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How much money do you invest in custom boot fitting for a new pair of boots?

Poll Results: How much did you pay beyond the retail boot price for custom fitting with your last pair of boots? Note, baking the liners should be free with purchase right?

 
  • 40% (27)
    $0 I paid nothing, they did bake the liners or I did it myself but no additional custom fitting expense was incurred. Or better yet, full custom fitting, grinding, punches were included in the retail price :-)
  • 7% (5)
    $1 to $50. They made a few tweaks, or a lot of them but the price was mimimal.
  • 7% (5)
    $51 to $100. A fair amount of work done opposed to off the shelf boots.
  • 10% (7)
    $101-$150. Several modifications in the fitting process
  • 28% (19)
    $150+. What can I say, I have expensive dogs :-)
  • 5% (4)
    Flawed pol or none of anyone's business hahhahahaha!
67 Total Votes  
post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 

I'm curious about how many members here actually pay additional money for custom boot fitting procedures beyond the cost of purchasing the boot itself.  This should also not include the retailer baking the liner for you.  How much did you spend to have your boots canted, punched, ground, etc beyond the retail cost of the boot?  I'm guessing that a high percentage of posters here do have some custom work done but really want to see what survey results would be.

 

Leaving it open indefinitely.

 

Thanks.

 

Edit thread title

post #2 of 89

$200 for Intuitions, $150 custom footbeds, $40 booster straps (yes, they help with my fit), so about $400 on top of the boot prices. Oh, and another $125 for heaters.

post #3 of 89


Flawed poll.  At a good shop, the only additional cost is the price of foot beds (or other goods, such as aftermarket liners etc. . .).  Fit work is part of the package when you buy boots from a specialty shop, and a good shop will keep working with you (punch, grind, etc. . .) until it is the fit is right.  That is a meaningful value add and the primary reason to buy your boots from a trusted fitter.  The boots alone are a commodity.  Fit expertise is the differentiator.

 

A good shop (at least out here) stands behind its fit as part of the cost of the boots.  I'd never buy boots from a shop that doesn't do that. 

post #4 of 89
What he said.

If you buy online, totally different story. But my boots included all the fitting (had the custom fit bed from before) AND was less than anything I found online.

Daughter bought online and paid $25 for a bit of toe stretching.
post #5 of 89
I have been fortunate to always have been able to drop my podiatrist-made street shoe orthotics into my boots and go. Other than flat, pronated feet, I've been blessed. I do try on boots in store with the orthotics, and have been told by fitters that semi-flexible cork foot beds are better for skiing, but I haven't bitten. I've also been told that weight bearing or semi-weight bearing beds would be better, but being able to go anywhere on the mountain as it is, I'm not convinced that I need to fix something that ain't broke.
post #6 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 


Flawed poll.  At a good shop, the only additional cost is the price of foot beds (or other goods, such as aftermarket liners etc. . .).  Fit work is part of the package when you buy boots from a specialty shop, and a good shop will keep working with you (punch, grind, etc. . .) until it is the fit is right.  That is a meaningful value add and the primary reason to buy your boots from a trusted fitter.  The boots alone are a commodity.  Fit expertise is the differentiator.

 

A good shop (at least out here) stands behind its fit as part of the cost of the boots.  I'd never buy boots from a shop that doesn't do that. 

 

 

Quote:
 $0 I paid nothing, they did bake the liners or I did it myself but no additional custom fitting expense was incurred. Or better yet, full custom fitting, grinding, punches were included in the retail price :-)

 

Option one includes that scenario.  I agree that good shops should roll the cost of custom fitting in with the boot price.

post #7 of 89

Flawed pole.  It was all included up front in the price, but the price was higher.  The price included custom footbeds, custom liners (in Koflachs), infinite number of return visits for grinding/punching, etc.  So despite the fact that it was included, I paid about $250-$300 over what I could have just bought the boots for.

post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 


Flawed poll.  At a good shop, the only additional cost is the price of foot beds (or other goods, such as aftermarket liners etc. . .).  Fit work is part of the package when you buy boots from a specialty shop, and a good shop will keep working with you (punch, grind, etc. . .) until it is the fit is right.  That is a meaningful value add and the primary reason to buy your boots from a trusted fitter.  The boots alone are a commodity.  Fit expertise is the differentiator.

 

A good shop (at least out here) stands behind its fit as part of the cost of the boots.  I'd never buy boots from a shop that doesn't do that. 

 

Yes, true.  

 

But I've opted not to work with the highly recommended bootfitters working in shops in my area.  They did not do right by me.  Maybe it's my feet, or maybe it's their idea of what I needed, but I ended up with boots too big and boots that did not fit the low volume of my feet because I trusted them.  Why did they do that??? I didn't want boots too big; I said nothing to lead them to sell me loose or poorly fitting boots; I never talked about comfort, never talked about color or design, nor how popular the brand. I only talked about performance.  I don't think these guys took me seriously.  Skiers in the area respect these guys, but I do not after my experience. 

 

Now I work with a guy who is not affiliated with a shop.  It costs me extra $$, but he's a true professional who does the work right -- without the motivation to sell boots off his shelves to his customers.

post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 


Flawed poll.  At a good shop, the only additional cost is the price of foot beds (or other goods, such as aftermarket liners etc. . .).  Fit work is part of the package when you buy boots from a specialty shop, and a good shop will keep working with you (punch, grind, etc. . .) until it is the fit is right.  That is a meaningful value add and the primary reason to buy your boots from a trusted fitter.  The boots alone are a commodity.  Fit expertise is the differentiator.

 

A good shop (at least out here) stands behind its fit as part of the cost of the boots.  I'd never buy boots from a shop that doesn't do that. 

 

Yes, true.  

 

But I've opted not to work with the highly recommended bootfitters working in shops in my area.  They did not do right by me.  Maybe it's my feet, or maybe it's their idea of what I needed, but I ended up with boots too big and boots that did not fit the low volume of my feet because I trusted them and I didn't know any better.  Why did they do that??? I didn't want boots too big; I said nothing to lead them to sell me big poorly fitting boots; I never talked about comfort, never talked about color, never talked about how cute the boots were, nor how popular the brand. I only talked about performance.  I don't think these guys took me seriously.  Skiers in the area respect these guys, but I do not after my experience. 

 

Now I work with a guy who is not affiliated with a shop.  It costs me extra $$, but he's a true professional who does the work right -- without the motivation to sell boots to his customers.

This is quite surprising to me.  What was the shell fit like?  Did you buy the boots before you saw these boot fitters and they were just trying to do the best with what you had, or did they recommend wide boots for a narrow foot?

post #10 of 89

I spent hours in the shop and bought what these guys told me would work well. 

Three times.  It's over now.  I don't shop with them any more.

Ghost, I'm glad you've never had this happen.

 

It probably had something to do with me being a woman, me starting skiing at age 53, me saying I wanted performance boots even though I've only been skiing a relatively short time, me needing to trust them as I didn't have decades of experience wearing boots, and them giving me what the usual 50-something late-starting woman skier would want, not what I asked for.  And they didn't measure my feet as thoroughly as my new guy does, so that's obviously part of the problem.

post #11 of 89
Would love to know who recommended these boot fitters... There are skier buddies I trust and then there are people I just ski with and ignore their advice. Some would just tell you who they dealt with and, not knowing how a boot SHOULD fit, be happy with what they got. Some of my best ski buddies fall into that category..

I fall into the category of "under estimated out of shape old lady" that frequently gets short shrift in ski shops, though, so I probably come on pretty strong when I first go into a new place..
post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

I spent hours in the shop and bought what these guys told me would work well. 

Three times.  It's over now.  I don't shop with them any more.

Ghost, I'm glad you've never had this happen.


That really sucks, but now I'm even more intrigued.  How much space did you have behind the heel when shell-fitting with the toes touching the front and the liner removed?

post #13 of 89

Ghost, we're talking several years ago.  I don't know; I didn't know to do a shell fit anyway back then.

 

I just bought new boots this April.  With these new boots there is less than one centimeter behind the heel, and barely that over the instep I think but I wouldn't bet the house on it.  The cuff is the first cuff that actually contacts my very narrow lower leg all the way around.  There is grinding and punching yet to do.

post #14 of 89

I am a pretty easy fit, so I get my boots, do a small punch on the right boot, custom foot beds, and a 4 mm lift on the right boot.  

I did some of my own fitting, Phil did the lift.  Easy Peasy. 

post #15 of 89

0$ Did it myself. New old stock boots (ie cheap but good quality) with correct shell fit but narrow for my various lumps and bumps. I used a battery powered Dremel which is short and fits inside the shell and ground here and there over the period of a season to get the perfect fit. Also bought Inuition Hi Def plug liners at the Intuition warehouse in Vancouver and molded them myself.

post #16 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Flawed pole.  It was all included up front in the price, but the price was higher.  The price included custom footbeds, custom liners (in Koflachs), infinite number of return visits for grinding/punching, etc.  So despite the fact that it was included, I paid about $250-$300 over what I could have just bought the boots for.

If you paid manufacturers suggested retail for the boots and not a penny more the fitting was free.  Passing on a discount for more hands on customer service doesn't necessarily equate to "paying extra for the boot fitting".  It just means passing on a discount to that would require you to do it yourself.  Same goes for getting bindings mounted free when you buy them and the skis from the brick and mortar shop at retail instead of buying them online for $50 less while finding a friend to mount them for a case of beer.  The shop still mounts them for "free" even if they charge suggested retail instead of a discount price.

post #17 of 89

Fact remains had I not got the custom footbeds, liners and fitting work, I would have had an extra $250 to $300 in my pocket.  The footbeds and liners were an explicit extra charge on the bill.  The fitting maybe not so much.

post #18 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Fact remains had I not got the custom footbeds, liners and fitting work, I would have had an extra $250 to $300 in my pocket.  The footbeds and liners were an explicit extra charge on the bill.  The fitting maybe not so much.

That counts as extra then.  Others are counting that as custom work extra charge.

post #19 of 89

I got some trim to fit footbeds and a couple of thin heel wraps to snug them up and I was good to go. Now that the boots are nicely broken in, it looks like I may need to have them fine-tune the heel wraps again. 

post #20 of 89
Cr, in my experience, after market liners and footbeds ARE NOT part of the cost of the boots. Altering the shape of the shell and stock liner are.

No doubt custom footbeds are prohibitively expensive for many, especially if one is only putting in 5-15 days per season. For most people though, a trim to fit insole is a viable and more affordable option. I use the same pair of trim ($40) to fits in my teley and AT boots... I have customs that I paid $120 for (including stance/alignment analysis) in my alpine boots.
post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Cr, in my experience, after market liners and footbeds ARE NOT part of the cost of the boots. Altering the shape of the shell and stock liner are.

No doubt custom footbeds are prohibitively expensive for many, especially if one is only putting in 5-15 days per season. For most people though, a trim to fit insole is a viable and more affordable option. I use the same pair of trim ($40) to fits in my teley and AT boots... I have customs that I paid $120 for (including stance/alignment analysis) in my alpine boots.

 

This is my experience too. Shell work, heel lifts, plates, canting, etc, are part of it. Footbeds extra, liners extra. I'm fine with the footbeds being extra, but the liner thing bugs me. This is a manufacturer issue, not a bootfitter issue, btw. I keep trying to make the stock liners work, and I just can't. (cant) (sorry)

post #22 of 89

I paid $1200 for SureFoot and Strolz, $1200 for the whole deal, boot, custom foot beds with heaters and addition of PowerStrap to replace boots velcro strap.  These were both the foam filled liners.  If you had a boot and wanted the liner, beds, heaters probably $600 and something for labor to modify the boot if it needed it.

 

I look for perfect fit and good service more than a bargain in ski boots. They last a long time (seven years on the Surefoot, first season the Strolz) so it's not much over the life cycle of the boot.

post #23 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Cr, in my experience, after market liners and footbeds ARE NOT part of the cost of the boots. Altering the shape of the shell and stock liner are.
 

 

I agree with that.  I didn't include those things in the $0, only the baking of the liners that came with the boots.

 

So far this is looking like an all or nothing investment for most here.

post #24 of 89

For my first pair of 4-buckle post-2004 boots, the only extra was a generic footbed for $35.  Had a tweak done in Utah for $25 during a mid-season trip.  Original shop in the flatlands had tried to fix but wasn't effective.  I was an intermediate at that time.

 

By the time I was ready to upgrade, I knew that I wanted a custom footbed.  That added $140 during late season sales from a local boot fitter.  A couple seasons later, I put in Intuition liners out west for another $200 or so.  Well worth it as the number of days I skied at bigger mountains increased.

post #25 of 89

About 150$ for footbeds.  Baking the liners and punching the boots was free, since I had purchased the boots from the boot fitter.

post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

 

I agree with that.  I didn't include those things in the $0, only the baking of the liners that came with the boots.

 

So far this is looking like an all or nothing investment for most here.

 

 

I'd also say the sample is flawed. :) I mean, what percentage of skiers actually post here? .007% maybe add a couple of zeros... 

 

Not an all or nothing deal. I didn't alter my teley boots at all. They're stock. I replaced the liners ($100) last year. I do the work on the alpine boots because I have access to tools and skill sets for what I can't do myself. That said, access to the work allows me to dial in a race fit and deal with my canting issues and asymmetrically size and shaped feet. I also did the shim and grind because there is no way I would have gotten to L3 without it.  If it hadn't been a goal, I'd ski a shell size larger, use a trim to fit insole, and just replace the liners as needed. There's always deals on stuff to be found, and I know exactly which 2-3 boots will work for me. 

post #27 of 89

I have always had the good fortune to fit a Tecnica shell well.  Then last season, I was in a hurry and just slammed my feet in the boots and went skiing.  At days end my left little toe felt like I had ripped it off:(  Since then, my left foot has been goofed up.  Not sure what the hell I did, but I will have that boot punched out and made wider for next season.

post #28 of 89

$140 for sidas footbeds (discounted with boot purchase) 

 

But I clicked flawed, as you have to compare what the boot costs in the store against open market price of how much it costs to obtain the boot with no shop or services included (i.e. internet).

 

I was fitted in fischer vacuums bought at basically MSRP for the current season; whereas now at the end of the season you can get it for $300 less.

How much of that $300 is from time in the season, and how much is for the fitting service is hard to break apart

post #29 of 89
I got my boots at the shop for just under MSRP, which included heat molding the stock Intuition liners. I had to buy shorter Full Tilt cables for the instep buckle($25ish for both) and custom footbeds($150 I think). All tweaks are free for the life of the boot.
post #30 of 89

It isn't a meaningful sample - there is no such thing as an "average" foot, but some feet are more average than others, and some are a whole lot less average.  Add your skeletal alignment to that and "average" becomes even more elusive. 

 

I have custom footbeds, for which I paid $275  7 years ago.  A lot of fitting then by an expert pedorthist - boot fitter got me to a great place with them.  They're in their 3rd pair of boots and will go into their 4th next fall.  I should get 10 years out of them easily. If all that cost is spread out over 4 pairs of boots, not that expensive. 

 

LF and I teach at the same area in NH, but don't live that near each other.  I've bought from some of the same shops she has used.  I've had good success with some of the same people, and far less with others. The bad shops are easy to find, the good ones far less so.

 

I'm PSIA and get Pro Formed on my boots by the shops.  It's a pretty healthy discount up front for me, and the shops make little money on us.  That's great for me, but if you have problem feet (and I do) and need extra work (I do), there is a limit to what you can (or should) ask the shop to do as part of the sale. It's not reasonable for me to expect them to lose money on me.  Maybe if I was Bode, but I'm not Bode.   

 

I've had enough bad bootfitting and adjustments over the years to truly value the good ones when I find them.  That relationship is one that I want to protect and not abuse.  Add to the mix the fact that I have bad luck with boots the last several years, and next fall I will be going into my 4th pair of boots in 3 seasons.  I went through 2 pairs of Fischer Vacuums 2 seasons ago.  The first was defective (not the seller's fault).  Pro-formed to me, and he vacuumed the second pair for me on his dime.  I had issues with both boots that put me in a lot of pain in one foot over the season, so much so that I abandoned the second pair after they destabilized after being blown out in the forefoot.  There were things he did not understand about bootfitting vacuums that were part of the problem, and he was a very experienced bootfitter with a good rep.  But I'm not mad at him, his intentions were there.  It did not work out for either of us, but I'm not going to badmouth him to anybody.

 

I went back to Solomons last year.  The work that that the seller did for me was expert and accurate, and skied very well. but the liner was defective.  Solomon is replacing the boots under warranty, and he will be custom molding both the liners and footbeds again.  I will need them canted again and perhaps some more alignment work too.  I'm going to ask for everything I feel I need to get the boots absolutely right, but I want to make it clear to him up front how much I value the relationship and that I expect to pay for at least some of his additional work.  We buyers should remember that it is a 2 way street from which both parties should profit.  The good bootfitters deserve their profit.  I like him and want to work with him in the future, so I should do my part.

 

Finally, I want to say that the bootfitting can only be as accurate as the feedback we give them.  The more precise and knowing our feedback is, the better the work will be.  Unfortunately, we learn more about what we need when things are bad than we do when they are good.

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