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AT boot.... I'm baackk.....

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
OK, I'm back and still haven't bought an AT boot since it was impossible to get a 30 Zzeus last year to try on. I have tried on the Dynafit Titan this year and have couple of questions that the experts here might be able to help with to aid in which size to go with.

Background: Long time expert alpine skier based in Seattle who is looking to do backcountry with an AT setup, biased, for the moment, towards more of a slack and shorter touring setup. Who knows what the future will hold for me. Skis and bindings are still up in the air, but getting a pair of AT boots now is critical since I have a course coming up.

I have a size 14.25 US shoe, with very long toes (2nd toe longer), very narrow heels, bony ankles. My alpine boot is a "size 12 Icon" (I think it might have been a 28 or 29) with the shell saying 12. It was heavily modified over the years, both shell and original liner, and I am very happy with it - quite comfortable except for an occasional pain spot, real snug as needed, and stiff enough. When I tried on the 29.5 Zzeus last year, it was really too small.

Fast forward to this year, the 29.5 Titan (new stiffer Dynafit model) at one shop seemed too tight all around and definitely didn't give me enough room in the toe area - this is all without heat molding. If I recall correctly, I think I had just over a 1.25 finger room in the heel. The shop guy said we could make it work but he recommended I try a 30.0, which he didn't  have. Found another shop with the 30.0 Titan, the toe area still seemed too tight, particularly if I was going to skin with them too, but what was also evident was that the mid-foot and heel area seemed to be a bit loose. Although a 30.5 might give me enough toe room (same shell, larger liner), it isn't available in the US and would probably be even bigger, and unacceptable, in the rest of the foot. I do realize that none of the liners had been heat molded yet, but I would find it hard to believe that the molding (with a toe cap in place) would give me sufficient room in the toes for skinning as well as take up the extra room around the mid and heel area. I almost think that part of my toe problem on the 30.0 might be that my foot is sliding forward since it isn't being kept back enough. This would be even worse when hiking.

Just for the hell of it, I slipped in my heavy, modified but stock, liners from my old Icons into the 30.0 Titans. Bingo, the foot was held in place great, snug all around, no pain, and enough room in the toe are for normal skiing. I still would be concerned with potential insufficient room in the toe area for skinning, but these were ALPINE liners I was using so I had hope. Now, part of the reason why the Alpine liners might fit so well in the Titans is because I also have a custom footbed in them which supports my foot and effectively shortens my foot a bit. These footbeds don't fit in the Titan liners because they are too big.

So, I am in a bit of a quandry. Neither the 29.5 nor the 30.0 Titans fit in the toe area, with the latter being too loose in the ankle area - blisters?? and sliding forward perhaps. The 29.5 is REALLY snug all around but heat molding may solve everything but the toe area. The 30.0 gives me about 1.5 fingers in the heel area in the shell. The two boots are at different shops. Part of me thinks that I will never make the 30.0s fit with the stock liner even though the alpine liners fit in them quite well but with a big weight penalty. I am almost thinking of going with the 29.5 and making the toe box fit by using a custom fitter such as Mates in Seattle. The Titan is PU and therefore quite stretchable/moldable. Choosing which boot to go with is really critical and a bit dangerous since the final modifications will not be doable by the shop I buy them at - no facilities to stretch the shell.

Having said all this, does anyone with experience with either these boots or the Dynafit liners and fitting problems such as these that could be able to recommend which size to go with, 29.5 or 30.0 (different shells). Would heat molding of the Dynafit liner in the 30.0 also take up some of the space in the ankle area? Or should I just scrap this boot completely and find a boot that would accommodate my lemur toes better.

post #2 of 3
why not just use the alpine liners and footbeds in the shell that fit right?

odds are the stock liner in that boot, will also pack out to be the right size anyways, but if you have a solution, go with it
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
i've considered using my alpine liners in the Titan 30.0. Alot of the fit issues would then disappear except the one critical one - the toe area. It is true - the toe area is DEFINITELY much better with the alpine ones. While skiing would be fine with the toe area as is, walking very long distances (skinning) would probably become painful without additional area in the toe. The alpine liners cannot be molded anymore and I am afraid that other types of modifications to the liner would make it no longer usable in my Tecnica Icon alpine boots. Someone on TGR had a relevant experience in that everything fit in the 30.0 Titan and the toe area was fine while skiing, but while skinning his toes became bruised.

It would also be nice to use the lighter weight liners that come with the Titan, I am not as young as I used to be nor as old yet as I plan on becoming.    I just still am hoping for some additional guidance on whether to go for the 29.5 with shell modifications or the 30.0 and somehow add additiional padding and inserts to helf keep the mid-foot and heel area snug and back in the boot. On another TGR post regarding something else I recall someone recommending that you should have 2 or a bit more fingers in shell fit for AT boots that will be used for skinning. That is definitely not going to happen even with the 30.0 even now.

Any more recommendations? Thanks again for your thoughtful replies ahead of time.
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