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Why don't boots fit? - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input and observations. Obviously some of you are experts at this and others have the time and opportunity to devote to the “process”. You’re the hard core who will do whatever it takes to get the right fit. The reality is that most skiers do not choose to spend that much time and most boots are not bought from or fitted by professional boot fitters. My thoughts and concerns are with those other boot buyers.

I still think it makes a lot more sense for Lange to put the size on their boot that corresponds to a standard size, not one or two sizes larger. I also think if PING can make custom fitted golf clubs and DELL can make custom manufactured computers, then for $500+ some enterprising boot maker can build a size 10 boot to fit an average volume size 10 foot and label it accordingly.

I also think someone can make a functional liner that does not pack out. It's not too much to ask that a $500 pair of boots retain their size over time. Why shouldn't the buyer expect the size they try on in the shop to be the size they ski for the next several years. Just solving the "buy it tight it will loosen up over time" issue would help a lot of boot buyers get a better fit.
post #32 of 58

OK wait a minute...

Wait a minute, you mean if my shoe size is a 12, when I rent boots at the ski place I should tell them I need a size 11????

I'm baffled, as the size 12 boots they normally give seem to be snug.

Advice please. Now.
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM
Wait a minute, you mean if my shoe size is a 12, when I rent boots at the ski place I should tell them I need a size 11????

I'm baffled, as the size 12 boots they normally give seem to be snug.

Advice please. Now.
um, i'm at a bit of a loss. what to say? there are no concrete rules in boot fitting. if what you have works for you, keep going at it. read through all of the information in this post. try to visualize what's described. next time you rent, maybe try out an 11, especially if you rent at the mountain (switch sizes during a slow day)- notice how much more control you get from the smaller boot. of course, rental boots cannot be put in the same category as retail boots - the price point at which those boots are produced does not allow for near the investment.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner
Thanks for all the input and observations. Obviously some of you are experts at this and others have the time and opportunity to devote to the “process”. You’re the hard core who will do whatever it takes to get the right fit. The reality is that most skiers do not choose to spend that much time and most boots are not bought from or fitted by professional boot fitters. My thoughts and concerns are with those other boot buyers.

I still think it makes a lot more sense for Lange to put the size on their boot that corresponds to a standard size, not one or two sizes larger. I also think if PING can make custom fitted golf clubs and DELL can make custom manufactured computers, then for $500+ some enterprising boot maker can build a size 10 boot to fit an average volume size 10 foot and label it accordingly.

I also think someone can make a functional liner that does not pack out. It's not too much to ask that a $500 pair of boots retain their size over time. Why shouldn't the buyer expect the size they try on in the shop to be the size they ski for the next several years. Just solving the "buy it tight it will loosen up over time" issue would help a lot of boot buyers get a better fit.
i can fit 90% of people faster into a properly fit boot than they will take to drive to 3 discount stores looking for the best deal before settling on something less than ideal.

your comparison with Ping and Dell is poor. you have to specify to those manufacturers what you want. then they take time to build it. if you could tell a bootfitter exactly what you wanted, or even better, brought your feet with you and spent an hour (i can't imagine anyone spends less than an hour setting up to purchase custom golf clubs or custom computer) of your day with them, i bet you would end up with a solution that is at least on par with a custom golf club.

i understand your problem with "true sizing". what is an average width average size ten foot? what do they call that in england? what do they call that in europe?

if you spend that hour fitting boots, you should end up with a boot that will fit very consistently outside the store and after use as before in the store. an improperly fit boot exacerbates the problem of fit changing over time. so, we could deconstruct this notion by educating people about what to look for in a ski boot fit.

you don't have to buy an uncomfortable boot. as a matter of fact, no one is advocating this. some of us choose to purchase boots that are too small. we modify the boots so they don't feel that way. i can't understand why anyone would want to wear tight underwear, but then again i put tight boots on my feet. so different strokes for different folks. i have never sold someone a boot i felt was outside of their comfort range.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM
Wait a minute, you mean if my shoe size is a 12, when I rent boots at the ski place I should tell them I need a size 11????

I'm baffled, as the size 12 boots they normally give seem to be snug.

Advice please. Now.
I would advise a 10, actually.
post #36 of 58

Boot Fitting made easy

The ONLY way to fit a ski boot perfectly to YOUR foot is to ignore boot sizes and shell sizes; they are only a starting point for the first attempt.

When purchasing a new ski boot, go to the first size you think might be appropriate in the boot model you are interested in. Remove the liner. Slip your foot into shell with no sock - or only an extremely thin sock - on your foot. Flex your knee just a bit so you can slide your toes up to the front of the shell; just slightly touching the front of the shell.

If you aren't growing any more, and want a comfortable fit, you want to be able to fit two fingers side by side behind your heel; fitting inline between your heel and the rear shell of the boot behind your heel. If you want a true performance fit, such as for a racer, then a 1 finger fit is best. You boot will perform better, you'll have a more snug fit, and the shell size is kept to a minimum. Cons are the boot will seem very snug, and likely won't be as warm. Welcome to the reality of performance skiing.

Most people will prefer the two finger shell sizing. Be careful fitting kids this way, because the cheap thought is to size a kid with more than two fingers thinking that they will grow into the boot later. One of the worst things you can do to a kid is put him into a boot that is too big. Kids boots are too stiff and clunky as it is, so doing this only helps guarantee that the boot won't work well for them. Rent your kid's boots if you want them to have the best introduction to skiing and don't want to make them suffer. You'll just get new boots every year. Make them a 1-2 finger fit.

Forget shell sizes and boot sizing as a means to purchase boots. There's very little consistency anyway. Use the finger fitting method described above and you will NEVER go wrong. It only takes 15 seconds, for crying out loud!! This goes for renting boots, too. Once you have the correct shell size, any further boot-fitting can be done by the ski shop (grinding, blowing out the shell, footbeds, canting/planing, etc.). For rental boots, just go for the 2-finger size and wear nice cozy ski socks.

Hope this helps.

Kip
post #37 of 58
In the words of a wise one:

If da shoe fits, wear it!
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk1bum37
If you aren't growing any more, and want a comfortable fit, you want to be able to fit two fingers side by side behind your heel; fitting inline between your heel and the rear shell of the boot behind your heel. If you want a true performance fit, such as for a racer, then a 1 finger fit is best. You boot will perform better, you'll have a more snug fit, and the shell size is kept to a minimum. Cons are the boot will seem very snug, and likely won't be as warm. Welcome to the reality of performance skiing.
I think using one and two fingers is to much of a gap.

Using an apropriate dowl works much better.

Why do you think having a tighter fit limits how warm your foot is?

Even a tight fitting boot should not be cutting off circulation to cause cold feet.
post #39 of 58

Finger Fitting

I have had excellent success with using my fingers. It's what most experienced boot fitters do... I guess we just know what the finger measurements - and the feel of pressure between the heel and boot shell - mean to some kind of consistent level, and it works great. If you like dowels, and can cram them down into the boot heel pocket while holding them in the proper alignment and consistently judging what the actual pressure is between the heel and boot shell, then go for it. I don't see any benefit at all. My fingers are not huge, but for folks with really large hands/fingers, then some kind of compensation would need to be made for that; either a tighter squeeze, an offset angle on the fingers, or etc.

For the average joe, doing this on their own, I suppose you could throw out caveat that any of these folks with large fingers should be somewhere between a 1 and 2 finger fit.

A typical one-finger fit ensures that the boot shell size is almost minimal for that foot. Some racers - Bode, for instance - actually go lower volume and literally cram their feet into very small shell sizes in order to reap the benefit of having a smaller dead spot on their ski. Of course, they also have several pair of boots for different skis and conditions, and TOTALLY CUSTOM made shells and liners that enable them to get the smallest possible boot volume.

But a one finger fit means that there will be very little room for air spaces and it also means that the foot will be closer to the shell of the boot which means less insulation and less distance to the cold air outside the boot shell... which means colder. Plus a very snug fit can reduce circulation in the foot, which is why many of us unbuckle our boots every chairlift ride.

All this being said, you can always add a set of boot warmers to those low volume boots and go a long way towards solving your cold feet issues.

Hope this helps.

Kip
post #40 of 58
My fingers are not that big and my first two measure to about 1 1/4".

I think that's a pretty significant gap considering many people on this board say that a 5/8" dowel is used pretty often in reputable shops.
post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
I think that's a pretty significant gap considering many people on this board say that a 5/8" dowel is used pretty often in reputable shops.
um...how are you supposed to feel the correct pressure using a dowel?
post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by unionbowler
um...how are you supposed to feel the correct pressure using a dowel?
Ummm probably by how hard it is to wedge in there or how much wiggle room there is.

I'm not a bootfitter but I know many local shops who uses dowels and many people on this board do also.

It's also funny that people who use their fingers say that a dowel is difficult to use because of room and angles. A hand and wrist is thicker then a 5/8" rod to wedge down into a boot cuff although I guess it can bend around corners.

Either way I think the trickier part is making sure that the buyers toes are exactly where you want them to be.
post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
It's also funny that people who use their fingers say that a dowel is difficult to use because of room and angles. A hand and wrist is thicker then a 5/8" rod to wedge down into a boot cuff although I guess it can bend around corners.

Either way I think the trickier part is making sure that the buyers toes are exactly where you want them to be.
it's easy to your hand in there - hopefully the boot fitting area is equipped in such a way the customer is sitting on a raised platform that allows the boot fitter to look directly at the boot at eye level (roughly) when fitting.

once the correct foot position in the boot has been achieved (great point - again a good boot fitter can tell the customer that they want their toes "just touching" the front of the boot), with the customer standing and flexing their knee to simulate a skier stance, there is more than enough room between the back of the boot and the customer's calf. one great thing about getting your hand in the boot is it gives a good idea of how much of the volume of the boot is taken up by the customer's foot.
post #44 of 58
I will admit that I use the dowel when people come in with feet that are so dirty/smelly that I'm afraid to touch them. Otherwise I usually don't bother because fingers can check more out. Gotta have the dowel though...
post #45 of 58
I will admit that I use the dowel when people come in with feet that are so dirty/smelly that I'm afraid to touch them. Otherwise I usually don't bother because fingers can check more out. Gotta have the dowel though...

yeah, just use those cheap disposable sani-gloves. One box should last you like 3 seasons....

Kip
post #46 of 58

The occasional putrid foot....

Quote:
I will admit that I use the dowel when people come in with feet that are so dirty/smelly that I'm afraid to touch them. Otherwise I usually don't bother because fingers can check more out. Gotta have the dowel though...
Maybe I'll figure this website out. This is a quote test.....

The gloves... use the gloves. I don't see how a dowel helps anything except the Felix Unger types who are afraid of people's feet.

Kip
post #47 of 58
Hey my feet never smell.

They are hairy though
post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner
I also think someone can make a functional liner that does not pack out. It's not too much to ask that a $500 pair of boots retain their size over time. Why shouldn't the buyer expect the size they try on in the shop to be the size they ski for the next several years. Just solving the "buy it tight it will loosen up over time" issue would help a lot of boot buyers get a better fit.
The closest thing I've found to a liner that barely packs out, but is comfortable from day one is the Thermoflex (originally from Raichle). You can now find these from Intuition, Conform'able, Scarpa, Garmont, etc. You might even look into the ZipFit liners (http://www.zipfitna.com/).

Boot manufacturers must walk a fine line for their typical recreational customers. They can't setup the boot liner so that the majority of people find them immediately uncomfortable in the shop or they'd never get any sales.
post #49 of 58
I wear a size 10 shoe, and a 27.0 Soloman ski boot. I'm curious.
What "shoe-size" is a 27.0 ski boot?
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
The closest thing I've found to a liner that barely packs out, but is comfortable from day one is the Thermoflex (originally from Raichle). You can now find these from Intuition, Conform'able, Scarpa, Garmont, etc. You might even look into the ZipFit liners (http://www.zipfitna.com/)...
Raichle's Themoflex was the best liner I've ever come accross as far as durability, its ability to hold its shape and not pack out, warmth and lightness. I admittedly haven't tried any of its successors that you mentioned.
post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
I wear a size 10 shoe, and a 27.0 Soloman ski boot. I'm curious.
What "shoe-size" is a 27.0 ski boot?
US Men's size 9
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
US Men's size 9
You are correct!
post #53 of 58
I just wandered into a ski shop the other day that i thought had a pretty noligible staff fitting my boot. I tried and liked the fit of the Salomon 1080 foil (forget the flex right now please) it was a 27.5 and im a size 10 shoe. I felt that the boot fit like it was supposed to snug firm, no movement, wiggle room, but after reading all of this i wonder about aftr i ski them for a few days what will happen. I figure salomon is the right boot for my foot shape and id like to hear from people who ride salomon and those who dont how much room do you lose in a boot? And should i go to a 27?
post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigaudripper
I figure salomon is the right boot for my foot shape and id like to hear from people who ride salomon and those who dont how much room do you lose in a boot? And should i go to a 27?
I ski the x-wave 10's and they've worked out well for me. They have packed out some, but not a ton. I did go down a ways in size though to ensure that I still had a good fit after they packed out. I wear a size 12-12 1/2 street shoe, and am in a 28 boot.

BTW, the only difference in the 27 & the 27.5 is the worthless paper footbed which you should replace with something decent anyway. The shells and the liners are the same size for whole and half sizes.
post #55 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigaudripper
I just wandered into a ski shop the other day that i thought had a pretty noligible staff fitting my boot. I tried and liked the fit of the Salomon 1080 foil (forget the flex right now please) it was a 27.5 and im a size 10 shoe. I felt that the boot fit like it was supposed to snug firm, no movement, wiggle room, but after reading all of this i wonder about aftr i ski them for a few days what will happen. I figure salomon is the right boot for my foot shape and id like to hear from people who ride salomon and those who dont how much room do you lose in a boot? And should i go to a 27?
You would have to go down a whole shell size to a 26/26.5. 27& 27.5 are identical except for a thicker stock footbed in the 27. you need to get sheel fit. with a ffotbed in the boot and your toes barely touching the front of the sheel you should have 1 to 1.5 fingers of room behind your heel. if the 27/27.5 is too comfortable in the shop, they are probably too big. the shop should have shell fit you! I wear a 9.5 to 10 street shoe and am in a 27 salomon X2 Lab, but would have to go to a 26 in a non-plug boot. I have wide feet and hfairly high instep and arches but a very thin lower leg and very high calf muscle. In an X-wave or 1080 i would be in a 26.
post #56 of 58
Getting back to the original question, you're actually not asking about technology but about physical variation. We all have different feet, sure, but there are some tendencies that the boot manufacturers approach by choosing one and ignoring the rest. (These kind of data are collected by various armies and various scholars, can be found in a good college research library):

1) Women's feet on the average are narrower than men's, have higher arches, longer toes relative to the rest of the foot, and tend to have less fat and muscle to cushion the bones. This is called "gracilization." So more liklihood of shell brusing.

2) Europeans do in fact average somewhat different feet than Americans. American feet tend to be wider at the forefoot relative to the heel than Euros, and wider overall. So more liklihood of American pinched toes or loose heels in European lasted boots.

3) Feet change shape with age, partly due to wear and tear (lower arches, more bent toes) and partly due to weight gain (greater width, height, ankle circumference.)

Seems the best business practice is to partition up the market; some companies cater to each "foot type." Beyond that, obviously, higher performance means thicker, less flexible shells that are more likely to hurt unless you customize them. Which most better skiers do.

But what's the actual business plan for customized shells? Who's going to pay for them? Technology only sees daylight if there's a market that will yield a profit.
post #57 of 58
27.0 is size 9. That makes sense since I told the guy I was sick up and fed with sore feet from my size 8 race- ski boots. On the other hand, I wish I had of gone back to the original bootfitter and got my size 8s fitted. I'm pretty sure he could have punched out the sides of the little toes for me without ruining them. On the size 8's, I had to keep my toenails clipped pretty close and couldn't do any walking around in them or I would end up with black nails.

Rigaud,
I have the same shape foot as you (wide ball narrow heel). Here's what jeff B. replied to my question about what boots might work for me and what to do with my crossmax 10s on the bootfitting thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Bergeron
1. Pad them with FIRM pads. Good luck finding a shop that will actually do a good job of this (IMO).

2. Tecnica Diablo, possibly the new Nordica Speedmachine and some race boots.
My heel isn't moving around yet, but it doesn't feel as locked in tight as I would like it to be.

BTW I have to admit it's nice to have a softer flexing (Crossmax 10s Flex index 100 as opposed to old race boots) boot that is more appropriate for the skiing I do now.
post #58 of 58
i think i might go check out Austrian ski shop, Montreal, QC ( suggested in a thread here) in the near future and try on a few boots, maybe a little lower volume, but my main concerns are comfort and performance. I ski agressively on my free time for a 17 year old but i've never had a fitted pairs of boots and still skiied well. I can only think of the benefits a REAL boot could give me. I want to ski fast and i dont want to break my ankles after working 14+ hours a weekend skiing.
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