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Buying Ski Boots.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
OK, so i was going to email my boot fitter with this first but maybe it would be better to understand a bit more about what is expected in a fitted boot.

I had fitted boots because rental ones caused me such discomfort that I lost feeling in the sole of my foot and also bruised the top and the effects continued for months afterwards. I'm 6'3" and weigh 14 st and a bit (190cm & 90kg). The fitter sold me a pair of Rossignol Alltrack 100s and the fitting process took a few visits, followed by an hour or two in a dome to see how they went. This completely resolved all the comfort issues. The buckle notch sequence from toe to shin went 1,2,2,3 - I even wrote it down. If I crouch now with that setting, I can get slide my palm behind my calf, is that right?

While testing them at the dome for an hour or two, I didn't feel that the boots were loose in any way. At the Oktober test late in the day, I did have the odd moment where I struggled for control but I put that down to any or all of; tiredness, unfamiliarity with the ski, lack of concentration, lack of ability.

On the mountain, weather was pretty warm on occasion but around freezing at the start of the day. As the week progressed I was having to increase the top two buckles a notch before we started and then later that morning find that I was gradually more unable to hold the instructor's line. "Your boots are too loose" he said. "I've tightened them" I said. "Tighten them some more" he said. So I now had them on 1,2,4,5 which was probably a touch too far but I didn't have any more problems with skis twitching around.

I suppose I'm a bit perturbed that I've ended up so far away from the fitter's original set up. And that the set up seems to need adjustment during the day. Any thoughts?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Penry, a few quick thoughts;

1) the ratchet side of the top buckles can slide across for easier adjustment, have you accidentally moved that during the week?

2) was the weather getting warmer during the week, or perhaps you were skiing lower?

3) were you working harder during the week (and thereby warming up the plastic on the boots)
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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?
Temps make a difference as already said.

Liner has packed down since new/during use.

Your buckles may spin for adjustment. Depending how you undo them you may be inadvertently extending them?
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@Sack the Juggler,

1) I think not, I would have to have accidentally moved 4 buckles simultaneously.

2) Warm start, cold middle, warm finish.

3) I'd like to think I was skiing more actively by the end of the trip, not particularly lower or harder but with greater range of movement in the knees and ankles.
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@blacksheep, How long does liner packing down take? I was under the impression this was a gradual process over many, many weeks.

Buckles do spin but I'm reasonably careful not to twist them through 360 and even so there's not enough adjustment to create 2 notches' worth of extra play.
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@Penry, were you going steeper towards the end of the week? I always tighten mine more on the steeps to hold the line better.

and maybe a silly question, but do you wear thick socks?
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I am not qualified to answer this but what the hell Very Happy
Why are you so focused on the original settings? Things change Ė socks, feet, boot, liner etc Ė if you have skiíd well in your boots then try to remember how tight they were and just do the buckles up as you feel right.
I normally start the days slightly loose and tighten if appropriate as I find it is easier to tighten a boot than loosen Ė it doesnít need to be perfect on the first run - just my view
Depending on your feet and boot you may need slight adjustments throughout the day Ė altho once I am happy I tend not to adjust i.e. I do not loosen at lunch
Someone will probably tell me I'm doing it all wrong snowHead
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i"m off to buy my new boots in a couple of days time, i"ve only got a choice of snow and rock and ellis brigham, but as there miles apart is either one or the other, i hate making decisions, whichever one i make is always the wrong one, and before anyone starts, no, i cant go to the snowheads super duper bootfitter in bicester.
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@Sack the Juggler, Thick socks were sneered at in fitters and replaced by smartwool phd blah blah blahs. My memory is that when I had problems, it was on reds not blacks, maybe because on the blacks I was pitched further forward anyway.

@Johnor, In all honesty I suppose I'm really looking for reassurance that the boots are fine having spent much time and money getting them comfortable.
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compostcorner wrote:
i"m off to buy my new boots in a couple of days time, i"ve only got a choice of snow and rock and ellis brigham, but as there miles apart is either one or the other, i hate making decisions, whichever one i make is always the wrong one, and before anyone starts, no, i cant go to the snowheads super duper bootfitter in bicester.


Might be worth stating which specific EB and S&N as some have better/more experienced fitters than others. You might get a personal recommendation for one over the other (sorry I only know the super duper guy in Bicester).
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uktrailmonster wrote:
compostcorner wrote:
i"m off to buy my new boots in a couple of days time, i"ve only got a choice of snow and rock and ellis brigham, but as there miles apart is either one or the other, i hate making decisions, whichever one i make is always the wrong one, and before anyone starts, no, i cant go to the snowheads super duper bootfitter in bicester.


Might be worth stating which specific EB and S&N as some have better/more experienced fitters than others. You might get a personal recommendation for one over the other (sorry I only know the super duper guy in Bicester).

bristol
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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.
so i finally made it to the shop, my last ski boots were size 29.5, when i measured myself at home in case i went internet shopping i was 28.5, and when they measured me in the shop i was 27. ski boots are still a mystery to me.
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I'd say it's a positive sign if the shop fitter is recommending downsizing. Obviously there are many parameters at play here, which is why a good boot fitter is worth paying for, but it's a good start if they are talking about smaller sizes. The trick is then to make it fit without causing pain
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
If you want some comfort for yourself take the liner out and put a bare foot in. Toes just touching the front of the shell. The gap at the back should be around 15mm +/- for a comfort fit.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
One thing to bear in mind is that your shoe size tends to increase by 0.5 a size on average every 10 years when you reach 40.

www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2422779/Tell-tale-signs-old-age-sneaking-From-sneezing-fits-longer-teeth-getting-tipsy-quickly.html

quote from article which is relevant to feet:

"Meanwhile, our feet become longer and wider with age, as the tendons and ligaments that link the many tiny bones lose elasticity. This allows the toes to spread out and the arch of the foot to flatten.
Some over-40s can gain as much as one shoe size every ten years."

My feet are now a 10, whereas for most of my life they were between 8.5 -9.5! (although my 13 year old ski boots still fit comfortably, trainers are now 10s instead of 9-9.5 which I change once a year on average)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bigtipper wrote:
One thing to bear in mind is that your shoe size tends to increase by 0.5 a size on average every 10 years when you reach 40.


I had this happen in my mid 30s. Over the period of a couple of years a pair of ski boots that fitted perfectly (snug race fit) in my late 20s became agonisingly tight and I had to abandon them. But interestingly my feet seem to have stabilised and been consistent for the last decade - now just turned 50. I think I went up only about half a size, but it played havoc with my ski boots at the time. Basically your feet flatten out with age. Support from a good custom footbed helps a lot.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have a (very) old pair of boots (bought 2000) but due to a 12 year break they've done ~10 weeks skiing.
The past 2-3 seasons I've suffered with blackened big toe nails and last season that culminated with me losing a nail.

So I need this problem fixing.

I had hoped that a professional boot fitter could perform some magic and "fix" my current boots, but having spoken to a couple of people that seems unlikely. Do you agree ?

So if I need new boots, Solutions4feet, profeet and skibartlett all seem to be good options. Are there any real considerations when choosing between these ? I/we previously went to S4F and they very honestly said that they couldn't fit my wife with anything (she has weird feet).

But I was wondering about getting boots in resort. I'm going to Belle Plagne in April. That's very appealing but my fear is 1) I'll pick a crap shop and get a mediocre fit from an average fitter, 2) that late in the season they wont have much stock and so they'll sell me what they have left, not what's best for me. Can anyone recommend a Belle Plagne shop ?

I'm a 50yr old, 1 week a year, recreational skier (reds/blacks) with an ambition for comfort over all else. Apart from the toenail problem I don't have any particular difficulties (unlike my wife who needed custom fitted Dale Boots).

Is there any real benefit of getting in resort or would I be much better getting them ahead of time ?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Get them ahead of time somewhere good, with a selection and use your holiday as a holiday would be my advice.
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I would go to S4F personally, but the others seem like reasonable options too. I'd take any of those over fitment in resort if only there for one week and you don't know anyone. Ideally you want them fitted and bedded in well before your holiday - ideally including a few sessions in the fridge. But even wearing them around the house will help a lot.
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Got mine from s4f in August. Several fridge sessions to bed them in. 11 days in Whistler on them. Numb a little on first run, after that I never touched them during the day at all. Longest was 7:15 ski down in dark to go cat skiing and not back till 4:30. Then went for beers with them still fastened. I skied much better as well. As ever a size smaller than previous fitted boots.
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Simple question. Can anybody recommend a really good boot fitter in the Surrey / Sussex area? Or London would be ok, or somewhere around the M25. I've had mixed results with snow and rock over the years a terrible experience with a certain boot fitter in the Oxfordshire area.

Many thanks.
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Your feet also change size depending on how fat/thin/hydrated/dehydrated you are.
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@Jcosh, profeet in fulham
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Jcosh wrote:
a terrible experience with a certain boot fitter in the Oxfordshire area.


Sorry but slightly off topic I think posts like this are really shitty.

I think we all know who the certain Oxfordshire boot fitter is likely to be. So why don't you just say it?

There's lots of recommendations for them on this thread so in the name of neutrality, if you've had a bad time and it's not been resolved, I think it'd be far more use to the forum to be up front about who your bad experience was with and why it was bad. Being vague about it doesn't help anyone.
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He's asking for help, not giving it. And he's telling us that he doesn't want recommendations for CEM, and presumably didn't want to get caught up in raking over the past. Doomed to failure though Very Happy

I'm guessing the two of them are adults and if they want to resolve their differences, they can when they next check in. Or they can just move on.

And if I'm going to be completely honest, the level of hostility in your post doesnt do much in the name of neutrality either @dp,
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i"ve been dealing with ellis brigham in bristol over the last couple of weeks, and they have been very helpfull and friendly, at the moment my boots feel slightly on the small side but i"m told that is perfectly ok, so its of to gloucester to give them a spin before i hit the slopes of valdisere.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Penry, valid... but at the same time if every good experience with a boot fitter gets a name, but every bad experience is anonymous, then the forum ends up making everyone look good! But also, if you've had a bad experience, I just think you need to say why you had a bad experience.

I'm completely neutral about CEM / S4F and have always stated my stance on the situation which is that I happily see Colin for footbeds, repairs and adjustments where I know what I want, but I have not had boots fitted there.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sun 4-02-18 15:14; edited 1 time in total
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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
dp wrote:
@Penry, valid...
two words never before seen in such close proximity. You've made my day. Blush

And yes, it would be preferable to indicate what the bad experience was, if only to avoid retreading the same path.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
CEM and the team at Solutions4feet has fitted boots to six people I know personally, one has what I call race fit - boots are agony at first but later are the best thing since sliced bread. The rest, I advised to ask for what I have termed leisure fit and sure enough they are OK to put on and then comfortable enough to ski/wear all day. Like most things in life it's a two way street, tell the boot fitter what you want, don't over exaggerate your ski level/ability and above all be honest.

BTW. CEM and the team at Solutions4feet are now strictly by appointment in advance and will only work on boots supplied by them. Such is the demand for their service.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The reason said poster does not want to use us is simple, I will not book him in.

He had boots many years ago for whatever reason ( I cannot be bothered to find the original fitting notes from over 8 years ago, but that is beside the point) the boots were eventually refunded, so why would I want to book someone who we were unable to satisfy in for another pair of boots.

On being told that I didnít want to revisit my previous experiences with him he then gave me a torrent of abuse on both the phone and then by e mail stating that I should not be in business and that it is a wonder I am if I canít fit a simple foot. ( from what I remember there is a flexibility issue causing him to need a bigger boot or actually do some stretching, which I guess he wont do) calling me a hot head and various other things.... I prefer to think of it as passionate about what we do, but that is for him to decide

Thing is I suggested profeet to him, wonder if he is having difficulty booking with them

Anyway not getting into a debate about it, you canít please all of the people all of the time. Some of them you canít please at all
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boredsurfin wrote:
CEM and the team at Solutions4feet (snip) will only work on boots supplied by them


Rubbish. Not true.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
dp wrote:
boredsurfin wrote:
CEM and the team at Solutions4feet (snip) will only work on boots supplied by them


Rubbish. Not true.


Right now it is true, we are short staffed so do not have time to own the problems associated with working on internet purchases, we will open up this service when things quieten down a bit, but unless more fitters can be found it will be the norm September- March


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 4-02-18 15:47; edited 1 time in total
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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?
dp wrote:
boredsurfin wrote:
CEM and the team at Solutions4feet (snip) will only work on boots supplied by them


Rubbish. Not true.


You may want to check your facts before posting....

from https://www.solutions4feet.com/

Quote:
due to staff shortages we are currently unable to work on boots which we have not supplied, we hope to be able to offer this service as things get quieter in March/April we apologize that we are unable to help with this type of work at this time.
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CEM wrote:
The reason said poster does not want to use us is simple, I will not book him in.

He had boots many years ago for whatever reason ( I cannot be bothered to find the original fitting notes from over 8 years ago, but that is beside the point) the boots were eventually refunded, so why would I want to book someone who we were unable to satisfy in for another pair of boots.

On being told that I didnít want to revisit my previous experiences with him he then gave me a torrent of abuse on both the phone and then by e mail stating that I should not be in business and that it is a wonder I am if I canít fit a simple foot. ( from what I remember there is a flexibility issue causing him to need a bigger boot or actually do some stretching, which I guess he wont do) calling me a hot head and various other things.... I prefer to think of it as passionate about what we do, but that is for him to decide

Thing is I suggested profeet to him, wonder if he is having difficulty booking with them

Anyway not getting into a debate about it, you canít please all of the people all of the time. Some of them you canít please at all


Well done , you can't be everbodies bootfitter.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
FFS I said 'now' Sometimes I wonder why I bother... @dp,


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 4-02-18 16:51; edited 2 times in total
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CEM wrote:
dp wrote:
boredsurfin wrote:
CEM and the team at Solutions4feet (snip) will only work on boots supplied by them


Rubbish. Not true.


Right now it is true, we are short staffed so do not have time to own the problems associated with working on internet purchases, we will open up this service when things quieten down a bit, but unless more fitters can be found it will be the norm September- March


Is that enough clarity for everyone ...?????
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@boredsurfin, I was agreeing with you!
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@kitenski, Embarassed Embarassed apologies
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CEM wrote:
The reason said poster does not want to use us is simple, I will not book him in.

He had boots many years ago for whatever reason ( I cannot be bothered to find the original fitting notes from over 8 years ago, but that is beside the point) the boots were eventually refunded, so why would I want to book someone who we were unable to satisfy in for another pair of boots.

On being told that I didnít want to revisit my previous experiences with him he then gave me a torrent of abuse on both the phone and then by e mail stating that I should not be in business and that it is a wonder I am if I canít fit a simple foot. ( from what I remember there is a flexibility issue causing him to need a bigger boot or actually do some stretching, which I guess he wont do) calling me a hot head and various other things.... I prefer to think of it as passionate about what we do, but that is for him to decide

Thing is I suggested profeet to him, wonder if he is having difficulty booking with them

Anyway not getting into a debate about it, you canít please all of the people all of the time. Some of them you canít please at all



It really isn't my style to directly name and same on a public forum and being an active member on other non-skiing forums I know that admins often don't like it. You can see form my post count that I only use this forum very occasionally and I had no idea that Colin was such an active contributor until now, nor did I know that he goes by the name of CEM on here. I purposely came on here to ask for some first hand advice from people who might have had a positive experience with recent boot fitting in my area. It's been over 8 years since I had boots fitted and it seems to me that boot technology and comfort has improved over that time.

However, since Colin has taken it upon himself to directly reference me and inaccurately report what happened, I will address his points directly by offering an alternative, more accurate version of what actually happened, the facts:

Colin is correct, it was 8 years ago that I asked him to sell and fit some boots for me. We went through what I assume is the usual process of discussing my requirements, ability, experience and expectations of a new pair of boots. Colin is also correct that I do have a mild flexibility issue due to a prolapsed L5/S1 disc in my lower back, it does affect my ski performance to some degree, particularly my ability to angulate as much as I would like. And FYI Colin, I do regular (daily) stretching exercises to maintain and protect it. I have no idea why you would bother to suggest otherwise, as how on earth would you know how much stretching I do since we last met 8 years ago. I daft statement!

I was sold a pair Atomic boots with a flex (I think) of 120 or maybe 130 and also a separate pair of lace up boot liners to replace the stock ones and also some custom foot beds. I can't remember the final bill but quite a few quid from what I recall. Off I went skiing to the Dolomites for a week. Immediately, the boots were total agony. Not just a pinch here or there but out and out sodding uncomfortable. I persevered for a few days to the point where my feet were bruised and damaged so I left them alone in order to give my feet a break from the torture and I think I may have hired some boots locally or reverted to an old pair (can't quite remember which). It is fair to say that I was pretty annoyed about the experience and felt that I wasted a week skiing in my beloved Dolomites with my friends.

On my return I reported the experience to Colin by phone. A second fit / adjustment appointment was arranged and some changes were made to the boots. I then went away skiing again and experienced similar discomfort with extreme pain to my outer right foot and frozen toes. I concluded that the boots were simply too small and too compromised for 8 hours a day comfortable skiing. Once again I returned and reported the issues to Colin. I had already concluded during my time with him at his shop that he was a tad on the arrogant side and bit righteous about all things boot fitting, but his response to me on the phone was quite a shock! I can only describe it as verbal rant, which implied that this was all somehow my fault? Anyhow two options were offered: 1, another appointment to make more adjustments or 2, a full refund. In order to give a final benefit of doubt I arranged another appointment in a final hope to get the boots sorted.

It was at this point that things went from frustrating to bizzar. I then had a call from his female colleague to inform me that the appointment had been canceled because Colin was to busy. At this point I emailed Colin for the first time and simply told him that due to the cancellation I would take up the offer of a refund. I also explained that I was disappointed that I had essentially lost an entire ski season to the uncomfortable boots that he had supplied. His response was a final suggestion that I might not be putting the liners on properly, which wasn't the case as he had showed me exactly how to do it (ie, put them on my feet first and then enter the actual ski boot). I explained that I knew what I was doing and that the boots would be returned to him by courier.

The boots and all purchased products were returned, they confirmed receipt and a refund was issued. And that was that. I moved on. Colin did not at any point explain that if a pair of boots are refunded no further services will be offered in the future. My call to him last week was the first I knew about that.

So eight years later, a new pair of boots are now required so I gave him a call. We chatted briefly about my requirements, made an appointment. And then, as soon as I gave him my name he turned into the hot-headed character that I forgotten about over the last several years, but was soon reminded of his true character. He told me in no uncertain terms that no services are available to a previous customer who has had a refund, and told me to try ProFeet and hung up the phone! I then emailed him to explain my surprise and disappointment, a response was received which I found rude, to which I responded with an honest summary of my thoughts about the man. I really don't like him, his attitude, his customer service, his hot-headedness or his arrogance. However, I am perfectly prepared to accept that others may have had a good experience and good luck to them. I didn't!

So why did I try go back to him you might ask? TBH, it was a long time ago and it's fair to say I had (to some degree) forgotten what he is actually like. It wasn't until we spoke and I revisited the emails from 8 years ago that it all came flooding back to me. As I said to him in an email last week, I think I actually swerved a bullet by not going back.

And as a point of incorrectness Colin, when exactly did I give you a 'torrent of abuse' on the phone? It never happened chap! Any remarks that I have made to you, about you, have been on email and I stand by every word of them. Would you like me share them here? Or you can do so, if you prefer?

And no, I have not had a single issue making an appointment with Profeet, nor would I expect to, what a daft comment!

And I did not say at any point that you shouldn't be in business. However, I did say that I am surprised that you are in business if you treat other customers in the same way as you have me.

And as for not getting into a debate about this, you have done exactly that by spouting off incorrect detail on this forum and then finishing by saying, 'Anyway not getting into a debate about it, you canít please all of the people all of the time. Some of them you canít please at all'. And no, you did not please me at all!

So back to my original post; can anybody recommend a good boot fitter that isn't Colin Martin from Solutions for Feet?
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Make this one a sticky please admin - and pass the popcorn.... Smile
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