Review: Surefoot Custom Ski Boots
Never in my entire life have I had a comfortable pair of ski boots. My feet are wide and high-volume, my calves are big, and I have pain-in-the-ass navicular bones on the inside of my ankles, among other problems.
I’ve tried everything, but nothing has ever worked. I’ve had shells modified, heat-moldable liners cooked, and etc. Still, I spend my time skiing in mild to extreme discomfort, ending most days with cramped, numb feet.
So, I decided to give the guys at the Squaw Valley Surefoot a try. They make a fully-customized ski boot with custom orthotics, foam-injected custom liners, and all the shell adjustments you need.
The process begins with a general interview in which the fitter asks about your skiing style, ability, history, habits, trouble spots on your feet and etc.
Then they scan your feet and get a digital contour readout. From this scan, the team grinds down a fully-customized orthotic that fits your arch like a glove.
Then, as the orthotic is being created, it’s time to talk about the shell. Most people don’t need shells modified. I do, however, and they’re happy to do whatever it takes. The fitter widened both toe boxes, stretched the shell to accomodate my fat feet, and punched out some room for my navicular bones.
Next, he prepared my feet for the liner fitting. This includes toe caps over your toes, so that room is left in the liner for tow-wiggle. And he placed foam spacers over trouble spots on your feet.
Then comes the fun part: filling the foam-injected liner. It feels weird. It’s hot and at first it feels WAY too tight. The foam cures in a matter of a few minutes and forms a perfect negative of every bump, nook and cranny in your lower leg and foot.
After the orthotic, the shell mods and the custom liner, what you’ve got is a one-of-a-kind, totally personalized, custom ski boot. And even better, they guarantee the fit, so you can go back anytime for further adjustments. I can’t wait to try them out.
Now, not everybody needs this level of customization. You lucky fools out there who can wear off-the-shelf boots in comfort definitely don’t. But for those of you who have had boot-fitting problems like mine, it’s definitely worth considering.
The downside? It’s bloody expensive. Retail price on the full-monty with shell, orthotic and liner will usually run more than $1000. Ouch.
I will report back after I put a few days on my new boots, and let you know how they work out. But after clomping around in my apartment for a few hours, they definitely feel promising.