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Buying Ski Boots.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just go to Decathlon...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
nevis1003 wrote:
Just go to Decathlon...

You're only saying that because they give you free boot hire.
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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?
GlasgowCyclops wrote:
Rabbie wrote:
Looking to get boots as a Christmas present. Nearest place is Akain Baxter about 20 miles away. Does anyone have any eperience ofhow good a fitter he is?


Hi Rabbie

I'm a bit late on here.

Alain is great. I Go to him. Another ecomendation is The chap from EB in Glasgow (beard) and longer black salt n pepper hair.

Also Shona from Nevis in Glasgow or someone in Perth.

Back to A B . Just because someone is good at a sport doesn't mean they will be better than someone who has not been a sports person. However, some carry it forward into their new career and Alain is one of these.

I used to be a good footballer (I'll not go into why I never played pro) and the benefit of good kit for precise control is crucial.

Number 1 rule is forget brands and go for the perfect kit for you.


I was recommended Karla @ Craigdon in Perth by @CEM and I don't regret going to visit her.
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nevis1003 wrote:
Just go to Decathlon...


Please don't start again. You weren't funny the first time.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hello everyone, here's a probably an all too familiar question from a newbie hoping to become a snowhead.

I did the unthinkable and purchased my first ski boots ever - online. Where I live there is no actual bootfitting service available. Boots are sold in local sports outlets but the selection tends to be rather random.

As a downhill skier I am a beginner. Several years ago I skied for a couple of days on relatively easy (blue and red) local slopes and quite enjoyed it. I am more familiar with cross country skiing. I have no great ambitions as a skier: my present goal is to survive cruising the blue and easier red slopes at Val Gardena next February

Before placing an order I measured my feet several times: length 253 mm, width 98 mm. Normal instep, slender ankles. Calves may be a bit wide because of weight gain / cycling. I am a 55 year old male, short but regrettably a bit heavy (82 kg). I am reasonably fit for my age, however (jogging, cycling, inline skating).

I ordered a pair of Salomon X 80 boots, size 25.5, flex rating 80. Trying them on, they feel the way I think they are supposed to feel: when I stand straight, my toes touch the shell in a slightly uncomfortable way. But when I buckle the boots and bend my knees, my toes feel comfortable and I am able to wiggle them a little. Yesterday evening I wore the boots for two hours at home and experienced no major discomfort. They may be stiff for a beginner, but all the softer boots available were almost invariably with wide last.

What bothers me is the "shell fit": when I take the liner out and let my toes touch the shell in front of the boot, there is a surprisingly large distance between my heel and the shell, probably around 20 - 25 mm (measuring this is tricky).

Are my boots going to feel too large in time? Should I exchange the boots for even a smaller pair? I would have thought that my carefully measured mondopoint size would "automatically" correlate with good shell fit, but apparently this is not the case. Or does this really matter - considering that I will always be a recreational beginner? Mondopoint 24 correlates appr. to EU size 39. I would not dream buying regular shoes that small.
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@Octavian, Given your age, ability, type of skiing you are doing, it all sounds fine to me and I would stick with what you've got.
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@Octavian, out of interest, where do you live that there's no boot fitting?

On a separate note from your post, there will be a decent bootfitter somewhere in the Dolomites (sorry I don't have a recommendation), a lot of very good mountain footwear comes from Northern Italy .
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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!
Quote:

@Octavian, Given your age, ability, type of skiing you are doing, it all sounds fine to me and I would stick with what you've got.


Thanks, I was hoping to hear that
wink
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

@Octavian, out of interest, where do you live that there's no boot fitting?

On a separate note from your post, there will be a decent bootfitter somewhere in the Dolomites (sorry I don't have a recommendation), a lot of very good mountain footwear comes from Northern Italy .



I live in capital region of Finland. However, with some vigorous googling I managed to locate a couple of specialist ski stores who may have a boot fitting service.
I wish I had more time in the Dolomites. Getting to Val Gardena from Finland takes almost the whole day (bus - flight to Munich - train to Bressanone - another bus). I only have five days for skiing. I also hope I can run in the boots on local slopes before heading to Italy.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sun 10-12-17 7:07; edited 1 time in total
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@Octavian, welcome to Snowheads! snowHead
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Gordyjh wrote:
@Octavian, welcome to Snowheads! snowHead


Thanks!
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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.
Hi, I'm not sure whether I'm in the right place by adding to this thread or whether I'm supposed to start a new thread - my first time on Snowheads.

I've just bought some new ski boots online. I have very very wide feet and calfs and for the past few years have been skiing my my Head Cube 3 8MYA boots, but they have a low flex (60) and I'm finding them far too flexible and I don't have enough control in them, especially as my skiing has vastly improved.

Head as I can see really are the best for my wide feet and wide calfs so I've bought a pair of Head Cube 3 with a flex of 80 instead.I've bought these online as no shops near me stock them. My question is about heat moulding them. I wear my own orthotics (footbeds) in them which I've had custom made by my podiatrist. My old boots were heat moulded but before I had my own orthotics so I think the heat moulding was for a footbed and the liner. Is it worth getting the liners on the new boots heat moulded with my own orthotics in them and does anyone know if shops will generally do this if I haven't bought the boots from them?
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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
@katie28, Welcome to Snowheads. I think you will find places that will do the heat moulding for you but they may/will charge you for that service as you didn’t buy from them.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Seeing the recommendations for CEM and the place in Otley on the earlier pages of this thread, they are both a bit far to travel, for a replacement pair of boots.

Being that I live on the Cumbria/Northumberland border, the only places I can come up with are Snow and Rock at Gateshead or George Fisher at Keswick.

Is there anywhere else up in this neck of the woods that anyone would recommend?

I need a decent fitter as have odd feet - no arch, narrow heel, wide toes and mortons toe.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Cinnypony, I live in Liverpool and I travel to see Colin (CEM) for both my ski boots and my day-to-day shoe insoles.

If you have weird feet then I (as somebody who has weird, but very positively recovering feet) honestly think you should travel whatever distance is necessary to get it right first time. I know it's a really long way and it will be an expensive trip but you really do only get one pair of feet and making them worse will be expensive in the long run.

PS... are you seeing an NHS podiatrist about your lack of arches?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I''m 2hrs 30 north of Liverpool - an extra 5 hours on a round trip further, so Bicester is too far.

Given up on podiatry stuff - the lack of arch is due to an operation I had on my feet as child. It is what it is...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Cinnypony, Where abouts are you. You can't be too far from Alain Baxter in Stirling who I can reccomend. I ent to him on advice from other Snowheads
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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 near Alston in north Cumbria- 2hrs 30 from Stirling, so that is far more practical from Bicester Very Happy

Does Alain Baxter have a website please as could do that as a day trip
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Found his website - that is definitely doable
Thank you
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Cinnypony, You need to go to see Graham at Rivington Alpine. He’s just south of Chorley in Lancashire. He’s fitted many Snowheads boots including Mine and my son’s. Highly recommended and did much of his training with CEM. You need to allocate a good few hours because he’s very thorough. It’s not far for you to travel.

http://www.rivingtonalpine.co.uk/
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@Cinnypony with your arch - does it have to be what it is? Mine were terrible and after 3 years of attention from NHS podiatrists I am coming around to having arches again.

For me personally, my feet give me enough trouble that if the best person to deal with them was in Inverness I would travel there to do it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Heading up to Stirling at the weekend, so hopefully some magic can be done Puzzled
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hi All, I would like your advise on ski boots fitting, my question is if i purchase a pair ski boots would they fit into any binding and any skis in the rental shop at most Ski resorts or I would have to buy them in a set for the fit? Please advise. Thanks.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Hi @secret_ag,
Welcome to snowheads!
Rental skis use rental bindings which are fully adjustable and the shop will adjust them to fit your boots. Make sure you take your boots (or at least one if them) with you when you collect your skis.
Lots of people own boots but hire skis - the shops are very used to this.
For reference, if you later buy skis many retail skis don't have adjustable rail systems and the bindings are mounted for the boot size (with a few mm adjustment either way, maybe enough to accomodate going up or down 1 boot size)
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Thanks for the reply @Tubaski, it is good to know and I will get a pair soon as the rental boots can get quite uncomfortable. Cheers.
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i want to buy some boots from SE london, any ideas? Im going to hit up decathlon but they probs wont have my size. Any other shops i should visit?
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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.
Read back a few pages to discover many snowHeads' opinion on buying your boots from Decathlon.
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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
@samuelcafc, Profeet in Putney (SW not SE I know) probably the best, although likely not the cheapest.

Welcome to Snowheads!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for the welcome! Doing my first season this year, so under prepared!

Im confused about the decathlon opinion here, but Im a massive decathlon fan from all their cheap bike and ski clothing so hoping to go there and do the "fitting" myself. Does anyone have a good guide on how to evaluate the fit of a boot?

My friend went somewhere in SW to have a pro fit but spent his whole time in agony/in ski shops when i went with him last year whilst my hire boots felt fine. Puzzled Just making sure it wasnt pro feet Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
samuelcafc wrote:
Thanks for the welcome! Doing my first season this year, so under prepared!

Im confused about the decathlon opinion here, but Im a massive decathlon fan from all their cheap bike and ski clothing


Can I refer you to this drawing:
Since we can take 'quick' out of the equation since you're picking them up off the shelf, see what cheap gets you in terms of quality.


If you are going for a season (although how come you've not already gone??) I would seriously advise against the concept of attempting to self-fit Decathlon boots.

Quote:
Does anyone have a good guide on how to evaluate the fit of a boot?


I do. Go to a bootfitter.

Quote:

My friend went somewhere in SW to have a pro fit but spent his whole time in agony/in ski shops when i went with him last year whilst my hire boots felt fine. Puzzled Just making sure it wasnt pro feet Smile


It is possible to have boots fitted and then find them uncomfortable. Nobody is saying that is impossible. But if your friend then did nothing about it and just spent the whole week in agony, then he is an idiot.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Decathlon are good for many things cheap, but if you've never had properly fitted boots you're unlikely to know how they should feel so will be more likely to end up with boots that are too big. Almost all the posts above in favour of Decathlon for ski boots were from one person who seems to borrow boots from Decathlon rather than buy them rolling eyes To get a good fit can be an iterative process (partly depending on how odd your feet are), so it's worth trying them in an indoor facility before going away to identify any pressure points etc.
Profeet have an excellent reputation, but no matter how good the boot fitter you will always find someone who had boots that didn't fit quite right from any shop. It can be hard to tell for sure standing in a warm shop how a boot will feel after a day skiing in -20 (there's a fine line between loose, snug and too tight, and if you don't know how snug should feel it's easy to get it wrong). If a boot is a little too tight in spots a good bootfitter will be able to stretch / grind to correct, but if it's too loose you're possibly looking at buying again.
The most important thing is to be honest with the bootfitter about your skiing and requirements, If comfort is more important than performance (as it will be for most people buying their first boots) say so.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ok ok I wont go to decathlon, their main benefits come from their ability to produce high quality goods for cheap, which you wouldn't benefit from buying solomon or atomic boots i guess. The refund policy is good so i thought i could buy them and sit around in them see if they are ok.

Ok not quite a season but I get made redundant from my job and fly out on the 13th Jan Smile Soldeu, Andorra has a couple of shops in the village so Im thinking just use those guys? Here is one of the shops in town https://www.picnegre.com/en/

Good point about specifying comfort as a requirement
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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?
Sitting around in them won't do much good to see if they are OK. To be honest there aren't many parallels you can draw between sitting in the warm and skiing around in the cold. They're on the whole quite different acts.
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IMO. Comfort is something that usually happens automatically, provided the boot fitter is given the right information about your aspirations and skiing level....and knows what he is doing. With awkward feet, it can take a few mods to get right.

Discomfort generally happens if you exaggerate your ability and you go to a Box Shifter, rather than a Bootfitter.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Old Fartbag wrote:
IMO. Comfort is something that usually happens automatically, provided the boot fitter is given the right information about your aspirations and skiing level


I'm not sure that those two statements sit well with each other. Are you suggesting that if you give the fitter the wrong information about your aspirations / skiing ability he will give you boots that are uncomfortable? But if your aspirations/ ability change those boots will then become comfortable?

It's might be true at one end of the scale (e.g. recreational intermediate looking for a comfort fit say) but as your aspirations rise and skiing level improves your feet don't change (although probably your awareness of them does) so if you are an instructor looking for a performance fit to ski with performance and precision in exams you are more likely to go for a tight fitting boot where the tolerances are closer, and therefore more likely to need to return for modifications.

My experience was as a beginner I went to a decent ski shop (Ski Bartlett), told them my experience, my budget and how I was struggling in painful rental boots and got sold a pair of relatively soft but comfortable boots in the right size. I had one issue which resulted in returning once (turns out I was doing them up badly Embarassed ), but basically got a suitable boot for my level with a focus on comfort.
Later on as an aspiring instructor my boots were no longer providing the support I needed, and I could tell that the cuff alignment/ cant was off for the level of precision I wanted, so I trotted off to @CEM for a pair of stiffer boots with more of a performance fit, tried some zipfits and loved the feeling of being connected to the boot. Performance was instantly better and they felt okay in the shop, but I returned 3 times for little tweaks (literally shaving / stretching a mm here and there) due to pressure points. That wasn't @CEM's fault - they felt fine in the shop each time. So comfort wasn't 'automatic' in that case, but I didn't give him bad information about my aspirations or level, and @CEM is certainly a good boot fitter, I just had to accept that the fit I wanted would mean I might need tweaks later (which he has carried out, uncomplainingly, for free each time).
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it doesnt matter where you get your boots from in this country, no matter how comfortable they feel in the shop and walking around at home, the only way you will ever know if they are comfortable is when you actually go skiing, it doesnt matter if they are expensive from pro feet ( who i"m starting to think snowheads has shares in ) or cheap from decathlon. and when your up some mountain in deepest darkest europe you cant exactly take them back to the shop, so i suggest buying your ski boots from whoever you want, because when your on holiday your stuck with them wether they hurt or not.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Tubaski wrote:


I'm not sure that those two statements sit well with each other. Are you suggesting that if you give the fitter the wrong information about your aspirations / skiing ability he will give you boots that are uncomfortable? But if your aspirations/ ability change those boots will then become comfortable?


I probably worded that badly....I was really including "suitable", as part of comfortable.

If you are an average Intermediate, and tell the Bootfitter that that you are a fast, confident, Black Run skier, the chances are you will end up in boots that have an aggressive fit and are too stiff for you to bend, given your ability. If you can't bend the boot, you won't be comfortable skiing.

If the Boot has a very aggressive fit, it may prove to be uncomfortable, for a 1 week per year, Blue/Red run skier.

The other side of the coin, is if you under play your ability and say you want comfort above all else - you could end up with something that is too soft and hold you back.

As I said in my previous post, the correct info, given to an experienced Bootfitter, will end up with you in suitable boots, which in all likelihood will be the ones that are most comfortable for your weight, level and with a bit of headroom built in.
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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!
@Old Fartbag, in that case I think we are in agreement! Smile
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Tubaski wrote:
@Old Fartbag, in that case I think we are in agreement! Smile

It has been my experience, that blokes tend to over-estimate their ability, whereas Ladies do the opposite....wouldn't happen on here though. Toofy Grin
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compostcorner wrote:
it doesnt matter if they are expensive from pro feet ( who i"m starting to think snowheads has shares in ) or cheap from decathlon. and when your up some mountain in deepest darkest europe you cant exactly take them back to the shop, so i suggest buying your ski boots from whoever you want, because when your on holiday your stuck with them wether they hurt or not.


I completely disagree.

No, in a shop in the UK you can't recreate mountain conditions. And no, you can't take them back once you've used them (unless you're nevis-whats-his-face). But what a bootfitter should do for you, is:
1. Get you in the right boots to begin with. (see posts above)
2. Get your boot into a reasonable fit which for many/most people will prove to suffice, but for others will mean only minimal work to do in resort.
3. And with good bootfitters - help you understand any issues you've got with your feet/legs, which might affect your choice of ski boots.

Decathlon sell the boxes which you ask for, and thus cannot fulfil any of these traits.

Your point is really like saying there's no point in test driving a car unless you subject it to all the driving conditions that you might encounter, otherwise it's just a hypothetical pointless test and you may as well buy the cheapest car on the forecourt.
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