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Sizing down extra in boots

teppaz

Angel Diva
Ooh, you got the S-pro boa? You'll have to report back on the boa vs. buckles. I tried some boas on at the ski show and am intrigued. And for any spring skiing wackiness, I now fully expect you to be wearing a pink boa to go with your pink boas.
Yes, that's the ones. I've skied them 4 days so far and love the boa system. It's great being able to make adjustments on the fly, and those adjustments feel more precise than with buckles.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I think the services of a great bootifitter is very helpful, esp if you have hard to fit feet. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a great fitter--that's part of the problem. Thankfully since my feet are not that difficult aside from being narrow, it hasn't been that that big a deal that I have yet to find someone that great. (they measure 85mm unweighted and 90/91mm weighted from what I can measure, measure 24.5 mondo, average instep I think and ankle measure like 21.5cm around---so low volume.) My very first pair of boots years ago ended up being huge despite going to a respected ski shop to buy boots (they sold me a 102mm lasted boot when I need a 98mm!!!). Next pair I knew more so I ended up closer to what I needed but still not quite right. Third pair was great on paper but ended up not being a good match for my leg (a fitter also put me into those). Fourth pair a well respected fitter in VT put me into and they lasted for years before any packing out--was sorry to see those go. Current pair the "fitting" was a bit of a disaster and I sort of had to DIY the fitting appointment (made appointment with fitter I wanted/had previously worked with--when got to the shop I got passed off to someone else who didn't seem interested in the appointment/seemed like they just wanted to sell a boot. Keep in mind I had driven 3 hours for this privilege. No shell fit, initially brought out my measured size which of course were huge given my foot volume so I told him he needed to bring out 23.5s instead. I basically tried on every low volume boot they had starting with Lange Shadow LV 115 (too much room at instep and foot), Nordica Promachine can't recall which flex (tongue caused pain on my shins just standing in the boots), Tecnica Mach1 LV (can't recall what I didn't like about that--I think instep maybe felt large), K2 Anthem 105 Boa (away to much volume in boot overall) and another K2 from a previous year that had traditional buckles (still way too much volume), Solomon S/Pro Alpha 110 (felt tight but not painful--best fit of all the boots. but that shop could not guarantee they could get the alpine soles instead of grip walk and since some of my bindings are not GW compatible that was a deal breaker.

I left and went up the street to a diff shop to see if they had anything in Atomic I could try since previous shop didn't carry Atomic.
They said I could do a Redster (not sure which model they had in mind), not sure why they didn't bring out a Hawks Ultra as that seemed like it could be an option, instead brought out the Salomon Alpha again. I tried the Alpha again--still liked the fit. Told them--full disclosure--I just tried these in another shop and the only reason I didn't get them was they couldn't get the alpine soles. Well this shop had the alpine soles in stock--so I bought the boots there. I mean I probably should have tried the Redster, but honestly by that time I was just done with boots and really by that time didn't want to deal with what I assumed would be a cold race liner and was just done with the whole experience overall just annoyed by the fact that I drove 3 hours for what I ultimately could have done 10 min from home at the local shop!

Anyway I will keep trying to find a fitter I like and who will take the time to find the right boot, but just a long winded way of saying that I can see where those who don't use fitters are coming from. It's not always so easy despite best intentions.
This is true.. I worked with several well regarded fitters with no luck, before finding my current one. None of them could simply get a boot to work with excruciating pain in the forefoot.. I honestly thought for a while that that was just the way it was going to be. Then I sought out a bootfitter who was also a pedorthist. And just an amazing fitter. He did the opposite of everyone else.. instead of stretching or grinding the little toe side of my forefoot area where my pain radiated, he said oh we just need to stretch the big toe side because most ski boots are totally straight on that side and that is NOT the shape of my foot. That means my foot wouldn’t even sit straight in a boot previously, and often wasn’t flat on my footbed either. It seems so simple, but gosh am I grateful to ski pain free now! He sticks his hand in the shell with my boot and can tell how much room I need. I have other modifications on my boots depending on the boot fit and alignment etc., but that one of thing in my forefoot is something like FOUR fitters could not resolve and pretty much told me they couldn’t do anything for. Meanwhile I was in awful pain and literally destroying my feet. Hard to comprehend now how that happens, but when you find someone you trust they are definitely worth sticking with. I usually go up on a midweek day and I’ll be one of the only ones at the shop and have an appointment. I live in MA and ski in ME, but I go to VT for my bootfitter.
 

teppaz

Angel Diva
There’s definitely an element of clicking with the right person. My previous boots were done by Earl at the Sports Loft near SLC. He’d been highly recommended by people I trust, and was getting glowing reviews online. I ended up in boots that felt good for the first few years but, well, they also were a size too big. By the end, they’d packed out so much that I had to tighten the lower buckles to an incredible extent, and I still had room to insert toe heaters on frigid days. I was never in pain so there’s that, but I definitely sacrificed control.
 

VickiK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My worst boot was bought at REI*, my best boots were fit by master boot fitters**. Current boots were bought on Backcountry dot com on sale. I'm lucky having relatively problem-free feet, so they're ok, but next time I'll go to a master boot fitter.

*recreational fit, as defined above.
**performance fit, or somewhat closer to that end of the spectrum
 

SnowHot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My worst boot was bought at REI*, my best boots were fit by master boot fitters**. Current boots were bought on Backcountry dot com on sale. I'm lucky having relatively problem-free feet, so they're ok, but next time I'll go to a master boot fitter.

*recreational fit, as defined above.
**performance fit, or somewhat closer to that end of the spectrum
Your favorite fitter in Reno happens to have a room for you ;)
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
Wow, catching up on this thread was an interesting experience...

However, I just came to say that I very much understand both decisions...to go to a master boot fitter...or to not.

Just like some people like to try to fix their own cars...most won't get it right the first time and may make things worse. Others get things "good enough" the first-time round. And there are a few lucky ones that will fix the problem right away. There are other people that prefer to take it to the mechanic, let the professional do their job, and drive away in a working car. Some people will end up at Jiffy Lube when they should have gone to the local mechanic with 25 years of experience. There is also a chance that that the well-established mechanic analyzes something a bit wrong and sends you home with a "fixed" car, only to have the problem rears its ugly head a few days later. Altogether, your chances of having a working car at the end of the day are bested by having the professional take a look. But I understand that there are people that prefer to learn something about their own car and take their chances at fixing it themselves.

It's a personal decision...where neither is wrong, but skiers should know that there are professionals out there that can up your chances to get the best fit for your foot. And there's also nothing wrong with deciding you want to try things out for yourself and find your own fit.
 

Rachel614

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Let's try to take a step back. We can have our own strong opinions on boot fitting.

I get it - Rachel, it sounds like you've got a combination of feet that can tolerate stock boots and the time and determination to save money as your top priority. It's great that's working for you. It typically does NOT work for people with difficult feet. And many, if not most of us, don't have the patience to buy, modify, and resell boots until we can get it right on our own, even if it is possible to do that cost effectively.

Many of us know from painful experience just how bad the wrong boots are, and know that it can get to the point where it can cause permanent damage to your feet. I know multiple people who've needed surgery from wearing ill-fitting footwear (ski boots in particular), and that makes any extra money spent on fitting seem insignificant. When I found a true master bootfitter and was able to ski pain-free again, the (not insignificant) cost of those boots felt like a bargain. If you've never had that kind of foot pain, I'm sure it's hard to understand. Consider yourself lucky. But try to understand not everyone is that lucky, and those who have challenging feet do become very devoted to our expert bootfitters because they can end up being the difference between being able to ski or having to stop. We're really not just trying to convince everyone to waste money, we just think hey, I'd have appreciated someone explaining this to me earlier in my journey.... If you don't need it, that's great - you are a lucky one.
Yes perfectly said and I agree to everything you commented!!! I totally see the value in having a boot fitter that can make modifications based on pain from skiing. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer and everyone’s situation is different or may require different things at different times. For me I feel like rest after pain or switching to a second boot to relieve the issues caused by the first for a period of time are good things, but yes I’ve never experienced extreme ski boot pain thankfully but totally believe it’s real. I know that my favorite hiking shoes (Solomon speed crosses) allow me to go the fastest and have the most precise footing while hiking, but I also know that because of the fit that allows that, I can only wear them for 5 days of intense hiking per 3 week period which is the trade off for having such high preformance. I imagine ski boots to be similar and occasionally having to switch it up. But again skiing is different and I totally think having the most comfortable boot from the get go sounds awesome for those with sensitive feet or requiring expert performance! Thanks for your comment❤️
 

Rachel614

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I want to add that you can indeed take courses and become certified in boot fitting. There's a whoe Masterfit University. We also can't forget the wisdom that comes from experience.

It is a sad reality that many stores just put salespeople out there and call them boot fitters. They are doing a disservice to both customers and actual qualified boot fitters. I know. I went to one of these "boot sellers". I was then fortunate enough to find a qualified boot fitter. If multiple experiences have been with "boot sellers", I can see why someone would become jaded and it would not be something they'd want to repeat.

To the qualified boot fitters like @SnowHot :hail: - thank you for the service you give us. My skiing, enjoyment and confidence went up so much after I fixed my boot issues. It really helped open up the sport for me.
Yes agreed. Too many people out there as boot fitters which may not have the best reccomends. I look at it from my nurse perspective in that most doctors are great, but if one person were to put all their faith in one doctor who’s POV may be slightly skewed, they may miss out on all the other advice or info they could gain from other doctors or self education.
 

Rachel614

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I think the services of a great bootifitter is very helpful, esp if you have hard to fit feet. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a great fitter--that's part of the problem. Thankfully since my feet are not that difficult aside from being narrow, it hasn't been that that big a deal that I have yet to find someone that great. (they measure 85mm unweighted and 90/91mm weighted from what I can measure, measure 24.5 mondo, average instep I think and ankle measure like 21.5cm around---so low volume.) My very first pair of boots years ago ended up being huge despite going to a respected ski shop to buy boots (they sold me a 102mm lasted boot when I need a 98mm!!!). Next pair I knew more so I ended up closer to what I needed but still not quite right. Third pair was great on paper but ended up not being a good match for my leg (a fitter also put me into those). Fourth pair a well respected fitter in VT put me into and they lasted for years before any packing out--was sorry to see those go. Current pair the "fitting" was a bit of a disaster and I sort of had to DIY the fitting appointment (made appointment with fitter I wanted/had previously worked with--when got to the shop I got passed off to someone else who didn't seem interested in the appointment/seemed like they just wanted to sell a boot. Keep in mind I had driven 3 hours for this privilege. No shell fit, initially brought out my measured size which of course were huge given my foot volume so I told him he needed to bring out 23.5s instead. I basically tried on every low volume boot they had starting with Lange Shadow LV 115 (too much room at instep and foot), Nordica Promachine can't recall which flex (tongue caused pain on my shins just standing in the boots), Tecnica Mach1 LV (can't recall what I didn't like about that--I think instep maybe felt large), K2 Anthem 105 Boa (away to much volume in boot overall) and another K2 from a previous year that had traditional buckles (still way too much volume), Solomon S/Pro Alpha 110 (felt tight but not painful--best fit of all the boots. but that shop could not guarantee they could get the alpine soles instead of grip walk and since some of my bindings are not GW compatible that was a deal breaker.

I left and went up the street to a diff shop to see if they had anything in Atomic I could try since previous shop didn't carry Atomic.
They said I could do a Redster (not sure which model they had in mind), not sure why they didn't bring out a Hawks Ultra as that seemed like it could be an option, instead brought out the Salomon Alpha again. I tried the Alpha again--still liked the fit. Told them--full disclosure--I just tried these in another shop and the only reason I didn't get them was they couldn't get the alpine soles. Well this shop had the alpine soles in stock--so I bought the boots there. I mean I probably should have tried the Redster, but honestly by that time I was just done with boots and really by that time didn't want to deal with what I assumed would be a cold race liner and was just done with the whole experience overall just annoyed by the fact that I drove 3 hours for what I ultimately could have done 10 min from home at the local shop!

Anyway I will keep trying to find a fitter I like and who will take the time to find the right boot, but just a long winded way of saying that I can see where those who don't use fitters are coming from. It's not always so easy despite best intentions.
Thanks for sharing!!!! I think your experience is spot on. A lot of time shops are limited to what they have in stock and since they rely on purchases regardless they aren’t typically going to recommend just not getting anything from them, even if that may be the best answer. I feel like people who put “too” much faith in a boot fitter may feel obligated just to buy what they reccomend regardless of whether it’s the perfect boot for them, which can be a costly regret. At least if someone buys online based on reviews and descriptions they can save a lot of time and energy, and a couple hundred bucks or more. I feel like there’s never going to be an absolutely perfect boot for all situations, so to me having a few to test out and to learn from is best casenario which financially wouldn’t be possible buying each in store. Again def see value in good boot fitters but I appreciate your comment and confirming my feelings and experience about buying boots!
 

Rachel614

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
PRICE should never be the foremost criterion when shopping for a boot. Settling for an " It'll work " fit into a boot with a lower pricetag, just puts you back where you started , costing double the original expense. A boot is supporting and leveraging the entire lower half of one's body on a skinny board. That boot function is critical.
Agree about price not equaling value of course (I tend to buy the most expensive version of things in all areas just to buy once cry once), but if it’s the boot you want to try based on measurements and reviews, I’d rather pay less buying online than in store. Some people need that reassurance from someone standing there watching you try it on and promising to make any mods needed, but I’m not one of those people ‍
 

Rachel614

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have ditched 10 pair of boots, most of which were picked by me, myself, and I because ALL I considered was just how low-volume they were. I did get some not so awesome advice from some pretty qualified fitters, but the one variable that was never explored was cuff height. Brett Amsbury addressed that last fall and I’m tickled!!

Fair enough. I get this thought process.

With that, can you measure your feet at their widest, as well as your instep and ankle circumference? I’m the lowest of low volume and my feet swam in the ProMachine 105 after I skied them a few times.
Can’t find my tape measure that’s in mm right now lol, but for inches the widest part is under 3.5 inches and ankle circumference about 8 inches, not sure about instep. Even though the pro machine 115’s had the top review for fit, the reviewers stated that the ankle area wasn’t as snug as they’d prefer so I’m anticipating that a little bit. I think having sized down helped me… they feel good trying on in living room other then causing me to be at a bit of an aggressive stance standing up fully buckled but prob a good thing. I’ve never found the perfect shoe that works in all situations and like with running shoes, I’ve found that having socks for certain temps makes a big difference in how they feel… thinner for warmer temps thicker for colder/when boot material is more solid and not forgiving… def curious how they’ll feel skiing! Thanks for sharing that about them as something to look out for
 

Rachel614

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Wow, catching up on this thread was an interesting experience...

However, I just came to say that I very much understand both decisions...to go to a master boot fitter...or to not.

Just like some people like to try to fix their own cars...most won't get it right the first time and may make things worse. Others get things "good enough" the first-time round. And there are a few lucky ones that will fix the problem right away. There are other people that prefer to take it to the mechanic, let the professional do their job, and drive away in a working car. Some people will end up at Jiffy Lube when they should have gone to the local mechanic with 25 years of experience. There is also a chance that that the well-established mechanic analyzes something a bit wrong and sends you home with a "fixed" car, only to have the problem rears its ugly head a few days later. Altogether, your chances of having a working car at the end of the day are bested by having the professional take a look. But I understand that there are people that prefer to learn something about their own car and take their chances at fixing it themselves.

It's a personal decision...where neither is wrong, but skiers should know that there are professionals out there that can up your chances to get the best fit for your foot. And there's also nothing wrong with deciding you want to try things out for yourself and find your own fit.
Thanks!!! Totally agree. To me figuring it out myself feels like I’ll get a better knowledge base in the end verses trying 1 boot every few years from a boot fitter. And like with cars, there’s always gonna be a car that’s more fun to drive in certain situations than others or has certain benefits that other more practical cars don’t have but also has more downfalls. But practical reliable cars may be what most go for. I’d prefer to have a variety of options in all areas of life
 

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