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  1. #1
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    Ski boots - punching and working VS buying wider fit

    Looking at new boot options for the 2019-2020 ski season and noticed some new boots offering wider out-of-the-box-fit sizing for people with medium/medium-wide/wide feet.

    Existing boot is a Krypton Pro (not KR2), original last, 98mm, before the advent of the replaceable soles (IE. trad plug boot version).
    - Fits me well enough to use all day, and leave on for lunch.
    - Had it punched and using Intuitions, fits well, but still has narrow issues.
    - Also now showing wear in the soles (walking wear) and buckles starting to have play in them (need new rivets soon)

    It is just an old boot.

    For a performance FREERIDE boot fit with CABRIO style boots (all-mountain, moguls, freestyle),
    buy or stay with a 98mm lasted boot and continue to have mods made to it via punching/working?

    Or ... buy a 100/102/103 lasted boot and maybe a stiffer heat-formable liner (Intuition?) and live with possibly less snugness in places.

    I measured and I'm 102mm at 26.5 or 9E on the Bannock device. I find that the 5th metatarsal and top of foot (lump there) are my two biggest issues along with a bit of a width issue from the 5th metatarsal back to the ankle pocket.

    Two approaches.
    Your thoughts?
    Last edited by puregravity; 07-05-2019 at 12:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Do you live somewhere near a good bootfitter?

    If so, make a tight boot fit perfectly. If not, pick bunions or slop.

  3. #3
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    what said above:

    making a few mm of room is usually simple/easy for a boot fitter


  4. #4
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    A few mm can usually be accomplished without working the shell at all by addressing it in the liner with careful use of a needle and syringe filled with acetone to eat the foam and create a pocket. I used to have folks wear the boot tightly buckled until discomfort, remove foot and liner as one unit, then tightly Saran Wrap the liner on a persons foot, mark areas of discomfort with a marker, and syringe a tiny amount of acetone from the outside. Note the word tiny... a little acetone goes a long way. I suggest practice on a old liner to get the feel for it.

    Just one way to skin a cat, especially when a good boot vice bench, grinders, punches and heat guns are not readily available.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by puregravity View Post
    Two approaches
    For two different types of skiers.

    If you only ski 10 or 12 days a year, need the boot to fit "right away," don't have access to good bootfitting, and aren't too picky about performance, it might make sense to buy a higher volume shell. You shouldn't need to go to a Dalbello MX (103mm) or FT Descendent shell (102mm) if you've made a KR shell fit, try something from Dalbello that says "AX (100mm)."

    If you ski a lot, relish precision and response, are willing to work through the 30-40 hour break-in period any quality boot requires, and have access to a good bootfitter, then get the 98mm shell. Start in the summer when the bootfitter isn't slammed and wear them around the house so you are ready to go when the season begins.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by puregravity View Post
    . . . but still has narrow issues . . .
    If it still pressures you on the metatarsals, find someone to punch it more.

    If it is a volume issue (losing circulation) or instep issue, look at thinner sock, thinner liner, thinner footbed or grinding the bootboard.

    FWIW the hard Krypton bootboards grind a lot easier than the soft ones.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    If it still pressures you on the metatarsals, find someone to punch it more.

    If it is a volume issue (losing circulation) or instep issue, look at thinner sock, thinner liner, thinner footbed or grinding the bootboard.

    FWIW the hard Krypton bootboards grind a lot easier than the soft ones.
    OK - So punch it more.
    I think that would satisfy me for now and then I can ask about some sort of rivet-on/glue-on sole material to get the soles perfectly flat and smooth again.
    I didn't think it was feasible that a punch could widen a larger area than say the size of bunnions etc. It is probably a good 3 inches of boot length that needs to be slightly wider without also making it less-tall.
    But it can't hurt to try that and boots aren't sentient beings so I don't see any ethical issues
    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by puregravity View Post
    I didn't think it was feasible that a punch could widen a larger area than say the size of bunnions etc. It is probably a good 3 inches of boot length that needs to be slightly wider without also making it less-tall.
    It's done all the time - it's not uncommon for someone to need extra width all the way from the styloid to the fifth metatarsal. You just need to find a bootfitter who's worked out a system for keeping the punch ring off the previous punch so you don't squash what you just created.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by puregravity View Post
    OK - So punch it more.
    I think that would satisfy me for now and then I can ask about some sort of rivet-on/glue-on sole material to get the soles perfectly flat and smooth again.
    I didn't think it was feasible that a punch could widen a larger area than say the size of bunnions etc. It is probably a good 3 inches of boot length that needs to be slightly wider without also making it less-tall.
    But it can't hurt to try that and boots aren't sentient beings so I don't see any ethical issues
    Thanks!
    If you have boots without replaceable toe and heel lugs, wear skitrax from lot to snow to protect the soles. If you do have replaceable lugs buy a set when you buy the boots; good chance they won't be available when you need them, or wear skitrax--they're cheaper. No one should have to replace boots because the soles are worn. The idea that only gapers wear them is fake news spread by the boot companies who want to sell you more boots.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    If you have boots without replaceable toe and heel lugs, wear skitrax from lot to snow to protect the soles.
    Cat tracks?

  11. #11
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    The most important thing in a boot initially is the heel fit out of the box. Thatís the Hardest part of the boot to change (getting more room or trying to snug it up). Instep is harder to change but can be done. Width and toe punches are easy.

    If you can get a really good heel hold and generally snug everywhere in a wider boot, go for it. If all you need is a bit more width in the forefoot, stick with the narrow shell and just punch where needed

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    For two different types of skiers.

    If you only ski 10 or 12 days a year, need the boot to fit "right away," don't have access to good bootfitting, and aren't too picky about performance, it might make sense to buy a higher volume shell. You shouldn't need to go to a Dalbello MX (103mm) or FT Descendent shell (102mm) if you've made a KR shell fit, try something from Dalbello that says "AX (100mm)."

    If you ski a lot, relish precision and response, are willing to work through the 30-40 hour break-in period any quality boot requires, and have access to a good bootfitter, then get the 98mm shell. Start in the summer when the bootfitter isn't slammed and wear them around the house so you are ready to go when the season begins.
    How early counts as in the summer?

    I need new boots finally and I don't mind working on them. I don't recall if I've skied with you, I have very little awareness of how I use my body while skiing which probably makes things difficult. But I'm a decent skier at least.

    I've been in Head raptors with leather lace up liners. I know I had the back of the ankle ground out to upright them slightly. Had to put a shim underfoot to take up volume a few seasons ago. But that's mostly because I held onto those boots longer than needed. They were stiff enough most of the time but in the late spring I always wished I put a rivet in because they felt like they folded up too easily.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muggydude View Post
    The most important thing in a boot initially is the heel fit out of the box. That’s the Hardest part of the boot to change (getting more room or trying to snug it up). Instep is harder to change but can be done. Width and toe punches are easy.

    If you can get a really good heel hold and generally snug everywhere in a wider boot, go for it. If all you need is a bit more width in the forefoot, stick with the narrow shell and just punch where needed
    Heel hold didn't seem to bother me until I started focusing more on powder and mogul skiing.

    Krypton Pros - Heel fit for my right foot is less than ideal. I compensate by tightening the middle buckle (when gnar mode needs to be engaged)
    The convenience of getting them on/off and of the overall fit and performance makes up for that ... until now that I want more heel hold.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraham View Post
    How early counts as in the summer? I need new boots finally and I don't mind working on them. I don't recall if I've skied with you, I have very little awareness of how I use my body while skiing which probably makes things difficult. But I'm a decent skier at least.
    abraham, we've met in Lot 4 but not skied together.

    Summer is now until whenever regular people start thinking about skiing, usually around October. Downside is the selection at most shops is poor at the moment and new stuff won't be on the shelves until August or September, but even in July you can start trying on different lasts and start the conversation with a bootfitter about sizing vs performance, etc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraham View Post
    I've been in Head raptors with leather lace up liners. I know I had the back of the ankle ground out to upright them slightly. Had to put a shim underfoot to take up volume a few seasons ago. But that's mostly because I held onto those boots longer than needed. They were stiff enough most of the time but in the late spring I always wished I put a rivet in because they felt like they folded up too easily.
    Almost all new boots will be more upright than older Raptors. If you needed to shim them to reduce volume, you bought them too big in the first place. There are a bunch of newer plastics that change less with fluctuations in temperature than your Heads, but there are tradeoffs (like less progressive flex at typical winter temps).

  16. #16
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    I think less bootfitters are willing to do stretches and punches. Itís a lot of risk for $60.00 - $100.00. Especially when the cost of a boot upwards of $1000.00. Unless youíre slopeside, shops arenít doing a lot of them these days and new bootfitters arenít doing them enough to get good.

    Fuck one up and youíre buying one at retail from the shop across the way. Or worse, getting one FedExed at retail. Iíve never had to buy a boot, but I came close last year.

    I made a toe punch too big. New plastics are far more complicated than hitting a Lange baby blue with a gun and hanging on the boot punch with all of your weight. Thereís so many. Even std off-the-shelf 120s are made from crazy stuff these days.

    Unless you are in the 99th percentile of skilled skiers, I believe it unpossible that a skier canít ski a boot bone stock. And easily at that. With custom footbeds of course .
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiing-in-jackson View Post
    I think less bootfitters are willing to do stretches and punches. Itís a lot of risk for $60.00 - $100.00. Especially when the cost of a boot upwards of $1000.00. Unless youíre slopeside, shops arenít doing a lot of them these days and new bootfitters arenít doing them enough to get good.
    It's true. The old guys with tons of experience aren't teaching the young guys what they know, and many of them haven't kept up with the newer materials. The new bootfitters are understandably reluctant to start experimenting with expensive boots on their own, and many of them don't consider bootfitting a suitable career so they move up to management or marketing after a couple of seasons. Most shops don't do enough volume to eat a handful of expensive boots each season.

    If you find a bootfitter who's really good at modifying boots and they're not too far away, you are lucky.

  18. #18
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    How important is a narrow boot anymore?

    Let's just say, not that I'm thinking this , that instead of a Krypton Pro with 98mm last and a bunch of punches, I get a Full Tilt at 102mm wide out of the box, or ... a Dalbello AXmodel at 102/103mm out of the box.

    Is said bootfitter going to have some advice like "Should have bought the low volume boot and let us work our magiK" or are they going to say "Smart Ass - That was a clever move - We're almost done here since it fits well."

    I'd pay for a great fit on a good boot but ... it costs money to make all the mods, usually involves skiing the boot and then visiting the fitter again, and sometimes again, and sometimes again.

    Sure, once it fits, it fits for a while, sans the chance of injuries or explainable growths. But how likely is the more "Anatomical Boot Out oF the Box" going to be less than what a wannabe pro will be truly happy with?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by puregravity View Post
    How important is a narrow boot anymore?

    Let's just say, not that I'm thinking this , that instead of a Krypton Pro with 98mm last and a bunch of punches, I get a Full Tilt at 102mm wide out of the box, or ... a Dalbello AXmodel at 102/103mm out of the box.
    Hard to say.

    How much do you ski?

    How much do you value skiing really well?

    The closer you can keep the shell to your foot, the better it will ski. Will you notice the difference? Chances are that if you're posting on TGR in July you take the sport pretty seriously.

    If you get a Full Tilt 102mm boot, or a Dalbello Panterra or MX (the AX is 100mm, not 102-103) in order to get another few mm's across the met heads, but you don't need the extra volume in the midfoot, ankle and heel, you'll be swimming in them in 6-8 days.

    How much will that bother you?

    Some people will wear a thicker sock, or shim with 2mm of Bontex, or not do anything and just live with the sloppy fit, but if you ski more than 25-30 days a year that's probably not the right approach.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Hard to say.

    How much do you ski?

    How much do you value skiing really well?

    The closer you can keep the shell to your foot, the better it will ski. Will you notice the difference? Chances are that if you're posting on TGR in July you take the sport pretty seriously.

    If you get a Full Tilt 102mm boot, or a Dalbello Panterra or MX (the AX is 100mm, not 102-103) in order to get another few mm's across the met heads, but you don't need the extra volume in the midfoot, ankle and heel, you'll be swimming in them in 6-8 days.

    How much will that bother you?

    Some people will wear a thicker sock, or shim with 2mm of Bontex, or not do anything and just live with the sloppy fit, but if you ski more than 25-30 days a year that's probably not the right approach.
    I skied 27 days last year. And I am still thinking of summer ski camps while everyone else is going mountain biking.
    I have a problem!

    I realize that's not a lot of days for some people here.
    Next year, I'd like to do a bit of volunteer teaching, get my level 1 and maybe level 2 certification and up my game as far as skills and technique (park/bumps/steeps/powder).

    Where is your shop? I'll drive up to 1,000 kms to get fitted. Just kidding but almost not.

    Thanks for the comment - that clarifies and is helpful. It seems that I'm on the right track and have been for the last 6 or 7 years. After many years of soft boots, using boots on piste, or using 4 buckle overlapboots, I finally found a boot that fit my comfort and performance really well (2013 Krypton Pro with: stiff tongues; no flex chip; a few punches; custom lace-up pro Intuition liner; super-thin socks).

    Having recently concentrated more on bump skiing, I'm probably going to soften them up by switching back to the original tongue, adding in the mid 4mm forward lean chip ...and now ... having a boot fitter take it from 10/10 to 11/10 with a mid more mid-foot width with a very small punch to widen them from 5th toe back to the ankle.

    I'm not that happy with the heel hold - it is fine in the upright position but with bump-skiing ... I noticed the need to tighten the mid buckle a lot more. Otherwise no complaints with this boot.

    Now, having skied in -25c this winter with a crew on race carving skis, I did FOMO after those REDSTER boots. LOL. But no. NO way in hell I'm gonna torture myself like that for race carving performance and suffer at everything else.

    Too much info.. but that last post is probably what a lot of new skiers and even old pros are probably wondering: are the new anatomically lasted 'wider' boots THAT GOOD or is it still better to pony up to the traditional customization and fitting process.

  21. #21
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    where /how do the heat moldable boot shells figure in this ?

    I've heard they work
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  22. #22
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    Salomon’s CS technology is great. Really the best. I think it’s something different now. A Salomon Custom Shell 120 will fit a wide array of people great. Even before you cook it.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    where /how do the heat moldable boot shells figure in this? I've heard they work
    Memory Fit (Atomic) and Custom Shell (Salomon) heat moldable shells work great for the vast majority of people, even with moderate downsizing (.5 to 1 mondo smaller than you measure on the Brannock) as long as you get the right width, especially if you pad up problem areas with bootfitting foam before you mold.

    If you need more than that, the oven-moldable PU compounds don't hold a punch as well as most conventional PU's but the Grilamid ones are fine. Other companies have joined the bandwagon and said their boots are oven-moldable, but I'm not convinced they actually changed the plastic they just showed up with ovens for us.

    Truth is, you can cook any shell without damaging it and chances are it will fit better afterwards.

    @puregravity - I am in Seattle.

  24. #24
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    What about the Full Tilt ribbed tongue?
    Serious question. LOL.

    The Kryptons have just two creases VS. The full tilts with total corrugation domination.

    In terms of flex for park/freestyle/bumps,
    does the extra corrugations really make the FT flex better
    or does the less corrugate Dalbello tongue accomplish the same thing with less?

    Is less more AND is more less?
    Or is morer betterer and less lesserer?

    @gregL Do you work in a shop? Which one?

    edit: Answered - just read the Full Tilt thread ... apparently the extra ribbing does make a difference.
    Last edited by puregravity; 07-10-2019 at 12:17 PM.

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