/ Boot Fitting Problems

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EvanDavies - on 30 Oct 2013
I've just bought a pair of ski boots and they are pressing on the top of my instep, between the middle buckles. Has anyone else had this problem and find it goes away after they are broken in?
Jack_Lewin - on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:

Who fitted them? The liner will give about 15%

If it's a minor niggle I wouldn't worry, if it feels as if you couldn't wear them then something needs to change, not neccisarily the boot though!
EvanDavies - on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to Jack_Lewin: Unfortunately due to a small budget and lack of any ski shops within a 50 mile radius I was forced to buy online. I spoke to the shop I bought them from (Nevisport) who were very helpful and proffered some solutions, unfortunately they didn't work, so I think i'll be returning them for a different pair.

It feels like a piece of plastic is digging into the top of my foot rather than an area of pressure so I feel that it is probably the shape of the boot itself. even after wearing them for a few minutes the top of my foot was red and sore.
ripper - on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:
I think you know the answer is don't buy boots online - you really need to try them on and keep them on in the shop for a good while, stomp around in them a bit, flex you knees, push your shins against the fronts etc. Any decent shop will encourage you to do this. Probably doesn't help you now though, sorry! Is buying really a necessity?
Dave Kerr - on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:

Stupidly simple idea but:

Do you just have them too tight?
I think lots of folks (myself included) give themselves problems by overtightening boots.
Climbing Pieman on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:
Normally they would be reasonably comfortable from the start. Some shaping of the inner boot will happen with use. If they are really uncomfortable then if you can return them, for an exchange or refund then that would be best "if" the boots really are not a good fit for your feet. If you went to a Nevisport shop I would be surprised that they did not help with a proper fitting. That said I am sure you will have done basic checks inside the boots but in case you have not, take out the footbed, the inner boot, and the footbed under the liner and check that all is correct. In particular check that the plastic of the outer boot overlaps correctly and not the opposite way as often happens if the boot is opened up too far either when the inner boot is put in or when putting your foot in. The inner boots do change/compress/mould etc and you can alter and mould the outer boot with heat. It is more a last resort though.
kevin stephens - on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies: ski boots don't really break in but they can usually be custom moulded to fit your feet. Skiers often travel more than 50 miles to seek out a reputed boot fitter. Best solution may be to arrange an appointment to visit Nevis Sport which should be free, or get a boot fitter to tweet them when you are in resort, but this will cost a bit. Hope you manage to get sorted
Jack_Lewin - on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:

Best advice is get to a shop and get them to look at your feet, it's impossible to size people up correctly in terms of boot size and volume without seeing their feet.

If you want to try them again before you return them try putting them on like this:

Put foot in boot

Bang heel on floor in a way that will seat your heel into the back of the boot, i.e don't bang the sole of the boot in a downwards motion.

Start with the 2nd buckle down and do it tight, then the top one tight and then the power strap.

Now stand up and flex forward once or twice.

Then do your lower buckles, these only need to be finger tight, they are only there to hold the seal of the boot not put any pressure down.

All this will make a difference to where your foot sits in the shell. Hope it all makes sense!

If your still feeling pressure then the instep is too low, what brand of boot are they?

EvanDavies - on 30 Oct 2013
Thanks for all the replies, i'll reply to each in the order they were posted.

I'd like to use the boots at home, in Wales, so buying is preferable.

I tried just loosening them but there was still pressure, i really like to have my boots tight as i've tried loosening them (hire boots) previously when they've felt tight and I didn't ski nearly as well.

I had a good look at all the bits of the boot and couldn't find anything that was wrong/was clearly the problem.

As mentioned I live in Wales, in the brecon beacons, and the nearest Nevisport is Manchester so too far to make the trip.

I tried them on again and tightened them in the way suggested but they still hurt. They are Salomon Quest Access 70s.

I think i'll probably exchange them for a different pair and go from there. The cost of posting boots back is cheaper than going to a shop. I don't need a perfect fit, as long as I can last a whole day without too much pain i'll be fine.
Climbing Pieman on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:
Sorry it really is a case of trying on different makes/models to see what suits you.
A quick google suggests that your model has a custom fit liner? If so have you had them properly heat fitted? If you havn't is that part of the problem? If you have had a return will probably not be possible - better check before returning.
Another thought is that, as you probably know, the outer boot is a standard size for a range of different foot sizes and it is the "outer footbed" (not sure if that is actually the correct term) sizing that is changed to size them correctly. If the outer footbed is the wrong one for your foot size then it will not fit correctly. The sizing is usually stamped on the plastic footbed that sits under the liner boots.
Salomon have never suited my feet. Personally I have liked Technica over many years but currently have a Head pair (which was a surprise to me when trying on as Head boots of yesteryear were not comfortable to me)! If you had a local footwear shop that could properly size your feet, then phoning a ski shop with the details may allow them to make reasonable suggestions for you to try/buy but the only way to guarantee fitting is to try them in the shop and have them on for at least half an hour walking about, and then finally personalised with the heat treatment of the liner (if it is custom fit type). BTW I always replace the standard footbed for a superfeet thermal one which helps with the fit.
EvanDavies - on 30 Oct 2013
In reply to Climbing Pieman: I haven't had them heat fitted as I wouldn't be able to return them. I've got a few pairs of Salomon trainers which fit me well so I thought i'd give them a go first, unfortunately it looks as if i'll have to try a different brand. I asked Nevisport if they could recommend me some boots with a higher instep and one of the models they suggested was by tecnica.
Here: http://www.nevisport.com/pr/5529/mens-phoenix-max-8-ski-boots
Have you ever used Tecnica's Airshell boots:
here: http://www.nevisport.com/pr/3733/mens-phoenix-80-airshell-ski-boots
is the inflatable thing a gimmick or does it work?
Also, would a better (more expensive) boot theoretically allow me to ski better (assuming they both fit well) what are the advantages of a more expensive boot? I'm already fairly competent and can do red runs well but am looking to move into blacks and off piste and eventually ski touring/mountaineering, would either of those boots be suitable for that kind of stuff?

As before, thanks for all the responses, this is all really useful.
Jack_Lewin - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:

The more expensive the boot the more performance oriented it becomes, the fit tightens up all around, liners are made of stiffer foam, the forward lean (angle the boot pushes you into) becomes greater and more aggressive, plastics become stiffer.

The trade off is comfort however if a boot is properly fitted then this shouldn't be an issue.

I ski red runs comfortably and occasionally blacks and have a 100 flex boot. 80 would be more comfortable but lack the performance to make me feel supported on the harder pistes.

In terms of boots with high insteps, options that would be good for alpine skiing and some touring there are some options:

http://www.atomic.com/en/Products/Alpine/Boots/All%20Mountain/WAYMAKER_100/AE5009520.aspx?filter=

Atomic traditionally have a high instep with low volume heels and toe boxes, this particular pair have a soft panel on the width to accommodate a wider foot if needed.

http://www.salomon.com/uk/product/quest-max-100.html

The salomons have a custom heat mouldable outer shell (the white part of the clog visible on the boot), this coupled with the liner should give you the height you need over the instep but would have to be done instore.

I'd take the hit and travel to a shop, you could spend as much posting boots back and forth fairly quickly!
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Climbing Pieman on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to EvanDavies:
> (In reply to Climbing Pieman) I've got a few pairs of Salomon trainers which fit me well so I thought i'd give them a go first, unfortunately it looks as if i'll have to try a different brand.
Afraid does not work that way - I love Scarpa SL walking boots but can't wear Scarpa approach shoes. V different fit (have 2 pairs of approach shoes just sitting in the cupboard!).
I asked Nevisport if they could recommend me some boots with a higher instep and one of the models they suggested was by tecnica.
Not those, but I found Technica to be fantastic and suited me. Used them extensively, eight + yrs, but was persuaded to go to Head 300 boots last change partly as they fitted very well but gave me the range of adjustments and aggressiveness I needed.
> is the inflatable thing a gimmick or does it work?
It does work but only if the outer boot is "right" for you - look at it as a fine tuning of the liner as that is really what it is. C/w fine tuning with different thicknesses of socks/foot beds/etc.
> Also, would a better (more expensive) boot theoretically allow me to ski better (assuming they both fit well) what are the advantages of a more expensive boot? I'm already fairly competent and can do red runs well but am looking to move into blacks and off piste and eventually ski touring/mountaineering, would either of those boots be suitable for that kind of stuff?
Ah interesting. My answer would be no unless you are a rapid improver. I use a 110 flex boot which lots of folk would hate and would not be able to handle. Suits my heavy weight and at times aggressive fast skiing, black runs, moguls. Advantages of a more expensive boots are that they will take you to a new level of skiing if you can cope with that; if you can't they will hinder you IMO as any mistake you make will be translated into the ski with all the consequences of that! Cheaper boots are much more forgiving and usually more comfortable. Would you drive a very large sports car with highly tuned rock hard suspension, figure hugging seats if you were a learner or out for a Sunday drive (and get away with it safely and enjoyably?). Really is get a boot that fits and suits your type and level of skiing. Also remember the boot and skis much be comparable. A good boot on a soft forgiving ski or lower spec boot on a hard aggressive ski would not be good and could be a disaster.
Sorry can't recommend specific boots as it is so dependant on your actually ski level, your ability to progress, how they fit you, etc.
Strongly suggest that you just go to a good ski technician for a fitting. Look at it as longer term investment. After all a good boot suited for you will last years if only a few weeks per yr. I know folk who skimped and binned boots after a few days or weeks as they were uncomfortable or wrong spec'd for them.

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