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That magic, I know it's right feeling???

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello Boot Pro's,

A little background to start, I'm a hockey player who started skiing in my late teens, skied for a few seasons, then moved to AZ and didn't ski for about 18 years. Moved back to WNY 3 years ago and started skiing with my kids.

I haven't owned a pair of boots since I was about 22 (about 19 years ago). With my children's interest in skiing growing (they have ski's/poles, but we rent their boots on a seasonal basis), I decided to invest in gear. When I purchased my boots in October, I didn't know about Epic and its fantastic resources, so I wasn't up on the best fitting techniques. I tried on several pair (I did have a budget and was trying to stick with it) and of course, most were not comfortable out of the box. I have a fairly small foot (men's size 8) which also seemed to limit selection some. My feet tend to be wider than average toward the toes and I was getting a lot of pressure on my small toe being mashed into the toe box and into the toe next to it. It was at that point that another person who worked at the shop came out and introduced himself. He had been working with another customer and when finished offered to take over and help me. He seemed very knowledgeable as he proceeded to measure my foot again, look at it's shape, asked me about my skiing and budget, discussed the boots I had already tried, and made a recommendation. He brought out a pair of Tecnica Mega 10's and worked with them until we got them comfortable. He did a shell-fit (at least had me put my foot in them without the liner), he also addressed concerns I had about the boot feeling much better in width, but having too much volume above my foot. In the end (after working for a little while with them and walking around for 15-20 minutes in the store), I bought the Mega 10's with 2 shims under (skipped the footbed that he had also put in there...darn it!).

After skiing on them for about 16 hours and reading boot fitting articles here on Epic, What I am finding is 2 things:
First, I think the boot is a bit long. When I shell-fit myself, there seems to be almost an inch behind my heel. The width of the boot seems right on though based on the FAQ and articles I've read here.

Second, is that I really don't know what a boot is supposed to feel like when properly fit . I'm a level 6-7 skier and do all the runs at Holiday Valley, but I can't help but feel that I could be a better skier with better fitting boots (again, mine are certainly comfortable, but I can't help but think they could be even better fit). Am I crazy and spending too much time worrying about it? Is there a magic sensation that I am either missing or should be feeling that I can only get with perfect boots? Is width more important to fit than length overall?

BTW, I am definitely going to try the footbeds...
post #2 of 12
boot feel: A ski boot should feel comfortably snug (like your old hockey skates?) or like a good firm handshake. Sung everywhere, but no pressure points. like a casting of your foot

if you have a size 8 shoe odds are you should be in a 24 or 25 ski boot. take a look on the bottom of the boot, but that 5-15mm shell fit is more important then a number on the boot.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just checked, it's a 26, 305mm is what it lists. I was actually looking for a boot that felt like my skates. This one seems perfect in the width and was the only one that really seemed comfortable. I did try on a 25.5 in several models and they just seemed to squeeze the heck out of my toes.
post #4 of 12
ya size 26 boot on a 8 mens shoe = WAY to big

I'm a 8.5-9 shoe and fit a 25, sometimes a 24 with work

find a good boot fitter and deal with them, but think skate tight = no movement = better to ski on

boots can be made wider in the toes by 1cm per side, but you can't make them smaller, so again see a good boot fitter, find a boot that holds your heel down, and make the front wider as needed
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm going to talk to the shop owners and see if we can work out some sort of exchange. I've only skied them 5 times. If I can get something that's a good shell fit, I'll take them to a shop with proper bootfitting credentials. I'm pretty sure that "Mud, Sweat, and Gears" in Ellicottville, NY is certified.
post #6 of 12
Just a thought here ChappyOnIce, Though your foot may measure an 8 on the brannick device in length, if your arch measurement is longer, say a 9, a slightly bigger shell may fit your foot shape better? Check on the Brannick to see where the little knob that lines up with your first met head points. If this measurement indicates a higher number than your length measurement, you may be OK on shell size.

Now, if this checks out and you still have volume issues, some shimming and padding in strategic places may be needed. Perhaps a tongue shim to lock the heel back and down better?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bud, I will check that. It is a higher volume boot, which may have been the first mistake. I have 2 shims in there right now (full length between the shell and liner). My right arch is higher than the left and it was the right foot that I had the issues with (small toe scrunching/overlapping) when in the smaller shells. I think the sales person's approach to my toe issue was to bring out a higher volume boot in the 26.5 and shim it up until it was comfortable. Of course based on time of day, etc. when I get into it on the slopes I always have to crank the buckles down pretty far to lock things in. The factory footbed was very thick but it was consistent toe to heel. I took that out and replace it with a Superfeet Green which is thinner at the toes, but has more heel support. Still sloppy...been trying thicker socks. My skiing is really improving though and I feel the boot fit is potentially holding me back from improving even more.

Would you recommend that I take the existing boots to a certified fitter first?
post #8 of 12
It's always a good idea to find the most experienced and knowledgeable boot fitter possible. Be careful, just because a bootfitter attended a one or two day course that "certifys" them it doesn't mean they know that much. Ask around the ski areas, race teams, ski schools, etc. for their recommendations.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I went to bootfitters.com and it is the only shop that shows up in my area (Mud, Sweat, and Gears). I ski at Holiday Valley every Sunday so it would be a convenient stop. I'm also headed to Killington in Feb, so I could stop at Northern Ski Works and I've heard good things about them.

Thinking about Northstar next Feb....but can't wait that long ;-)
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Here's a thought, has anyone used a footbed like the green Superfeet on top of the stock one?  My stock footbed is fairly flat and I can actually get the Superfeet bed in with it.  When I do that and put my thin underarmour ski sock on, I get a very nice snug fit and can wear my boots without clamping down.  If I have no luck returning/exchangeing the boots, is that a reasonable option?

post #11 of 12

try it an see how it skis.


if you can use 2 footbeds the boot is still too big, but might be a temp solution


this will only raise the foot up and fill the vertical volume,  will not effect the boots width or heel looseness issues.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Yes, I agree that it's still too big, but I am able to lock in my heel.  Part of the whole issue is that the boot is too high volume for my foot, which the additional insole addresses.  Without it, I have to cinch down pretty tight, it's actually more comofortable for me to have the additional insole in there and not buckle tight.  I'm assuming that has to do with how the shell shape alters when you really clamp down on the buckles.  I'm been trying tons of alternatives and my test is putting the boots on and standing on a firm, flat surface (my basement floor).  I stand on one foot and try to get a solid, balanced feeling.  I'll give it go this week on the slopes (assuming I can negotiate a new boot).

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › That magic, I know it's right feeling???