Monday, December 17, 2007

Wherein we Have a Fabulous First Day at Snowbird, Visit the Boot Guru and Buy Boots!

Oh, its a girlie trip, yes it is. I think Spuhler (Josh, will you please email me with the correct spelling of your name? Good golly.) is probably thanking his lucky stars that he didn't come with us!

Tonight, we soaked in the hot tub, and then came upstairs to eat takeout Chinese, drink our bottle of red wine, and watch ANOTHER version of Pride and Prejudice! Yes, it's been a great day.

We got a hold of Rob Sogard this morning, happiness! We get to ski with him tomorrow afternoon, I am so excited!

The Super 8 motel we are staying in in Sandy, UT is really spectacular. I've stayed in a LOT of value hotels, and they usually suck. Lets be honest here. We have a $45 hotel room. It has a great mattress, its clean, and big, the hot tub is really nice, the pool is warm, they have coffee makers and hair dryers and dvd player rentals, and it smells good! Thanks, Super 8!

Skiing today
was leisurely and fun, we went into mineral basin for a while, skid a bunch of groomers, just had fun and toured the mountain. It was slow and fun, a bit cold, and we just let go and skid. We tried hard not to think or work on anything, but just have fun. We quit at 1pm and headed over to Park City to see Brent Amsbury.

This guy has got it together! He looked at my feet and guess what? Prepare to be very shocked, they are a nightmare. No plug boots for me, no off the rack boots. My left foot wants to stand on the heel rotated out words, my toes want to stay up, and I have almost no range of motion on my left foot! My right has bigger range of motion, but the bones along the pinky toe side doesn't move properly, causing me to have an uneven gait, which explains why I go through shoes so fast, and why my feet hurt so often when I hike!

Apparently I need super stiff last in my shoes so that I don't have to bend my big toe at all but just rocker off the ball of my feet. This is interesting because the tendons under my big toes get really sore. By the way, this ALSO explains why my toes hurt when I do duck walks, and why I get blood blisters under my right big toe. Isn't this incredible?? I also have a really super wide foot and a high arch, and a foot that spreads a lot.

He knew this after five minutes with my feet. I was just a tiny bit blown away. Shannon is all excited to get her feet done now, which will be so good because she gets massive foot cramps sometimes, and has all kinds of opposite issues than I do.

Brent then told me that I needed a certain type of boot, and I am SO glad he did, because there are hundreds to choose from, and NONE of the boots I was considering after reading all the reviews were on the list.

He asked me what Michael wanted me in, if I lifted weights, how much I could bench press, and gave me a short list of 5 boots to go try on, with two favorites on the top.

Here are the contenders:

Mens Dalbellow Proton 12 or 10
Wms Nordica Olympia Speed Machine
Lange Exclusive
Atomic H90 (hawx)
Head Dreamthang

Now, if the right boot for me was neon yellow and purple, I'd still buy it, but I was really hoping that one of these would be nice looking. I tried on four of the five, all but the Lange, and lucky me, they are all Orange! My very very favorite color, and also the color of the new Rossi Z9 which I hope to get this year. Not that it matters. But hey!

The Dalbello was sweet right out of the box, and I was shocked at how well it felt and fit. Its also really beautiful. about $500.

The Nordica was also really beautiful, but compared to the Dalbellow was narrow, not as soft inside yet stiff outside. I WANTED to like the Nordica more because its really sexy, also orange, but the Dalbello beat it hands down in off the rack fit and comfort. The Nordica is about $850.

Next was the Atomic Hawx, which I was excited about, as Rick Blevans has a pair and likes it. I like the idea of mid foot flex, and its supposed to allow you to stay balanced as the forces change during the turn. This boot was so flexible, it felt just like my AT boots (I wear Garmont Mega Rides right now), and it was also not as comfortable. The Atomic Hawx is about $709

Next was the Head Dreamthang, which was really lovely off the rack as well. It was beautifully styled, the Dalbello has a less comfortable factory foot bed, but Brent is going to redo them anyway, so I tried to just feel the rest of the boot. The Dalbello had just a nidge of comfort over the Head, but the Head was just a titch stiffer. The Head was about $745.

For more than $200 less, the Dalbello wins! I have my boots. Brian the Bootfitter at Jans in Park City was nice enough to patiently help me out, and was kind enough to "ruin yet another great holiday picture" for my blog. The store had an incredible selection, and Brian was enormously knowledgeable about every boot. He really wanted me to take my time and wear the boots, feel them, and ask questions. All in all, it was great.

I get to ski in them tomorrow, and then I take them back to Brent so he can tear them apart and remake them.

We got back to the hotel, and my very own ski technician fixed the forward pressure on my binding so its right for the new boots. I always wondered what that was and how to do it, as I hear instructors talking about it all the time. Apparently its how hard the back part of the binding pushes on the boot. Whaddya think? Is there anything hotter than a chick in a backwords baseball cap with a screwdriver working on skis? Yeah... that's hot. But simmer down, boys, she's taken.

More tomorrow!

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