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Demo'd some boots - no answer

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I went to Mammoth with the goal of demoing boots and trying to find a winner and now I'm even more frustrated. Perhaps someone here can read about my experience and give me some boot buying advice?

I'm an advanced skier and I spend most of my time skiing moguls if I can find them. 5'4", 135 lbs. They say I have a "narrow" foot.

First I tried the Salomon Impact 9's - 25.5 - It felt like I was leaning back with these. I thought it might be the lack of flex, but nonetheless, wanted to change out of these. (only now do I realize it could've been the skis/bindings making me lean back).

Next were the Tecnica Vento 10's which fit pretty good. I wore these the rest of the day b/c they didnt have my size in anything else. They felt tight... my right foot went numb towards the end of the day (I was told a buckle adjustment could fix this). However, at times, when I hit a mogul hard, it felt like my heel would pop up a little. Perhaps this also could be a buckle adjustment thing?

The next day I tried the Nordica Supercharger Ignitions. After 2 runs, my lower right shin was killing me. I wasnt sure if this pain was residuals from the day before, or if the pain was boot specific. Either way, towards the end of the day I couldnt ski anymore b/c of the pain. I tried tightening the top 2 buckles, thinking that my leg might be moving too much on impact(s), and it seemed to help for about an hour. then the pain returned. Also, when hitting moguls, once in awhile my left foot felt like it moved from side to side a bit. (buckle adjustment?).. Also, this lower shin pain was in my left foot as well towards the end of the day.. The last time I had this pain was when I rented Nordica boots from Sport Chalet - could it be that Nordica boot buckle pressure and my feet aren't a good match? I did like the amount of flex though.

I also tried on Tecnica Diablos but did not demo them. They felt snug, but my right shin started to hurt. Wasnt sure if this was from the days skiing or the boot. (i tried these on before i demo'd the Nordicas).

Anyway, now I dont know what to get. Is every boot going to have some kind of pain and I just have to work the boot? Any advice/help/suggestions?

(thanks for reading if you made it this far)
post #2 of 7
firstly i think to demo boots is a bit of a strange thing.... it normally takes a good bit of customisation to get a boot perfect for the user and this is not something which can be achieved when demoing product

the boots you have tried interest me also, you have been told you have a narrow foot,, the salomon impact you tried is medium width if not a bit wider and the tecnica vento is a positive bucket by comparison

the shin pain you got in the nordicas i would suggest from what you have said is because the junction between your foot and leg is not very high volume and is not filling the boot in this area.

we really need a bit more information about your feet to give you good suggestions, your brannock sizes and street shoe size that you buy etc will be a start, but from what you have said it sounds like your foot is narrow, low volume and shallow around the instep area, there are boots out there to fit your foot, just a case of finding a fitter who can match your foot to the correct boot.

if you can get the info we need up here than i am sure we can give you a few more suggestions

good luck
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 


I wear a size 7.5 street shoe.

when measured for the demo, the measurement was 25.

I tried on the Nordica Superchargers 24.5 and it felt like my toes pressed against the front a bit too much (although it might've been okay after skiing and packing them out) and thats why I went out with the 25.5's.

post #4 of 7
at 5'4 and 135 a size 25 is on the big side of "average" sized foot for someone of your size.

FYI: I ski a 25 boot and have a 8.5 mens shoe (9-10 ladies)

plus what CEM said.
post #5 of 7
The answer is as clear as the title to this thread..."demo some boots and you will get no answer"

The price of admission to the "good boot fit club" is the cost of a pair of high quality boots fit by a professional, and the time it takes to get that process done.

When you demo skis, feeling the difference between one model and another is easy to assess because you are focusing on the characteristics of the skis on snow.

To demo boots you must focus on the characteristics of the boots on snow, and not the fit. Even God can't separate how bad his feet hurt versus how well the boot holds the foot in place and how well the boot geometry works for his/her skiing. I think thats why God has never bought ski boots. He still rents.

When you read the ski magazines in the fall with the boot tests, the testers are only supplying the characteristics of the boots. Those boot testers have to shut off the good or bad of the boot fit to be able to give a legitimate assessment of the boot for the consumer. If they wrote in their reviews how well the boots fit, there would not be much positive feedback for the editor to print an article. A hard shell plastic boot when properly sized should be contacting the hard bony parts of your foot somewhere and possibly hurt.

Why am I taking you all on this goofy tangent? Because my opinion on demoing boots is that it is a useless waste of time. Case in point is your result at Mammoth.

There are also factors at work here. Being based in Northern California, it may be acceptable for me to bag on this ridiculous practice, that I think only exists at Mammoth Mountain, CA. I hired a new manager for my shop this year from a good shop in Mammoth. Not long after starting, he asked me why we did not demo boots so are customers could make an informed purchase. After I stopped laughing and dried my eyes, I went on to explain to my new charge how goofy a concept demo boots is, and why it would prevent us from closing boot sales.

In most cases around the world, a demo boot is a higher quality, higher performance rental boot. You can get a "Demo Boot" at any rental shop by paying a premium price and asking for it. Demo to buy, great concept for skis, worthless concept for ski boots.

Go back to Mammoth. Make an appointment with Corty Lawrence at Footloose or Preston at Kittredge. Have them assess your foot and your skiing goals, build you a custom footbed, select for you the best model(s) based on your foot and goals, and then begin the process of adjusting the boot for 150 days of good performance skiing with comfort. After 150 days, repeat the process on the next new boot.

When I was moving to California, people used to tell me that there were a lot of crazy ideas out there. "Demo to buy" ski boots is just one of them. That actually seems tame for a State that has a movie actor as our Governor.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 


thats funny. i demo'd the boots from Footloose.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 


so given my feet info, any suggestions for a starting point - type of boot? should i scrap all the boots i tried?

do all boot fitters charge about $200 on top of the price of the boot for a custom footbed/fitting?

i want to spend 4-500. is it possible to keep it in my budget and use a bootfitter?
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