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My boots are never right

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've had a pair of Salomon X-waves for three years now and had them altered (outer) new linings (thermofit) messed around with heel insert, taken footbeds out/in/ new ones and still can't get the right fit. I'm told the Salomon's are still the best for my feet.

My feet are wide as are my calves but my ankles are thin.

The problem I have is heel lift and too much space in the top of the boot, resulting in a lack of control transerring to the ski. Resulting in me being mad and lacking confidence when off piste.

This is illiminated if I wind the boots up. The only problem then is massive pain in my arches and calves as they are too tight.

I've had them profesionally altered at resorts but the problem still rears it's bloody head!

In a measure of desparation I thought I'd board to avoid the discomfort but it's nowhere near as good and my heels still lift!

Can anyone offer any good advice as to the way forward?
post #2 of 29
Welcome to Epicski Jack. I don't know where you are located but I have someone in Maine who is very good with boots. Eric Beckman who is near Sugarloaf. This winter he took out the plastic shims inside my boots and customized them by filing them various ways. Even though I have been skiing with a slight knee problem, I had no leg pains or foot problems after that adjustment which was very reasonabe. It changed my stance and really made skiing easier. He does footbeds and all sorts of boot alterations too.
post #3 of 29
It sounds like you are in the wrong brand of boot. If you've tried to have the boots altered and the heel lift problem still persists, try a lower volume boot.

My Langes are a pain to get into and out of but I sure don't have the lift problem any more. Try several brands of boots since Lange may have increased the volume of it's boots two years ago ... at least the toe box is.

A good footbed? For arch problems versus the $75 heat formed inserts, a good bed is worth the extra $50 to $100. For 20+ years I skied in a lot of pain. My right foot was crushed by a truck when I was a kid. The cheaper beds made skiing "acceptable" (no tears), but the custom molded beds ... I don't even have awareness of the problem anymore!

But, boots are NEVER RIGHT! They pack out a bit and you chase that with a slightly heavier sock etc. etc. Bode has his boots adjusted before every race.
post #4 of 29
I don't know if you need new boots, footbeds, liner, etc... But I do know you need a new bootfitter, since yours hasn't been able to do the job for you.

Post where you're from, and you'll get some recommendations for bootfitters in your area that we're experienced with, and that we know will do the job for you.

You can also visit the Master Bootfitter listing in the Gear forum and check some of them out for yourself, to see if any of them are near you.
post #5 of 29
It appears to me that those boots are never going to fit you correctly. Stop beating a dead horse and seek out the best bootfitter you can find. There is nothing worse than a pair of ill fitting boots. Everybody that has skied for a while has been there at one time or another. Post what area you live near, as I'm sure that someone in your area will have some recommendations on a good bootfitter near you.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the comments so far.

I live in Manchester, England, so a bit of a bus ride from most of you guys!

I've heard of some liners called Orthotics which I'm told might do the trick but are expensive.

I've spent oveer $1,500 on these bleeders already so I'm not bothered, just want comfort.

Any ideas on the widest boots that are around?
post #7 of 29
Originally Posted by jack hallam
I've spent oveer $1,500 on these bleeders already
That's about 700 Quid! Anyway, I have short but wide feet, big calves and narrow ankles and ended up in a top of the range women's boot (Head TR 103 if I remember correctly) with Confortable insoles. This wasn't what I was expecting but the 270 Quid it cost me has been my best skiing hardware investment. The boot fitter (in Tignes) basically told me to forget any preconception about colour (but I did say no white or pink) or brand and let him get on with his job (He was a fellow Scot, so I'm used to this approach!). So.. I would ask around to see if anyone knows of good boot fitters in the UK (Profeet get a good name but I think they are only in London) or buy from a recommended resort shop the next time you go skiing.
post #8 of 29
Why do you want WIDER boots? You're already complaining of heel lift.

I'd think you want NARROWER boots to fit the heel, and then have them punched/molded and ground out to fit the forefoot and calf.

Are you sure that even the shell size of your existing boots is correct?
post #9 of 29
I also have small ankles. My boot fitter put in 2 Lange's but the forefoot was to tight. So then we went to the Tecnica Fires in a whole shell size smaller then my last Tecnica's. I still have a very small amout of lift in my right heel, (my small one) unless I tighten the boots a bit. With the boots tight I find I have a lot more control. I have the same foot beds that were made back about 10 years ago, he just shorten them for the new boots.
post #10 of 29
Spending a lot on boots and still not getting perfect performance is something I can relate to. I purchased Technica TNT Explosion 8 4-5 years ago, but kept having numb toes and never really got used to the idea of living without big toe nails. Last year got Solomon X-Wave 8, great forefoot room but they packed out at the ankle and heel. This year I skied in a wierd hybrid. I inserted the Solomon liners in the smaller Technica Shell and it worked! Looks odd, and it probably won't get many endorsements, but it worked for me. One of these days, I am actually going to have to do this right.

Just for kicks, it might be interesting to take your current comfortable liners and insert them in a size smaller shell. Any shop with inventory would probably allow you to try it. You might find the perfect combination of fit (heel hold-down) and comfort that your boot fitter can then refine.
post #11 of 29
Similar situation - I have wide forefoot, low volume (height) foot, narrow ankles and big calves (used to race bikes). I had X-Wave 9's for several years, had lots of work done at some great bootfitters - green mtn orthotics @ stratton and out here in Seattle (Brent @ World Cup Skier) as I became a better skier. Finally stopped the madness, picked up Lange comp120 (the narrower version, not the mid-volume version) and Brent worked his magic on them to accomodate my foot (punched out forefoot, some extra material here & there, some work on the tongue, etc. 5 minutes on the snow and geez, what a difference. If only I'd had these boots my first three seasons on skis.
post #12 of 29
I have the same foot pattern. Technica just sent me some Diablo Magnesium, and out of the box they fit like a glove. (see my other posts) The nice thing about them is they have a nice wide fore-front and narrow ankle, plus a multitude of inserts that lock your ankle into place. I can hardly wait to take them out, which would have been today had my old schools binding not broken when I was fitting the boot to them, another story.

Also I highly recommend you get Superfeet Korks. There custom molded foot beds and should also solve much of your problem.

As everyone else has commented on. Your past boot fitter(s) blow chunks and should be dragged behind a snow cat through the gravel patch.

I have skied for 37+ years now and the first lesson I learned at an early age was boots are the number one component.
post #13 of 29
Originally Posted by jack hallam
I live in Manchester, England, so a bit of a bus ride from most of you guys!

I've heard of some liners called Orthotics which I'm told might do the trick but are expensive.
Welcome to EpicSki, Jack!

You may want to hook up with EpicSki's own Wear the Fox Hat (aka "Stewart") via private message; he's in your general neck of the woods.

That said, you've spent way more on those boots than they deserve. Where do you ski? I recommend getting boots at the resort so that you can have them fit while you are there skiing.

"Orthotics" are a generic term used to refer to more foot-shaped footbeds put into ski boots. You can get them both custom fit (my recommendation) or off-the-shelf. They are good to have, but will not solve fit problems like you have.

You need a boot that has a shell that more closely approximates your foot shape. Off the top of my head, I expect an Atomic B series to do that. There are others that will, of course. But, the real key is to find a boot fitter with a clue who is near to either your home or your ski resort(s) of choice.
post #14 of 29
BTW, Jack, I was in a pair of X Waves for a while and had similar problems (although my feet are likely narrower than yours). So, I understand very well. I found one of the best boot fitters in the US to do my most recent fit, and they honestly fit like gloves...
post #15 of 29
Jack, I was in wave 10's fo two years, had the same problem with the lifting of my heels and slop in the boot, especially in crud and powder. My foot is a 4e, really wide forefoot, narrow heel, and thought I had to have a boot which would accomodate a wide foot. Hence I was a slave to salomon and tecnica. Orthotics with extra heel lifts and clamping the buckles down like a vise was the only way I could get a responsive feel from the boot. Several weeks before the end of the season, Sean at Northern ski works in Ludlow Vermont suggested I try the wide volume Lange 120, 13mm smaller than my x10's and after walking around in the shop for several hours, I haven't looked back since. As DarrelCraig said in an earlier post, the boots are a bear to get on and off but I finally have a boot with responsive feel that fits well enough to ski with the buckles loose. Watch out for wearing too large a heel lift, you can distort your forefoot and irritate the nerves leading to your toes. After breaking the boot in a bit more Sean will build foot beds which I will gladly pay for. Find a good bootfitter and plan on spending at least several hours getting the right fit. Good luck, we guys with wide feet have all the problems.
post #16 of 29
Originally Posted by hairybones
Sean at Northern ski works in Ludlow Vermont suggested I try the wide volume Lange 120, 13mm smaller than my x10's ...
Which Langes did you get? Just curious - I have wide feet through the ball of the foot, narrow heels, and in Salomon Crossmax 10 (same as X Wave 10 AFAIK); street shoe 10W (hiking boot 10.5), in the 28.5 Crossmax 10. I have a bit of heel lift in the ski boot that I'd like to get rid of if possible. I've tried on Langes before; they've all been too narrow in the toebox.

post #17 of 29
I too have a wide foorefoot and narrow heel but very narrow lower leg,ankle & high calf muscle.

My recommendation after years of experimentation is to forget about the width of the forefoot. Just about any boot can be ground or blown out to accomodate width in the forefoot. If you must err, err on the side of too stiff, not too soft. It is very easy to soften a too stiff boot but very difficult to stiffen a too soft boot.

Instead concentrate on heel pocket and stance (forward lean and ramp angle).

Also & I mean this seriously, most people's boot problems are from too big a boot.

I have worn 27 shells forever, but if I were to ski in the Atomic T11 or Salomon X-Wave 10 I would buy a 26.

In a plug boot I ski true to shell size 27

You should really consider the Salomon X2 Lab plug in the soft model or one of the other plugs. They have worked very well for me. Be prepared for lots of grinding & customizing. But once they are there you'll never turn back. I have Nordica Drive plates installed on my upper cuff and use 3 strap booster's inside the top cuffs and have 8mm riser plates on the sole.

I have over 125 days on mine and still buckle them in the same place as when they were new! No packing out.
post #18 of 29
Do you ever get over to austria to ski? Strulz boot I think I spelled that right., is acustom boot maker. Rather then taking a stock boot and working on it to get it to fit your foot they can make a boot that will fit your foot. They do have a few retailers here in the US It is possible that may even have one here in the US. You may also want to take a look at DaleBootUSA.com They are also a custom boot maker.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Cheers Guys

You're comments are helping me. Looks like I'm going to have a busy weekend!

Should be interesting trying out the Langes and Atomics. Always thought I'd use Salomon's but we'll see.

post #20 of 29


Utah49 is right on.....friend of mine had exact same malady and foot/ankle configuration. years spent trying to find the perfect fit, tried absolutely everything....finally on recommendation visited strands worcester, mass for custom fit via stroltz austria....he has been in bliss ever since....problem :$1200! To him, no worries. I would assume a Stroltz bootfitter can be found in the UK....that's my 2 cents
post #21 of 29
1st of all I love a BBC program name Topgear

I have wide feet too and use to have a pair of boots that was killing my inner arch bone. My advise to you is try every pair out there possible. Don't rush yourself. Goto a store with alot of boots to for fitting. Never feel bad for leaving without buying.

If you're not comfortable with your current boot and u already tired your best to alter it than it's time for a new one. Heel lift is the worst. It'll totally limit what you can do.

Anyway if you really can't find anything right for your wide feet try ebay and get some soft shell boots like this one http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...1959 569&rd=1

Just remember to buy .5 smaller than what you want or get a footbed to eliminate the hell lift problem. As for me I just get thicker socks. People are again this but it works for me.

remember if the boot is loose and lower your perf. theres always hope if they're WAY to tight and causes you pain than get a new one.

here a trick I use to eliminate the loose heel problem. when On top of mount. rest for 5mins.....Loosen & rebuckle everything. make sure your feet gets comfy while rebuckling push down on the shim(that top piece of the boot) so you foot is secure and plained and bulkle up 80% tight always leave the ever top bulkle a little loose. do this over and over every run
post #22 of 29
I echo the concern of being POSITIVE you are not in too big of a boot. Don't know if It's been mentioned but I would look into a Atomic B last boot. Forefoot width to rival the XWave but significantly snugger over the instep and narrower heel and ankle.

Keep in mind boots can be stretched as in much can be done to increase width as mentioned. The flip side is it is very difficult (impossible) to shrink a boot. So a shell that fits your width and is too big elsewhere is not necessarily the answer. A boot that fits the skinny bits and can be stretched to fit the width is much more promising.
post #23 of 29
Ed, Sean at northern ski works put me in the Lange 120 freeride, its a bit softer than the x wave but the precision in turning is much greater than the x wave for some reason. The lateral stiffness is just about right for me. I'm 5'11" and weigh in about 165. I like to ski hard and noticed a big improvement in my abilty to set my edges with less effort. Leave the boot on for at least an hour and wear the thinnest sock liners you'll consider wearing. I paid about 400 for the boots, you can find them on bargain sports or sports liquidator for about 275, but no boot fitting is going on there. Good luck.
post #24 of 29
I'll throw in another vote for the "I brought Salomon X-waves hoping for a wide forefoot, but all I got has heel slop" club.

Not quite as catchy as Flexon Lovers...
post #25 of 29
Ditto to L7, the Atomic B series are excellent boots. I have a wide forefoot and narrow heels and lower calves but experience no heel lift in my B7s.... and comfortable. IMO they are worth looking at.
post #26 of 29
Try Boosterstraps. In keeping the tongue of the bookt locked to my skinny lower legs, they changed my skiing!
post #27 of 29
X- wavers: I bought the Salomon plug boot, Course. I have very narrow heals, very low instep, totally flat feet and wide forefoot. It is always hard for me to fit.

Got rid of the liner and used my Tecnica Hot Form liner. It works well for now, but I plan to replace the liner next season.

This boot is real stiff. That is not what I want in a boot, but it skis well, real well. There is more work to do in that area - boot stiffness.

I'd say try it for fit if your foot is like mine. I went from a 27 to a 28 shell since the fit was better.

Boots are a pain in the a$$, have been for years.
post #28 of 29
I have wide feet, huge calves and tiny heels/thin ankles. I had some X-Wave 9s, and they were terrible, especially in how they allowed the heels to roll around. I had foamed inners and surefoot footbeds and they were hopeless.
I found some boots which needed little if any shell modification: Atomic Widebodies (B9s). They have a very wide forefoot and wide toebox, and tiny heels and ankle.
For teaching I had the 6th toe region blown out (I have quad-E width forefeet), and ended up having the heels packed a little, but even 2 seasons in, where they are packing out a bit, they ski the best of any boot I've ever had, because the shell fits.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice so far everyone.

It's been really helpful. I've tried loads of boots now and the Atomics seem to fit OK.

However, not bought any yet as don't want to rush into anything.

Any more thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again.

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