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Suggestions for Narrow Boot and Aftermarket Liners

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Need suggestions for a boot that is narrower than Salomons and good performance aftermarket liners besides ZipFit. This may be too much detail, but here's my problem:

I have med wide feet and wear street shoe size is U.S. 10.5 D, but my left foot is 3/4 size longer due to a big toe metatarsal injury 20 years ago that destroyed most of the cartilage and developed arthritis. I'm an advanced skier and can do most blacks, moguls, etc, but not the extreme stuff.

Last year I was fitted by a well respected Utah bootfitter in Salomon X-Wave 8's size 26.5. I tried a Nordica but the boot fitter recomended the Salomons stating that they seem to fit people with med width or smaller feet. I also upgraded to leather lined ZipFits. I also have Fastec footbeds.

The bootfitter did lots of work puching out and grinding the left boot to fit, but I have severe discomfort in my toes and balls of my feet which go numb form the cold in 1 - 1 1/2 hrs. The overiding feeling is that the boots or liners are too short and my toes are curled even when my heel is back in the excellent ZipFit heel pocket and I'm leaning forward on the boots.

After 12 to 14 days of skiing misery I decided see if size 27 Zipfits would give me the extra toe room. If not I would buy new boots from my local well established ski shop in Chicago and sell the X-waves. The 27 Zipfit was a little better (however we didn't form the heel pocket which would provide more length) but seemed too long for the shell. The bootfitter looked my fit in the X-Wave's shell and there is about 3/8' to 1/2 inch behind the heel which he thought was almost a plug fit.

The chicago bootfitter recommended staying with Salomons and suggested the Impact 10's because they are slightly longer for the same size. We tried the 26.5 shell and it appeared only slightly longer so I wound up with size 27(In hindsight selecting this size and stetching/ grinding as needed probably would have been better than the 27's I wound up with).

Bottom line:
I skied 2 days in Idaho and the Impact 10 size 27 were terrible. My feet slide forward, the balls of my feet slid side to side and I had terrible control of my skis. I felt like I've gone backward years to when I rented and used comfortable boots, but could ski above avg intermediate level.

I thought a narrower boot in 27 would solve most of my problems (especially with a good liner) or a longer liner for the 26.5 X-waves. To satisfy my curiosity I put the stock liners form the size 27 Impact 10's into the 26.5 X-waves and wow, room for my toes and yet a perfect snug fit with no movement.

After spending about $1,700 dollars and 12 hours fitting boots I want one boot that fits without pain and yet gives me performance. Help and suggestions please!

Bluebear
post #2 of 12
Any chance you can get back to your Utah fitter? I suspect getting you the little bit of extra room you need by tweaking the shell and the ZipFits is a better solution than the route you took (especially since I'm virtually certain I know who the fitter was). It seems to me that you were shell fit well, that the liner is the right one, but that you need a bit more room. You could get this by small tweaks to the footbed (thinner at the ball, for instance) and/or other approaches depending on exactly what's going on inside the boot.

I'm sorry to say that I think your Chicago guy led you astray. Of course, I'm guessing from all of this on the Internet, so I'm sure he didn't mean to do that.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
SSH,
Yes, you probably know the fitter in Snowbird, Utah. He has an excellent rep; that's why I went to him. He and is fitters were patient and did a good job stretching and grinding the shells over the two trips I had to Utah last year. I can't complain about their work.

I think the shell is probally fitted about right, but the zipfit liner is too small. Both utah fitter and the chicago fitter said the 27 zipfits would not fit. However, after putting the stock liners from the Impact 10's which measure 3/8"+ longer than the zipfits and give my feet adequate length I don't agree.

The Utah fitter heated, stretched, and beat the neoprene toe part of the zips with a mallet and they are still too short. Maybe the zipfits are just designed with a small forefoot. That's why I became interested in a different liner maybe a 27 that could fit in the 26.5 X-waves.

Bluebear
post #4 of 12
it sounds a bit like the zipfit is not getting into the back of the shell therefore everything feels short , if you look down the back of the shell there is a ridge which runs across the way just above the heel pocket, if you look at the stock liner it will have a curve in it which sits into that ridge, the zip fit doen't have that as it is vertical and straight up and down so that it can fit into multiple shells, grinding a channel about 1" wide to remove this ridge allows the liner to sit back in the shell and creates a whole heap more toe space.... without this modification in certain shells the zip fit rocks over that ridge and the heel will never go where it should
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
CEM,
The shell heel was ground out for my larger foot so that's not the problem. Also, The fitter reslly worked on forming the heel cup in the ZipFits so the heel is definatelyt pushed back. With the leather lining they almnost form a suction around my heel after skiing and sweating a little.

I have discovered that although the shell is fitted tight for performance, the shell has enough length. The problem is with the liner. Even with the fully formed heel cup the liner is too short. If I put the liner on out of the shell it is obvious that it is too short. My toes are pianfully curled.

I tried putting the size 27 stock liners from the boots I just purchased and put them into the fitted 26.5 X-Wave and I had room for my toes and a near perfect fit without pain.

I think my solution is a size 27 Zipfit or 27 Institution liner. Recommendations? If Institution which one?

Thanks,
Bluebear
post #6 of 12
Bluebear:
This is a sometimes difficult and frustrating way to help someone, when what is really desired is to see your feet and the boots.

I used to work for the guy who fit your boots in Snowbird and he is very familiar with Zipfit. I urge you to try and get back to see him. Trying the liner on out of the boot is not a reliable way to judge length it will lead you to make wrong assumptions. Liners always always feel short out of the boot. If they don't I would say the boots are certainly too big.

zips in some boots increase forward lean which can of course then force your foot forward if you try and straighten too much. If you think that may be part of the problem there are methods to solve it.

Waiting to hear from you!

Lou
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Lou,
I can't get back to the original fitter in Utah. I live in Chicago and I already booked a ski trip to Tahoe in January and a trip to Jackson in February.

Last year I purchased my X-Waves from the Utah fitter on the 2nd day of a 6 day trip The fitter spent 2 hrs for the initial fitting and I was back 2 additional times at about 1 1/2 hrs each. I was back in Utah three weeks later for a 5 day trip and went to the fitter 2 more times for 1 1/2 and i hr each working mostly on the Zipfit.

In addition to this trip I skied in other areas for a total of 12-13 days in these boots and Zips in different conditions. I've been skiing for 12 years and understand the difference in a comfortable casual skier's fit and a tight performance fit (which I want) and the extra length gained when skiing with flexed legs and the heels completely back in the liner and boot heel pocket. That said, my toes never have enough room to uncurl. Also within an hour they are numb with the cold.

Without a doubt the tight fit boots and Zips facilitate very precise footwork/ edging and boosted my skiing at 1 or two levels. I want that precision performance, but without painful and frozen toes.

Maybe the Utah fitter has a solution, but since I can't go back and want to enjoy my two upcoming trips I have to find a solution locally. I thinking a larger Zipfit or Intuition (warmer?) would do the trick.

Sorry to all for the lengthy complaining, but I've spent a lt of money and time and I'm pretty frustrated. Thanks for your suggestions.

Bluebear
post #8 of 12
Understood. Boot fitting can at times be very frustrating. For us too, when all we want to do is get it right and have you enjoy skiing.

It is unlikely, but possible of course that Steve sold you the wrong size liner. If is is correctly sized for your shell then a larger one won't help as it won't fit properly. Why don't we just figure out if it is correct.

Pull the liner out of the shell and measure the inside shell length with a steel tape. Simply push the end of the tape into the toe box and with the rest laying flat on the boot board (zeppa) measure to the heel pocket. Read the lenght just a few mm's before the tape starts to curl up the back of the shell. Then measure the external liner length from toe to heel. They should be within a few mm's of each other.

If not there is a problem. Let us know.

One of our members is somewhere in your area and Bud Heishman runs his shop from Reno, which is I assume where you are flying in to. I am fairly certain that Bud sells both Intuition and Zips.

Lou
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Lou,
Measured the inside shell length:
Left (my longer foot and the shell on which Steve's fitter did most of the stretching and grinding) measures 282 or 283 mm, right measures about 280- 282mm.
External liner length measures 273 or 274mm; heel pocket formed extremely well with Steve's personal help... the heel is vaccuum fit.
My left foot measures 275 or 276mm so there is no comforatble way
Both the boots and liners are size 26.5.

FYI, I can insert a 285mm (size 27) stock liner into these boots without the liner toe area bunching up. I can put the boots on with the larger liners and have more toe room although there is no heel pocket.

New liners or new boots? If new boots suggestions? Size 27 Salomons? Head S series in size 27 with their N100 performance inserts to snug the fit?

Also, I'm flying into SF and Driving to Tahoe from there. In Chicago I've purchased skis and equipment from Viking (I believe they are members of American bootfitters association) with both good and not so good experiences. Depends on who helps you.

Thanks,
Bluebear
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

New Liners or New Narrower Boots?

Lou, Bud, anyone,
Given the tight fit and what I think is a short liner does anyone suggest a new liner (what size and Zipfit or Intuition) or a new boot? Suggestions for a narrower boot that will give me length and toe room (maybe a size 27) without being sloppy elsewhere.

Anyone with experience with Head S-9 boot with the N100 performance insert?

Thanks,
Bluebear
post #11 of 12
even with the n100 insert the head S series is fairly high volume
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Colin,
Thanks for your comments on the Head insert.

Bluebear
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