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How do I know whether my boots are still good?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I'm no pro - and I don't claim to be... so bear with me please!

I only started skiing a couple of years back in my early twenties. Coming from a country without mountains (the Netherlands) I've always dreamt of it though. When I had to go abroad - as part of my studies - it wasn't difficult to chose Innsbruck Uni.

It was there where I was taught how to ski and have bought my first gear. A few years later I bought some news skis and changed my clothing to some higher quality stuff. But the boots... I haven't changed those (yet).. the last two years I've come back with black toenails (the two big toes).. mainly because of scared skiing the first few days (because of uneasy/bad vision.. however full on skiing)..

Even though the boots (Salomon Evolution 600) still look fine from the outside (not much damage - I don't walk around on them!!!).. I wonder whether I need to buy a larger boot.. or that I should just stop complaining and make a bigger effort right from the start to push my weight forward instead of hanging too much backwards...

Going to a specialized store is a bit tricky as I am not from a real ski nation... somehow if I go to one of the "specialized ski/surf stores" I have the feeling they'd just want to sell me some new boots....

your help is greatly appreciated!!!

[ October 11, 2003, 06:46 AM: Message edited by: sinterklaasje ]
post #2 of 5
Even if you are the worst skier in the world, you really shouldnt come out of a day of skiing with black toenails. World cup racers wear boots 2-3 sizes too small and if their toenails were black, than they wouldnt be able to take the pain of a tight race boot.

Anyway my point is, you probably need new boots. From the sound of it your liner is probably very worn out and thin, and/or you just may be in the wrong boot all together. Go to a ski store, leave your wallet at home (literally, this way you wont buy the boots on a whim just because they look cool and the ski shop guy really pushes the sale.)and try on all kinds of different boots.

Good luck, and as always SHOP AROUND!!!!
post #3 of 5
You might want to take a look at this long thread about boots.


I'm no boot expert but if you are getting black toe nails then I agree with PMZ, something is wrong with your current boot / boot setup. Take the linner out of the boot that gives you the most pain/black toe nails. Now put your foot in the boot without the linner, push your foot forward so the toe is just touching the front of the boot. How much space do you have behind the heel - 1.5 to 2 fingers is the norm.

It could be that you have a high arch and this flattens under pressure pushing your toes forward, a foot bed under the foot may help (but a foot bed uses up space in the boot and could make the boot too small eslewhere). It could be your feet move back and fore in the boot slamming your toes against the front, this could be caused by the boot being too big or your linner being padded out. Maybe your boots are just simply too small.
Have you always received black toe nails from these boots? How many days have you used these boots?

We are unique (just like everybody else ) and so are our feet. The trick is finding the boot that best fits your feet and not the model they happen to have in the shop.

Best to find a shop with a large selection and don't even attempt to make a decision until you have tried on every different boot in the shop at least twice.

Boots are more important than skis, try to find good professional advice and not just some shop assistant or person on the internet.

Hope this helps!

[ October 11, 2003, 10:17 PM: Message edited by: DB ]
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanks for your advice - it's much appreciated!! The liner might be worn out.. hadn't really thought of that. I do remove the liner from the boots every day after skiing just to let 'em breathe.. and like I said before.. everything looks fine from the outside!

But I guess it's like speakers to a good stereo set.. without good speakers, you'll get crappy sound. I'll try to shop around and do some more reading in other threads on this forum as well.

post #5 of 5
A typical boot fit in Europe is as follows.

Heat the boot on a warm air blower. This makes them warm and soft, which equals in store comfort. If the customer is happy, sell the boots and send them along.

You might need more than a little bit of padding or a new liner. For comfort, there should be 1.5 - 2cm between the back of your foot and the shell when the toes are just brushing the front of the boot when wearing the boot with no liner on. The shell fit should be done with footbeds in place though, since the foot shape can change without proper support. There should also be enough clearance around the foot when shell fitting. There is little you can do without proper presses though, so you need to visit a competent boot fitter.
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