2/9/2021 Bootfitting for the Backcountry
At Skimo Co, we’re keenly aware that fitting touring boots require special considerations. Unlike resort-oriented boots that are designed solely for downhill performance, touring boots feature trickier constructions and must be comfortable for both the up and the down. Don’t believe us? Just ask anyone who’s skinned more than a thousand vert with the wrong boots! Blisters, dead toe nails, pain points, cut-off circulation, lack of control, hot spots, frostbite - the possibilities are endless. In the backcountry there's not a lodge where you can kick off your boots, relax with a beer, and let your feet recover.
The key to properly fitting an AT boot is getting a good shell fit right out of the box. This is especially critical because the plastic on touring boots are less accommodating to incredible amounts of punching while other parts, such as carbon fiber, can’t be modified at all. Therefore, the fit needs to be as close as possible before any modifications. Also worth mentioning, super snug “race fits” won’t work for touring boots since walk mode demands adequate space in the toe box. Again, all day comfort is the goal.
With all that in mind, you can see why we’re so intent on carrying a wide selection of boots. Currently we have over 50 different boots available which means a significantly higher chance of finding the right boot. But don’t worry, after understanding a customer’s goals (race, touring, or freeride), the ski/binding combo they're pairing it with (lightweight, stiff, playful, freeride, etc) and their unique foot shape (width, arch, etc), we narrow down what initially seems like an overwhelming selection to just a few options.
Finally, once we've found the right boot, we take a good fit and make it a great fit. This means molding liners and occasionally punching parts of the boot that are willing to comply - both of which are included in our bootfitting services once the boot is purchased from us. During any boot work, we keep in mind how a touring boot is designed to operate and the special materials used. That way, we don't accidentally damage or inhibit any functionality.
We’re so confident in our bootfitting that we’re willing to guarantee it. If for any reason the boot doesn’t work after being fit in our shop, we’ll either make adjustments, find a replacement boot, or give you a full refund so that you can find something elsewhere.