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Boot Adjustments?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I bought a pair of Langes a year or two ago. When I first got them they were so excruciatingly tight I could only ski for a couple hours at a time. I brought them to the place I bought them and the owner did some adjustment, grinded away some of the plastic on the inside. I have since brought those boots in many many times, and the owner has been really nice and spent a lot of time trying to make those boots fit, and all for free. He grinded them a few times, than used heat to stretch them, and he even made me some new custom footbeds. The last time I talked to him, last season, he said, "Hey, I'm sorry I don't think there is anything else I can do to those boots, there isn't anything left to grind or stretch." They fit much better than before, but still not perfect. I don't have very good circulation in my feet, so with tight boots they aren't getting enough blood to them. I have really narrow heels and a wider forefoot. I bought Langes for the narrow heel, but the forefoot area was way too tight. I am wondering if anybody knows of any boot adjustment techniques I could suggest to him, I don't think I can afford to pay a different bootfitter to fix these, this guy will help me for free. Also after a couple seasons on those boots my heel slides around a little too much, what can I do to fix that? Does anybody know of a boot brand that has a tight heel area and a wider forefoot?
post #2 of 24
Try the Salomon Xwaves, maybe a 8 or 9.
post #3 of 24
Originally posted by RustlerGirl:
Does anybody know of a boot brand that has a tight heel area and a wider forefoot?
Try Atomics. I have had some fitting issues (see post) but I think they were more related to sizing. Really nice tight heel pocket, lots of room in toe box/forefoot.
post #4 of 24
Circulation problems are usually due to compression at the top of the foot or in the ankle area. You might be compressing a blood vessel. If it's the ankle I think it's usually the inside side and it only takes a little bit of grinding to cure.
If your feet go numb do they go numb from the little toe first or the big toe?- this tells which vessel you're compressing but I forget which is which.
It's impossible to answer whether he can stretch the boot more. There's gizmos you put inside the boot that will expand them after heating the shell. Does he have one? As far as the heel, you can get pads to tighten them up - Tognar Tool Works sells them but a good fitter should have them too.
post #5 of 24
Originally posted by helispin:
Try the Salomon Xwaves, maybe a 8 or 9.
negative, Ghost Rider. The X-Waves are wide in the heel.

Boots with a narrow heel, wider forefoot:

Lange (traditional race/Banshee shell, not the new "comfort" shells that have fat heel pockets)

Salomon Course series boots -- fit almost identically to the traditional Lange Banshee shell fit, with a bit more room in the forefoot.

Dolomite Sintesi -- but be careful of the very low volume over the instep.

RustlerGirl, if you have too much ankle/heel room now that the boot has packed out, and the forefoot now remains cramped, I suggest looking for some Salomon Course shell boots. But even beyond that, I would find the nearest person on the EpicSki list of Master Bootfitters, and go there. NOW!! Even a boot that ought to fit your foot can be butchered into a torture box by a boot salesman that doesn't know what he/she is doing.

Also, do you have a custom footbed? Any skier who's serious about optimizing performance AND comfort should use a high-quality custom footbed made by someone with a strong reputation for quality work.

[ October 30, 2002, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: gonzostrike ]
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the suggestions, I'll have to look into all of them. And yes I do have custom footbeds, I like them a lot. And does anybody know how much it would cost me to go to a bootfitter?
post #7 of 24
You might want to consider custom injection liners. It's spendy, but there is only so much streching and grinding a boot can take. People that haven't been able to ski langes with stock liners have been able to fit in them comfortably with custom liners. It's expensive, but skiing with painful boots is one of the worst things.
post #8 of 24
If you have a good relationship with a ski shop it shouldn't cost you anything except for the products and services that are needed to give you a good fit. Skiing starts there, a good fitting ski boot. For example, $700.00 skis,mounted with $325.00 bindings won't mean much if the boots don't properly.Its worth th money for a good fit, so go forth fearlessly....and be fitted properly.

Part II

Hey Tara,

I just reread your post. Yes go into that ski shop, and have the guy work on your boots again. If he won't tell him you want him to buy them back, or give you a generous credit[ at least 40% discount, that's his gross margin potential, which based on the poor fit of your Langs, he is not entitled to] toward some new soft boots, or else go to the Lange people [their product rep.] and complain how this guy sold you a pair of boots that have never fitted properly.You have been in nummrous times to get them properly fitted with no success, and you need their help to get you a properly fitted pair of boots since this guy probably is somewhat incompetent as a boot fitter, and needs some aditional boot fitting training.

Be persistent and tough, you deserve better!

[ October 31, 2002, 07:49 AM: Message edited by: wink ]
post #9 of 24
Originally posted by Ski Monkey:
You might want to consider custom injection liners. It's spendy, but there is only so much streching and grinding a boot can take. People that haven't been able to ski langes with stock liners have been able to fit in them comfortably with custom liners. It's expensive, but skiing with painful boots is one of the worst things.
Agreed, BUT ONLY as a last resort. Custom boot liners are more a luxury than a recommended piece of equipment. Please see Jeff Bergeron's comments on custom liners in the thread he started.

Also, I hope you're not on that old-school bandwagon of deriding Lange boots and accusing them of being painful. None of that old "Lange bang" stuff was very true in the first place, and it would be a shame to perpetuate such myths.

The true secret formula for ski boot comfort is (1) use a good bootfitter; (2) know what a proper fit feels like; (3) ignore what boots other people ski, because feet are INDIVIDUAL; and (4) take your time and don't let anyone pressure you.
post #10 of 24
RG, I have the same problem with the wide forefoot and narow heel. I have been looking at boots for most of the past month and have found the Rossignol's to be quite comfortable. I tried on a pair of R17's a couple of days ago that felt good, and the R21's supposedly have the same fit.

You might want to try on a Salomon Crossmax boot. While they had a little more room in the heel, they also have an adjustable instep buckle that can be moved back and helps keep the heel in place.
post #11 of 24
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
Also, I hope you're not on that old-school bandwagon of deriding Lange boots and accusing them of being painful. None of that old "Lange bang" stuff was very true in the first place, and it would be a shame to perpetuate such myths.
Not at all. What I was getting at was that langes are a narrow fit and some peoples feet don't fit them well without modification like injection liners or punching or grinding. That's all. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 24
Narrow heel and wide fore foot? Sort of like a slice of pie or pizza? Try Nordica in the w models like the w-10 or higher, also if you want the heel pocket even tighter , nordica has a plastic heel shim that slips over the outside of the liner , that snugs it down even more , I carry a couple in my back pack and have installed them mountainside when I felt some friends were too sloppy in thier heels.
post #13 of 24
I was just about to mention the high end Tecnicas. I just got a pair of Icon Alu Comps today (not the hot-form ones, I've heard a few negatives about them), and among the multitude of adjustments etc with them was heel shims. They are excellent. I can't wait to try them in the snow.

post #14 of 24
Hola to Wear the fox hat---The Icons along with the upper end rivals and the old explosions and the upper end innotecs all had the heel shims and last year the changed the shape of one of the shims. But it is the actual shape of the shell that makes the nordica have a tighter heel in the W series . Rember that Tecnica On some models have the LVL and HVL with the regular size , all they do is change out the line , the shell is the same. In the upper end "W" series they hay have taken the old Grand Prix and widen the toe box (to the the more wedge Nordica shape)I got a pair of the "Beasts " last year after trying on the W-10 or 12 at SIA and was impressed with the integral booster strap. When I got my "beasts" and put them on my heel went to sleep for 7 beers , but the fore foot (I am wide ) was snug and felt great.Next day had them on for several more hours and the rest was history when I hit the slopes, perfect ever since.Still looking for a cheap kilt to alternate with my lederhosen for spring skiing.
post #15 of 24

It sounds like the shell you bought is too small. No custom liner or any other adjustment will solve your problem if the shell is too small.

If you bought the boot from a reputable dealer, and it sounds like you did, then they should have offered you a fit guarantee. They should, therefore adjust the boot until it fits properly or if they can't fix it then they should give you another boot of similar value that fits properly or refund your money.

Tight heel and wide forefoot is quite common. My wife has a low volume fit, meaning her foot is quite flat and is not very thick. She does however have a wide forefoot with a narrow hill. For her a pair of junior Lange 100 world cup boots worked. If I remember correctly her shell size is a 24.

I'm surprised your retailer, once they acknowledged that they could not fix the boot did not offer you a different boot.

Its not fair that you pay for their mistake. They are the experts and sold you a boot that was too small. You should insist they replace the boot at their cost.

Boot manafacturers apparently have finally realized what many instructors have said for years. To carve properly we need ankle movement. To balance properly, we need to stand "flat" in the boot, in otherwords have room in the forefront of the boot. Some of the Rossi boots are know to have tight heels and larger forefeet. So do the Lange. I wouldn't necessarily give up on Lange because of the experience you had.

You may also want to try a junior boot. My wife recently purchased a Lange junior boot, the 100 world cup Junior race boot, I think. She has a low volume foot, her foot is flat and, therefore, thin from sole up. She also has a small heel but wide forefoot. With minor adjustment the Lange workeed well for her. I think she bought a 24 shell size.

Good luck.
post #16 of 24
I wrote this while my kids were battling in the background. Sorry for the double paragraph.
post #17 of 24
A well constructed custom footbed sometimes has the effect of narrowing the feet. By picking up and providing molded support for what may be a flattened and splayed out foot, the foot is effectively made narrower. I have no idea if this will do it for you but it might just cause those Langes to fit very well. This worked for me with a pair of Lange X9's I once had. I do not have narrow feet by any means but the resultng fit was sweet, the kind of close fit only racers normally get, with no pain. I wouild go to a qualified custom bootfitter and have him examine your feet and give you an opinion. I wouldn't go to your dealer. It sounds as if he has reached the limit of his evpertise.
post #18 of 24

A well constructed footbed will slightly reposition the foot in the liner. This is useful for balance, power transfer and perhaps to a lesser extent comfort. If the shell is too small, however, then a footbed cannot help. It sounds like RustlerGirl has tried to increase the volume of the boot as much as possible, which suggests to me that a footbed will not solve the problem. If RustlerGirl doesn't already have custom footbeds and intends to purchase them in any event then she may want to experiment with them as they are usually interchangeable. The problem here is if they are trimmed for a shell that is too small they may not work properly in the properly fitted boot.

You have a good point that perhaps she should get a second opinion. A reputable boot fitter, in all likelihood, will tell her to get another boot. Perhaps she could use this second opinion to convince the original retailer to provide her a new boot.

Take it from someone who has lost too many toe nails skiing in boots that were too small, you can only adjust to the limitations of the shell. Racers for many years have jammed thier feet into boots that were too small. Unfortunately over time we have seen the permanent damage this has caused.

I finally got over the notion that to achieve performance we must suffer. I was amazed with the performance level I was able to achieve from a boot that alowed ankle movement and sufficient forefoot volume. They are extremely comfortable, I never undo buckles on the lift or in the lodge and best of all my wife is no longer disgusted by those black toe nails.
post #19 of 24
I can only relate my own experiences. Too short is one thing but a footbed can change the way you experience the fit of the boot. My bootfitter advises against blowing out the forefoot area in any major way before the foot is properly supported. Otherwise, for example, you could end up with a boot that might seem too wide after picking up the foot with a good footbed . Perhaps it is partly a matter of repositioning. I should think that if length were the issue then this could be very quickly checked by taking out the bladder, putting the foot in the shell etc. Its also possible her heel is not getting all the way back into the pocket. The whole issue of fit can get to be extremely complex which is why I would recommend the best bootfitter she can find, not necessarily the shop's fitter who may only be concerned with making enough room for her feet in the boots.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions, I already have custom footbeds, I love em. The other day I tried on my boots and realized I have been fooling myself, Langes just don't work with my foot shape. I tried on some Nordica's today I REALLY liked them. So I may end up just buying new boots.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
I think the problem I had with the langes in the heel area was that the heel pocket was TOO deep, making it so that my heel couldn't get back in it far enough to hold it down right. I did try on a pair of atomics, they weren't too bad except there was some really bad pressure spots right around the ankles. Maybe I don't even have that narrow of heels, I just like my boots REALLY tight on the heels.
post #22 of 24

Don't worry about which boot brand or model you end up with. (Except for color!) Find a boot fitter that will provide you a boot that fits. No questions! Take a look at the service bench. There should be lots of strange looking tools and do- dads, heat guns and glue pots. sanders and grinders. If not, question the sales person "Just how are you going to make these boots fit MY feet?".

For me, the selling price of the boot would not have been a significant change in total price if I would have had to pay for fitting services "by the hour". If the boot cost $400 with no fit, the same boot that fits at $600 is gonna be a deal.

I did end up with a very simple boot that was so tight for the first 5-10 days I though I would damage my heels (spurs?)

A bit of heat stretching , grinding on the shells and "thinning of the liners" . Now the boots fit like gloves.

post #23 of 24
You might want to try on the Head M103 - it has a pretty tight heel and a wider forefoot. You can have them softened if they're too stiff.
post #24 of 24
Originally posted by RustlerGirl:
Langes just don't work with my foot shape. I tried on some Nordica's today I REALLY liked them. So I may end up just buying new boots.
Narrow heel and wide forefoot? Prolly not. Also, you may want to try atomics, or salomons if you haven't already.
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