Originally Posted by Cassina
I bought my first boots after my second day on skis and as I
did not know how far I would get with my new skiing addiction I went
for comfortable cheap boots near the end of the season. Sure enough
the following season I progressed to the point where my heel was lifting
and my foot was twisting inside the boot when I turned, after progressing
beyound beginner skis. So at this point I knew that I had reached the stage to upgrade and I chose the next model down from racing level
boots. While on the first day they felt so stiff I skied with the buckles
undone I grew to love them, however there is a trade off being they were
not as warm or as water proof as my old boots but as I was now skiing
much faster and felt more stable/safer in these boots the trade off was worth it.
Great point Cassina, this is a very common occurance. I do not even sell entry level boots because I believe they are a waste of money. A skier must decide, if they are going to pursue skiing actively, to spend a little more up front and get a higher performance boot which will help them progress quicker and ski better. My suggestion is, if you are athletic and pick things up quickly, generally aggressive in other sports you pursue, and are passionate about your new found sport, step up and get a boot that will serve you well (on a scale of 1 being entry level cheapy boot to 10 being a top of the line race boot) I would choose something around at least a 5 or 6 to be my first boot. I remember starting to play tennis. I wanted to buy a racquet so I told the pro to sell me an "8" on a scale from 1-10. I didn't need the top of the line but I didn't want to come back later having to upgrade. The same is true with ski boots. Save your money and buy lesser skis but splurge on better boots and you will be much happier!
Entry level boots place a large emphasis on ease of entry and comfort which does not translate well to skiing control while at the other end of the spectrum, race boots place their emphasis on control and accuracy therefore are generally stiffer, difficult to get on and off, have stiffer foam padding and less of it, are closer to the foot and fit much tighter. These boots almost always require some time with the boot fitter to sculpt the inside of the shell and liner to fit comfortably.
A higher performance boot must fit snuggly but YOU CAN BE VERY COMFORTABLE in them if they are properly fit by the salesman. This is where it pays dividends to find a reputable shop in your area to purchase boots. "In general" the closer you are to a major ski resort the better and more experienced the boot fitters.
A common practice is to remove the inner boot from the shell and put your foot inside the shell sliding your foot forward until your prominant toe touches the shell then look behind your heel to observe the space left behind it. This gap should be between 1/2" to 1".
Different model boots are built on differing last shapes and a good boot fitter will know his inventory of boots and the best matches for the many different foot and leg shapes they see. It always helps to begin with a round peg in a round hole if possible.
enough for now.