Making ski boots fit like a glove

By 7th February 2015 April 22nd, 2019 Business, Gear, People


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.

6-Feb-Ned-boot-stretching-edNed says while some bootfits are straight forward, many people have some sort of issue with their feet that affects the fit of their ski boots.

“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.”

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  • Avatar for Odd Haavik Odd Haavik says:

    I visited Boot Solutions on 27 Dec 2015 to get help with a small issue with my new boots. Though I had not bought the boots there and showed up without an appointment, a 30-minute wait was all it took for Ned to fit me in, despite the shop being exceedingly busy.

    This was no quick-fix,shoddy in-out job – despite being pulled in several directions, Ned took time to do a custom insole as well as heat-molding boots and liners, never making me feel he was trying to get me out of the shop in a hurry. Only when I skied the boots the next day did I realise how improved the fit was and it took an all-day backcountry tour in waist deep powder for my toes to get marginally less than toasty.

    I unhesitatingly recommend anyone in the area who needs new boots or adjustments to current boots, to make use of the outstanding service at Boot Solutions.

    • Avatar for Victoria Drydne Victoria Drydne says:

      Hello, my name is Victoria. We are arriving in Niseko today. I am in need for a podiatrist with a foot complaint. I am wondering if you might be able to help me. With thanks.

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