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What's a good ski boot?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Time to buy new boots... I ski in a Nordica W8, which I'm told is a pretty good mid-grade boot. Mostly, I'm happy with it, but I have had to fight a constant battle with a sore spot on one ankle. This boot was recommended to me because of it's low collar: I have large calves, and need something that won't bind up on it. I'm a fairly large guy -- 230 lbs -- and I ski pretty hard, so I need something fairly tough. It's also very important to me that I look svelte, so I need something slimming (well, maybe it's not that important). I would appreciate any advice anyone would care to offer.
post #2 of 20
In case you ski harder as you pointed out, select a stiffer shell which allows for according uphold.
That said, it is even more important that the boot fits as good as possible to your feet, no matter what the brand is. The harder the shell, the bigger the pain on a non-fitting boot. Don't consider specific brands up front, go to a well selected shop, take a couple of hours and a try them on. Also, be ready for some pain when skiing them first and to consult a boot fitter down the road to fine-tune the fit for the hard shell. Many people (including myself) made/make the mistake to buckle too tight at the beginning when not used to the stiffness, that requires some 'touch'. Better tighten up while skiing. Additionally, when going hard your big toes should just even slightly touch at the front when standing completely upright and not leaning forward, this is about the right length. Anything beyond that doesn't really matter that much, you are just talking about minor differences in technical features.
Looking for a stiff boot, I ended up on Atomic's red racing boots (can't remember the exact type but the shops know) but it took me 4-5 bootfitting adjustments to get rid of all the pain, but it was definitely worth all the effort.

Hope that helps, good luck.
post #3 of 20
Try a Salomon Course. Racing boot with comfort.
post #4 of 20
Find something that fits and go to a good quality shop with qualified and trained fitters.

Ty
post #5 of 20
Don't lose sight of the fact that you may need to use an "aftermarket" liner as opposed to a stock liner.

I ski in the Fischer boot and really like it a great deal. I cannot get comfortable in the stock Fischer liner
post #6 of 20
A 'good' boot is the one that fits you the best. You will need the assistance of a good boot fitter, a good amount of time to devote to trying boots on and the ability to believe in what you feel over what other folks say. Nobody can tell you how a boot feels on your foot.

Having said that - If you have had good luck with Nordica, start there. Tecnica also makes a wider lasted boot that does well for bigger guys (the Rival RX). Remember, any good shop can move buckles to accomodate large calf widths too.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotamagal
A 'good' boot is the one that fits you the best. You will need the assistance of a good boot fitter, a good amount of time to devote to trying boots on and the ability to believe in what you feel over what other folks say. Nobody can tell you how a boot feels on your foot.

Having said that - If you have had good luck with Nordica, start there. Tecnica also makes a wider lasted boot that does well for bigger guys (the Rival RX). Remember, any good shop can move buckles to accomodate large calf widths too.
If Nordica and Tecnica were compared in general, which brand is wider? I've a Nordica but found that the little toe of my right foot was pressed against the wall, the left foot is much better.
post #8 of 20
As brands, both Nordica and Tecnica make different lasts for each family of boots that they make - in Tecnica's case, the Rival last is significantly wider than the Diablo last. In Nordica, the race boots are lasted narrower than the Beast. Best bet is to try them on -- if it's just your little toe getting jammed, a good fitter can grind or punch that spot to give you space..IF the rest of the boot fits properly.
post #9 of 20
Comparable levels of performance..they are all good. It's what fits YOUR foot.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotamagal
As brands, both Nordica and Tecnica make different lasts for each family of boots that they make - in Tecnica's case, the Rival last is significantly wider than the Diablo last. In Nordica, the race boots are lasted narrower than the Beast. Best bet is to try them on -- if it's just your little toe getting jammed, a good fitter can grind or punch that spot to give you space..IF the rest of the boot fits properly.
The model I own was a F10W. My right foot is 1/8" wider than the left foot, can that amount be grinded?

When I first try on the boots, they are very comfortable, but I think they are not snug enough. Any idea about a Tecnica TNT?

Moreover, when I read the threads here, I find that peoples were stating the size of different parts of their foot. My question is, how can I tell whether my foot is wide or my instep is high etc, if a boot-fitter is out of my reach?
post #11 of 20
Find a good boot fitter first. He or she will be able to look your feet over, feel your feet, inspect your feet and then make a recommendation as to which boot you should be in. If the fitter does not do that, go find another boot fitter. Be honest with them tell them how you ski and where you want to go with your skiing.

There used to be a boot fitters guide on the site, look for it, I'm sure it's here somewhere. Maybe there is someone who is recommended in your area.
post #12 of 20
hmmm... well since you're fairly comfortable with the w8, i'd recommend checking out the beast. i'm currently on the w12 and love it, although it seems pretty soft at times (and i'm a light guy.)
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by non grata
hmmm... well since you're fairly comfortable with the w8, i'd recommend checking out the beast. i'm currently on the w12 and love it, although it seems pretty soft at times (and i'm a light guy.)
This is the first pair of boot that appears to fit. I learn more about boot selection after buying it from ebay. As I have only very limited ski experience (not to mention the skill level) I do not know whether this boot suit me or not. As all beginner, this boot might be turn out too large (so it is comfortable). I have not try it on real snow, so I am not sure what will happen after one day's ski.

I have tried them on artificial slope three times (less then one hour each), and have no pain. But I believed that they are not snug enough, so I try to adjust everything from start and wear a thicker sock. Then I found that my right toe was jammed. Now, I can feel the pressure on my right toe even without buckle.

I try a shell fit, two figures behind heel, but the lateral space is limited may be 1/8" each side.

Questions:
1. Is it because my foot have swelled, so now it is too tight, but not before? (or I just do not feel it before?)

2. How much a foot will shrink on slope, where the temperature is low?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwtse
This is the first pair of boot that appears to fit. I learn more about boot selection after buying it from ebay. As I have only very limited ski experience (not to mention the skill level) I do not know whether this boot suit me or not. As all beginner, this boot might be turn out too large (so it is comfortable). I have not try it on real snow, so I am not sure what will happen after one day's ski.

I have tried them on artificial slope three times (less then one hour each), and have no pain. But I believed that they are not snug enough, so I try to adjust everything from start and wear a thicker sock. Then I found that my right toe was jammed. Now, I can feel the pressure on my right toe even without buckle.

I try a shell fit, two figures behind heel, but the lateral space is limited may be 1/8" each side.

Questions:
1. Is it because my foot have swelled, so now it is too tight, but not before? (or I just do not feel it before?)

2. How much a foot will shrink on slope, where the temperature is low?
i don't know why your feet would be swelling since feet tend to swell mostly in very low pressure conditions e.g. airplanes. although your feet aren't going to be super toasty, the temp inside your boot isn't that adverse if it's a good fit and the liner is in good shape.

first off, everyone above has great sound advice about general boot fitting, read up. getting a boot that is too big or too small is a big no-no, whether or not you are a newb or expert. although the liner may pack down a bit and the footbed will conform to your feet, don't expect a dramatic change. if it feels too tight or too loose when you try them on, it will probably continue to feel that way even after a few days.

trying your boots on an artificial slope won't help you determine correct fitting... you need real conditions as a baseline. cold temps stiffen a boot whereas trying them on in a store and on astroturf will make almost any boot seem a lil soft and mushy.

do not compensate for a bad fit with thick socks. your feet and skiing will only suffer. also, if your buckles are on the first or last rung, they need to be adjusted or the boot is just the wrong size for you.

the only methods of fine tuning a fit should be the addition of a booster strap, custom footbeds, and adjusting the buckles. if you need something a bit more dramatic, sanding down the inside of the boot or moving the buckles to another bracket set should do the trick. of course ask a professional boot fitting techy about anything you do.

there are so many things to add about how a boot should fit that it'll fill thread after thread, so do a search here and in other forums and study up.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by non grata
i don't know why your feet would be swelling since feet tend to swell mostly in very low pressure conditions e.g. airplanes. although your feet aren't going to be super toasty, the temp inside your boot isn't that adverse if it's a good fit and the liner is in good shape.

first off, everyone above has great sound advice about general boot fitting, read up. getting a boot that is too big or too small is a big no-no, whether or not you are a newb or expert. although the liner may pack down a bit and the footbed will conform to your feet, don't expect a dramatic change. if it feels too tight or too loose when you try them on, it will probably continue to feel that way even after a few days.

trying your boots on an artificial slope won't help you determine correct fitting... you need real conditions as a baseline. cold temps stiffen a boot whereas trying them on in a store and on astroturf will make almost any boot seem a lil soft and mushy.

do not compensate for a bad fit with thick socks. your feet and skiing will only suffer. also, if your buckles are on the first or last rung, they need to be adjusted or the boot is just the wrong size for you.

the only methods of fine tuning a fit should be the addition of a booster strap, custom footbeds, and adjusting the buckles. if you need something a bit more dramatic, sanding down the inside of the boot or moving the buckles to another bracket set should do the trick. of course ask a professional boot fitting techy about anything you do.

there are so many things to add about how a boot should fit that it'll fill thread after thread, so do a search here and in other forums and study up.
Thank you for your advice. There's just so many things to learn!

I just remember what happened a few years before. I've brought a new pair of street shoes and my little toe feel unconfortable, then it feels uncomfortable in any shoes and even the original shoes, the only relieve was a pair of Clark's extra wide model. I'm probably hurted my foot so it becomes very sensitive to any pressure, normally tolerable. So this time may be the same things happen again, its like fitting a new boot after skiing in rental boot for a day, so the feeling is not reliable.

Before my little toe problem happen, the boot do not feel as snug as I would like to have, e.g. I can pull up my foot if I force it. But if I buckle more, I can fell the metal inside the shell, so I was quick confused. May be my foot is wide at ball, but low instep, and narrow ankle?
post #16 of 20
What a question! I could name several boots that I have had that I would consider a good boot. I think the people who responded that a good boot is what ever feels best and works best for you are absolutely right. My sister, neices (3 of them) and I all wear the same size ski boot. When I had a foot problem and was looking for a comfortable boot (rather than a performace one just so I could get back on the snow) they all told me theirs were soooooooooo comfortable and insisted I try them. None of them worked well for me. I did finally find one for me, but it wasn't anything they had recommended. I ended up going from ski shop to ski shop trying on everything they had till I found the one that fit and felt best. From that experience I learned the in order to find the right boot for me I needed to try them on. Recently, I purchased a pair on line from Cupolo, before I did that though, I must have tried on 100 different boots(so it seems). When I found the boot that was right for me I could not afford it so I wrote the information down. A few weeks later I found it on eBay from our friends at Cupolo for less than 1/2 the sale price I was quoted, you bet I snapped it up fast!

My advice, try on many...If you find one you think you like write it down, including the size. Try some more on, then go back to that boot. If you still like it the best, buy it. One thing you do need to consider before trying them on, however, is the level of the boot.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachskiljp
What a question! I could name several boots that I have had that I would consider a good boot. I think the people who responded that a good boot is what ever feels best and works best for you are absolutely right. My sister, neices (3 of them) and I all wear the same size ski boot. When I had a foot problem and was looking for a comfortable boot (rather than a performace one just so I could get back on the snow) they all told me theirs were soooooooooo comfortable and insisted I try them. None of them worked well for me. I did finally find one for me, but it wasn't anything they had recommended. I ended up going from ski shop to ski shop trying on everything they had till I found the one that fit and felt best. From that experience I learned the in order to find the right boot for me I needed to try them on. Recently, I purchased a pair on line from Cupolo, before I did that though, I must have tried on 100 different boots(so it seems). When I found the boot that was right for me I could not afford it so I wrote the information down. A few weeks later I found it on eBay from our friends at Cupolo for less than 1/2 the sale price I was quoted, you bet I snapped it up fast!

My advice, try on many...If you find one you think you like write it down, including the size. Try some more on, then go back to that boot. If you still like it the best, buy it. One thing you do need to consider before trying them on, however, is the level of the boot.
For an unlucky guy that do not have the opportunity to try for many different models, like me, could anyone give me some suggestion to look at? Alternatively, tell me which brand I do not need to consider. The ball of my foot is not narrow, that's the only thing I'm sure.
post #18 of 20
Hi. Does anybody know of a particular boot which has quite a wide fitting? I currently have some Head ones which are quite wide but have had quite a bit of wear! In April when I went skiing the best I was offered caused me agony whilst skiing as they rubbed on the metal plates in my ankle! Any suggestions?
post #19 of 20
Hi Vicky--

Welcome to EpicSki!

I'm guessing from your post that you tried to rent boots the last time you skied--is that correct? If so, that might have been the problem. There is nothing like a boot carefully selected and custom fitted for you by an expert bootfitter. Especially if you have a particular problem--like metal plates in your ankle--you are not very likely to get a good fit from a rental shop.

While you're likely to get some good suggestions for "quite wide fitting" boots (i.e. Dolomite) here at EpicSki, that is still no substitute for the hands-on expertise of a an expert in a shop. Do yourself a favor, and indulge in a custom-fitted pair of good boots!

Just a thought: you may find that you get more replies if you start a new thread with your question, or if you add it to the thread "Expert Boot Advice Given..." (click here), which should attract the attention of our own top boot guru, Jeff Bergeron.

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicky
Hi. Does anybody know of a particular boot which has quite a wide fitting? I currently have some Head ones which are quite wide but have had quite a bit of wear! In April when I went skiing the best I was offered caused me agony whilst skiing as they rubbed on the metal plates in my ankle! Any suggestions?
What size do you need and where are you? I have a pair of Solomon Evolution 8.0 size 26.5 (wms 9.5) that are too big and wide for me since I lost some weight. They are a very comfortable boot and have a lot of life still left in them. I'm sure some of the size problem has to do with the fact that the lining has packed out some, but the footbed also seems too long and I am now wearing smaller street shoes as well. They are nice and warm and I have never had a problem with them. If you are interested give me a hollar. I can take pictures to send you and we can talk. A couple years back I had a dalbello boot that was especially made for women with larger calves, I am not sure if they still have it or not. They were comfortable and warm, but they were not a performance boot..strictly a beginner to intermediate recreational boot.
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