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Was it the boots or am I just not used to ski boots?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 


I just got back from a trip to Winter Park.
I would consider myself an above intermediate skier, albeit, somewhat rough around the edges. I’ve been skiing 5 times over the past 15 years or so. I went to ski school 2 of those times, so I have the basics. I am very athletic and favor skiing blue blacks and blacks with and without moguls. I would ski just about anything without cliffs. I can make my way down just about any run, but it won’t always look pretty. I use demo class rentals and don’t own any equipment. I’ve been a nationally ranked inline speedskater for 14 years, so I’m well versed in weight transfer and how it affects dynamics. Much of the technique of speedskating is similar to skiing.
I’m 5’5” and 127lbs and have pretty boney ankles and relatively thin, but muscular calves(runner’s calves). I wear a size 8 sneaker, but am right in between a 7.5 and 8. I had some major drama with my boots this time. I rented the demo package as I always do. Hey.. don’t’ judge. I don’t go skiing enough to justify buying gear, but I’d ski the entire winter if I could. They had Salomon boots. I can’t remember which model it was. It was probably one of the Mission series, probably the 4 or 5 model. The liner said “custom liner” and it had that waffle looking rubber piece in the front of the tongue. I couldn't find them on the Salomon website.
Here’s the drama: I got a size 26; which fit my foot perfectly. I'm probably a size 25.5 or 25 calf wise, but 26 foot wise. I could put each buckle on the 2nd to last(tightest) notch on both boots. 1st day out was perfect on the boots. They were the most comfortable boots I had ever had skiing. No hot spots and no shin bang. 2nd day, The inside ankle bone on my left foot felt slightly bruised right on top of the bone, but just barely. By the end of the 2nd day it was pretty sore. I noticed when I got back to the shop that the left boot was actually a different boot and different liner than the right boot. The right side’s liner rubber waffle thingy in the tongue was red; while the left’s was clear. The pull strap was also different. The right side had a thin one and the left had a thicker one. So, the rental place gave me a half size bigger for my left; which now matched my right boot in make/model.
When we went out on the 3rd day, I could hardly ski. The right side still felt great!  I went on 2 runs and called it quits. I still had 3 more days to ski! I was not happy and went back to the rental shop.
They wound up giving me the performance model of their Salomon boots; which felt much better from a pain standpoint, but not as padded or comfortable. It did not make my left ankle worse the rest of the trip but…. As soon as I put it on my right foot it started irritating/scraping(not bruising as with the left side of the previous demo model) the skin on the inside right ankle bone.. ugh! Later that day I folder up a paper towel to about 5mm thick an covered the inside ankle bone. That didn’t work. It still got worse. 5th day I was wearing 2 socks and a liner(not in that order) and it still got worse on my right ankle. This was not bruising my right ankle, but irritating/scratching the skin over my ankle. 6th day(last day), I folded up a sneaker sock over my ankle and that finally managed to mostly keep it from annoying my ankle. I think a piece of the plastic that the liner is attached to might have been protruding or that the padding was just worn away from use.
My questions are:
            Is this normal for rentals?
            Anyone else have these experiences?
            Was it just the liner?
            Was it the boot?
            Could it have been my technique(or lack thereof)?
            Was this just my feet not used to ski boots?
            Does this happen to personal boots you own?
            If I bought my own, do they have to be worn in?
                        If so, how do you wear them in without skiing in them?
I apologize for the newb questions. I know how annoying stuff like that can be. I’ve had similar experiences with newb skaters grilling me the same way.



Thanks for your help,



post #2 of 7

Two problems...................


(1) Rental boots do indeed suck. The liners are cheap and usually worn out.

(2) The ones you were in were WAY too big in size and volume.


Go to a good shop and buy boots before you buy skis. BTW..........ingnore the advice on your other thread about buying Volkl AC 30/40/50 skis.



post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

New to the forum. Sorry, I didn't realize there was a "Boot guy" forum: Mod, feel free to move it.


Thanks. I'll look into getting boots before the next time I go skiing.

What is price point of diminishing returns?  I don't want a crappy boot, not a top of the line boot, but at what point would spending more than a certain amount not be worth the extra expenditure?





Edited by csh8428 - 2/19/2009 at 06:25 pm
post #4 of 7

That Q is almost impossible to answer accurately. It sounds as if you will have two problems. The biggest problem will be a small size, probably low volume foot. The second will be be getting past the nice feel of a soft cushy liner in a high volume boot.


Look at it this way. If you were standing at the start line of the biggest 5K of your life and were looking to crack 15min, you wouldn't want to be there in a pair of bunny slippers. A well fitted ski boot has to be like the shoes that'll get you that time. (SNUG)


A broad generality would be that a good mid level boot might run you $350-$450 or so.


Salomon makes some great boots but in general avoid any Salomon with the word "Performa" in the name and avoid chain or big box stores in general.



post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Peter Glenn Atlanta reliable bootfitter?


I will probably be looking to get a pair of boots closer to the end of this season based on my experience here. I live in the Atlanta area and the most ski specific retail place is Peter Glenn(2 locations).  They seemed pretty knowledgeable and friendly a few weeks ago when I was looking for other gear(clothes and gloves) before my trip to Winter Park last week. There is also Rocki Mountain Ski, but they seemed a little less knowledgable to me.
Has anyone had any experience with these establishments in Atlanta?
Any recommendations?
What are the signs a bootfitter at a place does/does not know what they’re doing?
Is there a "bootfitter certification" credential of some sort that I should look for?





post #6 of 7

I merged the earlier thread and moved all in to Ask the Boot Guy so information is together now.

post #7 of 7

THere are several stickies at the top of this forum that address some of these issues.  I believe one in particular talks about buying a boot.  I'd look through these and use the steps to assess whether you can trust your local shops.



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