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.