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Worried about ski boot hire

(15 Posts)
FatGirlsCanSki Tue 10-Jan-17 22:25:21

I am going skiing this half term and freaking out a bit about ski boot hire. The first time I went skiing in France (six years ago) it took the hire place an age to find boots that would do up round my big calves and it was a bit humilating.

Last time I was slimmer and although my calves were still big it was ok. This year I have put on a fair bit of weight as I had a bad year and I am worried it might be even more difficult than before. I'm going to Austria. Have ski boots come on at all in the last six years? Might hire places have some more larger sizes? Should I try and buy a pair of my own boots to take with me to avoid the horror?

I am not a completely unfeasible size, I'm a size 18. I just have chunky calves and did even as a size 12. So do I buy my own, or trust that the hire shop will squeeze me into something?

dontcallmethatyoucunt Wed 11-Jan-17 11:07:49

I have chuncky calves and was told it's a woman thing by a hire shop once. I have skied with some pretty chunky people (who are incredibly good skiers) and they have hired their boots without an issue. It may mean a change of boot at some point, but that's normal for anyone who hires.

Please don't feel down on yourself, if someone is an arse in the shop, they are an arse and your size or calves will not be the issue.

Enjoy the skiing!

Ethelswith Wed 11-Jan-17 11:15:42

You should be OK

Ski boots don't go all that far up your leg anyhow, and they open really wide at the top as standard. I expect here will be some difference between makes about max position of top clip, so trying some on here and seeing which brands will do up might be reassuring (assuming there is more than one which does!)

Legs such as you describe seem to run in DH's family, btw, and I don't know of anyone who has had difficulties hiring ski kit (buying other boots is a whole different story)

MollyHuaCha Wed 11-Jan-17 11:17:14

I haven't skied for a while, but aren't ski boots adjustable? I seem to recall faffing around with clips to get the perfect fit. I also remember many people in the boot hire place trying more than one pair. Now you've got me wishing I was going skiing with you - have a fantastic time!

CaurnieBred Wed 11-Jan-17 11:32:01

For a start, make sure the ski shop fits you with women's boots rather than men's boots as they are shaped totally different (see this explanation of the differences in boots).

To be honest, if you plan to continue skiing, and you have large calves, I would buy your own - that is what I did after a miserable first time, when they fitted me with men's boots as that was their standard hire boot.

MollyHuaCha Wed 11-Jan-17 11:50:51

Great little video - I learned a few things. Now I really am getting ski-envy. Great idea to buy yr own boots before you go and take them with you. To OP: expensive, but it cd give you great piece of mind, and you will have them for next time.

FatGirlsCanSki Wed 11-Jan-17 14:07:04

Thanks all. I know the first time I went I tried a lot of boots and they could never get the top buckle done up. It was quite a small hire shop though. They found me something in the end but it was really embarrassing. I know they are meant to be adjustable and they don't go that far up your legs, but my calves seem to be wide at just the wrong point!

I might have a look when I am buying ski gear generally (last year's doesn't fit, woe). I am a bit worried about that too, but I can buy men's trousers if I need to.

TheProblemOfSusan Wed 11-Jan-17 14:08:38

I have chunky calves and didn't have a problem when I hired boots, and am probably the same size as you - I'm sort of rubenesque with proper choddy legs (all the better to swish down a mountain with).

I knew I was going to carry on so I bought boots anyway, and got similar to these and have been very happy with them - www.ekosport.co.uk/salomon-quest-access-80-w-anthr-tra-17-p-9-4206.html?gclid=CLWbq8ehutECFUoW0wodqpUA8g#ectrans=1 - there's only one big clip on the calf, and the heavy-duty velcro on the top means it adjusts to your calf better. (Irritatingly I paid more than that though!).

I do know a guy who wasn't able to ski on a holiday once because he couldn't get boots to fit his calves. He is a fair bit larger than me though, like equivalent to a women's 28-30. But he has since bought his own boots and is happy with them, I'm not sure what he has though.

witchmountain Sun 15-Jan-17 09:28:10

No advice on boots but just wanted to chip in on larger sized ski wear having done a bit of a trawl for it recently with my sister. Lots of the brands have quite a narrow size ranges, e.g. an XL is often more like a 14/16. The best ranges we found for larger sizes were Mountain Warehouse and Spyder. The women's trousers in larger sizes fitted fine but the jackets were still a bit of a struggle over big boobs, though that was solved with a men's jacket. Mountain Warehouse prices are pretty reasonable but keep an eye on the technical details like breathability/waterproofing levels and vents if that matters to you because they are bit lacking on some models.

Have a great trip and take as much time as you need in hire shops - I've got my own (snowboard) boots but my friends hire and you often see people in there for ages trying on loads of pairs - it's so important your feet are comfortable, that's what you're paying for!

(Or you can always take up snowboarding - our boots are so much more comfortable smile.)

DuchessMinnie Sat 28-Jan-17 22:22:45

I have the same problem and have suffered the humiliation for years of people in the ski hire shop just not understanding why the boots aren't comfortable. Today I bit the bullet and bought a pair. The young man in the shop had endless patience and completely got it- he explained why you can't just size up to accommodate large calves and a high instep- the whole boot has to support your heel and toes so you need to get it right.

Once the right boots had been selected they were put in an oven to be moulded. I had to have sticky pads on pressure points- heels, instep and side of big toes- to enable more space around them. He promised me they would feel like slippers when he was done and they do. It cost 230 euros which I thought really reasonable. Having suffered for years with hiring I am so happy I finally did this.

My recommendation- either buy a pair or refuse to accept a hire pair which is less than perfect. I am size 14 with chubby legs and no ankles and my best hired pair was a Technica Phoenix and the Ines I bought today were Salomon.

eurochick Sat 28-Jan-17 22:53:07

I'm a ten but had muscly calves from running when I last skied and also struggled with boot hire. Who are they making these things for?

Tokelau Sat 28-Jan-17 23:21:03

I have the same problem. I have wide feet, high insteps, wide ankles, short legs and big calves. I hire boots in Austria and the staff in the shops have been great. I tell them I need boots for wide feet and they know which brands and styles to go for. The clips on some boots can be moved to make more room in the boots.

I did buy boots years ago, but I think my feet grew. My ankles tend to swell when we fly, so I would find that my own boots would be too tight when we got there.

llangennith Sat 28-Jan-17 23:24:02

Go two sizes bigger than shoe size.

Itwasthenandstillis Sat 28-Jan-17 23:35:00

Most people take ages fitting ski boots -don't worry about it.

Saxie007 Sat 28-Jan-17 23:44:32

From my experience I would recommend buying boots that fit you well and Hire good skis with sharp edges that have been waxed and give them back each time. If on the mountain the skis aren't good enough take them back. They are happy to hire out crap to the unsuspecting. This way you get the Best of all worlds, Comfy feet & new sharp skis.

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