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Boot fitting, did it make a difference for you ? - Page 2

post #31 of 38
I had an unfortunate experience buying the wrong boots a couple of years back (see original report here) ... great boots, just not the right boot for me. 

Working with an experience bootfitter, I wound up in the right pair of boots based on my physiology, foot shape, ankle flex, etc.  The right boots made a HUGE difference in my skiing. 

Having those new boots then fitted properly and adjusted made a noticeable, but subtle, difference in my skiing.

Unfortunately, many sales people - and often our own self-assessment - base boot choice on comfort, fit and performance characteristics of the boot without regard to individual physiology and mechanics.  Having a good bootfitter to assist in the boot selection is almost as important and the tweaks and tunes of the final fitting.

Merely my $0.02 ...

post #32 of 38
I got a new pair of Tecnica Dragon 120, got them fitted by a reputable fitter.  He adjusted my canting, made custom foot beds (cost extra, but discount with boots.) and punched out 1 area free of charge.  These are the BEST fitting boots I've ever had.  It's like a glove around my foot with no pressure points.  Defiantly worth the time to find a good fitter and get it done right.
post #33 of 38

I believe I hold the world record for most money ever spent with a professional bootfitter and while my skiing has improved slightly as a result, I'm not convinced all the time and energy was worth it.

More specifically, I went to a pretty well known bootfitter (the guy has even written a few articles for ski magazines). The fitting alone was about $500.00, which struck me as rather steep, but I went with the rationale that many here have stated about if you're serious about your skiing it will be worth it to have a properly fitted pair of boots.


Long story short, I get fitted, he makes up the cast and then does some measurements and says my alignment is off and that I would need to either get the boots shaved or put an insert under the binding of each ski. I say great, let's do it, at which point he says he does't have the equipment and that I would have to go see someone who did. Sends me to another bootfitter who does have the right gear to shave the boot and he then charges me $175.00 (we are now up to $675.00!!).


Now I start to think my skiing in my new boots will put Bode Miller to shame only to find I'm having terrible pain in one of my boots in the pinky toe. I then go to a podiatrist thinking it's a foot problem rather than a boot problem... the podiatrist charges me $75 to measure and xray my foot and tell me its a boot problem (now up to $750!).


I finally go back to original bootfitter to tell him about the problem and he proceeds to tell me the boot needs to be punched out. I say fine, he says "that will be an additional $125!!" I almost jump out of the not so comfortable high chair for adults to choke the guy, shout some expletives and say "you've got to be F'n kidding me!" Guy argues that he specifically stated that his fittings do not include any work on the boot, just the footbed.


After I made a few threats, the guy finally agrees to "accomodate" my request to punch the boot out at no cost. Almost cost me a total of $875, which is about twice what I paid for the boot.


One of the worst buying experiences of my skiing life!!



post #34 of 38
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post

[...] Almost cost me a total of $875, which is about twice what I paid for the boot.


One of the worst buying experiences of my skiing life!!


Ouch!  I spent about $800 myself ... but that included the boots.

Can't speak for others, but with the ~$300 worth of fitting services (footbed, canting, alignment) came an explicit statement that I could return for adjustments free of charge.  After a couple of days on the snow, I returned with some amount of foot pain.  Although the solution did not involve stretching, punching or grinding, I was certain that they would have handled that as well if it had been required to solve my problem.

I certainly consider $300 money well spent for a proper fitting.  Don't think I would feel quite the same, though, if I had to go through what you did.
post #35 of 38
Swisstrader:  I'm sorry to say you were taken.  At Strolz in Lech, Austria you can get custom boots made for around $800 to $900 and ALL the adjustments are free, for life.  My boot-fitter is the best I've ever found & they will customize an off the shelf boot for you at no charge.  Last year I bought my second pair of boots from them, a Technica Dragon 120 and the work they did made it almost perfect the first day out.  FYI, I'll give a plug to my guy; Viking Ski Shop in Chicago.  Yep, Chicago and believe me the first time I went I didn't expect the service these guys provided.  They know how to set the bar. 
post #36 of 38
 Yes, SierraJim has made my torture chamber tight-fitting boots very skiable.  Last three seasons- no problems whatsoever, the only problem was when I (on my own) decided to put in a custom liner.  Good-fitting shell, too much liner, ouchh...  Went back to SierraJim, he reasoned with me, put in the old liners, presto- pain-free skiing again.  

Bootfitting is totally worth it, but only when done by people who know what they are doing. It is a skill, and sadly, it is not available everywhere.   
post #37 of 38
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

There are two different levels of "boot fitting"  I had my boots aligned for the first time at the Snowmass ESA a couple years ago. Before then I had been "fitted", and the boots punched and shaped to help make them comfortable and IMO high-performing.  Full alignment means that the footbed is built to improve contact and response in the boot, the fore and aft position may be adjusted by changing foot (zeppa) or leg (cuff) angles, and the lateral canting is installed in the boot sole to give you equal use of both edges with minimal effort or input from the skier (edge engagement by only rolling the ankle).

I think if your boots are fitted close and well and are reasonably comfortable, you have achieved something that the majority of skiers do not experience. You can certainly ski well in this setup.  If you have actually had the boots customized to account for the shape of your foot, ankle flexibility, calf size, stance and the many variables that affect how you can engage the edges on your skis,  then you are in the 1-percent club.  It is noticeable to very good skiers, and can make less accomplished skiers better.   Most of us can compensate for mis-alignment, but having the equipment built to resolve it is something.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.
Hey, Cirque says I'm a one percenter!

I spent a bunch of years in off the shelf boots then seven or so in fitted boots and the last two in fully aligned boots.  Each step was a definite improvement, both included custom footbeds.  Cost was close to the same.  I'll have my next pair fully aligned.
post #38 of 38
Definitely worth it in my opinion.
The alternative to getting a boot adjusted to fit is getting one that is big enough to go over the too-big spots.
Footbeds make a big difference too, also in my humble opinion of course.

Have you ever tried to do something that takes a little digital dexterity while wearing big clumsy winter mitts?
Well-fitted boots are like surgical gloves compared to winter mitts, and well-fitted means all surfaces, including the bottom.
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