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How to explain Boots are important!?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I've been contemplating getting some new skis to replace my old ones, and in the course of contemplation, have read a lot of reviews. Among these reviews, I have found some who voiced concern that "boots are a much more important investment than new skis." I'm trying to figure out two things from this post -- 1. How to explain that getting new boots may indeed help one (myself in this instance) progress as a skier more than new skis, and 2. Would new boots or new skis (in your humble opinions) help me progress further.

Background: I posted some about myself in the "Rossi B3 as the all-mtn" thread, but I'll save time here. Level 8 skier, 165 lbs, 5'8", 24 yrs., skiied 75-80 times in the last two seasons and these are my primary seasons on skis (save a few lessons in my grade-school days). I started w/ a pair of atomic C:9's two years ago in a 158, and moved to a Dynastar 4800, 172 cm this past season. I have started to thoroughly enjoy powder, and am very proficient on groomers. I was thinking of getting a slightly longer 180 cm-ish ski with a wider waist to replace my Dynastars and be my ski for the upcoming winter.

However, with looking at the concerns about boots, I feel this might be the better thing to spend money on. I took the liner out of my boots that I have now (Salomon Evolution 2 from 2 (3?) model years back) and could easily fit 3 fingers between the back of the shell and my heel. I have noticed that sometimes when skiing I feel that I am adjusting my foot to deal with the snow situation, i.e. pushing my foot forward to carve or putting my heel back in my boot to float. I thought this was merely because my boots had become "packed out" and that new liners would fix this problem.

I feel that boots might be the way to go, and that part of my feeling that I have progressed to the "plateau" of my current skis might be my boots!

Can new boots actually make me more in tune with my current skis, and if so, how do I explain this to my wife?

Thank you for any thoughts.
post #2 of 21
well I am not as tech minded as some of other people on here, but that sounds like a rather ill fitting boot. New boots or new liners are in your future.

the real reason why i posted though is my own greed though, you have pictures of those boots(the evolutions) I think those are the one that can be used for AT if i am not mistaken.
post #3 of 21

Yes, boots are the way to go. You can't control the best ski in the world if you feet are sloppy inside of your boots and they don't react when and how you intend. Plus, boots that fit well will also keep you warmer and more comfortable and make skiing less tiring, since you aren't having to make excessive movements to control the skis. Being in the wrong boots can also have you standing on the skis incorrectly, so that you are unable to make them do what they are supposed to do. For example, if you have very limited dorsi-flexion (flexing the knee foerward at the ankle joint), you won't be able to properly pressure the front of the boot, and therefore the front of the ski, so the ski won't work the way it was constructed to work. Or if you have canting issues, you may not be able to get the skis on edge properly.

Once you get good boots that are fitted properly, it's easy to go out and rent/demo good skis and determine what you like, and how it will react. If you go out and demo skis with poor fitting boots, you don't know whether the skis are acting the way they are because of the ski or the boots, and you could end up hating a ski, when the problem was that you weren't able to control it due to poorly fitting boots. If your boots fit right, you may have loved the ski.
post #4 of 21
You need new good-fitting boots; you wouldn't race a Porsche with oven mitts on.

I'm guessing that a pair of 8000s or 8800s are in your future too, but I'll let those with more experience with powder boards speak up.
post #5 of 21
if you are a lvl 8 skier those salomons will hold you back. And they are too big.

You should have no more than 1 finger behind your heel. But everyone has different size fingers. I remember dchan's post from this thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ight=shell+fit

I agree with him. A closer to a race fit is 1/2" and a more comfortable fit is 3/4". This means that it has to be 1.3cm - 1.9cm (if my calculation is correct).

I have one finger fit and this is 1.5cm behind my heel. This is not exactly a race fit, it is a performance fit (between the race and comfortable fit).

IMO the first thing you could do is get new boots in the correct size.

post #6 of 21
The energy that you put to the ski, goes through the boot. If it gets lost in a poor fitting boot, it never reaches the ski. You will get more out of a better boot and an lesser ski than a lesser boot and a better ski.
post #7 of 21
Originally Posted by Ghost
You need new good-fitting boots; you wouldn't race a Porsche with oven mitts on.
I might liken it to putting an F150 suspension in a Carerra. You turn the wheel back and forth, and the car just sways, but doesn't actually turn much, and when it does, there is little control, especially at speed.
post #8 of 21
Why not splurge? Boots first, then skis.
post #9 of 21
Go out in the garage. Jack up the car and loosen up all of the steering and suspension components. Take her for a "spin" on a twisty road ..... that is what you have with loose boots.
post #10 of 21
I think if you were to invest in properly fitted boots it would breathe new life into your current ski's. What I mean is that you would probably be suprised at all the performance you weren't getting out of the ski's with your old boots.

Bottom line is that you can get decent performance out of crappy ski's w/proper fitting performance boots, but not the other way around...If you must skimp out on equipment, do it w/the ski's, never w/boots.
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by dubdub57
Why not splurge? Boots first, then skis.
Now I like how this guy thinks!

Seriously though, if you can fit tree fingers between your heel and the shell, those boot shells are way too big, and will adversly effect your ability to direct your skis' path. Go to a good boot fitter (I'm sure someone here can recommend on in your area), and get into a pair that fit well. Then, watch eBay for a pair of skis that fit what you want in function and price.

Your 4800s are, from what I've heard, an outstanding all mountain ski, but if you want to ski the deep, more float will serve you well. Get something over 90mm in the waist, with a flex which will allow for an increase in your abilities, but not be too much for your current abilities. Perhaps some V2 Chubbs?
post #12 of 21
Yeah boots are definitely critical. A three finger fit is basically way too big, and is very common fit for first time ski boot buyers because they always compare a ski boot fit to how a normal shoe fits. So even a loose ski boot feels tight and uncomfortable when compared to a snug fitting sneaker. Find a good boot fitter in your area, and let them size you. Let someone else do the work for you, its the way to go. And I also really like the idea of splurging and getting skis and boots, but boots first
post #13 of 21
Get Boots
Get boots
Get boots.

Want to ski better right now,as in right now, today if you could??
Get some boots that are of good quality and proper fit.
Skis are nothing compared to the importance of a good fitting boot
post #14 of 21
Originally Posted by utahskier
I have noticed that sometimes when skiing I feel that I am adjusting my foot to deal with the snow situation, i.e. pushing my foot forward to carve or putting my heel back in my boot to float.
I think you describe the problem here yourself: ill fitting boots will cause you to adjust, re-adjust and adjust again to control your skis - which of course is a bad thing if you want to be skiing.
Maybe this will help: I have had the same problem in the past. Did the same things to solve, only in reversed order (first changed skis, then changed boots). And to be honest: I got results from both, but only accieved the desired effect after I changed boots (and yes: tried the combination of new boots-old skis with similar effect).
So my advice to you, youngster: first get good boots (fitting), the rest comes later.
post #15 of 21

If your foot twists and your heel lifts inside your boots when you turn
your skis you need new boots. Not only will you have better control
you may fall less. Get a boot in the next catarory down from a race
boot. Take your old boot in when buying your new boots to ensure the
flex and forward lean match your old boots as a more forward lean
and a stiffer flex may not be ideal for all mtn skiing
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 

Boot Fitting (Cost of a pro)

So Boots it seems will be the purchase I'm going to make. Most "expert" fitters do not open until post labor day, and there are a plethora of them here, so that isn't a problem. My question though, is the cost --

I have been in contact with a couple of the custom fitters in the area. The reply I have recieved so far about cost is that the boots run from 450-800 and orthotics an additional 200-250. Add tax and that could be a 1100 dollar pair of boots! Considering I was only planning on spending (max) 500 on new skis, is there a way to have a good boot fit, but for a cheaper price?

Perhaps the fitter with whom I was in contact was simply overpriced? Or are most custom fit specialists going to charge this type of money? I can purchase my own boots, zip fit liners, and cheaper orthotics for half the cost than a complete custom set-up...

I realize that I will be sacrificing something in the way of performace, but can I possibly put together a good package on my own, or is the "only way to go" through a professional fitter?

I still want to have money left over for rent...
post #17 of 21
It just depends on what type of boots you'll need and how extensive the fitting will be.

I personally would'nt buy from a shop that wont throw in free basic fitting/adjustments.

I would also see if the shop has last season's, or two, model boots of the type you need...That will usually save you a bit.

As far as orthotics are concerned, it just depends on how extensive they need to be fitted. In my case, I have all sorts of problems but I was able to succesfully use the Sidas orthotics (fit by my bootfitter and NOT by me) and they were only like $100-$120.
post #18 of 21
I got Nordica HotRod boots last February at 40% off, and the shop had a very knowledgeable tech that did extensive fit modificatons (punches, grinding) without charge. These were $800 retail boots so, still expensive, but within your budget. Prices are going to be high until after Christmas, unless you can find some 05-06 stock. I would call around and see if any of the stores have something in stock and on sale; get a basic performance fit, then go back for modifications when the season starts. That will get you the best price, and you should be able to get a good fit.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
So any suggestions on --

1. Boot models that would have an adequate liner and therefore only need a foot bed inserted?

Or even better yet, 2. Any boot models that would not need modifications (i.e. foot beds, new liners, etc), but would be sufficient with a good, professional fit?
post #20 of 21
Footbeds, orthodics and even fit modifications are optional on everthing but plug boots. I just depends how closely your foot conforms the the manufacturer's last. Read the ski gear FAQ sticky at the top of the page on choosing and fitting skis and boots, then find someone who will work with you to get the best possible unmodified fit. Adjust as necessary when the boot fitter is on duty as the season ramps up.

Thinner liners and thicker plastic in shells generally means less potential to pack-out and more adjustment capability. Try to stay in the upper range of boot models for any manufacturer. You will find that lower cost boots are usually heavily padded and softer flexing for intermediates, and higher range boots become more suitable for recreational experts, freeride and competition users. Most boots fit right at one to two sizes smaller than your street shoes. Not a hard and fast rule, but a guideline that works for most.
post #21 of 21
You should be able to find a good boot on sale (last years, wrong colour, etc.), but you will most likely need orthotics and custom fitting. Plan on spending about 700 bucks. Don't settle for a loose fit.
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