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Tiny little feet: searching for 22.5s

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#42
So, I drove 1.5 hours today and had an awesome convo with a real boot fitter. He showed me where my feet are fairly narrow with a low instep so I have a very low volume foot. He said he recommends the Atomic hawk ultra 95 and he's going to see about ordering them. He said if I were a super aggressive advanced skier he'd say I definitely need a 22.5 but I'm right in the middle where a 23.5 is spacious and a 22.5 is snug. Said he would see about getting both. Sadly I'll be paying full retail but I guess if I get the right fit it isn't the end of the world. Custom insoles are another 150 but he said I could do that next year. Kinda bummed on the price because I could order them 80-100 bucks less on line but feel like their knowledge is worth it and it would be low to save that cash when that's what they do and how they make $$.

Now I know why I slip-slide around so much. My current boots have a 102mm last and he's trying to get me in a 98 last.
It really is worth it. My personal recommendation based on my experience over the past 10 years with boot after boot after boot is to go with the smaller boot and make room where needed. What feels cozy and snug in the shop will quickly pack out and start to feel sloppy on the hill. Even my 92 last race boots have gotten sloppy with Intuition liners in them because the liners have packed out. This is with MAYBE 5mm behind my heel, probably closer to 3, and about 2 mm on each side of my foot (oh, how I wish I had zero mm on each side of my foot!)

Do you mind sharing where you went?
 

MontanaMom

Certified Ski Diva
#43
I would think you will end up saving that money very quickly if you need any modifications done either now or in the future though! Most fitters should include that cost with the boot they sell you.
Right, and the custom insoles I can buy next year but if I didn't buy boots from him they'd be 200 instead of 150, and they added stuff to my current boots to make them tighter. So the customer service was unbeatable and so it would be low to not buy, imo.
 

MontanaMom

Certified Ski Diva
#44
It really is worth it. My personal recommendation based on my experience over the past 10 years with boot after boot after boot is to go with the smaller boot and make room where needed. What feels cozy and snug in the shop will quickly pack out and start to feel sloppy on the hill. Even my 92 last race boots have gotten sloppy with Intuition liners in them because the liners have packed out. This is with MAYBE 5mm behind my heel, probably closer to 3, and about 2 mm on each side of my foot (oh, how I wish I had zero mm on each side of my foot!)

Do you mind sharing where you went?

Skiers Edge Ski and Board shop in great falls. They were amazing! Very knowledgeable, helpful, kind. Really looked at my feet and shell fit me in a 23 which I came in as slightly smaller than the recreational/average Skier's fit so he's guessing the 22.5 would come in as a more aggressive/race fit. He is going to call me today and we'll see what happens. :smile:
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#45
I also second smaller if you can manage it. Like @contesstant said....you can make a smaller boot bigger, but you can't make a bigger boot smaller. (says the lady on her third pair of boots in 4 seasons)

Also, if you can make the numbers work, consider springing for the custom insoles now. The insole will affect the boot fit (foot length) and the shell adjustments you might make.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#46
I also second smaller if you can manage it. Like @contesstant said....you can make a smaller boot bigger, but you can't make a bigger boot smaller. (says the lady on her third pair of boots in 4 seasons)

Also, if you can make the numbers work, consider springing for the custom insoles now. The insole will affect the boot fit (foot length) and the shell adjustments you might make.
Yes, the custom insoles are a really good idea now if you can.
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#48
Just a word of caution on insoles: I had MasterFit custom insoles for two years and I had a lot of foot pain, including metatarsal pain. I finally switched out to off-the-shelf (Sidas 3-feet) insoles and found immediate relief. A friend who is also a bootfitter thinks that because the MasterFits were molded with me standing (rather than sitting) during the process, the insoles captured my significant pronation. That is, instead of providing support, they put my foot into an already-pronated position that causes a ton of problems in any shoe. It that's true, I spent a lot of money having my feet locked into the worst possible position in the boot.
 
#49
I just want to add to the chorus about paying retail for the boots. The service you get is already worth it, but it will be worth actual $$ in the years to come. The boots may not be right just out of the box, and all of the work this bootfitter may do comes with that retail cost (in general). As Jilly pointed out, you'd have to pay for those modifications if you bought your boots elsewhere. And if you have to buy more equipment, you'll start to get breaks on the prices here and there. Too bad it's so far away, but when you build a relationship with a ski shop you start saving money. Your next pair of skis, a jacket, insoles, ski socks, accessories - especially if you bundle the purchases, they may knock down the prices.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#50
Also, if you can make the numbers work, consider springing for the custom insoles now. The insole will affect the boot fit (foot length) and the shell adjustments you might make.
Makes sense to me.

When I knew enough to know what a boot fitter should be doing, I discovered there was one close to my house. Wasn't expecting that in central North Carolina. I went ahead and got the $150 custom heat-molded footbeds. Since those can be moved between boots, it seemed like a good investment. I ended up upgrading boots (same boot fitter) less than five years later, mostly because I'd improved a fair amount. Moved over the footbeds and was all set.
 

edelweissmaedl

Certified Ski Diva
#51
Just a word of caution on insoles: I had MasterFit custom insoles for two years and I had a lot of foot pain, including metatarsal pain. I finally switched out to off-the-shelf (Sidas 3-feet) insoles and found immediate relief. A friend who is also a bootfitter thinks that because the MasterFits were molded with me standing (rather than sitting) during the process, the insoles captured my significant pronation. That is, instead of providing support, they put my foot into an already-pronated position that causes a ton of problems in any shoe. It that's true, I spent a lot of money having my feet locked into the worst possible position in the boot.
I'm so sorry you had a bad MasterFit experience @SallyCat. That is good advice....as far as I know (and this is from having normal orthotics and ski boot orthotics made) you should never have weight bearing down on the mold. I initially questioned my boot fitter because I felt he was making my insoles higher in the arch than I was used to in my 'civilian' insoles, but he explained you pronate less in ski boots than normal skis and the insoles should account for that. I'm sold on that theory because I absolutely love my custom insoles from him.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#52
So, I drove 1.5 hours today and had an awesome convo with a real boot fitter. He showed me where my feet are fairly narrow with a low instep so I have a very low volume foot. He said he recommends the Atomic hawk ultra 95 and he's going to see about ordering them. He said if I were a super aggressive advanced skier he'd say I definitely need a 22.5 but I'm right in the middle where a 23.5 is spacious and a 22.5 is snug. Said he would see about getting both. Sadly I'll be paying full retail but I guess if I get the right fit it isn't the end of the world. Custom insoles are another 150 but he said I could do that next year. Kinda bummed on the price because I could order them 80-100 bucks less on line but feel like their knowledge is worth it and it would be low to save that cash when that's what they do and how they make $$.

Now I know why I slip-slide around so much. My current boots have a 102mm last and he's trying to get me in a 98 last.
Good luck! I'm also part of the small feet club, I have 22.5 narrow feet and I have the hawx ultra. My advice (echoing the others in this thread...) would be to go for the smaller size. I found that the hawx felt initially good but packed out quickly and I had a ton of ongoing issues after that. On the other hand, I did get my moneys worth - I paid RRP$ but I spent hours at the bootfitter fixing my problems for the rest of the season :laughter: (honestly my feet are just a bit too narrow for a 98mm boot but we did the best we could with it and I'm happy that there wasn't anything smaller I could have tried that season)

I also downsized from a 23.5, 102mm last boot. It makes a huge difference getting into a boot which fits better!
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#53
I think a lot with insoles depends on your individual feet. There are many "brands" of custom insole and also the insole is also only as good as the person making it. Some types of insole are more rigid than others. I had Instaprint for my first pair and they were made unweighted and I found the arch too high. They can grind them down to adjust though.
My current set is a different brand and they were made semi weighted or maybe it was weighted--can't recall exactly--but they are much better for my feet.
The Instaprint ones stabbed into my arch--the current ones have just enough support but not too much.
Like everything else with ski boots--I think it comes down to trial and error--which really stinks given the cost of things.
 

MontanaMom

Certified Ski Diva
#54
I think a lot with insoles depends on your individual feet. There are many "brands" of custom insole and also the insole is also only as good as the person making it. Some types of insole are more rigid than others. I had Instaprint for my first pair and they were made unweighted and I found the arch too high. They can grind them down to adjust though.
My current set is a different brand and they were made semi weighted or maybe it was weighted--can't recall exactly--but they are much better for my feet.
The Instaprint ones stabbed into my arch--the current ones have just enough support but not too much.
Like everything else with ski boots--I think it comes down to trial and error--which really stinks given the cost of things.
Yes, that tends to be my issue. I've only ever bought used equipment so stepping up and paying full price for a pair of boots sort of stinks. :( but I'm hoping they'll last more than 3-4 seasons and I can enjoy them a while.
 
#55
I’m on year 5 in my boots. No sign of trouble. I didn’t ski much last year (boo, Covid! ) and I’ve probably gone easy on my boots as a cautious beginner. But I expect to get more time out of them than that.
 
#56
Custom insoles are another 150 but he said I could do that next year.
Unless you have a lot of trouble with too much mobility in you ankles, or wear custom orthotics in your normal shoes, I would recommend getting Superfeet insoles or similar for this year and evaluate if custom insoles are really necessary. Spend the $50 this year when you get your boots, trim to fit, and you may find that they are perfectly acceptable.
 

brooksnow

Certified Ski Diva
#57
I've had great luck with the off the shelf Superfeet insoles, and my feet tend to be quite tricky to fit. The shop should have samples for you to stand on. I have huge high arches and ended up with insoles that are meant for much bigger feet. When you stand on the various sample insoles, note that the support is right when your knees will track straight ahead as you bend them. A good shop will help you with this.
 

MontanaMom

Certified Ski Diva
#58
Unless you have a lot of trouble with too much mobility in you ankles, or wear custom orthotics in your normal shoes, I would recommend getting Superfeet insoles or similar for this year and evaluate if custom insoles are really necessary. Spend the $50 this year when you get your boots, trim to fit, and you may find that they are perfectly acceptable.
Thank you for this suggestion. The guy at the boot shop was very nice. Said if I could buy them next year but made it sound like they really make a difference in how you ski somehow. I don't wear anything special for my feet but I do better in heels than in tennis shoes. I swear every pair of gym shoes I buy do not feel springy or supportive enough for my hard core classes :( oh well.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#59
Evo has a pretty good webpage about footbeds. Includes a video about a trim-to-fit off-the-shelf option.

https://www.evo.com/guides/how-to-choose-ski-snowboard-footbeds-insoles

For my first good boots (2006), I spent $25 on basic Superfeet footbeds at the suggestion of the ski shop. The basic recreational boots were "new old stock" during early season sales for about $250. I outgrew the boots in a few years, but it certainly beat renting or my 1990s rear-entry boots. The reps at the demo tents that day were laughing at my old boots.
 

badger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#60
I just want to add to the chorus about paying retail for the boots. The service you get is already worth it, but it will be worth actual $$ in the years to come. The boots may not be right just out of the box, and all of the work this bootfitter may do comes with that retail cost (in general). As Jilly pointed out, you'd have to pay for those modifications if you bought your boots elsewhere. And if you have to buy more equipment, you'll start to get breaks on the prices here and there.
Very true. Boots are way too important to shop for price over fit. I wear a 21 boot and I definitely know the frustration of getting a great fit. Once you have a "perfect" boot, the price you paid for it will show in your skiing.
 

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