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How to Break in a New Boot???

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Is there a way to speed up the breaking in process of a new boot? Would walking up and downstairs in them help?
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM
Is there a way to speed up the breaking in process of a new boot? Would walking up and downstairs in them help?
Not to minimize your question, but how would walking stairs (or some other such activity) be somehow more enjoyable, comfortable or time-efficient than simply hitting the slopes and skiing hard?
post #3 of 25
Put them on at night for an hour or so for a few nights while you "veg" in front of the tube.

It's really the liner that breaks in (as in conforms to your foot) and that happens a little quicker in a warmer condition (like room temp) and you won't need to clomp around anywhere.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Not to minimize your question, but how would walking stairs (or some other such activity) be somehow more enjoyable, comfortable or time-efficient than simply hitting the slopes and skiing hard?

Spoken like a die-hard skier! True, true.
post #5 of 25
Uncle Louie is right. It helps the foam liner form around your foot and lower leg area but getting out and skiing in them is the only to break them in. I have custom orthotic foot beds. They make for a good fit in any boot. When I travel, I always take them out and pack them in my carry on. That way if my boot bag doesn't show, at least the boots I rent will fit me right. Just a thought.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice!

I love how they fit, but I guess I would eventually like a custom made foot bed too.

Right now I guess I'm just going to ski hard and break these babies in.

I just got back from Lowes home improvement store where I bought a 1/2 inch dowel. (I read on these boards somewhere somebody did this.) When I take the liner out of the boot and put my toe to the front of the boot, the 1/2 inch dowel I put in the boot at my heel. And my foot touches the dowel firmly, so I have a very snug boot. The dowel, actually, is 7/16ths of an inch so that space between my heel and the shell is actually a hair less than a half inch.

The whole process of getting your own boots is one major project. Honestly, I can't imagine buying a house or a car with this much thought and preparation.

But I think it's all worth it. Sure beats the rental boots, that's for sure.
post #7 of 25
Just wear them.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM
I love how they fit, but I guess I would eventually like a custom made foot bed too.
I bought my first pair of custom footbeds... musta been 16 years ago. I was actually trying to "shrink" my foot to fit a boot one size too small (didn't shorten them as much as I had hoped, had to buy new boots anyway).

After re-injuring an old ankle sprain last season, I had a lot of ankle irritation (pain, actually) two weeks ago -- my first day back on the snow since March. I got off the hill early and cancelled day #2.

As a first order of business, it was time to retire the old footbeds and get a new pair. The old ones had mildew stains and were cracking under the heal, and to top it off, had curved bottoms (imagine a Pringles potato chip, which has the same profile on either side).

The biggest difference in the new footbeds is the flat bottoms, which provide a more stable base to support my weight, and can't roll as much under side loads.

I skied the new footbeds this weekend. Amazing! The ankle irritation was severely reduced, and in general my feet felt much better throughout the day. Net result: skied all day, both days.

Point being, if you have medium to highly arched feet, custom footbeds can slightly reduce the length of your foot as it fits in the boot, while adding a whole bunch of comfort. For me, observing such a great difference between old and new footbeds, I can't imagine skiing without.

This is by far the most important step in, as you said, making boots "your own". If my 16 years are typical, your custom footbeds may very well outlast your boots.

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Sounds good

Thanks for the info guys. yes, I suppose just me wearing them will do the trick.

I do look forward to getting footbeds made. How much do they usually cost to get made?
post #10 of 25
Footbeds will run anywhere from 100 to close to 200 bucks depending where you go. If you go out to a shop in NJ or Conn. you'll probably find they have superfeet cork footbeds; about 140. High end stuff at Surefoot in NYC will run 190, I think.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerky
Footbeds will run anywhere from 100 to close to 200 bucks depending where you go.
Mine were $180 +tax from NorSki in Laffayette, Ca, but they discount if you buy boots from them. The "Bike & Boot" store in Heavenly Village wanted something like $125 or $150.

A little more than what I wanted to pay, but I had some unspent funds in a medical reimbursement account I'll try to apply to the expense.
post #12 of 25
And check with your medical insurance some will cover the cost of othotics, at least part of the cost...
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Mine were $180 +tax from NorSki in Laffayette, Ca, but they discount if you buy boots from them. The "Bike & Boot" store in Heavenly Village wanted something like $125 or $150.

A little more than what I wanted to pay, but I had some unspent funds in a medical reimbursement account I'll try to apply to the expense.
WTF do they do to you in the States. Just seen on saturday Conformables (thats surefoot I think) from 40-60€ in a shop including fitting.
You pay way less for the boots but then end up paying 150€ for the footbed only - crazy. Even Strolz or Leitner do it below 100€.
For 200€ I can get a complete foam liner. For 270 in Europe one can get a Strolz (the most famous over here) leather inner boot foamed up including a custom sole (those are retail prices, so 10-20% down is negotiable - on a proform those prices halve).
post #14 of 25
What Uncle Louie and others have said. You don't need to walk in them just wear them while watching TV or something like that.
post #15 of 25
I also heard that doing sprints in the back yard while wearing your ski boots helps the break in process. I usually just put my new ski boots and go for a jog: .
(sorry for being an a$$ )
post #16 of 25
You don't break in a new car by just sitting in the driveway with the car idling. Go out and ski, it's the only way to truly break in a new boot. Either that or take up X-country skiing.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremecarver
WTF do they do to you in the States. Just seen on saturday Conformables (thats surefoot I think) from 40-60€ in a shop including fitting.
You pay way less for the boots but then end up paying 150€ for the footbed only - crazy. Even Strolz or Leitner do it below 100€.
For 200€ I can get a complete foam liner. For 270 in Europe one can get a Strolz (the most famous over here) leather inner boot foamed up including a custom sole (those are retail prices, so 10-20% down is negotiable - on a proform those prices halve).
I don't know... maybe lack of demand? I couldn't even begin to guess where to get a pair of custom liners made for me here in the US -- maybe with competition like that, the price of footbeds would be driven down.

It's nice that, for the money, this guy at the shop that made my footbeds has "adopted" my boots, meaning the price I paid includes any future adjustments not related to the footbed, i.e. heel lift issues or blowing the shell out if needed. Small consolation since they feel great, but who knows?

And hell, I bought the boots for something like $85 at REI after all the discounts and coupons I collected, so the money for custom liners is of little concern.

Admittedly, I was surprised that the bootfitter renting shop space at the base of the expensive Heavenly Village gondola was $50 cheaper than my San Francisco-area (200 miles removed from the snow) ski shop.
post #18 of 25
My 78 year old father told me he walks up and down the stairs with his boots, as well as just hanging around the house with them on, in order to get used to the boots.
post #19 of 25
I've seen Strolz make a footbed. I wouldn't pay $15 for one of thiers.
post #20 of 25

SOLE Footbeds

SOLE Custom footbeds are amazing!!! In my experience i always
experience pain on the bottom of my foot while skiing. I have a high arch and i gave these a try. First of all, they truly are a custom fit. You throw them in the oven for a specified amount of time and then put them in you boot. Step in the boot and VOILA! You are on your way to custom footbed made just for your foot. Got mine from their website for 20 bucks. Great investment!
post #21 of 25

Sole Footbeds-Yes!

I have tried many others, but for me the "Sole" footbed is the way to go. The do-it-yourself heat molding of the Sole footbed works very well. I have them in my ski boots, my hiking boots, I even wear them to work. Absolutely the best product out there short of a full-on custom orthotic. Get a pair for your new boots and just leave 'em in there.
post #22 of 25
no "break in" needed.

"breaking in" a boot is a holdover from the days of handmade leather products, which needed to soften and "break into" a shape around your arse/hands/head/foot.

ski boots do not have a "break in" period.

however, they do undergo some minor loosening of the fit around your foot/ankle, as the synthetic materials used to pad the liner boot begin to accommodate your foot/ankle.

this latter process is the closest thing you have to "break in" but it isn't really very logical to call it that. most of us call it "packing out".
post #23 of 25
Well, the liner does need to mold to the foot. Many brands of boots have heat-fit liners that mold quickly when warmed in the ski shop. If the guy in the shop hurried the process and didn't heat-fit your liners, they'll be OK, just take longer to mold to your feet. It is a good idea to wear the boots for several hours at home. Buckle them up and move around the house normally. Do use Cat Tracks on your boots, in the house and walking around the ski area. Damage on the boot soles causes excessive friction on the release mechanisme, eventual uneven wear and wobble in the bindings, and the pitting causes snow to stick worse (spray on Pam frying pan spray for a snow release agent).


Ken
post #24 of 25
The advantage of wearing them at home up to several hours for a few days or so is that if they cause hotspots or pain anywhere, you can take them off with no hassle. If the pain doesn't abate and they really hurt, you can take them to the bootfitter for his advice and assistance without ruining a ski day. Although boots do flex, skiing is not a walking sport so I've never seen much advantage to walking around in them to help pack out the liners.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
The advantage of wearing them at home up to several hours for a few days or so is that if they cause hotspots or pain anywhere, you can take them off with no hassle. If the pain doesn't abate and they really hurt, you can take them to the bootfitter for his advice and assistance without ruining a ski day. Although boots do flex, skiing is not a walking sport so I've never seen much advantage to walking around in them to help pack out the liners.
very very true.

I assumed this as part of the fitting process, the decision process. I don't do it at home. I do it at the shop... if I need to do it at all. during the 7 seasons or so that I worked in a ski shop, I learned a lot about bootfitting and about what sorts of out-of-box fit work for me, and what do not.

the problem with the wear-around-the-house gig is that the important feature is how they fit when you ski. so you'd really be better off just standing there and making ski movements with your feet staying put on the floor. and who can do that for several hours without losing sanity?

I know that some folks like to buy their boots early and wear them around the house as a psychological buildup to the ski season. I have no comment on that behavior!
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