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Heel movement: what is ok?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Me: 5' 11'' 200 lb level 7ish with size 9 right and 9.5 left

My old boots keep my feet locked down pretty good. Even though they have a three-finger shell fit and the alignment is off a little. To compensate for the extra length I have a shorter liner in them. The liner would be considered packed out in the shells they came from, but in these shells they are very snug, because the shells are also too narrow. They hurt like heck all the time because they are so tight. I have a heel wrap around the heels to keep them from moving. The whole package dates from the mid-eighties or earlier.

When shops fit me in 27.5 the fit is two fingers right and about 1.5 left. What I've read here suggests 26.5 would be better, but those seem to smash the end of my toes pretty hard. When I'm just flexing the boots fore and aft, the heels stay down ok, but I can usually move them about 1/4 inch by flexing up and down. I put the heel wraps on the old liners to stop that kind of movement. How much heel movement is ok, if they don't move when I'm flexing back and forth, but only up and down? I'm only going to be moving fore and aft while skiing, I would guess.

Since my old boots pretty much crush my feet laterally, it's hard to tell what is right in lateral fit. The best fitting ones have a nice, firm grip without giving a feeling of being smashed, except for that little bit of heel movement.

Boots I've tried recently:
Nordica Speedmachine 10, Beast 10
Salomon Impact 10
Tecnica Vento 10, Diablo Flame, Diablo Spark

The Diablo Spark seems the closest so far.

post #2 of 6
Don't really know how to offer much help. One suggestion is to stop flexing up and down as it isn't a proper test for heel lift. Your boots are way to big and it sounds as if the 26 is correct.

Shouldn't be smashing your toes given the amount of room you have in a 27. Who are you working with?

post #3 of 6
26 shell is right for most folks

your heel will always lift up when you point your toe and left your heel

it should not lift when you keep the boot sole on the ground and just flex forward
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been to REI, Colorado Ski & Golf and Christy Sports. They all have stores close to my home. They all seem to favor the larger size when I tell them I only ski a maximum of 10 days a season. I tried some of them on with a replacement footbed, and that helps quite a bit. I was going to ski in whatever boot I choose a few times before considering whether I need a custom footbed or additional alignment work.

I'm going back tomorrow to try some 26's in the Diablo Spark I tried a couple of weeks ago in a 27. When I tried the Beast and Vento in a 26, my toes were always in full contact with the front of the liner, even when flexing forward. They pulled back a little, but never left contact with the front of the liner. Both toes were beet-red on the tips after the fitting session.

I realize that as little as I ski in a season, it'll take longer to finally get new boots broken in, but I don't see how it can be any worse than the Frankenboots I've been using the past 5 years.
post #5 of 6
Wow, not a boot fitter here Morrison, but since you are going in tomorrow, let me say...A boot too small is easily adjusted, and one too big is one that needs replaced sooner than later. Check the shell fit first. It is common for boot liners to be short-lasted, and that is easily stretched. A punch here, a grind there and the boot with a pressure point on a toe or metatarsal can fit like a glove, even if you don't ski the number of days necessary to break in a boot. REI is a great store, but I have not been in one that actually modifies a boot for fit. You would be on your own to get a decent preliminary fit and have a pro make some modifications. You live in an area that has an abundance of great fitters. Please consider consulting them through your purchase and fitting process.
post #6 of 6
Dude, You live in CO. Let me say it again you live in CO. There are more good boot fitters within 2 hours of you than exist in the rest of the country combined. Including our little village up here.

Some of them post here. Get on your bike and ride.

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