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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Time for new boots - and I'm dreading this (long, sorry...)
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Time for new boots - and I'm dreading this (long, sorry...)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Here's my background - I got my first pair of "modern" boots 5 seasons ago.  Went to a local shop (they're listed on bootfitters.com) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and went through a fairly thorough assessment - interview about what kind of skiing I did, visual exam of my bare feet, tests to check for foot flexibility and dorsiflexion, and some overall size & width measurements of my foot.  My left foot is a full US size to 1.5 sizes bigger than my right.  Recommended strategy was to fit the right foot, and punch out the left toe.


Started out with a pair of Nordica's, even though the tech thought they'd be too wide.  And they were - the heel fit was really sloppy.  Then moved to a pair of Salomon's which the tech was pretty optimistic about.  Heel fit was better, but still too loose.  Moved to the Tecnica Diablo Flame, which was the narrowest boot that they had, short of moving into a full "race" boot which wasn't something that I wanted to do.  Still not great on the heel, but the best that was available.


Custom insoles - instaprint.  Thermoformed the stock tecnica liner, punched out the left toe.  Boots felt decent in the store, but again, since this was my first modern boot, I didn't really know what I wanted things to feel like.


Out on the hill, I started noticing problems.  Instep pain on both feet, and the front of my right foot fell asleep within about 15 minutes of putting them on.  Back to the shop, and they ground down the footbeds and boot boards to make more vertical room, and then started punching out the 6th toe on the right foot.  I went back probably 5 or 6 times for extra right 6th toe punches over the first year or two.


Despite all of that, I've never been really happy with these.  The heel has never been secure enough, and the front half of my right foot STILL falls asleep unless I'm skiing really hard, and really driving my boots.  Years later, liners packing out, I've had it and have spousal permission :-) to get new boots.


What I'm struggling with is whether to do this locally or on one of two short Colorado trips this year.  I'm frustrated by what I thought was a competent local "traditional" bootfitter so I'm leaning towards a more custom route like Surefoot.  And yes, I know there are love/hate feelings towards them here.  But many people also seem very happy with them, and given my weird feet - high instep, longer left, wider right, and ridiculously narrow heels - their approach seems very attractive to me.


So, suggestions?  Recommendations?  Can anyone recommend a "jedi master" of boot fitting in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who's good at dealing with weird feet like mine?  Thanks...

post #2 of 4

first thing is to say that most good boot fitters will/can do as good a job and generally a better one than any system, if you need a custom liner be it foam, or zip fit or somethign else entirly then a good fitter should be able to select the most appropriate thing for you


as for who to see there is a wiki at the top of the forum with the fitters who post in here on it, not sure of the geography of the region so i will not comment on who is where


taking a trip to a fitter is not a bad thing, i have people drive 8-9 hours in the uk to come visit us (not that they could right now as most of scotland is gridlocked through snow) and whilst it takes time and effort, compared to the amount of cash you spend on your skiing is a small price to pay


good luck geting sorted

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

None of the fitters listed in the wiki are local.  Based on some PMs with other users, and word of mouth from the extended race family at Afton Alps, I've made an appointment with Brad Nelson at Hi-Tempo this Friday.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

There's a happy ending here, thanks to Brad at Hi-Tempo.


New boots were not required.  It took three trips back to Hi-Tempo to get everything worked out, but all seems to be good.  Nutshell is that we punched out the right sixth toe a little bit more, WAY forward on the boot to let my toes and forefoot spread out.  Intuition liners helped quite a bit but my right heel still wasn't secure enough.  Adding some additional sheet foam to the outside of the liner, behind and under my ankle bone, took care of that.  All of this confirmed that I have just freakishly narrow heels, relative to my forefoot width.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Time for new boots - and I'm dreading this (long, sorry...)