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Boot fit vs Technique

Powder Hound

Certified Ski Diva
#23
Wow, this thread and a few others have made me want to have my boots evaluated. I recently went down a size after realizing the boots before were too big and had the custom molding but...never professionally evaluated. My boots are well....I don't love them, but I ski better with the smaller size than the previous ones. I just always thought I needed better technique and have been working tirelessly on stance, forward, flexing etc. Could someone give me an idea of cost of evaluation? Just a general idea...see I bought my husband new skis for christmas and just bought myself a new, and brighter (ie more visible) outfit and really want new skis myself...whew definitely can't quit my day job. Have to support my ski habit :eek:
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#24
I just got fitted with Zipfits and they have changed my skiing. It has taken me a few days to get them dialed in to my feet and figure out how tight I can buckle, but they have really molded now and hold like no other. Love them!
 

litterbug

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#25
Tell me about it! I'm contemplating the idea of finding out that my boots might be too small, of all things, and wondering where the money for new boots might materialize. Sadly, my job is such that I'm unable to work in my profession, to avoid the chance of conflict of interest. I guess I could wait tables...

BTW, volklgirl, I was just trying to elaborate a little on your explanation, though you might not agree with smearing necessarily being part of it. I know it's necessary at my stage, though.
 

maggie198

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#26
VickiK, Thanks for the link to the Epicski thread. I really liked what Heishman had to say. I'm quoting it here because I think it is important - and because there are a few things I don't quite understand.

"he is a perfect example of "skiing the fast line slow" and his intent is to use turning his skis to slow down rather than turn. If we can change his intent for turning to an offensive intent we can change his technique... ski the slow line fast rather than the fast line slow. The intent should be to ski a slow enough line yet ski around that line as fast as possible, when possible so the skis are moving forward more than sideways. His reason to turn should be to go where he wants to go rather than to get his skis scraping across the direction of travel to control his speed. This is a paradigm shift in thinking for many"
post #19 at http://www.epicski.com/t/105219/burning-quads-training-problem-or-binding-boot-related

QUOTE]

The video is a perfect example of skiing in the back seat, and what your skis will be doing if you're in that position. I do love reading the advice Starthaus and Bud Heishman give, they are so spot on in a good way. The "fast line slow" is obvious in the video too.
 
#27
Could someone give me an idea of cost of evaluation?
My guy in Seattle is $60 for an hour, and he can do most everything in an hour. I've no idea if this is typical, though. Oh, wait, I've been to Starthaus and had a quick exam--they didn't do more because they decided those boots were too big, and there was nothing they could do--I think they charged me $20.
 

Snowsong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#28
Skisci, I recommend Mountainside Sports if you don't go somewhere else on your spring break. I've dealt with Chris Starner. There is another guy who does bootfitting there, also named Chris. Both are recommended. I recommend calling ahead and making an appointment with either of the Chris'. I have driven 2 hours in the past for fittings in Md., Va. or Pa., 4 hrs. to NY. Many of the instructors and racers at my area go to Mountainside. Wherever you end up going, it is worth the drive, time & money for a good boot fit.
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#29
BTW, volklgirl, I was just trying to elaborate a little on your explanation, though you might not agree with smearing necessarily being part of it. I know it's necessary at my stage, though.
Not at all. There is nothing wrong with skidding, smearing, slarving, whatever, and there is always some element of that in every turn on the steeps. The difference lies in the intent and execution of the turn, not in the skills involved.
 
#30
Not to play devil's advocate here, but if you're a beginner skiing, couldn't a lot of the problem be technique? I know I'm just learning to ski this year as well, and when I have problems, I assume its me & my technique first, not my equipment.

How you figure out if a problem is a technique issue or an equipment issue is beyond me. But it seems to be that if you are a beginner, technique should always be looked at first.

I would hope that a good instructor could help point out these differences but its sounds like some instructors are better at this then others. I've only taken one lesson so far, so I don't know if this is the case or not.
 

SkiSci

Certified Ski Diva
#31
ClimbingBetty, I certainly feel more like a beginner. I am actually advanced intermediate. I usually really like black cruisers - no bumps for me yet. At the end of last season, I demoed great skis with average rental boots on a trip west and felt fantastic skiing. This season my husband says that I look like I did years ago skiing with my arms out and up, skidding turns, shoulders not facing down the hill.

I've been taking a few lessons, and that has really helped. However, I tend to put my weight too much on the balls of my feet and my heels have been coming up in the boots, unless I really concentrate on heels down. Lifting my toes up helps with this. My conclusion is that it is both a combination of technique and suboptimal boot fitting. I think that the poor boot fit amplifies weaknesses in my technique. I never had this problem with rental boots, so it is taking me awhile to sort out what I need.

I will probably go back to the store here to see what they have to say about the boots being too big. They are supposed to have sent someone to boot fitting training recently. Generally the store has great customer service. I'm willing to give it a shot, if no costs are involved. Otherwise, I am trekking to a boot fitter either within a 3 h radius of home or on the slopes during a vacation trip. I don't want to drop $$ on a not very good boot fitter.
 

AliceH

<span style="color:#F89F07";">Angel Diva</span>
#32
I just wanted to share my experience from this past weekend...

As I mentioned before, I had quite a bit of work done on my boots weekend before last, but I didn't have a chance to ski them until this weekend. Got out on the slopes, which despite being greens were really pretty cruddy and choppy and lumpy by the time I got done wrangling kids to where they needed to be, and I just couldn't seem to get comfy on my skis. It didn't feel like my boots were wrong, exactly, but it felt like my feet were sort of...twisting in a way they shouldn't and I didn't feel like I was staying centered on my skis. I went to another lift with runs that were less cruddy, noticed it was getting a bit better but I still wasn't quite convinced that everything was hunky dory. I suddenly realized I was out of time and going to be late to pick up a kid from a lesson, so I hopped off at the lift midpoint and started skiing down (a blue run) as fast as I could, without thinking about feet or boots or skis, and then all of a sudden OOOOHHHHH, everything came together and my feet relaxed and everything felt SO perfect and in control even though I was skiing faster and steeper than I had all day.

In retrospect, I think I was so used to being on my inside edges due to my overpronation, that I was pressing down on the inside of my skis to get the same balance point on my skis, and then trying to ski by lifting my big toes way too much while still pressing down on the inside of my skis with the balls of my feet. I had trained myself to compensate for standing wrong on my skis, so now I have to train myself out of my bad foot habits (which an instructor warned me this year that I'd have to do after getting my boots fitted, but he also indicated that I likely wouldn't improve until I did because the overpronation was keeping me from easily keeping my skis flat to scrub speed - when things got going fast I'd catch an inside edge). It seems to me that a properly fitted boot means not having to focus on keeping my foot in the right place in the boot or twisting my foot in crazy positions to get everything into place.
 
#33
ClimbingBetty, I certainly feel more like a beginner. I am actually advanced intermediate. I usually really like black cruisers - no bumps for me yet.
Opps, guess I missed this. I wouldn't think you're a beginner and if you're handling black cruisers, I would think in your case that yeah, probably more likely an equipment issue then a technique issue.

Can't the instructor help way on this???

Also, if you're husband is anything like mine, the moment you mention your even thinking about spending any money on gear or even a boot fitting, he just sees money flying out the window and it sets off a fear response, which he tried to mitigate by suggesting that the problem is something with your technique (presumably a cheaper fix) and not a pricey equipment issue.
 
#34
Read this thread:
http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13902
vanhoskier just had a superb fitting experience in PA and solved years of problems. Might be totally worth your time and travel!
If you're in eastern PA this is the place to go. Dieter's store is 5 minutes from Jack Frost ski area and about 10 min from Big Boulder, so you have a place to go and try out your boots. Dieter will NOT try to sell you a boot just to get you into something; he wants to make sure you get boots that work for you.
 

Snowsong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#35
ClimbingBetty, I certainly feel more like a beginner. I am actually advanced intermediate. I usually really like black cruisers - no bumps for me yet. At the end of last season, I demoed great skis with average rental boots on a trip west and felt fantastic skiing. This season my husband says that I look like I did years ago skiing with my arms out and up, skidding turns, shoulders not facing down the hill.

I've been taking a few lessons, and that has really helped. However, I tend to put my weight too much on the balls of my feet and my heels have been coming up in the boots, unless I really concentrate on heels down. Lifting my toes up helps with this. My conclusion is that it is both a combination of technique and suboptimal boot fitting. I think that the poor boot fit amplifies weaknesses in my technique. I never had this problem with rental boots, so it is taking me awhile to sort out what I need.

I will probably go back to the store here to see what they have to say about the boots being too big. They are supposed to have sent someone to boot fitting training recently. Generally the store has great customer service. I'm willing to give it a shot, if no costs are involved. Otherwise, I am trekking to a boot fitter either within a 3 h radius of home or on the slopes during a vacation trip. I don't want to drop $$ on a not very good boot fitter.
I'm taking a guess that you may have gone to Appalachian Outdoors. If you did, you need to ask for Adam.
 

Delight

Diva in Training
#36
The right boots made technique make sense.

Hi there. I joined this great forum just to post my boot story. Last year I put myself in the hands of one of the best ski stores in the California Bay Area just because I had researched how important boot fit is. I walked out with a Dalbello Storm ID.

Because of our epic season I put in 32 days last year in those boots, going from a novice skier to a confident skier but I could never quite get what it took to be a good skier. I had taken them back to the shop a couple of times to alter the fit but I didn't really know what I was supposed to feel like in the boots yet. They told me my problems were mainly due to my large calf, and then I was told it was my technique. In fact, everyone pointed out my bad technique but I could never put the solutions in place. I just kept cinching down the boots to try and keep my heel down so I could come forward and feel the ski more, thinking it was all me.

Then finally, an instructor with boot-fitting experience walked me into the boot fitter at Crystal 2 weeks ago. It turns out my carefully researched boot was at least a size and a half too big. I was floating around in that boot and my attempts to cinch it down so I could keep my heel down were actually creating even more side to side space for my foot to float in.

I took the boots back and the company I bought from recognized it was their mistake and did the honorable thing by selling me the right sized boot at cost. (This was a year later and 39 days into the wrong boot.) I am so glad I bought from a reputable store with a good boot-fitting reputation.

I just skied in my new boots on Tuesday and I cannot rhapsodize enough about what the correct boots did for me. All the technique I had been striving for just came effortlessly into place. I stood up, was able to balance over my feet, my edges responded to the smallest suggestion from my ankles, it felt horrible to ski on the toilet and natural to brings my hips forward, and my parallel stance came together and felt like the only way to be instead of a dangerous proposition. I can't wait to get another lesson now that it all makes sense to my body!

Well, that is my story. :smile: It is the last time I am going to blame my technique first without examining my equipment.
 

litterbug

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#37
I love boot stories with happy endings! I too wish I'd known more about boots when I bought mine.

So, Delight, what was the "at cost" price of the new boot compared to it's normal retail price? I'm now trying to get my head around the possibility that my boots are too short-lasted for my foot. The next and last-ditch fix we'll try next is to put slits in the inflexible material at the front of the toebox, but if that doesn't work I may be looking at new boots and probably a new boot fitter.

I'm thinking of doing a complicated thing of going to a Diva-recommended boot fitter, having him tell me what boot to buy, getting the DPH to get those boots for me at cost (or maybe even give me store credit for the entire price, since these are the boots they recommended a year ago), then go back to the first fitter that and pay him generously to mold them and do whatever else it takes to make them work.

My boss just gave me the OK to ski this afternoon, and even though the last bootfitter isn't there today, I know exactly what the next step is so I can tell whoever is there what to do and then ski in them. I'm starting to get excited because I've made a decision on how to go forward if this doesn't work!! :bounce:
 

Delight

Diva in Training
#38
Hey litterbug,
At cost was 60% of retail. Still actually a lot given that I am underemployed right now. But I can't feel too financially irresponsible given how it feels to ski in responsive equipment. I certainly won't be buying new skis at the end of the season as I had previously planned.
If you are bouncing now, just wait :becky:!
 

litterbug

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#39
Progress report: I spent 1 1/2 hours at the DPH while yet another bootfitter, Zo (no, I have no idea!) said nonsense, he could stretch the material reinforcing the toe box. It apparently took some doing, but eventually he got it so all of my toes have a little bit of space room in front when I put weight against the tongues! :yahoo: My achilles also feels better, probably because the room in the toes takes the pressure off it. By the time he was done it was 3:50 so I didn't get to ski. I'm trying to figure out the best time to go, and the best I can do is tomorrow morning to try to miss some of the holiday crowds.

Oh, I do hope this works! Delight, I'll be so delighted!
 

SkiSci

Certified Ski Diva
#40
It is great hearing everyone's stories- the boot issues aren't great but it is good to hear how they are being resolved. In the boot fit vs technique question - boot fit clearly set me pretty far back. It was hard to ski given the boot fit, kind of like trying to ride a jog in running shoes without shoelaces. However, it did get me out to a bunch of lessons that helped my technique a lot.

A few weeks ago I went back to the local store (you got it right Snowsong and I did as you suggested). I got Superfeet inserts and a lift put under the boot liner. It helped a lot to fill up some of the space in the boot, but my feet still bounced around too much. The local store was very helpful and nice, but does not have the boot fitting equipment available to hard core boot fitters.

For our spring break trip we went to Stratton and just got back from 3 super days of skiing. (The family vote and great deal on lifts and lodging took us to Stratton instead of the Diva East gathering at Whiteface. I'm sorry I missed it, it sounded fun.) While at Stratton, I stopped by Green Mountain Orthotic Lab and worked with Bill, a fantastic boot fitter. It turns out that my boots are the right length, but are a large volume boot that is not good for the shape of my foot. They also have a lot of forward tilt, which does not work well with my legs - I have very flexible achilles tendons and can bend my knees far forward. Rather than selling me a new pair of boots, Bill worked with what I have. I had custom footbeds made that help to fill up the extra room and hold my foot in the right position. He also built up the area under my toes and pulled out a heel insert in the boot to help get my weight back and reduce the extra forward lean (along the lines of the forward lean thread elsewhere on the forum- I had all the symptoms - burning thighs, etc.). The fixes he made had a huge difference. My husband was happy to have me spend the $$, just so he didn't have to hear about my boots anymore. I was able to ski without thinking about my boots and probably ended up skiing better than I ever have before! The next thing to try with the boots is to put lifts under the toes on the outside of the boot. I passed on this one for now, since the footbeds and adjustments Bill made helped so much.

My kids' last comments about my skiing were something along the lines of "Mom, you are skiing way better!" I had a blast skiing and was able to keep up with them, almost. The kids did add that "you are skidding out the tails of your skis too much. You need to roll your ankles from edge to edge to turn. You'll fall a lot when you try it though." I'm leaving that the rolling ankles project for next season.

I have learned a lot about boot fitting and skiing through all this. Thanks for everyone's stories and suggestions. This is a wonderful community. I am already looking forward to next ski season. It is on to baseball for my family now.
 

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