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Ellis Brigham for ski boots

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi Folks,

I'm taking my son for a full day ski lesson this week at Tamworth Snow Dome and thought i might check out Ellis Brigham for a new pair of boots while there.

Does anybody have any experience of them?
Do they have a good reputation for fitting or should I go to someone like Lockwoods?

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I got fitted at Ellis Brigham, but in Fort William, not Tamworth - fitter was pretty knowledgable and thorough I thought and I've skied nearly 40 years so would like to think I could smell BS. Shop was empty which helped I think, no rush.
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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?
Got my last pair from Ellis Brigham in Chester, and received excellent service. Of course it all depends on the individual who you end up dealing with on the day, but as a company they seem very good.
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@ElDiablo, where are you based? Ellis Brigham at Tamworth may give you a good fitting, but many snowHeads use and are satisfied customers of fellow snowHead CEM at Solutions4Feet in Bicester.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
In general, I don't believe that you can really call most Ellis Brigham staff "boot fitters". Not to say that some aren't, just that very definitely not all are...
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The Swedish lady working in Ellis Brigham Covent Garden, last year, made a fantastic job of fitting mine. After lots of measuring to work out my boot options and her checking the shell fit of a few that I liked, I settled on Atomic Hawx Ultras. The job took approx 1.5 hours, including shell shaping (dodgy angle bone after breaking my left leg), as well as custom foot beds and liner moulding.

From day 1, they felt almost as comfy as my snowboard boots.

All I had to pay for was the footbed material.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
under a new name wrote:
In general, I don't believe that you can really call most Ellis Brigham staff "boot fitters". Not to say that some aren't, just that very definitely not all are...


Absolutely correct. When I went to the Chester store there was only 1 member of staff who was 'qualified' to do it - the rest were just selling clothing. As I said above though, he was very good. Probably pays to make an appointment at this time of year.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@telford_mike, yep, a friend’s oldest son, a few years ago, fancied topping up his uni cash and did the Salomon boot and tech course which got him a job in a well known chain. So at the time, he at least was basically qualified in he was doing and had skied a lot.

He had a bad moment when a colleague sold a client a blatantly wrong pair of boots (not politic to intervene) and when he challenged later said colleague just said he was a snowboarder and knew nothing about skiing or ski boots...

He’s now doing a prof degree in podiatry, esp. foot bio mechanics.

Still sometimes does shifts in S&R if you’re lucky wink.
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Alastair Pink wrote:
@ElDiablo, where are you based? Ellis Brigham at Tamworth may give you a good fitting, but many snowHeads use and are satisfied customers of fellow snowHead CEM at Solutions4Feet in Bicester.


@Alastair, I'm in the West Midlands but travel in my job so able to get to Bicester for the right service.
I've read positive reviews about Solutions 4 feet before, so I might give that some consideration, Thanks
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Thanks all for your replies and advice.
It looks like you take pot luck who you get on the day with these large chains, so I will probably take the advice to go to a specialist fitter.

I know there's another thread on this, so will have a re-read of that and make my decision.

Thanks all.
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ElDiablo wrote:
Thanks all for your replies and advice.
It looks like you take pot luck who you get on the day with these large chains, so I will probably take the advice to go to a specialist fitter.

I know there's another thread on this, so will have a re-read of that and make my decision.

Thanks all.


I was fitted recently by Colin at Solutions4feet for my first pair of boots. Because they are fixed appointments you're not under pressure. Colin wont sell you the wrong boot, it's not worth his reputation! I have a weird hip issue which only became apparent at fitting and Colin was very patient whilst I decided on the path I wanted to take.

If you get free fitting with the boot purchase then it's not going to be up to much, at least thats my view on it. I think to a large extent it depends on your feet and biomechanics. YMMV at a chain store imo.
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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.
The Tamworth branch is very good. Tom the manager there certainly knows His stuff. I'd have no hesitation in recommending there services.
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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
@Martin & Ami, "If you get free fitting with the boot purchase then it's not going to be up to much" try telling that to Sanglard, Sole Bootlab, Ravanell (Chamonix) and Backcountry (now Otley), etc. My first boots were fitted free by Colin in Bicester. He is obviously in the premier league now!

Don't confuse paying extra with quality. There are plenty of recommendations for consistently good boot fitting services on this site.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
So let me get this straight folks,

- a pair of boots costs in the region of circa £300-£450 now dependent on ability, weight, type of skiing, other features etc.

From what I have read and conversations with staff at Ellis Brigham last week, standard foot bed liners are crap, so essentially you need a custom liner -approx another £70??

Am I correct in thinking that if I got to a ski boot "fitter", there will be an additional charge for the fitter's time on top of that the profit they are making on the boots and footbeds?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ElDiablo, no. Generally the fitting is included in the cost of the boots.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ElDiablo, keep it simple.
1) With one or two notable superstar exceptions, there is no additional charge for having boots fitted at most reputable retailers. That is why those good shops don't offer discounts. You pay list price, and get a good service.
2) Don't confuse footbeds and liners. Both can be upgraded if necessary.
3) Custom footbeds are generally a very good thing (if correctly made). Once you have skied with a custom footbed it feels horrible without. Worth the £70/90 or however much they are.
4) Most good boots have OK to very good liners, heat mouldable by your super boot fitter. It has always struck me as a grotesque waste to spend £500+ on boots to immediately cast aside the stock liner (as is almost routine at one shop in Chamonix) and spend another £150 on an Intuition or similar. Use the stock one, then upgrade to an Intuition or Zipfit when it packs out, or when your abilities outstrip your gear.
5) Having paid a fair price for the boot and whatever else, good boot fitters will also offer a fit guarantee including boot stretching and other wizardry.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@HammondR, thanks for the clarification.

Its been probably 10 years since I last bought a pair of ski boots.
I've bought a number of pairs prior to those and never paid any additional charges specifically for fitting.
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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?
The 5 golden rules of skiboot fitting are:

1. Buy the right boot for current (and next) skill and age (e.g. junior model for junior skier).
2. Get a custom (molded) footbed (e.g. Sidas).
3. Fit custom-liners (foam-injected or cork) if they packout after a few weeks (e.g. Intuition).
4. Book the fitting appointment at the quietest time of the working week (e.g. Tuesday morning).
5. Review rules 1 to 3 at the start of every season (e.g. upgrade liners).

Rule 2 is by far the most important.

Good or bad footbeds can be "make or break" for good or bad riding.
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I have quite pronated ankles & had my Salomon xpro 100s custom fitted at EB Castleford at xcape, they felt a bit small for the first week but are now very very comfortable even when tight. The fitter suggested a softer flex as I like skiing bumps & offpiste, very pleased with the result but as others have said with a large chain store, there will be variability in staff, if you book Fred Bloggs at xyz boot store, you will know that you will get Fred and know his reputation.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My experience isn't the best, went to MK a few years ago before I knew better, boots were far too big for me, lazy fitting. Last time I had some boots fitted was in resort in Verbier by Anya at Mountain Air and she did a fantastic job. If I get a pair in the UK I'm making the drive to see CEM at solutions4feet.
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All,

A quick update- I have an appointment with Colin at the end of the month at Solutions4 feet, so I’ll let you all have some feedback. Thanks again.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
New update.

I duly attended my boot fitting yesterday @ Solutions4feet and was very impressed with Colin who seemed to have a clear understanding of what type of boot I needed and spent a lot of time ensuring that I had the correct size and fitting and that the boot shells were properly aligned.

Suffice to say that I am now the proud owner of a very snug fitting pair of Lange boots with custom footbeds.

The whole process isn't cheap as the cost of boots, custom footbeds and fitting fee all adds up, but I'm as happy as I can be without having skied in them yet.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@ElDiablo, That's fantastic — Colin is wonderful. Did you have new boot liners as well — such as Zips? Or did you stick with the liners that came with the Lange boots?
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@Poogle, no I havethe standard Lange liners - why would you need to bin the standard liners?
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ElDiablo wrote:
@Poogle, no I havethe standard Lange liners - why would you need to bin the standard liners?


Modern heat-moldable liners like the ones that come with Lange boots are fantastic quality, and will hug your feet to give you a snug fitting and real control on the snow. And Colin would have fitted them perfectly, and they will last a long time I'm sure.

Some folks (ahem... like me rolling eyes ) want to go a step further, and indeed bin the standard liners that come with new boots (what a waste), and have these fitted:

www.zipfit.com

They are a cork-composite material, and claim to have all sorts of advantages and benefits:

www.zipfit.com/faq/

I have mine for 3 or 4 seasons now — around 12 weeks of skiing, and they still fit like a glove. It seems that many pros swear by them.

I guess for me, I spend so many thousands of pounds skiing, that the extra cost of these liners seemed to make sense — and I explained to Colin that price was not really an issue for me.

But I'm not sure one would really notice any difference unless you tried them both. If I had my time again, I would have asked Colin to also fit the liners that came with my new Atomic Boots; and that way, I could have taken both those and the Zips to the slopes to make a comparison. That said, the Zips are said to last much longer.

If you ever feel your Lange liners becoming a bit loose over time; then you could hop back to Colin and try a pair of Zip liners. But be aware, they do need breaking-in, and that take around 2-3 days of very "tight" fitting boots indeed.
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Interesting, thanks for the explanation.
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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.
Poogle wrote:

But I'm not sure one would really notice any difference unless you tried them both. If I had my time again, I would have asked Colin to also fit the liners that came with my new Atomic Boots; and that way, I could have taken both those and the Zips to the slopes to make a comparison. That said, the Zips are said to last much longer.

If you ever feel your Lange liners becoming a bit loose over time; then you could hop back to Colin and try a pair of Zip liners. But be aware, they do need breaking-in, and that take around 2-3 days of very "tight" fitting boots indeed.


The Zipfit is way, way superior to the OEM heat mouldable liner - don't worry, you absolutely made the right decision to go with Zipfits straight away.

I used my Atomic Hawx 120s with the original liner, meant to be one of their better ones (platinum or some such...) and while ok.... once I got Zipfits on a trip to Utah, I'm just kicking myself over all the years wasted with oem liners or foamed or intuition liners.... all of which i've had.

Required no breaking in either - I did get them fitted first thing in the morning, and then straight out to the slopes which are only 10 mins away from that Jans store at Park CIty. The Zipfits were heated up in the same oven used for shells... so very hot, then foot in, into shell and walk around shop with clips done up fairly tight to get omfit moving. 10/15 minutes of that, then was off to the slopes.
Reheated/moulded shells a day later to get room for external ankle bones (and toes) and never any discomfort, just surprise and pleasure how a liner can give such great heel/foot hold and comfort while needing only minimal boot shell clip tension.
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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
coops1967 wrote:
The Zipfit is way, way superior to the OEM heat mouldable liner - don't worry, you absolutely made the right decision to go with Zipfits straight away.


Many thanks for doing that experiment for me!

I must say, the Zipfit liners are just as you say: the heel/foot "hold" is excellent, and you just feel the whole boot is a seamless extension of your foot. Yet at the same time they are comfortable, and of course with Colin's fitting and adjustment skills, I can ski for weeks on end with zero pressure points or chafing.

And you can put the Zipfit liners on first, and pull the laces tight, and then wrap the velco strap. Only then, do you put the foot with liner into the boot, and clip it up etc. That makes you super-snug, and gives you that pro-look in the boot room!

The other good angle with Zipfit, is that they come in different thickness and shapes etc. My foot was towards the wide-end of the boot tolerance, and thus a thiner Zipfit was better than the liner that came with the boot in that aspect.

I'm glad I was in Colin's capable hands and just took his advice.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
HammondR wrote:
@Martin & Ami, "If you get free fitting with the boot purchase then it's not going to be up to much" try telling that to Sanglard, Sole Bootlab, Ravanell (Chamonix) and Backcountry (now Otley), etc. My first boots were fitted free by Colin in Bicester. He is obviously in the premier league now!

Don't confuse paying extra with quality. There are plenty of recommendations for consistently good boot fitting services on this site.


I wasn't confusing anything, thanks. I also never said anything about paying extra. Nobody worth dealing with does anything for free unless I guess, to establish a reputation as a new business, so I'd rather know what I'm paying for each item up front, then theres some come back if something goes wrong. This is rather than have a boot priced with "free" fitting, which means it isnt free at all but they arent willing to put a price tag on their fitting service. If something is free, you have absolutely no come back at all outside a limited number of business areas and many companies hide behind that, not specifically talking about ski boot companies either, but in general. If something is a "free gift/service" you have very few rights as a consumer and that isn't a commercial oversight. "Free" anything, is a marketing ploy and not for the customers benefit.

Subtle but important difference. As I said, its my view and you're entitled to yours too.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sun 2-12-18 0:14; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ElDiablo wrote:
New update.

I duly attended my boot fitting yesterday @ Solutions4feet and was very impressed with Colin who seemed to have a clear understanding of what type of boot I needed and spent a lot of time ensuring that I had the correct size and fitting and that the boot shells were properly aligned.

Suffice to say that I am now the proud owner of a very snug fitting pair of Lange boots with custom footbeds.

The whole process isn't cheap as the cost of boots, custom footbeds and fitting fee all adds up, but I'm as happy as I can be without having skied in them yet.


Were they way smaller in size (like, 8/9/10 etc) than you were expecting by any chance? The size I ended up with from Colin was minuscule compared to my shoe size, I was shocked, but I've now skied on them intensively and they feel great!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Martin & Ami, I've had boots fitted by a company that did 'free' and with Colin. As expected the service from Colin was improved (by virtue of me having his full attention), but the free fitting was also of a high quality. They also carry out alterations FoC and, I believe, had a returns policy (didn't need it so can't recall what it was). The main difference I'd say is that Colin is obviously a better service by virtue of it being his 'trade' and the large chain had a far more aggressive upsale policy!

While I agree that there are big variations in the quality of fitting, you're simply wrong to state "If you get free fitting with the boot purchase then it's not going to be up to much" as plenty of people have decent, free, fittings.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@Martin & Ami, I've had boots fitted by a company that did 'free' and with Colin. As expected the service from Colin was improved (by virtue of me having his full attention), but the free fitting was also of a high quality. They also carry out alterations FoC and, I believe, had a returns policy (didn't need it so can't recall what it was). The main difference I'd say is that Colin is obviously a better service by virtue of it being his 'trade' and the large chain had a far more aggressive upsale policy!

While I agree that there are big variations in the quality of fitting, you're simply wrong to state "If you get free fitting with the boot purchase then it's not going to be up to much" as plenty of people have decent, free, fittings.


My point is that nothing is free and if its discounted or built into a price then you're going to get less time spent on you.

It's basic business. Nobody does anything for free and the margins in the boots only extend to so much additional work.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Martin & Ami, that's the theory but it's not my experience.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@Martin & Ami, that's the theory but it's not my experience.


I'm not really arguing from the point of view of one experience, but as a general business proposition applicable to a wide variety of potential customers. A distinctly paid for service is almost always going to be better than a service which has its fee hidden in the price of a product because theres no obfuscation of the price and therefore no real pressure on the vendor to cut you loose in order to tend to the next customer. Whereas, if you're having a "free" fitting, a store employee is going to be hard pressed to explain to his manager why he spent 3 hours on you whilst 3 other customers walked out without purchasing the ski's they were handling, vs. a pro fitter charging you whatever per hour for their specific time. Theres trust involved obviously, but thats the case in all professional services.

Its generalising yes, but how else could such a point be put forward.

A person cant even say for example, people with normal feet can go chain store, because whats normal. As the saying goes "You don't know what you don't know". It needs an expert to tell you your requirements unless you're an expert boot fitter yourself, in which case free fitting wouldn't even come into it. Ski boots, are similar to, from many potential examples, a triathlon "aero-bike" frame, and are precision fitted items. Yes, you'll get some people who go to a chain store like Evans (RIP) to get a triathlon bike fitted.....it doesn't mean its a good idea, generally speaking. You might be able to pedal it around the course but you'll never know if it caused your injury and/or you'd be faster on another frame.

How can the "plenty of people" actually KNOW that they have "decent, free, fittings" unless they are experts themselves? Whats the metrics they are using? Lack of pain, able to carve more easily, lovely new colour boots? Theres no way to know except over time and even then there might be injuries or other issues down the line which they never attribute to, but were the result of, poorly fitting boots.

Yes, you could be equally skeptical of professional fitters who charge say, per hour, but who's at more overall risk of serious come back if they screw up, a chain store employee on an hourly wage, or someone who's spent umpteen thousands setting up their own business and probably signing their house over to a bank to guarantee a loan? Who's more incentivised to do a proper job? Not everyone shares the same sense of moral and professional responsibility do they.

I'm not crapping on boot fitters in chain stores as I'm sure they do what they can. It's more a question of what resources they are given to accomplish what they are being told to sell and what limitations they are placed under, because there are some, you can be sure of that.
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@Martin & Ami, Or you could be wrong.
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rjs wrote:
@Martin & Ami, Or you could be wrong.


Well then, independent professionals can simply pack up and sell out to the ever caring Mike Ashley since their USP has ceased to exist. You'll get better service at Sports Direct when the day comes, I'm sure!
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@Martin & Ami, I am reasonably sure that at both Concept and SOLE in Chamonix, you pay for the boots and the fitting is included. (Both are specialist boot fitting stores)...I’m collecting our skis later so will check.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Surely it's down to timing, go to a shop that gives you fitting included with boots on a Saturday afternoon & sure you're not going to get the full attention. We went to Blues in Edinburgh as soon as Wednesday morning & had full attention for over an hour with other store assistant running getting other from stock to try. I could not fault the attention we received or fit
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@Martin & Ami, yep. defnitely. if you buy your boots from them, you'll get fitted. Appointments required. If you don't buy from them,... $$$ !
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