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Bootfitters: First time getting my own boots.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing for a few years now and I've advanced pretty quickly. I went from never skiing before to skiing blues and even a few easier blacks in Vail in the matter of a long weekend and I've been getting more confident and consistent since then. I figure the next step is to get fit for my own boots to take another step.  This is where I have a dilemma. I see so many recommendations for finding a good bootfitter, but we really only have one decent shop in the area and I'm skeptical on how good they can be since we aren't a big ski community or real close to any. They have a video posted going over a basic fitting. I'm guessing this is very basic and generic and the video doesn't go into much detail, but if any of you guys watch the video is there anything that stands out to you that would point towards staying away from getting fit here and waiting until I'm in the mountains again? Or do you think I could get a decent fitting here and I shouldn't worry?

 

post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

Just realized there's also a boot specific subforum. Mods, feel free to move this if you think the other subforum is more appropriate.

post #3 of 12
He put a medium weight sock on the guy. That concerns me. For one thing, most of us advocate thin socks. But especially for boot fitting, I'd go with a thin sock, because the liner is going to compress. Why maximize the possibility of a costumer thinking the boot is too small?

Also, he NEVER does an actual shell fit! He should have removed the liner from the boot to see how much room is behind his heel.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

That's a good point. I've been leaning towards waiting to get to a more experienced fitter, but wanted to see if some of the more experienced skiers and fitters here could raise some red flags about these guys that I may not be aware. So that's a great thing to notice as I'm not sure I would have picked up on it.  Thanks!

post #5 of 12
The guy is about as thorough as a guy in a rental place. In fact, what did he do that the customer couldn't do by himself? Measure foot. Grab boot. Put it on.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I thought that as well, but I was also thinking maybe it's just oversimplified for video purposes. So, I'm not sure if they would actually be more thorough for a real fitting.  The socks and claiming it was a shell fitting when it wasn't do seem to be red flags though.

post #7 of 12

I can move this to the Ask A Boot Guy forum, but you're getting some good information from Sibhusky.

Its up to you if you'd like us to move this. 

 

The video you posted is what you may expect from a big box store.  What you'll experience from a good bootfitter will be far more thorough. 

 

This is a better video 

post #8 of 12
No shell fit, medium weight sock, no discussion about boot flex, no check of ankle flex, no mention about correction for pronation, and no idea why he chose that boot. He points out that the toes will feel cramped until the customer leans forward but otherwise doesn't say anything about what the liner should feel like. Also, a professional boot fitting usually includes heat molding the liner.

This looks like what the guys at REI do. They spend a fair amount of time with customers, but it's like going to a shoe store, not getting fitted for a ski boot.
post #9 of 12

Good, careful bootfitters will always do a shell fit where the liner is removed and your naked foot goes into the boot.  He will measure the distance of your heel from the back of the boot when your toes are contacting in front.  I have also had the guy take a hammer and lightly tap the sides and around the front of the boot to see if there is any contact with my toes (when the heel is back in the ankle pocket). 

 

Even at your level you will want a boot that fits snugly but is not tight.  If the boot is fit for comfort, it will never perform well because it will pack out, and once it does your foot will be  swimming in it, and you can kiss the best performance from that boot goodbye.  If your boot is well fit at the shop, it should not have any pressure points, but will feel too tight initially.  The best fitting boots I have owned were too tight the first 4 or 5 days on the hill, them packed out and stabilized at just right. 

 

Now may be a good time to get a boot because likely the prices will be better, but the selection will be less because the new stock is not in.  The bootfitter will have a luxury of time to give you.  Early fall will be full price but a better selection as the new stuff is in stock.  You'll have more boots to choose from, which will be a plus as far as getting the fit dialed in.  And it is still early enough to get the benefit of his time. 

 

Don't wait until your trip to do this.  It'll be full season then and more like herding cattle - not the best way for you to get the good fit you deserve. 

 

Ask around and find a good bootfitter as near as possible to you. 

 

Spend money to get a good boot.  A lot of people think the boot is more important than the ski.

 

Good luck.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Awesome info! Thanks! I've definitely heard the boot is the most important piece of equipment.  

 

Makes sense to try and not go during ski season so I can get more individual attention.  I'll see if I can make a trip sometime late fall or early winter. Colorado would probably be my closest area for a good fitting. I'm in Kansas City and the video I posted is from the only place around that really even offers any kind of a fitting.

 

 

Oh and it's fine with me to leave the thread here. Definitely some good feedback.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachK View Post
 

Awesome info! Thanks! I've definitely heard the boot is the most important piece of equipment.  

 

Makes sense to try and not go during ski season so I can get more individual attention.  I'll see if I can make a trip sometime late fall or early winter. Colorado would probably be my closest area for a good fitting. I'm in Kansas City and the video I posted is from the only place around that really even offers any kind of a fitting.

 

 

Oh and it's fine with me to leave the thread here. Definitely some good feedback.

You can go to a shop mid season, or at least in the beginning of the season when inventory is good and the fitter will have better options for your feet. 

 

If you go to a fairly high end shop, you can call ahead and make an appointment.  

Example, if you go to @Start Haus in Truckee (Tahoe) you can call and get in the appointment book ahead of time so you don't have to wait, and you know you'll have a quality fitter taking care of you. 

post #12 of 12
Hey Zach. I too am looking at getting my first pair of boots. I too wondered about the KC shops, vs REI or similar shop in CO vs heading to a boot guru. I live in Hays, KS. I'd be curious to here what you learn and where you end up going for your boots.
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