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boot questions

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
thinkin about ordering some new boots online... my current boots are relatively new atomics (2 yrs old, i think). beta lite 7's... the main reason i'm getting new boots is cuz they're too soft and have such a short friggin cuff (the consequences of not doing proper research and letting a high-schooler sell you boots). the foot part fits great, but i had to drill new holes to make 'em fit my ankle/calf.
anyhow: supposedly the atomic line's 'foot parts' (somebody clue me in on the lingo here) are all pretty much the same, while the 'ankle/calf parts' are generally smaller than the boots i currently have. would it be reasonable to assume that another atomic boot would fit my foot roughly the same as my current boots, while being narrower in the calf? i'm looking hard at the beta ride 9.50 and 10.50.

i'm also looking at the head worldcup TR's and tecnica icon's, anybody have a clue how these fit relative to atomics? i've got a pretty ordinary foot, and am usually comfortable in whatever boots/shoes/ski boots etc. that i find.

anybody have any experience w/ these boots? or any of head's other race/freeride boots? i really don't have the opportunity to try boots on...especially this time of year. i live in the middle of nowhere. would custom footbeds and heatfit liners help w/ a somewhat 'off' fit?

i tried reading skimag and skiingmag's 'buyers guides' and came to the obvious conclusion that they're pretty worthless, especially in the area of boots...

i'm also looking at custom footbeds. i don't know when or where i would get those done around here... i'm thinking about finding a place in chicago next time i drive through. the general consensus seems to be that they're well worth it...anybody have any shops to recommend?
post #2 of 23
It sounds like a troll, it feels like a troll (no member info), but I'll rise to the bait...

Don't buy on-line unless the company has a very good returns policy, and you don't mind getting several boots before you find the right fit.

OK, forget my last comment.

Don't buy boots on-line.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
no troll. scout's honor. you gaperskiers sure are a suspicious bunch. just lookin for input before i pull the trigger.

online is my most viable option. the advisability of buying online isn't what i'm asking..i know it's not the best idea.

[ June 15, 2002, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Heimdallr ]
post #4 of 23
I would only buy boots online if it was your last option. I would recommend going to a ski shop and having a professional boot fitter help you out. I always like to put on boots and get a feel for them before I buy. I've researched several boots online which I might like to buy, then went to the shop and put them on, and find out that they fit terrible and just don't feel right for me.
post #5 of 23
Boots are the most important piece of ski gear. Footbeds are the second most important piece of gear.

If you need brain surgery do you go to the best doctor, in the best clinic no matter where that may be? Do you pick a more reasonably priced, less experienced doc? Do you just have your neighbor do it quick and dirty on the kitchen table?

In the analogy, the best boot fitter is one off the EpicSki list. The lower priced is your local ski specialty shop. The neighbor and kitchen table is the Internet.

You choose it’s your feet.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
egads! work w/ me here. pretend that a professional bootfitter or even a shop in which i may try boots on are not options. (which they sort of aren't.) i'm not lookin for a lecture re: the joys of a good bootfitter....i can go to dozens of threads and read that repititious nonsense....
post #7 of 23
I don't think any of us here will be able to give you the advice you want. Perhaps try here:
Powder. They are a lot more knowledgeable about the best boot for you.

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

edit: i really don't quite understand the dissent between the boards. the epic crowd makes snide comments about the maggots' general puerility, and maggots openly make jokes about the epic crowd being so anal. yet the bulk of the dissent was spawned by a few kids w/ too much time on their hands, and it merely perpetuates itself. these are not fair representations of either board, it seems most adults would be able think this through and act w/ a little bit of maturity... the epic crowd is no less guilty of this than the maggots.

[ June 15, 2002, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: Heimdallr ]
post #9 of 23

edit: i really don't quite understand the dissent between the boards. the epic crowd makes snide comments about the maggots' general puerility, and maggots openly make jokes about the epic crowd being so anal. yet the bulk of the dissent was spawned by a few kids w/ too much time on their hands, and it merely perpetuates itself. these are not fair representations of either board, it seems most adults would be able think this through and act w/ a little bit of maturity... the epic crowd is no less guilty of this than the maggots.
I think part of the problem is the fact that you have not really given the people here anything to go on. You know the old saying "fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, Shame on me"?

There have been several "attacks" from various other boards and I agree it get's out of hand but as you point out, it's usually just a few people. The same applies in any "group"

In any case, Why is getting to a shop out of the question? Maybe if you tell us the problem, some of the guys here can help you out and may lead to better conversation rather than the tossed insults.

If you are on the up and up, give us some more to work with and some good reasons why getting to a shop is out of the question. There are often options that can be coupled with an online purchase. I agree with most of the poster's that a pro fitter is the best choice but it's not always the only option.
post #10 of 23
Here's one to possibly think about,

They have a pretty good return policy. My dad has been working with them and purchased a pair of these. (soft boots) First had the wrong size, sent them back, and got the correct size. Then found that one of the shells was leaking a little and they sent him another pair. The order was done on line.

You mentioned that you felt that your boots are too soft but you didn't mention why you think this. Soft or easy flexing forward/backwards is probably OK as long as they are rigid laterally. Unless you are racing or looking for real high performance in which case a professional fitter is the only way to go, Other wise don't rule out the possiblity of a softer boot.

Just some thoughts.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
ty dchan. a shop is not necessarilly out of the question, although we're lookin at a 7-8 hr. drive to get to a decent one, and that isn't realistic right'd about have to be a weekend trip. i'm not really afraid to stick my neck out on this. if i went through w/ an internet purchase the most i'd spend would be less than $300, nothing i can sneeze at, but little enough that getting a decent portion of it back via either a return or ebay at the beginning of next season is not out of the question.

my original question and replies have been an attempt to garner information, i.e. how specific different boots compare in fit. i didn't really think it was that difficult a question. my primary question was: is it safe to assume that different boots by a specific manufacturer will fit roughly the same w/in the same size? i also wanted a basic, uninformed review regarding fit between brands. say you had the opportunity to try on 5 different pairs of boots, including a pair of atomics. you found the tecnicas had a narrower heel and a wider toebox, while the head had a wider heel and a narrower toebox. and the langes fit pretty much the same. that's all i'm askin. nothing too technical...just a feel, even a vague one.

my current boots are soft. everywhere. forwards and laterally. i can deal w/ the forward softness by staying centered, but edging feels very imprecise (they fit very snugly, mind you). they also have a very low cuff, which i'm not a big fan of... they aren't a particularly high end boot, which i'm not worried about if i can't tell performance-wise. my basis for comparison is an old pair of killy racing boots that finally fell apart and a pair of salomon x wave 10's that i borrowed.

There are often options that can be coupled with an online purchase
ahh...see? now that would be useful. what are these options? i've heard that a good bootfitter can do wonderful much can they really do?

i'm well aware of the pit-falls of an inappropriate fit and the inadvisability of buying boots online. i've also heard plenty about 'good shops' and the like. i'm looking for information...withholding it 'for my own good' doesn't help me...and only lends to my frustration. i have all summer to wrestle w/ this...i can afford to take a chance.

edit: regarding the 'rail' boots...a friend of mine is getting a pair...i'll be able to check them out then.

[ June 15, 2002, 07:41 PM: Message edited by: Heimdallr ]
post #12 of 23
my primary question was: is it safe to assume that different boots by a specific manufacturer will fit roughly the same w/in the same size?
It is not safe to assumem that different boots withen the same manufacturer will fit the same. The high end boots will be much tighter, not very snug, not as much volume. Lower end boots usually have a bigger volume and are more comfortable. If you search the archives at or you may find a list of specific models and their volumes.

[ June 15, 2002, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: 9.12 skier ]
post #13 of 23
I think these guys are trying to save you a lot of time and agony by simply steering you away from mail order follies with the most critical piece of gear you will buy.

On Atomics, I have no frame of reference, but though I am very comfortable in an L-10, I had to pass on a few deals on Icons and Rossi Race series boots because I could not even get my foot in there. Point being that there is such marked variation boot to boot and having happy feet is critical.

Your best mail order bet is to get someone who knows the last series that fit you well and reference that to a newer series.

Just where do you live that's that far out?
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by yuki:
Your best mail order bet is to get someone who knows the last series that fit you well and reference that to a newer series.
that's exactly what i was hoping for in posting the question here.
post #15 of 23
If you are all fired up on buying a boot sight unseen from the Internet, here is what I recommend. Contact one of the boot fitters on this list and discuss your needs with him/her:

At least offer to pay for the expert advice they give you. Seriously consider buying your boot from them. If possible plan to visit the boot fitter you have chosen for a boot fitting session at some time in the future.

Twenty-five years ago I switched to Lange boots. They have always fit my foot. Regardless, I still have the boots fit and try many different boots before buying a pair.
post #16 of 23
How about going with a store that sells over the net but also has boot fitting. Discuss what you want to do , talk directly to their boot fitter giving info on your foot and the type of skiing your going to do etc. Maybe even come to some sort of return agreement ahead of time. As long as you pay for shipping and you only wear in the living room they may go for it. Contact mtnlion over on powder as he is a bootfittera and may be able to work something out. Also Jardines has great prices but again on the north side of the border. Hopefully that puts another "focus " on your problem.

[ June 15, 2002, 09:45 PM: Message edited by: dougw ]
post #17 of 23
Where about's are you located and where do you usually ski? If you check out in the gear finder, they have a chart that kind of tells you what the different boots fit are like, IE large forefoot, tight ankle, narrow forefoot, large calf, etc. Different lines in the same MFG can vary quite a bit but it's usually pretty similar. Some MFG use the same last (Shell) for many different lines and just use a different material or pivot points to change the flex or feel of the boot. A real good boot fitter (I like the suggestion of calling a fitter) and offering to pay them for their time is an option. If you are going to err, make sure you do it on the tight side. (too small) A boot can be pressed out and they will pack out, however a boot that is too big is almost impossible to fit. By the way, if your street shoe is a 9 for instance probably look for a size smaller, so size 8 in your boot. another thing to realize is most boots don't really have half sizes. the same shell is used for an 8 and 8.5 or in ski boot terms (mondo sizing) 26 and 25.6 are the same shell. They may or may not have different liners but they usually have different boot boards (under foot) to take up a different amount of volume.

The reason I ask where you ski, and your location, someone might know of a good shop closer than you think. Even if it is not a "great shop" you might be able to get an idea which boot fits you like. The MFG's to tend to run along the same fit shape ie; wide forefoot, narrow ankle.

The option I mentioned might be to purchase a boot online, (make sure you have a good return policy or option) and then on your first trip to the slopes, plan to take a half day to visit the local proshop for a fitting. (here I'm sure you will get plenty of suggestions)

Good luck.
post #18 of 23
If you have a shop near by that does not have good fitting people but are willing to let you pull the boots apart in the store, as well as put on several boots, Plan on spending some time there and just try on boots. Keep in mind that even if you don't purchase, take notes. .. Salomon, feels great but tight around the ....

Also learn how to size your boot correctly.

Pull the liner out of the boot and put your foot in the boot (no socks) and stand up in the boot with your longest toe just touching the front of the boot. Have someone look down the back of your foot and see how much space there is between your heel and the boot shell. For a tight fit 1/2 inch is all you want. for a more comfy fit, 3/4 inch. Don't go any bigger. Don't use your fingers (some people suggest 1.5 fingers but since everyone's fingers are different it's not a real good gauge. Bring a mini Maglight and use the head/light end for 3/4 inch and tail end for 1/2 inch. It's more consistant.

Then take note of the exact model and size. This will help you in your search online or by phone.
post #19 of 23
I agree with you about the "buyer guides" being worthless, but, being unable to try on, you would at least gain SOME info. The Skiing Magazine October 2001 guide has a volume vs. performance chart on page 144. There are some major volume differences among your choices: the Atomic Beta Races fit a b-c foot. The Technica Icon XT and the The Head WorldCup Ti N97 fit an a-b foot, and the Head Worldcup Ti M103R fits a d-e.

The individual boot discussions in these guides also describe the fit in the foot and in the cuff.

If you can't find a copy of this and it would help, let me know and I will list all the expert & advanced boots that supposedly fit a b-c foot.

Try digging up the buyers guide for the year of your old boots. Look up the foot volume your old boots fit and then use the new buyers guide to find models with the same fit. Keep in mind an expert/race boot has a much much tighter fit than an intermediate boot of the same size.

After all this, I have to admit, these volume charts aren't accurate at all, at least with women's boots and my feet.

[ June 16, 2002, 12:02 PM: Message edited by: WhosThatGirl ]
post #20 of 23
If you are planning on taking a ski trip, why not buy your boots from a shop with a good bootfitter on the first day of your trip? This way you can get professionally fit, then ski the boots and keep coming back in to the shop so the fit can be tweaked and adjusted until they are just right. The only way to really know about the fit is to ski on them anyway. I bought my boots this way at Snowbird, and although the boots are the only piece of ski equipment that I have ever bought that was not on sale, they are worth every penny. To my mind, buying a "good deal" without knowing if they will really work best for you is false economy.
post #21 of 23
well seems like you've had plenty of help, but what the hell...

Call atomic, ask what current models have the same last. If the fit is good on your old ones, why look for a change? Just find a pair that has a higher flex index.
I'm not super versed on boot technology, but from what I know there are 2 main considerations; first and of course foremost, fit. if you know the fit of the atomics is good, you're set there. second, stiffness, which can be objectively measured, so that's easy. Beyond that, it seems all the little stuff can be tweaked.
Good luck. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #22 of 23
focus, er, Heimdallr:

Looks like you got similar advice on the dark side. Don't you live in the UP, or is it Canada? Regardless, I do think you should get some feet time in the boots before you squeeze the trigger. It may be difficult to get away to an area with a good boot fitter but it is worth the effort. Come out to Seattle and write it off your taxes as a scouting venture to "job hunt" the boats heading up to Alaska. The trip will be discounted and better yet, there are good boot fitters there and Timberline is just 3.5 hours away for a couple of days of great lift served summer skiing.

Ring me up and we will go ski the T-Line.

post #23 of 23
To repeat what others have said, don't buy your boots online! No one's trying to be evasive here, or to withhold good information. If you want to get good boots that fit you well and work for you, you must get them from a skilled boot fitter who can custom-select them, and custom-fit them for you.

You don't need to have a boot fitter nearby. The best bet is to buy your boots the next time you go skiing. Buy 'em. Ski in them for a while. Go back to the shop and tell them exactly what you feel. Let them tweak them, then ski again. Keep doing it until they are perfect!

You asked about custom footbeds, which will probably help a great deal. But you can't get those over the Internet either.

Boots are the only truly customized piece of ski gear. If you buy them from a stranger, don't say you weren't warned!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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