What you need to know before getting new ski boots

Ski boots can be the kiss of ski holiday death. Get them wrong and you’ll spend your entire vacation in pain. Get them right and you’ll travel across oceans to go back to the same boot fitter again.

All the boot fitters in Australia that I respect (Andy Burford, TJ Balon, Ned Buckley and friends) all keep mentioning Bob Gleason from Bootdoctors in Telluride. I had heard about the man for years before I finally met him this season.

Then one day last week my current boots finally packed out. New ski boots are a costly expense and I have in the past handed hard earned cash over for boots that ended up being too big, too small or too painful.

Why? Because I trusted the boot fitter to know what he or she was doing. Rookie mistake. There’s more to getting the right boots than simply assuming the person selling the boot knows their stuff. I figured while I was in Telluride I may as well get the man the other boot fitters refer to, to touch my feet.

Not everyone can access the magic hands of Bob simply due to geographics. So while being boot fitted I asked him what you should ask and look for when choosing a boot fitter.

Read more: Is your boot fitter getting it wrong?

Read more: Happy ski feet, finding the right boot fitter

Read more: A world of boot pain 

Read more: Not all boot fitters are created equal

 

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ski boots!! Scary scary things to buy.

    I kept a pair of old boots for so long they basically had no inners left and I was starting to embarass the kids (both working for Threbo at the time)

    They finally packed me off to Jindy to get a new pair – went to Larry’s got a lovely pair of new boots – fitted by a lovely young Austrian, thought I was the duck-nuts.

    3 days later I can barely walk and in tears everytime I put them on, went back 3 times, and this poor long-suffering guy padded, carved bits out and tried eveything. I have decent calf muscles but a short leg – all of which apparently is a bad thing.

    In desperation after the 3 visit, he got me to try on another (much more expensive) pair – the relief was instant, I burst into tears and begged him to give me a deal on the new boots over the old ones.

    He went out the back, talked to the Manager, packed the new boots into their box and handed them to me – for nix!

    They weren’t happy until I was – destroyed one brand new pair and basically gave me 50% discount on the pair I wear to this day.

    A great boot fitter is fantasic, and rare, but even if you can’t get to the best boot fitter in the world, amazing customer service will get you there every other time.

    I will now never give up these boots, bugger the kids

    We are considering visiting Telluride next year tho, so you never know

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