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Boot measurements... are meaningless?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
For walking boots I've always gone with army surplus combat boots in size 11 but as my British army ones are tatty and far from waterproof anymore I bought some German para boots to (potentially) use as snow boots that are European size 45, which either translates as size 10.5 or size 11 depending on what you look at. These fit alright but are slightly tighter than I'd like and probably wouldn't work with thick socks (so I might order a size up).

Size 11 according to most sources online translates as anywhere between 28.5 to 29.5 with one site saying 30 for comfort. Yet when I went into a shop that offers professional boot fitting (at a cost) he measured my foot without a sock at exactly 27 saying 27.5 for comfort maybe. They were booked up for these fittings so we just went to Decathlon and tried on some boots. Their foot measuring slidy thing also said size 27 or UK size 9. Could not even fit my foot into a size 27 ski boot even with very thin ski socks on and there's no chance a size 9 shoe would fit. 28.5 was tough and only 29 or 29.5 was remotely comfortable.

Decathlon only had a few boots to try on but the ones I was thinking about (as they were described as beginner to intermediate) felt painful like I had my feet in cement blocks and I could barely move in them. The most comfortable ones I could find were the Rossignol Alltrack 90s which the Decathlon site say are designed for 'advanced skiers' whilst another site says they are good for all skiers and very forgiving and another site even says they are good for hanging around the bar after skiing due to their comfort...

So foot measurements seem entirely wrong and descriptions of what a boot is even designed for vary wildly... or am I some kind of genetic freak whose feet somehow defy standard measurements? I mean I tried on some helmets at Decathlon for a laugh already knowing the largest they carry is at least 2cm too small for me so at this point I wouldn't really be surprised.


Do I really need to pay any attention to skill ratings on boots? Surely comfort (and a lack of acute cement based pain) is far more important? I've not skied since I was a kid and it seems to have become a bit of a convoluted minefield.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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width as well.
My feet width are a 9 to 9.5, length is a whole size smaller.

Also, different manufacturers sizes run different.
UK/US/EU/Mondo (Burton also do asian fit snowboard boots!)
They are all different sizes & only convert to whatever is the nearest.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
In shop they said width was average but by my own measurements I'd concluded wider fit was probably necessary and the pair I tried that were hideously uncomfortable was due to the narrowness mostly.

Sizes running differently might account for being one size bigger or smaller but two seems strange, especially when it's consistent across several brands. 29 or 29.5 was perfect in all the boots I tried that were wide enough it's just that one of them was noticeably more comfortable than the others. Though I have just read that the Rossignol boots have a switch on the back to set them in 'hike mode', not 100% sure what that actually does yet but I will try them again to make sure they weren't set for walking posture instead of skiing.
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Our feet sound very similar; I have the same issue with my meindl walking boots (45) needing thin socks & had salomon 29's fitted with a foot bed & then moulded. They are the most comfortable ski boots I've ever had. Packed down very slightly but a 1mm volume reducer has sorted that.
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People are used to wearing spacious comfy shoes so it can be a shock to put on ski boots for the actual size of your feet. I wear a UK 9.5 shoe, and my old ski boots were mondo 28.5. When I got new boots I found what nearly everyone seems to find, that I’m actually 27. From what I understand, there is no difference in shell size between half sizes ie 27 is same shell as 27.5. I tried on a dozen different pairs of 27 and 27.5, ranging from couldn't get them on, sheer pain, ok-ish, to comfy (the latter were touring boots and too soft). As you flex forwards in the boot, your toes pull back from the front.

The boots I bought had my feet feeling a bit numb the first few days. Now the liner's have packed down, they are feeling good.
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Try being a small- footed female rolling eyes
Is that a 5 or 6 women's or men's or kids'? And why do I take a 4 in some walking boots and a 7 in others? And I know that I'm a Eur 39 - except when I'm a 38 or 40 or 1/2 sizes in between.
It depends on the make, model, last and, well, God knows. You have just got to try them on.
As for ski boots, you ideally need an experienced professional fitter to advise what us best in terms of size, fit, ability level, model and make. That should get you a boot suitable for you and your feet, whatever their shape and size. It's not a false economy, believe me. If they're booked up, it's worth the wait. And make sure they gave a good range in and don't just take what's on the shelf. A good fitter will have a good stock or get them in for you.
Yes you want ski boots comfy: but that's comfy once fully warmed up -foot, liner and shell ( well, that may be cooled! - and after a few days' to weeks' to months' of use. Boots which are comfy when first put on are likely to be too big on the slopes. A good fitter will again advise and also be able to heat mould the liners or shells to fit your foot. They are not likely to be right straight off the shelf...
Generally, the Mondo size should be about the same but makes can vary by a size, say, and how they fit and feel also depends hugely on the flex and stiffness, width (last), shell and liner design, expertise level and so on.
Yes, it is a convoluted, and expensive, mine field: do not enter without proper expert assistance. And good custom insoles too.
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If they feel really comfortable they're almost certainly too big.
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Themasterpiece wrote:
People are used to wearing spacious comfy shoes so it can be a shock to put on ski boots for the actual size of your feet. I wear a UK 9.5 shoe, and my old ski boots were mondo 28.5. When I got new boots I found what nearly everyone seems to find, that I’m actually 27. From what I understand, there is no difference in shell size between half sizes ie 27 is same shell as 27.5. I tried on a dozen different pairs of 27 and 27.5, ranging from couldn't get them on, sheer pain, ok-ish, to comfy (the latter were touring boots and too soft). As you flex forwards in the boot, your toes pull back from the front.

The boots I bought had my feet feeling a bit numb the first few days. Now the liner's have packed down, they are feeling good.


Yeah I'm sure that's the case for most however my combat boots are the only pair of shoes I actually own and I wear them for everything so I am quite used to tight fitting high boots (when I first got them years ago after getting sick of trainers falling apart I did have numb feet for a couple days). So I didn't really find all that much transition besides it obviously being harder to walk in them. However 27, the size everything but the internet told me I needed, I couldn't actually get my foot into. It just stopped half way down. In 28 my toes were uncomfortably pressed against the tip of the boot despite my heel being as far back as it would go. Though obviously that is harder to do standing and Decathlon's floor mounts aren't going to let you work out what they are like downhill (in fact it wasn't even mounted to the floor and leaning forward too much would likely break it).

In my size 11 boots my toes don't touch the tip but they are tight enough elsewhere so it doesn't matter. In the EU size 45 boots which are probably 10.5 UK they do touch the tip of the boot but not in a way that is really uncomfortable. So provided the width is ok I could likely wear 10.5. I haven't bought shoes in a shop for probably 10 years so haven't had them measured besides by myself until now so it seems strange that the sliders said UK size 9 when my dad wears size 9 and I can't even get his loosest slippers on let alone a rigid boot...

Going to test some more boots before I buy anything though. As far as I know half sizes are just the liner and not the shell but I haven't noticed much difference so I'll try again to be sure.
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@Claude B, I recognise that this may be the case & have just had new bindings fitted with adjustment available for a slightly smaller boot should I find I need it.
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Grizzler wrote:
As for ski boots, you ideally need an experienced professional fitter to advise what us best in terms of size, fit, ability level, model and make. That should get you a boot suitable for you and your feet, whatever their shape and size. It's not a false economy, believe me. If they're booked up, it's worth the wait.


I'm tempted to go for it because I want to witness someone trying to force size 27s onto my feet because that's what the size chart said I needed. Perhaps they would fit with assistance and a lot of force but if I couldn't manage it whilst bracing myself on a bench then I'm not entirely sure how I'd manage to get them on in a car park half way up a mountain. Now that I think about it I do always remember having a total nightmare getting school shoes and vaguely recall many frustrated sales assistances over the years trying to force shoes onto my feet before concluding the slider just didn't work for me for some reason. Though I think the problem was my feet were too wide for most shoes and the slider in the shop today said normal so now I don't even know...



Claude B wrote:
If they feel really comfortable they're almost certainly too big.


Yeah perhaps, definitely need to give it another try to be certain. Though I wouldn't say 'really comfortable'... I mean they are ski boots after all. It was more that I wasn't in considerable pain.
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@JeffJeff, did they measure your feet when you were flexed in a ski position or standing up right?

many skiers (myself included) were/do ski in too big a boot (and buy too big a shoe) until they get professionally measured.

whereabouts do you live and perhaps we can suggest a good bootfitter to visit?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
kitenski wrote:
@JeffJeff, did they measure your feet when you were flexed in a ski position or standing up right?

many skiers (myself included) were/do ski in too big a boot (and buy too big a shoe) until they get professionally measured.

whereabouts do you live and perhaps we can suggest a good bootfitter to visit?


Sitting down, although I'm not sure what difference it makes. They'd just sold an expensive pair of heat moulded boots to someone else based on his measurements sitting so I guess that's standard for them. Relatively low seat though so perhaps the knee position is more akin to skiing than standing.

The place near me, which I won't mention lest I be seen to be criticising them (I'm not, it's just all a little confusing) I've seen mentioned here on the forums several times so I'm sure they are good at what they do and it's just my feet that are weird. As a beginner (assuming I remember nothing from last skiing so long ago when I was less than half my size) it seems more prudent to me to err on the cheaper side now and maybe shell out for something better and moulded perfectly to my size at a later date if/when I am better. That said it does seem more important to me to get boots right rather than any other bit of kit so I probably will spend more on them than on skis. If I wanted to be really cheap I could probably just use the old massive skis from the 90s that we dug out of the loft but that seems like making things unnecessarily difficult for myself...


I don't know, maybe it will turn out that skiing is like riding a bike, swimming or rollerskating. I haven't done those things in years but I know I still can. I kind of doubt it though.
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Ok a quick update if anyone is interested. Based on your feedback here I tried again. On some of the brands available there I could just about squeeze into the suggested size 27 but couldn't really buckle them up. The mistake I made last time was starting with a brand that is not comfortable on me regardless of the size (too narrow perhaps) and just working my way up until I found something I could tolerate and then neglecting to do the same with the others. The 27.5 in the boots I like technically does fit but it is an extremely tight fit that is definitely sacrificing comfort for performance and after 20 minutes with them on they were getting pretty uncomfortable so despite telling the guy in the shop I was a beginner his size recommendation seemed to be favouring performance.

Unfortunately they have neither the 28 or 28.5 to try for those boots but in the similar options the 28.5 seemed preferable so is probably what I will go for. It is easier to tighten up a larger size with an insole than stretch a smaller one if necessary. The confusion comes with those half sizes though. The guy in the shop mentioned that half sizes are just the liner and not the shell itself and everything I have seen online supports this. However putting a 28 and 28.5 sole to sole shows that there is a difference in size between them externally (beyond just the mounts for the bindings I think). The only exception in the few I compared was Atomic boots which say 28/28.5 and don't seem to do half sizes. I've also seen one site say that half sizes are the same length boot but with a wider fitting but perhaps that is only for some brands.

29s are probably a little looser on me than they need to be and would give me too much play in the boot so I expect 28.5 to be the best balance of comfort and performance for me. Thanks for the advice. Next problem: convince my brother not to wear the incredibly thick 20 year old woolen socks we found in the loft that he seems to have fallen in love with...
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You know it makes sense.
JeffJeff wrote:
Ok a quick update if anyone is interested. Based on your feedback here I tried again.


Do a shell test, take the liner out and put your foot in and see how much room you have, your foot should not be touching the shell at any point but there should only be a small amount of space between foot and shell. There are lots of threads on here about boot fitting already. Note as with shoes boots come in different shapes and widths so you may need to visit a number of shops.

Touring boots should have a bit more room as you also need to walk, not just ski, in them. I've come across a few people who were fitted for touring boots by downhill specialists and their toe nails turned black and fell out! Happy
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Socks defo should be thin. Warmth comes from the liner. Thick socks just mean less precision to anything you do.
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JeffJeff wrote:
It is easier to tighten up a larger size with an insole than stretch a smaller one if necessary..



Err no, it's much easier to stretch something , if it's too big, it's too big, and padding it out will feel a bit better, but still not be as good as a shell that actually fits ( I know cos I've been there with 2 pairs a full size too big) Go see a proper bootfitter who does a shell fit. Doesn't sound like you have had that done.
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@davidof Yeah thanks I'll see if I can try that before deciding. Decathlon predictably don't have any size larger than 27.5 to actually buy in the UK online or nearby so we're most likely going to go with a French shop on the way to/near the ski resort (which is significantly cheaper anyway) so options to try them properly seem limited. We did test this with one size but the security guy was looking at us weird. Even without taking the liner out I could feel my toe pushing right up against the shell on all of the 27.5s that I could get on and some of the 28s. Might go up to London and try Ellis Brigham but I'm not sure if they stock their full range on the shelves to just try on without assistance.

Not clear what the hike setting really does on the Rossignols besides increasingly flexibility in the rear of the boot. The change on flat ground is negligible but I suspect it may make things easier uphill. They do apparently have thermo fit liners which might be something to consider but it seems like a bit of a pandora's box after seeing reviews that said it just made them worse and ruined the liner. The one thing I did conclude is that for only/less than twice the price of Decathlon's own brand Wed'ze boots they are a significant improvement and don't feel as cheap or likely to fall apart...
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@JeffJeff, rent them this time - see how you get on, the shops around here let you swap if you are have issues, maybe the same for your destination. Might be worth thinking about. Ange Smile
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endoman wrote:
JeffJeff wrote:
It is easier to tighten up a larger size with an insole than stretch a smaller one if necessary..



Err no, it's much easier to stretch something , if it's too big, it's too big, and padding it out will feel a bit better, but still not be as good as a shell that actually fits ( I know cos I've been there with 2 pairs a full size too big) Go see a proper bootfitter who does a shell fit. Doesn't sound like you have had that done.


Well I was just working on the basis that I've done this with leather boots before (provided they are only slightly too big) whereas tight boots you are stuck with. Admittedly I don't really know how that compares with ski boot liners. They're going to have a certain degree to which they will naturally stretch beyond thick leather does but physically trying to stretch them seems unlikely to go well. Whereas one of the old pairs of ski boots we unearthed from the loft has a whole kit of inserts to adjust them down that came with it... though I assume that is no longer the done thing.

For my first pair of boots since I was in children's sizes bootfitters (and the expensive boots they stock) are a little out of my price range and would be wasted on buying beginner-intermediate boots that I may want to upgrade in time. When I am better it will be worth the investment but for the moment I would prefer half a size too big than half a size too small for the sake of comfort unless I am able to find a shop with those sizes to demo to be certain. One site's size chart listed comfort fit and performance fit as a whole size different and the fitter in the shop said he skis in boots a whole size too small for the sake of performance so I'm comfortable with a half size of deviation.
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My ski boots are at least 2 full sizes down from my choice of street shoes. Proper footbed mind to keep the foot in its proper non spread state.
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Plastic boots can be blown out easily. In fact some (such as certain Salomons) have fully heat moldable shells which can increase by 8-10mm in width. Remember that the liners will pack down a little after a couple of weeks. Ski boots that were too big held me back a lot when I started, i usually wear a 9.5 / 44 trainer but a size 7.5 in ski boots.
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flangesax wrote:
@JeffJeff, rent them this time - see how you get on, the shops around here let you swap if you are have issues, maybe the same for your destination. Might be worth thinking about. Ange Smile


Yeah we considered it but at a lot of places the cost to rent for 2 weeks comes out at nearly half the cost to buy (especially if buying in France on sale). I'd be unlikely to sell an old pair anyway but if they could fetch even a quarter of the original price then renting just feels like throwing money away and only worthwhile if you can't afford the upfront cost (which I'm very much doing on the cheap anyway). I mean we've got an ex-rental RV and car out in America which we've used a few years in a row because even with storage costs it works out cheaper if you are going to use them several times or for a long time (and potentially selling them later on) rather than renting every year and paying for the extra baggage costs for things you can just store on the vehicle so that's kind of my mindset here too.

I believe most of our old boots were bought by renting them, trying out a few and then paying the difference to just buy them outright at the end but I can't actually find anywhere in Les Arcs that definitively says it does that. I'm sure some of them do as Val d'Isere mentions that most shops do it but the Les Arcs site neglects to mention any so it seems a risk (and something that will eat up valuable time looking around) to turn up with no gear and expect that to happen. Since I don't know enough to really know what I am looking for yet besides comfort that feels like more of a thing to do in the future when looking to try out new things and upgrade whilst having some existing gear I am comfortable with to fall back on if all else fails.
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@JeffJeff, have you read any of the other threads about buying ski boots. You're getting some great advice on here but in not sure you're taking it on board. The fit of ski boots is very different to walking boots.
Your toes should be touching the front of the boots when you stand normally, then pull back from the shells when you flex your knees forward into a skiing position.
Your best option may be to get a pair fitted in resort. I'm sure someone will be able to recommend suitable shop.
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@JeffJeff, i have much belief that nearly all this bloke says is worth listening to. Go through his videos and you'll know considerably more than most and you will know enough not to make a fundamental error.

Happy watching...

'
http://youtube.com/v/fX9aFvzaceA '
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@sugarmoma666

Apologies if it appears that way but I am listening and this is all helpful and I appreciate it however more constructive advice comes from counterpoints or disagreeing with someone and letting them prove you wrong or rebut the argument than agreeing with everything (I mean I'm not deliberately doing that but that's just kind of unconciously how I am I think).

I've spent the last week reading a lot on equipment here, elsewhere and on sites selling it and what generally seems to be the case in skiing equipment is contradiction. ie one website saying a ski is bad on powder and for advanced skiers whilst another says it is a beginner ski that excels on powder and piste. It's rare to see anything reviewed very badly but what those reviews say seems to be at odds with each other and be quite opinionated.

Considering my options are: try on a very limited supply of boots in limited sizes from a couple shops nearby that I can afford, pay through the nose for a proper fitting at the one nearby shop that does it and really only stocks very expensive gear that seems excessive for a beginner (and that could work out more expensive than the cost of the whole trip + lift passes + cheaper gear), waste money in the long run renting or hope I can find something at the resort without wasting time... I don't have great choices or ability to choose.

Instead I've elected to order what seems right from a French site with a big sale on in the knowledge that I can return them free if the size feels wrong and just sacrifice the small postage cost... it still would work out cheaper than actually driving somewhere to try the size I probably need.

If that doesn't work out then I still have time to resolve the problem or can consider the other options but it at least gives me something of a safety net so I don't end up turning up empty handed.
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JeffJeff wrote:


If (read WHEN) that doesn't work out then I still have time to resolve the problem or can consider the other options


skiing is a fundamentally expensive(sure you can do it cheap) SPORT which uses specialist equipment.... if your foot measures 27/27.5 then that should in theory be the boot size, strangely enough the manufacturers have spent a lot of time and money making sure that your foot fits i your measured size, if they didn't then there would be no point them putting that metric size on the box

reasons it felt wrong
1 thick socks
2 boot too low volume for your foot, all brands make narrow medium and wide the shapes are all just a little different
3 you left the paper in the front
4 you clipped them up incorrectly (when you visit a fitter or look at the correct info on the internet then you will know how to do this)
5 you have large calves
6 you have limited ankle joint motion
7 you think a ski boot should fit like a walking boot or trainer
8 heel instep perimeter is very large
9 excessively pronated foot
10 you hadnt clipped your toe nails
11 your tolerance to fit tension is very low



there are many more but there is a point when boot fitters just get bored and have boots to fit for people for boots, the trouble with reading about boots and equipment on the internet is there is no filter is it good news or fake news, havving made my living form fitting boots for 30 years + it is a matter of perspective as to what you think a service is worth


question..... if you buy a car from a high end brand do you take it to a back street garage to get a cheap service or "pay through the nose" for the good dealer to service it..... your choice


PS this dealer is fully booked until 7th february Wink
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Be sure to come back and tell us how fantastic your randomly sized and chosen cheapy boots were. We'll feel free to then ignore you.

It's almost a meme - I don't believe what you people who've actually skied for a number of years are telling me - you're all part of a great conspiracy. I'm an experienced bargain hunter and my way will work just fine.
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JeffJeff wrote:
Apologies if it appears that way but I am listening and this is all helpful and I appreciate it however more constructive advice comes from counterpoints or disagreeing with someone and letting them prove you wrong or rebut the argument than agreeing with everything (I mean I'm not deliberately doing that but that's just kind of unconciously how I am I think).

I've spent the last week reading a lot on equipment here, elsewhere and on sites selling it and what generally seems to be the case in skiing equipment is contradiction. ie one website saying a ski is bad on powder and for advanced skiers whilst another says it is a beginner ski that excels on powder and piste. It's rare to see anything reviewed very badly but what those reviews say seems to be at odds with each other and be quite opinionated.

Despite people having a go at you, you're actually right about the different opinions. I've been on threads about winter tyres/chains, boots, helmets (off course), ski servicing and many other topics and you find the same thing - a divergence of opinion. It's down to you to sort the wheat from the chaff, who are the smartest posters, who is the most knowledgeable, etc. In many cases people legitimately hold different views - we are humans after all - which can because of their personality, their experiences, their needs. They'd be no need for discussions/questions if we were all the same.

JeffJeff wrote:
Considering my options are: try on a very limited supply of boots in limited sizes from a couple shops nearby that I can afford, pay through the nose for a proper fitting at the one nearby shop that does it and really only stocks very expensive gear that seems excessive for a beginner (and that could work out more expensive than the cost of the whole trip + lift passes + cheaper gear), waste money in the long run renting or hope I can find something at the resort without wasting time... I don't have great choices or ability to choose.

Instead I've elected to order what seems right from a French site with a big sale on in the knowledge that I can return them free if the size feels wrong and just sacrifice the small postage cost... it still would work out cheaper than actually driving somewhere to try the size I probably need.

If that doesn't work out then I still have time to resolve the problem or can consider the other options but it at least gives me something of a safety net so I don't end up turning up empty handed.

It's a punt. It may work, it may not. We got my 12yo a pair of boots for a tenner of ebay! But kids don't question so much - teenagers barely speak at all, and if they do it's barely understandable. Although he did complain they were too tight first day so mum took out one of the two booster insoles she had inserted! Like CEM says to do ski boots properly is inherently expensive. I don't agree skiing in general needs to be expensive but certainly boots are.
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i just think you can go to the best bootfitter in the world, and he does pop up on snowheads quite regularly, but you never really know how good your boots are until you actually go skiing, if you buy your boots from profeet or wherever and they start hurting at the top of a mountain in some far off eastern european country theres nothing you can do about it. and another point a lot of people make is that after a couple of weeks the boots will start feeling better, but thats no good to someone who goes skiing for one week every year. i"m going to buy a new pair of boots next week in preparation for a weeks skiing in march, so all i can do is wear them around the house for an hour everyday and just hope for the best.
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@CEM
@Dave of the Marmottes

Cool well I'm about done with this forum then. Same kind of attitude I'm seeing almost everywhere on skiing. Doesn't matter how many times you say you don't want to spend £500 on a pair of boots as a beginner that's always what it comes back to.

The notion that something has to be expensive and should be expensive just to work seems prevelant everywhere with skiing. I thought it had become more accessible since the 90s but guess I was wrong.

Firstly they were not randomly chosen. I explained size 29 is clearly too big and on size 27 I could not get the buckles done up. Size 27.5 I could tighten a bit but if they are painful after sitting down in them for 20 minutes I am not going to enjoy being strapped up in them for hours.

28 and 28.5 is a 50-50% shot and the information on what half sizes actually mean does not seem definitive with one guy telling me one thing and something else saying the opposite. I'll leave them on for an hour or more at home and see how they go. It's not going to be an adequate test for skiing in them but it at least gives me an idea. If I have to waste £8 to return them and end up spending more in resort to get something else so be it. If I ski in them for a day and they are no good so I need to get something else... so be it. It is a gamble but it still works out cheaper than a bootfitting even if I ended up renting or buying another pair. I've seen enough things mention skiing in a pair of boots slightly larger than your size for comfort and enough people say they deliberately ski in smaller boots for performance to see that there isn't really a definitive size that you need.

These boots are around £200 most places with the shop that does bootfittings escalating that price nearer to £300 and the shop I found them at reducing them from £220 to £150. Paying more for the same boot doesn't automatically make them better and it's not like I'm going for Decathlon's dubious own brand stuff.

The notion that things have to be expensive is as ridiculous as it is anywhere. Do you honestly think the £400 ski pants my friend offered to lend me are a significant improvement over a pair half the price? Or that the £150 ski poles the ski shop does are going to offer a noticeably improvement over regular ones for the average recreational skiier?

It's the same question as if an Addidas bag at £50 is actually any better than an unbranded one at half the price that probably came out of the same Chinese factory. At a certain point you are just paying for the name or the bragging rights of having something expensive than functionally performs much the same as the cheaper everyday version. With a lot of the attitudes I'm reading about skiing I wouldn't be surprised if these are the people buying into that £1000 hdmi cable scam...

Whilst Rossignol might have included less technology or high tech materials in their cheaper boots they aren't going to deliberately market a cheaper boot that is entirely useless and tank their reputation.

To address your points though:
1 I tried them with very thin 80% Merino socks.
2 My foot apparently measures average width.
3 No. Though I did find an allen key in one.
4 I clipped them loose, stood up and tightened them some more to see how far they could go.
5 Not sure, they were comfortable enough on the calves and on the smaller boots the problem was more foot length.
6 Not limited enough to bend my foot to get in a boot but not sure there.
7 No, I just think that if I am very uncomfortable then there's no chance I will enjoy skiing. I haven't worn trainers in at least ten years and by all accounts my boots would be seen as uncomfortable by most people for everyday use.
8-9 Thanks, I'll have to do some research there. I'm inclined to say that isn't the case from a quick look online but I'll take that into consideration if I have problems.
10 Not to get too graphic here but I have a problem with ingrowing nails so I keep them very short and about once every couple month need to do some more elaborate cutting so I am not in pain walking. They're fine at the moment.
11 I would prefer comfort over excessive tightness.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Random question for bootfitters. If I skied in boots that were one size too big, what would be the impact?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@JeffJeff, Hi - randomly butting in here. No need to take offence and pack up the toys and leave. You asked for advice and you received a lot of sage advice but my read through does make it look like you came in with a preconceived idea almost decision already made. The chat about your combat boots etc is totally irrelevant and the whole trying to second guess everything and measuring your feet is irrelevant - due to the range of other factors in play - hence why specialist/expert bootfitters exist and are in very high demand.

You also absolutely do not and never did need to spend anywhere near £500. Quite simply you should have just gone to a reputable fitter, put yourself in their hands and let them do their job. You would learn a lot about the process in the process. £150 - £250 on a pair of boots that dont fit, that hurt, that potentially damage your feet and that ruin your holiday and put you off skiing sounds like a bigger waste of money than £300 ish on a great fit. Even with the option or returning them and also trying to get a fitting in resort (good luck with that) ... I don't personally see the economy in the gamble for the sake of £100 ish.

You haven't skied in that long and so with respect you don't actually know what comfort over excessive tightness means.

But from my point of view I hope that the online purchase does work out for you and that you enjoy your skiing.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@JeffJeff,

You wont find boots that will fit like a glove straight out the box. They are tight & uncomfortable at first, but as you wear them the liners will pack out & be more comfortable. You could do this before a trip by wearing them around the house or even hitting a uk indoor or dry slope.
Snowboard liners for example will pack out a whole size. Thats about 1cm all around. So a comfortable boot that is not packed out, will become loose once it does. So 27.5 should really be your size, maybe a 28 if you plan on wearing thick socks. You could always try womans boots to see if its a calves issue (women tend to have larger calves than blokes).

The other option is to rent this season try & find something thats comfortable - if they wont sell, then at least you know the size, make, model, etc.
You could in theory rent 27.5 that have already been packed out. Then wait until March/April for sell off of 2017/18 gear.

As daft as it sounds, using a good boot fitter could save you money in the long run. So their labour needs to be accounted for as well. My local ski shops do boot fitting but there is also a guarantee that if there is problem or pain, etc. to bring them back for another fitting. Thats is their job & reputation.
They dont want to fit & sell you poor fitting boots if i) you come back with issues or ii) word of mouth damages their reputation it means loss revenue for the business, and most of these are only small businesses.

Hope your purchase works out. It took me 3 attempts before finding a good fit snowboard boot. Luckily the most expensive pair was only £100
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@JeffJeff, You're misinterpetting and lumping a whole load of biases in at once. This isn't slapping a logo on a basic t Shirt or bag and selling it at 10 times the price and people assuming it is 10 times the quality. Lots of things in skiing can be done on the cheap if you are resourceful and/or savvy. Boots is one that rarely works out well

This is people who have been there saying "you might get lucky with your approach BUT our experience tells us that its a lottery and as boot problems can SEVERELY disrupt your expensive ski holiday skimping is not always the best plan"

Boots are expensive because they are engineered for something quite specific, have to be made in lots of sizes and don't have huge sell-through. Boot-fitters (and by which I don't mean boot sales staff) do a lot of training, invest in a lot of kit and are entitled to make a living. Most don't charge much beyond a nominal amount if you are paying retail price for a boot from them (but yes they might not be discounting the boot as much as a no-service internet seller).

Oh & half sizes mean NOTHING - I don't know of any manufacturer that actually makes separate half sizes. The only question should be whether that brand "breaks" (sizes up) on the full or half size i.e. are 27 and 27.5 the same shell or are 27.5 and 28.0 the same.

And as for counterpoint rebuttals that you'll believe - kinda hard to communicate the full pain of excessive shin bang, blisters, bruised toes, nerve damage etc from slopping about in a boot tat's too big for you.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 12-01-18 13:27; edited 2 times in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Skiing isn't a cheap sport, but with that said it doesn't have to be uber expensive either.

I'm not trying to be patronising, but I think that people generally underestimate the importance of well fitted boots. To me they're the single most important piece of kit. Boots will have the greatest impact on your holiday by far. Well fitted boots will mean that you can ski in comfort (relatively), ski in control and also lessen the physical impact of skiing on your legs.

I'd take well fitted boots way in advance of the more expensive chalet, gortex gear, expensive merino baselayers, advanced vs standard ski rental; i'd even compromise on booze and eating in high end restaurants to offset the cost of a good boot and fitter.
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@JeffJeff, I may have missed it, but I'm not sure you have said where you are skiing? Perhaps someone on here will know a good shop or fitter in resort?

I skied for five years in a pair of boots that were too big, bought from and 'fitted' by a very nice chap at Snow & Rock. I didn't know any better than to accept what he said, and when he asked me if they were comfy, I said yes. When I tried the size down, they were uncomfortable.

5 years later, I went to see CEM to see if anything could be done about the pain and lack of control in my boots - he said they were too big (pain from gripping with my toes to try and exert some control) and not only could he not remedy it, he didn't have anything he felt would be suitable, if I wanted to buy new ones.

He recommended a bootfitter in Chamonix, where I was heading the following week. I booked an appointment with said bootfitter, and went straight there when we got to Chamonix. We spoke at length, and he suggested one (and only one) pair of boots, from the huge range in the shop. He fitted them (and insoles) in about 3 or so hours, and said if I had any issues to come back at the end of the next day to have it rectified. There was no need to do so.

10 years later, I am still skiing in them, they are still comfy, still very snug, can be hard to put on when cold or my calves are tight, but I can ski first to last lift in them without ever undoing a buckle.

I couldn't tell you now what mondo size they are, other than the right size. I wear an 11 in running shoes, 10 in normal shoes, have 11.5 rugby boots, sometimes because of width, sometimes because of length. I have one foot a half size bigger than the other, extremely high (underpronating arches) and very tight calves. So not an easy fit (or normal? I'm not sure...)

The three hours and £300 I spent with that bootfitter remain the best investment I have made in skiing, as every trip is made so much easier by knowing it is only my crappy technique and not my boots that define how well I ski. snowHead

Best of luck!
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JeffJeff wrote:
Doesn't matter how many times you say you don't want to spend £500 on a pair of boots as a beginner that's always what it comes back to.


Rent the boots, why buy something when you don't know what you'll need in a years time or why you may actually need something different.

Just rent a comfy pair of boots, in time if the rentals arn't doing the job for ye, then buy. Your taking about not wanting to invest 500 but still buying over renting
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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There are lots of bargains to be had in skis and jackets etc, but from my 30+ years of skiing experience ski boots need a professional fitter to get right and even then it can be a tough process. That's pretty daunting for a beginner to get their head round, but honestly a badly fitting ski boot (usually way too big when comfy in the shop out of the box) is the worst start you can make in this sport. Foot pain can be a real show-stopper on the slopes and is no joke.

CEM is a great boot fitter by the way and what he says is very true. My wife had her last boots fitted by him a few years ago and she is very happy with them. Her skiing has also improved dramatically over the last few seasons, no doubt as a direct result. My current boots were fitted by a very experienced fitter in resort and are also a great fit, but alas they are now approaching end of life so I'm going to have to go through the boot fitting process again soon. Not something I'm looking forward to if I'm honest, but no way would I contemplate choosing my own ski boots even though I've been skiing at a pretty high recreational level for decades. It simply isn't worth skimping on boots for both the sake of your feet and enjoyment of the sport.

@JeffJeff - listen to these guys, they are not taking you for a ride. Boots can feel terrible brand new in the shop and can be torturous to both put on and take off. Anything that feels remotely comfortable on first fit will almost certainly end up slopping around after a few weeks use, leading to all sorts of issues from horrific blisters to very poor ski control. In short find an experienced fitter, pay for the service and take their advice. An average boot fit can easily take 3+ hours plus maybe several tweaks after initial testing. The skill is in matching your unique feet to the right volume boot, with the right flex pattern for your ability and natural joint movement, while providing a very snug fit that isn't painful after a full day on the slopes. Not an insignificant challenge! The good news is that a well fitted pair of boots will last for many years.

That's my 2p worth anyway, take it or leave it.
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On comparative sizing, I usually wear UK 6, although closer to EU39, my road shoes are 41.5, trail shoes 42.5, ski boots 25.5 iirc, and they all fit!
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@JeffJeff, Rent boots at resort hire shop. Exchange them if sore - it couldn't be easier and is lowest non risk action.
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