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Buying Ski Boots.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ElzP, recently purchased from solutions4feet (CEM on here) with heat-mouldable liner. The moulding is done (in crude terms) by having sit with your feet in the liner and then wrapped/enclosed and heated for a few minutes.

The principle to me is simple. Rather than the liner over time moulding to your feet (if indeed it does) the heat moulding creates a snug feet to begin with. They can also put pads on to accentuate certain features - in my case bony ankles. Coupled with a custom footbed and perhaps some shell blowing/stretching it will ensure the boot is 'designed for you' from day one.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Layne - thank you; I may have misunderstood the blurb on the boots, I got the impression it was heated 'in wear' as it were, as in battery operated warm stuff.

Though the idea of having my feet heated for a few minutes sounds delicious, they might not get my out of them at the fitters!
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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?
@ElzP, I have had good reports of heated ski socks, rather than boots.
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@ElzP, you can easily buy heated insoles to put in your boots. They're very effective. Hotronic do them, possibly Sidas too.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for the replies to my post and other advice. I ended up going to Rinskis (near Chichester, easy walk from Bosham station) and am now the proud owner of my first pair of boots, plus custom footbeds. They were really friendly (including the dogs) and Steve definitely seemed to know his stuff and wanted to find the right boot for me. We'll find out if he succeeded on the PSB!
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ElzP wrote:
To add to the ski-boots questions (I have searched, lots about heated liners but...)

Has anyone got/used heated ski boots? We're off boot shopping soon, first timers for buying, and of course I'll take what I'm given according to what the fitter thinks is best etc, but I've noticed they have Salomon boots with integral heated bits. I have a distrust of technology, and a feeling of 'what could possibly go wrong?' Any insights would be welcomed just in case these are the boots for me.

I do get very cold feet (rubbish circulation) so likely to be tempted...


i think there are two different things (maybe even three) being discussed

1 custom footbeds are heat molded to the foot (that the stand on the gel pad of foot in a plastic bag bit
2 heat molded liner on many boots the foam of the liners is heated to help it adapt to the foot
3 heated boots... there are a few models which come with an integrated heating system in the liner, personally we avoid them and use an aftermarket heating system as if somehtign goes wrong with the integrared ones you have to replace the entire liner if not the boot, where as the aftermarket ones it is either element (cheap) or battery, any good boot shop should have some option form one of the brands selling this type of thing and should be able to fit it to your footbed in your boot

hope that helps clear up the confusion
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@CEM thank you - yes, these are number 3 in your list, and what you say aligns with my 'what could possibly go wrong' worries. I'll ask about the heated liners/socks options when we go. We're off to Captain's Cabin in Sevenoaks which is our nearest and seems to be well regarded from searches on here. Cheers all!
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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!
I posted a bit of this in another thread:

For the 3 years I have been skiing I had a constant problem with boots, with the skis wobbling sideways, and a flat foot issue causing a sore ankle (right foot only). At least 5 ski shops at various places (the list includes: Axams, Mutters, Filzmoos, Grand Bornand, Zell am See, Courchevel, Madonna, Wengen, Corvara... ) failed to sort this. The issue turned out to be the totally wrong shape Sidas insoles, and boots being about 5-10mm too wide.

It got finally sorted at Zermatt... replaced the Salomon X-Pro 100 (£250 3 years ago) with Head Nexo LYT 110 (CHF 540) with the wax injection and some CHF 140 Sidas custom insoles (of which a completely wrong-shape version was supplied by a ski shop in Wengen for €70).

The shop (Bayard, on the mains street) did a 3D laser scan of my feet and the software then produces a list of boots which are roughly the right shape. Of these, they had just two in stock; the above, and an Atomic one at a similar price. The guy reckoned the Head was better for me and it did look better quality. The software also plotted where I was on the distribution of foot dimensions; it turned out I was near the small end, despite being 1.75m/74kg. Clearly, and looking at the huge boots mostly stocked by ski shops, most skiers are built like a gorilla Smile

No heating was involved of the whole boot or the liner (at all). Only the custom insole fitting process involved heating up the insoles and then standing on them, on a couple of pads containing some sort of wax. The only customisation was the wax injection into the Head boot liner, and localised heating and forming of the shells (especially the right one) to clear my ankles. The wax injection was particularly effective, producing more grip at the back of the leg, above the ankle.

My view now is that a lot of this business of heating up the whole shell, heating up the liner, etc, often does a lot less than most people think. Much of it is probably snake oil (like a lot of stuff in skiing, I am sure) allowing the shop to keep moving their stock of boots by offloading oversize or even undersize boots. And obviously it keeps a lid on online sales (keeps the ski shops in business). One does have to start off with a boot which is a good fit. I have never seen a UK ski shop which had these facilities. Or even the interest; in one very big shop I went in, somewhere near Portsmouth, near the A27, the assistant told us straight that why should he spend an hour doing £350 boots when he can flog someone a jacket for £350 in 5 minutes.

You do pay more at a ski resort. The Head boot can be found online for about £300 which is considerably less than CHF540, but you won't get any help with the fitting. And the insoles cannot be formed outside a shop. Neither can the wax injection, which requires a kit which only the shop has.

The other common mistake is thick socks. These will make your feet loose no matter how well fitting the boots are.

As regards getting cold toes, I get that too in -15C, and found that the disposable pads are brilliant. Lots of people use them in mittens (I do too) and the foot version uses a stronger cloth because you don't want it to break inside the boot. I used the Snowlife Fusswarmer pads. The electric stuff seems to be mostly junk quality unless you pay loads of money. My son used heated gloves and they always disintegrated within a week.

It also looks like there is an obvious correlation between the expertise, and the age of the shop assistant Smile All the junk I've been sold at various places was by assistants in their 20s.
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@peter_h, i think you answered your own questions, select your shop more carefully... scanner systems are all very well BUT they cannot currently determine the following
1 the skiers tolerance to any form of compression
2 whether you are sat in a chain store or with a boot fitter who has tools to adjust the boot
3 the amount of deformation that some heat mouldable shells can move

the machine works to the largest dimension, now if your foot happens to be in proportion then this can work but if you have a wide forefoot and narrow heels you might have issues
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@peter_h,

Nominally the X-Pro and the Head Nexo are both 100mm lasts at reference size mondo 26 with width increasing as length increases in both models identically i thought Puzzled

Quote:

It got finally sorted at Zermatt... replaced the Salomon X-Pro 100 (£250 3 years ago) with Head Nexo LYT 110 (CHF 540) with the wax injection and some CHF 140 Sidas custom insoles (of which a completely wrong-shape version was supplied by a ski shop in Wengen for €70).



always a great day when boots fit properly - such a difference i'll agree...

Quote:

The issue turned out to be the totally wrong shape Sidas insoles, and boots being about 5-10mm too wide.


For sure, 'footbeds' need experienced skillful hands plus intellectual nounce to get a really good pair.

I have to say i'm surprised the Salomons were 5 to 10mm too wide though. I've had experience with salomon's X max 100's ( same plastic as X-Pro's i thought) being heated up 4 times with barely no lateral plastic width expansion noticeable at all. Puzzled

Whilst it might be easier to sell an expensive jacket over successfully selecting / fitting a ski boot, i see/experience 10 times more boot sales than jackets so...

The important bit is now you're sorted for now.

Please let snowHeads know how the wax injection works out with you. I paid £200 for a Zipfit Liner 'Gara Stealth' which literally is (snake) 'Oil and Cork' in discreet bladders within the liner and boy am i happy with the fit! Smile Smile Smile
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The Solomons are about 8mm wider on the outside. I have no idea if this translates to the inside.

I too didn't think that heating up the entire Solomon boot, and standing in it afterwards for a few mins, did anything useful. Heating up the liner, perhaps. I think there is a certain amount of snake oil in the ski business Smile

The wax injection has a very noticeable effect in how well the boot fits the area around the heel. How much that helps with skiing I can't easily say because I am a relative beginner.

I emailed Head asking them about suitability of this boot for a heated boot rack. Someone said the wax might come out (!!) so I better check this. It would amaze me if Head didn't think of that one, however.

Regarding jackets, I don't think the high end ones sell much in the UK. Snow & Rock in Brighton had Kjus jackets for one season and that was it. Mind you they were 2x the price of mail order from Germany Smile And at Zermatt they were 2x the price of S&R but they seemed to be selling ok there.
ski holidays     
 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.
peter_h wrote:
The wax injection has a very noticeable effect in how well the boot fits the area around the heel. How much that helps with skiing I can't easily say because I am a relative beginner.

It's critical your heel is held firmly in position and it doesn't lift.
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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
Some Salomon boots have high memory heat moldable shells that start with a 98mm last but can expand to 104mm. I prefer a 98 last so just had mine blown out conventually at a single pressure point.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Sorry if this is in the wrong place!

Just a quick question to those in the know.

When measuring the heel gap in boots is that the distance from the back of the heel of the foot to the back of the boot heel pocket or to the back of the boot base as the heel pocket extends considerably past the back of the base?

I am just trying to work out how badly my previously bought boots were fitted (by a qualified fitter apparently). I would like to try and get a rough idea what sizes to expect to be suggested when attempting to get some boots fitted some time this year.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@PaddyM, search youtube for "ski boot shell test"... there are plenty of videos on it.

It's the internal space in the boot shell when your toe is at the front... 1.5 to 2 fingers... but check out a couple of vids so you fully understand.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Layne

Thanks for that! That terminology brought up a bunch more useful results.

I can confirm the boots I was sold were probably 2 full sizes too big! I wish I just fitted them myself now given the rental boots ive had the last few years instead of my own awful boots have been pretty good.

I measured the gap on the rental boots at around 25mm so maybe looking at a size down from that if I get my own with a footbed.

I think I bit more reading before I set off to the shops this time!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PaddyM wrote:
@Layne

Thanks for that! That terminology brought up a bunch more useful results.

I can confirm the boots I was sold were probably 2 full sizes too big! I wish I just fitted them myself now given the rental boots ive had the last few years instead of my own awful boots have been pretty good.

I measured the gap on the rental boots at around 25mm so maybe looking at a size down from that if I get my own with a footbed.

I think I bit more reading before I set off to the shops this time!!


Rental boots will nearly always be a size or two bigger than custom fitted. They need to be as, unless you strike gold that they are perfect last width /size and shape for your feet, they need to big so the tight fitting spots don’t cause you pain, resulting in more room elsewhere.

I,e sub optimal fitting boot can be accommodated by going up a size or two and doing the best job you can with the buckles.

Needless to say That shouldn’t happen if you go a decent boot fitter, but can do if you buy a “bargain” off the interweb.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@PaddyM, care to share where your boots were fitted?

Did they do the "ski boot shell test"?

Where do you live? maybe people can recommend a good boot fitter.

If you've been skiing a few times and intend to go a few more, it's well worth investing your own boots. Let's say you spend £500 (boot, fitting, custom footbed, etc) and get 20 weeks out of them that is £25 per week or £4 per day. And using them will be a joy.

But you do need a good fitter...
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@layne

They were fitted in an EB store following a recommendation from a friend. I cannot remember the exact process but the boots I ended up in where pretty much pure park boots which were massively too big. During the fitting when I told them I usually do piste only skiing but sometimes like to play off the side of the pistes (2-3 meters from the side!). I assumed the issue was with me rather than the boots when trying to get used to them but after 4 days of awful skiing I went back to rental boots which were a night and day improvement. This was all around 8 years ago with 5 weeks relatively trouble free skiing in rental boots since then. I was also sold some totally inappropriate skis at the same time and since then i've not wanted to go near a ski equipment shop in the UK.

That was pretty much £600 of kit I got 4 days use from rather than 5 weeks rental equipment!

I did venture into a local S+R store a couple of months ago and made some polite enquires and was pretty rudely told not to bother them and come back some other time.

So my enthusiasm for ski equipment buying is pretty low to the point I was considering buying boots online based on the rental boots I liked the most (some X Pro 90's).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@PaddyM, you would need to get lucky with the fitter at an EB and S&R store I'm afraid. They are just a risky bet.

If you look back through this thread you will see various recommendations. Or just tell us your location/region and people can give suggestions. As mentioned above I have used solutions4feet in Bicester recently and they would do a great job. Some people will try some way to use places like this, because they can trust them to get it right.

Skis are a bit different. Yes, there are piste skis, park skis, all mountain skis, powder skis. But within each genre it comes down to personal taste. You need to try a few different pairs and get a feel for what works for you.

But deal with the boots first.
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@Layne

I am around the Staines area (west of london near heathrow) so soloutions 4 feet is a bit of a trek especially if I needed to go back to get adjustments done. Ski Bartlett is pretty close by and seems to get mixed but usually good reviews so that is a possibility. Im not sure what else is nearby other than the S+R in Chertsey.
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@PaddyM, or Profeet in Fulham. Go for it. Feel free to report back, or ask questions, on this thread.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@PaddyM, if you can connect with the Underground and get to Parsons Green (District Line), then Profeet are good. And, as you say, Ski Bartlett also get good reviews. Everybody gets the odd bad write-up, even Solutions4Feet, but the big chains are probably best avoided, unless you can get a personal recommendation for an individual fitter.
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Oops, sorry, @Layne, was faffing over my post while you were posting.
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@PaddyM don't feel to bad about being sold ski boots two sizes to big, I am also in that club....... I was very disappointed from a local ski shop in Aberdeen and have vowed to give them no more trade!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
PaddyM wrote:
@Layne

I am around the Staines area (west of london near heathrow) so soloutions 4 feet is a bit of a trek especially if I needed to go back to get adjustments done. Ski Bartlett is pretty close by and seems to get mixed but usually good reviews so that is a possibility. Im not sure what else is nearby other than the S+R in Chertsey.



I had Russel in Ski Bartlett fit me recently, which was a very positive experience. The other chaps doing it seemed good as well. Book a slot ahead though, rather than turn up on spec.
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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.
t4tomo wrote:
PaddyM wrote:
@Layne

I am around the Staines area (west of london near heathrow) so soloutions 4 feet is a bit of a trek especially if I needed to go back to get adjustments done. Ski Bartlett is pretty close by and seems to get mixed but usually good reviews so that is a possibility. Im not sure what else is nearby other than the S+R in Chertsey.




I had Russel in Ski Bartlett fit me recently, which was a very positive experience. The other chaps doing it seemed good as well. Book a slot ahead though, rather than turn up on spec.


I went to Ski Bartlett and I think it was Russell. I was happy with the result, he simply gave me what I needed, rather than what I thought I wanted.

If you get the lowest SnowSport England membership for £10 , that gets you 10% off there too. Well worth it if you end up getting boots there.

Also much more fun wandering around their emporium of ski goods in the waiting around parts of the 2 hour fitting, seeing what else you "need" than in the Fulham places which are pretty much boots and socks only!
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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
@PaddyM, I like Ski Bartlett, but they don't (didn't) do appointments, it's turn up and wait your turn.
After a couple of loooong experiences., we've been parked outside for a good 30 mins before the shop opens to make sure we got in ahead of the queue. And of course, they do a good job, which means each customer in front of you takes oh so slightly longer than you are anticipating.
Take a book, a tablet/pad or something to distract you if you get there mid morning or mid afternoon. There's only so many times you can read the label on pucks of NotWax… (but they do offer coffee, which is nice).

(They used to, they may still, do a Snowheads discount too for super-megas )
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Arctic Roll wrote:
@PaddyM, I like Ski Bartlett, but they don't (didn't) do appointments, it's turn up and wait your turn.


They certainly did appointments in November when I got fitted, they pretty much insisted that was the way to go when I rang but of course you can still just turn up and take you chances.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@ster, good the hear - even more reason to give them some love.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Arctic Roll, not everything has improved. I didnt get offered a coffee!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That is all really helpful. So thank you everyone that responded. I might be delayed until after my next trip in getting my boots if I go down the fully fitted by a proper boot fitter route. I'm sure 1 more week of rental wont kill me though!
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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?
@PaddyM, good luck. And dont go to S+R, at best they are hit or miss, at worst terrible.
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@PaddyM, just for balance, just back from a week in Val D'Isere and my mate was in so much pain with shin bang after 2 days, he went back down after the second run and went to a boot-fitter in a shop in resort. He ended up paying 399EUR (worked out at £359) and was immediately skiing "as though he had nothing on his feet" He felt the experience of the bootfitter out in resort was far better than he had over here, and the the guy just "seemed to know" what would be the right fit.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
dunc999 wrote:
@PaddyM, just for balance, just back from a week in Val D'Isere and my mate was in so much pain with shin bang after 2 days, he went back down after the second run and went to a boot-fitter in a shop in resort. He ended up paying 399EUR (worked out at £359) and was immediately skiing "as though he had nothing on his feet" He felt the experience of the bootfitter out in resort was far better than he had over here, and the the guy just "seemed to know" what would be the right fit.

Where did he go to get sorted? Killy Sport? Surefoot?
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hi all
just thrown away my 20+ year old Salomons... finally began to fall apart.

I will get replacements at proper Boot fitters since I have very awkward feet and it took over 5 years before my Salomons felt comfty.

Profeet seems convenient to me.
may I ask please: Do they have a full range and are their prices for the boots "standard" - I will happily pay for the fitting service, but don't want to then also pay over the odds on the boots.
thanks
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@TheManOnTheBus, They have as full a range as hey think they will need, bu it's now more than halfway through the season. the prices are for the boots and you pay for fitting and custom footbeds if you want/need. it's very clear what the charges are on the website. i have no idea how the boot only price compares to anywhere else but it doesn't matter, I wouldn't go anywhere else. If they charge, say £30 more for boots than another retailer it would be a false economy to go somewhere else just to save that £30
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thank you, @Holidayloverxx

Does anyone recommend a particular fitter at Profeet - or are they all good.
Thanks!
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TheManOnTheBus wrote:
Thank you, @Holidayloverxx

Does anyone recommend a particular fitter at Profeet - or are they all good.
Thanks!

Fraser Shand, if you can get him, but they all should be good.
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I am having difficulty finding a boot to suit my wide feet with very narrow heels and small calf's. My feet are 103mm wide, my instep is low, boot size is 26. The boots I want to replace are 10 year old Atomic B Tech which had the width I required with medium cuffs that gave me good heel retention. I was quite interested in the Atomic Hawk magna, however the cuff was so big on me that they felt like a pair of wellies. I have tried various other 102 last boots and cannot get good heel retention. Would it be better to get a boot with good heel retention in a 100mm last and have them blown out to fit me or go for a 102 last and have cuff reducers stuck on the liner. Alternatively, can anyone suggest a model of boots that would suit my feet
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