Boots advice for newbie

Discussion in 'Ski Boot Discussion by America's Best Bootfitters' started by Hawk45, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    Hi all,

    Background:
    I'm 40 something from southern Ohio who's skied a few times on rental equipment (some much better than others) but only on small hills or while taking lessons. Southern Ohio isn't a mecca of skiing, but we do have a small hill "Perfect North" just over the state line in Indiana. It's one of the converted land fill hills with 4-5 green runs on icy made snow. It's rare we get more than 12" of snow a year and mostly late winter. Anyway, we go out to Colorado a few times a year so looking to increase my skill level and get some quality equipment, at least good boots, since the rental equipment at our little local hill is no bueno.

    I'm a big guy at 6'4" and 235 lbs and wear size 12-13 shoes (depending on make). I used to have high arches and narrow feet, but over the years my arches have dropped quite a bit and feet flattened out. Most skiing will be on our icy small local hill, but when we travel out west I'll bring my boots and probably just rent skis out there, unless I get some decent skis too. My first concern is a good fitting boot. I've read through the entire "New to skiing" forum here and most of the "Boot" forum, but still have some questions.

    So one of my questions is kind of about etiquette. I hear we have a boot fitter locally, but their online site seems down, so who knows if they even still exist. I'm going to make a call tomorrow to see if they answer. Also, I'm not sure how good they are being Ohio and all. That brings me to the question of, while I'm out here in Breckenridge, would it benefit me to go into one of the recommended fitters and get some ideas on what I need? I just at dinner next to Racer's Edge tonight which looks highly rated. SureFoot and Boot Fixation get very good reviews also. I'm not sure I'm ready to purchase yet and only here till Friday. It's opening week here, so I'm sure they are slammed too. I don't want to waste the shops time, but could be my best opportunity to get an idea on what I need. What do you recommend?

    Is online shopping a waste of time if I know what I need? I read the Boots 1, 2, 3 threads here so I have a little understanding on what the numbers mean, but also understand they vary from make, model, etc.

    Anyway, thanks for reading and appreciate your guidance.

    Hawk
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
    Mendieta likes this.
  2. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    17,698
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    Today is your lucky day. You struck oil, do not pass go, do not collection $200, go to The Racer Edge today to get fit. If you are a good boy and behave, maybe @Doug Briggs will show you his new tuning machine.
     
    Magi, Mendieta, Ken_R and 2 others like this.
  3. Thread Starter
    TS
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    Thanks! I booked an appointment with them for tomorrow.
     
  4. Analisa

    Analisa Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2017
    Posts:
    152
    Definitely go to get fit- this time of year is the best since everything is freshly stocked. I wouldn’t buy if you only get to try on 2 or 3 options, even though most might feel like “The One” after skiing rentals. If you're not quite ready to pull the trigger, my favorite question to ask is "are there any other options you might not stock but that might be a really good fit?" I either get a really good recommendation that they might even order for me to try on, or a really good explanation why the ones I tried on are the best fit. In my experience, the best bootfitters can speak to most all of the options on the market, not just the handful they keep in the store, and they care more about getting you in the best boot than pushing a quick sale.

    Skip online. It really only works if you know exactly what you need and know that you can wear it out of the box (otherwise you end up paying more for fit adjustments that would've been complimentary had you bought from a shop). There's a reason there are tons of boots on craigslist "worn <5 times, practically new"
     
    RuleMiHa, cosmoliu and Hawk45 like this.
  5. Thread Starter
    TS
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    Thanks for the advise @Analisa and @Philpug.

    I stopped over at REI today to pick up something with the wife and their boot guy wasn't busy so I asked if he could give me a basic fit-up and try a few boots. We have an REI back home so figured this may be an option since fitting options are limited back in Ohio. I tried on 3 pairs of boots he thought would be good options based on their inventory. I told him price wasn't a concern just to make sure that didn't limit options. All 3 ended up being in the $400 price range. And this gentleman was VERY nice and his biggest concern was getting me a good fit and the right boot. He even told me to go to other places and try on as many boots as I could before buying anything.

    Here are the measurements he gave me:
    Length: 28.5
    Width: Medium-Wide 102-103mm
    Instep: High
    Flex: Stiff 100-110 (due to my size/weight)
    Calf Volume: Medium
    Normal Ski Conditions: Icy man-made snow back home most of the season.

    What I tried:
    Rossignol AllTrack Pro 100 (4 buckle) - Felt a bit of pressure on my big toe standing straight up but releaved when weight forward. The ankle/heal gave a little movement and little discomfort in the back of the calf.

    Dalbello Il Moro MX 110 (3 buckle) - Felt a bit of pressure on all my toes standing straight up but releaved when weight forward. The ankle/heal and calf felt pretty solid and no pressure.

    Tecnica Mach Sport 100 HV (4 buckle) - Felt a bit of pressure on all my toes standing straight up but releaved when weight forward. The ankle/heal felt solid but a little discomfort in the back of the calf.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018


  6. cosmoliu

    cosmoliu Getting off the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Posts:
    324
    Location:
    Central CA Coast
    Sounds like you are on the right track. And you've definitely done your homework. Keep that appointment at Racer's Edge tomorrow and see what you think.
     
    coskigirl and Hawk45 like this.
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    Oh, one more question. Footbeds... sounds like they are highly recommended. Would that be the first thing to get? Do they alter the length/fit of boots that if I got boots first, then footbeds, that my boots may not fit after putting the beds in?
     
  8. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister--Big Sky Team Gathermeister

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Posts:
    1,903
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    All REIs are not created equal. I'd be willing to bet that the REI in Breckenridge probably knows pretty much what they're doing with ski boots, but one in Ohio - if they have ski boot stock - likely would not be recommended.

    And getting custom footbeds later probably wouldn't be an issue. Your boot will have a footbed it comes with. The usual recommendation is to immediately throw that one in the trash, and at least buy a better cut-to-fit option (usually like $50). I skied with those for a couple years, and have just recently gotten custom footbeds. I haven't skied them yet, but I doubt they'll be a problem.
     
    RuleMiHa, coskigirl and Hawk45 like this.
  9. cosmoliu

    cosmoliu Getting off the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Posts:
    324
    Location:
    Central CA Coast
    The answer is virtually always yes to footbeds. Only rarely can I imagine that the foot/boot interface would be so ideal as to not need them. Get them when you have the boots fitted, so you know how the whole package fits. You might not necessarily need the $150 custom job; off-the-shelf footbeds might be just fine. That decision should largely be left to a boot fitter you have established a good rapport with.
     
    Hawk45 likes this.
  10. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    17,698
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    No, when you go into a quality shop, you will be trying on two to three boots. There is no reason to try on every boot or as many as you can...there will be a few that will work great and will go from there.

    100-110 is not stiff...maybe by REI standards but that is mroe a mid flex boot. Dollars to donuts you will end up going out in a 27.5 from Racers Edge.
     
  11. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2017
    Posts:
    296
    Location:
    Winter Park, Colorado
    The only person to buy boots from is the person who's livelihood it is to sell fully fitted boots, with a guarantee. Racer's Edge in Breck has great people - use them.

    Quoting Phil for emphasis.
     
    RuleMiHa and Hawk45 like this.
  12. Near Nyquist

    Near Nyquist At the edge of instability Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Posts:
    191
    Location:
    Home of Apple Computer
    The boot must be setup to match your anatomy, a footbed is part of the foundation on which you will build your ski house with.

    That said a reputable fitter will place you in the correct boot with the correct footbed and check your stance. The guys at racers edge do just that.

    Follow what they suggest and you will be solid.

    Probably make skiing ice in Ohio enjoyable once you have control of your edges.
     
    RuleMiHa and Hawk45 like this.
  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    Update:

    Brenden at A Racers Edge helped he try on a few options yesterday. Great guys!
    My length didn't change (28.5) but he fitted me more narrow and flatter than REI, and felt much better.
    We found a pair that felt good (Lange XT Free 100), but I didn't make a purchase yet as we are maxed out on luggage space and time as it was my last day in town. I'm hoping to be back out in Jan/Feb to make the purchase and get any additional fitting done. Thanks for all the help everyone.

    Here are the measurements he gave me:
    Length: 28.5
    Width: 99-101mm
    Instep: Standard
    Flex: 100-110
    Calf Volume: Standard (high calves)
     
    RuleMiHa and Analisa like this.
  14. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    1,711
    Location:
    Great White North (Eastern side currently)
    A big guy at 6'4" and 235 lbs will squash a 100 flex boot. You need a 120 flex boot, even though you might not be an expert. 110 minimum.
     
    Hawk45 likes this.
  15. RuleMiHa

    RuleMiHa Getting off the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Posts:
    333
    I'm not an expert and am 5'4" 155lbs in a 110 flex boot. I don't know why they said what they did but 100 flex for a foot taller and 70 lbs lighter seems like it could be a problem.
     
    Hawk45 likes this.
  16. Thread Starter
    TS
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    They did have me try on a Atomic Hawk Ultra 130 but was to tight over my foot. It could have just been due to what they had in stock. Not sure.
    I will say, I don't plan on bombing any black diamonds, at least not in the near future, but I guess nothing is out of the relm of possibility. My local hill is blue at best. So maybe due to the level of skiing I plan on doing was a big factor "new and blue"?
     
  17. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    1,711
    Location:
    Great White North (Eastern side currently)
    http://www.lange-boots.com/product/xt-free-130
    Just say'n.

    And in case it was missed earlier, the footbed alters the boot fit in various ways. Have the boot fitted with the foot bed that the boot fitter recommends (it might be a custom built one if you need it or it might be not be).
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    Hawk45 likes this.
  18. Thread Starter
    TS
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    So GREEN!!!
     
  19. Thread Starter
    TS
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2018
    Posts:
    9
    As an example, If a XT 100 fits good.. would the fit going up to the 120/130 be the same? Or because the liners and plastics are different the fit would be different? I'm sure the answer is yes, but had to ask.
     

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice