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How often do we have to change boots?

#1
I have been using my boots for many years(around 10 years?). There is still nothing wrong with it, still very solid.

but...I have noticed lately I need to tighten more in order to feel less loose. Most importantly, I feel my toes just keep pushing the tip of the boots and that really hurts.(just noticed my toe nails were long, I just cut them short). but last year I cut all my toenails short when I skied 10 days straight in Colorado, still I got blood clogged underneath my toes. It took a year to grow back my toenails. I was really worried that I will not have my toenails back.

Just read a thread in this forum that said boots can packed out. So, I am guessing my boots are packed out? so when boots packed out, we need to buy new boots? If so, how long usually can a pair of boots last? I didn't grow up in a snowy place and I am the only one who ski in my family, so sorry if I asked questions that are obvious to other people.
 
#2
Do we need boots that have lots of cushion in the tip area of the boots, so that our toes won't touch the hard plastic? is it because the boots are not tight or the cushion worn out?

how to prevent toes from pushing the tips of the boots? I don't want to destroy my toenails again. Thanks.
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#3
How fast liners pack out varies. If the boots aren’t too old people replace the liners to extend the life of their boots. Eventually the plastic degrades though and then replacement is the better option. If your boots are 10 years old I would think replacing is the better bet (newer technology, etc that would come with new boots over just new liners).
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
I think (others feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) most boots are designed to last up 100-200 days of skiing BUT the liners can pack out, etc before then, and also as your boots get older the plastic can degrade just from the constant temperature changes/UV exposure/storage conditions. With boots that are 10 years old, I would say get fitted with a proper boot fitter if possible, and get new boots entirely.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
Just read a thread in this forum that said boots can packed out. So, I am guessing my boots are packed out? so when boots packed out, we need to buy new boots? If so, how long usually can a pair of boots last? I didn't grow up in a snowy place and I am the only one who ski in my family, so sorry if I asked questions that are obvious to other people.
Do we need boots that have lots of cushion in the tip area of the boots, so that our toes won't touch the hard plastic? is it because the boots are not tight or the cushion worn out?

how to prevent toes from pushing the tips of the boots? I don't want to destroy my toenails again.
As someone who did ski every year when I was working, and didn't buy a pair of 4-buckle boots until 15 years ago, the answers to your questions weren't at all obvious before I found ski forums.

The liners on my current boots packed out in about two seasons. By then I was skiing about 20 days at local hills plus another 25-30 days at big mountains. In that case, the shells were new enough that I could replace the liners with aftermarket liners to extend the life of the boots. The boots cost around $500 and heat-moldable liners are around $250. More importantly, I bought those boots from a local boot fitter and had had them tweaked a few times to get the best fit.

Check out the Gearipedia thread about boot fitting. The process of buying ski boots should not be like how you buy shoes. Probably fitted boots won't damage toes.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/why-you-yes-you-need-a-boot-fitting.2075/
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
At 10 years I would be concerned about plastic degradation, as @scandium says. That could have catastrophic results if the boots crack or fall apart when you're skiing.

As for toes hitting the front of the boot, if the boots are otherwise properly fitted toe bang can usually be eliminated with an insole that provides good arch support.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
Do we need boots that have lots of cushion in the tip area of the boots, so that our toes won't touch the hard plastic? is it because the boots are not tight or the cushion worn out?

how to prevent toes from pushing the tips of the boots? I don't want to destroy my toenails again. Thanks.
If your toes bang into the front wall of your boots, you probably have boots that are too long for your feet. I know, this doesn't make any sense.

Boot fit is counter-intuitive. In street shoes, our feet bend at the ball-fo-foot as we walk and run. This bending causes the toes to slide forward, extending the effective length of the foot. So street shoes need a bit of extra air-filled space at the front end of the toe box to accommodate the foot's expansion as we walk.

In ski boots, your foot is not allowed to bend at the ball-of-foot. So your foot inside a ski boot does not slide its toes forward to take up extra room in the boot.

If you buy boots that have extra room in front of the toes, your foot will slide forward as a unit into that space if it's not clamped in place at the back of the boot. You'll get "toe bang." Your toenails may turn black. You can try clamping your foot back to hold it in place. Use the lower cuff buckle to do this. It may help keep your foot from sliding forward into that space, sorta. But that is an imperfect fix.

If you have boots that are too long because they have that space in front of your toes, your boots may also be too wide and/or too tall over your foot. Boot fit is complicated, and poor fit usually is due to boots-too-big in more than one dimension.

New boots are probably in your future. They should allow your toes to touch the front wall when buckled securely. Your foot is not going to move farther forward if the boot fits this way, so you won't get toe bang. This is the part that people don't understand, but it's true.

While you're getting new boots, be sure they fit width-wise and volume-wise (height over forefoot). Getting this right involves going to a brick-and-mortar ski shop which has a good bootfitter who will help you get the right boot. People here can recommend a bootfitter if you give them your location. The bootfitter matters. Some are good; others aren't.

@EasternCanadaDiva, what are your thoughts about doing this? I'd suggest you might want to start your own thread so all the comments can be directed specifically to you. That's what people do here. You can put in the title that you are looking for a bootfitter near you, and include where you live and/or ski.
 
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#11
Thanks everyone for your opinions and suggestion.

So now I know there is indeed such thing as pack out and lining can worn out.

No doubt I will need to buy a new pair of boots then.

@liquidfeet I am blew away by your in-depth knowledge of the subject area. I think I have pretty standard feet and I didn't notice the pushing of the front of the boots until last few years, so I guess it's a problem of boots pack out. so better not to bother other people with another thread. I will just go to a shop that help with boot fitting.

I am living in Ottawa, ON, Canada. I noticed there is another thread that list boot fitter in the broader area. I will take a look again of that.
 
#12
Actually I am thinking about getting heat boot, as it could be freezing cold here and because heating sock is not cheap either. maybe integrate heating boot work better? I have been looking at the ROSSIGNOL SKI BOOTS PURE PRO HEAT WOMENS and the K2 one. but they all have pretty bad reviews. So now I don't know...
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Actually I am thinking about getting heat boot, as it could be freezing cold here and because heating sock is not cheap either. maybe integrate heating boot work better? I have been looking at the ROSSIGNOL SKI BOOTS PURE PRO HEAT WOMENS and the K2 one. but they all have pretty bad reviews. So now I don't know...
I've read a lot of discussions about boots with integrated heaters. Some of those discussions include comments from people who have to fix those boot heaters when they break.Those people don't like working on those boots.

Aftermarket heaters can more easily be worked on if something breaks. I've had Hotronic boot heaters added to my boots for years. Eventually something does always break, and with those it can be fixed pretty easily. There are other brands of aftermarket boot heaters as well. When you buy your boots, the shop should have one or more types of boot heaters that you can have them install. When I've bought them, the installation comes free with the purchase.
 
#17
I have Hotronics, too. It’s a heated footbed. The batteries attach to the power strip on your boots. These work well!

There’s another thread here that discuses heated boots (like Hotronics) vs. heated socks, another option.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#18
Don't get hung up on a particular boot. It might not be the boot for you. Most of these heated boots, are meant for the Mom's that are skiing because their kids are. So comfort fit boots. You already have those boots.

Kunstadt's in the Glebe I think is the best of their group.
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
I have Hotronics, too. It’s a heated footbed. The batteries attach to the power strip on your boots. These work well!

There’s another thread here that discuses heated boots (like Hotronics) vs. heated socks, another option.
Ha! I first read that and started wondering what fancy new fangled boots you must have to have a power strip built in. What else could you charge from it? But then my brain realized that you meant power strap. Oops. But what if your boots could be a back up power source?
 
#20
My previous boots were 10 years old and started to feel really loose (foot sliding forward). I went to a boot fitter and ended up buying the new version of my same boots and they have been perfect. I never even went back or heat-molded the boots because I haven’t had any discomfort. Keeping the binding near my ankle tight helps keep my foot in place. I’m very intrigued by the heat liners. I wear toe warmers almost every time I ski under 25 degrees and it feels wasteful.
 

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