Isubscribe to the philosophy that ski boots are supposed to hurt a little bit. You want that shell as close to the foot as possible to more efficiently transfer power from the core to the ski, right?
I decided to go with Surefoot boots when it came time for new ones at the beginning of the season, figuring that I couldn’t go wrong with a custom fit. Getting new boots there is an experience, spread out for me over a few days. First, the guys at the shop take a scan of your foot, identifying the exact contours of the arch and the specific pressure points. This is used to create a footbed unique to the individual.
Once you have your shell picked out — I went with a Lange RX 120, referring to the boot’s not-quite-as-stiff-as-you-can-get flex — the next step is the custom liner. The boot technician injects the liner with a chemical foam that creates a denser product than a typical boot, but because of the custom fit is intended to maintain comfort.
The shell was also manipulated with a heat gun, “punching it out” to make room for my protruding outside-ankle bones.
Whenever I’ve started off with new boots in the past, there’s been a five- to seven-day breaking-in period, when I’m dealing with a certain amount of pain. But amazingly enough, I never went through that with these new boots. The fit was true from day one. My only issue is that when taking the boot off, some of the shell’s hard plastic bites the top of my foot, but I hear this is a hallmark of a good fit.
The guys at the shop say the “uncompromised” lifespan of the boot is between 200 and 300 days of skiing, before performance starts decreasing. I’ll be thrilled if that is the case.
Considering I was bouncing around in my old boots like a loose socket, the new boots have been a big step up. The confidence factor is huge, and the skis are definitely quicker turning through the bumps.