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Intermideate ski boot for a beginner - Dalbello Electra 8

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

 Hello, My wife is a beginner. She just started and she practices on a bunny hill. Her feet are very sensitive, and we need to buy her boots instead of rentals,. We went to a local ski shop and did custom boot fitting, with all foot measurements. Boot fitter said that for her foot he has only 2 boots to try, others won;t be good. So we stopped at Dalbello Electra 8, it is snug and comfortable. But I have doubts if it is good and appropriate for the beginner to wear intermediate boots with flex 90. Salesmen argumented, that beginner level boots are complete waste of money and they will never fit you appropriately, and it is almost dangerous to wear them, and you need a perfectly fitting boot, and if it is intermediate level and you are a beginner - doesn't matter. Is it correct, or they simply try to sell me more expensive model?

post #2 of 17

If she is sensitive to boot fit, then that sort of points you in the direction of a custom fit with a good boot.  If she was like most other beginners and didn't care what was on her foot, then you could probably get away with a cheaper beginner boot and a generic fit (such as you get with rentals).  That doesn't seem to be the case.

 

 

I think it would be a waste of time to custom-fit most beginner boots.  The time/labor/effort is worth far more than the boot, and she will outgrow them eventually anyhow (as her skills improve).  Better to do it right as soon as you can -- you will save money in the long run.

 

 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

I understand that she needs custom fit. This makes sense to me. What i do not udnerstand is: if the boot that fits her perfectly is an intermediate boot, and she is a beginner. is it ok, for a beginner to wear custom fitted intermediate boot?

post #4 of 17

Heck yeah.  It will be an upgrade, no doubt about it.

 

There are certainly skill-specific features when you get into the expert boot range that may not be appropriate for lower level skiers.  But going from beginner to intermediate, the difference is mainly quality, comfort, support, and customization -- all no-brainer improvements. 

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you. My wife was afraid that since she is a beginner she won't be able to handle intermediate level boots, and it was simply a sales speech.

post #6 of 17

flex ratings in boots vary a lot brand to brand.

 

most of beginner/expert is marketing.   EI:  a 20 year old, 250 pound, strong hockey player, vs a 60 year old, non athletic person, even if they are both beginners, will not need the same flexing boot.

 

in general a lower end boot is wider, and softer, but what is someone has a narrow foot, but needs a softer boot?    Again ignore the marketing, and see how the boot fits and how it is flexed

 

if a person has a large range of motion in that ankle they can use a softer boot, even if they are a higher end skier

 

if a person is more aggressive on snow they will need  astiffer boot.

 

overall:  you should be able to flex a boot just about the the same place that you can flex your ankle with out a boot on (just about, and at the max flex)

"beginner" boots are usually too soft and too wide for most people to progress on very much

post #7 of 17
Quote:

But I have doubts if it is good and appropriate for the beginner to wear intermediate boots with flex 90.

Is your wife 4'11 & 87# or 6', 190#?  Is she a gentle, soft, easy movement skier or a strong, determined, forceful movement skier?  These all matter.

 

I feel that it is often better to buy boots during the September sales when the shops have their new gear as well as their left-over gear.  Prices are good and the shop has more to offer you than just left overs.

post #8 of 17

Performance-wise, I don't think there's much of a difference between beginners' and intermediates'.

 

There are some intermediate boots that are soft. Intermediate boots have more to do with features (adjustments mainly) and quality (warmer/better liner). Because of the inferior material used in entry level boots, the liners will pack out a lot more hence giving a much less snug fit after broken in.

 

Entry level boots are not unsafe. They might be too soft (flex-wise) to her liking. Her weight and height as well as her stance will play a big part in that. Also, if she doesn't ski much (like less than 5 days a year), a pair of entry level boots are good enough.
 

post #9 of 17

My opinion, beginner boots are a waste of money only because you'll out ski them in no time.  You did the right thing finding a custom boot fitter, it's worth the money, she'll be far more comfortable, which makes for a much happier day on the mountain. 

post #10 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob4snow View Post

 

My opinion, beginner boots are a waste of money only because you'll out ski them in no time.

 

Not if she is a casual and gentle skier and she is skiing only a couple of times a year. We have no detail about the OP's wife. For instance, my wife has been skiing in her beginner boots for several years now for no more than 5 days each season. They still work for her, are in great shape and she has no desire to get new boots/gear. I think the boots will break down due to mice than her skiing.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

My wife 5'5'' and 165lbs and she is a gentle cruiser, she is not firm, dedicated and aggressive. The issue is that she has exremely sensitive feet and we heard tha beginner boots are too wide, they will break down with time, and she will hurt her feet like with rental equipement. Besides the boot we were strongly suggested to use footbed orange Superfeet - it was more comfortable for her.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

My wife 5'5'' and 165lbs and she is a gentle cruiser, she is not firm, dedicated and aggressive. The issue is that she has exremely sensitive feet and we heard tha beginner boots are too wide, they will break down with time, and she will hurt her feet like with rental equipement. Besides the boot we were strongly suggested to use footbed orange Superfeet - it was more comfortable for her.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

 I do not care about price since it is very close to beginner boots. I was only worried if she can handle those boots, and they will be good for her and won't keep her from progressing,

post #14 of 17

If cost isn't an issue, then by all means go with the mid-end boots. Now knowing a bit more about her, just make sure that they fit snugly (not tightly) and she can flex them effectively (knees as well as ankles). That is the key. The rest are just pretty much fluff.

 

Also, if the feet as fussy at all, replace the insole. All stock insoles are crap, including many of the high end boots. In time, she will find out whether to go with custom footbeds. For now, OTS Superfeet is a good start.

 

Concerning inside width, in general low end boots have more volume but that is not always the case. It all depends on the brand. Try the Langes (and some Rossis and Heads) and you will find out otherwise. But, nonetheless she will get a warmer and higher quality liner (that doesn't pack out as much -- up to say .5 to 1 size).

post #15 of 17

Beginner boots are one of the main contributing factors in beginners staying beginners.  With sloppy, loose fitting boots you will never get the "feel" of the snow and your skis that you need to progress.  She did the right thing.

post #16 of 17

Beginner boots are designed around two factors:  price - they need to be cheap, and comfort - fit is secondary.  Every time I see someone in a cheap beginner boot it has been fit poorly.  Beginners complain about pain a lot so shops put them in a larger size.

 

I think you did the right thing, generally speaking.  She says they are comfortable and it's a great boot.  The flex at 90 could be an issue, so take them back and soften the flex if you need to.  Ski in them first.

 

Remember that how they feel in the shop may not be as comfortable on the hill after a few hours.  Standing spreads out the foot.  Encourage her so ski on them as much as she can.  If she has problems get a good understanding of what the issues are so you can help the fitter "tweak" the fit.

 

Good move on the foot-bed too.

post #17 of 17

A comfortable, easy entry boot for the boss is paramount to everyone enjoying their ski trip.  First hand knowledge agrees with most posts here.  Mrs Ragin' had the same issues as your wife.  Sensitive feet where being banged up even by upper end rental boots.  Several years ago I brought her to a boot fitter in Snowmass who put her into the Nordica Olympia series.  Fitted the liner along with footbeds.  She now has happy feet!  Trust me, that pair of boots has been the best investment in my skiing I ever made.  She now loves to ski any chance we get; very important.

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