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Creating room in the toe of the boot

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
It has taken about three years, and despite the obstacles I've described in another thread, I've found the boots that fit me best. My local shop did not have that boot in stock last year (and likely won't again, this year), but last year did coax the manufacturer to send a pair to the shop for me to try on. The shop owner and I agree that 29.5 was likely the best size for me, but when it arrived, it proved a little tight at the front of the toe--just a wee too short. Shell fit was 1 finger, but once the liner went in, the toes were touching the front, even when buckled up and flexing. When I put my footbeds from my old boots into the new boots, the fit problem was magnified. No way I could ski those new boots as is, with those footbeds, and hope to retain my toenails.

Thinking it best to err on the side of too short rather than too long, and since the fit of the boot elsewhere was very snug and comfortable, I asked the shop owner if he could manipulate the shell or liner a little to give me room in the toe. He said No, that he could manipulate the fit of the boot elsewhere, but not in the toe because manipulation of the boot there might interfere with the boot/binding interface. He recommended that we try the next size up, but, unfortunately, the manufacturer was already out of the boot in size 30.0. And so my effort to get those new boots came to halt last season around thanksgiving, just as the season was getting underway.

The manufacturer is offering the same boot this year, and I am going to take a stab at getting a pair in the next week or two, before it sells out again in my size. Bootguys, was the shop owner correct that 'punching out' the boot at the toe is to be avoided? If so, I have no choice but to get the 30.0s and make due with perhaps a bit too roomy a fit. If there is some ability to work the boot to create a little extra room in the toe, how much wiggle room can be created? Would a new, different footbed help make that 29.5 fit a little better?

thanks, JW
post #2 of 11
FYI Billy Kaplan (cantman) is just across town. You should call or stop by:

Billy Kaplan
Performance Pedorthics, Inc.
1753 Bridgetown Pike
Feasterville Pa 18966
215 760 8226
800 283 2370

As you know, I'm not a boot guy, but one of the most common and easiest things they can do is stretch or grind in the toe box.
post #3 of 11
Is he correct? Absolutely not. You don't need to create room just at the toe, you can grind inside the toe and also at the heel pocket both will provide toe room (you can do a little of both), you can lightly strectch the toe, you can remove material from the footbed... but honestly, I'll bet the issue is with the liner which are often 'short lasted' and can easily be stretched with a little heat and pressure. Sounds to me like the shop owner didn't want to sell you that boot.
post #4 of 11
Ditto, Whiteroom! You would be suprised how much material is available to grind in the toe area. Stretching the toe out is generally not a good idea if your bindings use that DIN standard interface to function, not all brands and models do! If all your binding interface only with the toe lug (ie: Marker) you can get away with stretching the toes out but I would grind to the limit first before resorting to stretching. As Whiteroom said grinding the heel cup out will also give you more room in the toe area! I would probably not move to the larger shell just yet!!!!
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your replies. I don't doubt at all that the shop wanted to sell me the boot. They ordered it in for me specially, for which I was grateful, and then had to send it back with nothing to show for their effort. But I did wonder if they wanted to get into the work of making it fit right.

How can I tell if the shorter boot, the 29.5, is within range? or to put another way, how short is too short justifying moving up a size?

And how do I tell if the liner is short-lasted?

And lastly, should I try to keep the old foot bed, or spring for a new one that is made for the new boot's dimensions.

appreciate all of your help...
post #6 of 11
one finger shell fit should be OK as long as your toes were not crammed into the shell when arriving at the one finger measurement? Toes "lightly touching" the front is the key.

Your footbed should be ok but make sure you use the stock insole as a template to trim the parameter of your custom bed to match and make sure the heel cup and arch fit in the liner and shell without bunching.

You could measure the length of your liner and measurer the length inside the shell to see the difference. Stretching the liner toe area is pretty basic. Sometimes I snip the threads at the front of the liner which allows the toes to extend a bit but stretching is better if you can.

good luck
post #7 of 11
I do not disagree with the advice that you have received from my colleagues, however I am not so quick to dismiss your footbed as being OK.

It is not just the thickness of the footbed at the forefoot that determines the toe room at the front of the boot.

Many times the way that the footbed was built and trimmed to fit the liner and shell can have a dramatic affect on toe pressure.

If the footbed is built or trimmed in a way that the heel of the footbed is not allowed to settle all the way back into the heel pocket, it will make a boot that has plenty of room, feel short at the toe.

Have Billy do an assesment of your footbed and the trim to the new boot.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

that footbed

thanks starthaus, yea, I've been thinking a lot about that footbed. Specifically how it shortened the boot for me and kind of lifted my heal and ramped my foot forward into the front of the boot. Why inject that into the equation when fitting a new boot?

I don't want to buy a boot to fit my old footbed. It has to fit my foot. I want to get the boot fit to my foot as best I can, then fine-tune with a new or revamped footbed. Am I wrong here?

Now, if I end up going with a longer boot, a 30.0, my old footbed may come in handy and take up some of that extra space (bet that was its main function with my old boots).
post #9 of 11
If you need to add things to take up extra space in a new boot, you are in the wrong size boot. Go back to Bud's point about how your foot looks in the shell with your toe just grazing the front of the boot. A good performance fit will have 5 to 15 mm of space between your heel and the shell.

An easy way to see the effect of the footbed at your toes is to try on the boot with the stock sock liner and see how it feels.

A well built and trimed footbed will slightly shorten and narrow the foot as well as help to get your foot all the way back in the heel pocket.
post #10 of 11
I agree with everything that has been said so far. However, I would recommend if you are going to have the shell grinding done make sure you go to an experienced boot fitter. I have had many boots come in that have been destroyed by people trying to grind them themselves or have had an inexperienced boot fitter do it. Just a heads up at our shop we like to leave grinding as a last resort.
post #11 of 11
Agree with most everything everyone has said, but a little puzzled by your footbed comments. Most people would say that the lift in the heel given a a footbed that is thicker in the heel than the toe will cause additional toe room

If you are experience is that you have less then perhaps the problem is the footbed is too thick in the toe area.

don't go to the 30. Fit length of the 29 seems fine.

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