Masterfit University!

Post by blogger | October 18, 2012      
Yesterday we dropped by Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, Colorado.

Yesterday we dropped by Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, Colorado, where boot fitter Bob Egeland gave us a preview of the whole Masterfit system. Here he's setting things up to shape footbeds for Lisa. Over the years I've seen lots of ways footbeds are made. Masterfit uses a gel filled molding pad they call 'instaprint.' This seems to work well, but like most (if not all) other systems requires a combination of science, art and craft on the part of the boot fitter.

The secret ski boot fitter in me comes out. Lisa and I are down here in Lakewood, Colorado (Denver, essentially) attending Masterfit’s training seminar that’ll take us from being hackers to the first level of boot fitting expertise. The way it works is Masterfit arrives with a big truck full of equipment: sacrificial boot shells and other material. They set up a bunch of temporary workshops in the hotel conference rooms, replete with grinding wheels and glue pots. You then get three days of sensory boot overload; everything from how to do their version of footbeds all the way through punching and liner molding. Masterfit even has a special class just for backcountry boots. Should be interesting to say the least! More later, gotta run and carbo up so we’re ready to pry open those boot shells!


8 Responses to “Masterfit University!”

  1. kevin October 18th, 2012 11:18 am

    too cool. Sounds like a great class. I have to admit that I have grown more leery of custom footbeds. The “experts” seem to have to add their personal tweak for better or worse. My local experts charge somewhere around 150 bucks for their expertise. Now, when I take these “orthotics” to my foot doctor, he usually finds something wrong with them. Of course his footbeds are closer to 300 bucks. I am starting to think I am safer using generic footbeds from REI, like the Sole brand. I have to admit I like the idea of a system where the “expert” can’t screw it up with his personal tweaks. I noticed in your post on fitting the Scarpa Gea, you had the fittee stand with her toes on a book while the liners molded. Now I have heard that this is old school. Tough to seperate voodoo from science sometimes.

  2. Billy October 18th, 2012 11:43 am

    Something is not right with the masterfit link you have on there. Are you planning on setting up the Wildsnow bootfitting company?

  3. kevin October 18th, 2012 12:02 pm

    Whoops, putting a book under the heels was old school. Lou must be new school, putting the book under the toes.

  4. Joe October 18th, 2012 12:07 pm

    Billy – fixed for ya.

    Planning on investing?

    I’ve had masterfits in my shoes for a few months, to correct the flattening of my natural arch(from horribly unsupportive skateboard shoes and sandals), they have made a remarkable difference in knee pain.

  5. Lou Dawson October 18th, 2012 6:43 pm

    Guys, what’s cool is these folks have hugely improved their “drop in” footbed option, the EZ.FIT (ski version). It is thinner, with support where it counts, and grind-able. Some of the master boot fitters here are saying they won’t even let a customer try on a boot in their shop without at least a drop-in installed. What that means to you guys is unless you’ve got major foot problems, you might be able to get a boot fitter to set you up with a pair of drop-ins for a fraction the cost of the full monty. As for poor results from boot fitters, our family has experienced that numerous times over the years. My view is that when getting boots fitted you need to be an informed consumer. You’ve got to know what you want, and know at least a bit about the theories of boot fitting that the fitter is using to get there. Lastly, boot fitting is science, art and craft. That means the best boot fitter for your friend might not be the right one for you. How to deal with that in real life? I’d suggest trying the best guy you can find via recommendations, but before committing to a contract, see if they’ll give you half price or something if you’re not satisfied and if they’re comfortable recommending one of their friends who might have a different approach or different personality. More, at least one of the masters here says he wants his custom beds to feel good to the customer several seconds after the boot is on the foot — if not, the boot comes off and adjustments are made. That instead of the “walk around in it for 10 min. and see if it feels better…”

  6. XXX_er October 19th, 2012 11:19 am

    I use Soles in my ski boots which can be cut/ground/heat molded and they work for my flat foot, I put a 300 custom made orthotic in one boot and a sole in the other as a comparison but at the end of a day I couldn’t remember which boot had which foot bed …I had to take the boots off to check

    if you don’t have much coin they are way cheap

  7. mason November 4th, 2012 10:09 am

    Lou and Lisa, I have Scarpa Skookums with custom footbeds that were originally made for my Solomon alpine boots, so the arch is way too pronounced when paired with the arched Scarpa boot board. I’m thinking of replacing the stock Intuition liner with an Intuition wrap, and replacing the footbed with one of these “drop ins”. Also, maybe trying to flatten the bootboard. How do you modify the board? Did you meet anyone from Bozeman at this class you took? I’m considering a 6 hour one way road trip to SLC to find a good bootfitter experienced with AT…

  8. Joseph Szasz September 18th, 2013 2:43 pm

    Does anyone have favorite boot fitter in the Vail area? Especially one who can help with AT boot fitting. Any help would be much appreciated.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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