Buying kids their first ski boots
5th December 2015 | James Cove
It is a dilemma many parents of young skiers face: when and where? Boots do not come cheap and feet grow, but the advantages are obvious.
“Dad, can you get me some ski boots for Christmas?” said my 16-year old son, Max, last month.
“The hire ones never fit properly and my feet have stopped growing,” he added.
On the first point he was correct, but the second I wasn’t sure about.
His elder sister and brother (19 and 21 respectively) had owned their own boots for several years and it was probably about time Max I got a pair too.
But at over £300 for the boot alone (not including an insole and fitting) it was not a decision to take lightly.
Also with the good exchange rate between Sterling and the Euro perhaps it would be better to get them out in the Alps.
But what if they needed some adjustments if his feet did grow more?
In the end I opted for the specialist boot fitter, Profeet, in London.
My personal view of boots is go for the best.
“Every child’s feet stop growing at different times, but if you think they have stopped and your child skis for a few weeks each season it is probably time to buy,” said Janine Winter, Profeet’s ski manager.
“With their own boots they will ski better and it will increase their enjoyment of the sport,” she added.
Max is a keen recreational skier and is lucky enough to ski for 4 or 5 weeks each winter.
If he got involved in kids racing he would undoubtedly already have a pair, but he is simply good holiday skier.
And one now probably needs his own boots.
The fitter at Profeet was Bernie Haaser, who has been fitting ski boots for more than 20-years and kitted me out a couple of years ago when I traded in my old boots and decided on an upgrade.
“Max’s feet might grow a bit more but they are more likely to fill out a bit and expand rather than get longer and that is where I always allow a little extra so you can come back and we can adjust them if necessary,” said Bernie.
And with that I took the plunge, picking Max up from school and whisking him down to Fulham to get a late afternoon appointment.
There was no time to changer out of his 6th form schoolwear
The process was a simple one.
Measurements were taken, a foot bed created and two boots were selected – an Atomic and a Salomon.
Max said the Salomon felt more comfortable and was less tight.
I suspect the colour may have played a part too.
And perhaps the name – X max.
The whole process took about an hour and a half – rather than the few minutes as a hire shop hands out the one that just about fits.
Profeet offer a comfort guarantee and you can bring them back as many times as you want if adjustments need to be made.
Ultimately you can also get some of your money back if they prove to be a disaster.
It was this that made me opt to buy in the UK – if we had bought boots out in the Alps it would be difficult to get them adjusted.
The real test will come in a few week’s time when we are in Les3Vallees for a pre-Xmas trip.
It will be good not to go to the hire shop and take a chance.
Max is looking forward to his early ski – and his early Xmas present. We’ll let you know he gets on.
In the nicest possible way we hope not to be back in Profeet for a while yet.
Max chose a Salomon Xmax 100. The boot itself cost £330 + (169.95 for the insole and fitting. That’s a grand total of £499.95.
For further details about Profeet then see here
There is currently a drive to show people the benefits of purchasing in the UK; GO UK BUY UK – see here for a related PlanetSKI article on the campaign.
Seee here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
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