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Complex questions re ski equipment in 2017/2018

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,
Hope someone can help:-
I am a decent skier(can get down black runs or off-piste reasonably well, but have no good ski-style) , planning to ski off-piste for 5 full days in the Arlberg with a company specialising in off-piste in February 2018. My current problem is that I have very wide feet and all the ski-boots for the last 4 years have been extremely painful to wear(though previous ones were 100% fine). It seems that most current ski-boots are too narrow for wide feet like mine etc. Anyway, I know a brilliant man(bootfitter) in Nora Pure Sports in Vienna, Austria who can modify any skiboots in the shop. Trouble is that I don't know what make of skiboot requires the least amount of further bootfitting. Basically, I prefer at least (UK-size) size 13 boots of all kinds, have high arches on my feet and my feet are pretty wide for a man, plus specially-made skiboots like Strolz are not for me, as they apparently are too fixed(I hate being forced to bend the knees forward, and would like some ability to decide for myself where to place the knees etc.!). I also have slight myopia(c. -2.0/-1.2 diopters). This is fine when skiing in normal weather or during fog when skiing among trees. However, I find it extremely dangerous to ski alone on pistes/off-piste when going through clouds or when it is snowing, as I then cannot tell the difference between the white of the snow on the ground and the white of the air above, and have to desperately look around for other colours(ie other skiers/the few poles demarking the end of the piste). I clearly need special glasses for my myopia so that I can avoid this sort of nonsense in the future( an attempt at orthokeratolgoy unfortunately did not succeed). I tried 2 years back and bought some special ski-goggles with inserted lenses for myopia, but they fogged up as soon as it snowed, so I also need anti-fog goggles that actually work. Lastly, I likely need some form of ski-helmet(for a very large male head) in order to prevent the ski-googles etc. from falling off easily. I hate ski-helmets and, so far, the only reason why the authoritarian ski-authorities have not forced us all to wear ski-helmets in Austria has been that most(60-70%?) are already helmeted anyway. But it seems I have no choice.

Anyway, I realise these are complex questions, not necessarily providing any easy answers, but I am willing to listen to any experts, as, so far, hiring ski-boots has been a very painful disaster for me in recent years, and I do not relish once again having to return to the appartment at c.1pm every day just in order to save my lower legs from harm while skiing. Thanks...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@CromCruach, Hi an welcome to snowHeads snowHead
Tip one: paragraphs. Let's break this down:

Boots: The make/model of boot is irrelevant. See a good fitter and they will tell you which boots to buy and will blow the shell to make them wider if required. If you know someone in Vienna, that's fair enough, otherwise post your location for tips for fitters in the UK.

Sight: Have you tried contact lenses? Any decent goggles will be anti-fog these days, contacts means you can pick any you like. There are plenty of big models about, just head into your nearest ski shop and try a selection on.

Helmet: Some people wear helmets, some don't. If you've got a large head, your goggles will probably stay on over a beanie if you so wish. Otherwise, there are plenty of large helmets about, just try some on when you're trying goggles.

You may be over-thinking things! Many people don't get on with hire boots, it's not worth fretting about if you can afford to buy your own. The difference is likely to be huge.
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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?
Well That's a threadstarter and a half but I'll play


Boots - look for models with a reference width of 103mm or more. While it is true it isn't the most critical think for a bootfitter there are limits as to how much stretch can be achieved without wrecking overlap closure etc. Good bootfitter via personal recommendation though should be sought.

Goggles - assuming you have your sight corrected by contacts etc then you are in good company -lots of us struggle in white and grey outs and the good news is it gets worse with age. Oakley Hi Pink prism lenses or the equivalent Smith Chromapop seem to be best chance you have at the moment.

Helmets - Not compulsory It's your head. If you have a really big head most ranges stop at XL which is insufficient. Giro and some limited Poc. models are ones I've found which go larger.
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Can't fault the advice above:

- Get Boots fitted by competent specialist.

- Oakley Prizm....Rose works in all conditions and the Hi-Pink is a touch better in whiteout conditions, but a bit too light for bright sun. I'd look at the Flight Deck model.

- As an old-school skier who hated helmets....I am now very happy in a Salomon Ranger Custom Air.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@CromCruach, it sounds like we have some things in common. I also take a UK13 shoe although I have very narrow feet rather than very wide. I also have a massive head.

For boots... all you can really do is visit a shop with the biggest selection possible. We had a debate about this a few weeks ago, and whilst your fitter in Vienna might be very good (I have no reason to doubt this), my preference is to do fitting in resort. Firstly - they have a good captive audience, so the good shops do tend to hold large stocks. Secondly, you can have lots of work done on the boot in resort. You can have them fitted, then wear them for a day, see how you feel, and report back to the shop. Little niggles can take a few days to sort out, but any obvious problems you'll notice straight away and having the fitter on your doorstep will mean you can go in to get it tweaked. I really rate it.

Ultimately, I truly believe that a bad pair of boots can ruin a holiday. So getting them fitted bang on, by the time you take your holiday... is going to help make it a great holiday.

Goggles... what others said. I firmly believe in Oakley Prizm lenses and the pink lens is very good in low light conditions. Alternatively, how would you feel about wearing your specialist glasses (presumably with a strap so you don't lose them) and a helmet with a visor? Visor more or less eliminates the risk of being steamed up, and also will easily accommodate a pair of glasses between the visor and your head.

In terms of helmet, I found that the only brand that fit me is Giro. So I'd give them a try in the shop if you can. I think Giro do make some visor helmets so maybe you could kill 2 birds with 1 stone
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I've not tried these personally yet but will be getting some for my VR headset and trying them in ski goggles once I have chance to book an eye test.

https://vr-lens-lab.com/product/vr-frames-virtual-reality-glasses/

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
The only thing I would add to the above is that if you're not wearing contact lenses you could always consider prescription inserts. See my thread from a couple of seasons ago http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2865886&
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks for replying to my complicated questions. I, unfortunately, tried orthokeratology contact-lenses and it was such a dismal failure, with me almost losing each lens permanently over a few hours, I had to give up. I hate glasses but at least they are easier to put on, and I would grit my teeth and wear them, provided they did not fog up like before. It is not true that any shoe/manufacturer will do - my bootfitter at nora pure sports pointed out how my previous ski-boots had a plastic shell at the back-bottom of the boot so that nothing could be fixed in that aspect, though he did remove the soles etc., not that that improved things much. I was a fool to believe the salesman who assured us that the boots were the best and the biggest they had in store etc.

Do any of you know of any ski-manufacturers who deliberately make the , er "tongue" of the ski-boots as soft as possible as the previous ones seemed like corrugated steel to my legs at this time.

Hmm, one solution I have found for buying shoes wide enough for me was to buy shoes a size or two larger than my real size as they would always widen the shoes as well. Anyone know of manufacturers who sell Uk size 14 ski-shoes?
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CromCruach wrote:
Thanks for replying to my complicated questions. I, unfortunately, tried orthokeratology contact-lenses and it was such a dismal failure, with me almost losing each lens permanently over a few hours, I had to give up. I hate glasses but at least they are easier to put on, and I would grit my teeth and wear them, provided they did not fog up like before. It is not true that any shoe/manufacturer will do - my bootfitter at nora pure sports pointed out how my previous ski-boots had a plastic shell at the back-bottom of the boot so that nothing could be fixed in that aspect, though he did remove the soles etc., not that that improved things much. I was a fool to believe the salesman who assured us that the boots were the best and the biggest they had in store etc.

Do any of you know of any ski-manufacturers who deliberately make the , er "tongue" of the ski-boots as soft as possible as the previous ones seemed like corrugated steel to my legs at this time.

Hmm, one solution I have found for buying shoes wide enough for me was to buy shoes a size or two larger than my real size as they would always widen the shoes as well. Anyone know of manufacturers who sell Uk size 14 ski-shoes?


Not what you want - seriously a good bootfitter can put a lot of stretch width-wise into a shell at the specific points you need it. Heel pocket probably can't be stretched much but can be ground internally. Re tongues they can fit gel pads to add a bit of comfort but you really do need to harden your feet up a bit to ski boots. I would suggest FullTilt as different tongue modulus but they aren't know for wide boots.
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@CromCruach,

Re Ski Boots, tongues and shins...

I started skiing before Rear Entry boots were made popular. The result was that my shins were left bruised and bleeding....which put me off Front Entry boots for years, and caused me to (gladly) jump on the Salomon R/E revolution (SX80/SX92 etc). For the first time in my life, I skied in comfort (I had previously hired up to that point).

I then went to a pair of Salomon Integral Equipe, because they weren't fully F/E....and hung onto them for longer than was safe, all to avoid the F/E boot shin pain that I was sure would happen.

They eventually fell apart a couple of years ago.....and since I was in a resort with a well known specialist Bootfitter, I bought new boots, fully expecting them to be instruments of torture.

The truth is now, that they are the best fitting, most comfortable boots that I have owned....they are the right size and shape for my feet and have the right flex for my weight and ability. I'm a competent 1 week per year skier that's had back surgery, who needs comfort with a bit of performance thrown in....not the other way round.

So all I can tell you, is that modern boots, when correctly spec'd / fitted and worn with the correct socks, should absolutely be comfortable.
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@Old Fartbag, completely agree with your closing sentiment. I have had drama feet for about 10 years and even with a lot of help from the NHS, I'm still at a point where if it isn't Merrell or Scarpa, you can forget it. I'll be hobbling by the end of the day.

So with ski boots when I bought my first pair, I wasn't surprised when the guy told me (and I didn't know better) that discomfort was just an inevitability when you put your foot inside an injection moulded plastic boot which has been built with priorities other than comfort in mind.

Fast forward to 2 competent bootfitters (CEM in the UK, and Zinnermanns in Livigno) I can confidently say that discomfort is not on the agenda for me. It took some time to work out was going on a few times... for sure this year the discomfort eventually boiled down to the fact that my feet were actually recovering well. (My arches - which had flattened - were re-building so well that my foot was now to 'deep' for the boot. So whilst my feet hadn't grown, they had still changed).

It sounds to me like the OP has had bad experiences with rental boots and is now of the belief that all ski boots are bad and he needs something special. I think the OP might be surprised to discover that in fact, buying some remarkably regular off-the-shelf ski boots and having them fitted by an intelligent boot fitter is all that he really needs to do.
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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.
Basically my measure is if your feet are freakier than this dude maaaybe you need something super duper special but he gets into normalish boots

http://forum.pugski.com/threads/horror-nsfw-feet.4156/
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@Dave of the Marmottes, holy crap! I shall stop moaning about the slight hammer toe I have on each foot.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@CromCruach, I invested in a pair of Smith Knowledge OTG goggles in 2007, I thought they were painfully expensive at the time - $129.95+ tax from the Seattle REI,

The "over the glasses" style has the depth to accommodate my larger spectacles

The 2 speed fan runs for a few days on a pair of AAA batteries, keep on low then high if it starts to fog - the lens then clears in seconds

Every ski trip without fail people around me complain of fogged up goggles at some point, they are hands down the best bit of ski kit I've purchased.

The lens does not appear to be easily interchangeable (mine is an older model, newer ones will probably be easier) so I purchased mine with a yellow lens and for me it works very well in low light

I am repairing the foam this weekend due to wear and tear and to extend the goggles life

Smith do a few models with fans

Phenom Turbo
Prophecy Turbo
Knowledge Turbo
I/OX Turbo

I was intending to purchase a pair of the I/OX Turbo as a replacement due to the easier lens change but reviews last year consistently talk about poor quality issues with the fan

I hope that helps with the fogging part of your queries
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@CromCruach, do you need ortho-k contacts for medical reasons or could you use standard ones? Lenses should not get "lost"; this suggests that the type or material was not right for you, but there are many options these days so just because one type wasn't right it doesn't mean they're all bad.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Fish_Head, fogged goggles are almost invariably due to user error.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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under a new name wrote:
@Fish_Head, fogged goggles are almost invariably due to user error.


And invariably the fogging will clear easily with a flick of a switch if using fan equipped goggles as suggested by me to the op rolling eyes
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@Fish_Head, the experience of a few friends with OTG + fan is universally poor.

@CromCruach, myopia is hardly unusual. Contact lenses should work unless you have other issues. Terrain differentiation in poor light is a universal problem that everyone encounters. Yellowish lenses help due to physics of light and water.

Re boots, you need an intrinsic forward flex. You don't get boots with 0 forward lean. You want a certain stiffness to allow you to flex/pressure the ski appropriately. A good boot fitter will identify best boot requiring minimum adjustments. Where are you based?
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@CromCruach, If you want to ski off-piste -- get a helmet. Too many hidden rocks and branches .....
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Fish_Head, but if you make sure - by good practice - your goggles don't get foggy in the first place you don't need to over engineer them with fans and batteries and such.

Quite unnecessary.
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under a new name wrote:
@Fish_Head, but if you make sure - by good practice - your goggles don't get foggy in the first place you don't need to over engineer them with fans and batteries and such.

Quite unnecessary.


What exactly is your problem?

The OP is looking in to a solution for fogging when wearing inserts, I have been skiing with spectacles for years now and find in my experience that the fan assisted googles are fantastic for clearing goggles when they do fog, friends and skiing buddies have also purchased them on the back of my experience and rate them highly.


I had a strong feeling when i posted that you would make such comments, it seems to be a pattern, you clearly have a lot of experience and are a prolific poster so why do you feel the need to make such posts in that tone? Seriously, did you get bullied at school or suffer short man syndrome?


Why not make a positive contribution to the thread and list the ways that the OP might prevent fogging when using goggles and inserts, this would be of real benefit to not only them but other forum users or point them to an existing thread – I’m sure it would be very much appreciated
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whilst I often agree with @under a new name I think @Fish_Head had a fair point

if it helps, why turn it down?

we all know somebody who skis well off piste on a pair of narrow skis. so does that mean that those of us who feel the benefit of fatties should just put them down? because making sure - by good practice - that we were skiing narrow skis properly would be sufficient? there are people who argue that... and it's BS

Fact is that for 99% of this forum, skiing is a hobby not a profession or a necessity. So if something makes it more enjoyable for you, go ahead and do it.

With regards to Goggles fogging... last year we had heavy rain, the rain ran through my helmet vents, soaked into the foam of my goggles... then my hot face turned the water to vapour all over the back of my goggle lenses. what would be your good practice solution to that?
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@dp, don't ski in the rain.
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I don't think you can really consider that as 'good practice'.
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@Old Fartbag,

I too have big wide feet with high arches. I am still skiing very happily in Salomon SX 92 equipes and dread the day they fail.

I would be very interested to know what modern boots you have to replace the rear entry Salomons.
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@dp, why on earth would you choose to ski in the rain? (Ok,ok I understand, I used to do it as well).

Good google practice: (ime) goggles are either on your face or they are tucked somewhere warm, dry and sensible. That means, in particular, not on your forehead with a hat between. I haven't bothered to analyse the physics, but goggles on hats on heads get fogged up. It can mean (happily) on the table you are eating at.

Typically, my goggles are either on my face or they're safely tucked inside my helmet with my gloves all somewhere sensible. (If they are not on my face, almost by definition I'm in a bar, restaurant, etc.

Some conditions are nearly or completely going to get past all that - in particular - rain or heavy wet snow. Actually, your biggest problem here is the water accumulating on the outer surface.

Particularly, sweaty skiing in humid conditions can also be problematic.

Little you can do about that. Blowing cold humid air over the fogged surface doesn't seem like a good plan. IMHO.

If the OP is doing an off piste course a sound advice would be a second pair of goggles in the mandatory backpack.

On OTG goggles with fans. I know ~4 folk who have tried them and they didn't work. I know a fair few mountain professionals and none of them use them. I will confess that I don't think I've met anyone using script inserts, but I can easily imagine them not working for similar reasons.

Clearly, they must work for someone, or they'd have been an even bigger commercial failure, so @Fish_Head, fair enough. But wouldn't be not my first suggestion (and expensive as a test subject).

Used properly, (inserts apart, specs apart) goggles shouldn't fog up, in most conditions (rain, heavy wet snow aside).

Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm wrong*, rude nor using poor "tone" snowHead snowHead

*doesn't mean you're wrong either...
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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.
@CromCruach, also, do you really have wide feet? I have unusually wide forefeet in comparison to my heels. But they aren't unusually wide in and of themselves.

So what I need are narrow boots to keep my heels snug, that can be widened across my mid & fore foot to accommodate them.

Simple job. But you need aomeone who knows what they are doing.
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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
Well yes, many make the mistake of taking goggles off, or sweating too much.
under a new name wrote:
... ... Blowing cold humid air over the fogged surface doesn't seem like a good plan. IMHO.

If the OP is doing an off piste course a sound advice would be a second pair of goggles in the mandatory backpack.

On OTG goggles with fans. I know ~4 folk who have tried them and they didn't work. I know a fair few mountain professionals and none of them use them. ...
There's likely to be relatively more moisture in the warm humid air inside the goggle than in the relatively colder (and hence dryer) air outside. That's why the fan works.

Of course if you could blow warm dry air over them (try a hand-dryer, or a helicopter air vent) then that would be even better, but the fan is a reasonable substitute.

I too have never seen professionals use them. However that is probably because they don't have the problem, which does not lead to the conclusion that they don't work.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

does not lead to the conclusion


No, it doesn't. Experience of several different chums though, for whom they universally didn't work, does. Then again...if you think you need to use them, you're probably doing something wrong anyway.
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