Hate ski boots? You need a proper fitting
One Stop Ski Shop is the only place in town where all boot-fitters are trained at the America’s Best Bootfitters’ Masterfit University
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Editor’s Note: Sponsored content brought to you by One Stop Ski Shop
John Kole started studying bootfitting in 1976 and he’s never looked back.
That’s because there’s something exceptionally rewarding about making ski boots truly comfortable for his customers. He and his staff are sincerely concerned about each and every customer’s skiing enjoyment.
“People often don’t understand what needs to be done to a ski boot, or why it needs to be done,” said Kole, who owns One Stop Ski Shop in Steamboat. “We can make people more comfortable, more stable, and able to turn their skis better. … Like a house, if you don’t start with a good foundation, the alignment is going to be off-kilter and won’t be structurally sound.”
Here are four things One Stop Ski Shops says all skiers should consider when buying or renting new ski boots.
The foundations of a properly fitted ski boot
One Stop Ski Shop starts all boot fittings with a custom foot bed, which the shop refers to as a “comfort foot bed.”
“A foot bed that’s molded to your foot helps you ski better,” Kole said. “It’s more comfortable, warmer, provides more edge control and creates a happy foot with a good, stable foundation.”
Different boots work differently with various bodies, skiing abilities, personal skiing preferences and skiing frequency.
Think your ski boot sizing should reflect the sizing of your normal, everyday shoes? Think again.
“Boot size and shoe size are not the same,” Kole said. “Boots never get smaller when you ski in them — they only get bigger.”
That means that a boot that initially fits snuggly in the ski shop will likely start to feel more comfortable out on the hill.
“People always insist on a bigger boot. With a proper fit, your toes will hit the front at first, but after you buckle and bend your knees, you’ll move back into the heel.”
That’s because all boots have a forward lean built into them, Kole said. If you stand up straight or lean backward, your calf will hit the back and lever your toes to the front of the boot.
Physical anatomy and ability
One Stop Ski Shop boot-fitters look at each customer’s anatomy — their body structure, alignment and the shape of their feet and legs — to customize each and every boot fitting.
“We ask them numerous questions to gain an idea of their performance level, length of skis they use, what runs they like to ski on, etc.,” Kole said.
Trust in your boot-fitting expert
At One Stop Ski Shop, a boot fitting isn’t an express service because it shouldn’t be.
“Come in with an open mind and understand that there are some nuances that might be foreign to you,” Kole said. “It’s not a quick process. Expect to spend at least an hour here, and in some cases longer depending on your needs. Have trust and faith in your bootfitter.”
Once your bootfitter gets an idea of your body, stance and skiing style, he or she will have you try on several different boots to find the perfect match. They also have the ability to customize numerous features on the boot to customize your fit.
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