second to put load on my foot and line up my heel) and declared me to be a 28.  Well, I'm pretty sure I used to be a 29.5.  I skied a 29.5 in my racing days in college, granted the liner was a heck of a lot meatier, as was the extra shin padding on the socks I used to wear.  When I shell fit this boot with no liner, I have the "recommended" 1.5 - 2 fingers at the back, about 1 inch.  I'm thinking I could go down to a 29, maybe even a 28.5 if I was planning to race again, but 28 seems ridiculous. 

 

So I went back and really payed attention to the buckles and the flexing of this boot, and in fact as I stand upright I can feel some slip in the liner as my heel comes forward.  The buckles are useless to hold the heel down, cranking them down just crushed my instep and gives me a sore foot.  Also, in flex it's the deformed lower shell that has the nice, comfortable ankle pocket, and that makes me think punching out the ankle might solve the problem, although maybe leave me with a sucky boot that bounces my heel around when I finish my turns. 

 

Also, it  gets me thinking again that maybe it's that I'm not lacing myself into the liner.  Maybe I should go for a shell with the 45 degree buckle across the ankle or the retro 3-piece deals with the shell-tongue.  

 

The guy at the shop said the liner wouldn't make any difference, and that I should be in a wide  (i.e., punched out 28).  Now maybe he was trying to get me interested in something he had in stock, but when I asked, he had nothing in 28 anyway.  What ever.  So I'm in limbo again.  Like I said before, I love the way the live fit feels on my foot, so probably my foot is a little wide.

 

There is another shop a couple towns away, so I might go there and check out some 28's and in the meantime, maybe someone reading this will think of something else to check or try. 

post #4 of 10

there is no boot problem per say, it is a fit problem, if any shop says the boot is too big then my guess is that they are either a boot fitter or the boot is massively too big, the tracker is a fairly low volume shell so if it is compressing your foot in various places it will cut blood supply off, and if it feels loose anywhere you will tighten it down a further cut blood off

 

trust the fitter, if he says they are too big chances are they are and will never be right

 

at this point in the season shops are starting to get through the stock,over here in the UK we star selling in August, we are now at a point of boot roulette, we either have it or we don't, and i would rather send someone away without a boot than with a boot which is not right

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post
 

the tracker is a fairly low volume shell so if it is compressing your foot in various places it will cut blood supply off, and if it feels loose anywhere you will tighten it down a further cut blood off

 

 

Thanks CEM.  That also explains why the large foam pad worked for the ankle, but the smaller one on the ankle bone didn't.  The large pad was actually taking up enough volume to wedge my whole foot back into the heel pocket, but because to get firm hold I buckled it tighter, wham-o, cold feet.  Padding over the ankle just added more pressure on the bone when the foot comes up from the heel pocket.  But if a 1/2 inch memory foam pad is all it took to push me back in the pocket, it brings me back to the question, it the problem the thin liner?

 

I was always taught to use the 2-finger rule for shell fitting, but I went back and shell fit the boot again myself... this time I actually scribed my heel with the toes touching front of boot, not scrunched, but touching comfortably.  There is exactly 5/8" from my heel to back of the shell.

 

As for MP, I did my own foot trace last night... with NO SOCK, and I was still measuring exactly 29.5 cm.  Even allowing for tracing error, I don't believe I'm a 28.  This guy at the shop diagnosed the issue from just looking at the mark on my shin... didn't check the shell fit, just said there's nothing they could do to modify the shell that would help, and that any liner change would just be a "band aid".

 

Here's what one website says about liners:

Quote:
Many manufacturers produce shells and liners that are stamped with a range from the whole to the half size, i.e. 27.0 - 27.5. Inside the liner is a stock footbed or insole. That insole may be available in a thick and thin version to create the illusion of a "whole" size. ... Since the custom fit adjustments are much better than they used to be, many manufacturers have decided that producing both half and whole sizes isn't critical anymore.

 

So I'll bite and say I'm a 29.0, but Atomic is only making this boot in half sizes, so that means in the old days, I'd be in the 29.5 shell stuffed with a thicker liner, which would pack out and in a season or two I'd be buying new boots.  OK, so nowadays I'm supposed to get the 28.5 shell and have some toes punched if needed?  Or come up with my own customer footbed / liner that fills it down to a 29 without crushing my blood flow? 

 

Once more, I would love to hear any expert suggestions for thicker liners that will work well in this shell.  I might still end up going down to a smaller boot, but my gut keeps telling me my foot didn't shrink, they're just making boots"lightweight" with super thin liners now.


Edited by gdeangel - 1/29/14 at 7:54am
post #6 of 10

wityh 5/8" behind your heel it sounds the right length, that said, my left foot meausre dead on 29 on a brannock measure yet i can get into the salomon X Max in a 27 so i tend to take measurements as a start point in the process and nothing more

 

there was never a 1/2 size (well not for many years) it has been either a 1mm shim under the footbed or a slightly thicker footbed, commercially it simply costs too much to make 1/2 size shells or thicker liners, the sooner some shops realize this the sooner they will stop spreading BS to their customers and making them believe the hype (wait no, let them continue, just more work for fitters who can dispel the myths and educate people)

 

as for a liner , without seeing your feet and having a good look at them in the shell then it is difficult to say what liner would work, maybe it is time to get back to the fitter and discuss it with him/her with the boots in front of them

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I went and got fitted at a different shop.  On the Brannock, my right foot was just at 29 and the left foot just a little over 29.

 

The fitter at this shop said looked at me like I was an imbecile when I asked to try the Tracker in a 28.5, but he brought it out anyway and it was passable in the right for length, the L foot might get by with a little stretching with the heat gun.  But the problem was that in the 28.5, that excellent extra "width" stretchy area of the live fit was pushed back just enough relative to my toes that the hard edge where the flexible stuff joined up with the rigid shell was digging into my toe. 

 

I figure messing with heat on that joint is probably like asking for the boot to fall apart.

 

Anyway, I tried on the Burner in a 29.5, which changes out the lace-up liner for one with a meatier cuff on the liner.  It felt better, but even with a footbed, there was a pressure point in the ankle.  I tried on some other boots as well, but my best option seemed to be the Burner in 29.5 with a footbed and get the ankles punched.  However the reaction when I brought the Tracker to my local shop to punch the ankle, I decided to pass.

 

I would love a recommendation for other boots to try if anyone here has ideas.  Very stiff boot, wide calf, something built around a 100 to 102.

 

Something in the Rossignol Sensor3 line? 

 

Tecnica Demon? Cochise? 

 

Alpina Xthor?  ... I found one shop that has Alpina but they only stock the X4 (104mm last, with a nice fat liner.  This boot reminds me of what boots were like in the 1908's - you  bought boots with a really, really bear-hug tight fit, then packed down the liner by sleeping in it for a few nights, and, voila, great fitting boot.  Unfortunately it's god-aweful soft.  Nobody here seems to stock their 120 flex model).

 

What I probably need is a mutant ladies boot with a wide calf and 100-102 last that some genius decided to size up to US 12, and is maximum stiff.  What do those 6 foot tall women in the WNBA wear anyway when they want to get out on the slopes for a day on the snow???

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just going from reviews I have been reading on the ABB site, maybe Head Vector 120 (if I can find a pair) or Lange RX 130?

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeangel View Post
 

So I went and got fitted at a different shop.  On the Brannock, my right foot was just at 29 and the left foot just a little over 29.

 

The fitter at this shop said looked at me like I was an imbecile when I asked to try the Tracker in a 28.5, but he brought it out anyway and it was passable in the right for length, the L foot might get by with a little stretching with the heat gun.  But the problem was that in the 28.5, that excellent extra "width" stretchy area of the live fit was pushed back just enough relative to my toes that the hard edge where the flexible stuff joined up with the rigid shell was digging into my toe. 

 

I figure messing with heat on that joint is probably like asking for the boot to fall apart.

 

Anyway, I tried on the Burner in a 29.5, which changes out the lace-up liner for one with a meatier cuff on the liner.  It felt better, but even with a footbed, there was a pressure point in the ankle.  I tried on some other boots as well, but my best option seemed to be the Burner in 29.5 with a footbed and get the ankles punched.  However the reaction when I brought the Tracker to my local shop to punch the ankle, I decided to pass.

 

I would love a recommendation for other boots to try if anyone here has ideas.  Very stiff boot, wide calf, something built around a 100 to 102.

 

Something in the Rossignol Sensor3 line? 

 

Tecnica Demon? Cochise? 

 

Alpina Xthor?  ... I found one shop that has Alpina but they only stock the X4 (104mm last, with a nice fat liner.  This boot reminds me of what boots were like in the 1908's - you  bought boots with a really, really bear-hug tight fit, then packed down the liner by sleeping in it for a few nights, and, voila, great fitting boot.  Unfortunately it's god-aweful soft.  Nobody here seems to stock their 120 flex model).

 

What I probably need is a mutant ladies boot with a wide calf and 100-102 last that some genius decided to size up to US 12, and is maximum stiff.  What do those 6 foot tall women in the WNBA wear anyway when they want to get out on the slopes for a day on the snow???

Previously CEM mentioned he skied in a boot marked smaller than his foot length. I to measure 28.3cm and ski in a 27.5 shell---toes are fine but no movement.

 

You mentioned you were 29.0 or there abouts in length (highlighted above). How wide is your foot?? ----- I think your boots are too big:cool.

 

You would be able to fit into a 28.5 shell with about the recommended shell fit and if the liner were heat molded you could be comfortable.  The live fit can be stretched for width---I did it last week.

 

any boot which is going to work long term is going to feel too tight when you first put it on, It will feel better after it is broken in.

 

the published width on any boot model run is going to refer to how wide the boot is in a 26.5 shell (98mm in Atomic Tracker)---you can usually add 2mm in width for each shell size increase so a

 

29.5 should be about 104mm width across the ball of the foot.

 

We stretch for ankle bones all the time----you need a boot fitter, your problems can easily be solved.  

 

If no one is nearby in the "Whos's who in ask the boot guy's", try checking the Americas Best Bootfitters list.

 

mike

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Mike - Thanks for the incite.  My thoughts in blue:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by miketsc View Post

...

 

 

You mentioned you were 29.0 or there abouts in length (highlighted above). How wide is your foot??

At the widest area of ball of my forefoot, on a paper trace, I am 105 mm.  Using the guideline below, the Tracker at 104, plus the "give" in the live fit stuff felt absolutely perfect.  My prior boots were probably a "100", so 106 at the 29.5 mp. 

 

 

You would be able to fit into a 28.5 shell with about the recommended shell fit and if the liner were heat molded you could be comfortable.  At the calf, the 28.5 was extremely difficult to buckle.  Am I correct to assume the calf size also increases /  decreases with the boot size?

 

The live fit can be stretched for width---I did it last week.  If you have to punch the toe area out at EXACTLY the point where the live-fit joins the hard plastic, doesn't it weaken the glue or whatever that holds that part of the boot together? 

 

any boot which is going to work long term is going to feel too tight when you first put it on, It will feel better after it is broken in.    The ankle hot-spot on the 29.5 seemed to be getting worse (at least the mark it left on my foot) with each time I skied.  That would make sense if it was too big, like both you and the shop I asked to stretch the boot concluded.   

 

 

the published width on any boot model run is going to refer to how wide the boot is in a 26.5 shell (98mm in Atomic Tracker)---you can usually add 2mm in width for each shell size increase so a

 

29.5 should be about 104mm width across the ball of the foot.

 

We stretch for ankle bones all the time----you need a boot fitter, your problems can easily be solved.  

 

If no one is nearby in the "Whos's who in ask the boot guy's", try checking the Americas Best Bootfitters list.

 

There is nobody listed for Ohio on the site.  The ABB has one listed near me (Geigers), although I have been avoiding them because they did what seemed like a lousy job fitting a friend of mine.  There is another shop out a bit past the ski hill called Buckeye Sports that I may try.   

 

 

...

 

 

 

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