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When a boot fitter isn't in the budget

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

 

I've done a bunch of reading and I realize the single most important equipment purchase is a properly fitted boot.  However, let's assume I don't have the budget to drop $500+ on fitted boots right now, so I'm left with a choice of buying budget new boots or taking the rental boots supplied with a season long equipment lease.  I had lease equipment last season including Dalbello boots and they worked reasonably well.  Not as snug as I'd like, especially in the heal, but no significant issues.  (I'm a low end intermediate skier, casual style, skiing in Vermont, mostly groomers.)  I'm looking at buying a new pair of Dalbello Aerro 67 boots for only slightly more than the season lease would cost.  My thinking is they would be an improvement over the lease boots, especially if I added a footbed like the moszkito.  Please keep the comments restricted to lease or buy for next season, fitted boots just aren't in the budget.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 14

End of season right now, you should be able to find boots deeply discounted at a good shop that can still fit you for them.

post #3 of 14
Make sure you know what shell size length fits you (shortest possible - I am a street size 11 and ski a 26.5) and then research boots that others with your foot shape (width, "features", ankle vs. forefoot, instep, etc.) ski.

Save $50 for a good off the shelf footbed like SOLE. Don't buy a wide boot just because you are an intermediate and are seeking soft flex. Some of the 100mm boots can be found in softer flex and can be a good middle ground off the shelf application.
post #4 of 14

Don't ASSUME you will pay more in a store than buying online.  Mine were actually LESS in the store than any place I looked online that week.  And the fitting was FREE.  

 

Of course, also don't assume that a guy in a store selling ski boots is the same thing as a boot fitter.  

post #5 of 14

I bought my boots online a few years ago and for some it works because they know exactly what they are looking for (about 99% of these are at the advanced expert range and years of experience behind them).  I knew what I wanted exactly, no fitting required, I've just added foot beds.

 

For those that don't have that experience, DON'T!

 

What you pay in the boot will come back in spades and think of it as a multi-year investment (3 to 5 yrs at minimum). For example, lets say you pay $500.00  that's $100 per year over 5 years.  Secondly,  the improvement it will make in your skiing  could save you $500 in lessons to correct problems caused by ill fitting boot originally.

 

There are few recent threads talking about the impact of boots and stance and how well one skis.

 

So my comment is simple bite the bullet and buy (ensure fitting is included).  You, your skiing and your feet will love you for it.

 

Skis, shop around and considered used from the right buyer.  Save you money here (just watch out for the bindings).

post #6 of 14

It seems you haven't thought this through, and it's obvious that despite what you say, you don't realize how important well-fitted boots are. Perhaps you should re-examine the budget; there are lots of things you could do to free up some cash, short of selling the kids into slavery:

You could take up a second job to get a little extra cash;

You could sell the car and get a cheaper one, or give it up all together and walk to work;

You could move into a smaller apartment, or a cardboard box under a bridge;

You probably have an extra kidney that you could sell;

You could talk your wife into taking in laundry, and/or providing other services;

The list goes on and on;

There's no excuse for not having well-fitted boots.

post #7 of 14

@Ghost

 

All good as long as his wife doesn't know where you live :ROTF.

post #8 of 14
The OP is acting like fitted boots are some kind of luxury item or that it costs extra. Are there people paying to get boots fitted where the boots are being fitted in the store they were bought from?

I never have, but maybe I've been lucky??
post #9 of 14
So I re-read your post and missed the part about the Dalbello Aerro purchase. That's a 105mm boot in what is really a younger teens flex rating. Meaning that boot is pretty much just because you can't put your shoe in a ski binding. And that is ok if your feet don't hurt, etc. at least as long as you aren't out of control.

The cost part of your question really comes down to whether you want to advance. If so and you can't at least get up in the $300 range, then see if the shop at least offers a performance package. Rental shops stick you in basic street size loafers unless you push (assuming this shop has something more). They don't want return issues of too tight, etc. Typically you will pay more for this, but it may be budget friendly.

Nonetheless, reality is developing skiers can least afford ill fitting boots as noted above, so even a basic shop lacking a master fitter may be able to properly shell fit you into something more than "buying what you were renting", and at season end discounts (what @Sibhusky said above).

For buying, think something like this where you get a good price, firmer but not stiff flex, narrower width, and some performance features of more advanced boots. There is an in-between to master fitter and rental/beginner boot that may provide you some real value.

http://www.evo.com/alpine-ski-boots/atomic-hawx-80.aspx
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobiusnc View Post
 

Hello All,

 

I've done a bunch of reading and I realize the single most important equipment purchase is a properly fitted boot.  However, let's assume I don't have the budget to drop $500+ on fitted boots right now, so I'm left with a choice of buying budget new boots or taking the rental boots supplied with a season long equipment lease.  I had lease equipment last season including Dalbello boots and they worked reasonably well.  Not as snug as I'd like, especially in the heal, but no significant issues.  (I'm a low end intermediate skier, casual style, skiing in Vermont, mostly groomers.)  I'm looking at buying a new pair of Dalbello Aerro 67 boots for only slightly more than the season lease would cost.  My thinking is they would be an improvement over the lease boots, especially if I added a footbed like the moszkito.  Please keep the comments restricted to lease or buy for next season, fitted boots just aren't in the budget.

 

Thanks!

Did you mean to ask the question in the Beginner Zone instead of Gear?  Have you ever talked with a boot fitter in person?  

 

My first pair of 4-buckle boots were "new old stock" from a boot fitter in the NC mountains six years ago during early season sales.  I was replacing obsolete rear-entry boots.  I was out the door for about $300, including off-the-shelf footbed.  The boots were designed for a recreational intermediate.  I was quite happy with them for three seasons, skiing 10-15 days.  Only bought another pair because I started skiing more days and out west, which made it easier to go beyond groomers.

 

How do you know the Dalbello Aerro 67 is a good fit?

post #11 of 14
Hey, this wasn't season-end when I got my boots, it was last October. Store price was ten bucks cheaper than any online price I found AND they knew what they were doing. (Of course, so do I.) 72 days of skiing later and the boots are still really snug and fit perfectly. Only one buckle is really tight and I've skied run after run with them accidentally UNBUCKLED and never noticed a thing. (Groomed.. Pretty sure I'd have noticed off piste.)
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

The OP is acting like fitted boots are some kind of luxury item or that it costs extra. Are there people paying to get boots fitted where the boots are being fitted in the store they were bought from?

I never have, but maybe I've been lucky??

I think it may be more that the boot he is looking at is around $100, comparable to renting, and it is less high end fitting than not having boot budget. As evidenced in this thread, Epic tends to have an all or nothing view on boot fitting, and for example getting into a 100mm last properly shell fitted boot with a quality factory liner is very different than getting a street size 105mm boot that is produced largely for rental fleets, etc.

If deals abound, it could be doable and therefore a budget investment vs. several years of renting. That's how I would look at it, anyway.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
 

Don't ASSUME you will pay more in a store than buying online.  Mine were actually LESS in the store than any place I looked online that week.  And the fitting was FREE.  

 

Of course, also don't assume that a guy in a store selling ski boots is the same thing as a boot fitter.  

^^^ This. 

Reasons why you may actually save money going to a bootfitter

  • A bootfitter will be more likely to get you in the right boot the first time
  • The price of boots at a good shop with good fitters are not necessarily going to be higher.  Most shops stick with a standard price based on industry standard. 
  • Any additional fitting work you need done is usually included in the fitting/purchase of the boot

Edited by Trekchick - 4/21/14 at 5:56pm
post #14 of 14
I would recommend doing what it takes to get the money in the budget. I bought my first pair of boots in February and, despite all the advice on here telling me how to do it, I wanted to go the cheap route. The boots were already more than I wanted to pay, so I skipped the fitters recommendations to get some footbeds and tighter cables(full tilt boots). I bought them on a Saturday evening and I was back in the shop Sunday at lunch for the tighter cables. The next few days I was having some buyers remorse because I had boots that were a bit loose in spots, so I went back in and told him my issues. He repeated that I should do some insoles, so I bit the bullet and forked over the cash for him to make me some customs. Boots fit perfectly now. I spent 5 days skiing boots that were less than perfect when I should have just gotten it done right the first time. I could have stopped at the $500 and had boots that were much better than all the rental boots of my past, but I spent $150 more and got perfect fitting boots. That extra $150 over the next few years will be very worth it. Moral of the story...do what it takes to get the right boots and fit them properly to avoid the buyers remorse. They will last and you will be much happier.
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