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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

PSA for the Eastside of Puget Sound boot fitters

Been to a few brick and mortar boot fitters lately. Shop personal seems to change yearly. Not always for the better. If you are anywhere on the Eastside, (Bellevue/Issaquah/Renton) Kevin and Zach at Gerk's Issaquah are doing exceptionally good work imo. Had them do 3 difficult fits today.

I've driven into Seattle and Bellevue several times this year for boot fits... most of them a waste of time. Much to my disappointment.

I've worked with both guys previous at other stores 4 or 5 years ago and had no idea where they had landed. Anyway, imo, they are doing good work on climbing, AT and Alpine boots.  Including all my double boots, both La Sportiva and Scarpa.  As you might imagine I can be a real pain in the ass fitting boots.   Both these guys have been awesome in every respect.

I've had them fit all three types of boots.  To date,  I have been very pleased on each fit.  Thrilled I found them again today.  Better yet they are even closer for me now.


Jon B said...

Did you try Custom Boot Service in Seattle? I know it's a hike from Issaquah, but I live in Seattle and had good luck with Jim in the past. He made me some foot beds and fitted a couple pair of boots. Worked out real well for me. I'd be curious why if his work didn't go well for you as I'm still fine tuning a pair of TLT-6s.

Dane said...

I have not used Jim Mates @ Custom Boot Service. I think he has a hard earned reputation of excellence. As does Kelly Timmons.

I do know a few guys that have had their TLT5s an 6s worked on by one or the other. My take is that generally the guys going to either buy AT shells (wild snow or alpine race/instructor plug boot back grounds) that are simply too small to use as an AT boot. I suspect they (both the too small boot and well educated alpine skier) are a PIA to get fit right.

When it comes to AT boots and bindings and how to correct the gear, my take is most are on their own to get it right. (combo of boot fit/binding choices and resulting ramp)

Haven't seen anyone yet put all that knowledge together in one place locally.

Mates and Timmons are without question two of the best technically for boot fitting locally.

veronika said...

I went to Jim a few times. He is extremely attentive, and he teaches you to spot the issues in fit that you could possibly solve yourself.
This was a few years ago, and I can't remember the details. But I do recall that working with him was a time commitment. He takes time to do great work and his schedule is packed. It's not like being able to pop into a ski shop, or even being able to schedule an appointment within a 2-week window. I think this was the only downside.