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Rear Entry Boot fit help?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am in my mid 70's and returning to skiing. Traditional 4 buckle boots are just too difficult for me to get into and still enjoy skiing. So I purchased Alpina RR4 rear entry boots. Boots ARE great to get in and out of. Thumbs up for sure. BUT I would like to do some DIY adjustments to snug up the forefoot area. I thought the 'lever' looking thing on the front of the boot was functional. It is not so no help there. Then I thought I would pull the liner and do some magic. Oops, it would appear the liner does not come out of the shell and is actually attached to the shell. So I would appreciate some suggestions on how to snug up the forefoot fit. I added my superfeet insoles but still need a bit more.

Should I try to fill the volume from the footbed base inside the liner? I am hesitant to add more than just my Superfeet insoles. I worry adding more shims would mess with the heel and create a heel lift problem? Trading one problem for another problem.

I also considered adding a 'wrap' over my sock to fill just the toe box volume? Or maybe adding a 'no show' golf sock under my ski sock?

I DO like the rear entry design and realize I am likely giving up some quality for comfort. Truthfully my skill level is not going to be impacted that much BUT I would love to get some of that 4 buckle fit feeling back in the forefoot area.
Any suggestions, other than the standard "See a boot fitter". I'm pretty sure an honest to goodness bootfitter would just laugh at trying to "fit" an Alpina RR4 boot.
There must be someone out there who is skiing a similar boot......
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Looking at the RR4, its the sort of boot used by beginners for the last 40 years.. Depending on what you need you may have to look at a more modern boot like the Nordica HF. Will be much more pricy 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?
@capecodbeachfront, another recommendation for the Nordica HF. A friend of a similar age to you who was struggling with her old 4-buckle boot bought the female version of the HF this winter and is very happy with them, especially getting in and out of the boots. I think the baseboard comes in a couple of different heights, allowing a bit more versatility in increasing or reducing volume. It’s not a cheap boot, but I think it might be an alternative if you aren’t able to get a solution with your current boot.

Welcome to snowHeads. I do like your login name - have stayed on the Cape Cod Beach Front a few times, one of my favourite places for a holiday!
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I found this description for the boots which might help explain the issue:


This boot has a 105mm width in the forefoot area, and is one of the widest available for ski boots. This width gives wide-footed skiers a chance to enjoy skiing, instead of cramping up and getting pressure points the whole day. Average width skiers will find that this width is very comfortable and warm. 40 Flex Rating: 40 Flex for an adult boot is VERY soft, and indicates that this boot is meant for beginners and very casual cruiser skiers.

A 105mm last is VERY wide and I'm not sure there's much you can do with a boot that's too wide. It'd be relatively straightforward for someone who knows what they're doing to stretch out a boot that's tight in places but shrinking it down isn't really going to happen.

You could potentially remove the liner, as I'd imagine it's glued in place, and add extra padding in places but it's probably a lot of effort and unlikely to give great results.

I think the only real option you have with these boots is to wear a thicker sock or two and live with the wide fit. It's either that or get some other rear entry boots.

And 40 flex really is extremely soft so a different boot might be better suited to you.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It's as basic a boot as you can get so I don't think you'll have much chance of getting anything like a decent fit of it.
If it is 40 flex then again that's below the flex of any hire or even kids boot so it's unlikely to give you any kind of performance even if it did fit better.
The only rear entry boot that's worth looking at currently IMHO is the Nordica HF. It's high volume this year but a narrower version with a cable system over the forefoot is on its way for next season and comes with a superb Cork liner (removable)
Go see your local independent ski shop/boot fitter....
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Thank you for suggestions. My season here in Upstate NY (Gore Mt) is coming to a close soon. The Alpina Rear entry replaced a Dalbello Veloce 75 which I had leased for the season. I got a great deal on the Alpina so I might just decide to sell it next Fall and update then. The Nordica HF I know are likely the best option but really more than I want to spend. I was hoping to tinker with the Alpina as the rear entry is SOOO much easier to get in and out off.
I skied yesterday (after being Florida for awhile) and as the snow softened badly in the afternoon the softness of the boot really showed its downside. If I get out again which is doubtful I may try heavier socks as a simple test. Back to skiing after being away for 25 years so my skill level is not what it once was and I doubt it will get much better. But the FOREFOOT feel difference between the Dalbello 4 buckle and Alpina was what shocked me. Liner appear to be riveted in at the hinge point so not a lot of hope removing it? I already have Superfeet footbeds installed so I expect putting more under my foot would deaden the feeling a lot.
Keeping my budget low I might look into buying a pair of Rossignol Flash boots over the summer. They are meant for the rental market and will come on the market as ski shops get ready for new rental stock next Fall. They have 2 buckles over the forefoot and 2 ratchet buckles over the calf. I tried them on one time and could get into them a bit easier. Never skied in them but I believe they are closer to the Dalbello 75's in stiffness. The ratchets also were easier for my old hands...
I have had a great season and already have my pass for next year. My experiment in the Rear Entry Boot Market is kind of a bummer to end the season.
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