If there has been one gripe I have with skiing its that its really hard on my feet. I have plantar fasciitis which means that the muscle that connects the bottom of my foot is normally really tight and causes me problems when doing things on my feet for long periods of time. Skiing is one of those sports that require you to be on your feet a lot but I love the sport and don’t want to give it up. Since I started skiing again, I’ve been renting the whole ski package; boots, poles, and skis. While in Breckenridge last season, my wife convinced me that we should get our own ski boots. We saw the Surefoot store in town and decided to check it out and see what they could do about custom fitting some boots for us.
Surefoot takes measurements of your feet and selects a boot that will probably be your best fit. That sounds pretty common except they craft inserts for the bottom of the boot so that it fits your feet better which is what I do now with my shoe inserts for all of my other shoes. As an additional step, they pump in foam while you are wearing the boot so that the inner liner conforms to your foot for a better fit. The whole process took a while since there were two of us doing it. Whats cool is that for the next 2 years I’m allowed to get adjustments or new boots if the fit isn’t just right.
I skied a little bit of Breckenridge and Whistler with these boots and they felt better than the rentals except for an issue I was having on my left foot. It felt like the injection foam wasn’t right. When I went to Vail this spring I decided to go to Surefoot to get an adjustment. It turns out that it was just the crease in the inner part of the boot just needed to be smoothed out. After that was done the boots felt great for the rest of the trip. These are easily the best boots that I’ve had compared to the rental boots that I’ve had and the other boots that I’ve owned.
I recall that I used to use some Solomon rear entry boots back in the 90’s that were really popular back then. There were two adjustment knobs on the boot to manage the fit and only one buckle. I guess the industry thought that wasn’t good enough and most of the boots went towards front entry. I had some Nordic’s after that but they never really felt right but its what I had. The Lange RX 100’s that I have now are pretty comfortable except for the the first couple of runs where my feet need to get used to being trapped in a ski boot. As the day wears on, I try and tighten my boots a little bit more so that I can ski the harder slopes and to get more control of my skis. Now the issue I have is transporting these things everywhere I go. They require their own checked luggage for me to bring them skiing which is unfortunate but I definitely need them.
One boot that definitely intrigues me is the XP Antero. Instead of being a regular ski boot, its actually an eco-skeleton that you put something similar to a snowboard boot into. Snowboard boots are way more comfortable than ski boots for sure. The premise is to release yourself from the exoskeleton and then you should be able to walk around in a nice comfortable boot for when you’re having lunch at the ski lodge. Unfortunately I just found this boot and I paid a lot of the boots that I have already. When its time for me to upgrade my boots I might consider this system. If the boots are interchangeable with snowboard bindings I might just take up snowboarding too so I can snowboard with my daughter. In the mean time, the Lange’s are my new best friend for skiing.