The process begins with a complete athletic assessment & lower leg and foot analysis. During the assessment the bone structure of the foot and lower leg is analysed and recorded as are all boney protrusions and other hot spots.
In order to provide optimal stance balancing within the boot, a series of tests are performed on the skier to determine their flexibility (dorsi, plantar, and lateral), arch rigidity, and the degree of movement of the heel cord during forward flexion (otherwise known as eversion/pronation or inversion/supination).
Length & Width Measurements
Length and width measurements are indeed necessary for any well fit ski boot. However, to fully customize a ski boot to each individual's needs, the process just begins with these measurements.
Foot Volume Measurements
Volume measurements are absolutely critical for the full customization of the boot. Whereas most shops only take length measurements (if they ask you for your size, you're in the wrong shop to begin with!), try to gauge width and pick a few models off the rack that could potentially fit the customer, DaleBoot takes a series of volume measurements to remove any doubt whatsoever from the process. Length, width and all volume measurements are used to fully customize the boot to each individual's lower leg and foot dimensions.
Leg Volume Measurements
Leg volumes differ dramatically between skiers and in order to provide an exact fit, these measurements are taken and analyzed by our staff at DaleBoot. All measurements, length, width, foot volume and lower leg volumes are then compared to the internal measurements of the shell in order to determine what modifications are necessary to provide the perfect fit.
During the consultation, the results of the analysis and measurements are shared with the customer. A series of questions then follow geared towards better understanding the skier's ability, choice of terrain, past experiences and ski boot requirements. The proper model is then selected based upon the skier's feedback and the knowledge gained through the analysis.
The shell is then modified to accommodate all length, width and volume measurements, as well as to offset any pressure points caused by bone spurs, bunions, boney protrusions, medical conditions, etc. At DaleBoot, the manufacturer makes all modifications for our partners and our customers. We use the original lasts, from which the boots were manufactured, to actually make the modifications. The original lasts allow us to maintain the integrity of the shell while performing the stretch, whether widthwise, lengthwise, or both. In addition, as our shells are produced from virgin plastic, modifications made to the shell remain for the life of the boot. All other manufacturers rely on their broad distribution chain to make limited modifications, to shells made from cheaper, recycled plastic, using a variety of tools developed for a broad range of products. This is a significant DaleBoot difference.
Eliminating Hot Spots or Pressure Points
Once the shell has been completely modified to fully match the lower leg and foot specifications of the skier, the boot is ready to be further customized. We then refer back to the foot and lower leg analysis and pad pressure points, bunions, bone spurs or other foot anomalies to further alleviate any hot spots.
Although issued the original patent for foam-injected liners in 1971, we left that technology back in the late 70's. We use a thermo-moldable liner, constructed from various densities of Ultralom EVA that is heated and molded directly to the contours of the skier's lower leg and foot. The EVA liner is far lighter, warmer, and easier to get in and out of than the older foam injected liner. In addition, the EVA liner is easily modified to accommodate any natural or unnatural changes to the foot or lower leg dimensions over the life of the liner.
The skier’s padded feet are then loaded into the boots for the molding process, which takes all of ten minutes to complete.
Once the fitting has been completed, the skier's lower leg shapes are analyzed and the boots cant corrected, utilizing DaleBoot's replaceable and cantible sole units, to provide neutral balance on the ski.
Replaceable and Cantible Soles
The sole units are then replaced with DaleBoot's patented canted soles. This brings the knee into proper alignment, balancing the skier in the frontal plane, and provides neutral balance on the ski by allowing the ski to lie flat on the snow. The result is a drastic increase in power transfer to the ski's edge and a significant reduction to the risk of knee injuries caused by the over-angulation of the knee during each turn. At DaleBoot we cant correct closest to the snow, providing the most precise cant correction available on the market today.
The Final Test
Providing fully customized, high performance, ski boots has been our singular focus at DaleBoot for more than 40 years. We've led the industry in design innovation over these many years and continue to make improvements to our product, its performance and fit as we continue to learn from both our customers and partners. We believe in our products and our processes so fully that any fit adjustments needed over the life of the boot are on us, free of charge. Come see what a truly customized ski boot will mean to you, your feet, and your skiing ability. You won't regret it..!