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New boots damaged by overheating the shell while trying to punch toe

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I just purchased a new pair of Dynafit Zzeus AT boots. The boots fit good except they are very snug around the fore foot. The shop guys told me  that it would be easy to punch out the toe area because they are made of PU.   When I was told they would need the boots for a week, to punch the toes out I was surprised, but said OK. I had been thinking they would do it while I was there so I could point out the exact spot where they were tight etc..

I returned a week later only to be told that they were "having problems",and that I should come back in a few days. I thought.....oh crap they're gonna destroy my new boots!  When I picked them up I saw that the right boot had been heated to the point where the shell material had blistered,  the shell is grossly over punched in one or two spots ,and the shell appears to sort of be sagging slightly to one side at the toe area. Also the front buckle attachment point is loose, like the rivet hole was stretched while hot.

I am wishing I had just taken the boots to a good boot fitter, but now, I don't know if the boots are ruined or not. Is it not a problem for the material to be gotten that hot? Am I just being anal? The boots do fit better, but they still need work, but I'm not going to let these guys touch them again.

What should I do? Is it ridiculous to ask for a new pair of boots? I did get these on sale for a very good price. Maybe I should just take them to a good boot fitter ,and get his opinion?

Thanks for any advice.

post #2 of 27

i'm pretty sure "having problems" is an admittance of guilt...

post #3 of 27

Take the to a good bootfitter right away.  He will tell you if he can work with them or if you need to have that shop replace them.  Do it now.

post #4 of 27

No! do not leave the store with them. Get your money back or a new pair ASAP.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. I will try to take them to a boot fitter today.

I guess I didn't realize how much they had been distorted while I was still in the store. I was  trying them on and didn't have time to look at them closely until I got them home later that evening.

It's pretty dissapointing to buy a nice, well made pair of boots only to have them mangled but the fitting process!

post #6 of 27

Full retail on those is around $700.  There is no excuse for what they did to them.  That plastic is very light, but very fragile.  It sounds like they totally over cooked then, and did a lousey fitting job in the process.  I got a pair this year too.  Many of the new boots use PU plasitic, and I've been told that is not a good idea to keep them in the house because they "off gas."

post #7 of 27

Yeah, I think you tell them you want replacement boots and that you expect them to find them from elsewhere if they are now out of them.  If they work fast there are sure to be another pair out there somewhere.  If you dawdle, who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

Full retail on those is around $700.  There is no excuse for what they did to them.  That plastic is very light, but very fragile.  It sounds like they totally over cooked then, and did a lousey fitting job in the process.  I got a pair this year too.  Many of the new boots use PU plasitic, and I've been told that is not a good idea to keep them in the house because they "off gas."

 

post #8 of 27

They made a mistake and should rectify that mistake. Now you know not to trust them with your equipment so take your business elsewhere once they make it right.

That's just crazy what they have done. Somebody got the shells way too hot. I might bet they left them heating and forgot about them until they noticed them drooping.   A picture would be cool . Can you post one ?

post #9 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fly2mike View Post

Thanks for the replies. I will try to take them to a boot fitter today.

I guess I didn't realize how much they had been distorted while I was still in the store. I was  trying them on and didn't have time to look at them closely until I got them home later that evening.

It's pretty dissapointing to buy a nice, well made pair of boots only to have them mangled but the fitting process!


Wow!  What!
 

 

Wow, why did you leave that store with those wasted boots???????

Please tell us what store and where it is.

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies, and ecouragement!

I contacted the local boot fitter this morning, and told him about the damage. I asked if I could bring them to him for a quick look, and to tell me if I should return the boots to the store. He said to come in tomorrow morning, and he will check them out. He said that it isn't a problem for the surface of the shell material to be blistered as long as it doesn't go through? That may be, but it still doesn't seem right to heat them that much?

Anyway, Hopefully he can make them fit, and fix any damage done. I hate to seem like a jerk and ask a ski shop for a refund, if it is really just a cosmetic problem. It just bugs me to spend hard earned money on new gear and then see it look like it's been through a fire. I also would hate to ask for a new pair of boots from these guys because who knows how long it would take to get a pair? I left my Scarpa Hurricanes there to replace a cuff hinge , and after a month with no results I just brought them home. Also, I didn't mention that I bought a pair of new skis and skins at the same time. When I dropped off my Dynafit bindings to be mounted and  asked when I could pick them up, I was told he needed them for a week! (same time I brought the boots in  to be punched). I couldn't believe they required a week to mount a pair of bindings, but didn't complain. When I returned to pick up the skis and boots on the appointed day, I was told they weren't ready!! That was when they told me they were having problems with the boots too. Does that seem  ridiculous?

I don't feel comfortable giving out the name of the shop, I guess because I know people make mistakes, and they deserve a chance to make it right if it comes to that.

Sorry for venting like this, but maybe I'll feel better if other folks tell me I'm not crazy to expect better service than this?

 

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Oh yeah, I'll try to post some pics in the morning.

post #12 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fly2mike View Post

I hate to seem like a jerk and ask a ski shop for a refund, if it is really just a cosmetic problem. It just bugs me to spend hard earned money on new gear and then see it look like it's been through a fire.

You second sentence says it all. You brought them new boots, and normal fitting process doesn't end up with boots looking like they have been in fire. So there's nothing to feel like jerk and ask refund even if it really is just cosmetic problem. If nothing else, when you make them pay for their mistakes, they will think twice before doing same thing to their next client. If they get away, they won't learn anything, and next time, there might not be just cosmetic problem.

post #13 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fly2mike View Post

 I hate to seem like a jerk and ask a ski shop for a refund, if it is really just a cosmetic problem. It just bugs me to spend hard earned money on new gear and then see it look like it's been through a fire. I also would hate to ask for a new pair of boots from these guys because who knows how long it would take to get a pair? I left my Scarpa Hurricanes there to replace a cuff hinge , and after a month with no results I just brought them home. Also, I didn't mention that I bought a pair of new skis and skins at the same time. When I dropped off my Dynafit bindings to be mounted and  asked when I could pick them up, I was told he needed them for a week! (same time I brought the boots in  to be punched). I couldn't believe they required a week to mount a pair of bindings, but didn't complain. When I returned to pick up the skis and boots on the appointed day, I was told they weren't ready!! That was when they told me they were having problems with the boots too. Does that seem  ridiculous? 

 

This is more than rediculous, it's straight up inexcusable.  There's no good boot/ski shop worth its ass that will need your boots for a week.  In fact, a good fitter will make you stay right there so they can make sure the stretches/grinding will fit you perfectly before you leave- someone who loves their craft and takes pride in their work won't be satisfied until you are.  A boot that sits for a week has little to no chance of being fitted properly as the fitter has easily forgotten (or smoked away) all the little details, and his notes aren't worth a nickel in russia.  If I spent that kind of money and had the same experience, I'd be livid.  No, my head might explode on the spot.  Now, if they had done the stretches PERFECTLY but the surface was bubbled a smidge, I wouldn't worry so much but they DIDN'T EVEN DO A DECENT JOB ON THE CUSTOM WORK.  Now you have to have it fixed by someone competent, which the original shop should pay for 100%.  If this new boot guy thinks that they are beyond repair or the strength of the shell has been compromised, they should buy you new boots NO QUESTIONS ASKED!  And A MONTH with your hurricanes and NOTHING WAS DONE????!?!?!?!??  Shit, man- you're getting hosed. 

 

I can't believe they took your money for boots and skis and still had the balls to jerk you around and half-ass your brand new equipment.  They need to learn how to treat people like valued customers for sure.  

 

Please, PLEASE tell us where you had this experience, just so I don't wander in there thinking I'm going to get decent service.  

 

Next time, search (or have trekchick get it for you) for the Index of Boot Fitting Masters.  I found a guy in there who was not only a real pro who got my work done beyond my expectations, he was cheaper and faster than I would have ever thought.  Get recommendations before you leap, as an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of resolution.   

 

post #14 of 27

Fly2mike, I'm trying to be objective about this so I'll try to stay that way.

 

You bought boots for a screamin' deal somewhere, probably on line.

You took your boots to a bootfitter to have them tweeked, willing to pay their fitting fee, as you didn't buy your boots there.

None of this is a problem but it is a risk you take when you don't buy your boots from the fitter.

 

But, the fitter messed up your boots and though they told you that they "over heated" them they did not tell you to what extent nor did they try to make it right.  Their lack of being forthcoming paints a bad picture for them.

 

If I were you, I'd approach them, ask them if they can get you the same boot or replace it with something comparable.  IF they can't find you a comparable boot, then ask them if they'd give you the $$ you're out.  

It's only fair to let them have a chance to make it right.

 

I got a screamin deal on a pari of skis that were made into swiss cheese by the shop tech who didn't have the right jig.  The shop was not forthcoming about the mess up, but when I approached them, they offered me a store credit in the $$ that I paid for the skis, which I used toward another pair of skis.  This deal served both of us adequately. 

post #15 of 27

your fitter seems to know the score, if the plastic has a little blistering on the surface it may not look pretty but it shouldn't be a problem for the boot structure, depending on the level of that blistering and distortion will depend on what can be done to rectify, if the blistering is dep it could make the plastic brittle and difficult if not impossible to work on if further work is required. take his /her opinion then deal with the store who has done the work.... if it is a replacement boot required then be polite, explain the issues to them...probably in simple terms and let then have a chance to make good their mistake...if they do then fair play...if they don't then roast them further on here

 

as for taking a week, depending on the work i may keep a boot overnight with the customer collecting it any time after that...some wait a week, but only of either it is a complex stretch needing to be on the press for a long time or needing multiple stretches which the customer or i do not have time to do there and then without rushing...but the vast majority of the work i do is on the spot, it has to be, i do not have the luxury of having all my clients living in the town where i work..and people want instant results....

 

i think every bootfitter i know has fryed a boot at some time in their career, but there is a difference between getting the plastic a little hot and stopping, and launching into it with a blowtorch, the key with any stretching work is slow heat, lots of slow heat and knowing the properties of the plastics.... it takes more heat to stretch a race boot than a low end recreational boot etc., if people do not have the patience to take their time then they should probably look for a new job

 

good luck getting this resolved, and let this be a lesson to all, that getting the right guy to stretch your boots is key to your sanity and happiness

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi, OK here is the update. First I didn't buy these boots on-line, I bought them from a local specialty (highly regarded I thought) ski shop. These are the guys that messed up the fitting process.

I took the boots to Jim Mates in Seattle (Custom Boot Service). I can't say enough good things about his ability to fit boots. First, he said the tight fit in the forefoot wasn't caused by the shell, but rather mostly just the liner, which he fixed about 95%. He didn't seem too concerned about the blistering of the shell surface, and said it was OK, and that he would work on them a little more to rectify the fact that the boot was pressed out in a place where it didn't need to be, and was not pressed where it probably should have been, next to my right little toe, which is still a little tight.

I can't stress enough the importance of getting a GOOD boot fitter to work on your boot fit. Jim was able to work wonders with my stance, and working on the volume issues I have, etc.. I wish I had just bought the boots and taken them to him in the first place.

All these years I have been skiing in boots that didn't fit right, I was buying boots that didn't crush my fore foot, and then after they packed out they would be loose around the ankle, soooo now I think these will really work good for me. I can live with the cosmetic flaws. I did get the boots for almost half price, so I don't want to deal with trying to get a replacement shell, or any of that.

I'll try to post some pics later.

Thanks all the good feedback

post #17 of 27

Mike, I want to make sure I understand correctly(please forgive me, I'm a teensy weensy blonde).

You got a great deal at a shop that had boot fitters, so you gave them a chance to do the work on the boots, and they messed them up but were not forthcoming

 

You normally use a boot fitter that you have confidence in (Jim Mates - Custom Boot Service) which is the guy you took the boots to for a second opinion

 

 

If I have my facts straight, I'm not sure you should have Jim mess with the boots until you take them back to the Original shop and see what, if anything, they'll do to make it right.  Once you have Jim work on them, I'm confident that the Original shop won't do much for you...IF(big if) the boots can't be salvaged.

  

post #18 of 27

In NZ I have been told by shops that they take no liability if a boot cracks when heat stretching.

So rather than take an expensive punt I just have to put up with a little discomfort.

post #19 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassina View Post

In NZ I have been told by shops that they take no liability if a boot cracks when heat stretching.

So rather than take an expensive punt I just have to put up with a little discomfort.



 

to be honest iv'e not seen many boots split during stetching...you really have to go some to crack/split as hell..... except a very old pair of dynafit which literally shattered when one of the fitters i worked with a few years back put it in the press...mind you it was so old and the UV degredation was pretty dramatic

 

any boot work can cause cosmetic changes , but it sounds liek the store either doesn't have the tools to do the job or just palin can't be bothered if that is the case why are they in business

 

if a shop won't stand by their work find another shop, there are a few good ones out there

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 

Trekchick, The guys at the shop I bought where I bought the boots  did not seem like they were really interested in seeing that I got a good fit in these boots. The only thing they suggested was to try skiing in them when I told them that the fore foot of both feet was unbearably tight. I tried wearing them around the house for a while, but there would have been no sense in trying to ski in them. That's when called and asked them if they could do more work as they had originally suggested that the toes would be "easy to punch out if needed". When I returned to the shop with the boots for more fitting,  they told me they would need them for a week, I was surprised to say the least, but didn't complain. After all these guys are the experts right?  When I returned to pick up the boots and my new skis (which I also purchased at the same time) they told me they weren't ready and were "having problems" with the boot stretch. I figured then that they had no clue what they were doing, and just wished I had taken the boots to an independent fitter in the first place. When I saw how bad they had screwed up the boots, I wanted to just return them, but decided to take them to the fitter to see what he had to say. I just want the boots to fit, and if the blistering of the shell is only cosmetic, then I guess I can live with it, but I think these shop people should just leave the fitting of boots to people who really know what they're doing.

I thought this shop had a good reputation, and they are a specialty shop that should have quality people working there, but my impression is very negative. The skis were not mounted on time when they had them in shop for a week. I left another pair of boots therm for a simple repair for a month, and nothing was done to them. They charged me twice for the sales tax on the purchases I made, and if I had not caught the mistake I would have ended up paying it. They had to refund me for that.Then the deal with the boots... I'm thinking WHAT THE F.......... maybe these guys are smoking something on their way to work in the morning? I feel like I should talk to the owner, but why bother. Like I said in my earlier post, If I ask for another pair of boots, how long will it take to get them? Will there be another pair available? If I ask for a refund, then I'll need to start over again looking for a pair of boots that I want and can afford. I really like the Zzeus boots, and other than the tight fit in the fore foot, I think they will be a good fit for me, because I have skinny ankles (chicken legs) If I can just get these fit issues resolved. As ugly as the boots are now form the overheating, I think they can be salvaged functionally. There may be another issue with these boots that i just found out about. The two middle buckles contact when they are in Maximum forward flex. I need to research out if dynafit is going to do a recall or something?

 

post #21 of 27
post #22 of 27

Mike, I feel for you.  It sounds like this is a huge fiasco.  I can imagine that you won't be doing business with these folks in the future, no matter how they deal with the current boots.

 

If I were you I'd still see if they will give you a refund for the boots.   Then go buy elsewhere and see if you can get a better fit.

 

When it comes to your feet, trust the guy you know, eh?

 

Let us know how this works out. 

post #23 of 27

Mike, please tell us who and where this shop is.

 

post #24 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonrpen View Post

Mike, please tell us who and where this shop is.

 


Yeah, I recognize that you might feel like you don't want to badmouth a shop, especially before this situation is resolved... but those of us in Seattle would definitely appreciate knowing which shop this was (assuming you're in Seattle but don't know for sure).

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

Trekchick, I guess I could ask for a refund. I paid $450.00 plus tax for these, and the cheapest I've seen them for anywhere else in size 25 is about $600.00, so I would end up paying $150.00 for what is really just a cosmetic upgrade. Plus I already paid Jim Mates some money to do some custom fitting on the liners. They still need more work on the shells I believe, (my toes are still too crushed in these boots to be comfortable skiing in them). Jim didn't seem too concerned about the blistering of the shell material so it is probably not going to affect the way the boots ski.

I guess the thing that really bugged me was that the shop didn't really take any time to try to work with me on the fit issues. When Jim Mates had me try on the liners outside of the shell it was obvious that a lot of the tightness was just in the liner. And why did the shop not try to have me pinpoint the area that needed stretching? They just said to leave them, and they would take care of it. I read on Lou Dawsons site that they need to have the sole blocks set in a pan of water while they are heating the shell so that the soles don't get overheated, which might cause them to have problems with the sole/shell interface.The edges of the sole blocks on the one boot do show signs of overheating, but it doesn't look like it messed up the fit of the sole block to the shell.  I plan to call Salewa/Dynafit to ask them about the issue with the buckles, and I will mention that the shell material was blistered during stretching to see what they say.

As far as mentioning the name of the shop, I'd rather wait to see if there is anything going to be done about this whole issue. I will say that when it comes to boot fitting I don't think there is any shop in Seattle that I've seen (maybe Sturtevants,and even they can't compare to Jim Mates) that can do a really decent job of fitting boots if the boots need more than just a quick heat and go type of thing, I never realized before all this happened just how much science there is in high performance boot fitting. Also, when it comes to spending money at a small shop, just trust your instincts, I knew when I first started interacting with these guys that I would need to spell out exactly what I wanted done, and even then it didn't happen. I told them that I'd had several bad experiences with shop work before including two pairs of skis being mounted with screws bulging out the bases,and one of the shops (Marmot) had given me a new pair of skis, the other store made light of it, and only would repair the damage. The skis I just bought (Voile Insanes) are fairly thin so I expressed concern that this could be a problem, but they said it would be Ok, and in any case if the screws did bulge the base they would not replace the skis. Needless to say I checked the bases carefully when the job was done.

Bottom line is that good service at ski shops is hard to find, and some of this specialized Alpine Touring equipment is only available in certain stores, so I don't know how to avoid having problems?

post #26 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fly2mike View Post

 

Bottom line is that good service at ski shops is hard to find, and some of this specialized Alpine Touring equipment is only available in certain stores, so I don't know how to avoid having problems?

It sounds like you're doing what you  need to make sure you're taken care of.  Kudos to Jim Mates for taking care of you!!

 

Let us know how it works out. 

 

post #27 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post

 


Yeah, I recognize that you might feel like you don't want to badmouth a shop, especially before this situation is resolved... but those of us in Seattle would definitely appreciate knowing which shop this was (assuming you're in Seattle but don't know for sure).



 

Yea, what he said.

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