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Finding a Good Boot Fitter

Finding a Good Boot Fitter

Gear
By Steve Cohen
posted: 02/27/2001

Bad boot fits are like bad marriages. Experts estimate that nearly 80 percent off all bad fits could be avoided if skiers and snowboarders started out with a better match. Since there are few opportunities to actually test boots on the hill, most people rely on how a boot feels in the shop fit and a boot fitter's recommendation. While you can zigzag to a good fit by trying on lots of different brands, you take a short cut by working with an expert boot fitter. Top notch fitters are trained in biomechanics and know the nuances of each model's "last" shape and flex characteristics so they can match your foot shape and ski or snowboarding style to the appropriate boots. They'll make sure you get a boot that fits snug but without pain and is tailored for your body type.

Each fall, SKI Magazine, Snowboarding Business and Ski Area Management sponsor Masterfit University, a nationwide series of intensive boot fitting seminars for ski and snowboard shops, conducted by our technical staff that manages the Ski Magazine Boot Test Program.

Masterfit Certified graduates undergo two days of rigorous training in sports anatomy and the latest boot fitting, footbed manufacturing and stance balancing techniques. They also learn specialized strategies for fitting alpine, snowboard and telemark boots.

They not only can help you find the right boots if you're buying new, but they're also adept at customizing your existing boots to increase comfort, boost your performance and prevent injuries. They are also experts at making custom footbeds, considered the foundation of a good boot fit. These miracle workers are in demand so we suggest you call for an appointment before visiting. ` Several Masterfit University trained shops have joined together to form an organization called America's Best Bootfitters. These shops have agreed to meet stringent membership requirements including having a supervising boot fitter with a minimum of 10 years experience and at least two full-time staffers who've achieved top-level "Masters" certification from MasterFit University. They also must maintain a full compliment of the stretching, grinding and stance analysis tools necessary to optimally customize today's new boots. These shops are designated in the listing with an asterisk (*) in our listing.

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