The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Monday 24 August 2015

Ski Boot Fitting - A Real First World Problem

Look at that weather, what would you do with a day like this? 

Go on a picnic?
Take a punt down the river Cam?
Sweat it out in ski boots - the hottest footwear known to humankind?
That’s right it’s C! But first a little history. 

Ski boots were invented by the Devil to give the top few percenter's something they feel they can legitimately moan about whilst on a holiday that the vast majority of the rest of the world could only dream of affording. They bind your feet and legs in a position only a 12th century Chinese girl could possibly understand in order for you to throw yourself down a freezing, slippery mountain.  A pursuit which you repeat for hours on end until you ache from head to toe.  

I get that I'm not selling it but honestly, its a bloody hoot once you get the hang of things.  So if you’re planning a ski trip or have any interest in what happens when you get your ski boots fitted for realz, read on.

We went to Solutions 4 Feet in Biscester.  It comes highly recommended according to my husband’s research which was thorough, i.e. he asked about it on Single-track World Forums.   We were met by the lovely Andy, who has been skiing since he was about 4 and put up with my inane, constant questions with all the patience of a lovely brother-type. Thanks Andy - people called Andy are so nice!

After a few wiggly foot test thingys Andy confirmed I had good dorsal flexibility, thank you Pilates, and then processed to look at my feet for about 2 hours… OK it was really 30 seconds but that’s longer than anyone has willingly concentrated on them for a while and the chipped nail varnish and blisters were starting to embarrass me as you can see...

Oh Please! Like I would ever add an image of my deformed tootsies here.

Then he disappeared.  I momentarily wondered if he had gone off to get some foot fetish/torture equipment but he came back a few minutes later with, oddly enough, ski boots!  *See imagination, it’s all fine now shut up*

Next there was more slightly uncomfortable foot staring where I felt compelled to move them around in a bid to seem nonchalant.  This it seemed was just a way for Andy 'Foot Whisperer' - don't make it weird -  to tell what shape boot would best suit me.  The trying on induced that awful pins and needles feeling which makes you want to chop off whichever appendage is tingling, usual torture for skiers. Once the correct boots were decided it was time to have the custom foot beds fitted.  This involved my sitting on the ‘fit pod’ a chair so high my feet dangled like those of a three yr. old on the loo.  Each foot was in turn strapped in a blue plastic bag with a tube in it, then the heat and vacuum was turned on.
OK Yes that is technically my foot but you can't see it so the above rule stands.  And yes I do have man calves,  what of it?
It’s a seriously odd feeling having plastic heat and curl itself around your stumps.  I did wonder had the same thing been done to my tummy would I have lost a few pounds but before I knew it that part was over, anyway I got some odd looks when I mentioned it.  Now the boots went off to be heated to 118 degrees in this here below contraption.

Still with me?  Good, so then every weird bump and nobble on your feet gets its own, equally weird, blue plaster padding thing and your toes get capped with the same sort of stuff.  You then don your ski socks and put the still warm boots on.  They get wrapped in a frozen cover and you stand, knees bent forward for ten ACTUAL minutes on the naughty step… so more torture.  10 minutes in ski boots is akin to having your feet wrapped in cement. I would imagine anyway, luckily I've never pissed off a member of the Mafia (other underground gangs are also available) enough to get a real pair fitted.

Then Ta Daaaaa!  All kitted out and hopefully I won’t want to kill myself when next on my predominantly white upper-middle-class holiday*  Andy advised that new boots should last 20 weeks skiing. So 20 years, 10 if you go twice a year or 1 season if you jack in the day job and go all out. 

Andy was so patient, helpful and thorough, he even ended up recommending the (slightly) cheaper boots for me which shows its not the cash they care about.  With Solutions 4 Feet any future adjustments that may be needed are free and you can go back any time as long as you make an appointment.  Now all I need to do is break them.   Which means walking around and doing the washing up in them (no I'm serious) for about 10-15 minutes every other day in the 4 weeks leading up to the trip

A few tips for new boot owners
Do the boots up loosely when you are storing them at the end of the day. 
When in resort don't store your new boots on poles as this can distort the foot bed.
As will walking around the village so don’t do that either.
Take the liner out if the boot gets damp.
Once your ski-ing trip is over take the foot bed out of the boot and store it separately.

You got any ski boot tips?

Please note Post laced with heavy sarcasm throughout.

*not saying other races can't go just an observation that many don't.  #DontGetItTwisted.



blogoratti said...

Interesting thoughts and great photos.

Anonymous said...

You had to stand like that for 10 minutes? Seriously?! I can think of other places in Bicester where I'd want to spend my £1 coin savings (I've started one of those myself by the way)!

FUN post BTW x

TmS said...

Aw thanks.

TmS said...

Yep. It killed. Self inflicted pain though! Those £1 pots are a great way to save!

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