Boot buying and fitting issues

southpaw

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I thought I would share my recent frustrating experience with buying new ski boots. My old boots were way past their use by date at 15 years old so this season I decided to treat myself and get new ones. I was tempted by prices I saw online but ultimately decided that an in store fitting was the only sensible way to go.

I rang the store and asked if I needed an appointment for the Saturday and was told no need someone will be there to help.

When I arrived a “boot fitter” sat me down and took measurements - length and width. He then asked what style of skiing I do and I told him I was a mellow intermediate level skier that gets the occasional rush of blood to the head. He came back with three boots to try on. Over the next hour I tried on all three - more than once- walked around in them and talked through how they felt. In the end the Lange RX 100s were the snuggest fit without any pressure or pain points. I knew enough to know too much comfort in the shop was not good so I went with the one that seemed the tightest all round. Also they were the same mondo point and width of my old boots so that gave me some assurance as well.

After I said I would take them he heated the liners and after that I sat with them on. I then left.

I’ve skied 3 days so far. First day the boots seemed too loose Despite the ankle and upper cuff buckles being being tightened to the max. I had heel lift and a decided lack of control which had me flailing around on green runs. I put it down to poor buckling sequence and getting used to new boots. Checked online for correct buckling vids and went out again. Same issues so went back to the ski shop.

This time a different boot fitter sat me down when I explained the problem. She checked how loose the top buckles were and said she would move them across to get a tighter fit. She did seem surprised that they were so loose and I asked me who originally fitted the boots. This still wasn’t sufficient and then had to drill a third hole to move the buckle catches around even further. Then she did a shell fit . This was something the original fitter didn’t do. She said I have a low volume foot and ankle and skinny calves and while the length and width was right there was too much space overall in the boot contributing to the lift. She then put a shim under the liner to take up some room in the boot and J bars (?) around the liner to hold my ankle in .

Went skiing again with much better control and no heel lift but I couldn’t get any forward flex on the boot as it way too stiff and there was also too much room around the calf so I felt I was always in the back seat. Not fun.

Went back again and was told that by moving buckles to the extent she did would increase the stiffness and said she would shave out some of the inside of the boot shell to counter the additional stiffness and achieve a bit more flex. She offered to also sell me some tongue shims to reduce boot volume. I declined this purchase because while I was grateful that the shop took the time to genuinely try to fix the problem I believe I was dudded by the advice I first received and was not inclined to buy anything else from that business. After I ski the boots again if I feel I need to buy a shim I will get it from another business.

It’s clear that there is great variation in the skill level of boot fitters and the care taken during fitting. This was evident by the lack of a shell fit and not checking to see whether the buckles had the appropriate tightness.
I highly recommend for anyone thinking about buying boots to do some research and get a recommendation for a specific boot fitter and ask for that person by name.
 
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currawong

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sounds like you are looked after by a boot seller rather than a boot fitter.
beware shops that don't want you to make an appointment.
better still, as you said, ask for a reputable fitter by name
 

Lifes2good

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I'm sorry you've had that experience. It doesn't sound like the original boot fitter sold you the right boot, which I'm not surprised after only one hour in the shop. Having to take the boots back for adjustments isn't really out of the ordinary - mine have been back and so have the +1's - but the boots are basically the right ones to start with and a bit of shell work and footbeds should be all that is required. Having to drill new buckle attachments sounds extreme, especially as it seems that it has structurally altered the boot to be too stiff.

Give them another go and then if you still aren't happy I'd write to the shop and request a refund/exchange. Where we purchased our boots they provide a satisfaction guarantee.
 
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southpaw

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I'm sorry you've had that experience. It doesn't sound like the original boot fitter sold you the right boot, which I'm not surprised after only one hour in the shop. Having to take the boots back for adjustments isn't really out of the ordinary - mine have been back and so have the +1's - but the boots are basically the right ones to start with and a bit of shell work and footbeds should be all that is required. Having to drill new buckle attachments sounds extreme, especially as it seems that it has structurally altered the boot to be too stiff.

Give them another go and then if you still aren't happy I'd write to the shop and request a refund/exchange. Where we purchased our boots they provide a satisfaction guarantee.
Thanks. The place I bought mine from have a fit guarantee which seems to mean they will keep modifying the boots until I go away.
 

southpaw

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Is there any chance at the initial fitting that your feet were a bit puffy/swollen from say travelling an extended time?
That’s a good question, I have been trying to understand how they could feel so snug in the shop and get soooo loose on the slopes. There was no obvious reason why my feet could have been puffy but that could be an explanation.
 

skichic

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That’s a good question, I have been trying to understand how they could feel so snug in the shop and get soooo loose on the slopes. There was no obvious reason why my feet could have been puffy but that could be an explanation.
It’s pretty warm in there too. I was shedding layers when I was buying xc boots.
 
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chrisj

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How many notches were the ankle and upper buckles tightened when you first purchased the boots? How thick were your socks? Did you leave the boots on for a fair while in the store, to let the liners warm up?
 
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southpaw

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How many notches were the ankle and upper buckles tightened when you first purchased the boots? How thick were your socks? Did you leave the boots on for a fair while in the store, to let the liners warm up?
I can’t remember how many notches in the ankle and cuff buckles were done up - I’m pretty sure they weren’t at the maximum or that would have concerned me. I knew enougj to wear my thin ski socks - used the same pair for each refit- the boots stayed on for 20mins post liner mould.
 

MickM

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Out of interest what was the gap in shell fit?

FYI, if shell fit too big you need to replace the boots and any reputable shop should do so (esp if a shell fit was not done)

I had the same issue. Bootfitter did a shell fit and put me in a boot too big (25mm I didn't know at the time). Wore them at home and realised they were too big. Contacted the shop & booked in to see their experienced fitter. He totally agreed with me and ordered the smaller shell as they were out of stock. Just before I left the shop, the boot rep arrived with the smaller boots, that is what I call service!! Very tight fit now, just had to get them punched at the side (common area) and they are now perfect.

Here is some reading for you https://blisterreview.com/gear-101/boot-fitting-101/boot-fitting-101
 

southpaw

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Out of interest what was the gap in shell fit?

FYI, if shell fit too big you need to replace the boots and any reputable shop should do so (esp if a shell fit was not done)

I had the same issue. Bootfitter did a shell fit and put me in a boot too big (25mm I didn't know at the time). Wore them at home and realised they were too big. Contacted the shop & booked in to see their experienced fitter. He totally agreed with me and ordered the smaller shell as they were out of stock. Just before I left the shop, the boot rep arrived with the smaller boots, that is what I call service!! Very tight fit now, just had to get them punched at the side (common area) and they are now perfect.

Here is some reading for you https://blisterreview.com/gear-101/boot-fitting-101/boot-fitting-101
Thanks for the link. I’m not sure what the gap size is but I will measure it. The second fitter checked it and said it was ok and I don’t get the sense the boot length is too big but rather it was the space above the foot. Putting a bigger insole below the liner seemed to do the trick there. I suspect the real vice of that boot was that it was way too wide around the ankle and calf area hence the need to move the buckles so much. I guess it’s not surprising that people with the same foot length could have wildly different foot, ankle and calf volumes. There seems to be a whole lot of chat around the internet on skinny calves so it seems to a known boot fitting challenge.
 
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Donza

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Thanks for the link. I’m not sure what the gap size is but I will measure it. The second fitter checked it and said it was ok and I don’t get the sense the boot length is too big but rather it was the space above the foot. Putting a bigger insole below the liner seemed to do the trick there. I suspect the real vice of that boot was that it was way too wide around the ankle and calf area hence the need to move the buckles so much. I guess it’s not surprising that people with the same foot length could have wildly different foot, ankle and calf volumes. There seems to be a whole lot of chat around the internet on skinny calves so it seems to a known boot fitting challenge.
paging @CarveMan and his you beaut machine
 

DPS Driver

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Never use mondo or BSL as a fit indicator. Should be ok within the same brand but can vary considerably brand to brand.

The Lange RX100 is a medium to low volume boot. You must have some skinny pins. How tall and what weight are you? What mondo size?

There aren’t too many boots of lower volume than a Lange. Keep working with your boot fitter and if you can’t get them right, perhaps suggest to stay with the shell and put some Zipfits liners in. See what the shop will do re this option.
 

Chowder11

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Never use mondo or BSL as a fit indicator. Should be ok within the same brand but can vary considerably brand to brand.

The Lange RX100 is a medium to low volume boot. You must have some skinny pins. How tall and what weight are you? What mondo size?

There aren’t too many boots of lower volume than a Lange. Keep working with your boot fitter and if you can’t get them right, perhaps suggest to stay with the shell and put some Zipfits liners in. See what the shop will do re this option.
Lange RX is mid volume.
There is and RX LV fit also with a narrower last which might have been the better option for the OP
 

southpaw

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Never use mondo or BSL as a fit indicator. Should be ok within the same brand but can vary considerably brand to brand.

The Lange RX100 is a medium to low volume boot. You must have some skinny pins. How tall and what weight are you? What mondo size?

There aren’t too many boots of lower volume than a Lange. Keep working with your boot fitter and if you can’t get them right, perhaps suggest to stay with the shell and put some Zipfits liners in. See what the shop will do re this option.
Yeah they call me long ankles, mondo 26.5. 173cm and 72kg.
Didn’t realise they’re a low to mid volume boot given they also have the LV models.
Thanks custom liners may be a possible solution if we can’t find another solution.
 

DPS Driver

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Always go small and punch/mould.
Otherwise you end up exactly in your situation.
Lange RX is mid volume.
There is and RX LV fit also with a narrower last which might have been the better option for the OP
Ah! yes my mistake. Then again they are a Lange which is f’n low volume for most.

I bought a pair of Lange SX120 this year. My first pair of Alpine boots in 18 years. Never ever been able to go anywhere near a Lange. Fits like a glove.
 

Chowder11

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Ah! yes my mistake. Then again they are a Lange which is f’n low volume for most.

I bought a pair of Lange SX120 this year. My first pair of Alpine boots in 18 years. Never ever been able to go anywhere near a Lange. Fits like a glove.
Yeh they are definitely on the narrow side when it comes to their suggested volumes.
They have aggressive ankle fits which can make them feel lower in volume.
Plus they taper a lot around the Navicular which can be to much for people also.

The SX is a great boot because it has that typical tight ankle fit traditional of Lange but a relaxed forefoot and toe box so great for a wider fitting foot but still delivers performance. Other boots in this higher last category like a Nordica, Head, technica can be a bit sloppy in the ankles, especially after a bit of use.
 

DPS Driver

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Yeh they are definitely on the narrow side when it comes to their suggested volumes.
They have aggressive ankle fits which can make them feel lower in volume.
Plus they taper a lot around the Navicular which can be to much for people also.

The SX is a great boot because it has that typical tight ankle fit traditional of Lange but a relaxed forefoot and toe box so great for a wider fitting foot but still delivers performance. Other boots in this last like a Nordica, Head, technica can be a bit sloppy in the ankles, especially after a few skis
I’ve got the perfect anti ski boot foot. Wide at the front, high instep, high arch and narrow ankles. I’ve always had to go wider at the front and work on the heel hold plus foot beds always. Generally a bit of work to get the fit right.
To put my foot in the SX120 and have it feel like it did off the shelf was a revelation. I tried it on in the shop last season while my wife had her new boots fitted and couldn’t get it out of my mind. So bought my first pair of resort boots in quite a while.
You should see me trying on AT boots. What a riot. I only fit in Scotts but keep trying to see what new boots might fit. That old faithful Garmont last.
 

MickM

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Always go small and punch/mould.
Otherwise you end up exactly in your situation.
^^This in spades.
I have fairly thin ankles so I went the Technica Mach1 R 130 LV (98 last) fits like a firm glove, no foot movement at all. Had to get forefoot punched on the outside.
Most ski shops do not have a huge range of LV models. Shops like Bumps that cater for the race crowd have more (not talking plug boots).
 
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gettingtooold

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I’ve got the perfect anti ski boot foot. Wide at the front, high instep, high arch and narrow ankles. I’ve always had to go wider at the front and work on the heel hold plus foot beds always. Generally a bit of work to get the fit right.
To put my foot in the SX120 and have it feel like it did off the shelf was a revelation. I tried it on in the shop last season while my wife had her new boots fitted and couldn’t get it out of my mind. So bought my first pair of resort boots in quite a while.
You should see me trying on AT boots. What a riot. I only fit in Scotts but keep trying to see what new boots might fit. That old faithful Garmont last.
I
 
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craighelo

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Got fitted for Lange RX130 28.5 a few years ago and still had numb toes on the right foot even after another punch under the second buckle last year, after seeing Jase at SoleLab a few weeks ago now in Tecnica Mach 1 at 27.5 and loving them. He did really manipulate my feet when making the footbeds.
 
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Dave6

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Have a similar problem.
Very wide feet and need a 104 minimum last with ridiculously skinny heels and ankles.
Takes a lot of work and twerking.
We should start a club. My last boots were a disaster. I think it is the high arch plus wide foot makes it a bit of a nightmare to fit. To the bootfitter's credit, they did give me a full refund after it was clear that no further tweaking was going to help. But, I am still in need of new boots and a bit reluctant to go through the process again.
 
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craighelo

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We should start a club. My last boots were a disaster. I think it is the high arch plus wide foot makes it a bit of a nightmare to fit. To the bootfitter's credit, they did give me a full refund after it was clear that no further tweaking was going to help. But, I am still in need of new boots and a bit reluctant to go through the process again.
Go for it, but make sure you are happy with the boot fitter first, I went to SoleLab because he doesn't sell boots. Obviously not much help if you are not in NZ but always dislike the fact a shop would try to get you in a boot from their range when there might have been a better boot for your foot.
 
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southpaw

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An update (rant) on the boot saga. The boots still not right despite all the crap I’ve had to go through going back to Rhythm in Cooma to get them adjusted. Skied in Hakuba last few days and found the boots still way too stiff to flex and with still too much room around the calf which had me really struggling on steep terrain. Went into Rhythm in Hakuba to see if they can help with further adjustments . Got told that they’re not “connected” to Rhythm in Australia! When I questioned that I was told they’re not going to do anything for stuff bought in Australia. They directed me to a third party boot fitter to see if they can salvage the mess. The upshot is don’t buy boots from Rhythm - you might save like 50-100 bucks (maybe) but you could end up with a world of pain and $$ down the drain.
 
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Schnaxxy Schnaxxlburger

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An update (rant) on the boot saga. The boots still not right despite all the crap I’ve had to go through going back to Rhythm in Cooma to get them adjusted. Skied in Hakuba last few days and found the boots still way too stiff to flex and with still too much room around the calf which had me really struggling on steep terrain. Went into Rhythm in Hakuba to see if they can help with further adjustments . Got told that they’re not “connected” to Rhythm in Australia! When I questioned that I was told they’re not going to do anything for stuff bought in Australia. They directed me to a third party boot fitter to see if they can salvage the mess. The upshot is don’t buy boots from Rhythm - you might save like 50-100 bucks (maybe) but you could end up with a world of pain and $$ down the drain.
:eek:
interesting that they have a link to 'Rhythm Japan' on their website
 

Dave6

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An update (rant) on the boot saga. The boots still not right despite all the crap I’ve had to go through going back to Rhythm in Cooma to get them adjusted. Skied in Hakuba last few days and found the boots still way too stiff to flex and with still too much room around the calf which had me really struggling on steep terrain. Went into Rhythm in Hakuba to see if they can help with further adjustments . Got told that they’re not “connected” to Rhythm in Australia! When I questioned that I was told they’re not going to do anything for stuff bought in Australia. They directed me to a third party boot fitter to see if they can salvage the mess. The upshot is don’t buy boots from Rhythm - you might save like 50-100 bucks (maybe) but you could end up with a world of pain and $$ down the drain.
Seems strange they wouldn't do any adjustments. When I was there a couple of years ago they were doing plenty of that on boots bought elsewhere.
 

southpaw

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Seems strange they wouldn't do any adjustments. When I was there a couple of years ago they were doing plenty of that on boots bought elsewhere.
They would do adjustments but I would just have to pay for them. I was looking to get them to honour the “fit guarantee” where if you buy boots at Rhythm they will continue to adjust the fit for free if it’s not right. My gripe is that they’re saying they’re not going to do that in Hakuba for gear bought in Cooma.
 
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Dave6

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They would do adjustments but I would just have to pay for them. I was looking to get them to honour the “fit guarantee” where if you buy boots at Rhythm they will continue to adjust the fit for free if it’s not right. My gripe is that they’re saying they’re not going to do that in Hakuba for gear bought in Cooma.
Ah, that makes sense then. For what it is worth, the main guy at rhythm hakuba is meant to be a good bootfitter so might be worth paying so to see what he could do to help. Might also get some useful advice to go back to cooma with if the original fit was no good.
 
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FLI355

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Go see Paul at his ski shop in Albury. I had a nightmare with boots and pain so bad I had to stop every hour to let my feet recover. Paul found the issues and fixed them. It's worth the drive to go there. I head there from Sydney.

I had seem numerous boot fitters in Australia and OS and he's the only one that could get them right. I highly highly recommend him.

Funnily enough. Over my last three pairs of boots (all Salomon) I've gone from 28.5, to 27.5 to 26.5.
 

southpaw

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Ah, that makes sense then. For what it is worth, the main guy at rhythm hakuba is meant to be a good bootfitter so might be worth paying so to see what he could do to help. Might also get some useful advice to go back to cooma with if the original fit was no good.
Yeah I did go see the guy at Boot Solutions, which Is inside the Rhythm store but a separate business. He confirmed I was sold the wrong size and type of boot and helped with a couple of things, but it’s just lipstick on a pig. Chances are I’m just going to have to shell out for new boots.
 

southpaw

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Go see Paul at his ski shop in Albury. I had a nightmare with boots and pain so bad I had to stop every hour to let my feet recover. Paul found the issues and fixed them. It's worth the drive to go there. I head there from Sydney.

I had seem numerous boot fitters in Australia and OS and he's the only one that could get them right. I highly highly recommend him.

Funnily enough. Over my last three pairs of boots (all Salomon) I've gone from 28.5, to 27.5 to 26.5.
Thanks for the recommendation, chances are I’ll be needing new boots sooner than I thought.
 
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Dave6

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Yeah I did go see the guy at Boot Solutions, which Is inside the Rhythm store but a separate business. He confirmed I was sold the wrong size and type of boot and helped with a couple of things, but it’s just lipstick on a pig. Chances are I’m just going to have to shell out for new boots.
In that case i would be going back to where you got them and asking for a refund or replacement.
 

southpaw

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In that case i would be going back to where you got them and asking for a refund or replacement.
Yep have been mulling that over. The so called boot fitter that sold me the boots originally did such a negligent job that they really should offer a replacement. I don’t know if I’ve got the energy to argue it out with them.
 

Jonathan_P

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An update (rant) on the boot saga. The boots still not right despite all the crap I’ve had to go through going back to Rhythm in Cooma to get them adjusted. Skied in Hakuba last few days and found the boots still way too stiff to flex and with still too much room around the calf which had me really struggling on steep terrain. Went into Rhythm in Hakuba to see if they can help with further adjustments . Got told that they’re not “connected” to Rhythm in Australia! When I questioned that I was told they’re not going to do anything for stuff bought in Australia. They directed me to a third party boot fitter to see if they can salvage the mess. The upshot is don’t buy boots from Rhythm - you might save like 50-100 bucks (maybe) but you could end up with a world of pain and $$ down the drain.

Wow:eek: in the market for new boots, think based on your experience will be crossing them off the list.

Shocking customer service
 
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