Like fingerprints, every foot is unique. When you have hard plastic backcountry skiing boots that come out of generically shaped molds based on the DNA of a small town in Italy, it’s easy to understand why your feet might be a different shape, your toes go numb, your arch aches and your knees hurt. And on that perfect powder day, or any day you get to be out, you don’t want to be held back by foot pain. A custom fitted boot can ensure that you won’t.
I love, love, love my Dynafit TLT5′s for their feather weight and easy walking mode, but they are not an out-of-the-box fit for me. I’m using Intuition Pro Tour liners, and I’ve molded and overstretched them to make the toe box roomy, only to get a sloppy fit that makes me struggle all the more. Then my fairy god mother smiled down on me and introduced me to a boot fitter, Bob Egeland.
Bob, owner of Boulder Orthotics operating out of Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, Colorado, is a Board Certified Podiatrist with extensive experience in footwear sales, product design and manufacturing. His goal is to provide his customers with the best fitting, best performing backcountry ski boots they’ve ever owned. Ideally, he starts at the beginning, matching the foot with a shell, then he supplies an insole, either off-the-shelf or custom, and molds the liner. I wanted to make the TLT5′s work rather than try a boot that would perhaps be better designed for my foot. While Bob won’t work on boots that are a bad match for a client, after examining my feet and talking to me about my issues, he said the Dynafit’s were suitable.
Ahhhh, when I put on my boots and buckled them up, they felt great! Bob wants them to feel good immediately, and that certainly happened for me. No more squeeze or slop. My foot was encased in a comfortable handshake. I felt like Cinderella slipping on that magic slipper.
My only concern now is warmth: the liners may have lost some of their insulating power since they’re thin in places where we stretched them for my wide feet. My toes get cold and have patches of Raynaud’s, but I surely don’t want to sit home on those lovely, cold smoke days we’ll have in January. Temps get down to the single digits but the slopes can be covered in Colorado’s finest champagne pow. Battling the brrrr is always on my radar, and luckily, I recently attended a class on installing boot heaters, such as Hotronics, at Masterfit University. Eeee gads! Am I becoming like Lou where there is always one more mod to be made??? Stay tuned.