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Dynafit ZZeus AT Boots and a Huge Big Toe

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a very unusual foot in that my big toe is about 1-1/4" longer than the second toe. My toes angle sharply to a point with the big toe sticking way out in front of the others. Obviously this has been a problem in fitting boots. Usually I've solved this by buying boots that are too big and putting in a thicker footbed to take up some extra volume. Obviously this isn't an ideal solution.

Recently I purchased a pair of Dynafit ZZeus AT boots from a local shop. I tried the BD Factor's, but found they didn't really fit right. The Dynafits felt pretty good except the length. The boot fitter convinced me to get a size that fit the volume of my foot better and said he could punch out the big toe to fit. The boot is a 29 while my alpine boots are a 30 (but probably too big). Well after 3 tried at punching it out he hasn't been able to get enough length. My foot still feels skrunched up from the big toe hitting the end of the boot. I can only ski about an hour before the pain is too much and I have to put on my old boots.

This boot has a removable sole and I think he may be reaching the limits of what he can stretch without screwing up the sole interface. I'm starting to get a little discouraged with this process as it's been a month since I bought the boots and I have yet to really use them more than a few hours. Any ideas of how to proceed from here? Should I take them to a custom fitter (maybe Custom Boot Service in Seattle?) which costs more $$? Should I ask them to exchange them for a 30? What can I expect from the shop, they recomended the size 29? These are $730 boots +$100 custom insoles, I really can't afford another pair.
post #2 of 10
really difficult one, they recomended them so should stand by their work.....

there are a few things which could help, but first off how much space is there behind your heel when your toes are brushing the front of the empty shell? is it that it is just the liners are short for the shell and it is them which need work rather than the shell?

OR.....

if they are not getting enough heat into the boot and letting it cool properly the stretch will not hold,
is the footbed supporting the foot properly?
i am not familiar with that particular boot but there should be some material that can be ground out of the toe box to give a bit more room
grinding the area round the hell will allow the foot to sit further back in the shell and give more space

if you can tell us how much space there is in the shell then we can give you a much more definate opinion as to if it is workable or not
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
There's about 1-1/2 fingers between the shell and the heel. However ... when doing this measurement my big toe tends to move toward the longest part of the boot which is in the middle, not the inside where it would be normally. Here's an illustration of what my toes looks like:
___
|**| <--- Big toe
|**|_
|**|*|_
|**|*|*|__
|**|*|*|*|
|********|

Here's how the toe box of the boot (all boots really) is shaped:

.....____
.../****\
../******\
/********\
|*********|
| *********|

This boot is an randonee (alpine touring) boot so the shell material is thinner than a normal boot, I don't think grinding is an option. The toe is definitely punched out a bit, but last time I was in they said they were having trouble getting the punch to not shrink back. They did punch the toe in liners as well which are thermoformable. This helped a bit, but I feel like I still need another 3/8"-1/2" in the toe.

Not sure about the footbeds. I've had custom Superfeet corks before, which worked well. The new ones are Conformable heat moldable customs, one thing that doesn't seem right about them to me compared to the corks is the toe area is just flat, where in my corks you can see the indentation for each toe. Not sure if that's important, but seems like it might be?

What has me worried was that last time I was in the girl on the shop floor said they couldn't take them back because they'd been punched. Granted this wasn't the bootfitter, but I'm still worried it's going to be a battle if they can't get these to work. As they are right now there's no way I could use them. They knew going in they wouldn't work without the shell punch, but he insisted he could get it to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post
really difficult one, they recomended them so should stand by their work.....

there are a few things which could help, but first off how much space is there behind your heel when your toes are brushing the front of the empty shell? is it that it is just the liners are short for the shell and it is them which need work rather than the shell?

OR.....

if they are not getting enough heat into the boot and letting it cool properly the stretch will not hold,
is the footbed supporting the foot properly?
i am not familiar with that particular boot but there should be some material that can be ground out of the toe box to give a bit more room
grinding the area round the hell will allow the foot to sit further back in the shell and give more space

if you can tell us how much space there is in the shell then we can give you a much more definate opinion as to if it is workable or not
post #4 of 10
with 1 1/2 fingers shell space there is something else going on

yes the shell on the rando boots is thinner but it should still be possible to grind a little... the stretch on this type of plastic has to be really hot to get it to stretch [almost melting] then left until completely cool or it will shrink back

first thought is the footbed is not supporting you fully or you are not in the back of the boot, can they remould the thermo liner with a heavier toe cap on you and get the liners really hot and make sure you are in the heel pocket of the boot!

the toe box shape is not uncommon and it sounds like if anything it is not length but medial width you need, this chould be accomplished with a carefully positioned block on the stretcher

IMO it is doable, it comes down to the guy doing the work though
post #5 of 10
also make sure that your heel is all the way back in the boot. If the heel is too far forward the toes will be too.

try a heel lift and see if it is better or worse.

more padding on the tongue, over the instep and flex point of the boot to drive your heel back all the way.


best to talk to the store and see if they will stand behind the size they said. it should work, but if not see if they will exchange for a 30 (that should be too big)
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
These boots use PU plastic not the normal rando Pebax type. Not sure if what that means, but so said the shop. The main problem seems to be that he wants to stretch it without the front sole on the boot. He's afraid it will rip the screws out. What we're running into is that the more we stretch the toe the harder it is to get the sole toe block back on. Seems to me he needs to stretch the toe area of front sole block at the same time, but hey he's the expert right?

I'll press them (no pun intended) a bit more about the heel fit and maybe heel lifts to bet my foot further back.

Is medial width the width of the toe box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post
with 1 1/2 fingers shell space there is something else going on

yes the shell on the rando boots is thinner but it should still be possible to grind a little... the stretch on this type of plastic has to be really hot to get it to stretch [almost melting] then left until completely cool or it will shrink back

first thought is the footbed is not supporting you fully or you are not in the back of the boot, can they remould the thermo liner with a heavier toe cap on you and get the liners really hot and make sure you are in the heel pocket of the boot!

the toe box shape is not uncommon and it sounds like if anything it is not length but medial width you need, this chould be accomplished with a carefully positioned block on the stretcher

IMO it is doable, it comes down to the guy doing the work though
post #7 of 10
medial width i was refering to is the bit where your toe is that the toe box isn't

whatever the plastic PU /pebax/whatever, toe box stretches need loads of heat ,pressure and patience
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, they streched the shell a little bit more and it's getting better, but not quite there yet. The front of the boot is looking pretty weird now, but that ok.

When I got home I did an interesting experiment, I put the liners in my size 30 alpine boots. The toe felt even more cramped than in the ZZeus's. So this tells me that the problem is no longer the shell, but is with the liner.

My question is, is there any way to do radical stretching (or maybe actual modification) of the liner's toe length? The liners are covered in heavy nylon, so although they are thermomoldable I don't think the outside length will stretch much.
post #9 of 10
first thing is to stretch the liner with conventional stretching tools and careful aplication of heat, long time ..slowly so as not to fry the liner but to soften all the material...if that is not enough then, you can [with care] cut some slashes in the toe box of the liner which go though the outer of the liner wout cutting right through this will remove surface tension and give you more space

if all else fails have the whole front of the toe box remopved and stitcha piece of lycra or thin neoprene in its place
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info CEM.

UPDATE: I broke down and drove to Seattle and went to Jim Mates @ Custom Boot Service. Anyway, he did an amazing job. Besides punching out the liner and doing a little bit of widening on the sides he did a bunch of work on my fore/aft alignment in the boot using some heal ramps. This pulled my toes off the front and put me in the center of the cuff when neutral. Skied them yesterday and the increase in control and decrease in effort was amazing. Fairly comfortable too. Needs just a few tweaks on the longer of my two feet, but it's pretty darn good now.
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