Ski Boot Fitting

The last time out with the kids convinced me to go get a great pair of ski boots plus some great advice from Mason Flint. This turns out to be an incredibly complex topic and getting the right fit is hard.
Thanks to the great folks like Kevin at “Sturtevants”:http://www.sturtevants.com/ I spent four hours trying on different boots and used all the facst that I learned about over the last few days. Unfortunately, I discovered I have a wide foot and narrow heel. Hobbit feet without the charm. So, it took a while. Used some great resources to figure out what a great boot was like “Skiing Magazine”:http://skimag.com and “Bootfitters.com”:http://bootfitters.com. Bootfitters has a great, what is the space across boots. No surprised, I got a pair of Salomon X-Wave 9’s which are wide in the fore foot and narrow at the toes. Also tried the Atomic 9’s, the Rossignol 21s (these are so narrow at the heel, it actually hurt), the Technica Rivals. Great boots all. Here is what I’ve *learned* on fitting:
# “Christian Dennis on Boot Fitting”:http://www.epicski.com/Content/SkiAndBootInfo/Boots/Bootfitting/Bootfitting1.htm. A great guide to getting a good fit. To summarize, go to a great shop that is near a ski area, not just any big city store, find a shell that leaves you with 1.5cm-3cm (e.g., about an inch) behind your feet, they should feel tight in the toes at the store, get custom footbed ($125-$150), get reasonable stiffnet and adjustable flex control really great fit.
# “Howtoski.net”:http://www.howtoski.net/sub_boots1.htm. Starting point is a full size smaller than your normal shoes. So I’m an 8 1/2 or a 26 roughly, so a 25-25 1/2 is where to start. Also suggests seating the heel to give toe room. Suggests the buckle of the top 2 over the foot and then bend forward quite a bit.# “A great boot fitter”:http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=001994. Here’s a list of recommend fitters from Epic Ski. In Seattle, try Jim Mates at “Custom Boot Service”:http://www.customboot.8m.com/ 6500 4th Ave NW Seattle (Phinney Ridge Area) or call (206) 297-9298. According to NordtheBarbarian on that site: “Jim’s only business is ski boot aligment, bootfitting and insoles. In the summer he works at Mt. Hood with racers on snow (coaching and alignment). His customers included a lots of racers (including USST members) and instructors.”
# “Bootfitting.com FAQs”:http://www.bootfitting.com/pages/boottips.html. More great tips including wear thin wool socks, buckle over the instep then up the boot and do the ones over the toes last
# “Ski Magazine on Bootfitting”:http://www.skimag.com/skimag/buyers_guide/article/0,12795,326698,00.html. 80% of all boots don’t fit.
# “Paul on look for the boot fitter, not the shop”:http://www.mthotham.com.au/today/tech/2002513257.htm. More sage advice.
# “Bezniak’s boot advice”:http://www.belniak.com/SkiingFaqFile.html. The main advice is that the boot should feel really snug in the store, not comfortable because the lining packs out.
# “Snow Ski on Fit”:http://www.sno-ski.net/article3.html. Main points are similar adds that you should wait 30 minutes to see how the fit is. Says intermediates need 3/4″ inch in the boot form.
# “A doc on boot fitting”:http://footsportsdoc.com/Pages/HOW.htm. Main new points are a custom liner should be done by a doc.

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3 thoughts on “Ski Boot Fitting

  1. It’s a long ways to go but The Boot Doctor in Taos, New Mexico is widely regarded as one of the top boot fitters around. They guarantee the fit – meaning that if you buy a pair of boots from them, they’ll work with you to ensure that the fit is perfect or they’ll take the boots back and refund the purchase price.
    Taos has some of the best skiing around so manybe it would be worth a trip…

  2. Great point Mason. I don’t think I’ll make it down there anytime soon. Given my lame skiing, it shouldn’t make much of a difference anyway.

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