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Boot fitting tips and tricks

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Over in the P-Tex problem thread I bird-walked to boot fitting problems. (bird-walking means to get off the subject)

Damtnrider suggested to start a new thread concerning this. Good Idea. Here is his comments about shoe sizing.

-jyard, personal experience: Never ask for shoe size! Measure every foot no matter how good a skier you know or they say they are. One a lot of people are wrong, or they wear a certain shoe that just has an odd sizing. Two, it gives you a chance to get a good look at their foot and see how much they pronate, how their arch looks, how much their foot flattens out, how high their instep is etc. (By the way, thats a great time to talk about footbeds to help correct thos problems). I usually had the footbeds sold before we even looked at boots.
I would tell every person what was going to happen when we tried on the boot. "With the boot unbuckled, their foot was gonna slide in and their toes would hit the end of the boot. But let me get you buckeled in, and when you flex, it will bring your toes off the end." If you tell them exactly whats going to happen, when they say "Ooo, too small my toes are at the end", you just smile and say, "Now I just said they would didn't I? Let me get them buckeled and lets see what happens."
Just $.02 from an ex-fitter. Good Luck!

This was in response to a comment I made about some people who wear shoes bigger than they should be because they are comfortable that way. I'll add, in my case, I have to buy shoes 1/2 size bigger just to get the width I need, or else I can go buy special wide shoes at $100-$200 a throw!

Allow me to add another question-

I often suggest footbeds such as the SuperFeet. They are spendy but worth it. Some customers respond with, "Aren't there some for about $28 off the rack?" So far I say, "Those are arch supports, and if they work for you, fine. It might be the ticket. but if they don't work, then it's on to the big time foot bed like SpuerFeet."

Also, if they already have footbeds from their doctor they can use those in their boots after they break in their boots. Is this ok advice?
post #2 of 8
Tips on boot fitting?here goes " wear the sock you will ski with,when you get fit" I am sorry ,I do not quite understand this,some one is saying to wear the same thickness of sock to try out a boot that will pack down after 2 days of skiing??? When I have a women come in with only nylons on and wants to get fitted I say great,I would like to have men try on boots with nylons also.The reason is two fold-one is that the boot is going to pack down after they ski it and that extra thickness in the eventual sock will make up the packing out.Second-the thinner the sock the easier it is for the person to feel any problem areas in the boot and they can be taken care of before the sale and getting on the slopes.Always with a good boot,I tell them ski thin socks ,why ski thick and dumb down a $500 + boot to perform like a rental boot?Got to go if you keep this thread going I will add again.--One warning if you do fit some one in nylons beware and carefull when you do a shell fit,there are some sharp things inside of boot shells
post #3 of 8
First ask yourself, Are you fitting for comfort or performance? Then ask yourself how long do I want my boot fit to last?

I have never had my foot measured properly by a ski boot salesman. I'd recommend that you do not rely on that type of measurement to ensure a proper long lasting fit.

In my experience, the best way to find the correct fit is to fit your bare foot to the shell of the boot, meaning having the liner of the boot removed when you fit the boot.

With a bare foot in the shell, stand up and get your big toe to be just touching the inside front of the shell. Then bend your knee slightly forward but make sure that your toe is still just touching and see how many fingers that you can stack in a line behind your heel and the boot shell. I use the edges of my fingers (not nail to pad as they're too hard to fit in behind the heel this way). For a really good long lasting fit, you should have one index finger width of space. Less than that and you'll need grinding and will bang your toes. More than 2 finger widths and the boot liner will pack out so much, that the boot will be too large after not too many full days.

For performance and a long lasting snug fit, work with one finger width behind your heel. You may not be able to ski in the boot with a sock, or the foot bed in or underneath the liner or both for the first few days, but believe me that the liner will quickly pack out and you will soon be able to wear a sock, put the foot beds back in and put in an orthotic foot bed in place of the liner bed. It may take some time and which you put in first may vary, but be patient. Oh and the sock adds Zero insulation, but is just an aid in easily sliding your foot into the liner. I've skied for a couple of months without socks in the cold Canadian Rockies with no problems.

2 fingers widths behind your heel and the shell will give you a comfortable fit pretty much right away. You may still have to do some grinding or punching or packing to fit the boot to your shape of foot but it will be otherwise comfy. But you run the risk of the liner packing out too much with heavy constant use and thus having to crank down your buckles before the end of the season. If you are an instructor who stands for many hours in a boot and right away, then you may want this kind of looser fit?

More than 2 finger widths and the boot is huge and though it will feel like a snug slipper in the store, it will soon be far too big and you will get lots of foot slop and rubbing and injuries such as blisters, callouses or spurs. But this is how MOST stores have tried to sell either me or my friends, of all abilities their boots.

Many sales people will likely argue with you too about fitting your foot to the shell and not the liner in the shell. But ask them to humour you and try it out. However, I would urge you not to believe the normal foot measuring devices in the shops. They're designed for instant comfort, not long term performance.

For boot width, you should have a very little bit of room to move your bare foot from side to side inside the shell without a liner. You can always punch or grind the toe box or heel pocket area out, but you can't very effectively make a too big boot smaller.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 08, 2001 02:17 PM: Message edited 1 time, by The Pyts ]</font>
post #4 of 8
With the boot shell fit, do you measure the finger the short way (top to bottom) or the long way (side to side)? I've been wondering about this for a while.
post #5 of 8
So, I have a pair of Icon Carbons...
I had the shell fit as described above with 1 1/2 fingers of room. The next shell size down would have been too small. Anyhow as the season went on the liners packed out very much. This year I have new shells, due to warranty, with old liners.
The liners have way too much room in around the toes, so here's waht I did. I went to the craft store and bought some foam mats. One of them even had adheseive on the back. They were of varying thicknesses. I had the liners out and began cutting pieces of foam and sticking them to the outside of the liner where I needed to take up some space. After I found the best fit I wrapped the whole deal up with duct tape. I have only worn them around the apartment but they seem much better than before.

post #6 of 8
On the shell fitting, The recommendation from the experts (GMOL) is to use the end of a mini Maglight. This is much more consistant than your fingers as people's fingers are different sizes. For a tighter fit use the tail end for a comfy fit use the head end. One note, make sure you are NOT sticking your foot in so the big toe is at the very end of the boot. Your forefoot should be centered in the shell with your big toe just touching the front of the shell. Then take your measurement. At the Masterfit University clinic they suggest if you are going to be doing this a lot (shop owners/workers) make a long dowell (18") and whittle down each end so one end is 1/2" and the other is 3/4". Use this for measuring and there will be no need to think how skinny or fat your fingers are or which way to stick them in.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 25, 2001 05:08 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #7 of 8
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dchan:
make sure you are NOT sticking your foot in so the big toe is at the very end of the boot. Your forefoot should be centered in the shell with your big toe just touching the front of the shell. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Doesn't that contradict itself? Don't have the big toe at the end of the boot, but do have the big toe touching the end of the shell?
post #8 of 8
Good catch AC
Clarification, When you slip your foot into the boot, make sure your foot is "centered" left/right. then move your foot forward in the boot until any one of your toes touches the front of the shell. (some people have longer middle toes!) The comment I made that AC quoted was based on my feet. If I turn my foot to the outside just a little, My big toe goes to where the tip (or longest part) of the boot is which allows me to move my foot farther forward in the boot. Now I have a boot shell that measures too big (or might be a little too small for me) When I center my foot in the boot my big toe touches the front of the boot to the left of center in the front of the boot which gives a more accurate measurement.
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