Boots and the shrinking skier
15 posts
8 users
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Shadow
July 14, 2005
Member since 01/22/2005
22 posts
Gang,

Got a cost effectiveness question: If your boots get loose (been working to losse weight lately) is it better to try and get new boot liners or just say the heck with it an buy new boots. The ones that I have are only a couple of years old and I'd rather spend the money on lift tickets and/or trips rather than replacing equipment that doesn't need to be replaced. I've tried simply cranking down on the buckles but that's REALLY uncomfortable.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
July 14, 2005
Member since 01/14/2004
2,646 posts
I'm not a gear geek, so can't help you much. But how much do boot liners cost and how much did your old boots cost? If answer is liners expensive, old boots cheap it might be worth it just to buy new boots or depending on your skill level, look for a good fitting pair of used boots?
jimmy
July 14, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Shadow, how are they loose? If your foot's moving around and the cuffs are too tite, try taking the footbed out, put some thin foam in the insole and replace footbed. This will move your foot up. If boots feel better, get some sticky on one side foam tape and stick it to the bottom of the footbed. You might also try foam wedges under the heel.
comprex
July 14, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Hello Shadow.

You're only about the second person I've met who admitted the possibility that feet can get smaller in summer.

One problem is: will the weight change after Thanksgiving?

I've had this problem before. March weight: 198-208. August weight: 168-175.

You perceive the problem: no factory liner or new boot bought in September is terribly likely to be annoyance-free by February.

My solutions thus far have been to get either Thermoflex that can be remolded at will or lace-up liners where you can change the lacing pattern.

www.nordicausa.com has some pretty durn cheap replacement liners in their consumer parts store. I have to say these are a lot cheaper than any other replacement liner price I have ever been quoted.
Roy
July 15, 2005
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
Quote:

I've had this problem before. March weight: 198-208. August weight: 168-175.




Flip that for me. Your August weight is my March weight and vice versa. Summer comes and I spend more time inside on the computer where it's nice and cool. In fact, I still where sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts in my nice cold basement.

A couple of questions on the boots:
1. Put the boots on and buckle them. Take 2 fingers and put between your shin and the tounge of the boot. Your goal is the fingers should not go past halfway. Does this happen?

2. With the boots on (and you've passed the test in #1), can you move the ball of your foot back and forth inside the boot (without moving the boot)?

3. When your boots were new, did you have them blown out to better fit your foot? Is there anywhere inside your boot that pinches part of the foot?




1. If you can't get the 2 fingers in (without cutting off the circulation in your shins and calves), then the top of the boot is ok.

2. You should be able to wiggle your toes but the foot should not move side to side (1/2 inch or more). If less than 1/2 inch, you're probably ok for another season.

3. This kinda goes with number 2. If you had them blown out to better fit your foot, this can make a difference in the snugness now. If you did not have them blown out, then the pinch comes into play. Almost everyone has a spot on their boot that pinches. Is that now gone?


Also, you said you had your boots for 2 years. How many ski days did you have on them in the 2 years?
comprex
July 15, 2005
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Roy, until Shadow answers your questions

Do you get a loose boot at the end of the season?
Shadow
July 15, 2005
Member since 01/22/2005
22 posts
Okay, I'll take a look at the Nordica site. FYI, the boots are Technicas. I can't tell you the model cause I've got to break them out from the bottom of the closet to see (and to answer Roy's questions).

To answer the question on how I can get loose boots it's two fold. I think I managed to pack them in by wearing socks that were too thick while cranking up my boot heaters more than usual (it was a pretty cold trip in Park City). Plus I'm actually trying to loose weight (gym rat mode complete with personal trainer). Soooooo needless to say that my whole foot is wandering around in my boot and like I said, cranking the buckles wasn't the answer.
Roy
July 16, 2005
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
With the boots I have now, they are loose at the beginning of the season! They are 5 year old boots and I skied over 140 days the last 2 seasons. I should have replaced them last season.

That's also the reason I asked shadow how much he skied them. The more you ski, the more you wear out the liners and loose the snugness they provide. Custom liners are a great way to bring life to old boots. Typically it's not the boot that wears out but the liner.

I am buying new boots this year. I could do the liners for my old boots but that doesn't satisfy my needs (ok wants) for new equipment. Plus, my old boots are racing boots. They are very stiff which was great when I only did 20 days a year. But now, being a full time instructor and staying in my boots all day every day, they are way too stiff.
TLaHaye
July 18, 2005
Member since 02/9/2005
136 posts
Boots pack out and get looser over time. I fit new boots wearing the thinnest socks I can, and then use slightly thicker socks after the liners pack out.

Good shops have all kinds of "fixes" to adjust boot fit, but they can't do this work for free. Fixes include hard, foot-shaped shims that fit under the liner, raising your foot inside the shell and reducing volume. They also have various clips and shims that fit around the heel pocket and tighten the heel. They are attached (glued/taped) to the outside of the liner.

Sounds like cold feet may be a problem, so any shims you use should insulate (packed liners don't insulate as well either). If you use foam as a shim under the liner, (an eighth inch would go a long way) it should be the hardest, most dense styrofoam you can find, and plan on replacing it mid-season.

I've found the chemical footwarmers and handwarmers (three or four dollars a pair slopeside, much cheaper at WalMart) work much better than extra socks to keep your feet warm.

FWIW, I think Freestyle down in Charlottesville does boot work for $35/hour. We were there last week (gettin' the fever ... BAD) and saw they have all their gear displayed yet, and boots are 40% off (and I think that's off their already discounted price). Custom boot work is free on boots you buy from them, I think for life.
Shadow
July 18, 2005
Member since 01/22/2005
22 posts
Quote:

Sounds like cold feet may be a problem,




It's a pretty big problem. I've very susceptible to CTS (Cold Tutsy Syndrom) and have Thermic battery powered boot heaters installed. If anyone is having problems with CTS they should DEFINITELY check them out.

The shims/foam/etc. sounds like it's going to take a lot more time and effort than I would want to dedicate to this. I have thicker socks that work in taking up the wiggle room but I'm afraid that pretty soon the thick socks will pack the liners out beyond "design spec".
therusty
July 18, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Shadow,

Visit a ski shop with a good bootfitter (if you need a recommendation tell us where you live) and have them take a look. Thicker socks are not the answer (not enough support). Design spec for packed out boot liners is not a worry (comfort and fit are the primary concerns). A new bootliner could be just the trick. They aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than new boots. You can use online fitting tips to see if you need a new shell and do this yourself, but getting a good bootfitter involved will usually be worth every penny invested.
Roy
July 19, 2005
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
Quote:

I've found the chemical footwarmers and handwarmers (three or four dollars a pair slopeside, much cheaper at WalMart) work much better than extra socks to keep your feet warm.




Extra socks are the absolute worse way to go. When you wear 2 pair of socks, they help keep your feet warm only until you begin to sweat (which won't take long). Then the first pair of socks absorb the water and the second pair help to hold the water in. The second pair does not allow your foot to breathe (even if both pair are wool socks). Then the water gets cold and you have cold feet. You should always wear one pair of socks to keep the breathing going.
Shadow
October 3, 2005
Member since 01/22/2005
22 posts
Finally had enough time to break out my boots and this is what I found. I was able to get my fingers in there with no problem (all the way in). If I try and sinch down the top of the boot and it kind of cuts off my circulation. I'm a biker (spin bikes lately) and my calfs are pretty big. I might have to try and make some adjustments.

I can move my foot around the boot around in all directions. Toes to heals, laterally and a bit up and down. It's not a half an inch but it's enough for me to notice.

I remember the boots packing in pretty badly by the end of last season and I have the feeling that the same thing is going to happen this season. Hopefully I can last one more but we'll have to see.
Crush
October 3, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
996 posts
Hey Shadow - ok this is a *total* guess because I can't see what's going on but you say you have a pretty large calf. If it is true *and* you have a fairly slender ankle, you may not be getting proper seating of the area between yout ankle and the bottom of your calf. You can only close your boot shaft so much before you start squishing your calf. Your area below your calf to your ankle may not be being held firmly enough and the result is your heel is going to lift and move around because your foot is not being pushed back into the boot's heel pocket. The buckle that controls this is the one that goes around your ankle. When people try to cinch down the buckle over the instep, it is a sure sign that the actual problem is not enough pressure around the ankle buckle.

You can:
1) Get a custom liner to go into your existing shell.

2) try padding the lower tongue of the boot just above your ankle. This will shove your heel back into the heel pocket.

... but best to get to a good bootfitter. Maybe you just need a different system that fits you feet better. Like Rossignol boots have a low instep, which is good for me.
Shadow
October 3, 2005
Member since 01/22/2005
22 posts
Well that's what I figured. I like the shell that I have right now so I'd like to get some new liners but if I have to get all new, I guess I'll just have to deal with it. ::snapping fingers in disappointment:: DARN! Shopping again!
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