Fab new Salomon boots
I’ve always been reluctant to change my ski boots until they start falling apart. That’s mainly because every pair of boots I can remember owning has hurt my feet to start with. I reckon it has usually taken me two seasons of breaking them in, blowing them out in key pressure areas and getting the best footbeds possible made to their size and shape before I have felt they were really comfortable.
This year I was persuaded by Snow+Rock’s then MD Dion Taylor and Ski Equipment buyer Ross McCloy to try Salomon’s brand new Max Custom Shell boots, where the whole boot including the whole shell and inner boot are heated up and moulded to your foot. The Custom Shell concept has been around for four years now – but this is the first season that it has been possible to mould virtually the whole shell (as opposed to a smaller part of it) to your foot. Salomon call it 360º Custom Shell technology.
So there I was in November 2012 at Snow+Rock’s Covent Garden store, with ski department manager JP measuring my foot, giving me various brands to try on and confirming that in his view the Salomons would be best (even though they felt a little snug all round). Then he heated them up having transferred my old orthotic footbeds to the new boots – they were made by industry leader Norbert Cauvas who runs www.footfactor.com and makes footbeds better than anyone else I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot).
20 minutes later it was time to put them on…wow, they felt toasty… and stand still flexing them for a while. It seemed an age until JP told me I could now walk around a bit. After another 20 minutes of so, JP declared the boots were ready to go.
I have to say, I was a bit dubious as I packed my boots for my first ski trip of the season in early-December. I was almost tempted to pack my old Atomic Hawx as well in case the Salomons hurt.
But no. The Salomons were amazing. No pain at all and the fit was tremendous: my foot fitted snugly in the boot with no pressure points and the lateral support and stability around the ankle and lower shin was extraordinarily firm with no noticeable give at all. That meant that when I rolled my ankle to edge the ski the transmission felt very precise and powerful.
All in all, I loved them and can’t wait to get in them again. Editor Gill is in ‘told you so’ mood as his last few pairs of boots have been Salomon and he’s loved them – but he’d love the Max Custom Shells even more.