These Boots are Gonna Walk All Over You
pop quiz: Nancy’s original gets updated by a distant cousin of Springfield’s favourite yellow folk, who hails from Hazzard County
Having decided that they could justify buying new ski boots a couple of my mates, Ian and Clare, headed into Snow & Rock to see what was what.
A few weeks earlier we’d been to the Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Show with them. They had spent a short while trying on ski boots, but not really been very impressed.
The First Trip to Snow and Rock
It was a Saturday, they arrived at Snow and Rock fairly early (9.30am) and straight away they were taken in hand by one of their specialist ski boot fitting team.
The first job was to get their feet properly measured; length and width. They were also assessed for any other irregularities!
Knowledge of how different manufacturers’ boots fitted, led to each of them being presented with three pairs of ski boots to try; Salomon & Atomic.
The development of Osteoarthritis in his left ankle resulted in advice that Ian needed custom foot beds, and would need them before being able to assess the fitting of any new ski boots.
Anything Ian has, Clare has too, so both got a pair of custom-made foot beds; “If only your feet could be as warm when skiing as they are whilst getting custom foot beds made.”
Next up it was time for a break whilst waiting for the custom foot beds to cool; the challenge being to master the hot drinks machine.
When the custom foot beds were added to a pair of Atomic Hawx PRM 90W, Clare was happy with the initial fit of her chosen new ski boots.
Ian opted for a pair of Atomic Hawx ULT ski boots, but Snow and Rock didn’t have the 100 version in stock, the 130 version he tried being too stiff.
So two and a half hours later, Clare left with a pair of new ski boots and instruction to wear them around the house, noting how they fitted, or more importantly didn’t fit, and how her feet moved in them. Ian’s chosen boots were ordered for the following weekend.
The Following Weekend at Snow and Rock
It was a Sunday, Ian and Clare arrived just before 11am and joined the queue of people waiting for it to open. Just after 11am, they were in the shop and had the attention of one of the ski boot fitting team.
The Atomic Hawx ULT 100 ski boots for Ian were a reasonably good fit, but a bit tight on the left. No problem, Snow and Rock have a range of tactics to employ to ensure customers leave with a perfect ski boot fit. Ian’s boot outer was put in an oven to soften the plastic. Foam was attached to the top of Ian’s foot, under his socks. Very carefully, the boot being too hot to touch, Ian was helped into his boot and it was manipulated and stretched to his foot shape.
Walking around in her ski boots during the week had led Clare to conclude that her heels were moving around a bit too much. The boot inners were removed and a patch of high density foam glued to the outside of it. Back assembled and on Clare’s feet, they were now a bit tight. Time to bring out the grinder – grinding down the high density foam, not Clare’s feet!
After cooling with ice packs Ian had a perfect left ski boot, but his heel in the right one was moving around too much. Anything Clare has, Ian has too, so his right boot was fitted with extra high density foam on the outside of the ski boot liner.
So, one and a half hours later, a total of four hours in store, both Ian and Clare left happy and each had a pair of perfectly fitted new ski boots.
As holders of an ‘Explore More’ card the standard one year Atomic guarantee has been extended to two years. And if, in use, either encounters any problems with fit, they were instructed to return to the store for a bit of fettling.
Is Snow and Rock any Good?
Overall, Ian and Clare were impressed with Snow and Rock; the standard of customer service was very good and professional; the staff knew what they were talking about and how to achieve the best fitting ski boot for every customer.
At weekends, especially in the lead up to the ski season, Snow and Rock gets very busy. You can’t book an appointment, and as it got busier each member of staff was serving more than one customer at a time. They do deploy a beeper system when it gets too busy and customers waiting start to get impatient. Best advice is to get there as the shop opens and plan to be there quite a while.
Ian and Clare are now off to visit The Snow Centre to give their boots a try out before joining us for a week of skiing in Fiss, part of Ski Dimension.
pop trivia: ‘These Boots Were Made for Walkin’’, originally a hit for Nancy Sinatra in 1966. Jessica Simpson gave it an update for the 2009 ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ movie.
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