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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Banff
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    the answer to "WTF is wrong with my boots?"

    So your boots hurt and you donít know what to do?

    First thing, find a good boot fitter in YOUR area. Trying to fit boots, problem solving over the phone, or online is VERY hard to do. This is not like making a cake by a following a recipe (and I canít do that either) but more like now to paint (as told by Sevie Wonder)

    So a few questions that you can answer that will help this out.

    1) What is the shell fit like for length? Remove the liner, put your foot in the shell only, have your toes lightly touching the front of the boot and see how much room is behind your heel and the boots shell. Use a pen as a spacer and measure this for thickness. You want 5-15mm (1/8 to Ĺ inch) of room. If you have more then 25mm stop here

    2) What is the shell fit like for width? Now center your foot front to back, (same amount of room behind the toe and heel) and is the width of your foot touching the sides of the boots shell? You want anything from lightly brushing to 2mm per side. If you have 3mm per side stop here.

    3) Do you have any footebds? Most people find a off the rack, or full custom footbed more comfortable, and helps to hold the foot in place better, Get one.

    So if you boot is within all of the above parameters we can go on. If you boot is just too big it is not worth working on. Your foot will still move around, you have to over tighten the buckles, and cramp to foot and cut off circulation (cold toes). Your boots are too big, and nothing will make that much better. Donít waste your time, and money fixing a broken leg with bandaids. You need boots that are 1-2 sizes smaller. If you really want work on what you have, a boot fitter can do somethings, but it will not get much better, and will be $50 - $150 for not much progress.

    So now that your boot is within a workable size range in length, width and with a supportive footbed we can go on to getting more info.


    A few basic things to check first:

    1) You just have one, thin, clean ski sock in the boots
    2) You just have a sock in the boot? (no thermals, jewelry, etc)
    3) Your toe nails are trimmed short?
    4) They are YOUR boots and not borrowed?
    5) You are just skiing in your ski boots? (not walking, driving etc)?
    6) You dry your liners out at night either with a dryer or remove liners?
    7) The left liner, the left footbed are in the left boot and this is on the left foot?
    8) You are loosening the buckles if you are not skiing (while standing, on lifts, etc)
    9) You are not skiing all day in new boots? They need time to break in
    10) Buckles are pointing to the outside?


    So your boots are the right size, AND you are doing everything else right, but still the boots are not 100% right. These questions will help a boot fitter will have a better understanding of the problem and can start to help you. Better Or Worse = (BOW)

    1) BOW with the buckles tighter or looser?

    2) BOW with thinner or thicker socks?

    3) BOW with any footbeds (custom, stock, none, etc)?

    4) BOW skiing, standing, or feet un-weighted (hanging off a chair lift)?

    5) BOW thru out the day (and when does the pain start?)

    6) BOW on the first vs the third day?

    7) BOW on harder or easier terrain?

    8) BOW with the power straps (velcro straps) tighter or looser?

    9) BOW if you do any particular movements, or actions?

    10) Any medical, health, or weight changes since you used them last?

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    sfbay
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    10) Buckles are pointing to the outside?
    I just KNEW something was wrong!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,043
    Awesome mntlion...this info is really helpful. I think a lot of bootfitters wiff on the fact that their job would be easier if their clients were more educated. The more I know about boots and about the bootfitter's job, the better job I can do giving him the information needed to get the work done well. I don't think fitter's should assume that the average skier knows everything you just posted (as they often do in my experience).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    2,416
    With proper fitting boots, do most people ski with them buckled all day or do they undo them on the lifts? I find it uncomfortable if I leave mine done up for more than a run or two, or if I am hiking and then skiing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    tashigang
    Posts
    1,580

    could you explain why walking in boots is bad?

    "5) You are just skiing in your ski boots? (not walking, driving etc)"

    i dont mean wearing the sole. does it impact the liner adversely? i ask because i do walk around in them quite a bit as a break-in procedure.

    Hayduke Aug 7,1996 GS-Aug 26 2010
    HunterS March 17 09-Oct 24 14

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    146
    I've been through the ringer with bootfitters and am very happy with my current set. But I still unbuckle my boots on the lift a majority of the time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,055
    Nice post mntlion. It'll probably reduce the long distance phone and PM traffic as well as the number of times you have to tell people, "I can't fit you over the interweb."

    I spent many hours over many weeks with my bootfitter last fall and learned a great deal. I was constantly amazed at what other customers would do and say to this guy who's literally been making people's boots perfect for something like 30 years. So many of them would try to rush through the process, act like they knew more than he, and sometimes act completely assholish when he tried to help, especially people who were obviously well-heeled and skied a lot -like 8-12 days a year.

    IMHO good bootfitters are godlike. Mntlion's earned his place in heaven for all the good he's done for the tribe here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    18,738
    Quote Originally Posted by haydukelives View Post
    "5) You are just skiing in your ski boots? (not walking, driving etc)"

    i dont mean wearing the sole. does it impact the liner adversely? i ask because i do walk around in them quite a bit as a break-in procedure.


    people come into the store, complain that there toes bang against the front of the boot, or there heels lift, or blah blah blah, but "only when I walk around in them, Skiing is fine" Ski boots are made for skiing, not walking, driving, tap dancing, etc.

    It will wear out the bottom of the boot, but the liners, buckles etc will be fine.

    best way to break in a ski boot.... is to .... wait for it ..... ski in them ....

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    172
    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    people come into the store, complain that there toes bang against the front of the boot, or there heels lift, or blah blah blah, but "only when I walk around in them, Skiing is fine" Ski boots are made for skiing, not walking, driving, tap dancing, etc.
    Isn't heel lift when you're walking around an indication that you might get heel lift while skiing? In my experience (very low volume feet, heel lift when boots get packed out) heel lift while skiing is really only noticable as less control when you're in the back seat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaSSafraS_LTK View Post
    Isn't heel lift when you're walking around an indication that you might get heel lift while skiing? In my experience (very low volume feet, heel lift when boots get packed out) heel lift while skiing is really only noticable as less control when you're in the back seat.
    not always. you can force your heel up in almost any boot, and sometimes your heel lifts while walking but not while skiing

    yup it is worse when you are not skiing properly,

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    615
    Thick should probably end up as a sticky.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Canadian Rockies
    Posts
    981
    Mntlion,
    my right toe hurts with a slight burning sensation after several hours of wear.
    I do them up race tight before boarding the bus to the Lake from my hotel in Banff. Do I need new boots?
    Thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Burlingtron
    Posts
    65
    god I hope you're kidding
    "Feels like I'm wearing nothing at all"
    - Ned Flanders

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,997
    Mntlion- Thoughts on two different sized feet & leg lengths?

    Dont know much about dancin
    Thats why I got this song
    One of my legs is shorter than the other
    n both my feets too long
    course now right along with em
    I got no natural rhythm
    But I go dancin every night
    Hopin one day I might get it right
    ...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Whitefish
    Posts
    4,536
    While working as a bootfitter last year we had a customer come into our shop after a day on the mountain angry as hell that we didn't fix her boots after the two hours we spent with her the previous day. She said her right foot was hurting all day long and that the pain was waaaay worse than it had been previously. She was sooooo mad at us. You should have seen the look on her face when I reached into the boot and pulled out the 2" plastic buckle that holds the batteries to her boot heater. She spent all day skiing with a two inch piece of plastic in her boot. She was from Florida.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Calgary/Golden
    Posts
    5,246
    I had a girl come into the store complaining about her boots, specifically the right boot. Turns out she had two lefts on.

    I had another guy buy boots off of me, he was born with a slight birth defect. His left foot was a size 10 and his right foot a 7. Fit the left, and crammed enough padding into the right to take up the space and never saw the guy again. I guess he was happy....
    It doesn't matter if you're a king or a little street sweeper...
    ...sooner or later you'll dance with the reaper
    -Death

    Kaz is my co-pilot

    www.highwaytechnical.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Banff
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankZappa View Post
    Mntlion- Thoughts on two different sized feet & leg lengths?

    FREAK!!!!!


    If the difference is less then 1 size fit for the smaller foot, and make more room for the bigger foot.

    More then this, somewhere inbetween (like CA did)

    for leg length issues. adding an extra shim below the footbed can help with the shorter leg, or adding a shim/lifter to the bottom of the boot.
    If it is a large amount then lifter under the binding on one side can help too

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    1,031
    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    FREAK!!!!!


    If the difference is less then 1 size fit for the smaller foot, and make more room for the bigger foot.

    More then this, somewhere inbetween (like CA did)

    for leg length issues. adding an extra shim below the footbed can help with the shorter leg, or adding a shim/lifter to the bottom of the boot.
    If it is a large amount then lifter under the binding on one side can help too
    Hey mntlion, where can one purchase boot sole shims? One of the bootfitters in town has them but his suck ass (slippery as hell and last for about 2 days of my usual hiking around). I need 0.5 cm if it matters.

    I did try a DIY method - I cut off the bottom of an unused old boot and am trying to find a way to grind it down to size but I'm having trouble finding a good tool to pull that off (my belt sander isn't quite doing the job). Thoughts?

    Yes, I'm a freak too. Oh and any idea how to make the cuff of a Falcon 10 more upright?

    Thank you sir!!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    shims: they are all slippery, made for racers, not hikers. Maybe vibram them both but use thicker vibram on the shorter leg?

    Falcon 10's: are you getting pushed from the top cuff of the boot? from the bottom of the solius (sp?) muscle (mid leg) or right at the achillies tendon?

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    1,031
    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    Falcon 10's: are you getting pushed from the top cuff of the boot? from the bottom of the solius (sp?) muscle (mid leg) or right at the achillies tendon?
    Not sure. I only have a couple runs on them but I felt completely retarded - forced backseat if I recall. It certainly felt like too much fwd lean in the cuff. I'm most balanced on my kryptons with no fwd lean insert fwiw.

    Bummer about those shims. Thanks again for the help.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    funny, I have skied.owned both boots and the F lean felt about the same.

    let me know after you ski them what part of your leg is getting pushed too far forward. Lots of solutions, just need to know the problem

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Folsom, CA
    Posts
    536
    mntlion, you think it's better to get the right size shell and a good boot fitter to fit the liner or compromise on the shell sizing a little more and go w/ a better fitting liner out of the box? I'm looking for a 4 buckle tele boot so I really only have 4 choices as best I can tell. I've got a pretty low vol foot.

    Scarpa T-1 - I felt the shells were a little too widely spaced. 27 was too short and the 28 a little long. I've been skiing a 28 for the last few season and it never felt quite right, but I obviously could deal w/ it.

    Crispi CRX - shell felt right on but the liner pinches in a few places especially up high around the shin. Not sure I like the tongue design but I can get a really good deal on these and put the extra money to a boot fitter and maybe the newer liner.

    Garmont Ener-g - actually felt pretty good but everythig I read says for a high vol foot so I'm afraid once they pack out they'll get sloppy pretty quick

    New BD tele boot - unproven and haven't tried these on yet. Maybe a possibility. Can actually get a pretty good bro-deal most likely on these too.

    thoughts? thanks
    A good friend would come bail you out of jail. A great friend would be sitting next to you saying..."but damn that was FUN"

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    shell is #1, you can replace / upgrade the liner as needed later.

    Scarpa: you can make a small boot bigger, but you can't make a big boot smaller.
    Crispi: free boots that don't fit are useless
    Garmont: shell fit this boot and compare it to others on your foot. You want 5-15mm front to back and 0-2mm per side
    BD: new ANYTHING scares me. 1) it is new 2( you have not tried one on.

    check the shell fit on ANY boot that you are looking at and compare that fit. Any and all liners will packout to the shell shape (like a sock in a shoe)

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Folsom, CA
    Posts
    536
    Garmont- What does high/low vol foot actually mean? Is that more than just width? Does the volume above and around the foot play a significant role in the fitting as opposed to the width along the sole? I can measure the width again but was concerned I'm not checking everything. When I say I've got a low volume foot it's because my climbing shoes, soccer cleats, other tight fitting shoes I wear often the laces bottom out before it gets tight enough. Same thing w/ my scarpa ski boots all the buckles are bottomed out.

    Scarpas - maybe going w/ one size smaller this time would be the way to go and blow it out a liittle. Trying to determine that before buying and modifying though.

    Crispis - the liner tongue is what I'm referring to as being a little uncomfortable, not the shell. Shell seems to be right on to me and to the relativley inexperienced boot fitter at the shop I went to.

    That's kind of where my dilemma is. Make the scarpa shell fit or make the crispi liner fit. Sounds like you are thinking go w/ crispi but try the Garmont again?
    A good friend would come bail you out of jail. A great friend would be sitting next to you saying..."but damn that was FUN"

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
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    garmont: low volume = narrow and flat.

    scarpa: ya odds are the shell fit, on the 27's will be 5-15mm. most people are in boots too big for them

    crispi: liners usually can be heated on a pressue point and flattened out. should be fine. Does that shell, with a different liner, feel OK?

    Liners are better to fit then shells.

    other people view of narrow vs wide are sometimes based on how they like to fit there boots, and sometimes based on how the boots fit. IE: if people like a looser fit, and the boot feels tight, then that boot is narrow. Even if it is med, but they WANT wide.
    so try all of them on to your foot.

    Email me at dave@fatskideals.com for boot fitting questions,
    read where I'm skiing at http://www.fatskideals.com/blog.html

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