Like most people I’m a sucker for the end of season ski sales, and last year I picked up a good deal in the form of a pair of Head Vector LTD boots. They fitted me pretty nicely straight from the box so I bought ‘em, skied in ‘em for a few days at the end of the season and all was well.

But as this season has worn on they’ve packed down to the extent where there have been days when it’s felt like my feet are racing around on a private little adventure of their own inside the boots, so on a spur of the moment decision a couple of weeks ago I decided to pop into The Boot Lab (www.thebootlab.co.uk) in Courchevel 1650 since they offer a free assessment of the state of your boots, feet, stance and all that kind of stuff that makes a difference when you’re skiing.

Also, if you’ve bought a pair of boots at ProFeet in Fulham (www.profeet.co.uk) you can have them tweaked for free at The Boot Lab if you’re skiing here since the two businesses work in partnership. They also work closely with the British Ski Bootfitters Association (www.skibootpro.co.uk) so clearly we’re dealing with people who know a thing or two about boots, feet and skis here.

‘So what?’ I hear you scoff, ‘It’s still just another boot fitting service…” Well yes, it is indeed another boot fitting service, but the difference between the Boot Lab and so many other places I’ve been before was that A) I didn’t feel like I was being sold a service whether I needed it or not; B) said service was friendly, informative and relaxing – in particular no patronising talking down to the customer, which I hate; and C) their service works.

The Boot Lab’s Gavin Jones wasn’t lying when he said “We’re passionate about skiing and helping our clients have the best experience they can” – we talked skis, boots, snow and little else whilst he assessed my boots and my stance and eventually told me “Yes the boots are the right size for you but you just need better support for your arches so your feet don’t feel like they’re swimming around in them”.

This contrasts markedly with a spotty know-it-all in a large London ski shop where I went for a boot fitting 18 months ago. He wrongly managed to persuade me I’d bought (elsewhere) the wrong size of boots which resulted in me changing them for what were indeed the wrong sized boots and then subsequently selling the new wrong size boots on for a song.

So, over the next hour or so Gavin fitted me for some insoles, which I was then able to take straight out onto the slopes and test drive. I know this sounds too good to be true, but my feet felt better straight away. They hadn’t been particularly uncomfortable before, but now they were in foot heaven.

I’ve now been using the insoles for a couple of weeks and whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to say its revolutionised my skiing it’s just great to have comfortable feet and well-fitting boots every time I ski. Which is surely all anyone can expect from a pair of ski boots?

 

 

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