Boot pain (calf), sporadic skier
I am a sporadic skier, I usually make it only once a year but I love it. I'm not a beginner but usually stick to the easier intermediate slopes. I have thick ankles and calves and always have a lot of pain (usually chafing, bruising or losing circulation) from rental ski boots, even with the thinnest socks possible. But I'm reluctant to buy myself a pair of boots because I don't ski very often (much to my dismay). I would be open to buying a custom fit liner/insole though, but I'm not sure I could wear it with rental boots. I'd also consider secondhand boots if they might be a good option. Any suggestions?
My boyfriend would love to see me try snowboarding, too - do those boots tend to fit large calves better? if they do, I'll try that this year instead!
AnyaK, would you ski more if the boots fit?
If the answer is no, snowboarding is probably your better option.
You are not the only female with this problem. Most ladies have a large calf. So if you go for a pair of boot weather they are ski boots are snowboard boot, Look for women specific boots Salomon makes 2 or 3 different women's models that i know of as well as other major companies. These boots accommodate the larger calf of the female. The next time you rent a pair of boots ask for a extender. A extender is just a small circle made of wire which is put on the rental boot to accommodate a woman's calf. I know whitetail and liberty have calf extenders in the rental shops just ask for them and that should help with the pain.
I hope this helps
Hi Comprex, Cliff,
Thanks for the comments. Comprex, I might ski more if the boots fit better, but its really more of a lack-of-time issue. But if you think snowboarding boots would fit better, I might try that.
Cliff, I had an "extender" the last time I skied, but I'm not sure it is the same thing. I couldn't even got the top latch closed without it, and it was still tight.
I've also heard that putting a heel insert in the boot can lift your calf enough to make the boots fit better - any thoughts on this suggestion?
AnyaK, My wife had the same problem w/calf too tight. Her foot was bouncing around inside the boot and it was so tight on her calf it brought tears to her eyes. We put foam wedges under her foot beds and that pretty much solved the problem.
AnyaK, there are any number of things possible, but most of them involve modification of the boot.
I didn't really want to start in on a list such as
- grinding or removal of cuff "spoiler"
- heel lift as you mention
- moving buckles on shell
- other and variations of above.
because most of these involve some investment on your part or your bootfitters part, in money or patience. The first premise is that you own your own boots so that all these modifications can be made as best for you, at leisure.
A 'make rental boots fit' kit of rubber chocks and whatnot isn't remotely a good idea, IMO.
I was at a swap recently where a 14 year old girl was about ready to buy a boot that was "comfortable around her leg". There were three and a half fingers worth of room behind her heel- they were two sizes too big at least.
If investing money in new boots is still barely justified for you, stop by the local swaps and try some boots on. You might get lucky. At least 4 left that I know of
Alpine Ski Shop 11/6, 11/7
Ski Chalet Tysons 11/7
Ski Chalet Chantilly 11/13, 11/14
Extenders come in different sizes" a bigger wire loop" some places have them some dont it all depends on the rental shop. A heel shim might work but that depends on "your" calf and may make you off balance. If i were you id goto a ski shop and try some women's boots and then go and try to find a pair of Ebay i just searched and there are some woman's boots on there for as low as 30 dollars
My G/F had the same problem ... for ski boots she got a pair of Lange Athenas but they don't make them any more. This was an easy-entry low rise boot that will fit a woman with a strong calf ... just like Hillary Lindh! But ... think Rossi .... the OPEN X1 WOMEN might suit you very well. Just run the upper buckle loose and you will do just fine. It is very similar to the Lange Athena. Let me know how you do!
Herez a link:
Rossi Woman's Boots
I second the idea of going to a swap. Decent used ski or snowboard boots are one of the best bargains at swaps. With a little luck there will be a dozen boots in your shoe size priced at $20 to $40 per pair at the swaps listed by Comprex. This is not much more than the cost of a one day rental. Get there early and take an hour or two trying them on. Usually the shop or org hosting the swap will supply individuals who can advise on fit. Don't rush it, wear each prospective boot for 15 minutes or longer to gauge fit and ask questions. Bring an experienced skier friend to help if possible. Other typical prices at swaps: older non-shaped skis with bindings go for about $15, older shaped skis with bindings start around $75 and go up to $250+, used snowboards are $100 and up. You will be surprised at how much more time you can find for skiing when you own your own equipment; fun gains a higher priority!
I just wanted to thank you guys for your suggestions. I didn't find anything at the ski swap, but I did go into the store proper, tried on a few different pairs, and then found one of my favorites on eBay, brand new and super cheap. They were last seasons version, but look almost identical - the Dalbello Visio 3. He did fit me with a heel lift, so I'm going to have to figure out where I can get them (since the eBay version won't come with it, I assume), but they were so comfortable, I highly recommend them for larger calved women like myself. Thanks again guys!
Now, any idea what that great boot fitter at Ski Center charges for fitting boots bought elsewhere? Is it worth it for me to go?
Cheers, and happy skiing!