Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to try on your boots. I’m guessing that you found there’s ‘room for improvement’. Most people would think that a tight fit is the problem when feet hurt. In fact, the one problem I see all too often is a boot that is TOO BIG. While everyone wants that little extra toe room, adding extra toe room often brings on other fit issues. We’ll talk about that and other ailments in later segments.
For now, here’s your next assignment -
While the there’s plenty of time before the season starts and there are great bargains to be had, pack up your boots, socks and footbeds (if you have them). Find yourself a qualified boot technician make an appointment to get ‘fitted’. Treat this as if you were going to the doctor’s office for a check up – experience matters. How do you know where to go? Ask! How do you know who has the experience? ASK!!! Just because someone works in a ski/snowboard shop and calls themself a ‘custom boot fitter’ DOES NOT make them an expert at fitting. Only years of experience gets someone a reputation in this industry. While the more seasoned techs are usually around the resorts, that’s not a guarantee. You may just find you have someone right in your area. However, you may have to travel some to find the best.
Expect some to spend some time with that person. I always like to schedule a full hour to do a proper evaluation of the skier, their feet, their present equipment and to have them try on some new product. You may only need half that time to realize what needs to be done.
Be prepared for the unexpected. A good boot tech will fill you in on a great deal of information. If you get the ‘quick sell’, move on and find another shop. When you find the right one, you’ll know it! More than likely the initial evaluation will be ‘on the house’. However, expect the better ones to charge for their time and materials - it will be a very worthwhile investment.
In the next segment, we’ll discuss the boot fit process in greater detail and point out some things you’ll need to get the season off on the ‘right foot’. Until then, start searching.