If you have feet that fall outside of the shape that boot manufacturers think your feet can fit into, finding a good boot fitter is pretty key. This especially applies to relatively inflexible plastic ski boots! As Sky mentions in his Backcountry Ski Gear Primer, finding the correct boot is all about fit, fit, fit. You might be lucky enough to find a manufacturer who builds a boot that fits your foot exactly, or you might be like me and have wider feet. Ski boots generally tend to be narrower (especially racing boots that are designed to be custom fit by a boot fitter), so with them finding a good boot fitter is really key. A boot fitter can also help fix any “hot spots” in your boots by making slight modifications to the boot. This can turns days of suffering into days of fun skiing!
I was lucky enough to get a good fitter recommended by a friend, and since you are all my friends, I thought I would pass this tip along:
Dr. Happy Feet (AKA Kelly Timmons)
(206) 547-7879 for Appointment
Kelly, in addition to be a really cool guy, also does custom fitting for the feet. He fits ski boots, but he can also fit snowboarding, inline skating, cycling, hiking, runner, soccer, and pretty much all footwear to your feet. He actually fit ski boots to some pretty famous Olympic skiers, so you can bet he knows what he’s doing. He works out of his house in the Wallingford neighborhood, very near the Good Shepard Center (thats just north of 45th in Wallingford).
For me, Kelly is actually widening out the plastic shells, and doing some pretty drastic modification to the liner to get it to fit. Length-wise my boots fit great, but width-wise my feet were touching the plastic without the liner in….so this was clearly the only way the boots were going to fit the feet no matter how much I fit the heat-fit liners. He has a lot of other things he can do, including building full custom orthotics for your feet. For me (and for a lower cost, because I didn’t want to spring for the full footbed, plus I don’t have a major pronation problem) he drastically modified a pair of Superfeet insoles to work as custom orthotics. If you do need custom orthotics or have a pronation problem, Kelly is definitely your guy.