Noob looking for ski Boots

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  1. #1

    Noob looking for ski Boots

    South Carolina East Coaster here... like to ski one or twice a season if able. Never bought my own boots but thinking about it. Where should I start? I dont have anything local but there is a place about hour from me. Do I need to have them professional Fitted? Can I buy some closeouts from someplace like REI-Coop? What is appropriate price range for a intermediate skiier? I am not going back country heli skiing but I am looking to improve my skills on the more advanced stuff. I like to hit the NE if I am with family , Breckenridge, Parck City etc.

    Lay it on me... you cant hurt my feelings.....

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Where exactly are you located in SC? Where do you ski locally? How often do you plan on skiing this year?

  3. #3
    You want boots that apply even pressure to your feet and fit moderately tight. You should not be able to move your feet. The result will not be very uncomfortable. If this sounds like the rental boots you have used, buy the rental boots or a new version. A good bootfitter could help you navigate models to find one that fits better. Some bootfiters mold boots to the feet I think this is too expensive for you and I have heard stories of them needing to be adjusted frequently.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by benski View Post
    A good bootfitter could help you navigate models to find one that fits better. Some bootfiters mold boots to the feet I think this is too expensive for you and I have heard stories of them needing to be adjusted frequently.
    A good bootfitter will measure your foot and look at the shape of it to determine which boots are most likely to fit right without needing to make a ton of adjustments. Boots are the one thing that you shouldn't really care much about brand. A good bootfitter will also "guarantee" that the boot will fit or will make free adjustments to the boots as needed. I just bought new boots this December and have been extremely happy so far. The liners and shells of the boots I bought are both somewhat moldable. They basically stick them in a mini-oven to warm them up and then you put them on in the store until they cool down. This type of moldable boot doesn't cost any extra, but there are others that are much more customized (i.e. where the entire liner is molded with injectable foam, etc) that would be more expensive.

    I've been very surprised, but I have not had to go back to the shop at all for any adjustments. There were a couple spots initially that I thought might be issues, but they disappeared after a few days skiing on the boots to break them in.

    Intermediate boots shouldn't be terribly expensive (a few hundred dollars most likely). Going to a good shop though can be the difference between buying boots that fit well and match your level and buying boots that are completely wrong for you. If you just grab something on your own that you think feels good in the store, you might find that not to be the case after a few days skiing. On your own without someone guiding you, you'd probably have a decent chance of buying something "too comfortable" that is really too big for you and won't give you the proper support and will ultimately prevent you from improving your skills.

  5. #5
    If you're going to ski just a couple of times per season, it really doesn't make sense to buy your own boots, especially if you're a novice.
    Even if you plan to travel and ski for a few days, I'd still just rent. Monetarily, it's a better choice and fewer things to lug around when traveling.
    By renting you can get a better idea of what works, how a boot should fit and get some defined parameters of what you like in a ski boot.
    REI has a good description of how to judge if a ski boot fits well - check their website.

    If you really think that owning a pair of boots is what works better for you, buy it from a ski shop rather than from an on-line source. If a shop has an experienced personnel, they can be very helpful. Ask the person you're dealing with how long they have been selling boots.

    You really don't need a boot fitter either unless you have "problem feet". If most of the shoes that you have ever bought fit you fine, right of the rack, you can save yourself the expense of a boot fitting service.
    Live for today

  6. #6
    I recently had occasion to use an old pair of boots I bought after a 20-or-so year hiatus from skiing. They were comfortable and seemed to perform well when I bought them. It was only when I tried them again after skiing properly fitted boots that I realized how oversized and clumsy they were. I think I skied one run on them before abandoning them for good. Anyway, the moral of the story is that you probably can't trust yourself to choose the right fitting boots. Chances are, they will be at least one size too big. Not a big deal if you're skiing a few times a year and value comfort over performance. But as you improve, you'll definitely want to make sure someone who knows what they're doing makes sure the boot isn't too big for you.

  7. #7
    bigbog's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Might wanna see that the boot holds your foot between the over-the-ankle-joint to the back of your heel really snug, not painful but really snug. Other than that...go for comfort.
    Last edited by bigbog; Dec 28, 2017 at 2:39 PM.
    SteveD

  8. #8
    SkiFanE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    New England
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    Boots are key to enjoyment of skiing. So investing makes sense. Whenever myself or kids bought boots at the ski shop near our ski area they always took the liner out and made us try them on that way first. They could tell if it was right size and then have try on with lining. Official bootfitting/customizing (or $$$$) for one trip per year seems overkill. Only my husband has needed that. But a good shop to fit you is the key to the right boot. Too many people buy boots too big. Also try on many brands - they all fit differently (I'm partial to Technica so my search always starts there). Good luck!


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