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Ski Gear for Newbie [first purchases, going to Snowshoe, WV from FL]

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I just started skiing last year and I intend on doing MUCH more skiing this year after going on three ski trips last winter.

 

I'm thinking of buying gear instead of renting because I'm getting a season pass for Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

 

What would I look at investing for boots, skis and poles?

 

And how often do I have to pay a tech to maintain my skis after purchase (wax, adjustments, etc)?

post #2 of 34

Hi and welcome to the ski addiction.  It actually depends quite a bit.  One of the best ways to go, for you at this point, is a ski swap if there are any in your neck of the woods.  You can pick up some gently used items at a good price.  If you are buying new, start looking now so you can grab deals on last year's equipment.  For beginner skis - between $300 and $350, bindings around $100 ... unless you are extremely heavy you don't need anything over a top DIN of 10 at this point.  (this will be listed in online binding descriptions)

 

Now boots are a different story.  With boots, it's all about the fit and that can be tough.  You need to try them on and can't just trust "they were the right size."  Ski boots come in a variety of shapes and can end up being so uncomfortable, that you can't ski and end up having to buy another pair.  It's actually worth visiting a reputable boot fitter and investing money in some boots that will get you through the intermediate phase of your skiing.  You will progress much more quickly with well fitted boots.

 

My advice would be to plan to spend between $700 - $900 on boots including a fitting.  With a reputable fitter this will include all the adjustments you might need in the next 12 months to make the boots work for you and be comfortable.  Then spend a minimum amount on used skis with bindings.  The truth is that you will change or add skis way more often than boots.

 

I'm sure in your neck of the woods can recommend a boot fitter,

 

I hope this helps.

post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

I just started skiing last year and I intend on doing MUCH more skiing this year after going on three ski trips last winter.

 

I'm thinking of buying gear instead of renting because I'm getting a season pass for Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

 

What would I look at investing for boots, skis and poles?

 

And how often do I have to pay a tech to maintain my skis after purchase (wax, adjustments, etc)?

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where do you live?  Might be able to give you some suggestions of where to go for a good boot fitter.  Perhaps a ski swap in the fall too.

 

Good to read the EpicSki Articles in First Run (look on the menu bar for Articles), which includes info about buying gear for the first time.

 

What are your favorite areas to ski at Snowshoe?  Do you go night skiing at Silver Creek?

post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 

I live in Pensacola, Florida.

 

At Snowshoe, I've stuck mostly to the green runs and some of the blue runs.  Not done any black diamond yet.

 

I have done night skiing at Silver Creek.

post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

I live in Pensacola, Florida.

 

At Snowshoe, I've stuck mostly to the green runs and some of the blue runs.  Not done any black diamond yet.

 

I have done night skiing at Silver Creek.

Hmm . . . not sure what to suggest for that part of Florida in terms of finding a bootfitter.

 

How do you usually get to Snowshoe?  There is one of the best boot fitters in SC.  His contact info is here:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitters-on-epicski

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 

I usually drive up through Knoxville.

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

I usually drive up through Knoxville.

Well, there are a few places in the NC mountains where you could find a boot fitter.  Asheville and Boone in particular have Ski Country shops.  You could give them a call.  I got my first pair of 4-buckle boots at Ski Country in Boone during early season sales.  I got "new old stock" that worked out well for a few seasons when I was just starting to ski more.  Total price was about $300.  By the time I knew I would be skiing regularly and where to get the next pair of boots, I definitely got my money's worth.

 

Sugar Mtn usually has a free demo weekend in mid-Dec.  Meaning there are a demo tents for multiple brands.  Only have to pay for a lift ticket to demo as many as you have time for.

post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustski View Post
 

Hi and welcome to the ski addiction.  It actually depends quite a bit.  One of the best ways to go, for you at this point, is a ski swap if there are any in your neck of the woods.  You can pick up some gently used items at a good price.  If you are buying new, start looking now so you can grab deals on last year's equipment.  For beginner skis - between $300 and $350, bindings around $100 ... unless you are extremely heavy you don't need anything over a top DIN of 10 at this point.  (this will be listed in online binding descriptions)

 

Now boots are a different story.  With boots, it's all about the fit and that can be tough.  You need to try them on and can't just trust "they were the right size."  Ski boots come in a variety of shapes and can end up being so uncomfortable, that you can't ski and end up having to buy another pair.  It's actually worth visiting a reputable boot fitter and investing money in some boots that will get you through the intermediate phase of your skiing.  You will progress much more quickly with well fitted boots.

 

My advice would be to plan to spend between $700 - $900 on boots including a fitting.  With a reputable fitter this will include all the adjustments you might need in the next 12 months to make the boots work for you and be comfortable.  Then spend a minimum amount on used skis with bindings.  The truth is that you will change or add skis way more often than boots.

 

I'm sure in your neck of the woods can recommend a boot fitter,

 

I hope this helps.

You do not "need" to spend $700 on ...boots alone!  Sure, you could but if your going to spend that much on boots, why not spend $1,200 on a pair?  Heck, I could give you 50 places that could sell you a decent set of boots ($250), skis (250), poles and gloves for $600.  Some places offer season rentals and that may be a good option for you.  I've never rented there so can't tell you what they may have but there are places in Charlotte (on your route up) such as Ski Country Sports or Alpine Ski Center that offer season rentals.  Demo weekend in Snowshoe is usually the 1st weekend in December so you could demo a lot of skis there

post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndabunka View Post
 

You do NOT need to spend $700 on ...boots alone!  Heck, I could give you 50 places that could sell you a decent set of boots ($250), skis (250), poles and gloves for $600.

I don't understand why someone from Florida would be able to leverage a SS season pass but we are also repeat SnowShoe Season Pass holders and personally believe it is THE best deal out there.  Some places offer season rentals and that may be a good option for you.  I've never rented there so can't tell you what they may have but there are places in Charlotte (on your route up) such as Ski Country Sports or Alpine Ski Center that offer season rentals

For an adult who is going to take multiple trips, I'd say that investing in a good pair of boots from an experienced boot fitter is worth the effort.  Season rentals for kids or teens make sense.

 

The OP drives up thru Knoxville, so does not sound like Charlotte is on the way to SS.

post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustski View Post
 

Hi and welcome to the ski addiction.  It actually depends quite a bit.  One of the best ways to go, for you at this point, is a ski swap if there are any in your neck of the woods.  You can pick up some gently used items at a good price.  If you are buying new, start looking now so you can grab deals on last year's equipment.  For beginner skis - between $300 and $350, bindings around $100 ... unless you are extremely heavy you don't need anything over a top DIN of 10 at this point.  (this will be listed in online binding descriptions)

 

Now boots are a different story.  With boots, it's all about the fit and that can be tough.  You need to try them on and can't just trust "they were the right size."  Ski boots come in a variety of shapes and can end up being so uncomfortable, that you can't ski and end up having to buy another pair.  It's actually worth visiting a reputable boot fitter and investing money in some boots that will get you through the intermediate phase of your skiing.  You will progress much more quickly with well fitted boots.

 

My advice would be to plan to spend between $700 - $900 on boots including a fitting.  With a reputable fitter this will include all the adjustments you might need in the next 12 months to make the boots work for you and be comfortable.  Then spend a minimum amount on used skis with bindings.  The truth is that you will change or add skis way more often than boots.

 

I'm sure in your neck of the woods can recommend a boot fitter,

 

I hope this helps.

 

Wow, if $700-$900 is what a beginner/intermediate should spend, then what would you recommend for an advanced skier? $$$$$$$$$$$$?

 

My top of the line Technica Cochise Pro 130 ski boots retail in Canada for just over $700 and that would include boot fitting but not custom foot beds. (I bought some heat in the oven custom molding foot beds for $39.) Are ski boots that much more in San Diego?

post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

For an adult who is going to take multiple trips, I'd say that investing in a good pair of boots from an experienced boot fitter is worth the effort.  Season rentals for kids or teens make sense.

 

The OP drives up thru Knoxville, so does not sound like Charlotte is on the way to SS.

 

I agree that buying good boots woud be beneficial.  My point is that one does not have to spend $700 to $900 get a "good" pair.  There are a LOT of "good pairs" for less than 1/2 that price point.  I've been skiing since I was 3 and am now 51.  I've raised two boys who we started when they were 3 and in all my 48 years I have never had to spend over $500 for a "good" pair of comfortble  boots. The majority of initial ski equipment owners should not be "scared off" by being led to believe that they have to spend nearly a grand to get good, comfortable boots.  It's the middle of summer so he can pick up any of a gazzilion pairs for under $300 in most cases. Throw $100 to a fitter and be in them for less than 50% of your target.

 

I did miss his comment on the Knoxville route 

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndabunka View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

For an adult who is going to take multiple trips, I'd say that investing in a good pair of boots from an experienced boot fitter is worth the effort.  Season rentals for kids or teens make sense.

 

The OP drives up thru Knoxville, so does not sound like Charlotte is on the way to SS.

 

I agree that buying good boots woud be beneficial.  My point is that one does not have to spend $700 to $900 get a "good" pair.  There are a LOT of "good pairs" for less than 1/2 that price point.  I've been skiing since I was 3 and am now 51.  I've raised two boys who we started when they were 3 and in all my 48 years I have never had to spend over $500 for a "good" pair of comfortble  boots. The majority of initial ski equipment owners should not be "scared off" by being led to believe that they have to spend nearly a grand to get good, comfortable boots.  It's the middle of summer so he can pick up any of a gazzilion pairs for under $300 in most cases. Throw $100 to a fitter and be in them for less than 50% of your target.

 

I did miss his comment on the Knoxville route 

Not disagreeing with you at all.  Where have you been going to find a good boot fitter?  Took me a few seasons to learn that there was a ski shop 30 min from my house in central NC that had an experience boot fitter, as opposed to someone who picked out a pair of "comfortable" boots for a recreational skier.  The shop in Raleigh was worthless when it came to fitting boots.  I started skiing long ago in middle school in New England, on season rentals but didn't ski much until recent years.  Although I had my own boots as a working adult taking a ski vacation every few years, learning how to buy gear was in some ways more difficult than learning to ski better.

 

My first advice to @Hitman after finding out how he gets to Snowshoe:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

I usually drive up through Knoxville.

Well, there are a few places in the NC mountains where you could find a boot fitter.  Asheville and Boone in particular have Ski Country shops.  You could give them a call.  I got my first pair of 4-buckle boots at Ski Country in Boone during early season sales.  I got "new old stock" that worked out well for a few seasons when I was just starting to ski more.  Total price was about $300.  By the time I knew I would be skiing regularly and where to get the next pair of boots, I definitely got my money's worth.

 

Sugar Mtn usually has a free demo weekend in mid-Dec.  Meaning there are a demo tents for multiple brands.  Only have to pay for a lift ticket to demo as many as you have time for.

post #13 of 34

Relevant experience from a flatlander who bought a first pair of boots recently.  From a discussion in the Beginner Zone about how to move from a season lease to owning gear when on a tight budget, which does not seem to be the issue for the OP of this thread.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoney View Post

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.
 

My first 4-buckle boots were $300, including $35 for after-market footbeds (not custom), during early season sales near Sugar Mtn, NC in Dec 2008.  I was an older adult intermediate who was skiing 10-15 days in the southeast, mostly with a kid who was just learning.  By Feb 2012, I was ready for the next pair.  By then I was an advanced skier taking a couple trips out west every season, plus 15-20 days in the southeast.  Spent $420 during late season sales at a local shop with an experienced boot fitter, plus about $150 for custom (heat molded) footbeds.  Since footbeds can be transferred into new boots, it was an easy decision to add them.

 

For anyone in central NC, C&R Sports in Hillsborough or Elon is well worth checking out.  Call for an appointment.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

 

Wow, if $700-$900 is what a beginner/intermediate should spend, then what would you recommend for an advanced skier? $$$$$$$$$$$$?

 

My top of the line Technica Cochise Pro 130 ski boots retail in Canada for just over $700 and that would include boot fitting but not custom foot beds. (I bought some heat in the oven custom molding foot beds for $39.) Are ski boots that much more in San Diego?

I paid $900 for the boots, the fitting, and the custom footbed with a 12 month guarantee that if "you don't love them, you don't own them."  It was money well spent.  In fact, I have been back for tweaks twice and the fitter, true to his word, knew exactly what was needed.  That said, I like a snug, well fitting, comfortable boot.  I am picky.  I look at the same way as many others - I date my skis but I marry my boots!  I actually don't buy boots in San Diego - no boot fitters.   This pair I went  to LA and yes, it's pretty much the going rate for California in general.  Mine are Dalbello Kryzmas which run about the same price as your Tecnicas. - and the footbed was quite a bit extra.  Thanks to the joys of middle age, I needed new footbeds- including heel lifts and met pads which I don't think I want to do in my oven.  My last footbeds lasted 15 years so I'm not too worried about the extra investment.

post #15 of 34
Well, my boots, which fit my feet perfectly, cost $475, fitting and any further tweaking included, but there won't be a need. I already owned custom insoles, two different types, so didn't need to do that again. Of course, there's no VAT in the US.

There's a guy I heard of paid $1200 between the boots and the fitting. Fortunately, I have nice normal feet. I'd have to give up skiing with pricey feet like that.

Some of us are luckier than others.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Well, my boots, which fit my feet perfectly, cost $475, fitting and any further tweaking included, but there won't be a need. I already owned custom insoles, two different types, so didn't need to do that again. Of course, there's no VAT in the US.

There's a guy I heard of paid $1200 between the boots and the fitting. Fortunately, I have nice normal feet. I'd have to give up skiing with pricey feet like that.

Some of us are luckier than others.

I used to have feet like that ... middle age has severely affected my feet.  At least the rest of me seems to be hanging in there ok!

post #17 of 34
Read this, it has a few paragraphs about gear for beginners (mostly the second paragraph and last paragraph).
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

I just started skiing last year and I intend on doing MUCH more skiing this year after going on three ski trips last winter.

 

I'm thinking of buying gear instead of renting because I'm getting a season pass for Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

 

What would I look at investing for boots, skis and poles?

 

And how often do I have to pay a tech to maintain my skis after purchase (wax, adjustments, etc)?

The OP has skied for one season and drives from far west FL thru TN to WV.  While Snowshoe is bigger than the ski areas in NC, still does not have anywhere near the terrain of any mountain west of Denver.  Investing over $500 in boots seems like overkill.  If he were in the northeast, a season lease would be an option.  But buying "new old stock" from one of the boot fitters in western NC or working with Mike in SC probably makes more sense.  Used to be a decent ski shop in Atlanta but I think it closed a few years ago.

post #19 of 34

Quote:

Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Not disagreeing with you at all.  Where have you been going to find a good boot fitter?

 

Never needed one for either myself or either of my two boys.  I guess we are just fortunate to be SO "normal".  I also play golf and one of the people that run those insole programs hounded me until I FINALLY got on his measuring equipment.  He asked me a lot of questions trying to get me to tell him that there was any issue with my feet getting sore, circulation being cut off, etc.  There never has been any issues in ski boots or any other type of boot or shoe.  In the end, he finally said "You have the most NORMAL feet of anyone I have EVER measured so no need for any orthopedics".  I guess that may explain why I have never seen a need for all the fuss but apparently, ill-fitting boots is a HUGE issue for others on here.

 

However, due to my competitive water skiing when I was in my teens, I did develop some HUMONGOUS calfs and many boot's simply can't be buckled if they are designed for "sknny-minny" guys so although the footbed would be fine, I wasn't able to buckle the top buckles (even at their most extended ranges) on a number of boots so I have normal feet and extremely abnormal calfs


Edited by ndabunka - 7/31/14 at 4:02pm
post #20 of 34

It's worth it for a commited beginner to spend $700 to $900. on a good well fitted pair of ski boots.  There is a remote possibility that your foot is the exact shape of a last based on the "average" foot that a manufacturer uses.  Then again, you might need custom foamed liners and custom foot beds and boot punching/stretching/grinding, just to get a boot that fits well enough for you to control your skis without pain. 

 

An expert should also expect to pay the same amount.  Beginner or an expert, it makes no difference to how well the boots fit.  Personally I think it's just as important that the boots fit when the beginner is learning how to control their skis. 

 

Suggesting that beginners don't need well fitted boots is like suggesting that people learning how to drive a car would do just as well using rubber bands to attach their hands to the steering wheel.  Is this a plot to stem their development and force them to take more lessons 'cause they can't seem to learn how to ski?

 

Without the perfect feet or the aid of a fitter, you either have torture devices on your feet or your have way too much squish and movement inside the boot.  It's like driving a car and choosing between wearing three thick pairs of mitts or having your hands painfully c-clamped to the steering wheel...or you can have well fitted leather driving gloves gripping that steering wheel. Of course if you don't care about having precise control over your skis or your direction of travel you can just get some comfy enough boots that sorta let you suggest to your skis what to do. 

 

Renting boots for a season seems ludicrous to me; if someone else used the boots last season they have someone else's foot shape.  You might be able to rent skis for a season though.

post #21 of 34

I stick by my initial recommendation for the OP.  It's not about buying an advanced boot.  It's about buying the right boot. Get a great fit on ski boots and buy a gently used set of intermediate skis.  You will change your skis way before you change your boots.  Buy everything else second hand and expend your resources on the most important piece of equipment.  I just bought my son new boots last season - after a huge battle with him because he loved his boots.  They fit well and he didn't want to give them up.  I was insisting because although his feet hadn't changed, he added a whole lot of muscle mass to his frame.  I was skiing behind him and noticed how far he was flexing those boots.  Oh no ... tooooo soft.  Now that he has new boots, he admits I was ---- oh wait for it .... right!  Trust me, he's 17.  I don't hear that too often!  

 

The point is that his boots fit so well, it didn't matter than his ability had progressed way beyond the boots.  He still had excellent control and was progressing as a skier.  He could easily have continued  skiing in those boots for a couple of more seasons.  I'm just too OCD to follow him around under those circumstances.  

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

It's worth it for a commited beginner to spend $700 to $900. on a good well fitted pair of ski boots.......Beginner or an expert, it makes no difference to how well the boots fit.  Personally I think it's just as important that the boots fit when the beginner is learning how to control their skis. 

 

Suggesting that beginners don't need well fitted boots is like suggesting that people learning how to drive a car would do just as well using rubber bands to attach their hands to the steering wheel.

I don't think that anyone here would argue that boots need to fit well and be comfortable.  What IS being debated it the COST of that objective.  I really don't understand how you guys can be INSISTING that everyone else will HAVE to spend a gazzillion $'s just in order to get a boot that fits.  That is... well, insane!

 

I am sorry to learn that your feet, your son's feet and anyone that you have ever come in contact with's feet are SO BAD that only a skilled boot fitter can get you into boots that won't kill your feet and that those fitters charge you $300 for the honor of providing you that service but the REALITY is that everybody is different and as such, not everybody NEEDS to spend $900 on a pair of boots and a fitter.  I have never paid more than $500 for a pair of boots (even racing boots as I buy new, old stock).  I have never NEEDED a boot fitter.  I have NEVER had cold feet due to fitment.  I have NEVER had my feet "go to sleep" on me.  I have raced competitively without needing ANY type of "custom" boot fitments

 

The BOTTOM LINE is that many can simply buy a new pair of boots at a store for around $250.  That storefront can (and often DOES) "fit" the buyer by having them try on a number of different boots in the store.  Many of those people buying the boot will be "just fine" skiing them for years on end. And THAT is the point here.  An essential "newbie" like the Original Poster CAN buy a pair of boots for $250 and ski on then a LOT more than he did last season (mind you that may mean that he still only skis on them about 5 times a season for 2 or 3 days at a time over a 4 month period) rather than the "living in them" that people living in Colorado might do.  

 

So, please quit scaring these newbies away from the sport by trying to tell them that the ONLY WAY they will be happy is that they HAVE to spend a GRAND on a pair of boots.  That is simply ... well, CRAZY!  I know a lot of people who would NEVER spend a grand on a pair of boots and if they had to do so, they would not do the sport.  You guys are making it sound (to this forum and poster) that he would be an idiot to take the advice of myself and others who have more years skiing than some of you have been alive to simply "buy an economical ($250 boot), well fitting boot and enjoy himself".  If he does (eventually) move to an area where he would ski more than 10 days an entire season or should he re-locate and become a ski instructor then sure, spend the $1K on a boot that can be essentially "lived in" but don't come on here saying that he HAS to spend a grand.  You are simply "scaring the horses" rather than doing any good what-so-ever for the original poster.


Edited by ndabunka - 8/1/14 at 4:18am
post #23 of 34

Boots. My first pair were from a local store and were very oversized, and way to soft of a flex.  And yes this place had a "certified" bootfitter. I used them one season then went to Mike Tambling at Southern Ski in Columbia, SC. (Mike posts here in the bootfitters section.)

 

My other observation is that if you havent bought your snowshoe pass yet, i wouldnt and would spend a little more to go out west a few times. You could probably fly to Denver, stay in Frisco and ski Copper and Loveland for what it costs to drive from P_Cola to Snowshoe. And i KNOW you can get a cheaper room, than what it costs to stay at Snowshoe.

post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 

Wow.  Lots of good advice to take to heart.

 

We are actually flying to Denver in December.  But I think we're getting the Intrawest pass instead of the full Snowshoe season pass where we can ski 6 days at any Intrawest resort.

 

So might I wait until I get to Denver or the way up to Snowshoe to look at boots?  I'll also be in Las Vegas on business in September, I wonder if there's a place there? 

 

Originally I was thinking of buying online, but I guess that's a bad idea for boots.  What about skis?

 

And kind of off topic...how many pairs of wool socks should I wear with the boots?  I've usually worn a liner and wool sock over that because that's what I'm used to when hiking the Appalachian trail.

post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

Wow.  Lots of good advice to take to heart.

 

We are actually flying to Denver in December.  But I think we're getting the Intrawest pass instead of the full Snowshoe season pass where we can ski 6 days at any Intrawest resort.

 

So might I wait until I get to Denver or the way up to Snowshoe to look at boots?  I'll also be in Las Vegas on business in September, I wonder if there's a place there? 

 

Originally I was thinking of buying online, but I guess that's a bad idea for boots.  What about skis?

 

And kind of off topic...how many pairs of wool socks should I wear with the boots?  I've usually worn a liner and wool sock over that because that's what I'm used to when hiking the Appalachian trail.

You only need 1 pair of socks.  The better your boots fit, the thinner the sock you need.  

 

When you get your boots fitted, 99% the shop will also have ski-socks for sale right there.  You might as well just let them sell you a pair of socks to go with your boots.

 

If you want to go shop yourself, Smartwool PhD ski socks are easy to find all over, there are also other popular brands.  Smartwool is pretty affordable when bought at SierraTradingPost; (where you can also pick out any other gear you are missing).

 

If this is your first pair of boots that are not custom fitted and just off the rack; or they are rental boots; you should go with a "medium" thickness sock.  Those that have spent the time and effort getting their boots good well fitted go for at least a light or ultralight thickness socks or even barefoot.  

 

Yes true wool ski socks are a bit pricey compared to 12pair for $5 costco tube socks; but your feet will thank you by not crapping out with blisters on your 2nd day wasting the $100 lift ticket as you quit by lunchtime.

 Also remember that true wool socks don't smell as much, and don't get as gross as cotton.  You can get by on a trip with just 2 pairs just rotating and letting them air out (or handwashing them as needed in the sink).

 

Skis you can buy online, as they do not need to be "fitted" to your body like cinderella.  But you do not necessarily save money by buying online.  Ski shops know about the internet and if it's a competitive shop, they will offer fair competitive prices to you.  I suggest for your 1st pair of skis, just buy everything from 1 place that can help service you and get the whole package setup for you.  

Your first pair of skis are not really important until you improve in skills, so don't get too attached to them.


Edited by raytseng - 8/8/14 at 9:09pm
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

Wow.  Lots of good advice to take to heart.

 

We are actually flying to Denver in December.  But I think we're getting the Intrawest pass instead of the full Snowshoe season pass where we can ski 6 days at any Intrawest resort.

 

So might I wait until I get to Denver or the way up to Snowshoe to look at boots?  I'll also be in Las Vegas on business in September, I wonder if there's a place there? 

 

Originally I was thinking of buying online, but I guess that's a bad idea for boots.  What about skis?

 

And kind of off topic...how many pairs of wool socks should I wear with the boots?  I've usually worn a liner and wool sock over that because that's what I'm used to when hiking the Appalachian trail.

How long will you be in Denver?  Certainly several good boot fitters around there.  Can't say that I've read about any boot fitters in Las Vegas.  In general, if you can ski on new boots for at least a few days while close to the ski shop where you buy them, that's a better idea.  If you are likely to get back to Denver in future years for skiing, that's another reason to go ahead and buy boots there.

 

Try a directed Google search on "boot fitter denver: epicski" to find relevant threads.

 

Check out this EpicSki Article about ski socks:

http://www.epicski.com/a/your-ski-socks-do-make-a-difference

post #27 of 34
I don't understand why you would tell someone to buy medium weight socks to use while buying new boots. Buy boots that fit. Why get a bigger boot because you tried them on with thicker socks? At least if you have thin socks on when you're buying the boot, you'll have the option of switching to thicker socks two years from now when they are packed out. Makes no sense to me to buy a boot using anything other than thin socks.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

Wow.  Lots of good advice to take to heart.

 

We are actually flying to Denver in December.  But I think we're getting the Intrawest pass instead of the full Snowshoe season pass where we can ski 6 days at any Intrawest resort.

 

So might I wait until I get to Denver or the way up to Snowshoe to look at boots?  I'll also be in Las Vegas on business in September, I wonder if there's a place there? 

 

Originally I was thinking of buying online, but I guess that's a bad idea for boots.  What about skis?

 

And kind of off topic...how many pairs of wool socks should I wear with the boots?  I've usually worn a liner and wool sock over that because that's what I'm used to when hiking the Appalachian trail.

Snowshoe is fun but it's not nearly the mecca that Denver is for equipment so I'd recommend you stop in at some of the ski shops there.  Rent skis from a location on a resort (like copper mountain) so that you can trade one pair in during the day for another, etc.

 

On the sock front... I have always used a single, relatively thin merino sock with no padding what-so-ever but I also have extremely "normal" feet so never have had any real boot issues.

post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Is it true that wearing two pairs of socks will NOT keep my feet warmer on cold days?

post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
 

Thanks.  Is it true that wearing two pairs of socks will NOT keep my feet warmer on cold days?

What has kept my feet warmer is wearing thinner socks with better fitting boots.  When I had my current boots for a couple seasons, I replaced the stock liner with Intuition liners.  Note that the fit was good when I bought them from my boot fitter in NC.  Intuition liners are heat molded to your feet, meaning when you are standing in the boots.  The way the process works means I ended up with a bit more room for my toes.  Just enough for better circulation, so my feet are noticeably warmer.  Doesn't make that much difference in the southeast, but sure can tell when the temps are below 20 degrees all day long.

 

If you can fit two pairs of socks in ski boots, they are too big.

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