Always an honor to make the list 🙂
Check out the full article!
Always an honor to make the list 🙂
Check out the full article!
1) Be ready to deal with a shop that is completely focused on individual needs with a high attention to detail
2) Boot work requires an appointment. Call 802-578-3585 or e mail email@example.com
3) We are not easy to find as we do not have a sign. Please print the directions from the web page or put the address in your gps: 69 South Main St., Waterbury, VT. 05676
4) What you should bring: thin socks, pants that roll over your knees, and anything from the old boots that could be recycled like: foot beds, heaters, and boosters.
1) Be as open an honest about your equipment needs as possible. Good communication is critical to getting the set up perfect.
2) Understand that new boots feel very small because of the fullness of the liner. You should have pressure not pain. Try not to worry about things that “might pop up”. Little discomforts work themselves out, the boots only get bigger.
3) Understand that ski boots change and need to be modified thru out there life. This maintenance is much less than what your skis will go thru but there will need to be modification and repair periodically.
1) The boots need to break in so you should wear them at home for at least 3 sessions of 10 min each. During these sessions buckle the boots tightly and wear a thick sock. The goal is to push the liner out prior to your first day on snow. This will not be pleasant and we get it.
2) For your first few days on snow expect to unbuckle at the bottom of each run . At some point you will forget to unbuckle because the liners will have broken in and you won’t need to.
3) If you are struggling…DON’T. Come back to the store and let us take care of anything that is not working. Remember, running a boot with an issue will only make it harder to recover in the long run. E-mail or call if you have questions or problems.
4) The boots will change over time. Minor modifications and repair of broken parts or worn out pieces should be expected.
Race Stock Sports is a specialty retailer providing sales and service of high performance alpine ski equipment. We are located in Waterbury, VT and have been in business for 12 seasons. Our focus is on providing exceptional service for a reasonable rate. Our boot service is unmatched and this work is provided by appointment all year long. While we are known for our service of ski racers, the same skills benefit the non racer and half of our clients are not skiing competitively. We have the experience, tools, and patience to fit the most difficult feet. Many of our clients travel hundreds of miles to visit us. We do not advertise, our clients word of mouth and referrals are the only outreach. Our success and our clients are directly related
By Bob Locicero
Posted January 8th, 2011
Many skiers will tell you the best part of skiing is taking their boots off at day’s end. It’s a shame: it doesn’t have to be that way. Why live with pain if you don’t have to? Finding comfortable ski boots that work properly isn’t easy. Boots must fit tightly to efficiently transfer muscle movement to the skis, but tight-fitting boots can hurt. Ski boots are designed to fit a generic foot that no one has. The result is a compromise, fitting comfortably in some places, while pinching, pressuring, and hurting in others. “Boots that are too big are the biggest problem we see,” says PJ Dewey, master boot fitter and owner of Race Stock Sports in Waterbury. “People try on boots and pick the one that doesn’t hurt when sitting around the shop. The liner packs out and they end up with boots that are too big,” he explains. Dewey knows boots. He was a boot technician for Lange Racing on the World Cup ski tour before starting Race Stock Sports in 1993. Race Stock now specializes in crafting boots for ski racers and advanced recreational skiers. A stock ski boot is a starting point, not a finished product. An expert boot fitter, such as Dewey, begins by finding a boot that is close to the skier’s needs and then changes the boot to fit. Dewey says pressure, not pain, defines a good fit.
Dewey begins by finding a shell that fits and has a flex that matches the skier’s weight. To find the correct length, he has the skier step into a “cut-away”—a shell cut down to just above the sole—and slide his or her foot forward to touch the front end. The size is right if no more than two fingers can be placed between the heel and shell.The flex of a ski boot shell is determined by the thickness and composition of its plastic. Manufacturers assign a number that indicates the stiffness relative to the other boots in their line. The numbers are only meaningful within a line and cannot be used to compare boots from different manufacturers. Shell flex is important because it determines how much effort is required to bend it while skiing. Temperature affects flex, and manufacturers design for different median temperatures. For Vermont skiers, Dewey selects boots that perform well at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. After determining the correct length, shell shape, and flex, the skier’s preferences for brand, style, and cost narrow the boot selection to one or two models. The selected pair becomes the starting point for customization.
The foot collides with the shell when the boot is too tight. In boots that are too big, the foot slides, slamming into the shell. The body protects itself by building up the collision area with calcium, resulting in a bone spur. “I mark the hard parts of the foot where clearly there is going to be collision,” says Dewey. The inside and outside of the ankle, the top of the instep, the bone on the outside of the foot, the “sixth toe,” big toe, and pinky toe are common spots for collisions. He then stretches the shell—called “punching the boot”—to create space. To punch the boot, Dewey slowly heats the shell to 350 degrees using heat guns. A pneumatic ram, inserted into the shell, pushes a form into the target area, stretching the plastic. Dewey has two dozen custom cherry wood and aluminum forms, each designed to solve a specific problem. “Most guys are impatient. They just want to just get it done,” Dewey says. “Heating too quickly can melt or burn the boot,” he notes.
While the pneumatic ram stretches the shell, Dewey customizes the foot bed. “Any foot bed is better than the stock foot bed,” Dewey says. The stock foot bed does not support the foot properly and is discarded. Ideally, the customer will have a custom foot bed made. Custom foot beds last up to 10 years and Dewey encourages skiers to get them. “I have athletes who like their foot beds so much the move them around to their other shoes,” Dewey notes. “Whether it’s a cut-to-fit one or a custom one, the most important thing is the technician knows how to work with it.”
After shaping the shell, Dewey checks the knee and ankle alignment. Legs can be bowed, skewed, or angled in. Past injuries sometimes leave one leg longer than the other. Frequently he discovers problems skiers did not know they had. “We’re measuring in millimeters. They usually haven’t been through something this precise before,” he explains. The skiers take their skiing stance in the alignment tool while wearing their new boots. Dewey checks alignment by placing a gauge on the knee. A rod runs from the knee to the toe, showing the angle. He places shims under the boot to correct the angle, or cant, of the leg. Dewey uses the angle measured to change the sole of the boot, correcting the skier’s cant. He removes a section of the sole, stacking washers on the inside or outside of the gap to create the correct angle. He fills the gap with epoxy and then routes the binding tabs to level, making sure to keep them within DIN standards. The entire process typically takes two-and-a-half hours. Satisfied customers sign the walls at Race Stock and return with each new set of boots. Once you realize what an expert fitter can do, taking your boots off will no longer be the best part of your ski day. Bob LoCicero is a skiing, mountain biking and hiking enthusiast. He lives and works in Huntington. He can be reached at Bob@motorcycle-vermont.com.