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I am open to input, and could really use some help

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I need help getting pointed in the right direction. 

 

My background detail:

I am an advanced expert level skier on natural treed or head wall steep types of terrain, and a struggling intermediate on ice, or boilerplate hardpack. I am returning to alpine skiing from a 5 year stint on telemark, 3 of which exclusively vintage leather boots with no plastic or buckles- 3 pins, sometimes cables.

 

I have many 100 day ski bum seasons at western resorts such as snowbird, jackson, and abasin in the past.

 

I have rather wide feet and high arches, enough so street shoe fit and ski boots have always been a real challenge.

 

I am in used head rental boots right now, I bought them for the adjustable wide last.. 100 flex number on the side. 3 finger shell fit, liners with some years of packing out. I have removed the spoilers, and mounted them on the inner side of the cuff for desperate canting. I have installed booster straps I use them outside the cuff. I hand cut my own custom foot beds, to reduce volume. 

 

Now it is very clear I have committed every possible sin. Not suprisingly, I ski like crap in this setup. 

 

Some things I have noticed:

 

I have unpleasant pressure on the instep directly under the second buckle. I frequently leave both lower buckles completely undone, and still long chair rides can induce some ache.

 

I was looking at my bindings today, some older look brand, and the ramp angle is so extreme it cannot be below 5 degrees.

 

I removed the spoilers because the boots put me in such an extreme forward lean I could barely stand up even before stepping into the ramped bindings. I constantly jam my toes into the front of the boots. even while waiting in line for the tram, not skiing. If I am standing still on my skis, I am jamming my toes. After a long period of evaluation I have determined I am in a constant state of attempting to stand upright, and my leg is blocked by the rear of the boot, levering my foot forward. Also, my heels come up an inch routinely while skiing.

 

I had high hopes for the booster straps when I installed them, but after a week of the worst skiing of my life I noticed on a traverse as I absorbed a bump, I was violently thrown into the back seat. After this I started paying attention, and while riding the conveyor belt through the tunnel at snowbird I tried some simple up down leg extensions and it became very clear my knees were not moving forward at all. In fact, My shins were never touching the cuff. I could try put all my weight into the shin of the boot, but no forward flex. I was being forced into the back seat every time I flexed my knees. Placing the strap on the front of the cuff rather than inside the cuff dramatically fixed the problem To this day I am still confused how this fixed the situation.

 

From day one I have abhored the fact that the boot cuffs seem not to move at all. even completely undone, with no liner, there is almost no movement at all in the cuff. The flex is super soft though. rather than pivot the cuff, I just crush the lower  boot when I flex forward. I swear I can make the buckles touch just flexing the boot in the lift line unless I buckle super tight and strap tight. 

 

If I buckle up tight, and strap down, I can carve (my idea of carve...), and have control on groomed slopes. the moment I enter soft snow it is havoc. I need movement to operate in 3 dimensional snow. I loosen everything, and suddenly it all works. of course with the loose boots on hardpack, its just mahem and slop, no real edging. 

 

My skis are intermediate K2 apache 190s at 98 mm width, core shot up, missing an inch of edge on one ski, no wax, 

 

 

Now my specific questions for the Boot Guys:

 

1. I really want to stand upright, and ski upright. forward lean and ramp angle is really annoying me right now. Is this a good direction or am I being reactionary to a bad setup?

 

2. I honestly want range of motion, but with absorbant flex in my cuff. I need freedom but I need support. Should I just accept high performance requires foot immobilization and learn to ski in boots that feel like cement blocks?

 

3. I want a normal lasted boot punched out for my duck feet. Wide last boots are rare and often low performance models, and I think my ankle is narrow compared to my forefoot, Am I thinking in the right direction here? I think need like 104mm at the wide point. I also need volume for high arch.

 

4. I am planning to to take the advice of the boot fitter, however I had a negative experience with a custom surfboard primarily from not being directly involved in the process enough. Is it gonna cause problems if I want comprehensive boot fitting rather than "Just do what works best, I will watch"?

 

5. related to question 4, Am I so overly biased and far off from the right line of thinking I should just go to the bootfitter, tell them "do what ever it takes" and then spend the next season taking as many PSIA lessons as I can? 

 

I sincerely appreciate any help. Thank you.

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

After researching boot fit for quite some time now, I am shocked and dismayed at the endless conflicting information. Through my own self evaluation I have concluded the best course of action I can come up with on my own is to seek the most neutral, centered, and adjustable boot with a comprehensive custom fit from a well known and established fitter. Couple this with standard bindings either 0 degree ramp out of the box or shimmed to that state, and a middle of the road all purpose ski, not to long, or short, or straight or cut or stiff or soft etc...throw in adjustable length poles, and baggy comfortable weatherproof clothes, and I think its a good recipe for long days of comfortable skiing during hopefully many future ski seasons. After checking out bootfitters from the forum I see in Salt Lake there is an outfit that does all custom boots (Dale Boot) that address many factors of alignment. Interestingly the base model boot also appears to have an upright adjustable stance, with adjustable range of motion and some flex adjustment as well. Seems like a good match, especially based on my total inability to make use of a ground or punched race plug with 130+ flex, and zero interest in high speed carving on ice or hardpack skiing that can be avoided . Salt lake is a good location as well. With this setup, and some lessons on developing a more standard skiing technique and maybe I am headed the right direction. I am interested in feedback that the boot guys may give.

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by nematon785 View Post
 

After researching boot fit for quite some time now, I am shocked and dismayed at the endless conflicting information. Through my own self evaluation I have concluded the best course of action I can come up with on my own is to seek the most neutral, centered, and adjustable boot with a comprehensive custom fit from a well known and established fitter. Couple this with standard bindings either 0 degree ramp out of the box or shimmed to that state, and a middle of the road all purpose ski, not to long, or short, or straight or cut or stiff or soft etc...throw in adjustable length poles, and baggy comfortable weatherproof clothes, and I think its a good recipe for long days of comfortable skiing during hopefully many future ski seasons. After checking out bootfitters from the forum I see in Salt Lake there is an outfit that does all custom boots (Dale Boot) that address many factors of alignment. Interestingly the base model boot also appears to have an upright adjustable stance, with adjustable range of motion and some flex adjustment as well. Seems like a good match, especially based on my total inability to make use of a ground or punched race plug with 130+ flex, and zero interest in high speed carving on ice or hardpack skiing that can be avoided . Salt lake is a good location as well. With this setup, and some lessons on developing a more standard skiing technique and maybe I am headed the right direction. I am interested in feedback that the boot guys may give.

Is there a question in here somewhere?:)  no offence intended.

 

mike

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi mike,

 

yes, there are 4 questions for the boot guys in my first post.

 

they are general questions, and I realize we like specific questions here,  but  like math, i need to know basic stuff and work in broad strokes before I can get into details

 

My second post is a basic layout of my current plan to correct my boot fitting issues, If my plan is missing major steps, or is just short sighted please help me out. Thanks!

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by nematon785 View Post
 

I need help getting pointed in the right direction. 

 

My background detail:

I am an advanced expert level skier on natural treed or head wall steep types of terrain, and a struggling intermediate on ice, or boilerplate hardpack. I am returning to alpine skiing from a 5 year stint on telemark, 3 of which exclusively vintage leather boots with no plastic or buckles- 3 pins, sometimes cables.

 

I have many 100 day ski bum seasons at western resorts such as snowbird, jackson, and abasin in the past.   (mike here---I am envious!!!)

 

I have rather wide feet and high arches, enough so street shoe fit and ski boots have always been a real challenge.

 

I am in used head rental boots right now, I bought them for the adjustable wide last.. 100 flex number on the side.(  3 finger shell fit--???), liners with some years of packing out. I have removed the spoilers, and mounted them on the inner side of the cuff for desperate canting. I have installed booster straps I use them outside the cuff. I hand cut my own custom foot beds, to reduce volume. Do you have training in fabricating foot beds and alignment in human anatomy? ---no offence intended.

 

Now it is very clear I have committed every possible sin. Not suprisingly, I ski like crap in this setup. 

 

Some things I have noticed:

 

I have unpleasant pressure on the instep directly under the second buckle. I frequently leave both lower buckles completely undone, and still long chair rides can induce some ache.

 

I was looking at my bindings today, some older look brand, and the ramp angle is so extreme it cannot be below 5 degrees.

 

From day one I have abhored the fact that the boot cuffs seem not to move at all. even completely undone, with no liner, there is almost no movement at all in the cuff. The flex is super soft though. rather than pivot the cuff, I just crush the lower  boot when I flex forward. I swear I can make the buckles touch just flexing the boot in the lift line unless I buckle super tight and strap tight. ----the flex is super soft but you can't flex the boots?????  are you thinking the boot should be able to pivot on the ankle pins?  Not so--- the boot should compress and and the plastic flex this adds rebound to the boot as you extend and also absorbs shock as you flex while skiing.

 

If I buckle up tight, and strap down, I can carve (my idea of carve...), and have control on groomed slopes. the moment I enter soft snow it is havoc. I need movement to operate in 3 dimensional snow. I loosen everything, and suddenly it all works. of course with the loose boots on hardpack, its just mahem and slop, no real edging. 

 

My skis are intermediate K2 apache 190s at 98 mm width, core shot up, missing an inch of edge on one ski, no wax, ????????

 

 

Now my specific questions for the Boot Guys:

 

1. I really want to stand upright, and ski upright. forward lean and ramp angle is really annoying me right now. Is this a good direction or am I being reactionary to a bad setup?

 

Mikes Question: "What size feet---what size boots? What size calf muscles at the top of the liner---in centimeters please

 

2. I honestly want range of motion, but with absorbant flex in my cuff. I need freedom but I need support. Should I just accept high performance requires foot immobilization and learn to ski in boots that feel like cement blocks?

 

Mikes question: How much do you weigh---how tall?

 

3. I want a normal lasted boot punched out for my duck feet. Wide last boots are rare and often low performance models, and I think my ankle is narrow compared to my forefoot, Am I thinking in the right direction here? I think need like 104mm at the wide point. I also need volume for high arch.

 

I hear you speaking but--- have you had your feet assessed by a qualified boot fitter---are your feet 104mm wide??

 

4. I am planning to to take the advice of the boot fitter, however I had a negative experience with a custom surfboard primarily from not being directly involved in the process enough. Is it gonna cause problems if I want comprehensive boot fitting rather than "Just do what works best, I will watch"?

 

The buckles are generally on there to allow you to get in and then close the shell into it's proper (Generic) shape---the boot can then be modified from there, but should contain your feet and not allow them to move around at all.  Over tightening indicates they don't fit correctly. You should be able to wear them to  lunch (buckled) without discomfort once they are broken in---if not, see the boot fitter and get adjustments.

 

Since you don't mention having been to a boot fitter yet and seem to do all the work on your boot s yourself,-----  I haven't heard of many surgeons working on themselves with much success so far. and they are highly trained specialist:o

 

5. related to question 4, Am I so overly biased and far off from the right line of thinking I should just go to the bootfitter, tell them "do what ever it takes" and then spend the next season taking as many PSIA lessons as I can? 

 

As a rule of thumb, I always seek/take input from all of our customers and try to satisfy their questions.

 

I sincerely appreciate any help. Thank you.

post #6 of 6

You've written a lot and I admit I won't refer back to it all.  But it seems to me you've done a lot of research and found many faults with your old boots so you are assuming dramatic changes are necessary when in fact they fit so poorly it is impossible to tell if anything about their general shape and stance is a problem.

 

I would say in general there is nothing wrong with flat binding delta but it isn't easy to find although it is easy to make if you deal with a good shop.

 

You may certainly find the new fairly upright stance won't work well in all situations but all you can do is experiment.

 

Fit is most important, I won't knock Daleboot but would say the stance they allow should be less important to you than how well they can be made to fit.

 

Lou

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