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Boot questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I renently started a thread asking about boot fitting in the Seattle area. Several recommended I talk to Jim Mates, and I plan to go that route. Before I do, I'd like to learn as much as I can.

I'm going to be on a somewhat limited budget; hopefully in the range of $600. After custom footbeds, and work on the boots if I take them to Jim, that doesn't leave a whole lot to spend on the boots themselves. I've been looking around at prices, and I'll come up significantly short on any of the new boots, including the several models that Jeff Bergeron recommended I take a look at when I asked him in his thread.

It would seem that my best option would be to shop around for a good deal on some boots from last season, or something to that effect. With that in mind, I'd like to get an idea what I should be looking for.

I'm 5'10" 145# and have been skiing for 5 years. I recently got back into things last year, and picked up a pair of Head Monster I.M. 72s in 170cm. I also bought a pair of X-Wave 9.0s in 28.0. I wear size 10 street shoes, and as Jeff confirmed, the boots are too big. They also were never as comfortable as I would have liked - I had pressure on my arches and on the balls of my feet.

I have a fairly wide forefoot, high arches/insteps, and a normal to somewhat narrow heel. This was the other problem I found with the X-Wave 9.0s - they didn't do a good job of keeping my heel in place. I had Sole brand heat moldable inserts in the X-Waves, but ideally would like to get into a pair of custom footbeds this time around.

As far as my skiing ability, I have been skiing for 5 years, and can and do ski blacks no problem. My technique is not great, but I've been working on it. I'm hoping that the right pair of boots will help accelerate this process. I ski on 75% groomed runs, but I never miss an opportunity to ski good powder. I like to carve, and would like to be a lot better at short, quick turns. I didn't have a whole lot of luck with those last season, and I don't know how much of that was influenced by my equipment. I'm no expert, but as far as I can tell I am neither knock-kneed or bow-legged.

I'd really appreciate any insight here as I still feel like I'm on the bottom half of this very steep learning curve.

post #2 of 13
go in , tell the fitter you have $600 for all the work, boots etc, and see if he can make it work. See if the soles are re-useable (should be).

that leaves $400 boots, $200 work.

Xwaves in 27 sounds like an option
is that what you where asking?
post #3 of 13
Why would you buy your boots BEFORE going to the bootfitter??

If you buy the boots from the fitter the labor should (will) be included, he'll also (I would assume) guarantee his work, as in put you in a different boot mid season if need be. Bring the boot in and nothing is assured.

You will save yourelf a boat load of hassle if you just start with a good bootfitter and go 'soup to nuts' with him. It will save you in the long run.
post #4 of 13
I agree that it is always better to buy boots from a local fitter because tweaking the fit is included in the original price and sometimes you have to go back repeatedly after skiing them to get the fit just right. The other option is to buy good boots at a cheap price wherever you can find them and then go to a boot fitter expecting to spend another $150 to get footbeds and the fit dialed in.
post #5 of 13
I totally agree with the above. Your budget is enough to put you into most boots on the market, with fitting, as long as you are not buying from a boot fitting franchise at a ski area.

Be honest with your fitter, he will make it work. A boot with a $800 MSRP leaves a lot of room for a boot-fitter's profit and work. Very few of the good fitters are trying to sock you for full-boat retail plus labor. You will get a competitive price. Relax. Let your fitter tell you if your budget is unrealistic.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Nobody is selling boots at list price, but with $600 and footbeds, that leaves me around $400 for the bootsthemselves...which would put me into most low-end boots, at least from the prices I've seen. Will the stores sell the boots significantly cheaper than the advertized price?
post #7 of 13
$600 should get you a highend left over boot plus a seasons worth of work plus a footbed. It should at least get you close, closer than you are likely to be buying the boot elsewhere and getting charged an hourly rate to dial it in. Plus the bootfitter will have a better attitude while he works with you.
post #8 of 13
A few of us were suggesting that Josh visit Jim Mater in Seattle if he wanted a superior boot fitting. Jim is a boot specialist who works with a lot of racers, but doesn't sell boots.

Josh will not find a better fitter; however, this is a very "high-end" approach and isn't too far off Josh's mark if some things work in his favor. Jim is highly skilled and if he looks at Josh's feet, he'll give him a very limited number of boots that he should consider. I think Josh also received a few boot suggestions from epic fitters. If he finds those boots at a sale price he should be in the ball park, but it could still be tight if he really wants to be dialed in. Just depends on what needs to be done. The closer the shell fit, the less work.

If anyone knows a strong fitter/seller local to the Seattle area, it would probably be a very viable solution for Josh. Jim is one of the very best - but if it can't be done on the budget available, then it can't be done.
post #9 of 13
Ahhh, I did not realize that this was a BYOB shop. In that case I'd still suggest seeing Jim first before making a purchase. Buy what he suggests (ask about boots from the last FEW seasons) then do some price shopping.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the help guys. I'll be giving Jim a call in the near future.

I'm guessing he doesn't do custom footbeds, and I'll have to have these done elsewhere. The ski shop charges $60/hour for long do they take to create?

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Any info on the footbeds question?

post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by Josh784 View Post
Thanks a lot for the help guys. I'll be giving Jim a call in the near future.

I'm guessing he doesn't do custom footbeds, and I'll have to have these done elsewhere. The ski shop charges $60/hour for long do they take to create?

Yes, actually Jim Mates does. He made a pair of footbeds for me last season. He does excellent work.
post #13 of 13
full customs: $60-200
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