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Seattle area - Fiorini Sports or Sturtevant's?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I had an appointment this morning with Jim Mates, but I got on the wrong bus and missed it. I had to reschedule for the 29th, but by the time I make it to that appointment, buy boots, then take them back to Jim for footbeds etc, I think it could be well into January as Jim is a busy guy.

That leaves me with two options - Fiorini Sports or Sturtevant's. They were both named Ski Magazine gold medal ski shops, but I'm wondering which would be a better place to go for boots and bootfitting. Does anyone have any experience with either?
post #2 of 23
I have had generally good experiences with Sturtevants. Martin who is their bootfitting guy has a very good reputation. FWIW, I know folks who live in the U District who prefer to come across the lake to Sturtevants.

However, I'd suggest yet again that you consider Gerk's Alpine Hut in Redmond. A tiny shop with people who are great guys & know their stuff. Very up to date & customer oriented. I have not used them for bootfitting. However my spouse had them redo her boots (about 4 seasons old) this fall. She had the reworked boots out for the first time yesterday and was extremely happy with the work they did. The price was quite reasonable.
post #3 of 23
For your own protection, satisfaction, and foot comfort just rent boots if you have to until you can spend the time with Jim. He is the best and you won't regret it. Don't scrimp. Boots can last you many years.
post #4 of 23
I don't know Jim - so I can't say whether he is the best or not. And I know you know your stuff...

However, there's no way I'd blow half a season in rental boots. No way. I know both Gerk's and Sturtevants can do a fine job of getting someone in the right boots, molding footbeds and punching/grinding, etc. as needed. In far less than two months.

And unless Jim is truly magic, it'll take more than one visit. It could be the end of the season before the boots are really dialed in if the first real working session is mid Jan.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I went into Sturtevant's today and had a pretty positive experience. I'm a student at UW, and live on campus so Fiorini is close, but they don't have the selection that Sturtevant's does.

I worked with a guy who was fairly new there, but he was very helpful and did a good job finding a boot that fit well. He just didn't know much about footbeds. I didn't buy anything today...I ended up in a Beast 10 26.5, but I want to try a 26.0 and the Beast 12, neither of which they had in stock.

Would it be a bad idea to buy the boots through Sturtevant's, have them do the footbeds, etc, then take them to Jim as soon as I can for alignment work, etc? The only qualm I have about Sturtevant's is that I was told that all of their footbeds are heat moldable. I know next to nothing about custom footbeds, but isn't there a little more to a $100+ footbed than just heat molding it? Sturtevant does the Superfeet insoles, along with a couple other brands that I don't remember.

I would make the trip to Redmond if I could. I don't have a car up here so the bus system is the only way I have of getting around.
post #6 of 23
I bought my boots about three seasons ago. I then added superfeet custom footbeds the next year. Still painful but the best I've ever had so far in 40+ years of skiing. Then I went to Jim Mates and for $130 more he made them fit. My feet don't hurt. Nobody, even the techs I thought were good, was able to help me until I went to Jim. Feet that don't hurt while you ski are worth any amount you might pay.

Somebody else may be able to do it right for you, but Jim will for sure.

Yes, Superfeet are heat and vacum molded. Pricey and not needed by all.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh784 View Post
I went into Sturtevant's today and had a pretty positive experience. I'm a student at UW, and live on campus so Fiorini is close, but they don't have the selection that Sturtevant's does.

I worked with a guy who was fairly new there, but he was very helpful and did a good job finding a boot that fit well. He just didn't know much about footbeds. I didn't buy anything today...I ended up in a Beast 10 26.5, but I want to try a 26.0 and the Beast 12, neither of which they had in stock.

Would it be a bad idea to buy the boots through Sturtevant's, have them do the footbeds, etc, then take them to Jim as soon as I can for alignment work, etc? The only qualm I have about Sturtevant's is that I was told that all of their footbeds are heat moldable. I know next to nothing about custom footbeds, but isn't there a little more to a $100+ footbed than just heat molding it? Sturtevant does the Superfeet insoles, along with a couple other brands that I don't remember.

I would make the trip to Redmond if I could. I don't have a car up here so the bus system is the only way I have of getting around.
You can get into to see Jim before january.

Have Mates do the work! I know all the guys at Fiorini's well! I know Martin well. Jeff fiorini is a personal friend of mine, Martin and everyone at Sturtevant's also knows my on a first name basis! I have had martin do bootwork for me too.

I have Jim Mates do all of our boot work. Although i had Gil at fiorin;s make my current footbeds. They are a non-posted conformable, but had mates do all my bootwork.

If you go to Fiorini's either work with Jeff, Gil or Dan. tommy is also very good and a certified pedorthist.

Have mates do the bootworkI would have Mates also do your footbeds.

You are better off getting it all done by one guy and holding him accountable for success!
post #8 of 23
A couple of times I've been into Fiorini's, and one time bought two pair of skis, they left me with the feeling that I was interrupting something there...they didn't care if I bought something or left. My experiences at Sturtevant's have been much better. I bought boots this year, the first pair was just too small, and they exchanged the boots for a size bigger with no problem. Their boot shell work seems OK to me, but I don't know if they are the tops in footbeds or alignment.


Ken
post #9 of 23
Go see martin at sturtevants he is most certainly the best. He has worked with me through 2 pairs of boots and many grinds punches insoles plates etc, All for the price of the original boot. I am pretty sure that sturtevants guerrentees a fit. the only problem is that martin is so popular that he is constantly busy
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh784 View Post
I went into Sturtevant's today and had a pretty positive experience. I'm a student at UW, and live on campus so Fiorini is close, but they don't have the selection that Sturtevant's does.


Would it be a bad idea to buy the boots through Sturtevant's, have them do the footbeds, etc, then take them to Jim as soon as I can for alignment work, etc? The only qualm I have about Sturtevant's is that I was told that all of their footbeds are heat moldable. I know next to nothing about custom footbeds, but isn't there a little more to a $100+ footbed than just heat molding it? Sturtevant does the Superfeet insoles, along with a couple other brands that I don't remember.

I would make the trip to Redmond if I could. I don't have a car up here so the bus system is the only way I have of getting around.
I purchased my footbeds from Sturtevants and had them do the fitting. My footbeds are Sole Orthotics, or at least that's what they say on the footbed. Heat moldable footbed and I have been very happy with the fitting. It's been hit or miss with Sturtevants. I've had two younger guys working on my boots in the past, and been given two diametricaly opposite recommendations. I believe it was Martin who finally set me up two seasons ago, and I have had zero issues since.
post #11 of 23
Martin is the man at Sturtevants. He made my footbeds (replacing a pair from another shop that never fit right), and I am very happy. Hi also fit my custom liners.

To answer your question about the heat molded footbeds...yes, there is abit more to it than that. They put me on an infrared thing that shows the pressure points on my feet. Then molded the footbed, and finally they attach cork to it and grind/sand it to fit into the boot. Then its a process of trial and adjustment until it feels perfect.

Martin will guarantee the fit too, I went back after skiing and he spent another hour working on them to get them just right for me.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm considering buying the boots, and having the footbeds made and initial adjustments done with Martin at Sturtevant's, then taking them to Jim for tweaking after I've skied in them a few times.

I just need to decide on some boots! The Noridca Beasts offered the best fit by far, but from what I've been reading here, they aren't much of a performance oriented boot. I'm not looking for race plugs by any means, but I don't want to buy something I might regret.
post #13 of 23

Sturtevant's (Bellevue)

I just got back from visiting Sturtevant's earlier today. I had purchased new Salomon Falcon boots at the SkiBonkers sale a month or two ago. Feet hurt first day on the new boots yesterday at Steven's Pass.

Kevin helped me (Martin briefly consulted). After checking my fit, he created heat molded foot beds (Arch Molds) for $37.50. Took about 20 minutes, I was amazed at the low price!

Kevin spent the next ~30 minutes punching the boots (too narrow). After I wore them in the store for ~10 minutes, he spent another ~15 minutes punching out the big toe on one of the boots. They felt great (but only an on snow test will tell for sure).

All the fitting/punching was free (although the boots did cost ~$500).
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Did you buy the Falcon 10s? If you paid $500 for them, you got a helluva deal. I think Sturtevant's price on those right now is, IIRC, $640.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh784 View Post
The Noridca Beasts offered the best fit by far, but from what I've been reading here, they aren't much of a performance oriented boot. I'm not looking for race plugs by any means, but I don't want to buy something I might regret.
Buy the boots that are the right stiffness and fit your feet the best. Boots are so personal, that I would not discount a boot because of what you read on the internet. Boots that fit well are priceless. If the Beast isn't stiff enough, look at the next stiffest Nordica.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just got back from my second visit to Sturtevant's. They had absolutely nothing, and I don't know if I'll be back.

When I was in there on friday, they only had the Beast 10 in my size...I was told to come back in today and they might have the 12. They had neither the Beast 10 or 12. No Speedmachines in my size...basically no Nordica boots. The guy I worked with, who was very helpful, had me try on a Head boot and an Atomic boot. The Head didn't feel very snug, and the Atomic felt just OK. I also tried on a Technica that had a very good, snug fit, but was pretty painful after having it on for 10 minutes.

I don't see how I am supposed to find the right boot, if "The Best Ski Store in the West" doesn't have a very good selection. The worst part is that I heard one of their older bootfitters bitching about people who buy boots online then bring them in to have work done. Maybe people buy boots online because they can get what they need? I was told to check back in in two weeks to see if they had new stock. I want to be skiing in two weeks, so that simply won't fly.

I think I might go into Fiorini in a few minutes...Even if I wait until next wednesday and go see Jim, he doesn't sell boots, so I don't understand how I would find the right boot to bring in for him to work on.

Buying boots might be one of the most frustrating experiences I've been through.
post #17 of 23
Thats a bummer, I imagine right now is their busiest time of year, with all the resorts opening up and the holidays coming, everyone is looking to gear up for the year.

You can always try REI, they may have what you are looking for, or be able to locate it at another store and get it to you quickly.

I didn't buy my boots at Sturtevants, and they still helped me get the right fit.
post #18 of 23
You might want to call Mount Pilchuck Ski and Sport in Everett, Washington.
They carry Nordica boots are a pretty large ski shop and they may have your model/size.
Good luck.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on going to the Alpine Hut in Redmond today, however I don't know which one to go to...

http://gerksalpinehut.com/index.cfm
http://www.alpinehut.com/servicepage.html

Two different locations in Redmond. Where to go?

Josh
post #20 of 23
One is in Seattle. One in Redmond. They are not connected. The one in Redmond, which I think quite highly of, is Gerk's Alpine Hut.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Right you are. Thanks, I missed that for some reason.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Looks like Gerk's is much too inconvenient of a trip, considering I live on campus at UW and have to use the bus system. It's gotta be Fiorini or Sturtevant's.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Went back to Sturtevant's...no dice there. Tried on the Falcon 10 again, and the Falcon 9, and decided that a 26.0 would be a better size. I tried on a Nordica Hot Rod that was much too stiff, and they didn't have the right size in the next flex down. All of the other boots he would have had me try on they didn't have in my size, and he didn't think they'd be getting any more until next year.

I spent some time walking around in the Falcons, and after leaving the store, I started getting sharp pains in my lower calf/tendon, like something was snapping. Same thing happened when I tried the Falcon on in Fiorini. I don't have a whole lot of flex in my ankle, so I think the amount of forward lean in the Falcon might have been causing the pain.
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