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Where To Buy Ski Boots Now?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A mate of mine is looking to buy ski boots now.

He has been crippled by hire boots on the last two trips, to the extent that he has had to pack in early each day. Obviously we all called him unrepeatable (on here, at least...) names at the time, whilst secretly sympathising with his plight.

He is keen to ski again next winter and has paid (a lot) to see a foot specialist, who assessed his feet, gait and had him walk (on a computerised treadmill) and concluded that he does indeed have a problem - with high insteps. He sold him a pair of custom made orthotic insoles and recommends that he gets his own ski boots.

Can anyone recommend anywhere in the north (he lives near Newcastle) that is likely to have a reasonable selection of boots for him to try at this time of the year and has a good boot fitter? FWIW I reckon he will be a size 9 or 10, so hopefully a not uncommon size.

I'm sure he'd drive a fair way to get sorted. 20 odd years ago Mrs B & I drove to Glasgow to buy ski boots at this time of year, from a large shop in Sauciehall (?) Street. They had a large selection of boots then so I'm hoping somewhere similar exists for my mate. I'd be happy to have a ride out in the car with him if he needs to travel a bit.

Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bergmeister, his likely first problem is that any good fitter will have purchased sensibly and sold outnof much stock by now.

Better to wait till pre-season.
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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?
@under a new name, +1
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks.

Can anyone recommend someone who may be good a fitting boots but lacking in stock expertise? Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Bergmeister,
Don't know but would probably be worth giving LD Mountain Centre in Newcastle a call and asking whether they had much stock left.

Why does he need to do it now rather than in the autumn when new stock comes in?
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Bergmeister, Laughing

Does it really need to be now? I'd expect Ellis Brigham or SnR to have the biggest inventory left over, if you can track down which store their best fitters are at.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
http://www.alainbaxter.co.uk in Stirling
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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!
Rivington Alpine, maybe? Just off the motorway just below Preston, not a terribly bad drive (maybe 2-3 hours depending on route?) if you time it right. Probably low stock now, but might be able to get something in, 'specially if you can make a 2nd trip.
Else there's Alan Baxter in, I think, Perth (ah, someone else has said Stirling) - again a few hours' reasaonably straightforward drive though.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Otley is closer, Glide n Slide . hour and a half
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
A certain boot fitter that a few know on here - based in the Midlands, has a fair bit of next seasons stock on the shelves already...
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
BACs in elland always have last years stock at great prices
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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.
good bootfitter means at least 10 seasons at the bench, if you have done that then you probably have a fair idea about what you will sell so wont have much left, it is always a gamble at this time of year, the reason we have some boots left is that they are carry over into next year (we knew this so could hold a few more) the other reason is unlike some fitters we won't just put someone in a boot to make the sale, so inevitably we get left with a few bits each season, the key is not having too many of them
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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
@Bergmeister, shona is at Nevisport in Sauchiehall St Glasgow nowadays. Would need to make an appointment. Knows her stuff alright. Spent about 1.5 hours with her a couple of weeks ago getting new boots. Having had a pair of Strolz boots for 10 years it was time to move on (reluctantly). Most stock half price
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I know that people will hate me for saying this because it's normally considered a no-no, but...

I am an experienced skier and the season just gone I bought new boots in resort and it was the best decision for me.

People always make the same assumptions that:
- everyone who works in a ski shop in resort is a spotty 19 year old from the UK with no experience
- resort prices are hugely hiked to attract the tourist trade
- if something goes wrong you can't take them back

Now, don't get me wrong - I've experienced the wrath of all 3 problems buying in generic sports stores in resort... you're intersport or skimium or whatever. But it's inevitable that every ski resort is going to have it's fair share of gnarly freeskiers, racers and - always guaranteed - guides and instructors. And these people all need somewhere to buy their kit and get it serviced. So the secret I found, is to get amongst the locals, find out where the pros take their gear, and go there.

The benefits I experienced of buying in resort far outweighed the risks. The realities were:
- the prices were really no different to the prices in the UK shops; and the selection was as good if not better than most S&R or E.B
- the bootfitter was a very experienced man who did the boots for most of the racers in town, and had run his business for 20 years

but most importantly, the biggest factor was fitting. In the UK, you get your boots fitted in a shop then you go to resort and for most of us, we take what we've been given. Good bootfitters in the UK might have got us 90% of the way there but not quite perfect, and we just roll with it. The great thing about buying in resort was the ability to take the boots out on the mountain for the day, tell them all the things which felt good and all the things which didn't, then take them back in the evening. They'd work on them overnight and I'd pick them up at 9am the next day and take them out for another day. I barely lost any ski time over it, and by the end of the week I had a really thoroughly fitted pair of boots which felt, and still feel, absolutely great. I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend people try that route.


*for the sake of transparency, I got my footbeds from CEM and they're great. the guy in the shop even commented that he was very surprised to see such footbeds (the vacuum formed type) in a boot fitted in the UK because most Brits have the standard superfeet things that you put in the oven, every shop in the UK has. He was very complimentary about Colin(CEM)'s work there and I will definitely be giving Colin more custom in the future.

Perhaps then an alternative approach is to get your boots recommended then initially fitted by a quality British bootfitter such as Colin; and then establish the details of a quality bootfitter in resort once you get there, so that you can have any remedial work performed overnight like I did.
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