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,