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Buying Ski Boots.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

He took his old pair along with him and Colin said there was no need for new footbeds, he just trimmed down the ones in the old boots as plenty of life left in them. They were probably three or four years old then.

+1
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/mid90-100-ski-boots-yellow-id_8342976.html

Cheaper than renting twice... worth a punt?

Discuss.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A big thumbs up from me for Rivington Alpine and Graham and Andy. Got boots for my other (very particular) half last season, spent 3 hours getting fitted.

Skied them extensively. Very happy with one but not the other.

Rang up, made refit appointment, spent another 2.5 hours patiently working out why and addressing. No charge, no question. Quote "you can't have a fit guarantee and then charge".

So if you're in the North West, worth the effort to get there.
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You never know how your feet react to the boots until you actually ski, i bought my boots and the fitter did some tweeking in the store. I had to bring them back 3 times for some further adjustments but since then no probs.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I am thinking of buy my first pair of boots (I'm advanced intermediate mostly on piste) and was fitted at the weekend into Hawx Prime 100. In the end I only bought a set of Superfeet to use in hire boots as I only get to ski 1 week/year it is a large investment. Checking on good old Google I see Snow and Rock also sell the Hawx 100 (2015/16) , these were not available at the time in the shop, but are nearly 1/2 the price, does any one know if the old model is the same fit as the new Prime version 2017?
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I was told they are (have a pair of '15 Hawx 120s waiting for me to go and pick up) - I'd buy them and try them, you can always return them if the fits not right.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hello all, my first post so looking forward to improving my knowledge and participating in the chats. I've just got back into skiing this year (40 years old) after doing a week in Italy. I've got the bug again and now heading back to Tignes at the end of March. I've skied from being a child and several times as an adult.

I'm looking to buy my own boots, I want the correct fit and comfort they hopefully bring. I'd say my level is decent intermediate. I'm a 99% piste skier but would like to do a bit more off-piste in years to come.

My intention is to buy in Tignes and thanks to these forums it seems like I'm best giving Nevada sports a call prior and arrange a fitting with Jo-jo? I'd welcome any advice as this will be the first pair I've bought. I'm happy to spend about £300. All I know so far is about flex ratings and the better you are the stiffer the boots as a general rule. I don't know much difference between brands or if that matters so much.

Thanks.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@blacksheep,

My current boots were fitted by Jo-Jo and I would thoroughly recommend him.

You don't need to know a lot about brands.....just make your appointment and let Jo-Jo do his thing, while you give him feedback.

Flex of boots is decided by your weight, ability and how fast you ski.....Jo-Jo should be able to advise.

I would also recommend you get custom footbeds.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
+1 for JoJo. You don't need to know anything, JoJo will ask you questions and establish what you need. I only actually tried one pair of boots, he just got it right based on observation and knowledge. Four years down the line they are still totally comfortable.

The only piece of advice I was given (by a local) was that on no account should I walk in and say 'I'd like some pink ski boots' or anything similar. He has apparently been known to chuck out people who don't understand that it's all about the fit. Happy
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Laughing

Thanks, appreciate that feedback on Jo-Jo. I'll try get booked in for the Sat I arrive and let him guide me to the right boots..... just not pink ones!
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I'm booked in with Jo-Jo for the day I arrive. I guess my only concern is being near the back end of the season is choice/availability of boots. Looking forward to getting my first pair of ski boots.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
blacksheep wrote:
I'm booked in with Jo-Jo for the day I arrive. I guess my only concern is being near the back end of the season is choice/availability of boots. Looking forward to getting my first pair of ski boots.

Let us know how it goes.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
As this thread is still alive Smile...

I can't really understand how boot buying works for us in the UK - or anyone else to be honest! I'm talking of the "one week a year" skier. We want boots to fit well, and not hurt while skiing. We can get the fit right in the shop, with the experts, though then we are limited to what that shop offers (maybe I'm wrong? Or maybe that's less of a limit than I imagine?). But we still don't know if they're fine when skiing, and if we buy end of season then we won't know for another 10 months... Then can we go back and get them adjusted (I'm sure yes) or even swap them - is that OK to hand back boots with a week of wear? On the other hand, all consumers want a bargain, so many online shops offer boots; but who buys them, if they don't get a chance to try them on, and can't hand them back? Only the punters (!) who know the brand/size/last well? Or those who don't care about well-fitting boots? And no, I wouldn't buy leather office shoes online for the same reason... I can't even rent a pair for a week then go and buy that make/model, as the liners in the rentals have probably been so compressed with 80 days of use that they'd bear little resemblance to a pair bought new, so I still wouldn't know if that pair fitted me.

It just seems that there are bootfitters, many types of boots, cheap shops, slopes and snow, and new and used products, but they don't line up. Maybe they don't and I'm overthinking it, and you just pays your money and takes your choice....?

Was in El Tarter last week in Espunyes and saw a pair of Head Cube 3s my size for 116 euros; almost took a punt for my first ever boots (never had a major problem with renting, and at one week a year sorry but I struggle to justify ?€350 on boots) but finally decided not as they only had 3 buckles rather than 4 and the 4-buckle boots I'd rented that week were feeling a bit loose by the end of it...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Old Fartbag wrote:
blacksheep wrote:
I'm booked in with Jo-Jo for the day I arrive. I guess my only concern is being near the back end of the season is choice/availability of boots. Looking forward to getting my first pair of ski boots.

Let us know how it goes.


Will, do.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Orange200 You make some very valid points and these are some concerns I have. My overriding objective though is to get some boots which will aid my enjoyment of skiing by suitable for my level, fitted correctly and comfortable for me for several years (1 or 2 weeks a year). Every time I get hire boots I’m handed a pair and try them on in the shop, I have never questioned flex etc. If they feel Ok that’s one thing but I’m not total clear what I need to improve my skiing. My main thought is, yes there’s no pain and I can wiggle my toes!

The lack of choice in resort is something that I have thought about. In the past this wouldn’t have been much of an issue but with the Internet suddenly a whole number of retailers are accessible (showing what could be a bargain) and there are reviews for all the boots. I want to have the best boot for my money (and for me) so reading reviews seems a good idea but in fact completely pointless unless a) they have them in resort and b) those boots suit my skiing needs.

Ultimately I’d prefer to have my own boots fitted to me and I will take my chance with somebody who’s job every day is to kit a skier with a boot that is right for them. In the age of the internet a boot fitter who does a poor job and leaves customers unhappy is going to get a bad rep and on the flip side a good boot fitter will gain a good rep, as seems to be the case with Jo-Jo from Nevada sports. I’m therefore putting my faith in him and the feedback of people on here.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@blacksheep, if JoJo doesn't have the right thing for you, he won't sell you anything at all. When I went to him locals had told me he was a bit of a magician, which seemed odd. But when it came to it, I only tried one pair of boots on, they fitted me (it was clear he already knew they would), JoJo made a couple of tweaks and then told me to go and ski them for a couple of days and come back for further tweaks. They were comfortable from the word go….so it was indeed magic after all the awful hire boots I’d endured.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@sj1608 Thanks I appreciate that feedback. I feel confident I'm making the right choice thanks the all the positive reports on here. Cool
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Wow, we could be separated at birth...

blacksheep wrote:
Hello all, my first post so looking forward to improving my knowledge and participating in the chats.
Check
blacksheep wrote:
I've just got back into skiing this year (40 years old) after doing a week in Italy. I've got the bug again and now heading back to Tignes at the end of March. I've skied from being a child and several times as an adult.
Check (Ok so Norway not Italy and it was last year and 40 seems a long time in the past, but apart from all that, exactly the same).

blacksheep wrote:
I'm looking to buy my own boots, I want the correct fit and comfort they hopefully bring. I'd say my level is decent intermediate. I'm a 99% piste skier but would like to do a bit more off-piste in years to come.
Check

blacksheep wrote:
I'd welcome any advice as this will be the first pair I've bought.
Check
blacksheep wrote:
I'm happy to spend about £300. All I know so far is about flex ratings and the better you are the stiffer the boots as a general rule. I don't know much difference between brands or if that matters so much.
Check

I spent most of half term adjusting buckles on hire boots, then changing them (boots), while losing feeling in the soles of my feet and getting bruising on top of my arches. Eventually managed decent comfort in my third pair as long as I dangled my right ski off the chairlift foot rest each run.

Unfortunately I don't live very near any of the recommended fitters and it's hard to justify taking the time to travel each way plus fitting. I may have to cunningly arrange a family day out in Bicester and nip off to Solutions4Feet for a few hours while they take in the sights.
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Hi @Penry and welcome. I'm sure people will make some good suggestions for you however I'll try and help. I have no experience of the shop or fitter/s but i saw they posted on here so could be worth checking out as you are S.Yorkshire.

https://www.dicksboardstore.co.uk/
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks @blacksheep, you had me searching the forum for dicks, which is a first.

My instinct is to go with someone who's certified and has positive reviews or take a punt on Ellis Brigham at Xscape in the post season sale.
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@Penry, closest recommended boot fitter to you is Rivington Alpine.
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cheers @kitenski, 1.5 hrs each way, wrong side of Manchester (is there a right side?).

I suppose I'm thinking, it's a day written off whichever I choose.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Penry, Glide and Slide in Otley? Not used them myself but read good things on here.
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I'd head up to Glide n'Slide in Otley as @Gämsbock recommends. Had my boots fitted there at the start of the year, done a week already on them and another next week. Not a moment of discomfort and feet felt great. In fact I'd go so far as to say they are now more comfortable than my snowboard boots.

It's only just over an hour drive to Otley from Sheffield but make sure you book a fitting appointment.
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@Gämsbock, @bigtuboflard Many thanks both, a trip to Otley is almost as long a journey as Rivington Alpine according to google maps but it feels a lot closer to me and less can go horribly wrong.

I may have actually come to a decision.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Had some fitted at Snow & Rock at Chill Factore yesterday. They have a guy there who I suspect may have been born wearing ski boots. Ask for Andy, can't recommend him highly enough.

And contrary to what I read on the website they do have a boot fit guarantee that goes beyond 'my first trip'. He'll keep on adjusting it FOC until I'm happy, if that day never comes there is just a 35% charge to switch for a different boot.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Penry, although Bicester has a very nice outlet shopping centre for your family Smile
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Penry wrote:
@Gämsbock, @bigtuboflard Many thanks both, a trip to Otley is almost as long a journey as Rivington Alpine according to google maps but it feels a lot closer to me and less can go horribly wrong.

I may have actually come to a decision.

Ally Bolton fitted mine and was excellent. Took nearly two hours from memory but worth every minute.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Kitenski The Bicester outlet shopping centre would have to be very nice indeed. I was hoping for a zoo or aquarium, ideally a surf school.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Got my new boots from Glide n Slide. Lovely guy, lovely shop, lovely cup of tea.

I gave them a little run out at Xscape and my guess is that they'll need a little tweaking. It's difficult to tell what was uncomfortable because it had become aggravated during the fitting and what was uncomfortable because the boot didn't quite accommodate my feet. I have protruding bits at the leg end of my big toe metatarsals (this may not be the most anatomically precise description).

So I'll give everything a chance to settle down and then have another test. Plenty of time before next winter.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

Looking to get my first pair of boots. At the low intermediate level and preferably would like to spend around the £200 range. Looking at the websites of the recommended places (Glide and Slide, and Lockwoods mostly) seems they will be out of my range. Both EB and Snow and Rock seem to have decent sales on at the moment, I was wondering what people thought of the fitting services there. I realise it won't quite be up to the top tier fitters but given my level I suspect it would be enough.

Any thoughts?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Both me and my OH had a good experience buying boots at the EB in Covent Garden, but I think we have quite regular feet (indeed I am suspicious that my boots are a bit too comfortable).

However, be aware that there will be a smaller range of boots available wherever you go as a lot of this seasons boots will have been sold.

May also be worth looking online at some boot fitting guides before you go so you'll feel a bit less in the dark about the process.

(Welcome to Snowheads!)
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I'm back from Tignes with my new boots from Nevada sports having listened to the recommendations on here. As promised I wanted to share my experience as it may help others. I'd already booked a fitting for the Sat when I arrived with Jo-jo. I arrived and after a brief chat about my ability and weight etc we moved on to the fitting. Jo-jo first of all got me to take my shoes and socks off. He measured the length of my feet (near enough identical length), then he got me to stand on another foot measuring device which had a mirror underneath. This I believe is to check pronation of the foot and arch etc. He also looked at my legs telling me I have slightly bowed legs, not something I'd noticed before but we shared a laugh about that. Finally he measured the width of my foot, slightly narrow feet apparently. Off he went to his stock of boots.

He presented me with a boot with the liner removed. He got me to put my foot in the plastic shell so my big toe was just touching the front of the boot and proceeded to inspect the gap with a torch. He then told me to put my ski socks on and got me to try both boots on (liners in). They were very snug around my foot but not painful. I couldn't move my toes but Jo-jo assured me this was Ok and they would loosen with use. He then told me the price and that was that, done and dusted in around 20 minutes I would guess. I had prepared for a lot longer as people have been saying leave 2 hours. I left with a pair of Alpina X THOR 12. I had a follow up appointment booked for the Monday evening after 2 days with the boots.

I will say that I had already decided to put my complete faith in the bootfitter. This is not normal for me, I often do loads of research and check prices etc on the web. I had no real choice in the boots make, model, style, colour etc. I could of course chosen not to buy the boots but as I saw I heeded the advice I'd received on here.

So to the boots once I was skiing. On the first day we'd had 40cm of snow overnight which was fantastic but meant a lot of un-groomed pistes and as the day went on and the cloud came in again it meant there was lots of choppy snow and poor visibility. I was finding myself skiing in the back of my boots as a result which did mean I was getting painful pinched toes. My right ankle was feeling a pinch as well. I also was suffering from pain in the arches of my feet. It was safe to say I didn't fully enjoy my first day and I had doubts about my choice to buy boots. Day 2 was a glorious sunny day, the pistes looked amazing as did the mountains. I could feel that the toes are was a bit looser than the first day so that issue started to go away. The ankle still pinched slightly but not too bad however I still had painful arches. After a great day on the slopes I went back to see Jo-jo. I told him about my issues and he sorted the ankle by relaxing the plastic slightly in this area. We discussed the pain in my arches and he suggested a custom foot bed (this was suggested on the first day but he wanted me to ski the boots a bit before). I decided to go for this as I wanted boots to be as good a fit as possible. So after the process of the footbeds being made I fitted I then was told the price, €100 was a bit of a shock but I should have asked. Regardless of the cost I was clear in my own mind I wanted to have some boots I could feel happy wearing all day.

on the third day the boots were a lot better, toes were good and so was my ankle. I still had the pain in the arches which left me feeling frustrated. I decided to see if I was perhaps over tightening a buckle so left the 2nd buckle a bit looser and even un-clipped it on lifts etc. This certainly made a difference. I found as the week went on the issue lessened to the extent that on the final day it wasn't an issue. I believe over the week the boots improved each day until the stage where they were very comfortable. Jo-jo did say to come back if I wasn't happy but on that Friday i felt good about my decision to buy my own boots.

I believe the boots I bought are an older model based on what I can find online circa 2014-15 but then that isn't an issue. The main thing is I now have one less thing to worry about the next time I go skiing.
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@blacksheep, so glad it worked out. It was also completely counter-intuitive for me to just trust someone, not do loads of internet research on what I was buying, etc. but in retrospect (4 years later), it still feels like exactly the right thing to have done. I never even think about my boots during the day, never feel the need to open buckles when I stop.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@sj1608, That's the real positive side of buying this way. Having that time in resort with the boots and knowing I could go and speak to Jo-jo gave me a reassurance. It meant I was able to give the boots time to adapt to my feet as well as tweak them if required as happened. Appreciate the advice I received on here and hope others my benefit from my experience
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blacksheep wrote:
@sj1608, That's the real positive side of buying this way. Having that time in resort with the boots and knowing I could go and speak to Jo-jo gave me a reassurance. It meant I was able to give the boots time to adapt to my feet as well as tweak them if required as happened. Appreciate the advice I received on here and hope others my benefit from my experience

The main thing is that you're finally happy....and you know where to book a holiday if (when) you need new boots. snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Orange200 wrote:
As this thread is still alive Smile...

I can't really understand how boot buying works for us in the UK - or anyone else to be honest! I'm talking of the "one week a year" skier. We want boots to fit well, and not hurt while skiing. We can get the fit right in the shop, with the experts, though then we are limited to what that shop offers (maybe I'm wrong? Or maybe that's less of a limit than I imagine?). But we still don't know if they're fine when skiing, and if we buy end of season then we won't know for another 10 months... Then can we go back and get them adjusted (I'm sure yes) or even swap them - is that OK to hand back boots with a week of wear? On the other hand, all consumers want a bargain, so many online shops offer boots; but who buys them, if they don't get a chance to try them on, and can't hand them back? Only the punters (!) who know the brand/size/last well? Or those who don't care about well-fitting boots? And no, I wouldn't buy leather office shoes online for the same reason... I can't even rent a pair for a week then go and buy that make/model, as the liners in the rentals have probably been so compressed with 80 days of use that they'd bear little resemblance to a pair bought new, so I still wouldn't know if that pair fitted me.

It just seems that there are bootfitters, many types of boots, cheap shops, slopes and snow, and new and used products, but they don't line up. Maybe they don't and I'm overthinking it, and you just pays your money and takes your choice....?

Was in El Tarter last week in Espunyes and saw a pair of Head Cube 3s my size for 116 euros; almost took a punt for my first ever boots (never had a major problem with renting, and at one week a year sorry but I struggle to justify ?€350 on boots) but finally decided not as they only had 3 buckles rather than 4 and the 4-buckle boots I'd rented that week were feeling a bit loose by the end of it...
We bought our first ski boots whilst out in Les Deux Alpes in 2010. We had walked into the shop to hire skis and boots for the week, but saw that they had a sale on so decided to buy boots there and have them fitted.

The fitting went well and we went out to ski in them, then came back at the end of the day to have some adjustments made, where the boot was tight or the foot was lifting. Ended up popping back for a couple more tweaks during the week. That was 7 years ago, and the boots still fit me like slippers. I'd definitely recommend buying boots whilst out on the slopes and have all the adjustments made "on site" so to speak.
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