Here is a brief example of when you might require each boot fitting service. This is purely a guide as boot fitting problems are often very complex, requiring multiple solutions. We would highly recommend you contact the ski shops listed, who will assess your foot and provide the best solution. Be aware that boot fitting problems can often be very complex, requiring multiple solutions. The obvious solution isn't always the correct one, so the best course of action is ultimately decided by the boot fitter. Do not attempt to carry out any of the adjustments yourself, as boot fitters have the knowledge and specialist equipment required for the task.
Custom Insoles - This is the ultimate solution for problems under the foot as the insole is built from a mould of your foot. A custom insole will match your arch shape and be built to a flexibility that is comfortable for you. It helps to stabilise the foot in the boot, preventing other pressure points from occurring around the foot. By filling the voids around your foot, an insole will also increase control, as any movement is transferred directly to the ski.
Boot Heaters or Heated Socks - If you suffer from cold feet, the ultimate solution is adding boot heaters to your boots or wearing heated socks. It is important to see a boot fitter who will check that blood flow is not being restricted anywhere in the boot, otherwise you will not feel the benefit of the heaters.
Custom Liners - One way to gain a more precise fit in your ski boots is to upgrade to a custom liner. These can benefit people that have always had fit issues or people looking for more performance in their boots. There are various liners on the market including cork injected, foam injected and thermo-mouldable liners. If you are looking for a specific liner, contact the ski shop to find out exactly which models they carry as most shops will not carry all of them. A boot fitter will need to assess your foot and the shell to see which liner would fit as they are all different volumes and which liner will best meet your needs.
Boot Repairs - The most common boot repairs include fixing or replacing broken buckles, replacing cuff can't screws which can wear loose over time and replacing worn boot soles. Boot fitting shops may carry a selection of parts where they will try to solve the problem, but as there are so many models, these parts often need to be ordered. More severe repairs may need to be sent back to the manufacturer, if still under warranty.
(Heat) Mould Shells - Some boots are made from a plastic where the whole boot can be heated in an oven and when the customer stands inside, the shell will expand, increasing the volume where needed. For example Salomon have Custom Shell boots, Atomic have Memory Fit boots and Head have Form Fit boots. This can also be a good option to gain overall volume in a boot.
Stretching Shells - When you have a specific pressure point, such as a bunion, the shell can be heated in that one area and stretched to create space, alleviating the pressure. This is a common boot fitting solution which is often used to adapt the shape of a boot. It must be carried out by a boot fitter who uses specialist tools to create the optimum fit.
Grinding Shells - Grinding is often used for fine tuning within a ski boot as the plastic is marginally thinned to alleviate pressure points. It is a common tool when fine tuning race boots, however, grinding can't be performed on all boots, as the plastic may be too thin. When a more significant amount of space is required, the boot would have to be stretched.
(Under) Sole Canting - This is a more complex process where the stance alignment of a skier is assessed. Not required by the majority of skiers and this should only be changed once you are fully aligned inside the boot. If you are having trouble getting the ski on edge, or if you are bow legged/knock kneed, then changing the angle of the sole of the boot by a minimal amount, can make a big difference. This can be done by planing the sole of the boot or adding canted inserts. The boot will then need to be adjusted so that it complies with DIN regulations to fit into a binding.