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Buying Ski Boots.

 Poster: A snowHead
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holidayloverxx wrote:
@Jcosh, please read vack and take a breath...i asked why it was relevant and he gave an answer about technical changes over the years


No breath needed, I don't do ill-considered outbursts. Yes, CEM answered your question with a change of direction about boot development over the last 10 years, which is great and I'm sure he is right about all that. But I don't think that's why he originally stated this was all 10 years ago. My complaint with CEM is not about the boots that were available 10 years ago compared to today, but his historic and on going poor customer service.
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@Jcosh, fair enough
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@dp, mind if I ask who did your boots in Livigno? Were you happy with the boots/service? A decent fitter there would be more convenient for me than the English options, and my 10 year old boots are beginning to show their age.
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Of all the people I have 'sent' to Solutions 4 feet over the years none have had any major problems, however, I always over emphasise to them about being VERY HONEST about their skiing ability.
For example saying I ski blacks quite happily when in reality you skied the easiest black in the resort on the last day of your annual one week long skiing trip is not going to help anyone particularly your boot fitter.
I appreciate skiing level is the subject of many a thread on here in the pub and on ski holidays, bu some basic honesty with your boot fitter will reap rewards.
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Quote:


Of all the people I have 'sent' to Solutions 4 feet over the years none have had any major problems, however, I always over emphasise to them about being VERY HONEST about their skiing ability.
For example saying I ski blacks quite happily when in reality you skied the easiest black in the resort on the last day of your annual one week long skiing trip is not going to help anyone particularly your boot fitter.
I appreciate skiing level is the subject of many a thread on here in the pub and on ski holidays, bu some basic honesty with your boot fitter will reap rewards.


+1

Also applies to ski hire
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@element, sure, it was a place called Zinnermanns. On one side of the valley there's lots of short training runs with drag lifts up the sides, it's below those. The shop doesn't look much from the outside but you go down to the basement and they have it together.

Basically I needed boot work done to my old boots and I went into a cafe full of instructors and asked them where they got their boots done. They all said Zinnermanns. So I went to Zinnermanns who looked at my old boots and said they could do the work, but it would be polishing a turd. I bought new boots (they pointed out the same issue that CEM had previously pointed out to me so I trusted them to a point), they were not wrong, the new boots became racing slippers... my speed got faster, turns got tighter and my feet became comfier.
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Quote:

but his historic and on going poor customer service.

As a customer of CEM I must take issue with this - he has fitted mine, and my wife's last two pairs of boots, and his customer service has been exemplary. What I would say is that he (in much the same way as me) does not "suffer fools gladly" - he says what he means without sugar coating it! Our boots have fitted to a very good standard, and he has fitted us in for minor tweaks when needed. I would also say that we have been very honest about what we ski and what we need - well fitting boots that we can ski in all day, day after day, including many hours instructing.
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RobinS wrote:
Quote:

but his historic and on going poor customer service.

As a customer of CEM I must take issue with this - he has fitted mine, and my wife's last two pairs of boots, and his customer service has been exemplary. What I would say is that he (in much the same way as me) does not "suffer fools gladly" - he says what he means without sugar coating it! Our boots have fitted to a very good standard, and he has fitted us in for minor tweaks when needed. I would also say that we have been very honest about what we ski and what we need - well fitting boots that we can ski in all day, day after day, including many hours instructing.


I couldn't be happier for you and your experience of CEM, that's great. I really wish I had enjoyed such a positive experience with him, but I didn't. He got it wrong and totally mismanaged the after sales customer service, not to mention his out burst on here. I am quite sure he has more happy customers than dissatisfied ones, what he ought to do is manage the dissatisfied ones will a cooler, more considered approach.

What a great story it could have been if he had welcomed me back and given me the level of service and satisfaction that you have enjoyed. That's what an experienced, level-headed business person would have done. He chose the polar opposite approach.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 6-02-18 21:14; edited 1 time in total
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@dp, thanks very much, I know it well. My friend rented avi kit there this year. Might need to book another trip...
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Let's move on.
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I'm not being funny but I think the this forum thread has been through many evolutions and we have now exhausted the evolutionary phase of discussing whether or not CEM has good customer service. Of course the people who have been satisfied will say they are satisfied and those who are not will say they are not. I have discussed boots with a great many people and believe me, within that demographic alone, there are plenty of people on this forum alone, who identify on both sides of the line when it comes to Solutions 4 Feet!!!

Needless to say, to those who've had a good, or bad experience... nobody is doubting it. But just because you had a good or bad experience, it doesn't mean that somebody who had the opposite experience has a less valid point to make. If you had a bad time it doesn't mean that somebody having a good time is just too easy going. If you had a good time it doesn't mean that somebody who had a bad time was just being a difficult customer or lying about their ability. I think it's clear from this thread and from my personal experience that one can have a good or a bad experience at Solutions 4 Feet and I am not going to take the liberty of pointing any fingers about why that might be.

I think Colin might take away from this that publicly bashing a previous customer might not have been the best shout. Although I give kudos for not being drawn into a game of public mud slinging too. It sounds like @Jcosh had a legitimately bad experience - and even if he'd been completely dishonest about his size, ability, exercise regime etc - no customer or former customer ever deserves to be on the receiving end of verbal (or internet) abuse and if that's what actually happened then it is unarguably appalling customer service, regardless of the circumstances!

But in any case I think we've done that to death now. Some people had a good time and some people had a bad time, neither experience is more or less valid than anyone else's. But this thread is meant to be about boots, not staging a pissing contest on anybody's reputation.
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red 27 wrote:
Let's move on.
Good idea.
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i think its about time somebody invented an alternative to ski boots, can someone come up with a way of wearing normal shoes for skiing, its like the cure for cancer, the answers out there somewhere, we just need to find it.
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compostcorner wrote:
i think its about time somebody invented an alternative to ski boots, can someone come up with a way of wearing normal shoes for skiing, its like the cure for cancer, the answers out there somewhere, we just need to find it.


there are a couple of close options out there Dahu and Apex, like a snowboard boot inside an exoskeleton..... but you can still get many of the same issues as a conventional ski boot, so maybe not quite there yet snowHead
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compostcorner wrote:
i think its about time somebody invented an alternative to ski boots, can someone come up with a way of wearing normal shoes for skiing, its like the cure for cancer, the answers out there somewhere, we just need to find it.


The trouble is though that most people’s normal shoes are too large for skiing purposes. Fine for walking in but almost certainly no good for controlling a ski. So then you have to go through the whole rigmarole of buying a pair of normal shoes suitable for skiing in and you end up right back where you started. Confused
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compostcorner wrote:
i think its about time somebody invented an alternative to ski boots, can someone come up with a way of wearing normal shoes for skiing, its like the cure for cancer, the answers out there somewhere, we just need to find it.


Is that with or without skis? Slightly more chance with the latter methinks
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@Jcosh, I'm left wondering where you got your last pair of ski boots from after returning the ones CEM originally fitted? Wouldn't that be the best place for you to recommend?
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uktrailmonster wrote:
@Jcosh, I'm left wondering where you got your last pair of ski boots from after returning the ones CEM originally fitted? Wouldn't that be the best place for you to recommend?


Enquiring minds want to know....
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uktrailmonster wrote:
@Jcosh, I'm left wondering where you got your last pair of ski boots from after returning the ones CEM originally fitted? Wouldn't that be the best place for you to recommend?


Maybe he's got himself banned from there as well?
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
uktrailmonster wrote:
@Jcosh, I'm left wondering where you got your last pair of ski boots from after returning the ones CEM originally fitted? Wouldn't that be the best place for you to recommend?


Enquiring minds want to know....


it seems that some on here want to move on from focusing this thread on the issues I had with Colin at Solutions 4 Feet and others seem to want to know more. I don't mind which.

In answer to your 'enquiring minds', my current boots that I am looking to renew where bought from Snow and Rock after the S4F ill fitting pair were returned. They have been perfectly ok and they did a pretty good job of fitting them at the first attempt. A few modifications have been made along the way but nothing to drastic was needed. They could probably go on another year or so but I've skied a lot in them and feel now's a good time for a change. My unscientific research suggests that boots have moved on in the last several years and I'm keen to enjoy the benefit of that.

And before you ask, 'why don't you go back to Snow and Rock'. I might well do so. But I thought it might be wise to ask on here for some first hand experiences of other fitters first. And as far as I can see, only Profeet have been suggested so far.

Keep smiling everyone. Very Happy
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@Jcosh, not sure where you're based, but Ski Bartlett in Hillingdon come highly recommended too.
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olderscot wrote:
compostcorner wrote:
i think its about time somebody invented an alternative to ski boots, can someone come up with a way of wearing normal shoes for skiing, its like the cure for cancer, the answers out there somewhere, we just need to find it.


The trouble is though that most people’s normal shoes are too large for skiing purposes. Fine for walking in but almost certainly no good for controlling a ski. So then you have to go through the whole rigmarole of buying a pair of normal shoes suitable for skiing in and you end up right back where you started. Confused


thats why we need a clever inventor, just because normal shoes cannot be used for skiing now, it doesnt mean they wont be in the future, i guess at the time they laughed at the person who invented the wheel.
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compostcorner wrote:
olderscot wrote:
compostcorner wrote:
i think its about time somebody invented an alternative to ski boots, can someone come up with a way of wearing normal shoes for skiing, its like the cure for cancer, the answers out there somewhere, we just need to find it.


The trouble is though that most people’s normal shoes are too large for skiing purposes. Fine for walking in but almost certainly no good for controlling a ski. So then you have to go through the whole rigmarole of buying a pair of normal shoes suitable for skiing in and you end up right back where you started. Confused


thats why we need a clever inventor, just because normal shoes cannot be used for skiing now, it doesnt mean they wont be in the future, i guess at the time they laughed at the person who invented the wheel.


a few years ago Nike looked into ski boots in small, medium , large and XL would get rid of the need for any fitters
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To some extent the lining inside the boot, when moulded to your feet, reduces the need of precise sizes. If the moulding was more rigid and fitted to size of feet instead of just the base, you could potentially have a limited range of boot sizes with the liner being the actual boot.

I used to have a boot by nordica which had walk mode, ski hard, and ski soft. I think there were technical issues with the boot which meant that skiers who actually ski hard would shun such a boot. Walking on the base of boots is not very good for the contact with the ski.

An inventor needs to invent a material which changes from soft and flexible like leather, to hard and rigid like ski boot plastic at the flick of a switch.

Maybe like snowboard boots?
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Treated myself this year to a properly fitted pair of boots this year. They turned out to be smaller and tighter than previous boots also harder to put on and off. However they did make an instant improvement to my skiing. they also were not uncomfortable to wear for a full days skiing without needing to loosen them at lunchtime or other breaks.

I do think that when skiing you need to have firm support around your ankles and lower calves so I don't think that there will be any breakthrough soon in developing ordinary shoes for skiing but who knows.
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Hello,

I'm looking to buy some ski boots for the first time and looking for some buying advice (or preferably advice on where to go to get fitted). I'm in Central London, and ideally would go to somewhere in Central, but could be persuaded to venture further if options in Central are very poor. It seems that fitting in the standard chains like EB, S+R is a bit of a russian roulette, and depends who your fitter is? Is it worth getting out to e.g. Ski Bartlett? I don't have the money to spend £150 on a fitting process in addition to another £200-300 on boots (and ideally less, either on sale or old model or something - although I understand that it's better to pay the extra £75-100 for boots that fit properly over sale boots which don't - but if there's a sale boot which would still work just as well I'd obviously prefer to take that). It's only because I can see the boot savings on rental paying mostly for themselves (in addition to boots which I am both (relatively) comfortable in and also have decent control in) that I could even justify buying a pair of boots in the first place, given my experience and frequency of skiing:

I've been skiing about 7-8 weeks now, and looking to go probably one-two weeks a year for the foreseeable future. Pretty comfortable on reds and getting reasonably comfortable on blacks and moguls, started to play around with (very) small jumps here and there. Generally looking to start doing more off-piste and trying some tricks etc a bit more in the future.

I've had a fair amount of trouble finding rental boots which fit properly - wide feet, normal ankles, wide calves, highly flexible. Rental boots often crush the feet, or leave room for my ankles to shuffle around in (seems unsafe and lacking in precise control). I've had experiences of boots not offering very much support when I lean into them, particularly on faster carves, but I'm unsure as to whether this is due to them simply fitting poorly or also having too low a flex?

Anyway, recommendations on particular people in the chains or particular shops to go to get boots fitted would be great.
Thanks for your time!
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Profeet would be my No1 recommendation in London but Bartlett would be good too.
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@rocki10,
Welcome to snowHeads!

You will be very lucky if you find sale boots that are a good fit.
A professional boot fitter will first select a boot that best suits your foot and type of skiing and then make necessary adjustments, custom footbeds etc.

Let’s say you get a ok fitting pair in the sales for £200 - set that against a properly fitted pair for £500, so £300 difference.
A tidy sum but you can save that on one holiday by choosing your resort, week, accommodation etc carefully.

Money spent on properly fitting boots and good lessons is never wasted, even if you’re a one week a year punter.
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@rocki10, you have to balance the cost of the boots over the number of hopefully trouble free trips that you use them. Lets say they last 30 weeks. At say £450 that is £15 a week.
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dp wrote:
Profeet would be my No1 recommendation in London but Bartlett would be good too.

+1
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@rocki10, a good boot fitter wherever they are should only sell ty a boot which is a sensible starting point, if that boot is in the sale then great, As for spending extra on fitting that is only a decision you can make, you have already said that the chain stores are a bit of a gamble depending on the fitter, very true and understandably so as when you have a load of stores staffing them to a very high level is a challenge ( believe me even finding staff for a single store is tough if you want quality)

If you want a London recommendation I would say profeet, pay the extra and get the service and peace of mind that you can adjustments made in the future and that you get a fitter who is well trained in the first place.
As a boot fitter I would always say pay the extra and have the job done right, but just like trying to suggest the boot that will Work Best for someone over the internet and trying to find the boot fitter which matches that individual is almost impossible
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I still can't understand why scanning and 3d printing hasn't taken over ski boots. At least the foot section, the ankle much less difficult and could probably select based on the scan an off the shelf option.

The technology is there, is nobody doing it? I guess it isn't cheap to print a single item and would still require some finishing but we can't be far away.
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Digger the dinosaur wrote:
I still can't understand why scanning and 3d printing hasn't taken over ski boots. At least the foot section, the ankle much less difficult and could probably select based on the scan an off the shelf option.

The technology is there, is nobody doing it? I guess it isn't cheap to print a single item and would still require some finishing but we can't be far away.


so far the materials can be used for prototyping but as yet to get the wall thickness required to keep the weight were people want it the materials are either not quite there yet or too dam expensive, will it come, probably, but like all early adopter tech who is going to be brave enough to spend out on all the machinery needed in the hope that it works well

we are at a point where you can have a custom made running shoe for about $100 more than the off the shell equivalent, it is a partnership between HP, Superfeet, Brooks, RS Scan and a few others (the custom being the injection of the mid sole material based on your body weight and biomechanics) next phase is the upper being cut specifically for the foot shape but that then involves a different lasting system (getting expensive now) you can also form the same data have a 3D printed orthotic insert.... so it is possible that something will happen in skiing in the future, the biggest challenge is whilst we all think of skiing as a "popular" sport, the market is tiny so the tech companies aren't interested
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Hello Dudes

Long time reader, first time poster with a typical newb question!

I want to buy my first boots (from a well reputed boot fitter) but I'm lost in technical boot jargon and all the extra add on costs? Is £300 - £350 a reasonable budget? It seems like you can spend up to £700 on customisable and mouldable everything but how much of it is necessary?

My feet are narrow and slightly flat but not particularly misshapen or lumpy. I have never had any pain from rental boots, in fact on my first weeks skiing in Andorra I got lucky with what felt like a nice fitting boot but I've since skied at Hemel and their rental boots are a bit to wide (And battered!) I just don't think I need to get all the custom injection moulded stuff if it's not going to add much to my skiing?

Cheers dudes.
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@The_catcher, FWIW. here is my opinion.

I'm a long time skier, that gets skiing one or two weeks a year and have never felt the need for injection molded, or after market liners.

If you:
- Ski to a very high level
- Ski many weeks per season
- Have very awkward feet

Then spending extra is probably worth it.....but discuss with the bootfitter, and if good, should give sensible advice.

BTW. Welcome to Snowheads.
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@The_catcher, indeed, welcome to snowHead - the skiers' equivalent of the Hotel California (some might say wink ).

A quick look at a well known UK retailer and there are various boots that on the face of it would suit someone buying their first boots - ranging from £290-£350 before any discounts. So I would expect to more or less be in or close to that range ... for the boots.

A good boot fitter will tell you what you need ... (I have somewhat awkward feet) .. & my boot comfort was transformed by well fitted insoles, the first pair of which I had in about 1990 after 20 years of skiing. YMMV.

I have had two sets of foamed liners because I was replacing the liners and "why not?" As @Old Fartbag says, unless you have really awkward feet (or a ginormous wallet), custom liners are almost certainly overkill.

That said, many boots from mid market up now have heat mouldable shells, which if the boot fits otherwise is just going to add to comfort.

I would note that pain free rental boots almost certainly = boots that are too big. Most people, especially early in their skiing journey, don't know what to expect of a well fitting and snug boot. So almost certainly, something that feels good in the rental shop is too big.
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Sorry, I should have said that imo a Custom Footbed is recommended/worthwhile.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
@The_catcher, FWIW. here is my opinion.

I'm a long time skier, that gets skiing one or two weeks a year and have never felt the need for injection molded, or after market liners.

If you:
- Ski to a very high level
- Ski many weeks per season
- Have very awkward feet

Then spending extra is probably worth it.....but discuss with the bootfitter, and if good, should give sensible advice.

BTW. Welcome to Snowheads.


Thanks, I just don't want to have a boot fitter/ salesman tell me I need all the extra add ons if it's going to bring very little to my skiing/ comfort. I know custom foot beds and injection moulded liners are extra but it seems all the modern boots state they have heat mouldable shells and liners, is this included in the price of the boot and the fitting fee or do you pay extra for this? So confusing.
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My current boots had the price of heat moulding to my feet included in its price. My previous pair were heat stretched after first week of use for free from the fitter. (my feet were too fat at that age, I am now thinner as are my feet)

Difficult to say what current practice is as I do not buy new ski boots every year.
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