Ski boots, the saga..

So, I should preface this discussion by saying this post is about gear.  All gear, nothing else.  So, if thats not your cup of tea, please move along.   Or run screaming, if you like.  Try this site perhaps for writing and pictures of actual skiing, because there is not any here today.


During the last couple of years I has switched from skiing with back country skis and boots to using lighter touring skis (and lately low end race skis) and combi boots for most of my skiing.  I spend most of my time on snow machine trails which are mostly pretty well broken out so the lighter, stiffer skis allow for longer days with less effort. Earlier this year I got rid of most of my back country boots as I was just not using them all that much. Nancy was quite amused by my collection of 7 pairs of back country boots, most of which ended up going to the Northern Center for their annual auction.

I was pretty happy with my first pair of combi boots, which was good, as they where the only ones the local ski place I got the boots from, Mountain Sports, carried. They are Alpina SP45s, and alas don’t seem to be made anymore.

They lasted me about 2 years before they started showing enough wear and tear that I had to do something, which in this case was slather a bunch of  Freesole on the areas on the sides receiving the most abuse.

This made them usable for another 2 months of skiing before a large crack opened in the sole, which relegated these boots to only occasional use as having the sole rip off on a trip would be a major bummer, as it would mean a walk out.

So, the search for new boots began. The fellow at Mountain Sports carries a newer version of my original boot, which I tried out but it felt funky, so I moved on. I ended up with a full on skate boot (Fischer RC5s) due to some hard selling from a sales person at one of the other local ski outlets, Beaver Sports.

I was somewhat worried about the “skate” nature of these boots, as the soles are very stiff and I seldom skate in the back country. The boots ended up working quite well and I am very happy with them, except for one problem – after about 8 hours my feet start hurting. Not too big of a deal, as most of my longer trips are under 8 hours, however – I have a super long ski planned in March, which will probably be >20 hours of skiing, so I started looking for another pair. Eventually I got a pair of the updated version of my first boots, mainly because I got them cheap and they fit as well as the other options I had tried – they felt a little funky but would do. Initially I was quite happy.  I should say by “cheap” I mean they where $145, which most people would probably not think is cheap for a pair of boots.  I  purchased them at Play it Again Sports and used the credit I had for trading in two pairs of used back country boots to buy them.   I saw them marking prices on the boots I traded in, and strangely the price on one of the pairs was more than I paid for them new – go figure.   They don’t have as stiff of a collar as the Fischer skate boots do, so they don’t have quite as much control and they are not fun to skate in, but they are comfortable even for long 10 hour classic skis. One major problem arose however – after about 2 months of skiing, they are now in worse shape than my original boots. Much sadness. I had even  wore over boots just to protect the boot for most of those two months, but this did not stop the cracking of the outside of the boot…

I really don’t understand it, as the boots are not cheap, and should last much longer than just two months. Its not like I am all that high of a millage of a person.. What if an actual “hard core” skier purchased them – they might last all of a week.  Its hard to tell from the photos, but the cracks go all the way though the side of the boot to the lining.  Its only a matter of time before the lining goes and then I will have a nice, large hole.

So, the boot search is back on. Hopefully this time I can find a pair that is comfortable for long days and will last at least one season. That does not seem like too much to ask..

The boot collection:

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