Skiing

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  • 4 weeks til we head to Les Arcs 2000 Extreme
    Majesty Vandal twin tips and Nordica Speedmaster 130 boots will be putting me to the test not visa versa

  • The black run Epaule du Charvet down into Val D'Isere

    We renamed this 'The Appalling Charvet' on account of it's normal condition and difficulty...

  • Looks like we'll be there the same week, we'll be down in 1600 though

    Fingers crossed it doesn't piss down at the top...

  • PM your details kboy would be good to hook up.
    we are at Club Med, fly in Sunday 08 March..

    fingers crossed for no rain, fresh snow and sunshine
    Almac

  • Chuffed with 2 pair of neoprene surfing socks for twin tipped ski protection in cheap ski bag from absolute-snow. I must be paranoid about easyJet transit


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  • Talk to me about second hand ski boots.

    Been trying a couple of boots at decent shops and seems like a pair of Salomon S max boots are the best fit. Feels great right out of the box so with some heat they should be great.

    I've got high arches though, so the guy helping me recommended some custom insoles. All in all, that'll be about £400 worth of boots and as money is tigh I'm looking at alternatives.

    I've found the same boot second hand. 2 years old, 14 days of skiing done in them and unfortunately a boot fit so they've been heated once. They're however just £40...

    Am I silly giving this a shot? I'm thinking it could work with another boot fit for me + custom insoles. All in all it'd be about £100 instead of £400.

    Yes / no?

  • Try them on first. Then see if they work or if you need them taken out a bit more. Then you can make a proper decision.

    For me boots are the number one thing to get right and if you get new ones properly fitted to your feet by a pro boot fitter they will be worth every penny. Even a slight thing wrong can cause so much discomfort it can really ruin your skiing

  • I'm just about to retire my custom fit boots that are 17 years old (Tecnica Rival x9) as the heels are so worn that they're verging on dangerous and I can't easily source replacement heels/toes for them.

    Newer boots are lighter too. I can justify the cost as the £250 I spent on the current boots have saved me much more than that over the 20 odd trips I would have had to hire boots for and, as you say, the increased comfort is amazing compared to hire boots.

    I'll save up over the next few months and hopefully pick up something in the sales in the off season. Custom fitting will bump the price up quite a bit but having had it once I wouldn't go back, and hopefully the new boots would last another 15 years to justify the cost!

    For the Q above, as money is tight I'd be tempted to go for the second hand pair and the custom insoles. I'd hope that if you did end up having to go for new boots then the custom insoles could be adapted for the new boot saving some of that cost.

  • Have you tried the second hand boots on yet? Don't really know if remoulding causes problems down the line (presumably depends on the extent of work done on them previously and I suspect you can't undo any punching out they may have had done).

    Re the potential new boots - be super careful they're not too big for you. Boot liners pack down, so what's comfy tight in the shop will be up to 10% roomier after a bit. Sorry if i'm teaching you to suck eggs, but make sure you've had a shell check done to ensure you're not going too big.

    I totally get the money thing - would just say that boots last for loads of seasons so they are worth a bit of investment if you're able to stretch to them. If it helps the justification - if you get them fitted new, the inevitable follow-up fine tuning tweaks after you've skiied in them are usually free...

  • It depends on how much they've been used. I would say if the shell is in good condition, and you know it suits your foot, then go for it and spend the money on insoles or a new liner. Boots can be heated multiple times fine, most shops will re-mold them for you if the first fit isn't perfect.

  • Thanks for the input all, really appreciate it.

    Been thinking about it overnight and I'm gonna give these second hand boots a go and see if I have any luck. Two reasons:

    • Cost
    • Harder flex. The boots in the shop were a 100 flex and felt really swampy, I could push them down far too much without much effort. I know they'll stiffen up in the cold, but they just felt too soft. Tried a 110 boot that felt much better, gave a more solid response. Or am I thinking wrong here as well? Might be overanalyzing the flex in a warm shop? I'm 82kg and 187cm tall, so don't have that much weight to put in but don't want to end up with a pair of overly soft boots either.

    I've tried the same model and size in the shops and they feel really good. The flex is different but that shouldn't impact the fit.

    Will get a proper fit done at a shop and also a custom insoles. With a bit of luck I'll get a solid pair of boots for a £100.

  • Boots will soften up over time. That's why I was asking about the condition of the second hand ones. 110 sounds better for someone of your size unless you'll be doing freestyle, or just cruising a lot of the time.

  • Second hand boots has had 15 days of skiing in them over the last 3 years, so can't be that much wear. Those ones are a 120 boot, think that's too stiff?

  • My take - go for the second hand boots - 15 days is nothing and you can remould. If you generally have less fussy feat, and have tried similar boots, these should be fine. Salomon are traditional a very mid size in terms fit - neither wide nor narrow.

    On stiffness - it's so random - there is no standardised way to measure stiffness so the numbers are somewhat meaningless. I'd probably advise that something marketed as 120 is more than you'd need - people often ski on boots stiffer than their skiing style requires. Stiff boots are to help really loading those powerful carving arcs - so don't worry if you think you can flex it too much unless you really drive your skis through your shins.

    More important to me is getting a good fit around the calf and shin. Too much space here can cause shin bang. This is perhaps more of an issue for people who ski hard for many days in a row - but I still think limiting the amount your shin can bash into the tongue is a good thing.

  • What's the received wisdom for both wide and rather voluminous large feet, in terms of boot brands? Is there any place in London where one might be able to try some on?

  • From what I read 120 should be a bit too stiff for me, but then I've read about people going up to a 130 in these and finding those soft as well (compared to other boots rated at 130 that is)

    It's such a jungle. I'll get these second hand ones and will give them a go. If they feel shit I'll just rent a pair and get something else for next year

  • That sounds like me, but after trying on a couple of different K2's, Atomica and Salomon, the best fit for me was a medium width Salomon boot rather than a wider fit K2.

  • Cheers, I'll keep that in mind!

    I'm usually very limited in terms of choice with rentals, so thinking about getting my own boots in summer.

  • Technica were the wide fit boots in the shop I worked in. Looks like snow and rock still stock them. Head to Covent Garden / High Street Ken. I think they both still have a Snow and Rock and Ellis Brigham which will both have a decent range.

  • I've no experience in London but in I would not consider Snow and Rock. I find it's a bit like trying to get decent bike advice in Halfords (ie you can strike lucky). It looks like there are a couple of specialists around there (Surefoot for example).
    Careful if there's a sale on or it's end of season, I had a fitting at one specialist (now closed) and I explained my level and what I wanted. We found a boot that fitted perfectly but when I checked the model on the manufacturers it was aimed at a completely different level. The fitter said they had very few options as it was end of season. I bit the bullet and went into the same store before the next season (when they had full stock), got a different chap and a fantastic pair of boots.

  • Most companies will publish their last width, but bear in mind that is usually for a size 26 and will increase for larger sizes. It can be a decent measure for comparing boots though. I have reasonably wide /flat feet and have found Dalbello's Lupo / Krypton AX to be a good shape.

  • Agree to an extent - any boot fitter / shop is a bit hit and miss - you will generally get sold whats on the shelf ( i used to work in snow and rock, and the guys I was with were pretty good. Would not recommend going for a boot fitting at 2pm on a Saturday in January though - I was fitting 6 people at one time some days)

    At the end of the season, it is a lottery - but if you've got big wide feet you're actually more likely to pick something up than a size 9 medium fit mid to high end boot - which is what everyone buys.

    I'd always recommend doing some research beforehand too.

  • Thanks everyone, that's all very useful. I would like to get something when it's on sale ideally as I don't exactly have a limitless budget, but obviously the priority is to have something that actually fits.

  • The Ellis Brigham/Snowboard Asylum in Covent Garden look to always have a good range of Ski Boots in that you can try on and I've always found the staff in the Snowboard Asylum section to be great so imagine it's the same for the Ski stuff in Ellis. I think best possibly to go on a Sunday, gets really busy on weekday lunch times as obviously that's when people are going in for their boot fitting/moulding on their lunch breaks and anytime I've popped in on Saturday it's still quite busy too but Sunday has always been quieter when I'm there. The Snow + Rock in Covent Garden never seems to have as much range and is often much higher end to my untrained eye.

  • As @scrabble says, flex is a bit of a lottery. Different co's rate it differently, you don't get a true feel for flex in a shop (as a boot will flex more in the warm indoors than it will at mountain temp) and it's difficult to weight other people's opinions as they'll all have different technique/ability.

    I've got Salomon 130 flex boots and they're deffo not soft!

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Skiing

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