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Ever bought boots online? Dumb idea?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
I've been checking the online boot deals at places like EVOgear and am sorely tempted to buy online. The local shops can't match the prices online, but I don't know that I could bring myself to buy boots without putting them on my feet first. Am I being dumb? Share your experience, pls.
post #2 of 63
Probably a dumb idea, but I've done it each of the last two years. Problem for me is no quality bootfitters in the area at all so I'm kind of on my own here.

If you have a good bootfitter near you, I wouldn't do it, but if you don't or can't afford full price boots then you could think about online buying.

You really need to know your foot to have any luck at all buying online. If you aren't sure of your size then get a couple of sized and return the ones that don't fit.

Good luck.

Mike
post #3 of 63
if you need any tweaks and you've purchased a boot elsewhere, be prepared to pay your local shop an hourly fee to work on your boots for you. Usually, when you buy local, any tweaks to the shell are free of charge.

cheers,

yakman
post #4 of 63
Thread Starter 
I think you've both stated the obvious wisdom that I already had in my head, but which was strongly conflicting with my wallet reflex thanks for the good points!
post #5 of 63
Do it. If you don't know your size, or exact fit order 2 pairs and send one back. You will save a couple hundred dollars +. You will still save money even if you have to have work done to the boot. I am for supporting the local shop, but not when the local shop is charging several hundred dollars more. Have you tried to get the local store to match the price. Most will match prices, just not eBay prices.
On a side note, my local shop is trying to sell K2 PEs from last year for $500 without bindings. Good luck with that.
post #6 of 63

Boots online

Quote:
Originally Posted by emdub View Post
I think you've both stated the obvious wisdom that I already had in my head, but which was strongly conflicting with my wallet reflex thanks for the good points!
emdub, there is a compromise. 2 years ago I needed new boot and none of the ski shops in Spokane, Couer d alene, Sandpoint had good boots in my size (26) they had them in 27 plus but not for me. I decided roughly that I etiher wanted the Atomic ....(don't remember) or the Nordica Speedmachine 10.

I live chatted on Backcountry and asked if I could order both pair and worst case scenario send them both back or best case one pair I liked and send the others back. Since they have a full refund policey that is what I did. I tried them both on in my living room for several hours, picked the Nordica and sent the others back for a full refund.

I realize this is sort of far out but definitely needed boots and did not want to drive 6 hours to Seattle etcl. Worked for me
post #7 of 63
I have, worked out great but I had tried on a similar boot in person and the boot I bought was a plug so its a mandatory fitting. Basically even if it was the wrong boot, it was made to be the right boot...but in this case it actually was the right boot.....if that makes any sense.
post #8 of 63
I also generally order my boots through avenues that get me better deals than buying them at a shop, here's what to do...

Go visit your local bootfitter. You know, the good one with all the experience that has been recommended to you thought this forum and elsewhere.

Explain to them that you are in the market for new boots, and want to see what is going to be the best fit for you.

They should be able to look at your foot, take some measurments, and then recommend a couple different models to try.

Try on what they have, figure out exactly what make, model, and size that you want, then go looking for your deal.

When you find the RIGHT boot at the RIGHT price, then bring it back to your trusty bootfitter to have it worked on, you will have the best of both worlds!
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
I also generally order my boots through avenues that get me better deals than buying them at a shop, here's what to do...

Go visit your local bootfitter. You know, the good one with all the experience that has been recommended to you thought this forum and elsewhere.

Explain to them that you are in the market for new boots, and want to see what is going to be the best fit for you.

They should be able to look at your foot, take some measurments, and then recommend a couple different models to try.

Try on what they have, figure out exactly what make, model, and size that you want, then go looking for your deal.

When you find the RIGHT boot at the RIGHT price, then bring it back to your trusty bootfitter to have it worked on, you will have the best of both worlds!
If you are going to to that, be up front with the guy. Don't lead him on for the sale and then leave him hanging. He won't be so willing to help you out with the fit. You should probably give him a tip for pointing you in the right direction.
post #10 of 63
To add to what Jay said, there are times that a local store might be willing to match an online store advertised price...so dont forget to investigate that avenue as well. My former local store not only was willing to do that but also understood when they could not match the price and even told me go get them at the other place its a better deal....I miss Princeton.
post #11 of 63
If you know a certain brand fits you well how big is the risk with buying online? How different a fit is there in a manufacturers line?
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by narc View Post
If you know a certain brand fits you well how big is the risk with buying online? How different a fit is there in a manufacturers line?
Very.

You need to look at exact models, not brands.
post #13 of 63
I tried it and it didn't work. I bought a pair of Nordica Spuercharger Blowers on Tramdock about a month and a half ago. They felt great up front but had issues else where. I ended up selling them on Ebay at a profit so it worked out OK for me. I have since decided I would be better off going to see a good boot fitter. I may pay more up front but I think in the long run I will be happier and with any luck my skiing will be better as well.
post #14 of 63
IMO getting boots at a good boot fitter is the best alternative, and money well spent.
I ended up buying my boots from the ski shop PhilPug works at because my local shops that sell Dalbello no longer carry the Krypton line and I knew what boot I wanted, in the size I wanted, and Phil had it in stock.



If I did not know my boot model and size, I would never consider buying on line.
I was prepared to pay my boot fitter for his skills, and I'm glad I did.
post #15 of 63
I suppose if you have "average" or "normal" shaped feet you might be able to get away with buying without trying them on. But few people have "normal" feet, so it's important to find a boot that fits the idiosynchracies of your particular feet.

For me, 95% of the shoes in the shoe store don't come in a size that fits my feet. There are very few models that work for me, so I would never buy footwear over the internet unless it's an exact replacement for something that I already have. If you can stroll into a shoe store and be comfortable in any shoe they have, you can probably buy ski boots over the internet. I can't.
post #16 of 63
I saw Walt posted here and I was hoping for another in a series of...
post #17 of 63
If I did not go against the grain then I wouldnt be me; but to illustrate my good experience better: I bought a pair of current year Head plug boots, online new in box for only $350 that retailed for $1000 then spent maybe another $350 total getting them fit. I had tried on the roomier/softer consumer version of the same boot and liked the overall fit (though not exactly like the ones I ended up with they were close enough). So while by no means cheap I still saved a significant amount of money and got the best race boots on the market. So YEMV.
post #18 of 63
Good examples of how both methods work.

Food for thought from a retailers perspective:

If everyone uses the internet/phone order method, you will not have any other options in the future. When that happens, the suppliers will be forced to produce only styles and types of boots that will work via the internet/phone. Those will be fluffy boots that are made to be fit without any thought about performance.

RR your act of retail contradiction could singlehandedly be responsible for the return of rear entry. Stick that in your Heads and smoke it. Think about the fact that your favorite retailer is gone. Is there any coincidence to the rise in online ski shops, and the disappearence of specialty ski shops?

jim
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
Good examples of how both methods work.

Food for thought from a retailers perspective:

If everyone uses the internet/phone order method, you will not have any other options in the future. When that happens, the suppliers will be forced to produce only styles and types of boots that will work via the internet/phone. Those will be fluffy boots that are made to be fit without any thought about performance.

RR your act of retail contradiction could singlehandedly be responsible for the return of rear entry. Stick that in your Heads and smoke it. Think about the fact that your favorite retailer is gone. Is there any coincidence to the rise in online ski shops, and the disappearence of specialty ski shops?

jim
I agree. However, if the local shops want to sell their goods they need to be more competitive with their pricing. I am not saying they should match prices exactly, but they should be within $100. It is insulting as an educated consumer to be expected to over pay for a good/service.
post #20 of 63
I would love to buy my boots from a shop and throw some cash to some overworked, underpaid boot wizard... But I'm so poor I can't even pay attention- so I have to seek alternative ways to get my stuff... I am getting my new pair of Lange Freeride 130s this week for $200 because I found them in the TGR gear swap, and I would have never been able to afford these boots had I not gotten this smokin' deal. The dude who sold them to me even let me make payments of a hundo apiece. Poor people like me need to beg, borrow, trade, barter and even make payments to make schtuff happen and you gotta do what you gotta do man...
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
Good examples of how both methods work.

Food for thought from a retailers perspective:

If everyone uses the internet/phone order method, you will not have any other options in the future. When that happens, the suppliers will be forced to produce only styles and types of boots that will work via the internet/phone. Those will be fluffy boots that are made to be fit without any thought about performance.

RR your act of retail contradiction could singlehandedly be responsible for the return of rear entry. Stick that in your Heads and smoke it. Think about the fact that your favorite retailer is gone. Is there any coincidence to the rise in online ski shops, and the disappearence of specialty ski shops?

jim
No doubt the internet put pressure on them that helped drive them out of business.....but the fact any biz that goes under due to the net is primarily bad management...you dont evolve you go under, its the same with any biz. You cannot seriously expect anyone to buy a product for hundreds of dollars more that they can buy it online. Afterall we are all just trying to get ahead in life it would be foolish to do something that is not in one's best interest unless charity is your goal.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post
Good examples of how both methods work.

Food for thought from a retailers perspective:

If everyone uses the internet/phone order method, you will not have any other options in the future. When that happens, the suppliers will be forced to produce only styles and types of boots that will work via the internet/phone. Those will be fluffy boots that are made to be fit without any thought about performance.

RR your act of retail contradiction could singlehandedly be responsible for the return of rear entry. Stick that in your Heads and smoke it. Think about the fact that your favorite retailer is gone. Is there any coincidence to the rise in online ski shops, and the disappearence of specialty ski shops?

jim
I agree with this more now than ever.


For those who say that the shops need to "manage better", I would like to take this up in another thread.

As for the OP, take your chance if you must, but know that it is a chance that may leave your feet hurting, and your fit, mediocre.
post #23 of 63
I hate to spend money on things like this, and absolutely cringed, when I saw the price. After skiing one day in boots that fit, I knew it was the right thing to do. I then took my wife down there, and cringed again as I paid for hers..She had missed a week of skiing due to bad fitting boots. Since that trip cost about 1600.00 to go..I figure it COST me 800.00 for her not to ski. We both have no longer had any foot problems. Take this from someone who tried to poorboy it. Its not worth it. Pay the money for a GOOD bootfitter

Lee
post #24 of 63
First you should know what fits you and what doesn't....about

Some sites offer free return and encourage you to order two pairs and return one. Kind of like a ski boot arbitrage LOL.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
No doubt the internet put pressure on them that helped drive them out of business.....but the fact any biz that goes under due to the net is primarily bad management...you dont evolve you go under, its the same with any biz. You cannot seriously expect anyone to buy a product for hundreds of dollars more that they can buy it online. Afterall we are all just trying to get ahead in life it would be foolish to do something that is not in one's best interest unless charity is your goal.
Online shops give up higher profits on any single item for selling high vloumes. Your typical brick and mortar ski shops can't compete. Of course you can suggest that they go on-line as well but what if they don't want to give up offering service and personal attention?
post #26 of 63
You dont have to give anything up, you do both. My boots were bought online, my fitting was done in person...by someone that I reached via the net.
post #27 of 63
Answering the origianl question in the first post, I've done it all the time and I have sore feet to show for it! I can also add that I've paid for footbeds and fitting and feel that I didn't get great value.

What's fair and a value you can justify paying retail pricing for, probably in skiing it's a boot that fits and provides great comfort and performance. Priceless!
post #28 of 63
The issue about the cost notwithstanding, I think you can only buy online if you know EXACTLY what you are looking for--literally to the size, brand and model. I don't think you can start your search online b/c you simply can't experience what the boot will feel like. I do think its ok to buy online and then patronize your local bootfitter and pay them fair cost for labor. There's nothing wrong with that.
post #29 of 63
I guess it depends on where you live and what your access is to a ski shop.

** IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: There is a difference between a ski gear 'shop' and a ski gear 'store'.

Ski Shop:

If you live in, UT, CO, CA, or the Northern half of VT, you can find a business known as a ski 'shop', with a fitter that actually knows what he/she is doing. You will most likely be better off going to the fitter to get a proper shell fit and get to try a selection of various brands and models. You may luck out and get the just-right boot from the internet but its a crap shoot and you may find yourself buying new boots every season.

Ski Store:

Now, if you live elsehwere and cannot get to one of the 'ski shops' noted above, you might as well just buy online as, with a few exceptions, ski 'stores' in the Midwest (!! DANGER WILL ROBINSON !!) don't have the slightest clue as to what makes a good boot-fit, let alone possess a rudimentary understanding of the products they sell. You will probably have just as much luck buying online -- or going into the 'ski stores' to try on the boots yourself, decide what fits, and purchase them online. WIth but a few exceptions, you will not find any meaningful or valid information on what makes a proper bootfit from the Midwestern 'ski store.' In many cases you may actually find you did a better job of selecting the right boot for your foot than what was handed to you by the high-school sales rep working in the 'ski store.'
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut_hucker View Post
If you are going to to that, be up front with the guy. Don't lead him on for the sale and then leave him hanging. He won't be so willing to help you out with the fit. You should probably give him a tip for pointing you in the right direction.
Absolutely! I am a firm believer that this buisness is all about building positive relationships with people... who knows when you may need their help in the future!

RR- Did you say you paid $300 to get your boots FIT?!? I assume this includes a custom built footbed? Cause if not than you got ripped my man...

FWIW- I typically order my boots straight from the company on a form... I am not bypassing retail just to find a sale online. I would never know what to order if I didn't go somewhere to try stuff on. I DO then pay retail prices to have them fit, but that's not even CLOSE to $300.
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