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Head S12 Fitting help via distance?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
To give a little background...

After spending the last three seasons on 15+ year old equipment I decided it was time to upgrade. Tired of the old 195cm GS straight ski with Look bindings and old beat up rear entry Solomon boots.

I have never purchased new equipment (last time I had new equipment I was 10 years old, now 30) and I live in a remote area of the Yukon. The nearest shop that carries skis is 5 hours away and I wasn't able to find much of a selection. So I began researching online and ended up buying a set of Head 177 i.XRC 1400 chip and a pair of Head 26.5 S12 Heatfit 3 boots.

After reading these forums I realize now that my first mistake was not ensuring the boots fit my foot shape, but the shop I purchased from did ask me some questions about foot width and did their best to ensure these boots would suffice.

Before I called them I measured my foot length by placing the base of my heel on the floor with my toes pointing straight up a wall and making a pencil mark at the longest point while wearing a pair of socks. I measured several times and it was always right around 26.3cm so I rounded up to 26.5 which is 1/2 size smaller than all my street shoes. I want a snug fit and am a fairly aggressive skier, so this boot length seemed correct to both myself and the shop.

Everything arrived this morning and I tried the boots on, to my horror they seemed too small. I've read what I could find in these forums about fitting and I'll do a shell fit when I get home from work. I'm pretty confident now that they are a proper fit, but need some fitting work.

I'm not sure if there is a fitter in Whitehorse (5 hours away), and if not the nearest one will be atleast one day if not two days away.

Another problem is that these boots are heatfit, but of course with no shop around, that could be difficult to get done. Is it possible to pack out heatfit boots without having them heatfit or is there a DIY method?

So far I have noticed:
- toes up against the front of the boot, but I believe this was my inexperience with putting the new style of boots on. I feel like such a level 6 newb but I have noone to ask
- the shell of my old boots fit perfectly in my new bindings, center line and all. I'm hoping this is an indication that I have the proper size shell.
- even when I did get my feet fairly comfortable in the boots, once I strapped on the skis both feet would go completely numb within minutes
- I did notice some cramping and arch pain but I have never had any arch problems before in my life

Would any of you kind souls be willing to help me try to fit them via these forums? I can provide pictures and measurements of feet, boots, etc and am willing to try to do the work as needed. I have rather average feet, so I'm fairly sure these boots can be made comfortable.

Thanks for reading and any help offered. I've been lurking in these forums for awhile now and trying to learn all I can before asking.

post #2 of 5
Just got a pair of Head boots with Superheat 3 liners. I heat fitted them by putting them in my oven(semi Convection) for about 10 minutes then put them in the boots and wore and flexed them with medium buckle tension for 15 minutes. I covered the bottom rack with foil(to prevent direct radiation). I preheated the oven to 275, put the liners in a glass dish, turned the temp down to 200.

Make sure you check the forward pressure settings on your bindings.
post #3 of 5
I ski in the Head World Cup M103R boots, about three years old. These are the best fitting boots I have ever owned. I have also tried on the S12's, they are almost a carbon copy of my boots as far as fit goes. These boots are made for a medium width foot. The liner also has an expandable toe box, that is the material in the toe area will stretch to conform to the shape of your toes. I was also told that those particular boots have a fairly long toe box to begin with, which was something that I needed. So I would not worry about your toes touching or feeling too tight in the front of the boot, as long as you have the right shell size. When new, the boots should at first feel like they are about a half size too small. You did not say if you have a custom footbed in these. I assume that if you got the boots online than you have not had a custom footbed made for those particular boots. Trying to use a footbed from another pair of boots could contribute to arch pain. If you don't have any custom footbeds, and don't have access to anyone that can make them for you, you would probably be better off to buy a pair of stock sports insoles from a sporting goods store or even a drugstore. These would be supierior to the standard insole that comes with the boots, and far supierior to a custom footbed that doesn't fit properly.
As far as the heatfit is concerned, I wouldn't advise you to go and try to heat these up by yourself without consulting the shop that you bought them from. As I recall, it doesn't take a lot of heat to make them work. I'm thinking just the heat from one of the coin operated boot and glove warmers in the lodge would be sufficient. Heat them up, put them on, buckel them up, (but not too tightly) and walk around in them for a while. And while you're putting them on, before you buckle them, bounce the heel off the floor a couple of times to seat your heel into the back of the liner. And remember not to tighten them up too tightly at first. Ski the first couple of runs with them fairly loose, and then tighten them a little more (but not too much) as the day goes on. Remember, it usually takes time to break in a new pair of boots. I remember when I first bought the pair of boots that I have now, I put a pair of footbeds in them from another pair of boots that I had, went off and skied at Steamboat for four days, and suffered like I never had before. I was sure that those boots were never going to work for me, but after I got them fit properly, they turned out to be the best boots I've ever owned. It was just that the old footbeds from another boot didn't work well in my new boots. Moral of the story is if they don't feel right after a day or so, it may be time to seek out a good bootfitter.
post #4 of 5
It isn't necessary to heat the liners. They will mold to your foot as you ski them and conform to your foot after a couple of days of skiing in them.
I believe that he S12 has an insert that can be removed and/or trimmed as needed. I'd advise you consult with the shop you bought them from on how to accomplish this if needed. Good luck.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I tried shell fitting when I got home and it seems the shell is the correct size with 1.5 - 1.75cm space between heel and boot.

Everytime I put them on they feel a little better and I'm glad to hear that the toebox will stretch out as that's the main point of pressure on my feet.

I've read about the oven method and if I can avoid that by just wearing them, then I'll wear them into place. Would be a surprise for my wife when she opened up the oven though heh. I'll see what I can find out about forward pressure settings, I don't believe my 15 year old Look bindings had anything other than the standard lateral release.

I removed the factory liner and don't have any custom footbeds as I've never had need of one before. I may look into a liner if I can't resolve the numbness.

I'm beginning to think that my feet are going numb because the vein running parallel and overtop of my tibia is being pinched. After a short period of skiing the front of my shins begin to hurt laterally. It seems to be inline with the base of my calf muscle so I'm guessing there is some sort of change needed there or maybe things will squish into place. I seem to recall seeing some threads about shin scrub or something, maybe some answers there as well.

Thanks again for the input, it's all greatly appreciated.
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