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Advice on buying boots

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I want to get new boots but I am on a budget. I have been away from skiing for about 4 years and don't need all the bells and whistles. I do want something that: is good quality, will help me ski under control and will last. The only real ski shop close to me only sells boots that are $400+. Is this really what I will have to spend for a good boot these days? Can you recommend good boots for less?

Places like Dick's and Sports Authority sell inexpensive stuff, but I am not sure their salespeople know a lot about how to fit a ski boot. I could also buy boots online, but I hate buying any type of shoe without trying it on first... Any suggestions? Thanks.
post #2 of 3
It's important to find the right boot -- that should outweigh cost considerations. The good news is that it doesn't have to cost a lot if you can track down a good bargain. I typically buy my boots at the end of the season when there are hefty discounts (like $800+ boots for less than $300).

I would avoid the big stores -- they rarely have anything worthwhile. On the off chance they do have some decent boots, it couldn't hurt to go there and try on a bunch of them. But don't be surprised if you need to get fitted in a real ski shop for the best result.
post #3 of 3
I think you're best going to a specialised ski shop... it's probably best paying an extra $100 the first time to get it right, rather than spending $150 at a big box store and ending up with a pair that don't fit.

But.... if you do end up going to a big box sports store (like I did...), my advice would be to read up on the internet enough that you can be your own boot fitter. There are lots of websites out there if you do some googling, and this forum is probably the best place to start. Go to the sports store when you have lots of time (like 2-4 hours), and when you get there, begin trying on boots with the boot fitting tips learned from the internet. After trying on a few pairs you should have an idea of your size, so you can focus more on brands...then size agian..lol. Keep in mind the shape of your foot... I think the shell fitting guidelines are probably most important - this will involve removing the liner from the boot and seeing how much space is between your ankle and the back toe..this is critical. Don't settle for anything less than a perfect (tight) fit...and don't expect the sales people to know anytihng or be helpful. If you're willing to invest the time and research into it, you can probably get a good deal... otherwise, you're probably better off heading to a boot fitter.

For the record, I did this... spent over 3 hours in a Sport Chek trying on boots, before finding a perfect fitting pair on sale for $170. I'm on my seconds season and they fit great - I don't even need to do up the straps, because the boot fits so snug on my foot...and they're comfy all day.
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