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An Interview with SureFoot

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
By Liz and Gary Dranow

Disclosure: MSR.com is not sponsored (at this time) by SureFoot and were not paid anything for this. This is an unbiased article for MB members.


Just imagine: you’re in the middle of the first day of a week-long ski trip to Park City, a foot of Utah’s best powder is on the ground, and the skies are already clearing; a perfect day. Except that your feet are so sore that the thought of taking another run in McConkey’s Bowl conjures up images of vises and back-room torture techniques. Instead of thinking about untracked powder stashes, you are counting the minutes until you can take your boots off. The boots that you just bought on your last ski trip, and felt so comfortable then. Now, however, the idea of spending the next 6 days in these boots has you considering the other forms of entertainment available in Park City, with the preference given to anything that can be done wearing bedroom slippers.

Or consider this scenario: you’ve traveled to Park City to test your skills at the Nastar National Championships. You’ve brought your trusty orange Tecnica TNT’s, because they are the most comfortable pair of boots you’ve ever worn, and you are supremely confident in them. This boot has seen you through years of skiing, and they’ve never let you down yet. Except that the day before the big race, when you put them on and flex forward, you hear an unpleasant crack. All of your forward support has instantly vanished. Without even looking, you know that the shell has cracked. You need new boots. Immediately.

Problems with ski boots have the potential to wreak the greatest amount of havoc upon an otherwise perfect ski trip. Of course, because you’re at a ski resort you have several options when it comes to addressing your boot problems. Typically, your choices consist of a couple of options: the boot department in the big, full-service ski shops, or small owner-operated shops. In Park City (and at 18 other ski resorts in North America, as well at 3 European resorts), however, you’ve got another option: Surefoot, the international chain of boot specialists.

Why Surefoot?

The driving philosophy behind Surefoot is to find the best boot fitting technology available in the world and have it be used by trained boot fitters who have a passion for the sport of skiing. What does this mean to you? It means that Surefoot has such faith in its technology and its employees that if you are not completely satisfied with anything you buy from them, or with any service that they perform for you, they will repair it, replace it, or refund your money. It’s unconditional, and it’s your choice.

What makes Surefoot so confident in its ability to guarantee your satisfaction? .

Because Surefoot has the buying power of a multiple stores, the corporation can afford to carry a wide range of brands, models, and sizes.
There is much more to Surefoot than just the boots that it sells, however. Because Surefoot has been in the boot fitting business for over 20 years, they have been able to refine the fitting process to the point that every boot fitting experience is the best experience possible. And unlike many owner-operated stores, where there is a ‘resident expert’, and then several other employees who lack the experience to perform the more technical aspects of boot fitting, all of Surefoot’s employees have been trained in all aspects of boot fitting.

All of this results in consistent, professional service at every Surefoot store in the world.

What to expect

When you walk into a Surefoot store, you’ll be approached by an employee, who will likely address you in one of two ways. If your feet are killing you, the employees want to address your boot problems as quickly and directly as possible. If you are looking for new boots, however, the employees will take the time to get to know you and something about your skiing goals/history before talking to you about specific lines.

Boot pain – the bane of all skiers

Imagine the first scenario again – your almost-new boots are so painful that you are actually considering skipping a day of skiing to visit the ‘paint your own pottery’ store that you saw advertised in the hotel brochure. You’ve entered Surefoot, and have told the employee who approached you your tale of boot-induced-woe.

Don’t expect the employee to immediately take your boot to the back room and start grinding away. Instead, you will be taken through a full fitting process that will ensure that you get the best possible fit in your boots.
Foot beds.

The first step of the process involves how you stand in your bare feet. You’ll remove your socks, and roll up your pants, so that the employee can look at how the bones in your foot and ankle line up when you stand naturally. If you already have foot bed, you will stand on the foot bed, and your stance will be examined.

If you do not already have a foot bed, or if your old foot bed doesn’t put you in a neutral stance (called ‘subtalar neutral’ because it involves putting the subtalar joint in a position that does not supinate or pronate the foot), you will be directed to the ‘digitizing machine’.

Two things happen at this point. First, the employee takes the exact measurement of the width and length of your feet in this neutral position. Then, the technician activates the digitizing machine. This process results in an exact image of the bottom of your foot when you are standing in the anatomically correct position.

Once the digital image of your foot is created, the image is downloaded to a milling machine that is located in the Surefoot store. The milling machine then carves a rubber blank to the exact image of your foot. When the milling machine has finished, the technician then places a cloth cover on the top of each foot bed.

The rubber foot beds are brought back to you, and you then stand on the foot beds, to ensure that the foot beds actually place you in the anatomically correct position. Once the employee determines that you are standing in the neutral position on the foot beds, you move on to the next step in the boot fitting process.

Sidebar: Do I REALLY need foot beds?

Unless you are blessed with anatomically perfect feet (and most of us aren’t), yes. If the bones in your foot are not aligned properly, or are not properly supported in an aligned position, you will find yourself getting unnecessary ‘hot spots’, bruising, or even bone spurs.

I only ski a few days a year. Are foot beds worth the expense for me?
Yes. Foot beds are one of the least expensive ways to dramatically increase your comfort and control while skiing.

SIDEBAR2: Tip: if your foot beds are more than 5 years old, or if you have biomechanical changes, including knee, foot, or ankle surgery, you should have your foot beds checked to make sure that they still put you in the proper stance.

Boot flex

Once you are standing correctly, the next thing the Surefoot employee is going to check is your boot flex. As basic as it sounds, if you expect the boot to work the way it is supposed to, you’ve got to be able to properly bend the boot. While this may not be a problem for many of us, if the boot is especially stiff (such as is the case in a race boot), or if you have a slight build, you may not be able to flex the boot. If this is the case, you will probably experience ‘shin bang’ (the most noticeable symptoms being bruises on your shins), just at or below the boot cuff level. You may also find that because the boot doesn’t bend, the foot is moving in the boot in other ways, causing bruising and hot spots. If the hot spot is ‘fixed’ (through grinding the boot, or padding up spots), but if you can’t flex the boot, the hot spot is likely to return.

One the flex of the boot has been checked, the Surefoot employee will move on to checking your alignment.

Checking your alignment

Checking your alignment is probably the most subjective part of the whole boot fitting process, because there is not a ‘universal alignment’ that works for everyone. The main rule of thumb with alignment is that you want to end up with both feet being symmetrical.

Your alignment will be checked either using a glass plate and a plumb bob, or a tool designed by Surefoot, that looks like a cross between an Ikea floor lamp and something from Home Depot. Regardless of the tools used, the purpose is the same – to determine whether you are standing symmetrically on your feet. If your are not standing with the center of your knee over the center of your foot on one foot or the other, the technician will plane a little material off the bottom of your boot, until you are standing symmetrically.

The rest of the boot fitting process

Once you’ve gone through all of that, you are finally ready to have any additional work that you might need done to your boot. This work can include anything from having padding placed around hot spots, to having the boot shell stretched or ground. This work is very individual, depending on what you need done.

The only consistent experience at this point in the boot fitting process is that you will almost certainly have the opportunity to have lipstick put on your feet! (Really. It’s used to let the boot fitter see where the sore sports on your feet are in relation to the plastic shell of the boot.)

Purchasing new boots at Surefoot

To have properly fitting boots, you must have boots. But if your beloved orange Tecnica TNT’s have just gone to the Great Boot Store In the Sky the day before the Nastar Nationals, you have a different concern, namely getting boots that will perform for you, without spending a week ‘tweaking’ the fit.
As you look at the wall of boots, you’ll be approached by an employee who will probably start by asking you about the skiing, and how your day has been. When you explain that you are in desperate need of new boots, you’ll find yourself being asked a series of questions, covering topics such as how many days you ski each year, the kinds of runs you like to ski, and the type of skier you consider yourself to be. When you explain that you are in Park City for the Nastar Nationals, you will probably be asked a few questions directly related to your ski racing ability, including the amount of experience you’ve had, and the amount of time you spend in a race course.

As you explain your history to the employee, you will be guided over to the boot fitting area. You will stand on the digitizing machine, and the exact length and width measurements of your foot will be taken, in millimeters. The employee uses these measurements, plus the information that you have given about your skiing, to recommend a few styles of boots to try on.

Now, you are asking: how does the Surefoot employee decide what boots to recommend? Boot selection is a bit of both an art and a science. On the science end of things, different manufacturers are known for making different width boots, and the width measurement will help guide in the selection of boots that will fit your feet. The length measurement determines the actual size of the boot. For example, if your foot measures 272 millimeters, you will probably be sized into a 27.5 boot.

Once your foot size has been established, you will have both feet scanned as you stand in the sub-talar neutral position. While you are not obligated to get footbeds when you get new boots, if your are looking for the best performance out of your new boots, it is recommended. And if you get foam liners, it is highly recommended.

Sidebar: Half sizes in boot shells are a myth. All boots are made in whole sizes only, with a 1 cm difference between each size. Nor are there differences in the liners between whole and half sizes – a 27.0 boot is the exact same size (shell and liner) as a 27.5 liner. It is possible, however, to take up a half size of space using various techniques that ensure a proper fit, such as changing the thickness of the insole.

The art part of boot selection comes from the employee listening carefully to what you say about your skiing, and deciding what level boot will be appropriate for your ability and goals. If you are an intermediate skier looking to improve your skiing, you may be directed to a performance boot, while, if you are an intermediate skier who only skis a few days a year, you may be directed to a recreational boot.

Once the level of boot has been roughly established, you will be given a few different options. You can go with one of the brands that Surefoot carries (Lange, Solomon, Atomic, Rossignol, Tecnica, Nordica, and Dolomite), or you can go with the Surefoot brand boot. What’s the difference? The Surefoot brand boot is essentially a Lange shell, but rather than coming with a standard, pre-fit liner, when you get a Surefoot boot, you get a foam liner.

Why a foam liner?

Unlike a traditional stock liner, a foam liner will mold to the contours of your foot specifically. The idea behind a foam liner is that because most feet are not going to exactly fit the shape of the hard plastic shell, a foam liner will create a custom interface between your foot and the plastic shell.
What’s involved in the foaming process?

The foaming process takes about 30 minutes, and does involve some sweat and possible tears on your part, as well as some work on the part of the bootfitter. However, by investing the time upfront, you are likely to find yourself spending more time on the hill, and less time in the boot shop after your purchase.

Sidebar: How well do foam liners work in preventing foot pain? Every case is different, of course, but since Surefoot has started selling more foam liners, they have gone from 2 full-time boot technicians (who do nothing but do work on boots to make them fit better) to 1 person who barely has enough work to keep him employed full-time. The amount of work that has to be done on the boots after the initial purchase has dropped by over half.

The first step in the foaming process is to take a look at your feet and ‘magnify’ your ankle bones and any trouble spots, using foam pads. Then, you will put on rubber toe caps, designed to create room for your toes while settling your into the heel pocket. (While a key part of the foaming process, a word of caution: an informal poll has shown that the toe caps are considered to be the least pleasant part of the whole foaming experience.) When you are fully prepped for foaming, you will put your feet into plastic bags, and then step into the boots and liners.

During this process, you will be standing on a tilted table that helps facilitate the flow of the foam. You will be instructed to move your foot around as the foam moves in, to ensure that foam flows evenly, and to ensure the best possible fit.

Be forewarned: you will experience some pressure on your feet during the foaming process. While it will probably not be as excruciating as most of your friends will tell you that it will be, it is a great excuse to have a beer after you get your new boots (or before, if you are going for a very snug fit!).
Once your boots are foamed, unless you have additional, specialized fitting work that needs to be done, you are ready to go take a training runs in preparation for winning that Nastar gold medal!

Surefoot for Kids

Well-fitting ski bots are not just for adults. Surefoot has a program designed to get your kids in the best fitting boots possible while not breaking the bank. Called ‘Growing Pains,’ if your child grows out of their Surefoot footbeds, take them back to any Surefoot and they will replace them with the proper size. They will do this until your child stops growing. Furthermore, if you get your child’s boots at Surefoot, and they outgrow the boots in less than two years, Surefoot will credit you half the amount of money spent on the old boots toward the new boots. Which leave you more money to spend on yourself.
Ultimately, no matter your boot needs, Surefoot has the technology and experience to get you the best fit possible. Because life is too short to ski in poorly-fitting boots.

Final note: This year I (Gary) am going for the full on WC fit. Zach Lloyd from Rossignol is doing my fitting this month. I will be in the new Rossi Plug, Sock Liner and no foot beds and grinding to get me in the lowest volume possible. Wish me luck!

The MSR Team
www.modernskiracing.com
post #2 of 15
is there a surefoot store in austrlaia?
post #3 of 15
There used to be. The Bootfitting Experience described above didn't necessarily happen there, and the shop (which used to be in Jindabyne) is no longer there.

I got a pair of boots from the Australian Surefoot and am still dealing with some resultant foot and ankle problems caused by them.

If you want bootfitter recommendations for Australia, ask. Every ski area has good bootfitters.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
By Liz and Gary Dranow

Disclosure: MSR.com is not sponsored (at this time) by SureFoot and were not paid anything for this. This is an unbiased article for MB members.
......

What to expect

When you walk into a Surefoot store, you’ll be approached by an employee, who will likely address you in one of two ways. If your feet are killing you, the employees want to address your boot problems as quickly and directly as possible. If you are looking for new boots, however, the employees will take the time to get to know you and something about your skiing goals/history before talking to you about specific lines.

Boot pain – the bane of all skiers

Imagine the first scenario again – your almost-new boots are so painful that you are actually considering skipping a day of skiing to visit the ‘paint your own pottery’ store that you saw advertised in the hotel brochure. You’ve entered Surefoot, and have told the employee who approached you your tale of boot-induced-woe.

Don’t expect the employee to immediately take your boot to the back room and start grinding away. Instead, you will be taken through a full fitting process that will ensure that you get the best possible fit in your boots.
Foot beds.

The first step of the process involves how you stand in your bare feet. You’ll remove your socks, and roll up your pants, so that the employee can look at how the bones in your foot and ankle line up when you stand naturally. If you already have foot bed, you will stand on the foot bed, and your stance will be examined.

If you do not already have a foot bed, or if your old foot bed doesn’t put you in a neutral stance (called ‘subtalar neutral’ because it involves putting the subtalar joint in a position that does not supinate or pronate the foot), you will be directed to the ‘digitizing machine’.

Two things happen at this point. First, the employee takes the exact measurement of the width and length of your feet in this neutral position. Then, the technician activates the digitizing machine. This process results in an exact image of the bottom of your foot when you are standing in the anatomically correct position.

Once the digital image of your foot is created, the image is downloaded to a milling machine that is located in the Surefoot store. The milling machine then carves a rubber blank to the exact image of your foot. When the milling machine has finished, the technician then places a cloth cover on the top of each foot bed.

The rubber foot beds are brought back to you, and you then stand on the foot beds, to ensure that the foot beds actually place you in the anatomically correct position. Once the employee determines that you are standing in the neutral position on the foot beds, you move on to the next step in the boot fitting process.

Sidebar: Do I REALLY need foot beds?

Unless you are blessed with anatomically perfect feet (and most of us aren’t), yes. If the bones in your foot are not aligned properly, or are not properly supported in an aligned position, you will find yourself getting unnecessary ‘hot spots’, bruising, or even bone spurs.

I only ski a few days a year. Are foot beds worth the expense for me?
Yes. Foot beds are one of the least expensive ways to dramatically increase your comfort and control while skiing.

SIDEBAR2: Tip: if your foot beds are more than 5 years old, or if you have biomechanical changes, including knee, foot, or ankle surgery, you should have your foot beds checked to make sure that they still put you in the proper stance.

Boot flex

Once you are standing correctly, the next thing the Surefoot employee is going to check is your boot flex. As basic as it sounds, if you expect the boot to work the way it is supposed to, you’ve got to be able to properly bend the boot. While this may not be a problem for many of us, if the boot is especially stiff (such as is the case in a race boot), or if you have a slight build, you may not be able to flex the boot. If this is the case, you will probably experience ‘shin bang’ (the most noticeable symptoms being bruises on your shins), just at or below the boot cuff level. You may also find that because the boot doesn’t bend, the foot is moving in the boot in other ways, causing bruising and hot spots. If the hot spot is ‘fixed’ (through grinding the boot, or padding up spots), but if you can’t flex the boot, the hot spot is likely to return.

One the flex of the boot has been checked, the Surefoot employee will move on to checking your alignment.

Checking your alignment

Checking your alignment is probably the most subjective part of the whole boot fitting process, because there is not a ‘universal alignment’ that works for everyone. The main rule of thumb with alignment is that you want to end up with both feet being symmetrical.

Your alignment will be checked either using a glass plate and a plumb bob, or a tool designed by Surefoot, that looks like a cross between an Ikea floor lamp and something from Home Depot. Regardless of the tools used, the purpose is the same – to determine whether you are standing symmetrically on your feet. If your are not standing with the center of your knee over the center of your foot on one foot or the other, the technician will plane a little material off the bottom of your boot, until you are standing symmetrically.

The rest of the boot fitting process

Once you’ve gone through all of that, you are finally ready to have any additional work that you might need done to your boot. This work can include anything from having padding placed around hot spots, to having the boot shell stretched or ground. This work is very individual, depending on what you need done.

The only consistent experience at this point in the boot fitting process is that you will almost certainly have the opportunity to have lipstick put on your feet! (Really. It’s used to let the boot fitter see where the sore sports on your feet are in relation to the plastic shell of the boot.)

Purchasing new boots at Surefoot

To have properly fitting boots, you must have boots. But if your beloved orange Tecnica TNT’s have just gone to the Great Boot Store In the Sky the day before the Nastar Nationals, you have a different concern, namely getting boots that will perform for you, without spending a week ‘tweaking’ the fit.
As you look at the wall of boots, you’ll be approached by an employee who will probably start by asking you about the skiing, and how your day has been. When you explain that you are in desperate need of new boots, you’ll find yourself being asked a series of questions, covering topics such as how many days you ski each year, the kinds of runs you like to ski, and the type of skier you consider yourself to be. When you explain that you are in Park City for the Nastar Nationals, you will probably be asked a few questions directly related to your ski racing ability, including the amount of experience you’ve had, and the amount of time you spend in a race course.

As you explain your history to the employee, you will be guided over to the boot fitting area. You will stand on the digitizing machine, and the exact length and width measurements of your foot will be taken, in millimeters. The employee uses these measurements, plus the information that you have given about your skiing, to recommend a few styles of boots to try on.

Now, you are asking: how does the Surefoot employee decide what boots to recommend? Boot selection is a bit of both an art and a science. On the science end of things, different manufacturers are known for making different width boots, and the width measurement will help guide in the selection of boots that will fit your feet. The length measurement determines the actual size of the boot. For example, if your foot measures 272 millimeters, you will probably be sized into a 27.5 boot.

Once your foot size has been established, you will have both feet scanned as you stand in the sub-talar neutral position. While you are not obligated to get footbeds when you get new boots, if your are looking for the best performance out of your new boots, it is recommended. And if you get foam liners, it is highly recommended.

Sidebar: Half sizes in boot shells are a myth. All boots are made in whole sizes only, with a 1 cm difference between each size. Nor are there differences in the liners between whole and half sizes – a 27.0 boot is the exact same size (shell and liner) as a 27.5 liner. It is possible, however, to take up a half size of space using various techniques that ensure a proper fit, such as changing the thickness of the insole.

The art part of boot selection comes from the employee listening carefully to what you say about your skiing, and deciding what level boot will be appropriate for your ability and goals. If you are an intermediate skier looking to improve your skiing, you may be directed to a performance boot, while, if you are an intermediate skier who only skis a few days a year, you may be directed to a recreational boot.

Once the level of boot has been roughly established, you will be given a few different options. You can go with one of the brands that Surefoot carries (Lange, Solomon, Atomic, Rossignol, Tecnica, Nordica, and Dolomite), or you can go with the Surefoot brand boot. What’s the difference? The Surefoot brand boot is essentially a Lange shell, but rather than coming with a standard, pre-fit liner, when you get a Surefoot boot, you get a foam liner.

Why a foam liner?

Unlike a traditional stock liner, a foam liner will mold to the contours of your foot specifically. The idea behind a foam liner is that because most feet are not going to exactly fit the shape of the hard plastic shell, a foam liner will create a custom interface between your foot and the plastic shell.
What’s involved in the foaming process?

The foaming process takes about 30 minutes, and does involve some sweat and possible tears on your part, as well as some work on the part of the bootfitter. However, by investing the time upfront, you are likely to find yourself spending more time on the hill, and less time in the boot shop after your purchase.

Sidebar: How well do foam liners work in preventing foot pain? Every case is different, of course, but since Surefoot has started selling more foam liners, they have gone from 2 full-time boot technicians (who do nothing but do work on boots to make them fit better) to 1 person who barely has enough work to keep him employed full-time. The amount of work that has to be done on the boots after the initial purchase has dropped by over half.

The first step in the foaming process is to take a look at your feet and ‘magnify’ your ankle bones and any trouble spots, using foam pads. Then, you will put on rubber toe caps, designed to create room for your toes while settling your into the heel pocket. (While a key part of the foaming process, a word of caution: an informal poll has shown that the toe caps are considered to be the least pleasant part of the whole foaming experience.) When you are fully prepped for foaming, you will put your feet into plastic bags, and then step into the boots and liners.

During this process, you will be standing on a tilted table that helps facilitate the flow of the foam. You will be instructed to move your foot around as the foam moves in, to ensure that foam flows evenly, and to ensure the best possible fit.

Be forewarned: you will experience some pressure on your feet during the foaming process. While it will probably not be as excruciating as most of your friends will tell you that it will be, it is a great excuse to have a beer after you get your new boots (or before, if you are going for a very snug fit!).
Once your boots are foamed, unless you have additional, specialized fitting work that needs to be done, you are ready to go take a training runs in preparation for winning that Nastar gold medal!

Surefoot for Kids

Well-fitting ski bots are not just for adults. Surefoot has a program designed to get your kids in the best fitting boots possible while not breaking the bank. Called ‘Growing Pains,’ if your child grows out of their Surefoot footbeds, take them back to any Surefoot and they will replace them with the proper size. They will do this until your child stops growing. Furthermore, if you get your child’s boots at Surefoot, and they outgrow the boots in less than two years, Surefoot will credit you half the amount of money spent on the old boots toward the new boots. Which leave you more money to spend on yourself.
Ultimately, no matter your boot needs, Surefoot has the technology and experience to get you the best fit possible. Because life is too short to ski in poorly-fitting boots.

Final note: This year I (Gary) am going for the full on WC fit. Zach Lloyd from Rossignol is doing my fitting this month. I will be in the new Rossi Plug, Sock Liner and no foot beds and grinding to get me in the lowest volume possible. Wish me luck!

The MSR Team
www.modernskiracing.com
Surefoot australia experience
1) You walk into shop & stand around looking like a stunned mullet while the "boys" talk to their buddies... look stupid long enough & they might decide to serve you & stop talking
2) tell them you are looking to buy a boot & they will measure the length & "fit you" with one....
3) despite you explaining that you have very bad feet & always wear a VERY corrective orthotic they will insist you need footbeds.... orthotics are no good - you MUST have a footbed....
Ask about casting weighted on a foot that the podiatrists insist MUST be cast unweighted to get aligned with the leg & they will STILL insist you MUST have footbeds...
4) buy footbeds & boots (new skier)
5) return on multiple occasions with foot grief.... they "do stuff" to boot but you always have foot cramps & grief
6) return twice to have alignment checked at request of instructor who feels that it is incorrect

When you finally go to buy new boots (Surefoot is thankfully closed by now) because the instructor is SICK of the boot issues you discover
1) boot is too large (footbed is 1cm longer than foot....)
2) not only are you NOT aligned in boots - you just are NOT aligned with the footbeds.... cramps happen with those footbeds in ANY boots including a softshelled pair of rollerblades - the cramps are CAUSED by the footbeds...
they disappear without the footbeds....

Later whilst working through the podiatrist/physiotherapist issues as prescribed to attempt to solve issues discovered buying new boots you find
1) leg length discrepancy of >1cm....
2) because of 1) the short leg is ALWAYS supinated & the long ALWAYS pronated when standing unless the length is compensated.... so the feet/legs would never be aligned when casting footbeds standing on those 2 legs on surefoots magic machine...
3) Hip& knee pain suffered for years is due to misalignment from 1)....
remember instructor has sent me BACK to surefoot repeatedly requesting they check alignment

Sorry gary - but my experience is so bad I would NOT ever suggest buying boots in Surefoot....
Unfortunately I have 2 friends with stories as bad as mine or worse....
post #5 of 15
=S
.....scary.....
post #6 of 15
no annoying....
extremely annoying....

if i provided that sort of service to my customers I'd go out of business....
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
no annoying....
extremely annoying....

if i provided that sort of service to my customers I'd go out of business....
The only store we know and have expirence with is the one in PC and they are a bit different, I was led to believe the SF has worked on franchising what they have done with the PC store, apparently that isn't the case, certainly down under.

Hey, just take it for what its worth. We only looked at this for the recreational skier and weekend warriors from a journalistic POV. I'd like to hear from folks west coast, back east and central Europe if they are have had the same issues. If we get enough bad reports I'll pull this thing.

All I can say is YIKES
post #8 of 15
I've had great luck with Surefoot @ Whistler (Sam) and Surefoot @ Killington (Ray Rice). Knowledgeable staff, fairly priced, good service, great products. I'm very happy with the footbeds and custom foam liners I've purchased from them. Their follow-up work, when requested, has been prompt, courteous, and excellent. If there are problems, why not ask for your refund and try another shop?
post #9 of 15
excuse my ignorance but is this "article" (re: advertisement) officially sanctioned by the powers at be or this just a newbie looking for free press? I am not familiar with other companies doing this. FWIW- Last season a guy from our ski class bought boots at Sure foot (known as sore foot by many of the instructors) and the fit was horrible. Had to go back several times (missing instruction) and these were injected liners. Sorry if I am out of line, its just the way it looks to me.
post #10 of 15
Surefoot and Super Feet are different operations.
post #11 of 15
read my edit. I changed after the inital post.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
By Liz and Gary Dranow

Disclosure: MSR.com is not sponsored (at this time) by SureFoot and were not paid anything for this. This is an unbiased article for MB members.
Unbiased, my (Sure)foot. "Fair and Balanced", maybe. This is a press release, not an article.
post #13 of 15
disski,

Its not the store, its the tech. You get a good tech and they can fit you like a dream no matter what system they are using. (Sort of like good ski instructors.) Get a bad tech or one that improperly or under trained and you get a bad fitting no matter what system they are using. (Sort of like bad ski instructors.)

Moral of the story. Talk to people, listen, then go to the boot tech that you think will be able to do the best for you. (Then pray that they understand all the intricacies of fitting people with "special" feet.)
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Final note: This year I (Gary) am going for the full on WC fit. Zach Lloyd from Rossignol is doing my fitting this month. I will be in the new Rossi Plug, Sock Liner and no foot beds and grinding to get me in the lowest volume possible. Wish me luck!
Now THAT is the only relevant and personal point in this whole article. So, after over 30 paragraphs promoting surefoot you are having your fit done by your sponsor Rossignol. I take it you found out how to get the best fit, and it has nothing to do with the franchise store for the masses.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
By Liz and Gary Dranow

Disclosure: MSR.com is not sponsored (at this time) by SureFoot and were not paid anything for this. This is an unbiased article for MB members.


Why Surefoot?

The driving philosophy behind Surefoot is to find the best boot fitting technology available in the world and have it be used by trained boot fitters who have a passion for the sport of skiing. What does this mean to you? It means that Surefoot has such faith in its technology and its employees that if you are not completely satisfied with anything you buy from them, or with any service that they perform for you, they will repair it, replace it, or refund your money. It’s unconditional, and it’s your choice.

What makes Surefoot so confident in its ability to guarantee your satisfaction? .

Because Surefoot has the buying power of a multiple stores, the corporation can afford to carry a wide range of brands, models, and sizes.
There is much more to Surefoot than just the boots that it sells, however. Because Surefoot has been in the boot fitting business for over 20 years, they have been able to refine the fitting process to the point that every boot fitting experience is the best experience possible. And unlike many owner-operated stores, where there is a ‘resident expert’, and then several other employees who lack the experience to perform the more technical aspects of boot fitting, all of Surefoot’s employees have been trained in all aspects of boot fitting.

All of this results in consistent, professional service at every Surefoot store in the world.
Gary, While you are not sponsored by Surefoot you sure sound like a you are. Suffice it to say that more than a few people disagree with your biased opinion. Especially the best boot fitting experience possible stuff. I guess if you had limited your comments to the PC store more people would be willing to believe you. My experience with our Surefoot shop is not as positive as yours and they did not do as complete a job as you described in your endorsement. I could say a lot more but since they are not here to defend themselves, I will leave it at that. I recommend footbeds and having your boots adjusted by a caring professional. Surefoot may strive to do that but their training falls short when the process is so different from shop to shop. Additionally the customer service problems I (and others) have experienced says they need to emphasize this more in their hiring practices and staff training.
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