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Bad advice at REI

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was in REI in Portland and thought I'd try on a few boots. I explained I had a comfy pair of AT boots that I do my 11 hour patrol days in and some really stiff alpine boots. I thought I'd look for some cushier alpine boots so I can patrol in my skis which don't have AT bindings. The salesman told me the AT boots should work with the alpine bindings. I told him they wouldn't. He told me, "well, all the AT boots we sell work with any alpine binding".

I guess they only carry Garmont adrenalins.
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
I was in REI in Portland and thought I'd try on a few boots. I explained I had a comfy pair of AT boots that I do my 11 hour patrol days in and some really stiff alpine boots. I thought I'd look for some cushier alpine boots so I can patrol in my skis which don't have AT bindings. The salesman told me the AT boots should work with the alpine bindings. I told him they wouldn't. He told me, "well, all the AT boots we sell work with any alpine binding".

I guess they only carry Garmont adrenalins.
You can retrofit some AT boots to work with some alpine bindings but it requires messing around with teflon; shaving the toes etc. Its a lot easier to work with alpine bindings with toe-height adjustment (eg Look) also. I guess i might be telling you something you already know. Most shops would never recommend putting the mellow AT boots in the alpine gear though for liability reasons so I am surprised the REI guy was so misinformed
post #3 of 16
AT boots aren't too mellow, they just lack the DIN standard sole required for DIN standard alpine bindings. Of course an employee puts his foot in his mouth everyday in every ski shop in America especially when asked about less common gear like AT. The attitude that the customer is less knowledgeable makes arguing pointless in most cases. I've found that REI employees generally are more knowledgable and more likely to respect my opinion than sales people at other ski shops in my area.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
AT boots aren't too mellow, they just lack the DIN standard sole required for DIN standard alpine bindings. Of course an employee puts his foot in his mouth everyday in every ski shop in America especially when asked about less common gear like AT. The attitude that the customer is less knowledgeable makes arguing pointless in most cases. I've found that REI employees generally are more knowledgable and more likely to respect my opinion than sales people at other ski shops in my area.
Yah you are correct and I should be more careful in what I said. The "mellowness" of the boot has little to do with whether or not their soles are DIN compatible. I was just generalizing as the Garmont Adrenalin in particular is the most aggresive AT boot in Garmonts lineup and has a DIN compatible sole. Should be more careful so I dont mislead others
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLau
Yah you are correct and I should be more careful in what I said. The "mellowness" of the boot has little to do with whether or not their soles are DIN compatible. I was just generalizing as the Garmont Adrenalin in particular is the most aggresive AT boot in Garmonts lineup and has a DIN compatible sole. Should be more careful so I dont mislead others
Well, your first post made it clear that you knew the shape of the boot's sole was what determined how well it would work in standard release bindings. I was just clarifying that point and putting out a good word for REI workers. I have been very impressed by the crew at College Park, Md. Unfortunately they don't sell ski or snowboard equipment out of east coast locations except Boston anymore.

Newfydog, don't worry what clerk says, try on the boots you want. Tell him you prefer the look of a DIN standard sole even though vibram sole works just as well in bindings! Or tell him you want them for boot skiing, need smooth sole and straight edges.
post #6 of 16
REI salesman are generally a good lot, I think, but it's not really a ski shop ... it's a very nice outdoor hiking/camping/climbing/etc. shop with ski equipment in it.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
REI salesman are generally a good lot, I think, but it's not really a ski shop ... it's a very nice outdoor hiking/camping/climbing/etc. shop with ski equipment in it.
The guys there were better informed and more respectful than typical shop rat at ski speciality store in my experience.
post #8 of 16

rei advice

I originally supported REI in a previous thread. I'm not sure if this thread is in direct response to mine or not BUT, my wife was sold a pair of boots at REI that later were returned after some investigation. I still think that since I joined in the late 60's the company has proved to be reputable and with good products, that however doesn't mean that all products are suitable for all customers and unfortunately the sales staff in some areas are somewhat wanting. Best advice, know what you want before you buy and don't be overly influenced by sales staff. IMHO.
Mark
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
... Unfortunately they don't sell ski or snowboard equipment out of east coast locations except Boston anymore.
The local REI store in Philly are carrying several brands of ski helmets this season (Giro, Leedom and one I can't remember). And they have goggles, ski bags, and some downhill poles. I asked one of the people there what was up, (as they haven't carried alpine gear in a long time), and he said they were 'thinking of' bringing in some skis and boots next season.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
In defense of REI we spent and will continue to spend a bundle there. I never thought this thread would get much comment, but I don't expect REI to provide ski expertise.
Something wierd happens to people who work in stores....I guess they see so many clueless people they assume everyone is clueless, and they think they are the last word in the sport. (Bike shops seems worse than ski shops.) The only time I ever got a ski shop to listen to what I was saying was when I got heated up and I took my coat off...and suddenly he stopped lecturing me...I later realized I revealed a vest a friend on the National Team gave me gave me... US Olympic Team Lillehammer.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
In defense of REI we spent and will continue to spend a bundle there. I never thought this thread would get much comment, but I don't expect REI to provide ski expertise.
Something wierd happens to people who work in stores....I guess they see so many clueless people they assume everyone is clueless, and they think they are the last word in the sport. (Bike shops seems worse than ski shops.) The only time I ever got a ski shop to listen to what I was saying was when I got heated up and I took my coat off...and suddenly he stopped lecturing me...I later realized I revealed a vest a friend on the National Team gave me gave me... US Olympic Team Lillehammer.
Exactly the attitude I don't get at REI, which is why I responded. They might not have the master bootfitter or anyone trained to sell ski gear at my local REI but I think you would be more likely to find some one there who knows what bindings Garmont Adrenaline fit than at Ski Chalet. Ski Chalet employee wouldn't know Garmont from Rosemont.
post #12 of 16
I've always has mixed results with REI employees. Some really know there stuff, some seem completely clueless. My typical MO is do some research myself first, then when I go in I can judge for myself how much the person knows. If I feel they are clueless, I'll walk away (I've even walked to another part of the store, then gone back when the first person I talked to was busy and asked someone else).

I was told in the REI flagship store in Seattle early last season that no AT binding worked with any Alpine boots (as I held the Freerides and Naxos in my hand). No one else to help me that day, so I ordered them from Backcountry.com, free wide brakes too which ofset the mounting cost. On the other hand, I had a great guy help me buy a skiing backpack, really knowledgable, helped my get it all adjusted and fit correctly.
post #13 of 16
sad but true. there are some there that really know thier stuff. But just becuse someone has an encyclopaedia knowage of camping or kayaking does not mean they know about skiing and vice versa. i had someone there try and put me in an AT boot that was at least a whole shell size to big. The young lady said oh they can pad it so it will fit your foot. On the other hand I talked to a guy who really knew what he was talking about, I really do like alot of thier REi products but to shop there you need to do some homework first.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
I was just clarifying that point and putting out a good word for REI workers. I have been very impressed by the crew at College Park, Md. Unfortunately they don't sell ski or snowboard equipment out of east coast locations except Boston anymore.
I was in the fleet of College Park REI's first two seasons of ski eqpt sales people. We had 4 people. 3 of us were pretty good (prior sales experience at decent ski shops), the 4th was pretty good and only occasionally made minor "ego" goofs -- although none as large as the "any AT boot will be compatible with any alpine binder."
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
Exactly the attitude I don't get at REI, which is why I responded. They might not have the master bootfitter or anyone trained to sell ski gear at my local REI but I think you would be more likely to find some one there who knows what bindings Garmont Adrenaline fit than at Ski Chalet. Ski Chalet employee wouldn't know Garmont from Rosemont.
precisely why NOBODY should shop anywhere besides Ski Center if in the DC metro area. Ski Harlot employees are pinheads! and I don't mean tele riders either!
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
I was in the fleet of College Park REI's first two seasons of ski eqpt sales people. We had 4 people.
HAHAHA! Small world! I could probably pick you out of a police line-up. Hey it's your fault I telemark, probably never would have got on freeheel gear if it you hadn't made it available locally. First set-up was Asolo Snowfield IIs and Karhu XCD GTs from REI College Park. Also bought an asym Burton M6 with plate bindings from you. No one else sold carving boards or backcountry skis around here. Thanks for expanding my glisse world way back when ('86?). Different boards sure made Ski Liberty a lot more fun.
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