or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Boot fitting ordeal over? Thanks GMOL.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Boot fitting ordeal over? Thanks GMOL.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
The last pair of really comfortable boots I remember having was my Dynafit 3F CompS boots. The last I remember skiing them was 1990 or so. I had some of those Pink Salamon Course boots after that I had a perpetualy aching forefoot with them. Took a few years off skiing (not really by choice) and then went to a new Salomon boot with a premade Superfeet this wasn't too bad, but my forefeet still ached (badly) and after a trip to Jackson Hole, they packed out so much that they were almost unskiable. They felt like they would almost fall off. Last year I tried to get new boots again. I tried every brand that exists (maybe there are a few obscure ones I didn't try) and the Atomic 10.50s felt GREAT. Got a proper shell fit (a few sizes smaller than the Salomons) and had a pair of Superfeet Cork beds made for them. Took them home and skied them the next morning. After 2 or 3 runs they were utterly unbearable. I nearly took them off and walked back barefoot. I am talking crippling blinding pain here. Took 'em back and got a refund. By then my Thanksgiving break was over and I was back off to North Carolina. When Christmas time rolled around I was back in VT again and continuing my quest (and questioning if I was ever going to be able to ski comfortably again. I went to another shop and tried everything they had (I had already tried them all before) and settled on a Nordica GP Foam boot. I had forgotten my Superfeet, so we had to make another set of beds, this time Instaprints. He ground the crap out of the shells (you could almost see through them in places) and foamed 'em. By the end of the week I thought I had some pretty good boots. Vastly better than what I had had anyway. Only now my toes were falling asleep, my arches still ached (but only when skiing hard), the boots were cold, and they were next to impossible to put on. I went back to NC pleased with my boots, and then to Austria for a week. The boots were OK at first, but as we began to find the lay of the land and venture off-piste, things started to get bad. I was getting by though, putting up with the pain, and unbuckling the boots at the bottom of every run. Sometimes I had to stop midway through the run and unbuckle until I could feel my feet again. You may be thinking that my boots were slammed down tight, but in fact, I was running the buckles so loose that they often undid themselves. Anyway, I realized that the boots were just not going to work when one day, high above Lech, both feet were totally numb (and in pain, at the same time! Sounds impossible, but it's true). I had only made about two turns and there was a good 4000 vertical feet of steep rock hard moguls below me. That run was no fun at all. I considered having Strolz build me some boots on the spot, but backed out for two reasons; I saw the way they made my wife's and friends' footbeds, and I was unsure of my ability to communicate my problems to them.

Which leads me to this season. Thanksgiving was a washout, so I went to GMOL on Sat., Dec. 22 and let 'em go to town on me. I started out with Will who appeared to do a more thorough assessment of my feet than anybody else ever had (at least he wrote it all down and used terms I hadn't heard : ). I tried on a number of boots including a Tecnica, a Salomon , and either a Dolomite or a Dalbello (I always confuse the two). He built yet another set of footbeds (Instaprints again). Messed around with those a bit and then punched a hole in the left one to accomodate a dropped fourth metatarsel I didn't know I have. That seemed to help on the left foot. Then I got a lift ticket and some cruddy demo skis and did a run on the mountain. Came back in and made some changes (don't remember what) and went for another run. On that last run, the aching in my forefoot returned with a vengance. Not nearly to unbearable levels, but enough to make me wonder if I was wasting my time. When I cam back in, they were swarmed, and I was not too psyched about my new boots. That is where Greg (I think) came in. I tried to explain my problem to him, which is really not easy to do. Trying to explain exactly what hurts when it's practically your whole foot. Anyway, he checked out my feet and said that it looked like my plantar tendon was the problem. He did a little magic on the footbed and *poof* the aching feet seem to be a thing of the past. My feet didn't fall asleep all weekend either. I'll reserve declaring it a TOTAL success for now, but they sure seem to be working.

These footbeds are so night and day different now that I wonder if they would work in virtually any boot. [img]smile.gif[/img]

I just have to reist the temptation to try them in a pair of Atomics....
post #2 of 13

Sounds like you may have found a winner. Great. Good luck with your new customized instaprints (is that a repetitive redundancy? :P)
post #3 of 13

Good story and glad the ending seems to be good. Just curious, are you still in the Nordicas and did you end up with another boot also?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
No, I'm in a Salomon X-Wave 9. The Nordicas are in the closet and will probably never come out. I guess I could put them in the trash, but they're practically new...

The funny thing is that I tried an X-Wave 10 last year, and it's tongue was killing the tops of my feet. Apparently, the tongues get squished into a U-shape during shiping. GMOL flattens them back out before putting them on the rack. The place where I tried the X-Wave 10 didn't. If they had, I probably wouldn't have the Nordicas. Of course if I'd had these footebds, I think I could be in the Atomics too.
post #5 of 13
Epic, keep us (ME) posted on this as soon as you get more snow time in because this could have an impact on where I purchase my custom footbeds.(see my posts under custom footbeds)You've been through more than enough for 3 people, not to mention $$$$.

Keep your fingers crossed
Jeff J.
post #6 of 13
Glad I'm not the only one! Misery sure loves company!
post #7 of 13
I recently purchased boots and footbeds at GMOL and had an excellent experience. I was assisted by Will, Greg and Peter. Fortunately, I was able to pick up a pair of last season's Nordica W9.1 for a great price. After skiing a few runs, the cramps in my feet returned, but I realized that all of the pressure was on my heels on every turn. So Peter put some toe plates on the bottom of my boots, which caused me to spread the pressure more evenly along the inside of my foot during turns. The cramps were gone. I only have a few runs on the boots, but will keep you posted on their progress. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
post #8 of 13

You like GMOL's word for the toe lift?

Toe Cheeze [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 13
Apparently, there are seven bodily cheeses. I can't remember them all right now, but toe cheese is certainly the most common. I recall that there is Utt Cheese, which is either from the belly button or underneath br**sts.
post #10 of 13
Green Mountain has a reputation for working on tough cases (and they do just as well on everyone else). Will and Mike at GMOL and Ray at Killington Surefoot handle 90% of the Instructors in VT. That should tell you something. Anyone who thinks going to VT to get Ski boots is silly, hasn't wasted days worth of time and money with stores that did poor fittings. If you enjoy skiing, then you want to be comfortable. Happy feet make for happy skiing.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 28, 2001 08:04 PM: Message edited 1 time, by GF ]</font>
post #11 of 13
Having serious problems with fit, I took my Benny Wax made footbeds [love 'em!] to the Alpine Shop in nearby South Burlington, Vermont. First, I got boots that fit like a glove and had the right flex for me. Second, I skied in the boots. Third, I went back a few times for adjustments. Result? Great fitting boots that flex right and are [believe it!] comfortable. Just want to let you know that there is more than one place in Vermont to get your ski boots fit right. For the record, Benny Wax and other good fitters are at the Pinnacle in Stowe, Vermont.
post #12 of 13
Next day: I just had my first ski outing of the year at Smugglers Notch. Sure, coulda been more snow, but really not too shabby. The boots: Fit great, very snug as I like them to be, no pain or discomfort of any kind. Another thing: My Hotronics boot heaters were not in use since I have not recharged the batteries between last season and today, but the boots were warm anyway - the temps were in the high teens to low twenties. I am one very satisfied customer.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 30, 2001 07:21 PM: Message edited 1 time, by oboe ]</font>
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Update - I got back last night from a week in Austria. The boots were a big improvement over last year. They broke in a lot throughout the week. On day one, they were quite painful in both insteps and on the outside of the right foot. I was thinking about getting the right boot ground and then waiting to see if the insteps improved. The shop seemed like they wanted to really go to town on them, so I got cold feet and decided to suck it up for a while.

I was unbuckling the boots at the bottom of every run, and leaving them undone (bottom two buckles only) on the groomers the first few days. Litmus test was to ski the same run where I finally gave up on my Nordicas using the same skis. It was a night and day difference. I actually liked my XXXs a lot more wiith the new boots. On the old boots, my leg would shift in the cuff when the skis were on edge and roll flat on hardpack. With the new boots, I could keep them on edge, and while they didn't ski like my P50 SLs, they had considerable grip and were no problem on anything from Rock hard frozen courdoroy or windpack all the way to ankle deep slush and knee high slush moguls.

My feet never fell asleep, and by the end of the week, I could leave them buckled all the time. In fact, I think I need to add a board under the footbed or something to take up a little volume. I think the right boot may still need a little grind, but am afraid of letting unknown hands touch them. Also, maybe the notch for the plantar tendon could go deeper. My forefeet still ached sometimes (like when standing in tram lines), but I'm not gonna screw with them. I wish there was an easy way to "clone" the footbeds. Then I could experiment on one set without any worries.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Boot fitting ordeal over? Thanks GMOL.