I live in San Diego where, obviously, there is a shortage of good boot fitters. I am wondering what to expect if I fly to say ... NoCal (Reno, Truckee, Tahoe) or Utah or Colorado to purchase boots with a professional boot fitting. What kind of fit guarantee is reasonable? What is the normal expectation for fitting "tweaks?" I ski about 30-40 days a year, but most of it is local. I am a teacher so my vacation time is limited and that makes it tough to travel multiple times a year for ski trips/bootfitting. What is a reasonable expectation on my part under those circumstances?
A general and, hopefully, not unreasonable question.
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the success of a boot fitting relies on a couple of things
1 the boot fitter, their skills in shell selection and problem solving
2 your feedback... all to often the biggest problems i see are when the client isn't able to communicate what the problem is, "it hurts" isn't a response that will get you much of a fix, so being aware of your feet and what is happening is very important
now the tough love bit
it is not the boot fitters fault that you live where you live, so i wouldn't be hoping that you can buy a pair of boots, ski then and then just return them if you don't like the fit and don't have the vacation time left to visit the boot fitter. you are part of this process as well.
unless there is something bad going on with your feet then most good fitters should be able to sort you out within a few visits, again this depends on your feedback, none of us have a crystal ball (or if someone does they are't telling anyone where they got it ;) ) so if your plan is to do as you say and travel, select your fitter carefully, make sure you are in the area for at least a few days (it will take that long fro the liners to settle down) and work with the fitter
remember the fit of a boot can be affected by many external things over which a fitter has no control
your skiing technique
all of those things and more can destroy what would normally be a great boot fit
Thank you for your reply. It's as I thought. I am in a boot that is currently too big. The only SoCal boot fitter put me in this boot and I have returned 3 times. So far all he has done is add material around the heel and under the footbed to take up space. The boot is still too big.
Can I ask one more question? If i purchase a boot that is one size smaller, will my custom footbed fit into that boot or will I need to start that process over as well?
Thank you, Lou. I was surprised when my boot fitter suggested adding material and it did work for a short while. I am going back again this Thursday. I have been back 3X with the same issue. I am hoping that he will put me in a smaller boot. If not, then I have to start over. That's why I asked the general question above. I would be willing to travel to a good boot fitter, but I just don't see how that would be beneficial because of the difficulty of returning for various tweaks. Sigh. Hopefully, I will figure it out.
The idea that several tweaks may be necessary is correct. The idea that several will be necessary is incorrect. It will depend on how good your fitter is, your specific feet and problems and finally the boots they have available to resolve them. If you go to anyone on this list and many others it is unlikely you won't leave a much happier fellow than you are now after only one fitting.