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Boot fitting question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

Just discovered these fora and I am duly impressed. Enough so that I will abandon my lurker tendencies and seek some opinions.

I have a pair of Tecnica TNT Icon X (I think from 2000-2001). I wear a 9-1/2 - 10 street shoe, and the boots are a 7-1/2 shell. For the most part I've been thrilled. Sure, I have to pop the buckles on the lift every third run or so, but other than that, I've been quite happy.
Last season I did 20 (nearly) straight days at Big Sky and Okemo... and lost the nail on my left big toe (mercifully after my last day of the season). Now, I'd left the nail a bit longer than I probably should, so I decided to ski a day or two this season before getting anything cut, stretched, or otherwise altered. I still have a bit of an in-grow on the outside edge of the toe, and after two days at Okemo this week, something needed to be done.
I went in to Northern Ski Works in Ludlow, told my sad tale, and was reccomended a "toe blow-out." So now I have a nice toe-shaped bump heat-stretched into my boot. I skied two more days with the modded boot, and it feels great. It's still snug up against that toe, but the pain is gone; the boot feels better than it ever has. (It was always a bit tight on that toe, and if anything I still have more room on the other foot)

So here's my question: after reading a bunch of boot fitting threads on this site, I've noticed a definate bias against shell stretching. Did I make a mistake getting this work done? Now, I realise that in the end, if the boots feel good, that's what matters, but might I have been better served by a liner modification? Are there negative long-term effects on the boot? And finally (this is the big one) I've been putting off getting a custom footbed until I could spring for the good stuff. It never occured to me that this might address my toe volume problem, but reading the posts, I wonder. Will I find myself sloshing around in my boot when I finally get the insoles? Is there a fix for that?

Anyway, sorry to jump in on my first post with cascade of questions, but I've seen so many well expressed, educated posts here that I just had to ask.

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
L7, thanks for the reply.

Perhaps "bias against stretching" was too strong a term. Certainly I saw your feeling that it is not a first step echoed a few times. The thing is, when I went in to find out what could be done, custom footbeds and liner mods were never mentioned (and I'm a lot more educated now, after exploring this forum, than I was four days ago when I walked into the joint). If I had had a good case for footbeds presented to me at the time, I probably would have sucked it up and spent the money.
I don't want to give the impression that I'm "jammed" into my boots. they're actually pretty comfortable, and needing to pop the buckles is as much a function of my insane need to crank them down as of the small shell.
Anyway, I do have a slight pronation on that foot, so I think I'm gonna scrape together for the footbeds before heading to Park City next week.
It just cheeses me off a bit that I seem to have been handed the easiest, quickest, sloppiest fix.... ah well, it's my own fault for getting caught in a bind on the road, instead of going to my own shop before heading out to the slopes.

Thanks again for the reply.

post #3 of 7
Custom footbeds!!!!!
Tried a suggestion from a thread here. I wear size 10 street shoe and size 8 boot shell ( Rossi ),tight fit. Had liners stretched ( helped ). Tried liner for size 9 shell ( much better ). Now my boots are tight, but my toes are happy!!
post #4 of 7
I'm surprised that you would read a bias against shell punching into many of these threads. At the same time it's not what I would do as a first step. Your case is a classic reason why.

You may well find that a properly made foot bed for you may reducing flattening and lengthening of your foot. I prontate badly and my weighted vs. unweighted foot increases in length by almost a full size. Footbeds control most or all of this lengthening. This alone may have solved your toe problems along with several others.

Next step liner. Liners are generally sewn significantly shorter than the shell and often stretching the liner alone gives the relief needed. At any rate if the shell is being stretched the liner should be as well to really relieve the pressure.

Your concern about the footbeds causing your boot to be sloppy is unfounded. You may get more room around your toes but that's fine. If anything the footbed will likely increase the volume of your mid foot. This will do anything but cause your boot to be sloppy. In fact if you're having to undo your buckles on the way up the lift (and given your size 9.5 foot is jammed into a size 7 shell) you may well get some problems over your instep with the footbed in. There are options to deal with this.

The true first step to this process is a foot that is aligned and supported (this usually needs a footbed) and with that first step finding a boot that fits.

[ December 26, 2002, 12:27 AM: Message edited by: L7 ]
post #5 of 7
Footbeds are almost always the first step in gaining extra space in the toes. Even 700$ boots come with a non-supportive insole that really only acts as a bit of cushioning under foot. There are inexpensive options out there. I suggest you find out where they sell Super Feet in your area and give them a try. They are very supportive of the arch and heel pocket and usually do the trick. There non-custom soles sell for about 29.95 and are money well spent. If you've got the cash, nothing beets the custom option though. Its your fingerprint in the bottom of your boot, and if your boot fitter knows his stuff you will gain some space in the toe box. One thing to think about, people with flat and rigid feet don't always appreciate these types of support. Then the stretching and punching are appropriate remedies. Hope this helps.
DS [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #6 of 7
Is it common for boot shell size to be two sizes smaller than street shoe size? I am thinking about new boots, so am interested...
post #7 of 7
Your comments about insoles are very true. Even on the new Icon Alu Comps, which have custom arches, I still replaced the insole with my old faithful Superfeet.

I'm not certain about it, but since most boots are made in Italy, I would reckon they are identical the world over. The size on the shell of the boot is the UK foot size.
I normally wear a UK size 10 shoe.
My ski boots are 9.5. When I look at the inner, it has a label saying: UK 9.5, US 10.5, EU 44, MP 285. So, MondoPoint 285 = UK 9.5, or US 10.5. Now, if we say that the US size = UK size + 1, then my shoe size is 11 US, but my boot is marked 9.5.

Are you confused yet?

I guess this is why we need global standards!

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