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Boot Balance by Bergeron... - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post
What adjustments need to be made to the boot to achieve the desired distribution of weight over the entire foot ? Is this a ramp angle and forward lean of the cuff adjustment? I am curious as to how weight distribution can be measured.
There are a number of ways, and we'll be able to share the specifics this coming week (both cgeib and I will be having Jeff work on our boots on the 25th). So, stay tuned...
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
This is inaccurate. The rear of the heel of the boot is in the center of the lug. The toe is offset to the outside by a cm or so. So, the last does sit at a diagonal angle to the lug from heel to toe.
Exactly as I thought.
post #33 of 51

Bootfitting at ESA Tahoe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post
I envy you guys that have access to the Jeff Bergerons of the world.

Ditto that! Buying new boots (a requirement for me this year) has been a nerve-wracking experience for me. It appears I'm going to have to just do the best I can with the resources around here and hope some of it can get fixed later.

I understand Bud Heishman may be at ESA Tahoe in March, yes? If so, I'm crossing my fingers that I won't dig myself in too deep with whatever boots I buy this fall! : Actually visiting with a qualified bootfitter is one of my anticipated highlight of the ESA.

Great to hear exactly how ssh and others are getting helped by these folks...

Cheers,
post #34 of 51
Thread Starter 
Yes, trochilids, Bud will be at ESA Tahoe (and possibly other events). Each ESA includes a boot balancing specialist. Yet another reason to attend. Imagine being able to ski with the specialist, get tweaked, ski more, all under the watchful eye of an ESA coach!
post #35 of 51
Good Thread. Along this line-- I will be in Aspen (Snowmass specifically) during the third week of January. Will be with large group so limited transportation. I will not be able to get to Breck to meet with Jeff, so I am looking for some recomendations on bootfitters in the Aspen area. Wife has always rented. She's finally getting good enough to enjoy the sport. Time to invest in some quality but not necessarily top of the line high performance boots. Also want it to be a good experience with ability for her to get adjustments. I noticed a gentleman named Jim Lindsey mentioned in a few posts. Is he in the Aspen area? Any other recommendations? Thanks in advance.
post #36 of 51
bcmmflyer,
The only bootfitter to see in Aspen is Jim Lindsey. One of the best! Jim fit my HotRods 2 seasons ago. He and Jeff are peers in my book.

http://www.bootech.net/pages/home.html

He's in the ski shop at the base of Aspen Highlands. Call early to get an appointment.
post #37 of 51
Thanks Bong,
I'm sure he'll be seeing us.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Yes, trochilids, Bud will be at ESA Tahoe (and possibly other events). Each ESA includes a boot balancing specialist. Yet another reason to attend. Imagine being able to ski with the specialist, get tweaked, ski more, all under the watchful eye of an ESA coach!

Can't wait!
post #39 of 51
Thread Starter 
Well, my next time with Jeff was a bit delayed today (that thread is in the Supporter's area). Rescheduled for tomorrow...
post #40 of 51
Thread Starter 
...which had to be aborted, again! The "blizzard" here in Colorado shut down I-70, so CSP turned me back at Floyd Hill. I'm scheduling another try with Jeff...
post #41 of 51
Thread Starter 
Rescheduled for Sunday afternoon...
post #42 of 51
Unlike ssh, I was able to make it to my appointment. After catching a 6:00am flight out of Fresno I arrived in Denver Wednesday morning around 9:00 and headed up to Loveland. I met with Sue Booker at Loveland where I shell fit a Dobermann WC150 in size UK5. Sue was concerned these were too small and indicated I had a 1/2 finger fit using her finger (length). Width wise, I had a negative fit, as my foot was compressed from immediately behind the toes back thru the arch and my inside ankle bones rested against the cuffs. Over my instep I had about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 finger spacing.

For what little it is worth, my street shoe size is 7 1/2 or 8 depending on brand and a solid D width. My feet are shaped into a nice wedge, flairing from a narrow heal passing bony ankles on the way.

So, I headed off to Jeff's with the UK5's and another pair the next size larger.

Step 1 with Jeff: Redo the shell fit and discuss with Jeff. My goal was to achieve the most responsive fit I could, yet still ski in the boots all day comfortably. Jeff was confindent we could achieve this with the 5's, however, it would require work and time to achieve a great fit that was comfortable.

Step 2: Evaluate my existing foot beds. I have been extremely happy with these since having them made by Steve Bagley in 2003. Other than fixing up some curling these function fine, so new footbeds are not required.

Step 3: Evaluate stance in boots out of the box before going to work on fit. Likewise, compare this stance to my existing boots. The new boots are slightly more upright than my existing boots - the direction I needed to go (rear spoiler removed). I can fully flex and extend in balance! My knees track very straight naturally and likewise in the Dobermanns. There is no where near enough room for my foot and the liner!!!

Step 4: Go to work on fitting. All told, I spent 3.5 hours with Jeff and the bulk of that time was spent conforming the shell to the shape of my foot - not an easy task...I do not have an easy foot to wedge into a Dobermann, however the stance and heel pocket are a great fit out of the box. Jeff has a great process, and - just as importantly - has considerable experience and knows what tolerances are required in the shell to achieve the proper fit. Nonetheless, I was skeptical as I had considerable pressure along both sides of the ball of the foot, but I listened to Jeff and left it as is to "pack out" - ever seen a Dobermann liner, think it will pack out?

Step 5: Alignment. Fore/Aft is good - the reason I selected these boots after comparing to mine last year. This years Dobermanns have adjustable cuffs, and this allowed Jeff to quickly match the shape of my lower legs combined with slightly planing the soles a minor amount to bring my alignment together in a matter of about 10 minutes.

Step 6: Go skiing Thursday morning I headed up to Loveland, returned the other pair of boots and grabbed a cup of coffee while they reset and torque tested my bindings. After that I met up with Mike_m, Earnie, Al, & Scott (see the Photo's B. Barnes uploaded). They were ready to go and headed out while I changed and booted up. Just as I finished buckling up and started heading for the door Bob Barnes walked in, so I chatted with him while he geared up in his Aggressors (for his first day of skiing since being fit by Jeff). As I sat there, I swear the boots kept getting tighter and tighter, and I was sure I was going to have to take them off before I even hit the slopes for one run. I sucked it up and headed out the door with Bob to make some turns. To my amazement, the boots became more and more comfortable through out the day. I never once felt the need to unbuckle and actually tightened my cuff buckles after lunch. Eventually, towards the end of the day I did develop a hot spot on my right heel and another on the outside edge of my left foot - these were so minor I elected to ski again today before addressing them with Jeff.

Step 7: Ski today and confirm hot spots remain. Visit Jeff to address them with some minor grinding and install 5mm lifts front and back. I'll update if needed, but I expect the process is complete at this point.


Other than the two minor hot spots I have found these boots to be very comfortable and I expect I'll be able to ski daily in these boots without the pain or discomfort frequently noted concerning these boots. The alignment matches me and so far I have not been in conflict with the boots and do not find them overly stiff; admittedly, conditions are uncharacteristicly soft for this time of year, so we'll see how it goes when things firm up. I can certainly soften these boots if necessary, however, I was really impressed with the responsiveness they provided for returning to center when getting jostled in the bumps and clumps yesterday.

I am totally amazed at how precisely Jeff molded these shells to my feet on the first shot. I highly recommend working with Jeff if you have the opportunity!
post #43 of 51
Thread Starter 
Very cool, cgeib, thanks for that...

What was the reason for the 5mm lifts?
post #44 of 51
Leverage, wear surface, experiment because I could...
post #45 of 51
Thread Starter 

Step 2--Finally!

After the odyssey of the past week, I actually made it to Boot Fixation yesterday afternoon a bit before my appointment time of 1:30. I had skied the boots in the morning at Loveland without having them fit, so had a good idea of where the various pressure points, etc. would be. I did ski them without footbeds to make them somewhat bearable, though, so the sensations weren't perfect.

The first order of the day was for Jeff to refresh his memory of my feet and stance. After changing into shorts, I stood naturally in my bare feet and flexed for him. Next, he took the stock footbeds and used them to trim the custom footbeds he had made for me for my previous boots. Then, it was time to do some grinding...

First, he gave me some space along the lateral side of the boot, the big toe area, and the various other parts of my feet that needed a better match to the shell. The Nordicas I have are specifically not built to be skied out of the box, and the shell plastic is very thick specifically so it can be ground and shaped like this. He would have me step into the boot shells with the footbeds in the shell and makeup on my feet. I'd move around in the boots to get my feet to touch the shell, then he would go to work grinding those areas.

I had an especially painful area around my inside ankle bones, but we both think that's probably a liner issue, so I'm going to let that go a bit longer before I have him grind it more.

After more than an hour of grinding and re-fitting, he wanted to get a look at my alignment before we went to grab a bite to eat. The movements I was getting were a bit in conflict with his expectations based on my stance, so he decided to think about it over some food. Off we went to grab a bite at Eric's.

When we got back, I put the boots back on. As he thought might happen, this time the alignment and results matched his expectations. This underlines how patience is rewarded in balancing, and I very much appreciate Jeff's thoroughness and focus.

He thought that I might need a little canting on my left boot, but when he started the process of planing them, it turns out that the soles were a bit warped. So, he planed both boots flat and I got back into them. After this, he was pleased with the left boot (where he had thought there might be a need for a slight cant), but wanted to move the cuff of the right boot to more closely match my leg shape. Once he did, lower leg movement matched my left boot.

He also took a little bit off the bootboard of my right boot, effectively canting the heel of the boot slightly to get better movement to the outside edge of my right ski.

He thinks that we may want to adjust the fore/aft balance a bit, but he'd like to see me skiing in them before he makes decisions about what to do next. We tested raising the toes both a little and a lot, but nothing was real conclusive, so we decided to have me ski in them a bit and ideally get some video for him to watch with a couple of turns so that he can see how they are working for me.

Lastly, since I was getting some circulation sensations in both feet, he shaved down the footboards from the ball forward.

At that point, I decided it was close enough for me to spend some time in them, both skiing and also allowing the cork & oil liners to mold to my feet. It was late and I was tired.

...as an aside, cgeib came back while I was there and had a bit of the fore/aft tweaked. As a result, Jeff needed to shave the lugs again. As an example of his thoroughness, he spent some time manually removing the bit of extra material left behind by the router, using a box cutter to trim it right up to the boot and also to round off the leading edge of the lug.
post #46 of 51
Thread Starter 
First set of runs on the newly balanced boots today. Wow! What a difference!

I enjoyed much more balance, especially fore/aft. Of course, my feet were more comfortable, too. : I'll review the boots thoroughly after my next outing on them, but I will say that Jeff's work made a world of difference for me. They felt like an extension of my feet, and that was wonderful!
post #47 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcmmflyer View Post
Good Thread. Along this line-- I will be in Aspen (Snowmass specifically) during the third week of January. Will be with large group so limited transportation. I will not be able to get to Breck to meet with Jeff, so I am looking for some recomendations on bootfitters in the Aspen area. Wife has always rented. She's finally getting good enough to enjoy the sport. Time to invest in some quality but not necessarily top of the line high performance boots. Also want it to be a good experience with ability for her to get adjustments. I noticed a gentleman named Jim Lindsey mentioned in a few posts. Is he in the Aspen area? Any other recommendations? Thanks in advance.
I was looking at this thread and noticed your post. Just thought I would add Jim Lindsey and I refer clients to each other, and that there are few other bootfitters I can say that about. I expect you will do well with him.

Good luck,
Jeff Bergeron
Pres, Boot Fixation
post #48 of 51
I was just looking at Jeff's Boot Fixation website and think I found a type-o.

On this page: http://bootfixation.com/index_files/Page344.html

underneath the Top 8 questions it says "If you answered 'No' to any of the above questions come in for a 100+ Point Boot Check."

Shouldn't it be "If you answered 'Yes" to any of these questions..."?



On a recommended bootfitter tip, anybody know where I can get some ZipFit liners in California?
post #49 of 51
Also, thanks for the kind words and good feedback, guys.

Jeff
post #50 of 51
I should have come back and completed this thread last January after my visit with Jim Lindsay at Bootech in Aspen Highlands. My apologies for the delay Jim.

As per the recommendations above I contacted Jim and made an appointment for when we were in Aspen. My wife decided she was not committed to the sport enough to purchase but I brought another couple with us. They both purchased boots and footbeds and Jim did the full workups on both. And then the fine tuning on both after a couple hours of skiing. The real impressive thing is what Jim did for me and says tons about him. When my turn came, he told me he did not have the boots that he thought I needed. He told me a couple of places that may have them and then did my workup so my info would be on file. I found the boots in the size he recommended and purchased them. The salesman thought I was nuts, just a quick slip on to ensure no glaring defects and "I'll take 'em with no adjustments". Easy sell. I took them back to Jim and he spent another hour or better fitting, aligning, planing, etc. I already had a pair of footbeds and Jim looked at them, used them as part of the set up and told me they were fine. Didn't try to sell me another pair. When we were finished I walked to the register expecting him to ring up the adjustments. He told me there was no charge because I brought the other couple (i.e. referrals) and they had both purchased. A nice gesture I thought! Customer Service!

Boots have been great, probably 20 days in them last season.

If you are in the Aspen area this year and looking for equipment, this is the guy to see. I can't speak highly enough of Jim.

http://www.bootech.net/pages/home.html
post #51 of 51
Great thread here everyone! From my very limited understanding, it seems achieving "balance" from the narrow focus of this discussion has to do with a couple of things ... getting the proper boot, alignment and fit, and finding the correct mount location of the binding on the ski.

My question revolves more around binding mount position on the ski, and how important this is in relation to balance, aka Campbell balance process? Assuming ones boot fit, cant, alignment, etc are perfect, how much impact does the fore or aft binding position have in relation to balance? Is this relatively minor in relation in comparison to getting the boot fit correct ... bottom line, is figuring out the mount location worth the time and effort, or does the bigger return on performance simply lie through the boot fit process?
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