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Bootfitter recommendations for North Lake Tahoe

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I am shopping for my very first pair of ski boots!!!  I'm going to be in Truckee for a very brief trip from approximately April 2-5.

 

Can you guys recommend reputable bootfitters/shops in the area? Jim Fowler at Start Haus was recommended by members I met at the Gathering, but unfortunately he will be on vacation when I'm there.  I will probably still go to Start Haus, but I'm looking for other options as I'm concerned that inventory will be low since it's the end of the season. I like to shop around and know that I have tried all possible options before buying. I do not plan on going any further than Tahoe City.

 

Many Thanks,

 

Kara

post #2 of 20

Start Haus has the best fitters on the north shore but I don't think Jim has taken new clients in a long time. The worst fitter there is probably better than the best fitter elsewhere. If you can't find the right boot there then Granite Chief is close by and a good bet. This time of year inventories are sometimes an issue but a good fitter won't put you in something that won't work.

post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasuncion View Post

Hi All,

I am shopping for my very first pair of ski boots!!!  I'm going to be in Truckee for a very brief trip from approximately April 2-5.

Can you guys recommend reputable bootfitters/shops in the area? Jim Fowler at Start Haus was recommended by members I met at the Gathering, but unfortunately he will be on vacation when I'm there.  I will probably still go to Start Haus, but I'm looking for other options as I'm concerned that inventory will be low since it's the end of the season. I like to shop around and know that I have tried all possible options before buying. I do not plan on going any further than Tahoe City.

Many Thanks,

Kara

Kara did Jim recommend you another fitter to use at starthaus

Ask him to set you up an appointment with that fitter

They should have the boots your feet need or they will refer you to the one that has the boot your feet needs
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasuncion View Post
 

. I like to shop around and know that I have tried all possible options before buying. I do not plan on going any further than Tahoe City.

 

Many Thanks,

 

Kara

 

One thing to be aware of when "shopping around" is whether you're doing this for price or doing it to find the best boots for you.  

If you are "shopping around" due to a budget, be clear about what that is at the outset, so you aren't wasting everyone's time by "shopping around" to save money.

post #5 of 20

There are two "Jims" at Start Haus, Jim Fowler and Jim Schaffner, both of whom are active on here and world class boot fitters.  Buying ski boots is not like buying skis or clothes.  While price is important to a point, it is secondary to fit.  You don't go to a shop and get fitted for a pair of boots that fit perfectly and then go down the street and buy a pair which don't really fit just because they're $100 cheaper.  That's false economy because you'll need to replace them within a year.  Call Start Haus and ask to set up an appointment with one of the Jims, whoever is there when you are, then go get fitted.  If they don't have anything that fits your feet, they won't try to sell you something that doesn't fit.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the feedback. 

 

I have been in touch with Start Haus and they confirmed that Jim Fowler will be on vacation while I'm there. I didn't ask for an appointment with the other Jim, because it does seem like he's pretty exclusive. 

 

By "shopping around" I simply mean that I like to research and exhaust all possibilities before making a final decision. I am fully aware that boots are an investment. At my level, they are not something I want to spend 1K on though...I just want to make sure that I am not steered into buying anything that doesn't feel right in my gut. I do have a tendency to cave in and just buy something if someone has spent a lot of time with me on the sales floor, out of guilt....So it's reassuring to know that you guys vouch for everyone at Start Haus and don't think they would sell me anything unless it was right.

 

Have a good night all,

 

Kara

post #7 of 20

Yea, it's not necessary that you need to spend $1000 on boots.  

 

Just saying that if the money is going to be a factor, just be self-aware of your budget and be up front about bringing it up as a topic of your conversation at the beginning of your meeting.

The ski shop isn't a "if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it" hoity toity place; they won't think less of you for talking about money.  They'll say at price X, this will work, and at price Y this will work better.

At worse if you throw out something really low like $200, they will say sorry we don't have anything at that price.  

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasuncion View Post

it's reassuring to know that you guys vouch for everyone at Start Haus and don't think they would sell me anything unless it was right.

My comments only applied to the two Jims, I know nothing about anyone else at Start Haus.
post #9 of 20
If you can make it towards Reno Bud Heishman is at Snowind Sports. Very happy with his service and he s well known around here.
post #10 of 20

Jason, Doug, James, Krystal.......all good fitters at Start Haus.  Call for an appointment

Bud Heishman at Snow Wind Sports is good.  Call for an appointment

If you are going to Northstar, stop into True North and see me.  As in most shops, inventory is low at our store but I won't put you in a boot that's not right.  

Granted, I'm no Jim Shaffner, but then...Jim Shaffner is no Trekchick. :D 

post #11 of 20
If Start Haus doesn't have a boot for you, see Gunner at Granite Chief.
post #12 of 20

Olympic Boot works at Squaw Valley fitted my boots and my wife's boots and we are both very happy. It took a couple visits for me (my feet are weird) but they were very competent (and nice).

 

A friend who is incredibly picky got her boots fitted at Start Haus and she seems pretty happy.

 

Lots of good choices but beware, the best boots might be out of stock this time of year.

 

Eric

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I will be going to Start Haus first on April 2....If they don't have anything available, to Granite Chief it is!

 

Kara

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi.

 

I never updated this with the results of my mission. I ended up going to Start Haus as planned and had a boot fitting with Jason. He was very friendly, approachable, muscular, and obviously highly skilled in his craft. All the staff there were warm and seemed to genuinely love the Truckee/Tahoe area. I was even offered cookies.

 

Despite me not being an established skier of any sort, with no lingo to throw around, Jason still worked with me at length to find the best fit for my unusually low volume feet. Just wanted to point this out, because at other shops, I have felt a bit of elitism amongst ski/snowboard shop employees, where they don't seem to want to spend much time with you if you're just another recreational intermediate. 

 

Jason and Start Haus epitomize quality customer service tailored to each individual that walks through their doors.  Long story short, I would recommend them whole heartedly. 

 

Due to my very low volume feet and my desire for a boot not too soft - he put me in a LANGE RS 110, S.C., along with custom footbeds.

I noted to him my ice hockey skating experience and he felt that was even more reason to put me into these snug stiff race boots. I did not have to try any other boots on.

 

I have never felt such a precise fit on my feet, ever. He did also make a punch where I have a weird bone protrusion.

 

At the end of the session, he measured for any irregularities between my legs. Apparently I am 3.5 degrees off on my right side and 1 degree on my left side.  It was highly advised that I get these "canting" issues addressed eventually. Jason made sure to let me know that canting work would be an additional $200. I held off on this until I was later convinced the next day, by ski partner @NearNyquist, that this was a huge issue that should be addressed immediately.....I am a sucker for gear, so I went ahead with it.

 

We went in later to get the canting adjustments by Mike.

 

I have used the boots only 4 days in total - 2 in Alpine Meadows and 2 in Alta. They really have changed my experience of skiing.  The only modifications I have made so far are to bring the top 2 buckles in more, as my feet would start to feel loose by EOD. 

 

 

And here are my very first Ski boots!!!! (beauties):

 

The neon yellow bits are the  sole protectors.

 

BIG THANKS TO JASON at the Start Haus. These are my babies now!

 

 

k

post #15 of 20

That is the way all boot fitting experiences should be.

post #16 of 20
Hi

Nice boots, do you know the brand of those sole protectors? They look nice

Recently I've only seen skitrax and cattracks for that

Cheers
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceCookie View Post

Hi

Nice boots, do you know the brand of those sole protectors? They look nice

Recently I've only seen skitrax and cattracks for that

Cheers

 

ski skootys

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SkiSkootys/169801053073926

 

If you look around you might still find some of a product that preceded them, the Walk EZ Rev.

Here is the junior version:
http://www.race-werks.com/walk-ez-mini-revs/


Edited by cantunamunch - 4/14/15 at 4:40am
post #18 of 20
I had a race boot fitting session with Jason at start haus about two weeks ago. Great experience.

First he kinda looked at my current boot and footbed, and started talking about possible issues I might have. He nailed most of them without me having to tell him! Quite amazing and big confidence builder for me in trusting his skill.

Then he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him aspiring masters racer looking for my first plug race boot. He made a great custom footbed for me that help with power transmission. It was awesome.

After that, I tried on most race boots they have in stock. I was VERY happy that I had the opportunity to try on race boots from almost every manufacturer that makes them. On paper the specs look similar, but they feel different. I found one that I loved and that was it.

Apparently my feet were easy to fit so the boots worked out of the box. But if modifications were needed, I had complete confidence in Jason's ability.

Later in the week I skied with Pat Medau who is a senior ski instructor and boot fitter at Heavenly. He evaluated my skiing and made a very small modification to my boot on the mountain that vastly improved my stance. It was an awesome experience!
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

ski skootys

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SkiSkootys/169801053073926

 

If you look around you might still find some of a product that preceded them, the Walk EZ Rev.

Here is the junior version:
http://www.race-werks.com/walk-ez-mini-revs/

 

Thanks, it does look very cool, and it has rocker!

 

Whe my flat (Volkl RTM style) cattracks give up, I will look to replace them with this one.

post #20 of 20

It sounds like kas got a great pair of boot that fit him JUST RIGHT....so important, but--

 

Buy boots in September.  The September sales have very good prices because the shops want to get that cash flow started, and they have both the left overs from the previous year plus the new stock.  You're more likely to get the right boot for you rather than just a boot they needed to get off their shelf.  kas was in a very scrupulous shop with highly trained staff.  That's rare, unfortunately.

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