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Buying Ski Boots.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@nbt, Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the advice. As I don't have an alternate pair of boots to use for the first day, going to Le Lac will probably cost me half a day of skiing, so probably a bit too much of a hassle. Great suggestion on finding a snowdome, will likely get the fitting done at Bartlett's and then find a day to test them out before the trip.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just another person after some advice - I have a pair of ski boots around 10-11 years old, I’ve worn them for 4 weeks skiing as well as some dry-sloping/snow dome visits over this time. Whilst they still feel comfortable, I’ve no idea when they’re likely to need replacing. I’m a one/two weeks a year skier really, intermediate/advanced but definitely more on piste than off piste. Any advice much appreciated!
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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?
I'm no expert but my last boots lasted about 25years - had an 8 yr gap in the middle for kids. Eventually the heel plate cracked and I had to get new soles put on them -I was warned at the time, by a fitter in Les Arcs, that the shell could crack as the plastic was old. So the next holiday I took the with me, but hired a pair - I was gobsmacked at the difference in new materials and the hire pair were way better than my old ones - that I thought I had loved!

I like having my own boots because it saves time in the hire shop as I am awkward to fit (top end of ladies sizes and mens generally too big round the ankle), I am trying to persuade hubby to buy boots this year - he has skied quite happily in hire boots since 1994 - and doesn't see the point in buying boots because we only go once a year, hire boots (he says) are much better now and they cost about £!1-24/week depending on resort and date if you are hiring skis. His other "objection" is that they are heavy and now we travel with budget airlines thats a consideration.

So my advice would be they should be good for years to come, but if not try some hire boots because with the amount you have skied in the last 10 years it wasn't worth buying
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I’m skiing Lange RX100 size 25.5 at the moment, have narrow feet with molded custom Sidas liners. I’m 176cm 67kg, ski pretty well on piste, get on edges etc.

I’ve done 35 or so days on them this season. Length wise they are fine, but width wise I do feel they could be a bit tighter for more heel lock as it affects how hard I feel I can push when skiing. The toe area has some space, but I’m less concerned about that.

I run them fairly tight around the ankles with the strap tight. Tend to be on the first settings around the top of the foot.

I tried on some RX120LV with my current Sidas liners and was able to flex them at shop temperatures. I’m tempted to bite the bullet and go back to the shop and buy them, using my current sidas custom liners and insoles.

I crave a bit more grip around the heel, and think I probably should have had the LV version in the first place. On steeps is where I feel I could use a little more control/less slop. On a blue run the current boots are fine overall.

Ideally I’d be moving to a 110LV but they don’t seem to make one, hence trying the 120.

From things people have said, I’m a bit concerned 120 flex is too much for my weight etc, so I was surprised that the 120 didn’t feel particularly crazy in the shop (but again, I appreciate the conditions are not on piste!). Advice welcome.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'm 176cm and 76kg and feel happy on piste in a 130 flex race type boot (Atomic Redster), same flex in a freeride boot but of course it feels much more like a 110-120 flex piste boot. I didn't even bother with the standard liners due to my narrow heels so went straight for foam liners which I usually get 120 - 140 days skiing in before they pack out enough to cause problems. The standard liners are kept to replace the freeride/touring ones when they go.
A lot is down to personal preference and your individual bone and muscle structure. I like having a firm feeling as I push into the boot.

Your boot has a 100mm last, both of my main boots have a 98mm last, it is easy to adjust the odd pressure point and the narrower fit gives me much more control. IMHO you need a decent fitter to take a look after you explain your current problems.
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The shells of the boots on the shop will be warm and will flex more than they would when skiing. Boot flex and fit are very personal things. Fit is dependent on your foot and flex is subjective depending on your weight and style. I am 90kg and can push some big angles on piste. I have 7 year old Atomic Redster 120's which fit like a glove but are too soft to be ideal. I fitted some booster straps to them this year which has helped. I am probably going to change them this year for something stiffer but I have enjoyed skiing them and quite like the slight challenge of having to adjust my fore/aft balance to get what I want from them. It also helps when I'm not on a flat piste to have the extra flex.

I think I have a point of reference to work from and hope the fitter can fill in the rest of the puzzle.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks both for the above. I have found a bargain price on the 120LV, so am going to give these a go. I measured my feet and I’m definitely narrow and should have got the LV in the first place!

I may make some new custom liners next season, but this should tie me over. Next time I’m definitely doing it in resort, though the boot fitter in london have overall been good.
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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 use K2 Men's Recon 130 LV GripWalk Ski Boots 2020, you should check them out, they are perfect for me.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Be careful about the new types of soles - it's a bit like vhs v betamax. I have a pair of wtr (walk to ride) atomic hawx that won't fit in any of this years top alpine bindings, as they've seemingly gone for the other standard.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Due to a storage fire I've ended up buying 4 pairs of boots in the last year. I've ended up with two pairs of Atomic hawx, alpine and touring, both fitted at the same place.
So two years ago I had a pair of Tecnica Icon X, 15 years old and well used. Ended up doing an unintentional forward roll and did in my MCL as the bindings didn't release. On inspection the sole of the boots was so worn that the bindings were never going to work properly. Secondly, the plastic on the boots had really deteriorated (indeed, the Icons were a replacement for a pair of TNTs whose toes fell off). I'd probably done 20 weeks in the Icons.
My take home from this is: plastic degrades over time, any boot over 10 years old is almost certainly not performing as it should. Wear on the bottom of a boot (unless you can replace the toes and heels) is critical - replace.

I've bought 2 pairs of atomic hawx ultra xtd, one pair of fischers and a pair of atomic hawx alpine boots. The first pair of hawx xtd were unwearable, despite a three hour fitting. The second pair are amazing (same size, same fitter). The fischers were way too big and felt like gumboots. They went in the fire, and as the second pair of xtds didn't fit on my replacement skis I've got a pair of the alpine version.

Take home from this: there's nothing like real skiing to tell you whether a boot fits.

I'm from London, UK, and the boot fitters were there. When I next get boots I'll definitely take them out to a dry slope ( Sad ) or indoors to check the fit.

Old kit: in the bin
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
joffy69 wrote:
The first pair of hawx xtd were unwearable, despite a three hour fitting. The second pair are amazing (same size, same fitter).

I'm really confused by this.

Two of the same boot fitted by the same person. One is unwearable and one is amazing.

Puzzled Puzzled
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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.
I always thought the WTR soles where compatible with the new bindings ie bindings marked with mnc or iq etc.
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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
I didn’t ski in the first pair of boots until i got to the Alps, and had to buy the Fischer’s to be able to continue. Then the fire happened, and I lost everything. Went back to the same shop and was able to explain that the boots didn’t fit, and, I think crucially, say why they didn’t fit. The fitter blew out the shell on the second pair to avoid any constriction on blood vessel on the top of my feet.

WTR soles are not compatible with the last two seasons look pivot bindings, although gripwalk are.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@joffy69, this is why I've always bought boots in resort.

Some people think I'm mental. Buy boots in resort? But you're wasting valuable ski time!.

Arriving in resort in the morning means you should be able to have a pair fitted by Saturday evening - especially as most resort shops open til 7 or 8.
You're never going to go without - if the first day doesn't yield a pair that works for you, get something on a day hire and have a better look Sunday afternoon.

The ability to take them out in the day, ride them for the day, then walk into the shop that evening and tell them what hurts and what works is priceless. If you go to a good bootshop that don't mind working on them until they're perfect; there's no reason why you shouldn't walk away from a weeks skiing with a perfect pair of boots.

Sorry UK Bootfitters - I love what you do - but I personally think buying - and fitting - ski boots on a rainy afternoon in September and expecting that to have any bearing on how they'll perform up a mountain 3 months later is just impossible.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
A good boot fitter is a good boot fitter no matter where you are.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@joffy69, Honestly mate, I can't follow what you are writing. But anyway to your main point:

Quote:
Take home from this: there's nothing like real skiing to tell you whether a boot fits.

Well, yes and no.

When I went for my last fitting. I had old my old boots. I also knew what adjustments had been made on my old boots. And I went to a very good fitter. And with a custom footbed and mouldable inners at the end of the process I was able to put on the boots and pretty much know there and then that they were perfect. Of course, hitting the slopes was the proof of the pudding. And if you are new to having boots, go to a not-so-good fitter, etc., then yeah you could be back to the shop a few times.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@dp, couple of issues I have:

1) How do you know you are going to a station with a good fitter?

2) If you go late season they will be low on stock.

3) If you develop problems in a follow up week, unless you are regular to that station, you are snookered.

To be honest I'm ambivalent to the buy in resort or buy at home argument. I can see plusses and minuses of both. Hence if someone comes along saying you must do one or the other I like to put my view for balance.
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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?
Layne wrote:
@dp, couple of issues I have:

1) How do you know you are going to a station with a good fitter?


Frankly, I'd expect a good fitter in most major resorts. The fact is that the instructors, guides and racers all have to get their boots done somewhere. I needed boot help in Livigno on our second day, I had no idea where to even start looking, so I walked round all the cafes until I found the one full of instructors then asked them where they got their boots done.

Quote:

2) If you go late season they will be low on stock.


As true on a resort-based bootfitter as one in the UK.
But yes, if you're skiing towards the end of the season, this might be a negative.

Quote:

3) If you develop problems in a follow up week, unless you are regular to that station, you are snookered.


Snookered? Nah. Somebody in resort will work on them for you - you'll likely just need to pay since you didn't buy the boots there.

With any set of boots, I'd say the most likely time to experience discomfort / problems will be the first week. So I still think buying in resort with the ability to go back over coming days is a better idea than either waiting til you get back, or paying for work in resort in addition to what you already spent in the UK.

I suppose if you have a legit reason not to want to do it in resort, you could meet in the middle and go UK-based and give them a run-in at a fridge.

Of course my advice also excludes people who need very specialist work doing beyond the scope of basic boot fitting, where there's no guarantee of a specialist in resort.

Next time I need a new pair of boots (which I suspect may be next season), I think I'll probably book a week in Chamonix so I can make good use of Sole.
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Ok I finally got my first nice AT setup. I have a Blizzard Zero G 105's w/ Marker Alpinist 12 bindings. The bindings are mounted for a 27.5 boot. My question is if I need to remount my bindings for a 27 boot, a half size difference. Will the din setting hold up and my boot stay secure if I don't? I'm asking because I am boot shopping and I don't want to fit test boots in my skis, if its not useful.

Thanks,
Riley
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Firstly, there's no such thing as a half size in ski boots so a 27 and a 27.5 shell in the same make/model of boot will have the same sole length in mm - unless it's a Scarpa brand boot which change size on the .5 designation so in a Scarpa a 26.5 and 27 are the same shell.

Different makes/models of boots of the same shell size will have different boot sole lengths as notated on the side of the heel of the shell so you bindings will/should have been mounted for the sole length of your specific boot.

The Alpinist (with the std length heel base) has 15mm of overall length adjustment so if the jig was set to your specific sole length then it should adjust up to 7.5mm either way. So if your new boots have a sole length that's different by more than that then the bindings will need remounting - usually just the remounting the toe or heel will do it but if you end up downsizing and going to a short bsl make/model of boot then you might need to remount both.

If you new you were going to need new boots you should have delayed mounting the Alpinists until you'd changed boots. I always ask customers who are buying a binding with limited adjustment if they are planning a boot change in the near future. Have to do a remount is not great on a lightweight construction ski. And remount also means that the fore/aft postioning on the will be 'off'.
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Thank you so much for the heads-up. I feel like you have mitigated my worry. I bought the ski's second hand so the bindings were already mounted before I acquired them. Thanks again for schooling the newbie.
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