The human foot has 26 bones, 36 muscles and 56 ligaments, so it’s little wonder that out-of-the-box ski boots hardly fit anyone. A well-fitting ski boot provides comfort and control, and it takes an expert to make the proper adjustments. Heel lifts (especially for women), canting (to compensate for bowlegs or knock-knees) and custom footbeds for everyone make a world of difference. A good boot fitter will also punch out the shell or adjust the liner to relieve pressure points and in other ways accommodate your boots to your feet. The area’s best fitters have been at it for a long time, but so put your boots and your feet in their hands. Plan on spending about two hours for the right fit and be sure to call ahead to double check hours.
Boulder Ski Deals
2525 Arapahoe Ave.
Boulder, CO 80302
Although part of the huge Vail Resorts-owned Special Sports Ventures retail group, Boulder Ski Deals retains the feeling and the personal service of an independent ski retailer. Over the years, talented boot fitters, including Larry Houchon, have worked at Boulder Ski Deals. Mark Simmons is currently the senior guy in the boot fitting department. If Boulder Ski Deals’ boot fitting pros can’t fit your boots to your liking after five outings, they will exchange them for a new pair of equal value.
Eskimo Ski Shop
8265 S. Holly St.
Centennial, CO 80122
The Eskimo Ski Shop has been around since 1939, and such longevity doesn’t come without a commitment to service, knowledge and value. Frank Bulkley has been fitting boots at his family-founded, family-run ski shop for some 30 years. If you’re buying new boots, he will recommend the appropriate ones for your size, ability and style, and then this gifted “boot whisperer” will further customize them. If you want to get another season or two or more out of your present boots, bring them in for an evaluation. They may just need a little tweaking to achieve a better fit, or a pair of custom footbeds might be called for.
Larry’s Boot Fitting
2709 Spruce St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Larry Houchon started fitting ski boots in 1980, and he’s never stopped. Working from a small unprepossessing space, he works on the University of Colorado Ski Team’s boots. He has also fitted Olympians and has been profiled in national magazines for his prowess. Larry also sells a limited line of top-quality ski boots. He was the first shop in the state to carry Full Tilt boots, a heralded boutique boot brand that, among other attributes, fits wide foot. Ski on a Houchon-fitted boot, and if it’s not quite right, bring it back into the shop for further adjustment.
The Custom Foot
2835 S. Broadway
Englewood, CO 80113
Lee Kinney, a boot fitter for 30 years, sources boot fitting aids from France, Italy, Germany and Canada, as well as the U.S., and he employs every weapon in his arsenal to assure the best possible fit and the best alignment. All custom fitting is by appointment only. In addition to Alpine ski boots, he’s an ace at fitting hiking boots, running shoes and other sports footwear.
- Mile High Cheapskates Claire Walter & Laura Daily keep Denver/Boulder residents informed about the latest deals, discounts and freebies at MileHighOnTheCheap.com.