Good article on ski boots and how important they are to our skiing ability. This article really hit home for me. I got my first pair of custom fit boots two years ago, up until then I thought I knew what I wanted, but after getting fitted I realized how much I didn't know and how boot fitting has changed. Once on snow I quickly realized they were worth every penny, they ain't cheap.
For an example of how (or what degree) bad/good your boots fit and how that affects your skiing and ability to move functionally, consider trying on some rentals. You will immediately see a difference from your regular boot. So if that difference is 20-40% worse, consider that a "proper" fit may be able to assist you between 5-10%.
This is a fact: Skiing in rental boots will tell you real fast if you are centered (truly) or levering off of your custom boots to obtain balance. We all do it....except for the immortals. The same would go for skiing with unbuckled boots (be careful) Ski one ski in an unbuckled boot or rental. You will know real fast if you are making efficient functional moves or levering off your equipment. Don't see much difference? Take a run or three in the bumps.
So, while proper fitting equipment will make us act and react faster and more functionally...ill fitting equipment can also help us test how we are doing otherwise with movements.
If you believe your fit is 90% or better good, and you still feel out of sorts skiing, maybe it is not the boots, but the skills. My favorite saying now: Sometimes its not the arrow; its the Indian.
Can you flex your ankle and feel your boots touching it 360 degrees, while your heels are locked? Personally, I am not as concerned with front toe fitting (crushing) as I am with good foot, and accurate ankle/heel grip.
For the instructors out there.. remember that many of our guests are in rental boots that likely are 30% looser than your own boots. That could be why they can't do the drill you are asking of them. Put on rentals and see if you can do it. When I (purposefully) ski in rentals and pick up a ski, I feel like my boot and ski are going to fall off! And that is buckled as tight as possible. I worked with a female friend of mine on fitting. She agreed a 22.5 was the right boot, but purchased a 24.5 because it felt and looked so much better. She really did not care otherwise. How many other guests are like this as well.
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Totally agree with Iskiing
Most people buy boots one or even two sizes too big. If your heel is lifting you cannot accurately control the ski. With stand liners I figure the most you can get out of a boot is 150 days. A intuition liner will pack out less and last longer plus be more comfortable. Pay for the upgrade you won't regret it.
I don't recommend skiing with un buckled boots under any circumstances though. My wife just yesterday got the screws taken out of her ankle from doing this years ago on a green trail skiing with my son when he was 3.
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