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Boot fitting - 'Standard' vs 'Custom' fitting

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Of course there are places to get it all done (2 Atomic pro places within a stones throw from here). Plus shops that have genuinely dealt with the up and comings and up and done its.

So yes, there is more stock on the shelves to choose from and there are much more experienced sellerd on the shop floors a they sell so many pairs over a 4 month period.

I'm not so sure many kids give up due to crippling foot pain.
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Claude B wrote:
@ansta1, I've never bought any for myself but I did buy a pair for my daughter at EB at MK, not sure what day. However it was just before she did her BASI1 and she had more Idea than the guy serving what a good fit should feel like.

Only other place I've bought for myself is Lockwoods in Leamington who are good too.


I think that's the main thrust why people are saying go to a good boot fitter or at the least a known good fitter in one of the big shops. For sure there are going to be some good girls and guys at the chain places in the UK, but I'd wager that the majority are people who work in a shop and also sell/fit boots, usually with a 'comfort guarantee' which means they choose a boot that is on the whole too big for the person buying them. On the reverse I'd probably wager that most folks who work in shops in the mountains selling stuff really know what they are doing so they tend to get it right more often than not.
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rjs wrote:
flangesax wrote:
I've noticed the quantity of local skiers out here who have that level of needs and attention to their boot fitting is minimal (excluding the racers!)

I do wonder whether this is a good sample though, maybe the locals who didn't have easy to fit feet gave up skiing when they were kids.

I have average feet, I don't need much work done even to race boots.


What locals do isn't a great guide to what the best course of action is for a non local holiday skier. Of course many locals are great skiers on shitty equipment but that's because they've been skiing since they could walk and ski every week of the season. Put them on better equipment and their upper performance level would almost certainly get better. NB some locals also ski off piste solo without any protective kit but that doesn't mean everyone should do the same.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, Most resorts have at least someone who's motivated enough to skill up.
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"I have average feet, I don't need much work done even to race boots."

You are really, really lucky.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@dp, read my post again. I'm not doubting that a proper fitting from a proper expert would benefit me, just that for the minute I'm not willing to pay £300 to travel for a fitting.

My feet are crap btw, wide and with high arch, but ant damage is more likely to be coming from the shoes I wear everyday than it is from a set of boots I wear for a few ski trips each year.


Have you thought about seeing a specialist in resort?

EDIT: hadn't seen this...
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
not sure there's a huge benefit getting them in resort


The shop I went to on the MyASHBash was brilliant, as you know I went there over several consecutive days to have further work done once I'd skied the boots and found the problems. In fact as much as I'm a fan of Colin's work I'd say I'm even more an advocate of having your boots done in resort. It's the only way you can really have a fitting, then take them out for 3 hours on the mountain, then get them tweaked, and then have them back out on the mountain before the end of the day.

Maybe that's something to think about for 2018. I would say the ability to have work done, ski them, work done, ski them, work done, ski them... is a 'huge benefit' after all.
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Quote:


"I have average feet, I don't need much work done even to race boots."



My experience has been different:
Some boots fit me right out of the box.
Most boots need a lot of work but even after that work (by specialists) don't fit me as well as the right ones out of the box.
All feet are different of course. I don't know how unusual my feet are. I do know that the boots that fit me naturally are quite distinctive.
But I don't race and might well find that race boots needed a lot of work to fit.
Overall this has left me a bit conflicted on boot fitters - I totally value their expertise in identifying the right boot and fixing problems but I actually found the boots that really fit me by luck/experimentation. Strange.
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@dp, the only downside is that a few hours is not necessarily enough time for them to bed in. I find, my feet and boots take at least a couple of days before I trot back to the shop.
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@jedster, haha!

I know: I have narrow ankles compared to my forefeet; part of that width are "tailor's bunions". So I don't expect to ever get a pair of boots to fit out the box.

In similar fashion, I have a 16 1/2" neck and and short with short arms (my father is the same) - until relatively recently, I couldn't expect an off the peg dress shirt to fit.

Everyone's different...


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 6-07-17 10:19; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

In fact as much as I'm a fan of Colin's work I'd say I'm even more an advocate of having your boots done in resort. It's the only way you can really have a fitting, then take them out for 3 hours on the mountain, then get them tweaked, and then have them back out on the mountain before the end of the day.


Can't comment on Colin's work (although hundreds of happy snowheads can't be worng Very Happy )
But this is my bias too.
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ansta1 wrote:
On the reverse I'd probably wager that most folks who work in shops in the mountains selling stuff really know what they are doing so they tend to get it right more often than not.


This ia another massive fallacy IMV. Yes there will those that care or see enough to be truly expert in what they are doing, family working in a family shop etc but there is also reversion to the norm as with any business. Think about rental shops who are more than happy to sling punters out the door with any old crap, it's really about the process and turnover rather than care and attention. What makes you think that Joe Parisian working in Intersport for the season has invested in any great understanding in foot and ankle anatomy and has forensically examined evry boot they stock to get a thorough understanding. After all 90% of the customers who walk through the door just want "a new boot" and provided you don't cripple them from the off they'll be gone in a few days never to return. You need to find the guys with a reputation because they are more inclined to protect it.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
ansta1 wrote:
On the reverse I'd probably wager that most folks who work in shops in the mountains selling stuff really know what they are doing so they tend to get it right more often than not.


This ia another massive fallacy IMV. Yes there will those that care or see enough to be truly expert in what they are doing, family working in a family shop etc but there is also reversion to the norm as with any business. Think about rental shops who are more than happy to sling punters out the door with any old crap, it's really about the process and turnover rather than care and attention. What makes you think that Joe Parisian working in Intersport for the season has invested in any great understanding in foot and ankle anatomy and has forensically examined evry boot they stock to get a thorough understanding. After all 90% of the customers who walk through the door just want "a new boot" and provided you don't cripple them from the off they'll be gone in a few days never to return. You need to find the guys with a reputation because they are more inclined to protect it.


Quite possibly, though your chances of finding someone who knows what they are doing are probably better IMV. As for rental stuff that's a different issue/market.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, there is certainly a few places I would avoid around here but I now know the godduns and baduns and pass that information on. I guess I have the massive advantage of having so many local options.

I've found that it takes about 10 ski days for my boots to bed in decently.
Straight out of the box, standard fit liners, an insole I chucked in the oven (on boot pair 3) and no thermo fitting... I've got blood for that wink

I appreciate that this could be 2 years of iffy boots for many people, which is probably a contributing factor to so many boot changes and complaints.

I guess a skilled or even compassionate fitter would take this into consideration when flogging boots to a 1 week a year skier but I'm sure many don't.
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ansta1 wrote:


Quite possibly, though your chances of finding someone who knows what they are doing are probably better IMV. As for rental stuff that's a different issue/market.


I think you're right re odds in that those working in the "technical sales" area are more likely to be the owner or trusted long term employees and they can get the young uns punting soft goods because frankly how hard is it to show a punter a pair of gloves or find a requested size of jacket. But it's not a given - what if the owner has popped out and the softgoods junior is covering the whole store etc. I have friends in the US who work in a prime location resort store inches from the slopes with a premium range of products and the stories they tell about the technical knowledge and capabilities of their colleagues are shocking. Basically anyone with a pulse can get hired and if the store is busy or the experts are out on a ski break or whatever (or maybe demoing skis with customers you can be landed with any of the pulse holders.
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I'd like to put a word in for EB in Covent Garden. I got my Hawx from them and they spent 1.5 hours with me making them fit my monkey feet... perfectly.

They are like gloves to wear and I only got charged for the footbeds.

Maybe I got lucky but the 30yo Scandinavian lady (Lucia?) that looked after me really new her stuff.

I've only worn them for a couple of days so far and appreciate that they may/will change. They live in resort now so if I need more work, I will go to Jojo at Nevada Sports. I need permission from my bank manager to even go near Jojo's shop but he is good.
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@bar shaker, In fairness, a friend's son worked at S&R and had to complete the Salomon tech course before getting the job.
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under a new name wrote:
@bar shaker, In fairness, a friend's son worked at S&R and had to complete the Salomon tech course before getting the job.

The Salomon tech course used to be an online course Laughing
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@spyderjon, haha his was a proper several day in a classroom kind of thing with a certificate and everything.
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I've had 4 pairs foamed over the years (20+) by S&R, and they did a pretty good job, but I guess foaming hides many a boot fitting/selection issues. But when I started touring I switched to Profeet, to foam a pair of touring boots. The attention to details was a whole different league to S&R.

Nothing against CEM, but at the time I wasn't on SH's and didn't know he existed.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
ansta1 wrote:
On the reverse I'd probably wager that most folks who work in shops in the mountains selling stuff really know what they are doing so they tend to get it right more often than not.


This ia another massive fallacy IMV. Yes there will those that care or see enough to be truly expert in what they are doing, family working in a family shop etc but there is also reversion to the norm as with any business. Think about rental shops who are more than happy to sling punters out the door with any old crap, it's really about the process and turnover rather than care and attention. What makes you think that Joe Parisian working in Intersport for the season has invested in any great understanding in foot and ankle anatomy and has forensically examined evry boot they stock to get a thorough understanding. After all 90% of the customers who walk through the door just want "a new boot" and provided you don't cripple them from the off they'll be gone in a few days never to return. You need to find the guys with a reputation because they are more inclined to protect it.


I am with Dave on this one. In fact I would go so far to say that for most of the commercial (less so the independent) ski shops in major ski resorts use young people there for the season to make up the bulk of the staff. Most that I've bumped into and talked to get a very basic one day run down of all the normal jobs to do and spend their first few weeks just watching the older staff then they crack on.

HOWEVER the thing is that in every major ski resort there is more or less bound to be one shop (or a couple) where the racers, instructors, guides and gnarly dudes go. It's just inevitable. So the key is finding the shop where the pros go, and finding out who within the shop the pros recommend you see about your particular query.

There are many ways to do this but I chose the 'bold' method... I walked into a busy cafe in Livigno where there were lots of guys in 'INSTRUCTOR' jackets sat drinking coffee. I walked up to them and said "Hello! I see you are instructors. Can you tell me who I should speak to if I need my boots fixing?" (at the time I was trying to get my old boots fixed, rather than buying new ones). One said "Ah yes! My friend you must go to Zinnermann's just 100 metres down the road, and you see the old man in the basement!" ... then there was some muttered approvals from the others. So I walked to Zinnermann's, found the old man, and he did indeed fix my old boots.

But he politely pointed out that fixing them was only going to fix the minor issue of a slight ill-fitting; the fact that the boot was the wrong stiffness for me would still be an issue regardless of his fix. He said if I bought new boots from him, he would refund the cost of the fix of the old pair, and do a very thorough fitting of a new pair of stiffer boots free of charge. And he pointed out that being Livigno, the boots were cheaper than at home because of there being no VAT. So whilst my immediate reaction was that I was being talked into a bigger sale by a shameless salesman, I went back out in the old boots and I did really think about it and came to the conclusion that I really couldn't lean into the boots fully because they couldn't support me. I went back to the shop, got the stiffer boots, and the change was just unbelievable. Immediate improvement. There were some fitting issues so I went back and got those sorted. But it was genuinely good advice and not a con-man at all!

So I think every ski resort must have the one good shop where the pros get things fixed and get their own boots done etc etc. You just have to find that shop.
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under a new name wrote:
@dp, the only downside is that a few hours is not necessarily enough time for them to bed in. I find, my feet and boots take at least a couple of days before I trot back to the shop.


Oh for sure, to be honest I don't think there is any set amount of time, it will vary per person and per issue. But the argument remains the same... even at a couple of days, you could fly out Saturday, warm up in your old boots Sunday, have a fitting Monday morning, get some refinements done on Wednesday, and even if that didn't get it spot on you'd still be able to get some tweaking done Thursday evening. (A popular thing I've discovered in 2 resort shops is taking the gear off you in the evening and returning it in the morning, so you don't even lose skiing time).

For me... it was 2 sessions in a day because the issue I needed fixing really was seriously present immediately after fitting. It was painful enough that it was evident that a bit of wearing in wouldn't cut it... the shell needed some work. I went back in during the afternoon and he said it'd be an overnight fix, so I went out in my old boots for the afternoon then picked my new ones up again in the morning.

I think if you put them on and they generally felt OK - your advice at spending a few days on them before going back to the shop would be the right way to go. But obviously everyone has different feet so whether it's a case of "this feels pretty good but I just think that could do with a tweak", or "Holy cow that's definitely not feeling good" is down to the individual...
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@dp, I agree and I think this is perhaps the reason that on occasions some folks baulk at the idea of travelling to see someone like @CEM at s4feet or profeet and whilst I think that there is probably a good fitter in most places that sells ski stuff in the UK there are IME lot's more weekend jobbers who will sell you 'the shiny red boot'.

Most holiday ( 1-2 weeks a year) maybe won't get the benefit of a good fitting boot, but in reality and in my experience the cost/time of going to a recommended and experienced person is worth it as I don't think the cost/product/time spent makes it significantly more expensive for a product most people buy (1-2 weeks skiers) every 5+ years.
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@dp, for sure. I put my current shell/liner on first day and thought I wasn't going to be able to ski. By the top of the cable car, I could ski, by lunch it was mostly tolerable.

I think i took, but I have the luxury of taking it, 3-4 days before going back for adjustment.
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It's obviously up to the individual, how often you go skiing and how comfy your feet are already - as moseyp put it, there is no such thing as average feet. A good boot fitter will work out what's best for your feet
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@ansta1, I'm in like a bit of a mixed bag situation.

I am likely going to do another season (2018) on my alpine boots just because I am probably not quite as good a skier as I want to be before I start messing around with other things... but for 2019 I am hoping to move into a touring boot.

The problem is... I obviously have a semi-tangible concern that I will get to resort, find the good boot shop, and then discover that they do not have anything in stock to fit me. Obviously I want to use my time there wisely and don't really want to spend day 1 of a 6-day trip trundling around resort trying to find something that fits, preferably sold by somebody who can fit it properly.

Whilst my last experience of buying boots in resort was positive, I did at least have my old boots in tow so I wasn't in a position where not being able to sort something would have meant no skiing. Obviously hire is an option but less so with touring boots with tech inserts. I think my temptation is really to buy the boot from S4F / Profeet in the UK and get my first fitting there (and make sure I understand thoroughly what the fitter has done thus far), take them to resort and get them tweaked there.

With alpine boots, I think I may well get them done from scratch in resort but with touring boots being a little more specialised I am hesitant to go to resort with tech bindings and no boots to go in them and rely on local availability.
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@dp, 1. "Touring" boots are typically a little more generous and thus more comfortable be nature. Maybe less somwith modern hybrids.

2. Where you going? Many places have hsops that rent touring gear...
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@under a new name,

1. I get that but they still need fitting...
2. I'd still rather not spend the week in hire boots
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@dp,

totally understand that you may not want to hire but our local shop that rents touring gear stocks mainly stuff with tech bindings / fitting these days. They only have a limited amount of skis with frame bindings for those people who want to use their own non-tech boots. I doubt you'd have problems finding hire boots with tech fittings these days.

I agree with you that touring boots need fitting though. I actually find them a bit of a struggle to get right because I have narrow heels and that means I am prone to heel lift and rubbing while skinning
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@dp, again, depends where you're going. e.g. Concept Pro in Cham have reasonable (not top of the range but not far off) touring boots to hire.

If you're there early season any good fitter should have adequate stock. And in fact, as you can, to an extent make anything that's small enough fit anyone, the tradeoff is more in the fitter's time. I.e. ideal boot not avail in your size so you get fitted with an alternative that just needs a bit more work.

And if you're there for e.g. a week, there's a reasonable chance they can be ordered in or sourced from another shop.
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@under a new name, Valid point about Chamonix. I know Chamonix well and if I was going to Cham I wouldn't be worried, I know a decent boot fitters there and I know Concept Pro well.

It really depends as I said. If my first trip of the season will be Chamonix then maybe I will take a punt on it. But I am still - and I don't think it's entirely irrational - hesitant to turn up to resort at the start of a 6 day trip, sans boots. I just worry - especially being somebody with awkward feet as it is...
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@dp, I think it's a fair concern.
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dp wrote:
@under a new name, Valid point about Chamonix. I know Chamonix well and if I was going to Cham I wouldn't be worried, I know a decent boot fitters there and I know Concept Pro well.

It really depends as I said. If my first trip of the season will be Chamonix then maybe I will take a punt on it. But I am still - and I don't think it's entirely irrational - hesitant to turn up to resort at the start of a 6 day trip, sans boots. I just worry - especially being somebody with awkward feet as it is...


So you either have to plan that trip to a place like Cham or St Anton or soemwhere that you know will have the depth or take your alpine boots with you or third option get sorted by someone like S4F or Rivington Alpine etc and work out the wrinkles in a fridge.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, can you tour in fridges? I quite like the idea of people walking up the edge at Hemel Very Happy
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, I have seen it done!
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, You would have to zig-zag up a race course while it was in use to get the full test.
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iainm wrote:
Great to see all those positive comments about Profeet.

I'd back up this comment from runsp above:
'By all means save that money, go to Eliis Bring'em or Snow&Rocks and you might well get lucky.'

This video might be useful for explaining why the Profeet service is more expensive and what you can expect when you go in:



Forum savvy ski pedia marketing consultant snowhead resurrects old thread, hmmm Toofy Grin Laughing
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@boredsurfin, more food for that thought... http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=132178#3072173
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@boredsurfin, yeah, cynical old me thought that too...
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:

So you either have to plan that trip to a place like Cham or St Anton or soemwhere that you know will have the depth or take your alpine boots with you or third option get sorted by someone like S4F or Rivington Alpine etc and work out the wrinkles in a fridge.


Besides Snoodles valid point that fridge touring might be a little uninspiring... taking Alpine boots with me would also be of limited value in a tech binding...
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So you aren't quiver killing your existing holes for your old alpine bindings? Fair enough but I think you need to plan for a trip to buy and shakedown your boots then which might mean Cham.
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