Wife Has Boot Problems
So my wife, against what I suggested, bought some Salomon Vigil boots before really trying on everything out there. She's not like me, where I would spend weeks trying on boots, researching, etc before I commit. My problem is the boots don't have a dual zone system, so you can't set up the lower and upper tightness separately, so I'm not sure how to solve her problems:
1. Her feet are slightly different sizes
2. She has circulation problems
3. When riding last week (her first time this season) she said her heels were pulling up badly
What can be done to remedy this problem? I suggested she wear a thinner sock on her larger foot and a thicker one on her smaller foot to help with spacing and circulation. She thinks heel cups will help with the lifting. Would heat molding her boots help? Any other suggestions?
Although my first piece of advice would be to return them, take her to a ski store, and try on a few pairs (months and weeks of research is going overboard, but going in blind and ignorant is no better). If their prices are outlandish, just try them on, make anote of which she liked more, and then buy them online.
However, I would suggest you support the local business even if their prices are a bit higher. One day you'll need an emergency piece of gear and if they go out of business because everyone shopped online, you'll be shit out of luck.
On another note: you, your wife, and snowboarding. I have experience in this area. She jumped the starting gun and ordered boots. Don't get down on her for this. She's obviously very excited to get out on the slopes. Foster this and you'll have a snowboard buddy for life. I don't know how experienced she is, but a private lesson is also money well spent. Have patience and don't yell at her. I've seen guys literally call their girls some pretty derogatory things on the slopes while trying to teach them to board, because they're losing patience. That's not how you teach someone to board. Patience, politeness, respect, compassion, and understanding should be your mantra here. It's worth every second of your time once she starts joining you on the slopes.
Actually, we went to two local shops and she tried on everything they had, which wasn't much as far as women's boots go (basically one model from Vans, Burton, Salomon, and K2). The Salomon boots fit her the best, and I made her follow the steps outlined in the guide from this site. I should have mentioned that before. We bought all her gear from the local shop in one pop.
She's still a beginner and chaperones her schools 3-5 grade ski club. I'm pretty sure last year she hung out with the kids during their lessons. She knows what she's doing and just needs little pointers and a lot more practice. Upgrading from rental gear was leaps and bounds good for her because she actually said "whoa, I can actually carve with this board".
The most important part right now is to figure out how to keep her feet warm and in one place in the boot.
my left foot is a half sized smaller than my right so i feel for your wife. tbh what ive finally started doing is finding a good pair of boots and buying two different sizes. i shit you not this was my last resort but it works the best. now i know not everyone has the luxury of shop hookups that make it possible to get two pairs of boots for price of one ( btw my hookup is friend based not because im super awesome pro wanna be dude lol ) so you can also check the last years bins and online retailers. id only buy online after trying the boot on at a shop tho and not make a blind purchase.
as far as heel lift.. alot of time with new folks they just dont understand the mechanics of properly putting the boot on. have her standing with pressure/weight on the heel of the boot like she will be when shes riding then tighten the inner liner. thats what works for me. trial and error with tightness of the liner and laces will eventually lead her to the best amount of pressure and tightening to help prevent heel lift.
Man damn it! I thought it said "boob problems". My bad.
Since you bought the boots at a local shop, do they have a fit gaurantee? The shop I work at does. I'm not sure how bad your wife's foot issues are, but there are a few things that are easy and then some more that will be harder/require some expertise. What exactly is the difference in foot size, half, 1, more? Most people feet are not the same size.
It sounds like the boots are too big. Could be length, volume or a combo of the two. First thing, if the shop has a boot fitter (generally a ski boot fitter), go to them and they should be able to make things work. Ideally it would be free or cheap (see fit gaurantee above).
If that isn't an option, you might need to do some things yourself:
1) Your wife (and you) need some kind of aftermarket, supportive insole. I have the Superfeet Wintergreen (now they have Hot Pink for the ladys) in my snowboard boots. You just trim the toe of the insole to fit the boot and you are good to go. There are other brands out there too. Just make sure they are supportive, not Dr. Scholes gel. Even better would be to get some type of custom insole. Superfeet, Instaprint and Surefoot are a few brands.
Insoles will make a huge difference in stabalizing the foot and can be used to take up some volume.
2) Use the J Bars mentioned above.
3) DO NOT crank the boots tight, that will just cut off circulation and cause numb and/or cold feet.
4) There are boot heaters that you can buy to keep the feet warm. They are usually used with ski boots, but can easily be used with snowboard boots too. Burton even has a boot this year with the heating element built in.
Hope this helps. In the future, fit the boots to the smaller foot and then make the other boot a little bigger if needed. When you heat mold the shop can put a cap over your toes to add extra space, do that on the bigger foot side and not the small side.
One other thing, it was mentioned to tighten the boot with your weight back/on your heel. It is actually th opposite, you should put the boot on and then flex forward a few times to get your heel set back into the heel pocket. Then tighten. Remember, you ride with your knees bent. The right boot fit (out of the box) should have your toes touching the front of the boot when you stand up straight and your toes pulling back when you flex like you are riding.
How's that for a first post?
i had those boots and i had to replace them after only one season. i found that they were to flexible for me (i think this was partially due to the fact that the the speed lace loosened up with every turn i made) and my heel was lifting despite the boots being as snug as possible (toes touching but not bunched). I was having some real problems riding the steeps cuz i had no support or heel hold. To make it through the season my local shop threw a couple makeshift j-bars cut out from foam into the heel to provide a little extra hold. This definetly helped, but it still wasnt good enough for me and i had to replace the boots this season. boy did i notice a huge improvement when i got some stiffer boots with a better lacing system (they are burton and the speedlace doesnt loosen up at all). It sounds like i may ride a little harder than your wife and her problems might be solved with the j-bars, but im just lettin you know i did not have a good experience with these boots, and they really only seemed fit for an absolute beginner.
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