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Boot fitting expiriences

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been reading the posts about the boot fitting and can see that many people had some frustrations. I am also one of them. Here is my conclusion:
1. There are no standards for boot fitting. Many people call themselves masters. I know that there is Master University but not many people have that certificate here in Toronto, Canada
2. Big box stores do not bother spending the time boot fitting. As soon as they sell you their mission is over, because it is all about $, although some of them guarantee the proper boot fitting. No patience to boot fit properly.
3. Some of them think that they know everything without determining the facts and they do not care what the customer says. If the punch the boot once they think the job is done.
4. The guy said that he had more than 20+ yrs in boot fitting, but he failed to do the proper assessment and boot fitting. I had the pain all over the bones, blood circulation was cut, and the left side of the left foot was curled and the right side all lifted (which caused the twisting in the foot and improper balance and steering), not to mention that the scars were all over the boot during the boot fitting, the screws were literally pooled out with the plates to make the second (instep) buckle closer to the first tooth on the plate (instead of replacing the original short buckle with the long one, which is anyway spare buckle). Left and right boot have not been equally fitted. They also cut the liner instead to do proper shell fitting. I was trying to explain to them what is happening, but they did not even care too much. Their answer was that the foot bed should support the foot and that having everything curled and twisted is what high performance boot is all about, otherwise I can go and take the slippers. I had another guy from the same store trying to boot fit me but there was no patience, since I’ve asked him to do the same punch over the same spot. His answer was “But I already did it”. Obviously I needed the boot to be punched a little bit more in order to give me a little bit of relief. Overall there was no patience.
I agree that the boot should have a snug fit but disagree that only inserting the foot beds without the proper shell fit will resolve the issues. No one even bother to pull the liners out and check the distance (or shape) of my foot from the shell.
5. In general guys that were boot fitting for more than 15+ yrs are probably sick and tired of boot fitting. I do not mind getting the mid-experienced guy with a little bit of logic, but all that is left are young kids that do not know much about boot fitting
6. The bottom line is: big frustration, for the customers.
I would like to hear your experiences/recomendations.
post #2 of 14
I have about 10 years in the boot fit world, I don't claim to be a "Master" even though I have the Certificate that says so. There is still much I have to learn.
One thing I do know for sure is that we cannot please everyone, all the time. There are people out there that do not believe in "alignment" and that's fine. However there are people out there that can benefit from it. I had one the most rewarding fits of the year today, I was able to make it so a 9 year old kid could keep skiing in a somewhat comfortable manner. It made my day and his, this is why I choose to work in this industry.
post #3 of 14

i too could give you my expereiences but as I am a fitter you are probably not really interested in them, you may have more success in posting this in a section of the forum where the general population can respond, the only people who can post on this thread are the bootfitters and yourself.....

in response to your situation, it would appear to me that you have limited your boot fitting experiences to a couple of places, prehaps you have not found the right guy /gal yet, sure there may be nobody close, but if you want the best you have to be willing to travel to find the best.

i have been fitting boots for just over 20 years now, i learn somthing new every day, if i ever have all the answers i will give up and curb cars or somehting equally exciting.... i see interesting and varied feet, meet interesting and occasionally very boring people, it is all part of lifes rich tapestry, would i do my job if i was bore with boot fitting....i doubt it very much, i would go and find a job which paid a lot more money

BTW as a first post on a forum your choice of subject matter is a bit interesting...i smell FISH
post #4 of 14
Presenting complaint: Many
Story: Anecdotal
Key point: Uncertain
History: 1 post
Assessment: Trolling
post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by jdistefa View Post
Presenting complaint: Many
Story: Anecdotal
Key point: Uncertain
History: 1 post
Assessment: Trolling

post #6 of 14
ps. Bird - if you're not simply trolling, feel free to PM me and I can point you in the direction of a couple guys in the Toronto area who know what they're doing.
post #7 of 14
Single point then I'll shut up:

Boot fitting is a two way street. If you walk into a shop and they demand that you wear one particular boot and give you no other alternatives... well that would be wrong. That also doesn't ever happen. The process is analysis/ recommendation of several models & brands/ try on/ dial in. There needs to be good feed back from the consumer. You need to take responsibility for yourself, if a boot is unbearable and you're told to 'just ski, it will break in' for the love of Christ, DO NOT listen. If you are told this is too big it will pack out... but you buy it anyway... well who's to blame? You need to have realistic expectations of 'comfort', you don't have to be, and shouldn't be, in pain... but don't expect flip-flop feel and Bode Miller performance. It won't happen. Don't expect to be in total comfort your first day on the hill, don't base boot fit on your first day out for the year, your feet aren't used to ski boots, your not used to skiing... your feet hurt? Join the club.

I have boots that I am very comfortable in... but I'm not 'comfortable' in them, I wouldn't wear them to keep my feet warm while watching TV. In fact the FIRST thing I do when done skiing is take them OFF. Usually before I take my goggles off. Know what I mean?

Want the best possible boot and fitting experience? Don't sabotage it, you don't have to spend outlandish amounts, but if you are driven by finding the lowest price... well just do that. Want a great pair of boots, sit down with a good bootfitter, listen to their advice, try on everything they suggest, relay what you are feeling and don't look at the price tag.

YOU are spending YOUR money, use YOUR brain.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Boot fitting expiriences

Since I am new user to the forum I did not know that only boot fitters and myself can post the comments within Ask the Boot Guys section. I have asked the admin to move the thread - Boot fitting expiriences into General Skiing Discussion, so other people can post their comments.
post #9 of 14
Welcome to the Barking Bears, Bird.

jdistefa, CEM; shame on both of you.
post #10 of 14
Here is my 2 cents. I use a boot fitter in the PacNW. First, good communication is key. Finding the right person is key. My experiences with boot fitting have been very good. It sometimes takes a few trips to my boot fitter to get it right, but in the end the boots work really well. If possible, have you boot fitter watch you ski. After just a few drills, it becomes more clear what needs to be done - at least for getting a balanced pair of boots. FYI, my boot fitter just fits boot only. cmr
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Boot fitting expiriences

Thank you all for the suggestions.

JDoyal: I agree with you that you truly have to love what you are doing in order to do the proper job. Not everybody is the same.

CEM: Thank you for being honest and pointing me to the right direction in order to post my thread.
Yes you are right. I have limited my boot fitting experience within Toronto area. I do not know how it is in the USA or other countries. There are lot’s of places to go and the market/population are much larger. It all depends from dedication of the boot fitter.

Whiteroom: Thank you for the input. I picked up high performance boot - Lange and the boot is not at the lowest price tag. I went to the large store but this is the coin with two sides. Small stores might stock only few models and try to push the certain models (might not be the case everywhere) but do the better job in boot fitting overall since they want to keep the customers. With larger store I had more options/models to try on. This boot is perfect for me since it has the quick response, shape that does not have to be adjusted too much, flex which works for me.
I know that the racers have very narrow boots since the response at those speeds have to be immediate but they are not wearing them for 8 hrs/day. I am not expecting flip-flops because it does not work to my benefit.
I need the snug boot with the quick response and proper alignment, no severe pressures. Since this is the last year model I have skied enough to break the liner but when the shell is not matching the alignment or the shape of the foot or your foot is pointing to the wrong direction (because the shell is twisted) it is time to adjust the shell. My foot could not even properly land on the foot beds.
You are right that I am spending my money and I should request the service. I know what I want, but did not have the luck to connect with my boot fitter.

Dr Rick: Thank you for welcoming me to the forum.

Charlier: I agree that good communication is the key, but the patience is also the factor. I have red that many boot fitters (no offence to the others who do not spend the time with customers watching them while they are skiing) are willing to watch the customers while they are skiing and assess them for the proper alignment. There are many different methods. As long as everything works out OK everybody should be happy. Here in Toronto I do not know any boot fitter that is willing to go out and watch you while you are skiing. The boot fitter that you are talking about is probably just doing the boot fitting as his primary profession and maybe selling (but this is secondary). What I am talking here is more retail (as the primary goal) and the boot fitting up to the certain extend.
post #12 of 14
At a risk of making a fool of myself, I am going to jump into this thread and offer my 0.02:

1. Bootfitting is a highly skilled procedure that demands experience, talent, and lots of practice. Good bootfitters are rare, so if you find one, stick with him. Some areas (i..e Tahoe) are blessed with more than one such person, some areas have only one and too many areas have none.

2. Consequently their time is in high demand, so make an appointment and treat their time with respect.

3. While it is great to have someone watch you skiing and make adjustments, often it is not practical given their workload, location, etc., so in those circumstances you may just have to trust the person's experience.

4. Good fitting boot is worth a high price tag, so keep that in your value equation.

5. Finally, don't expect a miracle. First, milling a plastic shell with a Dremel cannot not equal CNC machining. Second there are places where even the best fitter cannot do much. But a good fitter will make it fit well enough if you give them at least a half-decent place to start.

If anything, I wish that the ski industry could come up with the distribution model that could allow small shops access to most of the boot models on the market at a price that could still provide decent value for a consumer. That way they will start the fitting process from the best possible platform. But the bottom line is: good bootfitters are rate, so treat them with respect...

post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by Bird View Post
Whiteroom: Thank you for the input. I picked up high performance boot - Lange and the boot is not at the lowest price tag. I went to the large store but this is the coin with two sides. Small stores might stock only few models and try to push the certain models (might not be the case everywhere) but do the better job in boot fitting overall since they want to keep the customers. With larger store I had more options/models to try on.
smaller stores may have apprently less models, but often times they have selected those models to be different last shapes to give a variety of fits, the big box stores often have these models but then a whole lot of duplication which in many cases causes confusion for the consumer

apologies for the laughing earlier,you have to admit it did look a little suspicious as a first post... if you are looking for genuine help there are plenty of fitters who will give the advice on here just ask the specific question in the ask the boot guys forum, as Matt says if you need a fitter in your area PM him, he is much more local me
post #14 of 14
A short anecdote, based on personal experience.
About 5 years ago my girlfriend was in St Anton and went to a "good" shop, where they fitted her in Salomon boots & custom footbeds (I think they were from Sidas).

She was happy with them, but occasionally complained of heel lift, and a few other comments that made me think that it was time for a change. When I suggested it, she told me she didn't want tiny boots that meant she was in pain, or losing toenails.

I took her to CEM two weeks ago. She's down 1.5 sizes, in an Atomic boot with Kork insoles.
After 3 days of skiing, she's perfectly happy. No pain, not too tight, as comfortable as her old boots (No Colin, that doesn't mean she wants to come down 1 more size!).
CEM did an excellent job.

...and it solved my Christmas present dilemma!
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