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Fitting of boots-Tecnica Icon XT17 ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
How is a race boot designed to fit initially? Less than 1 finger width and then streched to fit your foot? Or fit it like a traditional boot (1-finger width) and grind out the pressure areas only, not lengthwise?

I am buying a new pair of boots. I wear a size 8/8.5 running shoe, and I have been wearing Salomon Course boots in a 25.5 (293mm sole). The Sollies gave me 1 finger width behind the heel, but they were sloppy in the forefoot-too wide. I need to go with another high-performance boot that is narrower in the forefoot, but not too stiff (I only weigh 150 lbs, this will likely be my only boot). I run gates about 20% of the time and free ski the rest-I want a boot that is snug, but will be somewhat comfortable for all-day use (yes, I always unbuckle on the chair). I am assuming that means sticking with the 1-finger width behind the heel? That puts me in a 25 shell, typically.

I just mail-ordered 2 pair of boots, and am currently trying them on (got a pro-form, so I had to order over the phone-nobody stocks race boots in the PNW). They are both Tecnica Icon XT17's. One is a US 7.5(294mm sole) the other a US 6.5 (286mm sole). The 294mm sole boot fits snugly-just a touch over 1 finger width. The 286mm sole has something like 1/3 of a finger width-it is tight, but I am not in pain. The 294 will likely require very little modification (aside from a little relief in the instep and a little in the toe area) while the 286 will probably require grinding/punching to make the boot a smidge longer (I am guessing 4-5mm).

How much can I "stretch" a boot shell? I know that the plastic on the XT17 is fairly thick. Am I making a mistake by going with the smaller boot-can my bootfitter make it comfortable for me by grinding/punching lengthwise? I would need to come up with about 4-5mm of length to make it comforable enough for all-day use. Or, is the larger size what I am looking for-the smaller size would be very uncomforable no matter what I do?
post #2 of 5
I have the same boot.... You'll love it.
I'd recommend against any lenthwise stretching, but if you only need 4 or 5 mm, you may be able to grind enough out. Stretching lenthwise can sometimes affect the boot/binding relationship (something you definitely don't want to alter)
I have a set of intuition liners in mine, and unless they are buckled to race tightness, I don't even unbuckle them in the bar. I didn't alter the shell at all.
You may want to soften them up a touch, too, by cutting the inner shell. Go a little at a time, though, you can't stiffen 'em back up.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I decided to go with the larger size. It was comfortable, yet very responsive and not sloppy in the forefoot (unlike my Course's). I think I will be softening it a touch in the future. It seemed to correct my bowleggedness-I really felt in balance over the skis (even without a fit, which I am getting in a couple of weeks, after I get some time in the boot).
post #4 of 5
U.P. Racer makes a good point about being careful about stretching and potentially interfering with the binding. Contrary to many other race boots, there is not much opportunity to grind a lot in the toe or the heel of the shell to increase length. I stretched my right boot (XT-17) about 4mm to make room for my big toe. This was not a problem. One area that have been troublesome with many in this boot is pressure on top of the foot. In my case I did a fair amount of grinding on top of the tongue and this improved my fit dramatically. It took some work for me, but the fit in this boot is very good and I really like the way it skis.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
The instep was a little tight on this boot-not bad though. I will grind out tounge area a bit to relieve pressure. The biggest adjustment (for me) on this boot will have to be forward lean-there is way too much! And that was after I removed the forward lean adjustment plate behind the liner. Ususally, stripped-down boots such as this don't have excessive forward lean. I am assuming that the boot board will have to be ground to change the lean, correct? Will I have to fiddle with the inner shell as well? (actually my bootfitter will be doing the fiddling)
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