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Old 30.01.2010, 19:30
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How much should custom ski boots cost?

I'm a beginner skier and I have peculiar-shaped feet. I've never found well-fitting ski boots, so I've never owned my own (I've only rented, and I don't ski that often).

So, long story short, for my first purchase I went to a guy who does some custom molding to make boots fitted to individual feet.

He was fantastic, he really knows his work, he's enthusiastic about it, and at the end he handed me boots that fit - literally - better than I'd even imagined possible. (Though I haven't had a chance to try them out in action yet - but I'm sure they will be great.)


But I made the cavalierly mistake of neglecting to ask in advance about the price.

In my fevered imagination, a reasonable mid-line price for this might have been about 700-800 francs. I thought, even if it ends up being 1000 - even 1000, and that's a lot - I guess that's okay, and for really good ski boots that I will use comfortably for years I should be willing to shell out a fat wad of money.

The boots cost me 1500.


Now, I did technically have 1500 that I was able to pay for them with, but honestly that's not something I could really say I could afford. I know people - in the EU - who earn less than that in a month. I don't think I've ever in my life spent more than 20-25% of that amount on any piece of sports equipment. I'm just shocked. Comparing it to the price of a wetsuit, a kendo armour, a moped, a kayak, or a month-long trip to Thailand or Cuba... it just doesn't seem to be in proportion.

Not to question the man's work! It's really top-notch, and as far as I can see these boots will be a real pleasure to ski in.

But if I'd asked ahead of time, I probably would have decided that comfort of my feet wasn't quite worth that much after all and that I could go along with some mid-price shop-bought ones.


With that little sob story off my chest, what is a reasonable price for a pair of custom-fitted boots? How badly did I really misjudge it?
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Old 30.01.2010, 19:33
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

No idea - it seems a lot.

But caveat emptor applies
You didn't ask "how much" !!
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Old 30.01.2010, 19:43
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

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With that little sob story off my chest, what is a reasonable price for a pair of custom-fitted boots? How badly did I really misjudge it?
who cares? you bought it now, so go ahead and enjoy it!
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Old 30.01.2010, 19:45
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

If you go to Sport Fabrik in Regensdorf, most of their normal Shelf Boots are in the price range 800-1000 CHF normal (minus some percent as its an outlet)

But the guy who measured it also has to make it, and he will not bulk buy like a ski boot factory will be able to, so having thought a bit about it, I dont think, 1500 is that bad.

But see it positive. You probably never need to buy new ski boots again. Mine are probably 20 years old, and I still use them :-)

Doc.
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Old 30.01.2010, 20:09
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

It's too late now, but you also could have considered a 'moldable' boot at about a third of the price:

http://www.bergsskishop.com/salomon/...1612c2114.html

http://www.nevisport.com/storedetail...duct_id-811103

I picked up a pair in the post-Xmas sales in France for EUR279.

They have a heat-moldable inner liner. Not quite as good as a custom-fit boot, but also not quite as expensive.
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Old 30.01.2010, 22:29
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

I don't know how messed up your feet are but that seems a bit high. I paid 1000 CHF for my custom footbeds and Strolz boots but my feet aren't that strangely shaped. You should get a few hundred days out of your boots so don't worry about it.
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Old 30.01.2010, 22:39
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

Off topic: I like the OP. He did a mistake which he admitted it was his fault but somehow i dont think he will start groaning at people who dont sympathise

On topic: It is quite a lot but as your feet wont change anymore, you can use them for ever technically. Just start skiing more often now
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Old 30.01.2010, 22:40
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

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I don't know how messed up your feet are but that seems a bit high. I paid 1000 CHF for my custom footbeds and Strolz boots but my feet aren't that strangely shaped. You should get a few hundred days out of your boots so don't worry about it.
That and I have been told that you can have the boots re-injected at a later date if you don't damage the shells. At least that is what I thought I heard..

Is this correct?

Brian.
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Old 30.01.2010, 22:41
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

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It's too late now, but you also could have considered a 'moldable' boot at about a third of the price:

http://www.bergsskishop.com/salomon/...1612c2114.html

http://www.nevisport.com/storedetail...duct_id-811103

I picked up a pair in the post-Xmas sales in France for EUR279.

They have a heat-moldable inner liner. Not quite as good as a custom-fit boot, but also not quite as expensive.
OOPS, you can get those Salomons yu listed with the heat moulded gel inner liner, and adjustable outershell for CHF 249 at Ochsner, down from 699, and the woman equivalent for CHF 225... a bargin and you don't have to suffer the French or faff about with customs.

I also have trouble with my left foot and could only wear a boot for about 2 hours, I got a custom insole for CHF 120 from a shop in Zug and it fixed the problem. So I got my Nordica on sale at the Ochsner Outlet in Affoltern.a.A for CHF 99 down from 349, and 120 for the, so in total it cost me CHF 219.... happy days.

OP, one thing I learned here pretty quick.... always ask how much.
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Last edited by Papa Goose; 30.01.2010 at 22:52.
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Old 30.01.2010, 22:43
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

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That and I have been told that you can have the boots re-injected at a later date if you don't damage the shells. At least that is what I thought I heard..

Is this correct?

Brian.
Yeah, you can buy new liners and re-foam them.
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Old 31.01.2010, 12:38
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

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OOPS, you can get those Salomons yu listed with the heat moulded gel inner liner, and adjustable outershell for CHF 249 at Ochsner, down from 699, and the woman equivalent for CHF 225... a bargin and you don't have to suffer the French or faff about with customs.
Oh well, you live and learn. Ochsner don't post their prices online, so they're not on my radar when I go shopping. I miss out on a bargain, they miss out on my money. We all lose.
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Old 31.01.2010, 12:54
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

1500CHF for a pair of top notch custom made ski boots doesn't sound that expensive to me. Especially as the boots are probably the most important part of skiing equipment you'll own.

Personally I'd stop fretting about the cost, and as Phil said, start enjoying them. You'll almost certainly have a much better skiing experience with these than any other pair of off the shelf boots, at whatever price.

Besides, in a couple of months time you'll have forgotten the cost anyway Enjoy them.
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Old 31.01.2010, 14:32
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

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OP, one thing I learned here pretty quick.... always ask how much.
Absolutely ... make it the first thing you discuss, whatever you are buying!!
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Old 31.01.2010, 15:08
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

I have peculiar feet as well. I've had boots fitted with custom soles, "punched out" where the pressure points are (the plastic is heated and then stretched outwards to make more room, basically, but don't ask me exactly how they do it) etc. and still have never had something that I can ski on all day without ending up in some kind of pain - despite undoing buckles on the lift, taking them off at lunch and all that.
I guess what I'm saying is, if I had 1500 to spend on boots and knew I would end up actually comfortable while skiing, I would do it!
Right now I have a pair of salomons that are treating me ok, though.
Enjoy it. I hope they last you forever!
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Old 31.01.2010, 15:09
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

Out of curiosity, where did you get them done?
How "custom" were they made? Completely, or is it some branded boot with just a lot of work heat-molding and adjusting the inner part?
It may be too much or it may be OK. I hope your boots are really good and so comfortable that it's worth it.

I have yet to buy my own custom-fit boots, just started educating myself about them this winter, and I do hope when I get mine it will be less expensive than that. I quite need to, as rentals to me are always somewhere between moderately uncomfortable (pressure and not really good hold on the feet) and painful (blisters and sometimes bleeding at the points of friction and pressure) for similar reasons. My feet are somewhat badly shaped (a problem I also had with my own roller blades back when I skated, and much worse with ice skates to the point that made me give up out of pain).


With the prevailing culture of trust in payments here (which I suppose has some to do with that curiously sweeping Betreibung system), one advice you learn while settling here, is you need to ask for prices in advance more often, because people will happily provide something with no questions asked, and then just send you a bill for whatever their prices are. And Swiss prices can sometimes be ridiculous.

I already had this habit here, because not knowing how much something will cost always felt odd to me, so I wasn't struck by any huge bills. But I was surprised several times by small yet exaggerated bills for little things not even worth disputing.

One example: When I got the contract for my apartment, it came with (among other bills and papers) a bill of 30.00 CHF, for name tags on the door, postal box and outside doorbell. I'd figure for that price it'd be some metal/plastic embossed plaques screwed on... When I moved in, I saw those stickers with my name on it from Dymo machine, that probably cost 3 cents to print and take 5 seconds to put on each. What the heck... not something to dispute after investing so much (time and money) in finding and renting an apartment, and at least saved me having to spend the 5 minutes to do it myself.
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Old 31.01.2010, 18:46
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

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One example: When I got the contract for my apartment, it came with (among other bills and papers) a bill of 30.00 CHF, for name tags on the door, postal box and outside doorbell. I'd figure for that price it'd be some metal/plastic embossed plaques screwed on... When I moved in, I saw those stickers with my name on it from Dymo machine, that probably cost 3 cents to print and take 5 seconds to put on each. What the heck... not something to dispute after investing so much (time and money) in finding and renting an apartment, and at least saved me having to spend the 5 minutes to do it myself.
We had something similar. They told us that we would have to have ID plaques made for our post box, the door bell outside and the door bell inside. We were told that it would be taken care of as it was part of the leasing agreement. Two weeks after we moved in we got a bill for 50chf for 3 stamp sized pieces of plastic and metal that had our Initial and names engraved in them. Upon asking why we were being billed for something that was listed in the contract and was fait accompli we were told in a manner, most matter of fact, "Well, you have to pay for them!"

That is the down side. The up side is that you can wait a month or sometimes more to pay for things and no one even thinks twice.

Brian.
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Old 31.01.2010, 19:08
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

A friend of mine paid 800 Euro in Chamonix for custom-fit boots. This
is about 1200 CHF.
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Old 31.01.2010, 23:46
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50 CHF for nameplates?

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Two weeks after we moved in we got a bill for 50chf for 3 stamp sized pieces of plastic and metal that had our Initial and names engraved in them.
at least they were engraved plastic & metal, and not 2¢ adhesive stickers...

The least of one's worries when moving, of course.
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Old 01.02.2010, 05:49
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

My 5 rappe:

I paid about 900chf in the mid-90s for a pair of custom boots: 4-clip
when sport (rear-entry) were all the fashion, and top-end sport boots
were almost as expensive. (Look for people with K9 on their feet now!)

The initial sizing, fitting and customising took best part of half a day, I
skied with them, came back, had them tweaked.

Skied the next day. Came back. Tweak.

Skied. Tweaked.

Perfect. (My skiing, on the other hand... )

(Tweaking was at no extra cost, the guys in the shop almost fought
each other to be doing something interesting...)

They've been perfect for 15 years now. (60 chuffs a year, but priceless.)

As someone said earlier, if you've got your own boots that fit properly -
enjoy!! Use it as a reason to ski more!!!

Of course, you now need to blame the skis, the snow, the bad light...
.
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Old 01.02.2010, 17:33
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Re: How much should custom ski boots cost?

Hey folks, thanks a lot for your responses! It's a relief to have a more complete picture, too.

To answer a couple of the questions that came up -

What the man did was essentially 1) take a stock boot, throw away its liner (well, not literally) and expand part of the shell using heat and a machine; 2) make a new foam-injected liner molded to my foot; and 3) make a supporting whatchamacallit inner-sole thing. All this based on some serious measurements ("stand on this computerized pressure plate... now make this motion..."). He also promised to correct the fit for free if anything was wrong with it - not only this season, but in a few years too, if needed.

Normally, with a modicum of luck with rental boots, I used to easily ski for one day, a second day would become an annoyance, and a third day just too much trouble to be worth it. So short Saturday+Sunday ski weekends were quite doable, but real ski holidays would have been a waste of time. We'll see how I fare now in about 12 days.

If anyone's interested, this is the place where I had it done: www.zumglueck.ch/. Though again with the caveat that I haven't yet tested the boots out for real, I can only say all the best about it.

(Please be nice to me, and if you ever talk to him, DON'T mention me as a customer who was surprised by the price. It's a very easy kind of thing to misinterpret, and I don't want him thinking I had a complaint, because I didn't.)
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