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Best High-end boot for Intermediate skier? Would love thoughts

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Started skiing 5 years ago and now I've become addicted to skiing, but only ski 10-15 days a year. Just joined the board a couple days ago. You all seem very connected to info and I would love advice, realizing it's subjective and personal preference, but also knowing I have zero personal insight.

I'm an intermediate skier and probably always will be because I don't live near mountains. Comfort and warmth are a little higher priority to me than performance, but I want the best I can get with as little sacrifice of the other. Speed is not my goal currently.  I stick to Blues or easy Blacks, but still improving and moving higher on the hill.  I'm 6'2, 200 lbs., 38 years old (male).  I ski Colorado each year and sometimes get to go to Banff, which is why somewhat warm boots are appealing. I've always rented, but ready to purchase boots. I wear size 29 or 29.5 and my foot is medium width, slightly high arch.  For now, I'd like to assume cost is no object and see what suggestions, brands, stiffness you'd recommend to an intermediate. I'm guessing I'd like to consider 2016-2017 products since I don't see myself making this purchase again for a very long time.

I'll be in Denver / Breckenridge in January and hope to know what I want and anticipate a custom fitting and purchase the day I arrive. I assume that boots aren't something you'd want to buy directly online.

 

Thank you for your suggestions and any advice you can offer!

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodstamp Skier View Post
 

Started skiing 5 years ago and now I've become addicted to skiing, but only ski 10-15 days a year. Just joined the board a couple days ago. You all seem very connected to info and I would love advice, realizing it's subjective and personal preference, but also knowing I have zero personal insight.

I'm an intermediate skier and probably always will be because I don't live near mountains. Comfort and warmth are a little higher priority to me than performance, but I want the best I can get with as little sacrifice of the other. Speed is not my goal currently.  I stick to Blues or easy Blacks, but still improving and moving higher on the hill.  I'm 6'2, 200 lbs., 38 years old (male).  I ski Colorado each year and sometimes get to go to Banff, which is why somewhat warm boots are appealing. I've always rented, but ready to purchase boots. I wear size 29 or 29.5 and my foot is medium width, slightly high arch.  For now, I'd like to assume cost is no object and see what suggestions, brands, stiffness you'd recommend to an intermediate. I'm guessing I'd like to consider 2016-2017 products since I don't see myself making this purchase again for a very long time.

I'll be in Denver / Breckenridge in January and hope to know what I want and anticipate a custom fitting and purchase the day I arrive. I assume that boots aren't something you'd want to buy directly online.

 

Thank you for your suggestions and any advice you can offer!


Welcome to EpicSki!  You are correct, you do not want to buy boots online.  What you want is to find a good boot fitter, learn a bit about what boot fitters do, and stop worrying about advice for brands and models.  Have you read the EpicSki Articles about buying gear?

 

Here's some ideas about boot fitters to consider in Colorado.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/143826/top-bootfitter-s-in-colorado

 

As long as you buy new boots from a boot fitter, doesn't really matter if the boots are the current model year or "new old stock" from a previous season.  Boots that fit well are warmer than boots that don't fit.

post #3 of 8

Marznc has it pretty much covered.  You need to shop for a good boot fitter, and then go with his/her advice.  You might find the ideal boot for you is smaller than you were renting, and you may well need to make a couple of return visits to the boot fitter for custom punches, stretches or grinds to make those boots fit.  It is well worth every penny.  Don't waste good money on expensive ski days in poorly fitted boots; get the right boots and the right fitting, including custom foamed liners and custom footbeds IF they are recommended for your feet by your boot fitter.

post #4 of 8

The best boot is one that fits. Take the advice above and get to a boofitter.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Much appreciated! I'll do some homework on Breckenridge area bootfitters since that is where I'll be able to test and adjust the fitting. I have read some of the articles on here, but there is a lot to take-in and learn and it's not common lingo here in Arkansas.

Thank you!

post #6 of 8

Pay attention to what everyone else is saying.  Buying a boot is not like buying anything else.  You don't do research first about the products available, then with that knowledge in hand choose the "best" one that fits into your budget.

 

That's because no description of the boot that you will find by researching will tell you the thing that determines what boot you should buy.  That factor, the first and most important factor that matters, is how closely the plastic shell of the boot matches the anatomical shape of your foot.  The length of your foot is only the start.  How tall the foot gets over the arch matters a big deal.  How narrow your heel is, how narrow your lower leg just above your ankle bones is, and how narrow the actual ankle bone area matters a whole lot.  How wide the ball of your foot is, and how wide the mid-foot is also matters another whole lot.  Boots are only sized by length.  As a new buyer, you won't be able to tell from trying on a boot whether it fits.  90% (maybe; this number gets bandied about) of recreational skiers out there are in boots too big.  The bigness affects their ability to tip, turn, and balance on the skis.  In other words, boot fit determines the boot's performance for you.  

 

A very good bootfitter (not a shop boot seller) will know the stock in the shop and will, from experience, after measuring your feet, bring out several boots for you to try on.  The boot you buy will be the one that the bootfitter thinks fits best.  If there's not much difference in fit among those, then you get to pick between them.  Then and only then do you have a good reason to make a choice from preference.  

 

Now this description I just typed assumes that you can find such a bootfitter.  They are rare.  But that's the ideal, and despite how difficult it is to find a good bootfitter, it's still what you need. 


Cost:  when you buy a boot from a bootfitter, much of the custom-fitting work is free.  Or another way of looking at it is that you already paid for that work when you paid for the boots.

 

Read these:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

post #3;  http://www.epicski.com/t/147746/beginner-boot-help-how-much-to-invest-in-first-purchase#post_2021127

post #4:  http://www.epicski.com/t/147746/beginner-boot-help-how-much-to-invest-in-first-purchase#post_2021190

post#49:  http://www.epicski.com/t/147509/boot-buying-do-i-need-a-custom-fitting/30#post_2021189

post #7 of 8

As far as high end--while there are some luxury brands out there, generally speaking the major manufacturers' boots go up in price as they go up in stiffness. They also tend to get narrower, although more manufacturers are starting to make boots at the same price/stiffness level in a couple of widths. Width isn't everything. Instep height, ankle and heel width, calf diameter also factor into what boot will fit best. A boot that is too tight in one or two places can be made larger. A boot that is too large will never fit. The liners will also pack out with use so a boot that is snuggly comfortable in the shop can be too loose in 5 days. The most common cause of cold foot is a boot that is too large that forces the wearer to overtighten the buckles.  As a big guy you certainly don't want to be in a soft boot. How stiff depends. A stiff boot can be softened, a soft boot can't be stiffened. Upper end boots usually have screws along the spine that can be removed to soften the flex, although for a permanent solution for softening boots a fitter will cut the shell--some boots have lines to show where to cut but any boot can be softened. For warmth, there are a few makers who come with Intuition liners as stock--those are probably the warmest boots out there, but only if they fit you. None of this is intended for DIY, just to help you understand.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodstamp Skier View Post
 

Much appreciated! I'll do some homework on Breckenridge area bootfitters since that is where I'll be able to test and adjust the fitting. I have read some of the articles on here, but there is a lot to take-in and learn and it's not common lingo here in Arkansas.

Thank you!


Ah, that's why you have to travel to ski.  At least I have a few small hills within a half-day drive from my house in central NC.  There are also videos on YouTube about buying boots that can give you an idea of what to expect.  In any case, make sure you make an appointment well in advance and allow 2-3 hours for the process.  The best boot fitters keep pretty busy during the ski season.

 

In case you missed them, here are a couple recent threads related to buying a first pair of boots.  Note that the replies to the thread in Ask The Boot Guys are only from experienced professional boot fitters because that's how that section works.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/147746/beginner-boot-help-how-much-to-invest-in-first-purchase

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/147737/rent-vs-old-equipment

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