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Ski boots by mail order.......how do I get them 'fitted' ?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Last spring I bought a pair of Lange XT3 130 LVs from Backcountry UK for about half retail price (I paid £350 plus postage, I think RRP was around £700 at the time). I’d already used the 120s (standard volume, with rental liners) a few weeks previously, so had a fairly good idea of what I was letting myself in for. Took them to S4F, who at the time had a very limited range of ‘freeride touring’ boots (or whatever you want to call them) in stock, left with the liners heat-moulded and custom footbeds (& a USB boot-warmer and three new pairs of socks).

It was a substantial saving, although not a huge one over the lifetime of the boots. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t motivated by it, though: but at least as important was the fact that @CEM didn’t have a great deal in stock at the time, so this route struck me as the best way to get well-fitted, suitable boots.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
In 2010 (a year later) Mitchell was asking about boots again, did he buy his mail order boots and they were no good or did he take the advice in this thread? Did anyone meet him on a bash that year?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
holy thread resurrection batman snowHead
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Interesting reading the above, and got me thinking I should share my recent experience - I actually bought a pair of high end Freeride ski boots in mainland Europe 4 summers ago (pre-lockdown summer sale etc) and at the time just tried them and they seem to fit fine (I have pretty normal feet), same fit as a pair I had already, same manufacturer but different model etc however didn't have them properly fitted at the time because didn't really need them yet and thought i'd have them done when I "need" them.

Last season, hadn't skied for 2 years because of lockdown, skied my current (by then 4-5 year old) trusty boots and realised my custom arch support was too high, my arch seems to have dropped and I had a lot of pain/ cramp on my instep, back and forward to the well know St Anton sports shop and he fettled the insole but said I should get a new one ideally, and I deferred the decision since it was last day of the trip and frankly I didn't need the expense with the old boots being ready for retirement, wanted to focus on the new ones and get the whole job done together sometime over the autumn back home.

So last week I rang around well known UK bootfitters one I've used in the past (this was not CEM btw thought i'd look more local) and another well recommended, and they couldn't have been less interested or more unhelpful. I proposed to pay for the fitting, and obviously their time and the new custom insole, but clearly not interested given I hadn't bought the boots there. Suffice to say i'll be driving next winter so will take my new boots to St Anton and have fitted there as agreed with them via email (boots not purchased there), also will take my old ones which I know will be good with the new custom insole, so in all eventualities will be sorted......just surprised and disappointed tbph that the places I spoke to took such a view.

Happy to take a trip to anywhere within 150 or so miles of Leeds (not London don't need the faff) for a quality boot-fitting and pay for the experience by the way if anyone has a weekend date spare between late November and second week January if they want to discuss please DM me?
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@Markymark29, this is pretty much the same situation all over now, its got worse since covid, (remember 680K people of working age left employment since covid) for about 10 years now we have had a policy of not fitting boots we haven't supplied between end of September and when things quieten down in march, it is simply down to lack of staff and the need to be able to sell/fit the boots we have bought for stock and offer a level of service to those who have bought in the past 2 years.... believe me if someone can magic me up a boot fitter we would open up the service immediately as its all about seeing as many happy feet as we can
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@CEM, No problem, same in many businesses good people are hard to come by, i'll get it sorted in the Alps no worries.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Horses 4 courses.

If this mega-skilled boot tuning is as essential as this thread would have us believe, then how come MILLIONS of recreational skiers seem to cope perfectly fine in rental boots every week without the boots being baked / blown out / filled in and fettled to death between each rental?

If you've never struggled with rentals, then buying online might be fine, especially if it a brand or boot you rented before.
You can send them back if they're not comfy initially, or sell them on e-bay if you use them first and discover they're not right for you.

If you've always struggled finding comfy boots, then do not buy online, do not pass go, go directly to a boot-fitter, open your wallet and repeat after me ...
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@OuatteDePhoque, because millions!! (millions I say) of people ski (not terribly well) for one week a year in rental boots that are big enough that they don't hurt, but that don't actually fit.

If you've only had rentals, you've probably never skied in a boot that actually fits your feet properly. But the performance requirement is low enough that it doesn't matter, or you take them off at lunchtime, or whatever.

Plus you're more likely to not like a non-rental model, in the correct size, cos you're not used to them.

But, yes, horses for courses. If you only ski a week a year, aren't terribly technical and don't care, carry on renting.
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@OuatteDePhoque, I agree with @under a new name, rental boots are a far cry from having a pair of custom boots fitted.

I'm actually going to do a liner fit myself (rice bag in oven, pre-warm the shell liner and wear for a couple of hours walking about, done it many times before and it's always been OK), I'm not interested in cant setup, vertical lines on my shins etc, i've never needed that) more interested in the custom sole, that's the bit I don't really get, ie why these companies don't want to sell me one of those, takes little time, anyway it's their choice.
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under a new name wrote:
@OuatteDePhoque, because millions!! (millions I say) of people ski (not terribly well) for one week a year in rental boots that are big enough that they don't hurt, but that don't actually fit.

If you've only had rentals, you've probably never skied in a boot that actually fits your feet properly. But the performance requirement is low enough that it doesn't matter, or you take them off at lunchtime, or whatever.

Plus you're more likely to not like a non-rental model, in the correct size, cos you're not used to them.

But, yes, horses for courses. If you only ski a week a year, aren't terribly technical and don't care, carry on renting.

That sums up my view.

You don't miss what you haven't experienced.

The people who fuss about boots are generally more seriously into their skiing, in that they carry on taking lessons and trying to improve....as opposed to getting to a standard where you just "Rally about" (as a friend calls it) on Blues and easy Reds, having a laugh, enjoying the mountains, the food and the apres.
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CEM wrote:
for about 10 years now we have had a policy of not fitting boots we haven't supplied between end of September and when things quieten down in march, it is simply down to lack of staff and the need to be able to sell/fit the boots we have bought for stock and offer a level of service to those who have bought in the past 2 years...


Presumably (it’s certainly the case from my perspective) that’s a policy that also enables you to meet a wider range of customer needs than you would otherwise be able to after your season’s stock has started to run out?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
CEM wrote:
holy thread resurrection batman snowHead
Yea and did you see the post that resurrected it? weird!
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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
Old Fartbag wrote:
under a new name wrote:
@OuatteDePhoque, because millions!! (millions I say) of people ski (not terribly well) for one week a year in rental boots that are big enough that they don't hurt, but that don't actually fit.

If you've only had rentals, you've probably never skied in a boot that actually fits your feet properly. But the performance requirement is low enough that it doesn't matter, or you take them off at lunchtime, or whatever.

Plus you're more likely to not like a non-rental model, in the correct size, cos you're not used to them.

But, yes, horses for courses. If you only ski a week a year, aren't terribly technical and don't care, carry on renting.

That sums up my view.

You don't miss what you haven't experienced.

The people who fuss about boots are generally more seriously into their skiing, in that they carry on taking lessons and trying to improve....as opposed to getting to a standard where you just "Rally about" (as a friend calls it) on Blues and easy Reds, having a laugh, enjoying the mountains, the food and the apres.


If I only skiied one week per year I wouldn't dream of buying boots, rentals are all you need.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@biddpyat, Why wierd? imv better than creating a new thread, call it recycling on the basis that the old issues remain, boot fitters (boot sellers who fit their own boots) who clearly want to sell their own products and fit them, nothing wrong with that but there's a lot of people around like me for example with a need that isn't being addressed despite offering good money and we need to go abroad to get the service we are looking for.........looks like a lost opportunity to me, that's all.

If I buy a set of 4x winter tyres for my car from the internet and they arrive from Poland and I want them fitted to my car wheels here in the UK there's a lot of companies who'll do it for me for a fee, same with photography gear as another example....I buy a grey import, breaks down out of warranty and I send it off to get repaired in UK at my own cost, it's one global market imv, clearly not so with ski boots. It's not a biggy in the scheme of things, and I can see why but pretty disappointing nontheless, Dynafit as an example are a global brand and I think they'd be pretty fed up if they thought they weren't able to have their boots fitted by their brand support partners in UK?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Who needs bootfitting? Everyone, that can afford it and that want to optimise the experience. Those that don't are simply trying to save money, it's just economics. Earn it as you please, spend it as you please. Just don't waste an expert's time trying to find out how to do it without them, that's really not cool.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Markymark29 wrote:


If I buy a set of 4x winter tyres for my car from the internet


and in that vein I bought witner tires from the web because non of the local garages would/could supply the tires I wanted and I've also had the misfortune of the local garage doing bait and switch (ordered Hanook got Achilles or somesuch brand which were awful because...).

I could see someone getting ski boots that the local boot fitter couldn't supply. At the same time I appreciate that peak season might not be the moment to bother him/her. Not that I've ever bothered with boot fitting, I just bought boots that fitted, seemed a bit less complex but I don't have difficult feet.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@davidof, Me neither, normal feet r'us....i'll do it myself and buy a custom insole in resort and throw it in, just wanted to spend a few quid to make sure it's as good as it could be rather than faffing in resort.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@CH2O, have had boots fitted plenty of times to know how to do it if I wanted to, however was prepared to pay for it, only to be told that I can only get it done ie when its mid summer when it suits the fitter not the customer - that's not cool imv.
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@Markymark29, I'd agree with @biddpyat, that this post that resurrected the thread was a bit strange.

Presuming Ed wrote:
@SMALLZOOKEEPER, Hello, Beaky, how are you keeping?
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@adithorp, agreed, missed that Laughing
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Quote:

have had boots fitted plenty of times to know how to do it if I wanted to


Oh absolutely, I totally agree.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

only to be told that I can only get it done ie when its mid summer when it suits the fitter not the customer - that's not cool imv.


this is why we're open 24 hours a day 365 days a year!! It's like an emergency service you see.
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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!
Whitegoldsbrother wrote:

If I only skiied one week per year I wouldn't dream of buying boots, rentals are all you need.

For a near-beginner or even low intermediate, maybe, but if you see some of the awful-fitting or completely unsuitable boots that rental shops sometimes supply you might think otherwise. It's not unusual as an instructor to send a client back to the shop, or sometimes even accompany them (e.g. when it's right next to the piste) to change boots. Not all rental shop staff are properly trained, and not all occasional skiers have half a clue as to whether a boot fits properly or is appropriate for their level of skiing. And many (male) punters will overstate their ability in the shop anyway, so often end up with boots that are far too stiff, for example.

I'd always recommend getting your own boots after two or three weeks of lessons.
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@Chaletbeauroc, it was quite scary to see the offer rental shops had last year, I needed a pair for a client while he waited for his boot order to arrive. maximum flex i could find was 90, all good if you weigh 45kg or under, otherwise a serious impairment to the skier. 50kg plus and you're screwed.
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Quote:

Happy to take a trip to anywhere within 150 or so miles of Leeds (not London don't need the faff) for a quality boot-fitting and pay for the experience by the way if anyone has a weekend date spare between late November and second week January if they want to discuss please DM me?


How about this, ok, we're a little further away than 150kms, however, we would like to offer you the opportunity to come to us, you will have the freedom of the store, keys and product range, you fit your own boots, we'll watch, after we'll fit your boots, a second time, if your boots are better than ours, you can keep them for free. Nice to see ya, to see ya nice!!
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JayRo wrote:
CEM wrote:
for about 10 years now we have had a policy of not fitting boots we haven't supplied between end of September and when things quieten down in march, it is simply down to lack of staff and the need to be able to sell/fit the boots we have bought for stock and offer a level of service to those who have bought in the past 2 years...


Presumably (it’s certainly the case from my perspective) that’s a policy that also enables you to meet a wider range of customer needs than you would otherwise be able to after your season’s stock has started to run out?


as things run out and start to quieten down then yes, we open up the diary for more services, as i said, if someone can magic me up a boot fitter we would offer it more
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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.
What's so tough about finding a bootfitter?

Just slip the shoe on, like in the Cinderella movie.

If the customer goes "ow", loosen the buckles.
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Presuming Ed wrote:
@SMALLZOOKEEPER, Hello, Beaky, how are you keeping?
Weird because this was the post that revived the thread! It wasn't actually anything to do with boot liners, nor was it posted by a snowhead, just weird.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I bought some 4th hand dynafit tlt6 for $75 off Facebook. Took a dremel to them and cut some holes and slits in them and turned them into pretty decent fruit boots for splitboarding.

Did the liners by filling socks with rice, nuking them in the microwave and stuffing them in the liners to get them warm enough to mould.

All went surprisingly well but my kitchen stunk of 4th hand foot sweat and burned rice for a few days.

Got a season out of the boots though so no complaints at that price and no blisters or foot pain. The real conclusion I drew is that skiers are a bunch of high maintenance pussies when it comes to boot fitting Very Happy
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Also not a good idea to eat the rice after using it for boot fitting
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under a new name wrote:
@OuatteDePhoque, because millions!! (millions I say) of people ski (not terribly well) for one week a year in rental boots that are big enough that they don't hurt, but that don't actually fit.

If you've only had rentals, you've probably never skied in a boot that actually fits your feet properly. But the performance requirement is low enough that it doesn't matter, or you take them off at lunchtime, or whatever.

Plus you're more likely to not like a non-rental model, in the correct size, cos you're not used to them.

But, yes, horses for courses. If you only ski a week a year, aren't terribly technical and don't care, carry on renting.


Ummmm well it depends, and in lots of ways the better the skier the more able to ski well with less good gear. My kids ski at a very high level, and on occasion have had to resort to hire kit. They had no problem out-skiing most on the mountain (including me). I, on the other hand, need all the help I can get. Well-fitted boots and appropriate skis for the conditions definitely help my performance level. I can ski pretty well in and on any old thing, and do so on occasions, but definitely not as well. For sure if I am teaching quite good skiers I make sure to have the right ski for the conditions/terrain, well serviced, and the right boot.
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^^^ i think having had decent properly fitted boots allows you to hire more suitable things if you find yourself having to. Eg, you are likely to at least hire the correct size, which won’t necessarily be the case for your average person walking into a hire shop
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@CH2O, Thanks for your reply and sarcastic/ tongue in cheek offer for me to have the run of your premises so you could clearly take delight in my messing up my own bootfit, however on this occasion i'll politely decline thanks, your place just about falls within the 150 miles (further than your reading which was 150km) but i'd rather have it done in the Alps (after all that's where the snow is and I can call back in for small adjustments) by people who value my business. I'm not interested in dealing with companies and proprietors of same who do what's best for themselves and the customer can fit in if they like, i've offered good money for a service, without the need for buying shiny boots off the shelf, and if that doesn't fit your business model that's fine, but no need for sarcasm, many thanks, bye.
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hang11 wrote:
I bought some 4th hand dynafit tlt6 for $75 off Facebook. Took a dremel to them and cut some holes and slits in them .....
...
Did the liners by filling socks with rice, nuking them in the microwave and stuffing them in the liners to get them warm enough to mould.Very Happy
+1 for all the above

Did the same with my Dynafit Hoji boots which have a reputation for pressure points on bony ankles etc.

Some dremelling was done, then heat-punched the shells as described in a video by Eric Hjorleifson (Hoji) himself

This post has more details/pics https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=5089299&highlight=hoji#5089299
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Markymark29, shame, maybe i can help you another way, if not below the knees, above the neck?

https://www.nicabm.com/program/fb-narcissism-1/?del=gad.2239.narciss.allext&network=g&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=20355159119&ad_group_id=157936098904&utm_term=narcissism%20test&utm_content=665188383244&gclid=Cj0KCQjwhL6pBhDjARIsAGx8D58zr9ptp2zrdVlYUAo1H6nUqd-RVhBDHuPpVTUOFzUOtVXIMIbFY-EaApYPEALw_wcB

No sarcasm this time. xx
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zikomo wrote:


Ummmm well it depends, and in lots of ways the better the skier the more able to ski well with less good gear.


It is the Jack Niklaus argument. Jack will always beat punters with his crazy golf hire putters but he needs a good set of golf bats to be competitive with the best.
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@CH2O, Strange
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@zikomo, yesss … I agree. I spent 2-3 weeks in 88-89 skiing 160 Rossignol (?) Swallows? (Modern bindings) Solid wood but metal edges as our tame hire shop owner was of the opinion we could trash our own skis or his 30 year old kit.

I reckon it improved my skiing … a lot
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zikomo wrote:
... in lots of ways the better the skier the more able to ski well with less good gear. ...
In every way! Obviously the better skier is better, irrespective of gear. That's what the word means.
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@Mitchell, look on YouTube… plenty of videos. Watch a couple, decide if you want to use the ‘hot rice bag’ method or the ‘plain inner’ method…. And do consider sacrificing an old pair of socks for the ‘toe box’. It’s a faff to do at home, I did it on my last pair of boots, and it worked fine. Be prepared to use bits of gaffer tape to hold things in place, and make sure your oven is clean!
You may still find there are other fit issues, which you may need to pay to get addressed. In my case, I had one boot blown out slightly, as I’ve gone down a whole shell size, as my feet are on the borderline.

As to whether its ‘better’ or ‘worth it’, only you can judge!
If it all fails, you can go to a shop and get the damage repaired…
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