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Old 20.09.2012, 14:44
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Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

Sorry, i know there is a few threads on buying ski equipment etc and another for boot fitting but none seem to answer my question or perhaps out of date.

I am really surprised that, in a country where skiing is its top winter sport, that I struggle to find specialist ski outlets that are open all year round, or broader sports shops that stock ski equipment all year round.

Although I browse online sometimes, with boots particularly but also skis I want to see them, feel them, try them. I popped into Athleticum the other week and they have nothing, all the stock is out the shop until the season starts again.

So where does one find boots now? I am sure I just havent looked hard enough but I would of thought they'd be everywhere or everyone would know of the BIG place to go.

I only picked up the sport 2 years ago, but have been a fair amount and picked it up well and although my boots bought new last xmas are in great condition, I want to upgrade to something to match my level now and dont mind spending a fair bit of CHF on it either. I am accepting of the fact that the boots are the key to skiing really, and where to invest most in terms of financial outlay. I may buy new skis too, to expand on my choices, but will want to test a few out from hire before going for something new.

Also, what are peoples experiences, thoughts on the high tec fittings I have seen offered in some places? They never show a price though! I am prepared to spend around 500, more if necessary, on my new boots but want to get it right.

My current boots are Head Next Edge Flex 70, I bought them in the UK on sale for like £80. A very basic, bottom to mid range all mountain comfort boot.They're ok, and to be honest I dont know much different other than what I was hiring before, which were fairly similar I guess, but often fairly worn type boots.

The issue is, my current boots are not that comfortable with my now skiing style, and unsure whether thats the boot or the fit or my technique. They're not horrible, but they begin to hurt. In anycase, I now ski quite hard, aggressive and fast (well a lot faster), and I want a decent, comfortable all mountain intermediate-advanced boot. I don't want too stiff, but something with more response and general all round better quality now I know how much I go and plan to go.

So, any shops I can actually go to in and around Zurich that have boots now?

Anyone had the high tec fitting jobs? How much did it cost? Did it really make a difference to the bought straight from the shop no tampering boots had prior?

If I have to wait until shops stock up, when is this? Soon? Or literally November/December for season start?

Thanks
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Old 20.09.2012, 14:53
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

Not sure for Switzerland, but I would expect the custom boot fitting to be over the 500 CHF range. There was a thread on here from a couple of years ago, in case you missed it.

I believe the stores will have stock in sometime in early October iirc.
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Old 20.09.2012, 15:08
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

Check out Surefoot. Closest store is in Verbier, but I had my boots made there, and I've never had a nicer fit (style is something else, as they were limited at my size). Cost is about a thousand give or take, I guess.
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Old 20.09.2012, 15:12
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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Check out Surefoot. Closest store is in Verbier, but I had my boots made there, and I've never had a nicer fit (style is something else, as they were limited at my size). Cost is about a thousand give or take, I guess.
Surely I dont have to go to the other end of the country??

Ok, so I am looking at 500 boot and 500 fitting. I can work with that.

Just want something more local to Zurich.
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Old 20.09.2012, 16:11
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

Boots are the key to skiing, these days I will only buy boots from a boot fitter I trust, a good boot fitter is worth his weight in gold, fundamentally what you are looking for in a boot fitter is one who knows his stock and can match your foot shape to the shape of the boot, different manufacturers and different models have different foot shapes, like wider toe boxes, higher insteps etc, any boot fitter that hands you pair because you say you like the look of them without looking at your feet you should run a mile from. They should also be asking what type of skier you are what trails you ski etc etc, again those that don't ask run a mile from!!(or a kilometer as we are in Switzerland)

Ideally buy them from somebody who can easily go back to for tweaks after you've skied on them for a couple of days, at least in the US the shop will tweak them for free the first couple of times, I suspect not in Switzerland!!

If you here of a good shop make sure you also get the name of a good fitter the standard of fitters can vary even in the same shop, if you are going all out then they will check stance and alignment and making sure that your feet will sit flat on the ground by standing on a couple of semi circular blocks(flat side up) if you find a shop that has those then you are probably in a good place.

finally make sure you know how to do boots up, the buckles are meant to hold things in place not pull them tight, ideally you want to get the liner snugged up first usually holding snug with the strap, and then do the buckles up.

As an instructor you wouldn't believe how many loose boots I've and how much difference just doing the boots up properly can make, if the boots don't support you when you lean forward then you will end up in the back seat with burning quads!
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Old 20.09.2012, 16:38
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

I used a place called Zum Glueck (www.zumglueck.ch) in Zurich a couple of years ago (assume theya re still there). Not a big store but a real specialist boot fitter. They strip the boots back to the shell and start from there with custom foot beds, inners, etc. Expensive (up to 1500chf for everything) but boots are in a different league in terms of comfort to anything else I have had in over 20 years of skiing. If you ski a lot (I do 30+ days a year) they are worth every rappen...
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Old 20.09.2012, 16:41
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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Boots are the key to skiing, these days I will only buy boots from a boot fitter I trust, a good boot fitter is worth his weight in gold, fundamentally what you are looking for in a boot fitter is one who knows his stock and can match your foot shape to the shape of the boot, different manufacturers and different models have different foot shapes, like wider toe boxes, higher insteps etc, any boot fitter that hands you pair because you say you like the look of them without looking at your feet you should run a mile from. They should also be asking what type of skier you are what trails you ski etc etc, again those that don't ask run a mile from!!(or a kilometer as we are in Switzerland)

Ideally buy them from somebody who can easily go back to for tweaks after you've skied on them for a couple of days, at least in the US the shop will tweak them for free the first couple of times, I suspect not in Switzerland!!

If you here of a good shop make sure you also get the name of a good fitter the standard of fitters can vary even in the same shop, if you are going all out then they will check stance and alignment and making sure that your feet will sit flat on the ground by standing on a couple of semi circular blocks(flat side up) if you find a shop that has those then you are probably in a good place.

finally make sure you know how to do boots up, the buckles are meant to hold things in place not pull them tight, ideally you want to get the liner snugged up first usually holding snug with the strap, and then do the buckles up.

As an instructor you wouldn't believe how many loose boots I've and how much difference just doing the boots up properly can make, if the boots don't support you when you lean forward then you will end up in the back seat with burning quads!
Thanks, I am coming to realise a lot of this now. I have an extreme skier friend, the type that jumps cliffs and heli's etc, and skis with these huge planks on each feet, almost like a snowboard on each foot, and he has been giving me the same talk on the boots being key to all.

At first, I was just looking for basic stuff until I got to grips with it, hence I bought the basic boots and fairly decent piste skis (i think.......Salomon 24 GT Pros), well they've been fairly good.

I am just as good as my pals who took me for the first time now, if not better as I really caught the bug and went nearly every weekend last season. I could really see the difference when my pals from UK came over for our 2nd trip, when on the first we were all similar newbies with couple who had been several times before, to me now leading the pack and having to wait around for them to catch up.

So now I am questioning my set up and wondering where I can improve. My feet can sometimes get bit numb in the boot, or hurt on the out right edge of the right foot.

I think my skis are fine, and will prob see more performance from them with a better boot, but I will try new skis out this season, mine are definitely not suitable for off piste powder skiing, but thats a technique I am still working on, after being getting comfortable on various difficulty of piste.

I have a wide foot, which is quite big 30-31 mondopoint. I take your point on the strapping up, this was something I took a bit more time doing after a while, noting the difference. But I always found I would adjust it throughout the day. As, I would ski my best when they were tight, but then my feet would just hurt and i'd loosen on lifts and redo at top.

Burning quads is definitely an experience I encounter after hard day / several hard days.
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Old 20.09.2012, 16:45
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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I used a place called Zum Glueck (www.zumglueck.ch) in Zurich a couple of years ago (assume theya re still there). Not a big store but a real specialist boot fitter. They strip the boots back to the shell and start from there with custom foot beds, inners, etc. Expensive (up to 1500chf for everything) but boots are in a different league in terms of comfort to anything else I have had in over 20 years of skiing. If you ski a lot (I do 30+ days a year) they are worth every rappen...

Thanks! Yep, this is the place I have heard about and seen a thread on.

Well I have 18 days definitively booked out in December, Feb and March, and I will no doubt, like last year, make many sporadic weekend trips. So I can see myself hitting 30 days quite easily.
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Old 20.09.2012, 17:23
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

Ya I had a struggle finding AT gear for a semi decent price. I found some eventually but it was a long way from where i live
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Old 20.09.2012, 18:36
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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Thanks! Yep, this is the place I have heard about and seen a thread on.

Well I have 18 days definitively booked out in December, Feb and March, and I will no doubt, like last year, make many sporadic weekend trips. So I can see myself hitting 30 days quite easily.
I bought custom boots from zumgluk in Zurich at the start of last season. Was chf 1000 for me but he didn't do the custom foam liner. I was prepared to pay it, he said I dont need it.

I have very wide feet, I buy trainers in the USA with width 4E and I like you bought a cheap pair of boots. They were painful on the bottom of my feet ( I also wear orthotics for high arches) and painful on the sides as I couldn't fit into them. I ended up sitting in the cafe while my wife and child skied as I could bear the pain. Im about the same level as you. Can pretty well face all red slopes in good conditions as at end of last year, but Im a big guy (overweight). I even hard these boots widened and a 100chf footbed put in to try and fix them, they improved but weren't great.

The custom boots are amazing. The process was I went to the store with Christoph (I'm pretty sure and he's a one man shop I believe). I had told him of my wide feet, he took measurements, we talked about my skiing level, he took some imprints for a footbed, and checked in ski stance whether my knees are above my feet, I tried on boots for length then I left. Went shopping in Zurich for 2 hours. Came back tried them on they were too tight around the calves, he adjusted them.

All in all I probably spent 2 to 3 hours in the shop and he spent 5 hours working on the boots. He showed me the boots out of the box and then how wide they were after he had done his stuff.

The friend who came with me had purchased his boots from their 4? or more years before. The square things on the bottom of the boot that wear down needed replacing and he did that gratis. My friend has a ski chalet and so now has had 5 heavy ski season out of them and they are still kicking. Christoph said he could buy a new shell and transplant the custom fit pieces which would be a cheap upgrade.

He was very insistent that if I had ANY trouble with the boots I bring them back for adjusting. I never needed to. Skiing was so much more fun last year. I could get my boots on and off which previously I had struggled with and had much much less discomfort. I plan to take my wife soon.

He did put me in flex 120 and will probably give you stiffer than 70. Bigger built people and decent skiers need the higher flex. But he will tell you stiffer doesn't have to be uncomfortable.

If you have any questions Id be happy to answer them. Its a lot of money upfront. But Im pretty tight and feel it was money well spent.

For skis I would try Ochsner Sport Outlet at Affoltern am Albis. They tend to sell last years skis but I saw decent skis for under chf300. A month ago the range was decent. Not sure about now. I bought my skis there for under chf400 3 seasons ago.

Last edited by BrianJW; 20.09.2012 at 18:38. Reason: added info about skis
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Old 20.09.2012, 18:50
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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Surely I dont have to go to the other end of the country??
Probably not - but the boots are worth it. Skiing Verbier for the weekend is an added bonus.

It's worth noting that these guys do the orthotics and such, then spray a foam into the boot that hardens around your foot as you stand there, giving a truly custom fit. You can read about the process on their site, it's really quite good.
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Old 20.09.2012, 18:59
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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Check out Surefoot. Closest store is in Verbier, but I had my boots made there, and I've never had a nicer fit (style is something else, as they were limited at my size). Cost is about a thousand give or take, I guess.
The full works is about 1200 CHF in sure foot , I did mine in Chamonix 5 years ago for 754 euro, time for a new pair I think!
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Old 20.09.2012, 19:01
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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I bought custom boots from zumgluk in Zurich at the start of last season. Was chf 1000 for me but he didn't do the custom foam liner. I was prepared to pay it, he said I dont need it.

I have very wide feet, I buy trainers in the USA with width 4E and I like you bought a cheap pair of boots. They were painful on the bottom of my feet ( I also wear orthotics for high arches) and painful on the sides as I couldn't fit into them. I ended up sitting in the cafe while my wife and child skied as I could bear the pain. Im about the same level as you. Can pretty well face all red slopes in good conditions as at end of last year, but Im a big guy (overweight). I even hard these boots widened and a 100chf footbed put in to try and fix them, they improved but weren't great.

The custom boots are amazing. The process was I went to the store with Christoph (I'm pretty sure and he's a one man shop I believe). I had told him of my wide feet, he took measurements, we talked about my skiing level, he took some imprints for a footbed, and checked in ski stance whether my knees are above my feet, I tried on boots for length then I left. Went shopping in Zurich for 2 hours. Came back tried them on they were too tight around the calves, he adjusted them.

All in all I probably spent 2 to 3 hours in the shop and he spent 5 hours working on the boots. He showed me the boots out of the box and then how wide they were after he had done his stuff.

The friend who came with me had purchased his boots from their 4? or more years before. The square things on the bottom of the boot that wear down needed replacing and he did that gratis. My friend has a ski chalet and so now has had 5 heavy ski season out of them and they are still kicking. Christoph said he could buy a new shell and transplant the custom fit pieces which would be a cheap upgrade.

He was very insistent that if I had ANY trouble with the boots I bring them back for adjusting. I never needed to. Skiing was so much more fun last year. I could get my boots on and off which previously I had struggled with and had much much less discomfort. I plan to take my wife soon.

He did put me in flex 120 and will probably give you stiffer than 70. Bigger built people and decent skiers need the higher flex. But he will tell you stiffer doesn't have to be uncomfortable.

If you have any questions Id be happy to answer them. Its a lot of money upfront. But Im pretty tight and feel it was money well spent.

For skis I would try Ochsner Sport Outlet at Affoltern am Albis. They tend to sell last years skis but I saw decent skis for under chf300. A month ago the range was decent. Not sure about now. I bought my skis there for under chf400 3 seasons ago.
Thanks Brian, this is a great detailed input of your experience with zumgluck. I think I might pop to the store to check it out tomorrow and then see when i can book an appointment if all looks and sounds good.

Everyone seems to give fantastic feedback on this guy, and very complimentary of the boot fit, follow up service and longevity.

Have only seen minor grumbles on the price, and I suppose it is a hefty lay out, but one I think will worth while given how much I plan to ski.

I had given myself a benchmark of 500 for a good boot, and was considering a custom fit, so an additional 500 for that is ok.

It does sound like I would need a similar spec to you actually.
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Old 20.09.2012, 19:16
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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Thanks Brian, this is a great detailed input of your experience with zumgluck. I think I might pop to the store to check it out tomorrow and then see when i can book an appointment if all looks and sounds good.

Everyone seems to give fantastic feedback on this guy, and very complimentary of the boot fit, follow up service and longevity.

Have only seen minor grumbles on the price, and I suppose it is a hefty lay out, but one I think will worth while given how much I plan to ski.
Hes a one man store, actually I'd call it more of a workshop. I'd recommend calling ahead. Im sure he'd be happy to talk you through the process.

Also, I assume you found the website http://www.zumglueck.ch/
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Old 20.09.2012, 20:48
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

I bought my boots in Hinwil, not far from Zurich on the S14, in Sport Trend, and can recommend. It's big and the ski range is good. Staff know their stuff.

http://www.sts-online.ch/
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Old 20.09.2012, 21:28
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

My husband got some custom fit boots from http://www.ski-rental.ch/
Right next to the train station at Thalwil.
He was very happy with them when we skied last season.
They also have rack of skis in the shop too.
Good customer service as well and parking on the street outside.
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Old 25.09.2012, 15:54
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

As per the other posters, I think you're best off with an independent. My neighbour owns and runs Sportis in Richterswil and I can vouch for his work. His background is as a high mountain guide and he's into back country and touring and knows his onions (and ski boots). German only, though, I'm afraid
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Old 25.09.2012, 16:00
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Re: Ski Boot/Equipment Outlet - all year

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As per the other posters, I think you're best off with an independent. My neighbour owns and runs Sportis in Richterswil and I can vouch for his work. His background is as a high mountain guide and he's into back country and touring and knows his onions (and ski boots). German only, though, I'm afraid
Thanks for input.

I will strggle on the German only front, though may consider. Is there a website?
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