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Don't Rent Boot Too Big

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've sent my third student back to the rental shop for smaller boots this year.  When a student has legs that look like rubber, is working hard, and nothing works right, too-big boots are often the problem.  Twice the student has had great success after changing to smaller boots.  Once the student got boots a half-size smaller which was the same shell size with thicker padding in the liner, and that wasn't much help.  (Ski boots are molded in full size increments and half sizes are accomplished by thicker or thinner liners.)

 

Basic rule...get boots as small as possible without discomfort and buckle them as tighly as possible without discomfort.  As always, nothing inside the boot cuff except one pair of medium thickness socks--no long undies, snow cuff, pants cuff, etc.  It is OK if the toes lightly touch the end of the boot when the skier is standing in the skiing position (and probably a good thing).

post #2 of 19

Absolutely agree.

 

I took my friend for his first day's skiing to Wachusett and the kid in the rental shop didn't make any pretense of "fitting" him to his boots, just handed a pair across the counter after asking his shoe size. Clearly, he was floating about in them and I got him the next size down. No problems all day! (Two thoughts. Seems to me that the number one criterion is, does your heel lift when you lean forward? Also: beginners' rental boots are very thickly padded so clipping them up tight shouldn't be a problem.)

post #3 of 19

My daughter decided to take her friend, a first time skier, for a week long trip, so I went along to help her with the rental.  Didn't want to be up in the mountains with bad gear.

 

The tech asks us for the shoe size and brings us the first pair of boots, about 2 sizes too big. We get the next pair, still a bout a size too big.  If he was awake, he would've had the first chance in his life to see someone do a shell fit.

Finally, we get the right size (2 sizes below what he originally brought out, and what most pople would probably get).  This time, we get two left boots.  After a while he asks about the size, and I reply something along the lines "Yeah, they fit, but she needs the other right."  I watch as he tries to adjust the skis for two left boots.  He wasn't even embarrassed when I point it out.

 

I hope this was an extremely bad example, but I'm afraid it's all too common.

 

 

post #4 of 19

Remember that US Men's and Women's sizes are different.  (Why I don't know.)  If a woman asks for a size 9, she will probably get a mens size 9.  This will be approximately 1 to 2 sizes larger than her foot!  Use your size as a starting point and then, if the boot isn't snug, get a smaller size.  Keep doing this until you get a proper fit.  Then write down the boot size for future reference.

 

Here's a site for shoe size conversions.

 

 

post #5 of 19

Terry, I think rather than refer to that shoe size conversion the following table is more relevant and useful.  This is from the wiki "Boot Fitting: Whcih Boot Will Work for Me" Note Men's U.S. Size is on line 1 and Women's U.S. Size is on line 2.  "Mondo" is boot size in centimeters and is a more accurate and standardized way of asking for a properly sized boot.

 

The following chart is from Garmont and differs from most size conversion charts in that it shows a recommended Mondo size nearly one-size smaller than nearly all other boot manufacturer's charts.  The bootfitters have considered this chart to be a more accurate reference for sizing, although it should not be a substitute for actually trying on a boot and getting expert fitting assistance.

 

 

 

The Bootfitting Terms and Glossary Wiki will also help to understand terms like "Shell-Fitting" and the parts of the boot.  For example:

 

SHELL FIT  A shell-fit is when the technician removes the boot liner and has the customer place their foot in the shell and slide it forward until the toes begin to touch. Then the technician will shine a light to observe the clearance to the spine of the shell or slide his hand down the back and see how much room is behind the heel.  There should be enough space there to fit 1 to 2 fingers. This is the best way to determine if the boot is the right length for you.  A performance fit is 5 to 10 mm (one finger width), a recreational fit is up to 25 mm (2.5 cm).  Shell fit is also useful for determining lateral and instep clearances and marking where corrections need to be made to the shell. This may be done with the footbed on the bootboard.  Shell Fitting is important because ultimately all liners compact and it is common to purchase a boot too large based on trying the boot with the liner.  Liners may be short-lasted or not conform to the shell fit as they will after several days of skiing.

post #6 of 19

I've been frustrated by the lack of attention from guys working the rental shop at a number of the small hills - many don't seem to care at all about the experience a first time (or once a year) skier has.  Many just seem to take your shoe size...convert it and hand you a pair of boots without consideration to fit.  The past two times I've gone skiing wiht my girlfriend (who rents), I've had to tell them to send her boots back because they were too large.   Another thing that irks me - is I've seen some rental shops hand 190cm old race skis to 'never-ever' kids who clearly will struggle with them.  I would think it would be in the interest of every hill to make sure beginners have the best experience possible.

 

As for the sizing chart above.. I'm not sure how accurate those are.  According to that chart I should wear a 28.5... and my boots are 27...and my boots are about as large as one should have based on shell fit.  

post #7 of 19

Jay31, it is easily possible to properly fit a boot that is one-size smaller than indicated on the Garmont table above.  Believe it or not, nearly every other boot size conversion table would put you in an additional size above that.  For example, in the table below, a size 10 US would be fitted into a size 28 boot.  I have a size US 12 foot and wear a Mondo 28/28.5 (9.5 UK) boot.  So, while the Garmont table is perhaps one-size large, it is far more accurate than the tables shown to most customers like the one below which is the most commonly used chart.

 

(DO NOT USE THIS CHART FOR SIZING)

Shoe Sizes
(Canada/USA)
Mondopoint
(cm)
Europe U.K. Women
(USA)
8 15 25 7 -----
9 16 26 8 -----
10 17 27 9 -----
11 17.5 28 10 -----
12 18.5 29 11 -----
13 19.5 30.5 12 -----
13.5 20 31 13 -----
1 20.5 32 13.5 -----
2 21 33 1 -----
3 21.5 34 2 -----
4 22 35 3 5
4.5 22.5 36 3.5 5.5
5 23 36.5 4 6
5.5 23.5 37 4.5 6.5
6 24 38 5 7
6.5 24.5 38.5 5.5 7.5
7 25 39 6 8
7.5 25.5 40 6.5 8.5
8 26 40.5 7 9
8.5 26.5 41 7.5 9.5
9 27 42 8 10
9.5 27.5 42.5 8.5 10.5
10 28 43 9 11
10.5 28.5 44 9.5 11.5
11 29 44.5 10 12
11.5 29.5 45 10.5 -----
12 30 45.5 11 -----
12.5 30.5 46 11.5 -----
13 31 47 12 -----
13.5 31.5 47.5 12.5 -----
14 32 48 13 -----
14.5 32.5 48.5 13.5 -----
15 33 49 14 -----
15.5 33.5 50 14.5 -----
16 34 51 15 -----

An interesting aside, the above chart is distributed by manufacturers and is displayed on the America's Best Bootfitters website.  You would think they could do better.

post #8 of 19

Interesting... I didn't say..but i'm actually a US size 11...and wear a rossignol boot size 27/27.5...sounds like we downsized a similar amount.  I gather with ski boots it's best to just forget about the charts... and check if a particular boot fits a particular foot.  I appreciate that ski rental shops don't always have the time to do this for every skier, and have to have a starting point though.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Use the size chart as a starting point, but shell-fit the boots for sure.  With the liner removed, your foot in the shell with the toes lightly touching the front, an adult wants about 3/4" of space behind the heel.  "Two fingers of space?"...whose fingers?  Skinny fingers or fat fingers?

post #10 of 19
Thanks a lot for the information!
post #11 of 19
 I have a US shoe size of 13 but my boots are 28.5, a nice, snug fit.

I would recommend a renter lying about his or her shoe size to the rental person.  If your shoe size is a 10 just lie and say it's a 9.  Give them one size lower than you are and what they give you will probably fit.  Put it this way: If you lie about your shoe size and tell them one size smaller I seriously doubt you will get a boot that is too small.  You will probably get one too big if you do not lie.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCJIM View Post

 I have a US shoe size of 13 but my boots are 28.5, a nice, snug fit.

I would recommend a renter lying about his or her shoe size to the rental person.  If your shoe size is a 10 just lie and say it's a 9.  Give them one size lower than you are and what they give you will probably fit.  Put it this way: If you lie about your shoe size and tell them one size smaller I seriously doubt you will get a boot that is too small.  You will probably get one too big if you do not lie.

 

Your boots are too small for you, Cinderella.
post #13 of 19
 No, they're not.  You're entitled to your opinion, but it's not the opinion of a professional skier or a professional boot fitter, that's for sure.
Edited by NYCJIM - 12/12/09 at 5:42pm
post #14 of 19
I've been told the tighter the better.  I wear a US size 12.5, but my boots are an 11.5.  The fit seems perfect.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Plus, don't trust the size the boot manufacturer puts on the boot.  My street shoes are size 13.  My Nordica Dobermans are marked UK10, about US11, and they fit me just right--my toes are close but never touch the end.
post #16 of 19
I purchased a used pair of boots, and it took some trying. I tried on 3 different brands/pairs of used 27.5's, and they all fit slightly different, all felt snug in the ankles, but there was differences up front in the toe area,  I also added a brand new set of quality foot beds, which is said by pros to be equally as important as correct sizing. I bought a sweet mint pair of Koflack boots, and realized the original foot beds were cheap POS. I bought a $40 set of ski-boot specific premium foot beds and noticed an immediate difference.
post #17 of 19
I just got fitted for the first time for a pair of boots.

I've been skiing for a couple of years.  I started out by buying a pair of extremely comfortable, zero-performance boots off ebay (Kneissl Rails) at 29.5.  I'm a size 11.

After my last trip where I demoed a pair of AC50s, it became apparent that my boots weren't cutting it so I went to a reputable boot fitter.

 


Weird, he did most of the fitting with me standing in a linerless boot.  He told me, if I want super high performance with very little comfort (and possible toenail loss) to go with 27.0, but he recommended 28.0 for comfort and performance, so I went with that.  I also got a custom molded footbed.  I got 120 flex Head boots, which he said I needed because of my weight (230lbs).

I'll try them for the first time tomorrow, but already I can tell they will make a huge difference.  With my old Rail boots, I felt like I could step out of them at any time.  My new ones are super snug.

 

post #18 of 19
I was skiing the other day and I see a guy on rental equipment and I notice his boots say 31. I look at the guy and I'm saying to myself these have to be WAY too big. I'm a size 12 and I swim in a 30 shell. If these were the right size boot then he has feet like daffy duck.

How much time does it take to measure a guys foot then tell him what size he needs. Rental shops act like a bowling alley renting bowling shoes.

Pathetic!
 
post #19 of 19
You are 100% correct and this cannot be stressed enough. The best thing to do is to get your own boots: they'll fit you, they'll be cleaner, they'll be yours.

Two weeks back, the clerk at the rental counter handed me what I thought were the equivalent of 9 shoe size boots.
It turns out they were too big (he may have given me the wrong size) and I have a miserable time on Blue trails.

This past W/E, I went back, this time with my own Head EDGE+ 11 boots. WOW, that's a world of difference. So much control (flex rating 90). I pointed my skies, pressed and they just went there. 

I had my best skiing day of the season. I no longer worried about the details of my moves, no longer looked down at my feet, I just flew.

Get your own boots!



Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

I've sent my third student back to the rental shop for smaller boots this year.  When a student has legs that look like rubber, is working hard, and nothing works right, too-big boots are often the problem.  Twice the student has had great success after changing to smaller boots.  Once the student got boots a half-size smaller which was the same shell size with thicker padding in the liner, and that wasn't much help.  (Ski boots are molded in full size increments and half sizes are accomplished by thicker or thinner liners.)

 

Basic rule...get boots as small as possible without discomfort and buckle them as tighly as possible without discomfort.  As always, nothing inside the boot cuff except one pair of medium thickness socks--no long undies, snow cuff, pants cuff, etc.  It is OK if the toes lightly touch the end of the boot when the skier is standing in the skiing position (and probably a good thing).

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