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Huge calves, high arches, big ankles, size 16 EEEE. I need boot help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
After a 14-year work-related absence, I'm getting back into skiing and after my first time back, I've quickly remembered how painful rental equipment is. As the subject says, I have pretty big calves from lots of waterskiing, weight training and athletic activity. I also have very wide feet with very high arches and although I wear a size 15 in Nike, I usually go one size up when wearing thicker socks. I also weigh about 275-280 lbs.

My family is planning a ski trip to Utah in late March and my wife would like to get out more in Wisconsin before we head out west. My brother lives in Utah and suggested I wait until I get out there to buy boots because I'll be able to find a better boot fitter, but I honestly don't think I can go one more time in rental gear. I really struggled just to get my feet in the boots to begin with and then even more to get them closed. The ball of my left foot is still tingling from yesterday and the boots I wore felt like a vice on my ankle bones and across the top of my foot. My toes and balls of my feet went numb after about 20 minutes. I didn't even dare to try and squeeze my orthotics in there.

My brother suggested Solomon boots and I've heard some good things about soft boots, but really have no experience with them and don't know how available they are yet in a variety of sizes. I'm also looking for a good fitter in the Midwest. I will be travelling to Houston/Galveston soon, so if anyone knows of a good fitter between Wisconsin and that part of the Gulf Coast (I know wrong part of the country), I'd be willing to stop on my way down or back.

Can I buy a decent pair of boots here that I can tolerate until someone out west fits them for my feet? Should I avoid thicker socks? Any help/advice/insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 11
Check out the Strolz website at http://www.strolzusa.com/

They make the "Favorit" model in sizes up to 16. Strolz makes a custom foam liner (as well as a non-foam liner).

This is the ultimate solution for major fitting problems. Depending on where you live you may have to travel, but it will be worth it.
post #3 of 11
Recommend Strolz completely although my feet are almost the opposite! I have been skiing in them for about 15 years and do not even consider anything else. I have short wide feet with high arches and typical athletic female calves! The cuff can be changed and all the rest of the boot is foamed which is one of the world's more unpleasant happenings! Although they are expensive my last pair of boots lasted about 12 seasons skiing about 50 days per season although I have had a couple of new liners and new buckles installed along the way!

It is incredibly important that you have these done by a good boot fitted who has preferably been trained in the Strolz factory in Austria. If you can locate a trained fitter travel to get the boots. I always travel about 1000kms return when I get new boots purely because I trust the fitter at that shop.
post #4 of 11

your brother is thinking of the "evolution" series in the Salomon line. It is kind of a low intermediate boot with a huge calf area. The flex will be a little on the soft side; especially for someone of your weight, but I know someone ~210 with enormous calves that uses it and likes it so maybe it will work for you.

The other salomon boots a traditional fits; actually on the narrow side - - and have some funky hard points in the shell. They're great boots if they fit you, but I doubt they will.

I don't think the liner matters as much as the shell; since the liner is going to "pack out" after about 5 days of skiing. Many boots have heat moldable liners anyhow.

Forget soft boots - - - especially at your size. Way, way too much flex and lack of support.

Yes, use the absolute thinnest sock you can find (i use wigwam ultimax but any coolmax calf-high liner sock will do). Better for skiing, as well as for fitting the boot initially.
post #5 of 11
Checkout DalebootUSA.com on the web. Daleboot is the only custom boot maker in the US. His shop is in Salt Lake City. I know people who were about to give up skiing becuse of problems with ill fitting ski boots. Since finding Daleboot they are back into skiing and every happy. They will do a custom fitting for you by useing some basic measurments,and can shipp the Boots to you. If further fitting and ajustments are needed then you can have them done at The shop when you get to Utah. I don't work for Daleboot I just know that everyone who has ever had Dale make them custom boots has always been happy with their boots. By the way his boots are no more expensive then any other high end boot I think they run about $550 or so with a life time fit warrenty.
post #6 of 11
salomon makes most boots to a 32.0 (14ish) and SOME to a 34.0 (16 ish)
this might eb the answer, but most shops will have to order this boot directly from the big S and might have to book them (8 months in advance) so this year might be out.
Daleboot, stroltz, or wait a year to get a big boot in.

Also ya where thin socks (less volume to you HUGE feet) and go to a good boot fitting shop, they can make boots bigger and will have a bigger selection of sizes.

Huston, and the coast are not knowen as a skiing meca, I wouldn't buy a surf board in N dakota, or rain gear in the dessert, Nor ski boots in the flat lands.
post #7 of 11
If you are not planning on skiing before your Utah trip (and don't need the boots until then) I absolutely agree with buying boots there. HOWEVER- since your size is not exactly one that is usually stocked, why not call a bootfitter in Utah (there are several good recommendations in the bootfitter index pages of this forum) and discuss it NOW. That way he could have a number of possibilities in stock for you when you arrive (and have an appointment for yourself on the first morning of your trip).

Also- thin non-cotton socks for sure!

[ January 09, 2003, 07:13 AM: Message edited by: dp ]
post #8 of 11
What DP says. Might try Steve Bagley @ Superior Ski (inside Sportstalker at Snowbird). If you don't try to find something in your size now, late March is not a good bet. Try a thinner sock, too. If you can describe your foot and lower leg type to someone such as Bagley, they could probably recommend a boot type, then tweak things face to face. www.superiorski.com
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input/advice. I talked with the DaleBoot people and I will probably send them my measurements and get some boots now and then have them do any adjustments that might be necessary once I get out there. Thanks again!
post #10 of 11
Good Call XH2Oskier. I know you will be vary happy with your Daleboots.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I thought I would give you all an update on my Daleboots. I received them through the mail and tried them on....or at least attempted to try them on. As I expected, it was very difficult to get an accurate fit through mail order for my weird feet, so I waited until we were in SLC to get adjustments at Daleboot.

The guys at Daleboot were very nice (I even met Dale and had a nice conversation with him) and they made several series of adjustments in an attempt to get my feet comfortable in the boots. After about the fifth adjustment, I decided I would try to ski with them for a day and come back if I needed more work, although they said they had pretty much maxed out the boot already. Even out of the boot, the innerliner itself just didn't seem big enough for my feet.

The next day I tried them on in the room and knew if I tried to make a run in them it might make my feet so sore, I wouldn't be able to ski the rest of the week. My brother and I opted for plan B and he started calling rental shops in the area. I had worn Dalbello rental boots before that fit very well (unfortunately I found this out after I ordered from Daleboot), so we looked for places that rented Dalbellos in 16. We couldn't find any, but we did find a rental place that had a pair of Salomon Performa E50s in size 16 1/2 (I didn't know they made half sizes that big). We went over there and were able to buy them for about $180. They felt pretty good, but I did have a few hotspots and I took them to Surefoot at the Canyons after a few days in them.

Surefoot blew out the hotspots free of charge (thanks Surefoot!) and they felt even better. I was so pleased with Surefoot's work, that I went back for custom orthotics for the boots. Those fit wonderfully and really made a big difference in my turns. For the first time in my life, I can walk pain-free in buckled ski boots. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

My brother has been a pretty dedicated Tele skier for the past few years, but a deal on a new set of Daleboots may bring him back to Alpine. I gave him a pretty nice price on them, so I guess it worked out well for everyone.
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