Snow+Rock experts have been fitting boots for over 30 years; whether you are a regular on the slopes or just starting to take a serious interest in skiing, they will be able to find you the perfect pair of boots and adapt them to your feet in specialized boot fitting laboratories.
How it works: Ski boots
The first step in the boot fit process is to talk to your Snow+Rock boot fit technician about your needs. This will include your current level of skiing (honesty is key!), any past injuries that may affect you on the slopes and the types of skiing you plan to do. If you are looking for hiking boots, these factors will influence the weight of the shoe you are looking for: softer boots allow greater ease of movement but are less efficient downhill, while stiffer boots are suitable for advanced skiers who like to go fast or make big jumps.
Next, detailed measurements will be taken of your feet, including forefoot width, instep height, and heel and ankle width, to get an accurate picture of the boots that will fit the better to the shape of your foot. The bootfitter will also assess your feet for pressure points or anything else that might cause you discomfort in an ill-fitting pair of boots.
It is always best to wear technical ski socks to your fit; if you don’t currently have one, you will be helped to choose a pair from Snow+Rock’s extensive range. Once you’re in the right socks and your technician has selected the best boot for you, they’ll perform a shell check. This is done without the inner liner of the boot to ensure your foot has enough room in four key areas: length, width, volume and ankle cavity. If the boot passes the shell check, it’s time to try it on with the inner liner to make sure it matches the shape and volume of your foot.
Remember that at first ski boots will likely be tight and uncomfortable. They are meant to be stiff to provide the best support for skiing, so they won’t feel like your normal boots and are very unlikely to be the same size. Being honest with your expert bootfitter will allow them to judge if the boots fit properly!
All ski boots come with a flat foam insole, which offers no support. For greatly improved fit and performance, Snow+Rock always recommends replacing it with a custom molded footbed, to exactly match the individual shapes of your feet. Your boot fit technician will make them for you at this point.
Finally, it’s your chance to let your bootfitter know if there are specific areas of discomfort in the ski boots. Snow+Rock offers state-of-the-art in-store technology to customize your ski boots for the perfect fit, including spot stretching, liner softening, and even grinding of parts of the shell. Keep in mind that it’s easier to make a snug boot looser than the other way around. It’s especially important in hiking boots to identify and eliminate even the smallest area of discomfort, as the extra range of motion uphill creates more potential areas for chafing or chafing.
It is recommended that you allow two hours for the fitting of your boots to ensure that they are well made and that the boots you leave with fit you perfectly. However, if you go to the mountain and find that they don’t fit you perfectly, you can take advantage of the Snow+Rock Comfort Guarantee.
The fitting process is very different for a mountaineering boot. The first task is to find the right boot for the job: a mountaineering boot can cover anything from winter walking in lakes to vertical ice climbing or even an ascent of Everest. Each of these boots will have a very different make-up. A mountain walking boot like a Scarpa Manta Pro will be stiff enough to fit a crampon and provide great support, but be comfortable and flexible enough to walk all day. This will require a flexible walking crampon, called a C1 crampon, or a more rigid C2 crampon.
An ice climbing shoe will be very snug and incredibly stiff; it will either be compatible with crampons or integrated into the shoe. They are built for high performance, so you will often find advanced materials such as carbon fiber and Kevlar used to provide stiffness and lightness. These shoes will use a C3 crampon, fitted with front spikes for ice climbing. Crampon and boot compatibility can get tricky, so ask the Snow+Rock experts in store for advice on which cleats will fit your chosen boot.
If you’re traveling to a high-altitude summit, you’ll need a boot that’s extremely warm, stiff enough for some technical work, and comfortable for all-day use. These boots often incorporate a separate, removable inner liner.
Mountaineering boots are rated for stiffness as B1, B2 or B3. B1 shoes are the most flexible and suitable for trekking on relatively flat surfaces, while B3 shoes are very stiff and useful for technical ice climbing.
Your footwear expert will help you select a few pairs to try on based on your needs and foot shape, then check the fit to ensure the boots are snug and provide the best support. The key points to check will be the length of the boot, its ankle support and, of course, the size. Never assume that your mountaineering boots will be the same size as your regular shoes, because that is not always the case! Your bootfitter will also make you a fitted insole to massively improve the comfort of the shoe, and help you choose the right pair of technical socks for the activity you will be doing.
If you have any issues with your ski boots after 14 days of use, simply return them to the Snow+Rock store where you purchased them for a free readjustment and further customization. If they are still causing discomfort, after giving Snow+Rock sufficient time to readjust your boots, you will receive a credit note for the purchase price less a 35% usage fee. It’s so simple.
The fitting of ski and snowboard boots is free in all Snow+Rock stores (excluding Bridgend). Find your nearest Snow+Rock store here.
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