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Boots too big - more then 75% of us?

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 
After buying new boots in September from a reputable fitter - which I loved, and then skied on for about 35 days, I took them out west and within 3 days they were too big, my foot moved forward in them placing my orthotics jamming onto my arches and causing extreme pain (like standing on marbles.)

Went to see Greg Hoffman, did a shell fit check and I had more then an inch behind my heels in them. (8.5 street shoes, 26/26.5 shell size Head S9's.)

I bought new boots 25/25.5 Technica The Agent 120's. This all cost a lot of money of course and I'm not happy, but hopefully do have the right size boots now.

Asked Greg if he thought that 75% of the people he saw had boots too big and and he said "at least!"

I'm shocked that the first shell fit was so big, but I did love the boots for a while - yes the liners packed out - but!!!!!!
post #2 of 126
I would guess 80% have boots too big, 17% have boots too small, and 3% have boots with a perfect fit. The 3% pool are the ones who have had an accurate shell fit, proper footbeds, alingment, canting etc.
post #3 of 126
You can tell a customer the boot will pack out and the fit will change.

You can tell a customer that they are in the right boot for them.

You're not allowed to hold them down and take their wallet to SELL them the right boot.

I'm not saying that's what happened to SMJ. Just sayin'.
post #4 of 126
75%......???

Probably so. Of those, some are in boots two sizes too big and many of the entire number are in boots with too much volume.

In many cases, this is the fault of the skier who simply won't listen to proper advice.

They want...............

Boots that are soft and cushy like their ugggh boots
Boots where their toes don't touch the liner
Boots that allow them to stand straight up and/or ski in the back seat
Boots that don't have to break in
Boots that are easy to walk in

These factors make selling boots in the proper sizes difficult because so many skiers simply don't want their boots to touch their feet anywhere. Of course when we advise them strongly against getting them too big, and that we can't work with the fit later, they become angry that we don't let them get what they want, and then guarantee the fit of their improper choice.

SJ
post #5 of 126
I think it's very common, maybe more like 90%. I think it happens when people don't use a shell fit as the starting point.
post #6 of 126
Thread Starter 
Guys, I'm sure you're right for most boot buyers. I however put my trust in a fitter and was not looking for comfort, but performance. Needless to say the boots DID feel good in the shop, but the shell fit was so large - I'm very disappointed that happened.

Bootfitting has been a big frustration for me. I've put a lot of money into boots, orthotics, alignments over the years.

It really seems to me that there is a huge risk to the consumer in trusting a bootfitter. I DO trust Greg - but don't live in Colorado, hence my September purchase from another Master Fit University guy.
post #7 of 126
How could a qualified(?) boot fitter shell fit someone seeking high-performance fit with an inch behind the heel?:
post #8 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
75%......???

Probably so. Of those, some are in boots two sizes too big and many of the entire number are in boots with too much volume.

In many cases, this is the fault of the skier who simply won't listen to proper advice.

They want...............

Boots that are soft and cushy like their ugggh boots
Boots where their toes don't touch the liner
Boots that allow them to stand straight up and/or ski in the back seat
Boots that don't have to break in
Boots that are easy to walk in

These factors make selling boots in the proper sizes difficult because so many skiers simply don't want their boots to touch their feet anywhere. Of course when we advise them strongly against getting them too big, and that we can't work with the fit later, they become angry that we don't let them get what they want, and then guarantee the fit of their improper choice.

SJ
I wish the ski shop I bought my first pair of boots from would have said "these boots are too big for you, they are supposed to fit tight, your toe will touch the front end, etc...". Would have prevented me from having to get a new pair that actually fit me after 2 seasons.
post #9 of 126
SMJ

Some of your experience can be related to that particular boot. The liners on the S9 (RS-90 etc) are short lasted by 3-4mm. The toe box of the shell has an odd shape that is rather unlike the normal anatomy that we see on most feet. The S9 is also 103mm @ the met angle with a very thick liner. For many foot shapes, this is a difficult boot to get a quality long term fit.

SJ
post #10 of 126
I happen to be one of the 3% who has a great fitting boot. I was really lucky getting it--I didn't goto any master bootfitter. I just went to paragon sports in new york city and they gave me a pair of lange's that were a few years old and missing the box. I got a great deal too--about $200. But I remember at the store--they felt tight, really tight--so tight that it was on the verge of being painful. But after a few days of skiing, they packed out and now they are perfect and have been that way for 5-6 years. Although in that time, I have gotten custom footbeds so that may have made the difference.
post #11 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
How could a qualified(?) boot fitter shell fit someone seeking high-performance fit with an inch behind the heel?:
My question exactly. Could the shells expand? (I don't think so.) Maybe my feet shrunk?!!!!

No names mentioned, but two fitters worked on me, both seemed (and are) very knowledgeable. They spent a lot of time on me, I got great service. I'm very perplexed - but from what I've heard from other skiers, 26/26.5 are big for a person with 8.5 street shoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hammer View Post
I wish the ski shop I bought my first pair of boots from would have said "these boots are too big for you, they are supposed to fit tight, your toe will touch the front end, etc...". Would have prevented me from having to get a new pair that actually fit me after 2 seasons.
Lasted me 1/2 season and cost me a few days of an expensive trip to Vail - first in so much pain to have to lose a day or more, and then to try to fix and then get fitted and adjusted with new boots - which of course were a bit tight at first, making my last 2 days less then great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
SMJ

Some of your experience can be related to that particular boot. The liners on the S9 (RS-90 etc) are short lasted by 3-4mm. The toe box of the shell has an odd shape that is rather unlike the normal anatomy that we see on most feet. The S9 is also 103mm @ the met angle with a very thick liner. For many foot shapes, this is a difficult boot to get a quality long term fit.

SJ
I don't have easy feet to fit, my forefeet are wide, but the rest of the feet aren't.
post #12 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Boots that are easy to walk in
It is really amazing how many people are concerned about being able to walk in a ski boot. I once heard a customer at a shop say that he wanted to walk around the store to make sure the boots were easy to walk in. The store that I worked at would charge an extra fee for return boot work if a person went outside of our size recommendation. There is only so much you can do.
post #13 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
How could a qualified(?) boot fitter shell fit someone seeking high-performance fit with an inch behind the heel?:
Like this:

"I feel that this is the right size, it will feel very tight at first, just let me buckle the upper buckles and have you flex it to pull your heel back. The fit will change as your foot warms the liner..."

"OW it hurts! ow it hurts ow it hurts ow it hurts ow it hurts ow it hurts owithurtsowithurtsowithurtsowithurtsowithurts!!!! take it OFF"

"Here try this, you won't feel a thing."
post #14 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

"OW it hurts! ow it hurts ow it hurts ow it hurts ow it hurts ow it hurts owithurtsowithurtsowithurtsowithurtsowithurts!!!! take it OFF"
Uhhhhmmmm................yup! Thatz about right.


SJ
post #15 of 126
I wear a 10 1/2 street shoe, and a 26.5 Fischer RC4 is a perfect fit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
but from what I've heard from other skiers, 26/26.5 are big for a person with 8.5 street shoes.
post #16 of 126
Thread Starter 
ow it hurts!
post #17 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
No names mentioned, but two fitters worked on me, both seemed (and are) very knowledgeable. They spent a lot of time on me, I got great service.
Apparently not.

I went to Fanatyko in Whistler and I have the same foot problems you do. They looked and said they didn't have anything that would fit - come back next season - we won't sell you what doesn't fit. A real confidence builder.

I went back the following season and after about 3 hours of testing ended up with a 1 size too small boot that after 5 days, (now 60 ski days later) is absolutely perfect in fit and flex (Lange Concept 95).

If you didn't put up a hissy fit that they hurt, ouch, take-em-off! etc, then they're not the knowledgeable crowd you think they are.
post #18 of 126
I'm 11 1/2 in Brooks, Saucony, or NB.

Lange Brannock measure is 28.5....ski in 27.5, UK 8. Some boots this takes a fair bit of work, others not much-none.

SJ
post #19 of 126
Thread Starter 
I didn't put up a hissy fit, but of course was looking for something that seemed to fit. However at no point was it suggested I buy them tight in the store. Only thing said was that they would be stiffer in the cold and flex a bit less.

After all I read on epic, and in books - and the fact that they DID do a shell fit, I just trusted the shell fit was right.

Live and learn (and spend and spend.)
post #20 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
My question exactly...
Hmmm, SMJ, you are a long time member and frequent contributor here at EpicSki, been to ESA's where they have presented the bootfitting process and what to look for, and a ski instructor. Arguably an educated and knowledgeable consumer.

My question: You know what to look for. Why didn't YOU do a shell fit?
post #21 of 126
I am US 11 shoes, now I ski in 27.0 ski boot, it is tight but I am happy with it (thanks SJ!). It took a couple of iterations (mostly for me to learn as Jim pretty much got it on the first try), so nothing really beats getting help from a knowledgeable professional.

To why people ski in large boots- just try to go to any chain store, such as Any Mountain, and either just watch people try boots or ask them to fit you. You will be amazed at the level of incompetence.

My feeling is that the market penetration of full custom liners, such as Intuition, may go a long way towards improving the general level of fit quality. It is probably a lot easier to get a ballpark fit with that kind of a liner than do shell work.

Alex
post #22 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Hmmm, SMJ, you are a long time member and frequent contributor here at EpicSki, been to ESA's where they have presented the bootfitting process and what to look for, and a ski instructor. Arguably an educated and knowledgeable consumer.

My question: You know what to look for. Why didn't YOU do a shell fit?
Well first off the ETU I went to didn't have a bootfitting process presentation - however I do have some knowledge of the process from reading here and in "The Athletic Skier."

The answer to your question is two-fold.
a:] I put my fit and my trust in someone else's hands.
b:] I didn't put my knowledge to good use. I am typically a skeptical and questioning consumer. In this case I just wasn't.

So you're right that I share in the blame.
post #23 of 126
Chris G asks a good question. Why is it that even knowledgable and experienced skiers often become stupid in ski shops? And SMJ answers the question perfectly. I agree with SMJs answer entirely. Guilty as charged. Chris and I were skiing together in an EpicSki clinic when it became clear that my (newish) boots were a full shell size too big and I had to go out and buy new boots. My new new boots were fit and set up by somebody who really knew what they were doing (Jack Rafferty, in Snowmass), and fit superbly, the best fit I've ever had in 45 years of skiing. I went back to the shop where I'd purchased the previous boots, where I'd been a customer for many years, and gently asked what had gone wrong. They said it was entirely my fault. Well, of course it was partly my fault, but not entirely. Obviously, I won't be going to that shop again.

Rich
post #24 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I didn't put up a hissy fit, but of course was looking for something that seemed to fit. However at no point was it suggested I buy them tight in the store. Only thing said was that they would be stiffer in the cold and flex a bit less.

After all I read on epic, and in books - and the fact that they DID do a shell fit, I just trusted the shell fit was right.

Live and learn (and spend and spend.)
Experienced skier ( as you ) MUST KNOW what shell length is best for him - her . From years I know that 275-277 mm shell fits me best and do my selections on it . From years I am forced to buy on line because small plug shells are not available on the street . Just got Tecnicas Diablo Race R from Italy 277 mm 235 MP , as usual , and thay are almost perfect from the box - some grinding near achilles tendom only will be necessery .
post #25 of 126
I always buy boots 1/2 to one size under street shoe.
post #26 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
I think it's very common, maybe more like 90%. I think it happens when people don't use a shell fit as the starting point.
People think if it doesn't feel fantastic in the store then it will only be worse on the hill, so they buy boots that feel like slippers in the store. If the person selling you boots doesn't start with a shell fit, put your shoes on, walk out, and go somewhere else because they don't know what they are doing.
post #27 of 126
I went into a local shop looking for boots and was told that they don't carry anything smaller then a 26.5 in a mens boot. Sure made me wonder how many people were out there skiing on boots too big because this shop had no clue. BTW I have a size 9 street shoe and use a 25.5(7)Nordica Hot Rod.
post #28 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
26/26.5 are big for a person with 8.5 street shoes.
Uh... yup. Giant for that size. I'm in a 24/24.5, but I have a "zero finger" fit and narrower feet than you. I'm an 8.5, though.
post #29 of 126
I was trying to fit a spoiled little 10 yr. old tourist kid that refused to even consider a boot that wasn't way oversized and cushy. Of course his mom wouldn't listen to me, and let him continue demanding larger and larger sizes from me. Still, when I put an already oversized boot on his foot, he again complained that it was still too tight. I ended up just giving up, putting it on my foot, buckling it up, and said "Huh, that's funny, because it fits me perfectly!!" I am a size 9.5 US mens.....
post #30 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I'm very perplexed - but from what I've heard from other skiers, 26/26.5 are big for a person with 8.5 street shoes.
That was my 1st thought when I read your initial post. Most boot fitters I've seen will start you off somewhere around 1 size smaller than your street shoes, do a shell fit, and go down from there, if needed.
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