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Boot fitting in Seattle area

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does anybody have any recommendations for ski shops in the Seattle area that excel at boot fitting?

I've checked out Fiorini Sports at the University Village, and Sturtevants in Bellevue. The guy I talked to in Fiorini seemed very knowlegable, but their selection of boots was somewhat limited. Sturtevants had a good selection, but they made it sound like they would charge $60/hour for any modifications done to the boots. I'm a newbie to buying fitted boots, but it seems to me as if the shop shouldn't charge for this work provided you are buying the boots from them.

Any opinions on these two stores, or other places I should check out?

post #2 of 16
Try Mt. Pilchuck http://www.mtpilchuck.com, I'm very satisfied with their boot fitting service.
post #3 of 16

Bootfitter Seattle

Josh/84. The best hands down is Jim Mates, Custom Boot Service, 6500 4th Ave. NW Seatte 206 297-9298. Call first for appointment.
post #4 of 16
Historically, Sturtevants included bootfitting/ basic mods in the price of boots/footbeds. So you might want to recheck that. Most consider Martin their top bootfitter...

Gerk's Alpine Hut in Redmond is very on the ball and up to date on current stuff - and just updated their bootfitting "lab".
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks for the replies. I'll check all of those places out.

Next question: How much should I be looking to pay to get into a good pair of boots with custom footbeds? I'm 5'10" 150#...I'd say intermediate to slightly advanced level, but working on it.

Sturtevants told me they might be able to work with $500, but they'd be using $35 insoles.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Also, has anyone used Alpine Hut's bootfitting services?

post #7 of 16
Jim Mates, as mentioned, is a very serious and knowledgable boot fitter. He's a pure bootfitter, not a boot retailer. He can advise about boot purchases, though; and he of course sells insoles. I don't think this approach would work with a $500 all-in budget, though, unless you're gettin a really good deal on the boots.

For one-stop shopping, I'd probably go to Sturtevants or World Cup Skier Service, I think. A total price of $500 still seems tight to me, unless you're either getting some kind of discount or are hitting a sale.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm hoping I can stretch it out to $600.

There is a ski swap in a couple weeks, so I'll see if I can sell my existing boots, and that will likely dictate how much I can shell out for new ones.
post #9 of 16

Seattle Bootfitter

Josh, call Jim Mates and see if he'll give you a little prep mini class on picking out your own boot (maybe a tip in order) and then you can pick out a boot yourself even at a ski swap and then if you have any problems with your purchase you can go to him. I would say to do this for sure if your're considering a ski swap purchase. Sort of like buying a used car without know anything about cars-it will cost you a lot of $ down the road. You need to know about flex, forward lean, canting, fore/aft balance, diagonal stiffness etc. etc.
post #10 of 16
I know you're probably talking more money than you wanted to spend, but think carefully about what you want to achieve. If it takes an extra $50 or $75, it would be a missed opportunity to draw the line. Obviously my opinion - and not my money - but a great fitting boot is primo in skiing.

FWIW ... I sent my brother to Jim Mates and arranged with Jim in advance that the checkbook was open - do whatever required to set him up right. Jim charged a very moderate price (don't remember what it was - maybe 40 or 50) for a first consultation with boots and skis. They both decided new boots were in order, so Jim made modest changes that produced great results until my brother identified the boots he wanted. Getting things really dialed in can be a little "pricey", but that depends on how much work is needed.

Moral of the story - Jim did the right thing when he could have hit me for whatever he wanted. You won't get the least expensive fitting with Jim, but in my opinion you'll get one of the best.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips guys. I'm not planning on buying boots at the ski swap, just selling the ones I have currently.

If I did decide to go to Jim, would I find and buy a boot first at somewhere like Sturtevants and then go to Jim rather than having the shop do the work?
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a wide forefoot, normal/narrowish heel, and a high instep/arch. I'm 5'10" 145#, and an improving intermediate to slightly advanced skier. I've been skiing for 5 years now.

Which boots will a bootfitter likely be looking at? I want to get an idea for when I go into one of these stores, as I likely will.

post #13 of 16
Hi Josh,
My suggestion would be to do as Pete suggests and give Jim a call. He's great and easy to get along with. Tell him you need to find a boot and that you're interested in a custom fit. He may give you a few general suggestions, or suggest that you meet with him for a consultation and specific suggestions. He doesn't sell boots, so he has no interest in promoting anything other than the best boots for you.

It might even turn out that you narrow your choice down to a couple of boots suggested by Jim. You could have Jim examine your foot in both and have him tell you which boot would take the least amount of work (expense) to give you an exceptional fit. You'd need to make sure you could return the boots you decide against. Just be up front with everyone you're working with and everything should go fine. Don't waste anyone's time by playing games with them. If you're serious about the best possible fit, this is how you can get it.

If you're concerned about cost, tell him and see what he is willing to work out with you.

Looks like others have favorable suggestions for other options also.

Good luck!
post #14 of 16
Jim Mates, yes, yes, yes! He did wonders for me. I bought my boots for $140 (originally $600) off of a sale shelf, got custom insoles for $110 and paid Jim $130 for the fit. The fit was the key. I've got custom top of the line boots for $380. He guarantees his work and is just a great guy. I can't recommend him too highly.
post #15 of 16
Go see Jim. He is fair knowledgeable and price sensitive.

Be carefull at ski swaps. the one place you don't want to have a cheap attack, is with your boots.

we have been uusing Jim for amny years and he has done wonders for us.

I also know many many top racers and loads of people I have sent to him have been very pleased.!
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recommendations. I'll plan on giving Jim a call this week sometime.
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