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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61

    Shell fitting... one or two fingers (the age old question...)

    Hey,


    Yeah, i'm a big newb/jonk, asking a fairly simple question: perhaps it is just opinion in the end.

    I know one of the simple techniques to getting a good fit in the shell is to go in barefoot and see how many fingers you can get behind your heel. I have heard 1, 2, and 1"-1 1/2" as guides. What are your opinions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    13,339
    close as you can to one finger

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    where the beer flows like wine
    Posts
    2,396
    one and only one.
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    18,527
    5-15mm. mm are a bit more of a universal standard, as fingers tent to vary in width too much.

    as soon as the finger becomes like the outdated, imperial "foot" then we will be set. untill then 5-15mm

    5mm is more on the race side (can fit a regular pen behind the heel) and up to 15mm as a VERY thick marker.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    5,834
    One or two fingers is absolutely irrelevant to boot fit. All a short shell does is crush your toes. It doesn't give you any control over your skis. Ski boots aren't climbing shoes.

    What matters is how well the boot fits around your lower leg, ankle, and instep. If your heel is lifting or moving around, you'll have no control over your skis no matter how much the shell crushes your toes or forefoot. Concentrate on getting that right: find a boot with the lowest instep that you can still fit into, and a buckle system that lets you secure your lower leg (which stops heel lift).

    That being said, you usually will want to get into the smallest shell you can unless you have gigantic ankles, because most ski-boot makers, in order to make the boot look "streamlined", have a very narrow toebox that is not at all the shape of a human foot. This keeps bootfitters in business doing 5th and 6th-toe punches, and you'll probably need one too. Blame the marketing department for styling the boots. (Atomic's B-series is one of the few ski boots that is actually shaped more like feet.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    13,339
    scarpa had a double ended go-no- go stick to measure behind your heel cuz when you go sporty its hard to put one finger back there

    do you boot fitting pro' (gods) find that see-thru plastic boots are a big help in boot fitting ??

    for me it was about finding a boot fitter who found me the boot make & model that fits my foot the best and I finally have that now in both alpine (dalbello ) and AT(garmont) and it only took 28yrs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    The Ice Coast
    Posts
    950
    Quote Originally Posted by Spats View Post
    ...most ski-boot makers, in order to make the boot look "streamlined", have a very narrow toebox that is not at all the shape of a human foot. This keeps bootfitters in business doing 5th and 6th-toe punches...
    ^^^^ Truth. Seriously, will someone explain why ski boots have toe boxes that are symmetrical and narrow? Our long first tarsals are not in the center of our foot, most of our feet are widest at the ball of the foot, not the instep, and unlike leather street shoes, the outside of the shell that meets the toepiece has no necessary correlation to the inside shape. Do marketing types just get the engineers to bend over?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Jackson Hole
    Posts
    2,276
    Quote Originally Posted by Spats View Post
    One or two fingers is absolutely irrelevant to boot fit. All a short shell does is crush your toes. It doesn't give you any control over your skis. Ski boots aren't climbing shoes.

    What matters is how well the boot fits around your lower leg, ankle, and instep. If your heel is lifting or moving around, you'll have no control over your skis no matter how much the shell crushes your toes or forefoot.
    Toe room is BACK!!! I hereby copyright the term "Big Mountain Fit"!

    Wow, I could go on for pages here. Jackson Hole is a big, cold mountain. Skiers are hiking long distances over rocky terrian and while this year hasn't been especially cold, most winters are.

    Spats is right on. More and more I'm fittng stronger skiers in race/big mtn boots with a little wiggle room up front. This of course, depends on the ability of the heel, instep, upper cuff and orthotic to hold you in the back of the boot. Toe room is great when you are hiking Cody, St. Patty's or heading out to the North Shore. I see and work every day with guys who are pushing the OB limits in race fit ski boots and their feet look like a combat zone.

    A little toe room is really nice when you're spending all day in the sidecountry.

    This season I was able to lecture the Steep and Deep Camps each week. You be surprised how many of the participants had the full race fit, fit by a guy who had gate carving in mind. He'd never thought or dreamed of heading out to Pinedale, and thought his client needed a chop stick fit.

    Also on a side note, I take a dim view of the whole finger thing anyway. I use dowels as they are easy and are more standardized. One of our fitters has fat fingers. What is a shell fit then? Fingers are measuring tightness elsewhere.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Incline Village, NV (Tahoe)
    Posts
    5,462
    It actually is helpful:

    1 for racing
    1-1/2 or at the most 2 for freeride

    If you go 1 for freeride, anytime you get thrown in the backseat you'll be crying like a six year old school girl when your toes get slammed into the front of the boot like a Toyota accelerating into a brick wall.

    If you get more than 2 fingers it's too big
    If you can't get 1 finger it's too probably small
    Last edited by Jim S; 03-14-2010 at 04:19 PM.
    Every man dies. Not every man lives.
    You donít stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Right Coast transplant
    Posts
    3,027
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim S View Post

    If you go 1 for freeride, anytime you get thrown in the backseat you'll be crying like a sixe year old school girl when your toes get slammed into the front of the boot like Toyota accelerating into a brick wall.
    nomination for analogy of the day
    Live

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    pugski.com
    Posts
    2,991
    I agree with Splat and SIJ. "Finger fit" is just one point of reference and can be trumped by instep and/or leg fit. If you notice boot manufactures are getting a couple of extra mm's in shells giving you a chance to stay in your traditional size and get a bit of extra toe room or choose to go down for that snugger fit. Me, I'll give up that Nth degree of performance and the "costs" of that fit for comfort and still a very good fit.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    18,527
    yup. the length (shell fit) is just the first, in many of the measurements used to find the right boot.

    heel shape, forfoot width, ankle bone placement vs boot cuff, flex, cuff height all play a part too.

    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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