I hate few things more than buying new ski boots, it’s the combination of shopping, parting with large amounts of money, the patience required to talk “tech” for maybe 2 hours or more and then the pain of skiing with a new boot, tweaking all the settings, convincing yourself it will “bed in soon” and so on. In the past I have been fairly lucky, I bought a pair of Langes in the UK (at Snow and Rock no less) and they fitted fine and were actually very nice once they bedded in. Prior to that I had a pair of diabolical Raichles (not Flexons… sadly), sending them to the Oxfam was one of the happiest days of my life. Anyway, the Langes are now old and minus one buckle, and I fancy a pair of Black Diamond Factors or similar - i.e. a boot that you can *just* manage to tour in but is really a downhill boot with a walk mode. I’m definitely putting myself in the “slack country” crowd I know.
The thing is I have not skied anything other than my Langes for so many years so I really want to try a few pairs before I commit (e.g. Salomons, Garmonts etc.). Are there any shops that would make this possible? I don’t mind paying rental rates for them or something along those lines while I demo. I’ve demoed skis before and I dimly recall demoing boots in Val d’Isere.
I’ve emailed my favourite shop in St Anton but I’m not hopeful (for some reason shops in St Anton don’t seem to do demos), so I thought I’d cast my net wider. Are there any shops in Chamonix/Argentiere that would help maybe? Obviously I’d want advice from a good boot fitter and someone who can make necessary mods, punches etc, and there are a few places I know where I can get this but it’s the demo bit I’m not sure about.