or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Is it possible to measure the last width of a ski boot?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is it possible to measure the last width of a ski boot?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My current boots fit perfectly, but will soon need to be replaced.  They're older Rossi Course KX plug boots, made about 1998, from the Rossi race dept. (says "Made in Italy" on the bottom, along with a serial no.).  As a starting point for looking at new boots, I thought it might be nice to know the last width of my current boots.  I've no idea what that is, so I'm wondering if it's possible to measure it and, if so, how?  Of course, this info. wouldn't be useful unless last widths (unlike, say, flexes) were standardized across different brands.  Given the way people talk about them, I get the impression they are -- is that correct?   And yes, to forestall the usual, I know that fit is about far more than last width.  Nevertheless, I am curious.

 

Also, more broadly, what is the definition of last width?  Is it the internal width at its widest point, or something else?


Edited by chemist - 12/27/14 at 8:22pm
post #2 of 8

this might help?


I would GUESS that your boots are 98mm

post #3 of 8

I agree with Mtnlion, but really this only matters if you will be purchasing online without the benefit of trying on, which is absolutely never recommended.  

 

Remove the liner from your boot and put your foot into the shell with the heel against the rear.  Pivot your forefoot side to side and get the feel of the space.  When purchasing your new boots check for the same space if you want to match last.  But since boot fit is more than just last width I'd still recommend working with someone knowledgeable.

 

Lou

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mntlion and Lou, all reasonable replies.  In particular, doing a shell fit where one checks not just the space behind the heel, but also the forefoot width, makes a lot of sense.   Also, I will be working with a top bootfitter -- I'm just trying to get some preliminary beta on my own.  

 

But my three questions remain unanswered:

 

1) What is the precise definition of last width?

2) Is there a way to measure it myself?

3) Is this standardized across brands, such that if, say someone knows he fits in an x mm in one brand, then there's no point in even looking at an (x + 5) mm in another?

 

Thanks!

post #5 of 8

Last width has a definition.  It is the width of the widest part of the inside of the boot forefoot in the design size.  Usually for men that is a 26 or 27 Mondo.  But boots are much more than the last width although it is the correct starting point I'd say. 

 

Lou

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

OK, now that I understand what it is I can see it would be tricky to measure -- unless I knew the thickness of the plastic at that point (in which case I could measure the outside and subtract), I'd need to cut the boot open!  And, even then, I'd need to translate from my 24 shell to the 26 or 27 design size.

 

So my only remaining questions are these:  

 

1) Is this measurement well-standardized across manufacturers?  I.e., do they all generally measure it/report it correctly?

 

2) If yes to the above, once you know a customer's last width, can you rule out other boots based on this (at least ones that are wider -- I know narrower ones can be stretched)?  And if yes, what's your rule of thumb -- i.e., how many extra mm before it's not worth ordering a model for try-on?  For example, if you had a customer that fits into a 95 mm, would you say another manufacturer's 98 would be worth trying, but not a 100?  Or would you pretty much stick to 95?


Edited by chemist - 12/29/14 at 8:03pm
post #7 of 8

last width is the least important factor when shopping for a ski boot. the number that the manufacture puts on the box is a target for fit and marketing of the product.

 

unfortunately for boot fitters and skiers there is not a standardized system that exists to solve your line of questioning. actually it is only unfortunate for you chemist, and for really good boot fitters it is the reason why we continue to flourish in our business.

 

so the dirty secret is that you possess the magic to unlock what we all know. your foot!

 

your foot placed in any boot on the market is the magic bullet which will determine last width, length, instep height and volume.

 

to have the best chance of making this happen it is very helpful to find a spirit guide ( an accomplished boot fitter, that has many brands and models to chose from, that has had the ability to try on and ski on each model that they have in their store)

 

what are the pitfalls?

 

on this forum, most of the boot fitters work in shops that only stock so many brands, and so many models, having to make choices as to which ones will sell the best. because of this you will get recommendations that are limited by that conundrum.

 

secondly if your boot fitters are not involved in some form of product testing, the feedback from boot fitters will be limited because they have not skied on every model from every brand that they are recommending to you. how the boot fits while skiing is a stronger form of knowledge than how the boot feels in dry test at the shop. ( also should have a light bulb go off for you that good fitting performance boots like you had, will need to be occasionally adjusted to keep the fit good and the performance up)

 

now this is the tricky part. you are the difference between having success in your boot choice, and the communication with your boot fitter to make sure that your goals are accomplished. to make it happen you need to immediately walk away from your computer and find that skilled spirit guide that i mentioned above. 

 

if at this point you are still reading and or searching the site "crapthaticangetforcheapskideals.com".....forget about it!  flip a coin, order on line, and then get frustrated because all of the wonderful advice you gleaned from the boot guys and all the helpful bears with feet, legs, goals, and skiing style that look nothing like yours chime in on the best boots for you.:rolleyes 

 

jim

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Jim, for taking the time to write that detailed post. [And BTW, I know you're one of the country's top experts.]  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

now this is the tricky part. you are the difference between having success in your boot choice, and the communication with your boot fitter to make sure that your goals are accomplished. to make it happen you need to immediately walk away from your computer and find that skilled spirit guide that i mentioned above. 

 You might have missed this -- this isn't my first rodeo;):

Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post

I will be working with a top bootfitter -- I'm just trying to get some preliminary beta on my own.  

 

Except for the hand-me-downs I got at age 11 from my cousin, every one of the boots I've owned in my 45 years of skiing has been custom-fit by a top bootfitter, as will be this upcoming pair. I've already started to develop a relationship with him.  Like you, he's one of the country's top experts, and was recommended by my last bootfitter, who is now on the other side of the country from me.  However, in working with bootfitters (or any product expert), I like to first be as educated as possible about the technology (it facilitates the communication you mention), and last width, as a quantitative measure,  is something wasn't discussed when I got my last pair in '98, so I'm here updating my knowledge. [I've never before kept a pair that long, but these fit just so damn perfectly and ski so well.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
 

what are the pitfalls?

 

on this forum, most of the boot fitters work in shops that only stock so many brands, and so many models, having to make choices as to which ones will sell the best. because of this you will get recommendations that are limited by that conundrum.

 

 

Yes.  To anyone buying boots, I'd recommend going to a shop as early in the season as possible to maximize selection.  I did this for my last pair.  In addition, my previous bootfitter (the fellow now on the other side of the country) was absolutely superb (and is also recognized as one of the industry's top experts). Here's what he did to make that conundrum go away:  He had, in stock, race boots from four of the seven brands he carried, in my size.  But just so we could be comprehensive about it, he ordered the remaining three for try-on (he said he could easily send them back to the manufacturers).  So I got to try the race models from seven different brands, and pick the one that worked the best.  This, I'm sure, is highly unusual, but it's the benefit of having a long-standing relationship with a single bootfitter (I bought four pairs from him over a ten-year period, as well as several pairs of skis).  The result was, for the first time in my life, a boot that was not merely acceptably comfortable, but in fact nearly perfectly comfortable (my feet are hard to fit).  [They didn't even need a foam liner -- the thin flow race stock liner worked perfectly, just had to add a Conformable foam tongue.] And we didn't just optimize for fit, we optimized for stance.  He'd recently acquired a TekScan device -- you put the boots on (with your orthotics), and stand on a pressure grid in a skiing stance. The TekScan then gives a false-color readout of the pressure distribution under the soles, and you look for the boot in which you're most evenly balanced both laterally and fore-aft.  The Rossi, fortuitously, not only fit the best, but was the only one that gave me a dialed-in stance without needing any adjustment other than a reduction in the boot board zeppa.  Subsequent video analysis of my skiing confirmed this.


Edited by chemist - 12/30/14 at 12:51pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ask the Boot Guys
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Is it possible to measure the last width of a ski boot?