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Seattle boot shops..

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Should, or should I not, buy boots from Sturtervants? And if not, where should I buy boots?

Keeping in mind that my feet making buying boots a nightmare, so fitting and adjustment services will be important.
post #2 of 25
There used to be a middle-aged man in Bellevue by the name of Steve Forseth (sp?) who was a GREAT bootfitter, I've lost track of him in the past five years or so. For a while he had a shop in Old Bellevue but I believe it is long gone.

I too have rather odd feet and George McConkey at Whistler did a great job fitting me, though I am not sure if he still does custom fitting.
post #3 of 25
I've been curious about this as well but I think Jim Mates might sell boots too - not positive. He's listed on the master bootfitters thread here. Hes also got a site: www.custombootservice.com
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dug
I've been curious about this as well but I think Jim Mates might sell boots too - not positive. He's listed on the master bootfitters thread here. Hes also got a site: www.custombootservice.com
Looking at their web page, I wouldn't think that they sell boots. So I'm wondering how a boot fiter like that would fit into the whole buying process. Buy first, fit later? In any case, I sent this guys e-mail and haven't gotten a reply. I guess I'll give 'em a call.

ETA: buying at Whistler is a possibility. That's where I bought my last boots. But I'm not planning to get up there again until the middle of February. Maybe if I haven't gotten my act together by then. There are several excellent places to buy boots there. The exchange rate isn't so hot, though.
post #5 of 25
I've had mixed results at Surtevants. A few years ago I was having some boot work done and the first guy I dealt with gave me some bad advice and didn't fix the problem. When I went back still complaing of the same problem, I got a different boot fitter who just rolled his eyes when I told him the history and what his collegue had done to fix my problem. After the guy made some adjustments the boot was a lot better but I ultimately took his suggestion to go with a boot a half size smaller. There's an older gentlemen that fits boots there, Martin Rand, and if you can go when they aren't busy and can spend sometime with you, you have a better chance of getting a good boot fit. Besides they do guarantee the fit of the boots.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
I sent this guys e-mail and haven't gotten a reply. I guess I'll give 'em a call.
Yeah, your best bet is a call. Let me know what he says.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman
I've had mixed results at Surtevants. A few years ago I was having some boot work done and the first guy I dealt with gave me some bad advice and didn't fix the problem. When I went back still complaing of the same problem, I got a different boot fitter who just rolled his eyes when I told him the history and what his collegue had done to fix my problem. After the guy made some adjustments the boot was a lot better but I ultimately took his suggestion to go with a boot a half size smaller. There's an older gentlemen that fits boots there, Martin Rand, and if you can go when they aren't busy and can spend sometime with you, you have a better chance of getting a good boot fit. Besides they do guarantee the fit of the boots.
Ah, good advice, thanks. I've had mixed results with them too. In particular, they let me buy a pair of horrible boots for my foot and I ended up throwing them in a snow bank at Snowbird out of frustration at the end of a season.

Are the boot fitters different from the sales people there? It looks like there's always some guy in the boot fitting section, but sales dudes out selling boots. The sales guy I talked to the other day (John, I think?) seemed okay in that he knew all the standard fitting stuff.. but I'm not sure the sales guys realize what a terrible customer I'm going to be once we get into fitting.. heh.
post #8 of 25

Justin Tremblin

I have been to both Jim Mates and Martin Rand at Sturtevants. Both are very good but neither fixed the bootfit problems I had. (And I spent big $ between the two of them) Turns out, there is a guy at Stevens Pass tech shop named Justin Tremblin. He went to the master bootfitter academy and is really, really good. He was the only one to pick up on the anomaly in my foot structure and get the right footbeds to fix it. My husband was having soreness too and Justin got him straigtened out. He has done all our boot work over the past few years and I just can't say enough about how good he is. He doesn't sell boots but can look at your foot and give you some good suggestions and then do work after you buy the boot.
post #9 of 25
As far as I know, Jim doesn't have boots for you to try on, but can get you anything you need. He can definitely suggest things that may work and may not (which he has done for me in the past, more than once).
post #10 of 25
My thoughts:
If you are going to a boot specialist which seems a good idea, have him or her look at your feet first and suggest models suitable for your feet and your skiing. Then try on the boots at boot shops that sell the models recommended and buy the one you like the best and return to the specialist to have them properly fitted. Given the variability of human foot shapes and their need to be encased in hard plastic it is well worth the effort for most.

Spending the time up front to do things right will allow you years of pain free and better skiing. If you can wear your new boots at home or ski in them before your visit to the specialist, you can let the specialist know about any problems that need special attention.

EDIT: Typos
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching
He can definitely suggest things that may work and may not.
Thanks for the heads up! I'm anticipating a visit!
post #12 of 25
Schedule a fitting with Martin at Sturtevants. Kevin is excellent as well, but I don't think you can schedule with him. They know their stuff.

Also worth noting - Sturtevants does an ungodly number of Intuition jobs. If you really have tough to fit feet, this may be a good option - and they have it down to an art form. They are also very good about followup boot tweaks, but it is best to schedule when the shop is not overly busy.

I have not yet seen them do any serious boot fitting, but Brian and Vinnie at Gerk's Alpine Hut in Redmond are very, very on the ball guys. You might pay them a visit and see what you think. They take their reputation quite seriously and totally stand behind what they sell/do. The only issue is that their boot inventory is much smaller than Sturtevants. However, I doubt they'd put you into anything they did not think was appropriate.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Cool, I made an appointment to see Martin on Wednesday. Making an appointment is a lot better than showing up and hoping your sales droid is free at that particular moment.

I'll try to get down to Gerk's before then. They're actually closer to me than Sturtevants, but I've never been in there.
post #14 of 25
My relative just had his boots fitted at Sturtevants in Bellevue. He had couple appoitmensts and they put in new aftermarket liners. Would recommend.
post #15 of 25
I would agree that Martin is one of the best boot guys in Seattle. Most boot fitting issues are pretty easy to solve, and most bootfitters make way too big a deal about what they're doing. BTW, I would hardly call Martin an older guy, just try and keep up with him.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
Cool, I made an appointment to see Martin on Wednesday. Making an appointment is a lot better than showing up and hoping your sales droid is free at that particular moment.

I'll try to get down to Gerk's before then. They're actually closer to me than Sturtevants, but I've never been in there.
I have to go with Custom Boot Service.

I have had extensive work done by Jim Mates for many many years as have my two sons who raced seriously for 11 years. Jim works with many of the top racers and skiers in the area. He does not sell boots.

He can suggest after seeing your foot & stance what boot might work the best for you.

Over the years I have had many people in Seattle area work on my boots. Including those named above. I know many top skiers & racers who exclusively use Jim's services.

Just a word of caution, Sturtevants pushes Lange boots with intuition liners (hard) for many people and some of the employees there use this set-up. If it is apprpriate for you that is fine. But it is not for me.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman
There's an older gentlemen that fits boots there, Martin Rand, and if you can go when they aren't busy and can spend sometime with you, you have a better chance of getting a good boot fit. Besides they do guarantee the fit of the boots.
Martin is 53, maybe just turned 54 last week.

Older Gentleman?
post #18 of 25
Sounds pretty old to me!!

Just playing.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Martin is 53 I maybe just turned 54 last week.

Older Gentleman?
Yeah, Marin would be about 53ish.

I spent a lot of time with him today, maybe 5 hours total over two sessions.

First, they are reducing their seasonal stock of boots, and did not have any of the higher volume boots in my size. There was an issue here, I think Martin gave me wrong info. He had me try on a Technica 10 boot (they didn't have the high volume version) and I couldn't even get my foot in the thing. He said the only difference between the two was the liner. But a few weeks ago when I was in there, I tried on the same boot and it fit okay - snug, maybe tight, but not crippling.

Moving along, he suggested possibly getting some intuition liners for my old boots, and then moving with the liners to new boots next season. If you assume that breaking in liners is some significant portion of the whole boot fitting process, the idea doesn't sound all wrong. Especially if the liners fix most of my [too loose] fit issues.

So he fired up some test liners for my old boots, and they felt good enough to give me hope.

We then went into more detail to get the final liners 'just right'. After messing with things for quite a while, we got to basically the final product, and I put my feet in them and.... they felt pretty good.

Then I wore them for a while. And then a while more. And they started to hurt a little, in the same old places along the outside. So Martin punched out the boot just a little more. And then they hurt in a little different spot, and martin punched out the boot just a little there. And then I wore them for more.. and more.. and then my toes started to fall asleep.. and the top of my foot hurt..

I was reaching my endurance point, and martin was off, so we called it quits.

Atomicman, why don't the intuition liners work for you? It's interesting what you say about them being too hard. At the end of our session, I pulled the liners out of the boots and could pretty much feel in the liner where it was stiff around my foot. I'm not really convinced that making the boot bigger really does much to get the liner away from your foot.

Anyway, I spent a good portion of the day feeling pretty hopeful and encouraged. But at the end of the day, I was pretty beat up. I'm going back on Sunday to see if we can do better.
post #20 of 25

Liners

Chris
Just hang in there. Some people have a harder time getting a good fit. I would stick with Martin...I know he will work with you. He's takes great pride in his work and he'll make it right. Where exactly are you having problems...forefoot? Arch? Ankle?
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Martin is 53 I maybe just turned 54 last week.

Older Gentleman?
It's all relative.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
Yeah, Marin would be about 53ish.

I spent a lot of time with him today, maybe 5 hours total over two sessions.

First, they are reducing their seasonal stock of boots, and did not have any of the higher volume boots in my size. There was an issue here, I think Martin gave me wrong info. He had me try on a Technica 10 boot (they didn't have the high volume version) and I couldn't even get my foot in the thing. He said the only difference between the two was the liner. But a few weeks ago when I was in there, I tried on the same boot and it fit okay - snug, maybe tight, but not crippling.

Moving along, he suggested possibly getting some intuition liners for my old boots, and then moving with the liners to new boots next season. If you assume that breaking in liners is some significant portion of the whole boot fitting process, the idea doesn't sound all wrong. Especially if the liners fix most of my [too loose] fit issues.

So he fired up some test liners for my old boots, and they felt good enough to give me hope.

We then went into more detail to get the final liners 'just right'. After messing with things for quite a while, we got to basically the final product, and I put my feet in them and.... they felt pretty good.

Then I wore them for a while. And then a while more. And they started to hurt a little, in the same old places along the outside. So Martin punched out the boot just a little more. And then they hurt in a little different spot, and martin punched out the boot just a little there. And then I wore them for more.. and more.. and then my toes started to fall asleep.. and the top of my foot hurt..

I was reaching my endurance point, and martin was off, so we called it quits.

Atomicman, why don't the intuition liners work for you? It's interesting what you say about them being too hard. At the end of our session, I pulled the liners out of the boots and could pretty much feel in the liner where it was stiff around my foot. I'm not really convinced that making the boot bigger really does much to get the liner away from your foot.

Anyway, I spent a good portion of the day feeling pretty hopeful and encouraged. But at the end of the day, I was pretty beat up. I'm going back on Sunday to see if we can do better.
I didn't mean the liner was hard, I meant they push the intuition liner hard.

I have a very wide forefoot & and narrow heel and very slender lower leg & calf.

I have skied in Plug boots the last 3 years which have worked handsomely.

In fact I am in a very narrow boot now, The Head RD 96 plug.

GO SEE JIM MATES! mates has worked wonders for me over the years. I skied in pain with cramps in my feet and ache most of my ski life (43 years) until I started using Jim Mates. Also, i think he does a better job of stance analysis and adjustment besides excellent fit work.

The majority of folk probably get good work done by Martin. He is a great guy and is knowledgeable. In fact my older son worked at Sturtevant's last year. We still go to Mates!
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cruddog
Where exactly are you having problems...forefoot? Arch? Ankle?
Well, in general, I have a very wide foot. But fitting for me doesn't seem to be as simple as "make the boot wider", and I don't quite know why. You know, I put the liners on and they felt perfectly fine, I'd be happy to buy a pair of shoes that felt that good. But eventually they start hurting on the sides, cutting off circulation to my toes, etc. Boot fitters think "too tight there, make it bigger". But I think my foot is stranger in some way.

I gotta go see Jim Mates.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
Well, in general, I have a very wide foot. But fitting for me doesn't seem to be as simple as "make the boot wider", and I don't quite know why. You know, I put the liners on and they felt perfectly fine, I'd be happy to buy a pair of shoes that felt that good. But eventually they start hurting on the sides, cutting off circulation to my toes, etc. Boot fitters think "too tight there, make it bigger". But I think my foot is stranger in some way.

I gotta go see Jim Mates.
My feet are very problematic (mostly my right one. i am in the same boat as you, just making the wider does not do the trick. My right foot is very curved, & I used to get the same kind of ache on the side of my foot. Alos footbeds would not accurately mold to the bottom of the outside of my right foot.

Jim fixed it all.

make sure you tell him i told you to go see him.

just tell him Cliff!
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
Well, in general, I have a very wide foot. But fitting for me doesn't seem to be as simple as "make the boot wider", and I don't quite know why. You know, I put the liners on and they felt perfectly fine, I'd be happy to buy a pair of shoes that felt that good. But eventually they start hurting on the sides, cutting off circulation to my toes, etc. Boot fitters think "too tight there, make it bigger". But I think my foot is stranger in some way.

I gotta go see Jim Mates.
My feet are very problematic (mostly my right one. i am in the same boat as you, just making the wider does not do the trick. My right foot is very curved, & I used to get the same kind of ache on the side of my foot. Alos footbeds would not accurately mold to the bottom of the outside of my right foot.

Jim fixed it all.

make sure you tell him i told you to go see him.

just tell him Cliff!
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