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Boot Fit Dilemna

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Okay, it has to happen this year. Either new boots, footbeds, boot fitting, or all of the above.

Couldn't be more comfortable in my Technica Duo 70s, but at this point, instructors have commented that they may be too "low end" for me. I have also heard more than once that many of my alignment problems are due to improperly fitting boots.

So here's the dilemna. I am lucky enough to live around the corner from Gordon of solesytems shop.

But my instincts tell me that I want to be observed on snow before and after I make any changes. I have heard some great things about Green Mountain orthotics lab, and the fact that they are near Stratton, and do on snow observation is very appealing.


Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #2 of 17
Wish you were local. Want to see what is going on... At least you are going for it. From your descriptions of where you are at with your skiing, you are ready for more performance. Hmmm, can you find a Brannock? I could "coach" you to get some decent numbers. Maybe Mark could help. Get us some numbers.

As far as specific places go... well. Those issues can get delicate in a public forum. I have heard good things and bad things.

Wish I had a little more time, I have been working on some bootfitting "content". Putting it all down, via my Handspring PDA. My Grafiti writing skills have never been better... Been working a lot on a network gig...

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver

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[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited August 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 17
MY $.02 would be to take a trip from the #128_speedway and go see SnoKarver!..
Just from personal experience, getting in touch with a Podiatrist was a real education...he had me lie down...then showed me by applying pressure to my feet...it was easy to see/feel then just what was needed (pronation & supination...Gordon's good..Paul Richelson's awfully busy..so he must be good...Greg's good ($.02..when it gets to the boot stage...Greg's hands down..a guy to see..)....Mr. BootTweak_@Stratton...
post #4 of 17
The whole enchillada ? Everything, and nothing less for the best possible fit in the right performance boot for YOU ! Find a master boot fitter,and don't forget to deal with the alignment issues as well.

Good luck and I am sure this will lead you to even more .......

Happy Skiing and pictures that you can post of your future ski trips.
post #5 of 17
I've been very impressed by the various work that has been done on my various pairs of boots over the years by Paul Richelson (Plymouth NH, close to WV & Loon, and very close to Tenney), Gordon (close to . . . Blue Hills?), Inner Bootworks (Stowe access road), Basin Ski Shop (Killington access road), and GMOL. But the one edge that GMOL has on the competition is that it's not just close to Stratton, it's adjacent to the mountain - just as close to the lifts as the lodge is. And they do seem to offer some sort of integrated instruction/fitting service, which strikes me as the ideal combo: http://www.gmolfoot.com/performa.htm
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Snowcarver, if it weren't for the fact that all my funds are going to the Fernie trip, I'd be at your door!

Jonathan, thanks. I had found that same link, and that's what got me thinking about all this. Although it may be very convenient to just walk a round the corner from home to see Gordon, I feel that the convenience of being right by the mountain is more important to me, at my current level.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #7 of 17
I'd think that Gordon Hay would be a no-brainer. Why would you want to drive all the way to Stratton every time you need to get your boots tweaked? Of the people being discussed here, there isn't any particular difference in quality level. None of these guys are going to put you in a boot that's wrong for your foot and you take enough lessons that you can accurately describe your skiing level. Besides, you're right in the middle of your learning curve and improving rapidly so I'm not sure how much you'd benefit from a gimmic like the GMOL on-snow program. I think that's mostly targeted at extracting large amounts of dollars from the affluent Fairfield County stockbrokers and dentists who frequent Stratton.

By the way... Check out the photos of Gordon skiing in Valle Nevado last week at http://www.basinski.com

The Solesystems web site has an interesting testimonial that I thought would be of interest:
As the Head Coach of the MIT NCAA Varsity Ski Team, and as a certified ski instructor and race coach, I know how important ski boots are in creating and maintaining a properly balanced skiing stance - let alone in keeping your feet pain-free. Just as important is a skilled ski boot technician. Such technicians are in regrettably short supply, but I am grateful that Boston has one of the nation's most impressive: Gordon Hay.

Gordon has worked wonders with my team's athletes, fitting seemingly unfittable feet, correcting skewed alignment, and banishing mysterious foot pain. My job duties are considerably easier now that I can address any boot-related problems with the simple advice of, "Go see Gordon." Moreover, Gordon is not content to rest of his laurels, but rather is constantly innovating, always eager to try new designs and test new materials.

Whether you are a racer or recreational skier, if you need new boots or have any boot-related problems, I strongly suggest you follow my advice - gleaned from a decade of coaching, copious technical reading, clinic attendance, etc. - and, "Go see Gordon!"

- Jonathan Shefftz
Head Coach,
MIT Skiing
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[This message has been edited by GeoffD (edited September 05, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I suppose if I want something for early December, I better call you soon?
post #9 of 17
I don't think the on snow assesment is a gimmick at all but Geoff D. raises a good point about location. Boot fitting involves a lot of work and back and forth fitting to get it right. So if you have the option of going to someone who's around the corner and very good you might want to start there. You can still do the on snow thing later. Whatever you do it should be done early, even before Thanksgiving. This way you're assured of having the best selection of boots and the time to deal with it.
Worst possible thing to do is buy boots on vacation where you'll never be again. (Though I suppose if you're at the Strolz factory...)
By the way, I also recommend highly Scott Thompson at gmol.
Did anyone happen to notice on the last page of Ski(?) magazine Steve Thomas of This Old House? He mentions in there that his boots have about 100 hours of fitting in them. (and I thought I was bad...)

Here's lisamarie getting aligned at gmol:

greg: how's that?
lm: well my vastus medialus is a little strained so i think i might be too far forward. my left foot is pinched and I think i'm compensating by engaging my tibialus lateralus minor which probably puts me out to the side. can you really tell?
greg: now?
lm: well, I can feel the flexor in my left hip socket is tense and i think it's throwing off my stance. are you sure my legs are the same length? maybe we need that heel lift only in one side. this is the problem i have with short turns...[?huh] yeah let's try that other adjustment you were talking about. That could straighten out the pelvis..
lm: oh. now my fibulara lateralus is really tense! this can't be right i should feel more neutral muscle tension right? oh geez, we've been here 2 hours...can't we get out on snow now? maybe my patellica timoralicus will start behaving once i start skiing. i really don't think i can tell till i start skiing. no short turns though... that wouldn't be fair especially since my femuralus mega grandus is super tense since i've been standing here over 2 hours. let's ski though! are you ready?...

greg: Scott! I've finished this bottle! Any more left?
Scott: no!
greg: damn! well give me that cough syrup then!...
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Shhh! Tog! You're going to make them afraid of me!!!!!!
post #11 of 17
well with "full disclosure" they'll be ready...
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
post #13 of 17
GeoffD, thanks for the quote! I had completely forgotten about it until my wife was having some footbeds made at Gordon’s lab, and saw that letter from me on a wall.

But as I said before, I’ve also been impressed by the work I’ve had done at GMOL, as well as by Scott’s (or was that Greg’s?) presentation at the PSIA race program in December.

I agree that having to go to Stratton for every tweaking is a pain (unless you’re going to be skiing there anyway of course), but I do not think that GMOL’s on-snow program is a gimmick. Is it “mostly targeted at extracting large amounts of dollars from the affluent Fairfield County stockbrokers and dentists who frequent Stratton?” Quite possibly yes . . . but that still doesn’t mean it is a gimmick. It does mean that it’s expensive, but sometimes you do get what you pay for.

And cool pics of Gordon! Bill McSherry, the ski dept manager at Bob Smith’s, had told me about them, but seeing is believing. Speaking of Bill, he told me that Dave, Gordon’s ass’t boot guy, is about to take his pedorthist (sp?) exam, so seems like Gordon now has a worthy backup. So if you live in Boston, and don’t feel the need for integrated fitting/instruction, and don’t often find yourself at Stratton (GMOL), Killington (Basin Ski Shop), Stowe (Inner Bootworks), Loon/WV/Cannon (Feet First), then Bob Smith’s is THE choice.
post #14 of 17
Yeah, well... I was kinda sorta overstating my point about the video being a gimmic in pointing out that a top notch boot guy around the corner is probably the better option than GMOL 2 1/2 hours away. I suppose I have the advantage of being known at the shops where I buy my gear so I get put in the proper equipment for my skiing style without needing the video to show what a hack I am. From my brief stint working in shops many moons ago, I suppose most people completely mis-state their ability level and the video doesn't lie. At the very least, it gives you the ammunition to talk the back-seat flailer out of that rock-hard race boot. I still think that for most people, the in-shop techniques done by most good boot guys will yield excellent results. Is the video system a gimmic? No. Unnecessary and expensive for many people? Possibly. I also have a bias against the typical Stratton patron since I spent my youth skiing there every weekend. The kids in the junior racing program when I was in it pretty much defined silver spoon brats. We used to rattle over on the dirt road from Jamacia in a '57 Willey's Wagon and I felt like some pauper out of a Dickens novel. Somehow, it's hard to imagine that it's changed very much.

I met Gordon a few weeks ago down in Chile. He seems like a really nice guy and he's an outstanding skier. Rick Torrey was telling us Gordon stories in Gordon's presence and some of 'em were classic. Gordon skiing the ski bum race with his newly blown ACL stabilized with duct tape. Gordon heading out on Killington opening day two days after a knee reconstruction. Gordon stumbling back to his hotel room from the Valle Nevado disco at 4am waking up Rick and announcing that he'd been "flipping" girls on the dance floor. (LisaMarie... beware...)
post #15 of 17
Did Rick also tell you the wedding stories?
And about Gordon's cousin who's a pro wrestler!
post #16 of 17
I'll have to ask for the full set of Gordon stories the next time I'm in Rick's shop. Somehow, it always seems to take an hour to get out of his shop even when I'm only coming in to drop off a tune. I need to wander in pretty soon since I have a pair of CrossMax Rick grabbed for us from the Salomon rep. Should be pickup truck riding time at K-mart in another half-dozen weeks.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone for all the info. I will give all this some serious thought.

I guess we should be glad that even though are mountains are not impressive, in NE, we have some gifted bootfitters.

I do highly recommend Bob Smith's as a general Ski Shop. Ironically, the guys who work there seem a little bit more knowledgable than the people down the road at SkiMarket, IMHO.

A little humor {heaven knows we need it today} when I first began skiing, they were keeping track of my progress. Mark was in the process of picking out new skis and boots, so I would see them every few weeks.

It started with Snowshoes for me, since I didn't want to ski. Then my first ski lesson, but oh no I'm quite contented to just stay on the rope tow.

Until I was ready to get my own skis. I wanted this pair of Rossi Cut 10/4s 140.

They wouldn't sell them to me, because they felt my skiing wouldn't improve with them. They urged me to find the Volkl Carver Xscapes, even though they did not have any left themselves!

Last season, Gordon told Mark that when I'm ready for new boots, I should have one of the sales people narrow it down to 2 choices, then let him make the final decision.

Again, not sure which place I'll go to yet, but I really appreciate everyone's time and input. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lisamarie (edited September 11, 2001).]</FONT>
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