Let me preface my review by stating that for a number of years I sold ski equipment for one of those suburban "Everything under one roof " sports store.
But when It came to BUYING MY OWN ski equipment .....Forget the employee discount ........I went to Viking Ski Shop on Fullerton Avenue.
Speaking as a ski enthusiast, I want ski boots that truly fit my performance and comfort needs. The vast inventory at Vikings caters to all sizes, all performance levels, and all price brackets.. I have always been impressed with the selection of different brands in both their ski and snowboards departments.
FWIW, I'm a bitch to properly fit in a ski boot. Age and arches have taken their toll. The Viking sales staff was conscience of my requisites while directing me to the right boot..
I needed technical help with canting, padding and shell stretching. Ignore the old adage.....Size does matter!! Many ski shops correct these problems by just selling you a larger boot or thicker socks. That's just plain wrong!
These custom services can't be found in the "boot in a box" store or Internet sites. Extra attention to comfort consumes time and labor from a knowledgeable staff and the necessary apparatus to facilitate fit adjustments. Vikings has both.
Having skied a thousand trails has allowed me to ski with folks who exhausted early because they were swimming in their Nordicas. They couldn't carve a turn on their new high tech skies because of extreme arch pain or frozen toes. My advise to them
"" If I you're going to invest big bucks into airfare, lodging and lift tickets (let alone vacation time) then buy a decent fitting boot and if it requires a custom footbed........so be it. ""
BTW, there's more than one brand of footbed so a pro shop can get you into the right one.
In my idle observations, the boot is the most vital component of ski comfort and performance. Thats why I take the time to journey past the other shops to by from the best. That's why myself, my friends , my ski club, and my family patronize Viking Ski shop.