HIRAFU has an exciting new addition to its retail offering with the recent relocation of Boot Solutions – Niseko’s only specialist custom bootfitting store.
Owned and operated by Podiatrist and Master Bootfitter Ned Buckley, the new Nozomi Views store opened in December 2014 and offers custom ski and snowboard boot fitting and winter footwear.
But this is no new kid on the block. Ned opened his first bootfitting store in Niseko in 2006. He was a one-man-band in a decidedly humble shoebox of a shop. But Ned had skills and word got out. The business grew steadily year-on-year, and now nine years on, and three shop relocations, Boot Solutions now employs 10 full time bootfitters. Ned also opened a second store in Hakuba in 2013, which is located inside Rhythm Snowsports.
As well as being Niseko’s only stand-alone custom bootfitting store, what really sets Boot Solutions apart is the four Podiatrists it has on its team. There is not another ski boot store in the world (that we know of) that can boast having such a cohort of medically qualified bootfitters.
When Ned is not in Niseko running Boot Solutions, you will find him in Perth where he operates Ned Buckley Podiatry while also training to become a foot and ankle surgeon.
“This can be due to irregular shaped feet, or problems such as bunions, nerve impingements or vascular compromise. This can lead to numb and/or painful toes, pressure points or and bruising,” he said.
“Our expert bootfitters can recognise and diagnose these issues and then utilise their technical knowledge to recommend the most appropriate boot models, or devise solutions for problems with existing boots.”
But that’s only the beginning of the story. Boot Solutions is centred on the ‘custom fit’, so once a boot model has been selected, their bootfitters will work their magic, starting with a pair of custom orthotics (footbeds).
“Regardless of the shape or mechanics of your feet, footbeds help to take your boots to the next level by providing superior fit, support, and comfort,” Ned said.
“They help to stabilise your foot and correct your posture, so that the energy you exert while skiing is transferred directly to your skis, rather than being lost in your boot. This ultimately results in less fatigue, less discomfort and better skiing performance.”
For many of their clients, Boot Solutions also heat mold the liner and the shell of the boot to provide a more precise and comfortable fit.
For the ultimate tailored fit, Boot Solutions now also offers the Fischer Vacuum Fit System.
“The Fischer Vacuum Fit technology makes it possible for the first time to adapt the shell of the ski boot completely to the anatomy of any foot,” Ned explains.
“By heating up the boot shell and then using a combination of a compression pad and air pressure, the boot conforms to the exact contours of your foot, giving you a perfect fit. We have received rave reviews from our clients who have purchased one of our Fischer Vacuum range.”
And just to be sure they’ve got all your foot needs covered, Boot Solutions now stocks an extensive range of handmade European footwear specifically designed for snow conditions.
“Our après boot selection is unique in Niseko and sell-through has been very strong this season. With materials such as leather and fur, our clients love the fact these boots are not only warm and functional but also very stylish.”
For further information, please visit www.bootsolutionsjapan.com.