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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › I've had a heck of a time finding a good pair of boots; could use an expert fitter and advice!
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I've had a heck of a time finding a good pair of boots; could use an expert fitter and advice!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm done with my Nordica Hot Rods. These things have been a disaster. They worked great for the first 20 days or so and then started to fall apart and stretch out like nothing I've ever experienced. First I lost a few buckles, then the plastic holes started to tear and finally they just got so loose that I lost interest in trying to fix them. I'm not sure what their life expectancy is but 2 seasons and roughly 100 days seems short lived.

So I'd like to try and get some advice on a high quality durable boot. I've been skiing for roughly 30+ years, level expert. I prefer an aggressive boot; 110 plus stiffness. I have a 10.5 narrow foot with skinny ankles and calves, 6' tall and 190lbs..

I don't keep up with the current trends so if anyone can throw some names at me that would be great. Or if you know of a skilled fitter in or around the Bay Area I'd appreciate it!

Thanks
post #2 of 10
what size where they??? It sounds like they were too big in the first place, why did you break clips off them? were you having to crank them up to hold them on your foot or were you hitting them off things like slalom gates or stairways in lft stations...alternatively you use the term lost a few buckles that may suggest that they fell off, if they are screw riveted on then all that was required was some decent thread lock

if the boot was a bit big in either length or volume then the liner will pack out quicker than if it was the correct size, 120 skier days is the accepted lifespan of a stock liner some last less some more, the boot fits really well you may get a bit more alternatively aftermarket liners such as zip fit or foam will give a better life if well fitted, it is difficult to coment on boot models without seeing your feet sufice to say there are plenty out there which are narrow and low volume in stiffer flexes.

as for a fitter in your area, i am from out of town so i will await others to come along with suggestions for you

good luck
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry I should have been more specific. The boots are size 10, 335mm at least that's what they say on the side. I don't remember my exact measurement.

Like I said they fit great for the first 20 days or so, then they started to stretch out at a rapid rate. The buckles fell off as the boots started to loosen from cranking the buckle all the way down. I'm reffering to the top 2 buckles, the metal base ripped out while I was skiing last season. I tried to have a shop fix them but there were kids working that really couldn't give me an answer so I fixed them myself with bigger washers. Then the metal latches pulled off - opposite the buckles, so I fixed them the same way. Then about half way through last season they just became so loose that they seemed unfixable.

I should also note that all of my problems were on my left boot only, the right boot has had absolutely no problems. Something else that I noticed was that my left boot has become much more flexible than my right and by that I mean forward flex. I can lean as far forward as I want in my left boot but my right still offers resistance. Honestly I think I got a lemon in my left boot. If you could see and compare the two I think you could understand my frustration better.

The boots defiantly started to fit funny as they became looser. The actual foot bed fit fine, didn't have any problems front to back. The problem was in the ankle, calf and shin. That's where they loosened up. I tried a shorter buckle and it worked for a while but eventually stretched out again.

My take is simple, nearly all boots feel good in the store. Then you get them on the mountain and everything changes. If anyone can offer up some help I'd appreciate it.

Thanks
post #4 of 10
If you're really at 10.5 loaded foot, these are too big... WAY too big. A general rule of thumb is take your Brannock size and minus 1 to 1.5 sizes for your shell. With a few exceptions (high instep, high volume forefoot), a size "ten" foot should be in a 27 mondo shell.

For reference, I'm a 10.5 loaded left (Brannock), and 10.25 loaded right, and I'm in a 315-317mm bootsole. And this is a comfy fit - if I was inclined to do some serious boot work, I could step down another 5mm in length.

If you have a low volume heel/ankle/calf and you're that tall, then you should probably try some of the narrow lasted detuned world cup boots in 110-130 durometer (i.e. Atomic Racetech Ti). Oh, and a forward lean shim to fill in your low calf volume - to preserve forward lean angle - is probably a good idea.
post #5 of 10
335mm would be a mondo 29/ 29.5 shell.

Are you a US 10 or a UK 10???

What has happened is the boots 'felt good in the store' because you were feeling the liner, as you skied the liner's foam compressed and the shell was too large to support your leg/ foot, so you resorted to over buckling the boot. You need to find a shell that fits your lower leg/ foot better, this, unfortunately, can't happen via the internet.

Here is one important consideration when trying on boots, they will ONLY get bigger. You need to account for this and deal with a snug fit for a couple of days in order to have a good fit for the life of the boot. I will often have a customer who 'isn't sure' if they are in the correct size (that I know is correct) try the next larger shell size, this is what the smaller size will feel like after it packs out. This often reassures the customer and they buy the right size.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Im a U.S. 10.5 in regular shoes. Can you recomend a good fitter in Northern California or a few good brands for me to check out? Here in the Bay Area Im reduced to Any Mountain and REI.

Thanks
post #7 of 10
Short answer: You were sold an over sized boot on both feet.
Short Question: What does your foot measure on a Brannock? or what size street shoe do you wear?

On the lighter side........

The odds of a "lemon" existing in boot production are very rare, almost impossible. These are not mechanical parts that can be improperly assembled by some hung over fat guy all jacked up on caffeine that smokes too much. A run of shells are all injected at the same time with computer controls on the "blended' mix of plastic pellets that make up the hardness of the boot shell. Then these identically molded boot parts are pulled out of pick bins and assembled by a low paid female factory worker, these days mostly of Eastern European descent. There is very little that can be done in a boot factory to lemonize a ski boot. There are boots that we might be able to argue that are defective by design. However the Nordica Hot Rod is not one of them. (although the rubberized boot board causes more fit issues then the Nordica Doberman Pro 100 or 130, that has a hard boot board)

There is one very far fetched possibility that could explain the dramatic difference from right to left boot. When first introduced, the Nordica Hot Rod had a flex index of 130. The second rendition of the boot the following season was softened to a 115 flex. Maybe you have a pair that was "mixed up" in the shop you got it from???? Odds on that one are about the total # of size 10 Hot Rods produced to : 1

Now here's a dose of reality: best odds you are in a boot that does not fit your foot or your lower leg. Either a sizing issue (most likely) or a shell shape issue for your lower leg and foot.

If nearly all the boots you tried in the store feel good, nearly every boot you tried in the store is too big or the wrong shape for your foot. If you ski more than 20 days a year you should be sized between 5mm and 15mm space between your heel and the boot shell when your toes are lightly touching the front of the shell. The more days that you ski in a season the fewer mm shell space needed.

The solution falls back to your original question. You need to find a bootfitter that can assess your needs and choose the best match for those assessed needs. The shop also has to have a selection of boots that can match those needs. (don't be surprised, many do not, so you get sold what they have)

PM me if you want recommendations for shops and boot fitters in Nor Cal.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
post 4
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
will pm now I hope
post #10 of 10
What these guys said. I find it best to ignore U.S. sizing when selecting size for shell fit and use Mondo instead. You are probably a Mondo 27 and the boots you were in would fit Shaq. Slight Exaggeration.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › I've had a heck of a time finding a good pair of boots; could use an expert fitter and advice!