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Was the bootfitter right?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I took my wife to Sno & Rock in london for bootfitting. The guys started off by measuring her feet, turned out she is 24.7. He subsequently brough a few pairs of 24.5 boots, all of which were very uncomfortable for my wife. if she was not flexing hard, her toes were crusing into the end of boot. The guy refused to show boots from size up, stating those will be too big and this issue would be rectified with custom insoles (for 80 quid!!!).

Was he right or talking absolute bs?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
What was the shell fit like ? Toes lightly on front of shell in bare feet. No liner obviously.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
He's probably right but hard to tell without being there while he was doing the fitting.

What kind of fit were you going for and did you do a shell check?
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@bober02, my previous boots from yonks back were 27.0. Very comfy but probably too large. I then replaced them with boots fitted in the UK which were size 25.5. Despite several modifications, these were too small, I lost toenails and was generally in pain. After 3 years of pain, I had new boots fitted here in Austria, 26.5, which are perfect. No pain, toenails intact. My feet are slightly longer than 26.5 cm, but less than 27cm. On that basis, I'd say S&R are correct, but of course ski boots vary across brands and models. Some suit narrow feet, some wide, etc. I have certainly never needed any custom insoles, but if your wife does need these, she only needs to buy them once, they can be used in subsequent boots.
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What was the shell fit like ? Toes lightly on front of shell in bare feet. No liner obviously.
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The toes were being crushed that is what my wife kept saying... So not sure what she van do next time round she goes. She had her ski socks etc
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@bober02, did she buy the boots? If so take them back and go to Profeet or Solutions4Feet or another reputable and recommended bootfitter.

Custom insoles won't solve the problem of a badly fitted boot.
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@bober02, did she try the boots on without the liner - that is for a shell check
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@bober02, the thing to remember is that the liner will pack down as it adapts to her foot shape and that will provide more room all round. Properly fitted new boots will feel tight until this happens whereas boots that feel comfortable straight away will nearly always end up being too loose once the liner packs down.

That's not to say that boots are right just because they feel too tight but there's a good chance the bootfitter has taken all this into consideration when picking the right boot for her.

A shell check is a quick and simple method too check how much space there is for the foot length by taking out the liner and seeing how much space there is behind the foot when the liner is removed and the toes are just touching the front of the foot. The amount of space gives a guide to how well the boot fits for length.
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@bober02,

1. I understand (from someone who should know) that S&R only now have 2 (maybe 3) "real" boot fitters in the UK and only one location (not in London) with the necessary equipment. => Do Not Buy Ski Boots In S&R.

2. He may have had a point, but the boot almost certainly would require stretching in some fashion and other than the usual thermal moulding now commonly available, I refer you to (1.) above.

3. How the F'etty F' does a custom insole rectify a boot that is too short. I refer you to (1.) above.

So... long and short of it, Snow and Rock do not consistently and reliably offer a professional, qualified, boot fitting service. Do Not Buy Ski Boots At Snow and Rock if you want them correctly fitted.

If you are in London, Colin at Solutions4Feet in Bicester (who posts here as CEM) or Profeet are the usual go to suspects.
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bober02 wrote:
I took my wife to Sno & Rock in london for bootfitting. The guys started off by measuring her feet, turned out she is 24.7. He subsequently brough a few pairs of 24.5 boots, all of which were very uncomfortable for my wife. if she was not flexing hard, her toes were crusing into the end of boot.

How do you cram a 24.7 feet into a 24.5 boot?

Either by heat molding the liner (hopefully it'll stretch a bit) or "punching" the shell. The former is typically a feature build into certain model of boots. The latter, "shell punching", takes skill.

For a "real" boot fitter, such service are often included in the price of the boot (or rather, factor into the price).

By offering to sell another expensive "custom" insole at additional cost, that sounds like hard sell to me.
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It sounds OK to me as a starter. The shell may need work, but i'd have picked a 24.5 over a 25 (I'm not a fitter though)
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No, they just trying to flog you something that is not fit for purpose.
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You know it makes sense.
@Mosha Marc, but if the shop doesn't have the required tooling ... (which I am told none of the London shops do) ...
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There's a few points to note here:

- without knowing the actual shell gap any comments are purely speculative.
- some makes/models of boots run long for their stated size and a good bootfitter will know which they are.
- it's entirely possible that an unsupported foot can 'grow' in length (and width) when weighted when standing in the Brannock measurer but when supported by a good footbed it doesn't. My feet, when standing unsupported in a Brannock measure 266/267mm but when I stand on my CEM made footbeds in the measurer I'm bang on 260/261mm in length as well as being narrower. A good bootfitter will have checked for this when assessing pronation/supination. Foot stabilisation is the key to a good fit.
- when the customer says their toes are pushing the end of the boot that's not true. What they're feeling is the end of the liner which is not the same thing and it's not uncommon for a liner to be a bit short lasted. A good bootfitter will install a toe cap on the customers foot prior to heat moulding the liner to give adequate toe room when the cap is removed.
- tolerance to tightness differs from person to person.

Taking these factors in to consideration there's a very good chance that the fitter here is correct but probably didn't do a good job of explaining the whole process etc.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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+1. Actually quite impressed that S +R have someone willing to sell the right size rather than the comfort size which turns out too sloppy.
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It would have been so much easier for the bootfitter to sell a bigger, more comfortable boot.

I'm not bootfitter, but my understanding is that a 24.5 is still only 24cm - so if the foot measure 24.7cm then a 25 may well have been a better fit? So maybe they didn't have a 25 in stock?

If they didn't do a shell fit then I would be very suspicious.

It is true though that a custom insole could easily have made the difference, but so could a cheaper standard one, so the £80 might just be a "do you want to go large" approach.

I bought hubby several pairs of boots to try at home because he couldn't get to the shop - I also bought 3 pairs of insoles just to try - and we soon discovered that with the insoles his feet became "shorter".
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It would have been so much easier for the bootfitter to sell a bigger, more comfortable boot.

I'm not bootfitter, but my understanding is that a 24.5 is still only 24cm - so if the foot measure 24.7cm then a 25 may well have been a better fit? So maybe they didn't have a 25 in stock?

If they didn't do a shell fit then I would be very suspicious.

It is true though that a custom insole could easily have made the difference, but so could a cheaper standard one, so the £80 might just be a "do you want to go large" approach.

I bought hubby several pairs of boots to try at home because he couldn't get to the shop - I also bought 3 pairs of insoles just to try - and we soon discovered that with the insoles his feet became "shorter".
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My current ski boots are a "comfortable fit" - I can ski all day in them without having to unclip, don't lose toenails. BUT I wear the thinnest good quality ski socks I can find - some of the thick ski socks would certainly crush my toes. If your wife bought the boots which were recommended, I'd suggest she tries really thin socks (just a pair of ordinary marks and spencers ones) to see whether it makes enough difference.

I wouldn't buy a pair of boots which were "very uncomfortable" and crushing my toes, whatever the boot fitter said!

Has your wife experienced comfortable boots in the past? In other words, does she have anything to compare the S & R offering with?
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bober02 wrote:
if she was not flexing hard, her toes were crusing into the end of boot.


If they were crushing her toes when flexing, then they'd be too small.
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It would have been so much easier for the bootfitter to sell a bigger, more comfortable boot.

I'm not bootfitter, but my understanding is that a 24.5 is still only 24cm - so if the foot measure 24.7cm then a 25 may well have been a better fit? So maybe they didn't have a 25 in stock?

If they didn't do a shell fit then I would be very suspicious.

It is true though that a custom insole could easily have made the difference, but so could a cheaper standard one, so the £80 might just be a "do you want to go large" approach.

I bought hubby several pairs of boots to try at home because he couldn't get to the shop - I also bought 3 pairs of insoles just to try - and we soon discovered that with the insoles his feet became "shorter".
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under a new name wrote:
@bober02,

1. I understand (from someone who should know) that S&R only now have 2 (maybe 3) "real" boot fitters in the UK and only one location (not in London) with the necessary equipment. => Do Not Buy Ski Boots In S&R.


I find that rather sad - S&R fitted my first purchased (rear entry) boots in High Holborn and my second set of boots in Southampton. On both occasions I felt they spent plenty of time to make sure the boots fitted correctly and adjusted them when I returned from dry ski slopes. Now living in France, I use local fitters but it seems a shame to me if S&R have actually given up on decent fitting.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
At the least there are a lot of YouTube videos to watch on fitting ski boots, so you can see what they are supposed to do (and hear how it should feel).
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Could also be worth looking at video clips of how to put ski boots on and the sequence and tension on buckles ... tap on heel, ankle buckle first, pinky tension on foot buckles.

Though it sounds like you are always going to doubt the fit until you have consulted a reputable boot fitter.

P.S. Thin socks were a transformative change for me ... Falke instead of my old S&R own brand
P.P.S. Part of my pre-skiing holiday ritual is to cut my toenails before the trip and take the nail scissors with me
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skimummk wrote:


I'm not bootfitter, but my understanding is that a 24.5 is still only 24cm - so if the foot measure 24.7cm then a 25 may well have been a better fit? So maybe they didn't have a 25 in stock?

If they didn't do a shell fit then I would be very suspicious.



Most manufacturers split their sizes on the half size, so the 24.0 is the same as the 24.5, with an extra (removable insole to take up a little space.

+1 to the shell fit.

FWIW, my feet measure between 26.0 and 26.5 unsupported on a brannock measure. My current boots are 25.5, and the limiting factor is the instep height, not the length.
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lots of good and lots of poor information in here so far...but a foot of 24.7cm should (if the shell shape and volume are correct) fit without problem into a 24.5

to qualify this..... boots have over the years been becoming a bit longer so that "self service purchasers" can put them on in their measured size and say wow these are great and walk out the sop... due to this it is not uncommon for a fitter to need to drop someone who measures even over 25.0 into the 24.5 boot(remember there are no half sizes) in an ideal world if you measured 24.5 you go into that and it would be perfect out the box, BUT nobodies feet came out of a box... Volume is key in this, if the heel is not secured fully into the back of the boot then the padding of the NEW liner will push the foot forward and into the front of the boot... the most important part is the shell check and the volume of the boot... there is also tolerance of the user , the sock they are wearing and what their expectations of a ski boot really are

all in all it sounds like the fitter was doing the right thing, and not going for the easy size up have a fluffy fit which no doubt would have felt fantastic in the shop BUT you dont ski in the shop, the liners WILL pack down AND boots can be easily made bigger but it is really hard to make them smaller
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Decathlon silk skiing socks were fab for me. Very thin, and warmer than thick woolly / cotton ones. Also less smelly.

I’m sure my skiing improved too
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I don't usually post - but feel compelled to defend the fitter here to some extent (based on the limited information we have). Lots of misinformation flying around above too.

Without seeing the foot and boot, 24.7 would usually be grand in a 24 boot. Chucking her in a 25 would be the easy way out, a quick sale. It sounds pretty clear to me that the fitter is trying to achieve a good fit, that will last the skier some time. It's so easy to make a customer comfy in the shop and get them out the door, however that won't translate very well to skiing.

Fitters aren't out to make your life painful. They're trying to blend boot performance (and ongoing boot performance, past the first week) with immediate and ongoing comfort. Well-fitted boots will become more comfortable, with minimal performance loss as the boot gets 'bigger'. Boots too big, although initially comfortable, will become less comfortable, with major performance loss as the boot gets 'bigger'.

A footbed can reduce the lengthening of the foot as it takes a load (dependant on the foot of course). My feet measure ~26cm, but more than happy in a 25 (or a long 24!) with a footbed.

Of course, we have limited information here, so all sorts could be causing issues - I'm not saying that boot is the correct one, but size 24 sounds like the right place to start. It sounds like S&R have a fitter that actually wants to get people in the correct size too.
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@MarkFinSoup, they have 2 or 3 fitters who want to achieve that and have the necessary experience and skillz. I think, replying to @Alastair, that boot fitting isn't really a speciality that S&R want to address.
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@under a new name, sure, as always with big chains. I agree with your sentiment - I wouldn't be shopping at S&R for boots. However, to answer "Was he right or talking absolute bs?" he's not talking absolute bs, has the right intentions, just maybe lacks the experience to action it. What do you reckon he should have done? Gone with a 25? Turned them away? I don't see how he can win based on this thread.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@MarkFinSoup, I think without additionaly info, or talking to the individual you are quite right, they can't win.

Clearly, one thing missing was adequate communication...
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Bit of an aside, seen at Monument yesterday...

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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Richard_Sideways, looking for those investment banker analysts who've done the Salomon course as a backstop?
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Tis' bonus season...
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When I went to buy my now fairly elderly Atomic Hawx at EB at Braehead they (2 different fitters came to same conclusion on 2 visits) tried to get me into 25.5's, going from 26.5 Salomon's bought in France. It felt soo tight I couldn't go with it, but the fitter did their best to convince me it would give once I had the inner heated and then bedded them in at home for a few hours. The explanation: shell size on the Atomics are the same for 26-26.5, just the inner is more padded for the 26's. You will eventually end up with something almost fitting like a 26.5 if you go 26.

Anyway, I went against their advice being a pig headed sort and bought the 26's. And you know what? They were right, within a year the boots were feeling that little bit sloppy, comfy still, but just that little bit sloppy. Just enough to remind me that sometimes you should listen to the advice people who know stuff are telling you. They have never been so bad that I can't ski reasonably hard in them from time to time, so I don't completely regret my decision, but enough that I know that sometimes I would have that little bit more control if I had gone 25.5.

May not apply here of course... I think that's why a recommendation on a boot fitter is pretty important. Worth asking around. There should be a league table of boot fitters.
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Ad_Hynkel wrote:
.......The explanation: shell size on the Atomics are the same for 26-26.5, just the inner is more padded for the 26's.......

No, that's incorrect. There is absolutely no difference between the 26.0 and the 26.5 liners - they both have the same part number! If there is a difference (and that's very doubtful) is that the crappy footbed might be a bit thicker in the 0 size but they get just thrown away and replaced by an aftermarket/custom footbed.

#dontbelievethemarketing
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@Ad_Hynkel, What is your normal shoe size ?? (just curious - I'm currently in a Salomon 25.5 and often wonder if I could go smaller)
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albob wrote:
@Ad_Hynkel, What is your normal shoe size ?? (just curious - I'm currently in a Salomon 25.5 and often wonder if I could go smaller)

Trying to relate to shoe size is a waste of time. Just a do a shell check instead.
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@spyderjon, Thanks, will check out a DIY guide..
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albob wrote:
@Ad_Hynkel, What is your normal shoe size ?? (just curious - I'm currently in a Salomon 25.5 and often wonder if I could go smaller)


UK 7.5-8, but I think I have a slightly weird shape/volume as have never found a non-skiing shoe/boot at 7.5 that has ever felt comfortable. But I believe @spyderjon is correct with the shell test as a true guide to the right fit with foot length. Don't go off my foot size Laughing

@spyderjon, maybe i mis-remembered their advice about liners.
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