The BootDoctors: Perfect Boot Fit Every Time
What’s the recipe for the perfect boot fit? Take a brilliant podiatrist with a passion for snow riding and running.
Put her in a remote mountain town where a world class ski area towers above. Add her to arguably the top bootfitting team in the Rockies.
– READ THE FULL STORY BELOW ABOUT ONE OF BOOTDOCTORS MASTER BOOTFITTER, SAM TISHENDORF –
“The (Boot)Doctor is in the House” is a series from beloved retailer, BootDoctors, about mountain lore and stories in which the good guys still win and get to ski powder. The Big Idea is to share the power of mountain life: style, gear, community and community outreach, and adventures of all kind.
For more hot happening in Telluride, go scope TELLURIDE INSIDE & OUT!
BONJOUR COLORADO: Taking Care From Head To Toe
“Despite my boot heaters and boot gloves, my toes froze and it felt like I was skiing on tree stumps.
Thankfully I was able to make an appointment at Bootdoctor’s with Yann Bayon who put in about four hours in an effort to make my boots right.”
– READ THE FULL ARTICLE BELOW –
Great boot fitting essential for ski and snowboard boots, nordic boots and ice skates during the winter season. Being warm and comfortable will allow you to enjoy your sport longer, perform better and improve quicker. The right boot for you can make or break the entire experience. This complex journey doesn’t need to be travelled alone, seek a professionals help and you’ll be well on your way!
We will cover the steps necessary to get the best boot fit possible, your feet can thank us later.
A good Boot Fit = Better and Happier Skiing
5 steps to a great bootfit:
1) Where you go counts! Choose a qualified boot shop, we suggest one that is certified with the “Americas Best Bootfitters” – These shops will have depth in boot stock; experienced boot fitters; a complete cross section of tools to analyze and adapt boots for fit and performance to your particular feet and needs. Ask if they have a boot fit guarantee, your shop of choice should stand behind their work.
2) Any great relationship starts with great communication – It’s the same with bootfit. Does the the boot fitter really listen to you? – Does he/she ask you questions about:
-What type a skier are you?
-Where do you ski? and how often do you ski?
-How aggressive a skier are you? if you are a novice, what other sports or exercise do you engage in regularly?
-What bootfit issues have you had in the past?
-Do you have any other problems with your feet or movement, medical issues?
-What are your skiing aspirations? e.g., Do you want to improve or are you satisfied with your present level of skiing? Maybe you have a specific goal, like ski the bumps, skiing certain terrain or conditions? Do you want to ski backcountry? Are you planning on skiing more in the future?
3) Create a profile (this is VERY important). The Bootfitter should measure and analyze both of your foot sizes (your left and right foot may be different!) length, width, arch length, instep height and calf volume. The boot fitter should use a brannock foot measuring device. Your foot size may actually be different from what you thought. Your boot size will be measured in centimeters (mondo point) whereas shoe size is in brannock sizes.
Shape = Your foot shape is just as important as the size. The boot fitter should analyze the shape of your foot. Are your feet ballet dancer’s feet or fred flintstone feet? Fear not, there is a boot for every shaped foot.
Flexibility – of ankle, mid-foot and balls of the feet.
Looking for variations – do you have bunions? Did you have an injury? do you have calluses?
4) Try, compare and choose
Your Boot fitter disappears into the mysterious back boot storage room and reappears with boots that best match characteristics to your foot and your skiing – ideally the boot fitter will have narrowed down the field to the best few styles.
Try on two different boots at the same time. Be patient and don’t judge until they are buckled up and you flex forward. The boot should be suspiciously tight. Remember the liner will compress over time. Better to start with a close fitting boot than later try to make a boot smaller. These are NOT your slippers or casual shoes.
Simulate skiing. Best done on a skiing simulator; work the boots forward and side-to-side. It takes 3-4 minutes to begin to get the feel of a boot. What do you notice?
Is the boot snug and provide a contained uniform grip of your foot?
Are there any pressure points?
Does the flex feel uniform and consistent?
Do you feel your foot moving around (not good)?
Does it feel too stiff, too soft or just right (your boot fitter will also help address this as “in the shop vs on the hill” can be slightly different)?
5) You’ve chosen the best boots for you, now here’s the good news they are about to get even better! Time to customize.
Liners: Most contemporary boots have heat moldable inner boots or liners.
Shell: Many now have a moldable shell
Footbeds are essential for both a great boot fit and to ski/board well. They keep your feet from moving and causing discomfort, even injury! They hold the foot in a fixed position so if the fitter needs to change the shell shape to match your unique foot shape he or she is not chasing a moving target.
It’s the little things; mini alterations, heel lifts, adjusting buckles, cuff angles as needed that will ensure you are dialed and the boots truly match your feet. All boots offer various micro adjustments to further customize them for your happiness.
If you have dramatic unique high points, the boot fitter should be able to make shell alterations to accommodate even the most unusual foot variations. Stretches, padding or grinds for bunions or big ankles or high insteps should all be on the menu and included in a full bootfit if needed. This is where the boot fitters experience and expertise will have you happy and skiing or riding better than ever.
Creating a custom footbed is essential to the process
Boot shells get warm in the oven, protect those hands
Remember that boot fit guarantee we mentioned earlier? If you have additional boot challenges go back to your boot shop which has lots of refit capabilities. Boot fitting can be an ongoing process to get you skiing the best possible and keeping your feet happy. If you love your boots let your boot fitter know…. and your friends!
Boot Fit Guarantee
OK you’ve made it to the bottom of the blog post and you’re almost done your boot fit! Here’s the 6th step….Take it further. (Here’s an insiders hint, you wouldn’t find a pro skiing without their boots Canted properly) Cant analysis and canting of boot:
If you stand knock kneed or bow legged when in your boots, your range of motion to one side or another is limited, resulting in lack of power or difficulty linking turns or over torquing the ski so its difficult to glide smoothly (often times people feel like they can’t carve well, balanced between edges or at all). Maybe you’re just plateaued and your skiing is just not advancing. Time to check your alignment.
The boot fitter should have the tools and knowledge to measure your alignment and make adjustments to the boot to improve your performance.
Typically a cant adjustment is a boot grind or a shim between the sole and the chassis of the boot.
You may be amazed at the improvement in your skiing with canting, it can open up a whole new world of possibilities on the hill!
Did this merely whet your pallet for knowledge on boot fitting? Check out this in depth blog post from our Boot Fitter in our BootDoctors® Taos, NM store; Charlie Bradley. Read more here.
Road Tripping and Fly Fishing
Photos and Words by Buck Smith
My first look at the Gunnison River, its pristine waters slowly cutting through a deep desert landscape, reveals a scene that seemed out of place in Colorado, a drastic contrast to the normally turbid silt riddled rivers that spill out of the high country this time of year. Still six hundred feet above the river we could see mats of emerald green vegetation clinging to the riverbed, shimmering beneath crystal clear water, I felt thirsty. After spending all of my 26 years in Colorado, I again found myself in a world completely new to me, familiar, yet unique in the high desert of southwest.
Two days earlier, I was sitting in Ophir enjoying my offseason, home between spontaneous trips to the desert, Front Range, biking, more fishing, camping and everything else that peaks my interests. My phone lit up, “Thinking about exploring the Gunny Gorge for a couple days, want to join?” Bobby and I had been talking about making our way to this world renowned fishery for a while, knowing I had no tethers keeping me from checking this amazing place off my ever expanding list, my decision was easy. I quickly gathered all the gear I would need and left early the next morning, excitedly hoping that this famed river would live up to its reputation.
Unlike the high country, seemingly locked in limbo between a dry winter and the coming spring, the desert was in full bloom, cactus flowers and Indian Paintbrush grew dispersed among the Juniper and Sage, every breath was a sweet reminder that spring was here. The hike down Ute trail was quick, wanting to spend as much time as possible in the river; we hastily made our way down the 1200’ walls of the gorge. Reaching the bottom we scanned the river hoping for signs of fish rising. We both prefer dry flies to nymphing especially in such clear water, but after a moment of observation we agreed that staying below the surface would give us the best chance of tempting a monster from the depths.
Geared up and in the water, I quickly find a promising section of river, a small seam between a deep rapid and the green rocky shallow I had waded onto. A hand full of casts later my indicator jolts upstream, practice aided instinct kicks in, the hook is set and the tip of my 4 weight rod is ripped down towards the surface of the water as my reel screams, line being ripped out as the fish turns into the current. Pulling my rod to the left, I slowly battle my quarry; pulling it back into calmer water I see the yellow telltale color of a nice brown trout. Now comes the tricky part, the indicator keeps me from reeling him in any further, slowly, I pull the fish as close as possible, my arms spread wide trying to make up for the 12’ of leader and tippet separating me and the fish. I dipped my net in the water, “got him!” About an inch short from spanning the entire length of my net, a 20 incher, always a prize in my book, a quick photo and the fish is back in the water disappearing into the depths it came from. The rest of the day continued much like this, screaming reels, bent rods and quick glimpses of the natural beauties our world has to offer.
For the first time I didn’t feel like I needed to keep fishing till lack of light kept me from changing my flies or seeing details in the river. After landing a gorgeous 24’ kype jawed rainbow, one of the most beautiful fish I have had the pleasure of seeing in person, I sat on a grassy bank, completely content to watch time flow by like the emerald river in front of me. A true treasure of a day, the hike back to the top of the gorge in the afternoon sun was easy, filled with the very recent memories of the best day I have had with a fly rod in my hand.
Click here to book a guided trip with BootDoctors® and Solitary Anglers
A word from the Doctor: Buck Smith is a BootDoctors® Telluride employee that works in the Mountain Village Store during the winter months, as a key member of our rafting team during the runoff season and a Mountain Bike aficionado to round out the rest of the season.
In our series of “Who’s Your Doctor?” we will be exploring the personalities that make us who we are here at the BootDoctors®. It is with great pleasure that I present to you “Wild” Bill Lynch aka The Silver Surfer (due to the all silver suit Bill wears while Snow Boarding) of the Taos, NM BootDoctors® team. Next time your in the shop be sure to say hello to Bill, if you didn’t know him before you will in a few minutes!
BD: “Bill how long have you been in Taos?”
WB: “30 Years”
BD: “We’ve handed you the controls for earth and you can line up your perfect day in the mountains, what would be in store for the day?”
WB: “Chest Deep, Kachina Peak, Blue Bird and I’m skiing with my girlfriend”
BD: “What is your favorite thing about working with the BootDoctors®?”
WB: “Our technical knowledge and the level of respect the bosses give the staff, we get to utilize all of our facilities, tools, and skill sets to the maximum. Being in the know on gear and the industry is pretty bad ass.”