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Classic Newbie Mistake - Boots too big

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Even after reading all the great material here I made the mistake last season of buying boots too big. The classic beginner mistake.

Not just one size too big, but 2 sizes too large. As you all have mentioned many times - the only way to test is a shell fit which I didn't do when I bought my original boots.

 

This weekend I have recified my mistake and bought the same pair of boots (Lange Blaster Pros) 2 sizes smaller (25.5 for a street size of 10) instead of the 27.5 clown shoes. I can fit exactly a normal sharpie (about 15 mm) behind my foot with the liner out. I still had trouble believing this was the right size for the first couple days since the fit was so tight. Finally after wearing the boots around the house for about 12 hours the liners are packing out enough for my feet to be comfortable (although still snug).

 

I can't wait to hit the slopes this season with boots that fit! I wish I had paid more attention to what was said here earlier. Now I have to find someone with big feet to sell my old boots to :P

post #2 of 11

I did that along time ago myself.  Last pair of boots bought for me by my parents back in the 90's was a Nordica size 31.0.  I've been wearing a Salomon 29.0 since 2000 (Thanks to The Sports Creel) and it made a world of difference.  Local bootfitter here in Fresno is suggesting I try a 28.5 even but I'm not convinced.  I wear a size 13 shoe...a 28.5 is a 10.5 equivilant.

post #3 of 11



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowaddict View Post

Even after reading all the great material here I made the mistake last season of buying boots too big. The classic beginner mistake.

Not just one size too big, but 2 sizes too large. As you all have mentioned many times - the only way to test is a shell fit which I didn't do when I bought my original boots.

 

This weekend I have recified my mistake and bought the same pair of boots (Lange Blaster Pros) 2 sizes smaller (25.5 for a street size of 10) instead of the 27.5 clown shoes. I can fit exactly a normal sharpie (about 15 mm) behind my foot with the liner out. I still had trouble believing this was the right size for the first couple days since the fit was so tight. Finally after wearing the boots around the house for about 12 hours the liners are packing out enough for my feet to be comfortable (although still snug).

 

I can't wait to hit the slopes this season with boots that fit! I wish I had paid more attention to what was said here earlier. Now I have to find someone with big feet to sell my old boots to :P

 

Almost all of us have made a boot mistake or two.  Take the old one's to a ski swap. Have a great year.

 

post #4 of 11

Hate to disabuse boot fitting myths but please leave room to have your toes relaxed and wiggling around. This means touching your toe to the front of the boot shell when standing in both boots with your knees slightly bent. You should be have - like you say - 15 mm and up to 20mm or a couple of stacked fingers behind your heel.

The real fit comes from a last that follows your foot's shape and a well designed liner that takes its time breaking down... and of course foot-beds which don't let the arch flatten too much: this can reduce boot shell size a bit. Why not try shells when standing on your foot-beds This combo I am talking about - volume, arch shapes etc. gives a great fit through the mid-foot lower leg. This means doing boot home work and trying on every brand you can find in the sizes up and down from your street shoe size... and in your flex index range. Too stiff reduces your mobility and is as big a problem as too soft.

The downsized-pain of waiting for the liner to 'pack out' to the proper fit is just BS. Break-in yes, to proper fit -  NO.  And how about the back-seat landing jamming those frozen toes ?

Making up for the wrong shape bought through brand loyalty - yours or your friend's - then  jamming your foot into a 'race-fit' is no fun at all. Racers use race-fit because they have to and wind up with a thousand punches for bone spurs. Riding in a car with race suspension on cobble-stones when you're trying to roll a joint while getting a BJ is not a pleasant time.

If you want the finishing touch on fit - blow a wad on really expensive socks. Seriously...socks.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips g-force.

 

Yes 15-20mm is good. The 40mm I had with my old boots was bad! smile.gif In my old boot I could fit nearly all my fingers stacked behind my foot and the shell.

 

That is true. Last year I did do some research before buying my boots and tried on everything (Solomon, Lange, Dalbello, Technica, Nordica, Full-tilt, etc.). After trying on about 30 boots I had a good idea of what brands and what subcategories in those brands fit me. What I didn't quite believe (I knew but didn't believe) was how important the shell-fit was. Basically I trusted what "felt-good" in the store. Part of that worked out well (I chose a brand, style, and flex that worked well), but part of that didn't (my boots were too big).

 

The boots I have are about a thousand miles from a "race-boot". They are 100 flex and meant to be super comfortable (not performance). They have man-fur. Seriously. I can say I know because I tried on several actual race boots including the Lange Super Comp World Cup. This was a 92mm last, 140 flex, plug boot. That is a race boot - and incidentally not too comfortable. In comparison the Blaster Pros are comfy fat Buick.

 

My experience with my other boots (as well as the experience of many other skiers I've spoken with) says otherwise. Liners pack out - a lot. If they didn't my 27.5's would fit perfectly (just like they did in the store the first day). I don't think I'll be contending with frozen toes anytime soon. My 25.5s feel better every day I wear them. And if I do need to see a bootfitter to punch it out (which I probably won't need to) I know that I have the right sized shell for that to actually matter.

post #6 of 11

Congrats snowaddict on your logical thinking and discovering a good fit.

 

Probably one of the most common mistakes, and almost a right of passage for a skier, is choosing boots too big the first time.  This is because most people are conditioned to purchasing street shoes and sizing them so that they have ample toe room.  This methodology and thinking does not transfer well to ski boots as you have discovered.  It is also the fault of your friendly uneducated shop employee who's solution to any discomfort you may experience during the try-on session is to grab the next size up, until you smile unknowingly with instant comfort.  This is a tell tale sign you are making a mistake!

 

If you don't know how a boot should fit our how to check it, then a reputable boot fitter is to be entrusted.

post #7 of 11

One sharpie-width is a real good fit on a boot (assuming the width is right too, of course).  Every class I ever taught and every racer (with a few exceptions) has had boots that were too big in some dimension, usually the length.  Having flat feet myself, I wear my boots five mondo sizes too small and do a liberal amount of grinding and stretching.  Though the width of the boot does not usually increase with length, we've found that the height of the instep becomes progressively greater as the length increases on most boots (and I suspect this is for engineering reasons as well as fit reasons), so I'm relegated to a shorter boot.  Worth the hours of work for a good fit!

 

It's nice to see newer skiers who are aware of this stuff!  Happy turns.

post #8 of 11

Mdechristopher,

 

Don't know what brand of boot you are skiing, but boots like shoes are scaled for width as well as length and volume as sizes increase or decrease.  Ex:  A 95mm advertised width boot generally refers to their 26.5 shell and increases incrementally with larger sizes or decreases with smaller sizes.   Five mondo sizes smaller?! really? You must be counting half sizes too?  There are also other ways to reduce instep volume without going down shell sizes.  FWIW

post #9 of 11

Snowaddict

 

Good call.  As an instructor, I'm on the look out for first time students who are trying hard to make the correct movements and nothing works right for them.  They're skiing terribly.  I send them back to the rental shop for boots a shell size smaller, usually two shoe sizes, and wonder of wonders, they immediately ski better.  One guy had a better idea--he got the boots a half size smaller, which was the same boot shell size, and his skiing stayed terrible.  By the way, I wear size US13 shoes and my size US11 ski boots fit me just right.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

I did that along time ago myself.  Last pair of boots bought for me by my parents back in the 90's was a Nordica size 31.0.  I've been wearing a Salomon 29.0 since 2000 (Thanks to The Sports Creel) and it made a world of difference.  Local bootfitter here in Fresno is suggesting I try a 28.5 even but I'm not convinced.  I wear a size 13 shoe...a 28.5 is a 10.5 equivilant.



I am in the same boat of shoe size and boot size.  I ordered a pair of 30.5s that seemed to fit, now they don't, a 29.5 would fit better.

 

If a person could stretch, punch, and grind the boots, I could fit my feet in a pair of 28.5s that are much narrower.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

I did that along time ago myself.  Last pair of boots bought for me by my parents back in the 90's was a Nordica size 31.0.  I've been wearing a Salomon 29.0 since 2000 (Thanks to The Sports Creel) and it made a world of difference.  Local bootfitter here in Fresno is suggesting I try a 28.5 even but I'm not convinced.  I wear a size 13 shoe...a 28.5 is a 10.5 equivilant.



I also wear a size 13 shoe and have a 28.5 size Diablo Spark boot which fits very nicely.  They're snug, but I'm not in pain when skiing.

 

As they say, a ski boot should fit like a sock, not a shoe.  

 

Also, you say 28.5 is a "10.5 equivalent."  This is what boggles my mind in skiing.  It's common knowledge that beginners get boots too big, but the industry ITSELF is the problem when they make weird "equivalent" charts.  You can't go by them.  I don't know the history of them or why they're always off, but you can't go by them.

 

The truth is that my size 13 feet fit beautifully in my 28.5 boots.   Snug, without pain while skiing.  I buckle them loosely for the first two or three runs of the day and then I feel I can tighten them nicely.  I doubt there's much difference in performance between a 28.5 and what you have, the 29, so I would not be in a rush to change sizes.  In fact, I wouldn't mind having a 29.  Sometimes I feel I'd like a little more room, but that's only in the taking off and putting on stages.  During the day skiing my feet feel perfectly snug and comfortable.


Edited by NYCJIM - 11/20/10 at 9:56am
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