I got some cross country ski boots for Christmas this year. I was very excited because I really enjoy the sport but my old ski boots just didn’t fit me anymore and they were starting to fall apart. My skis are pretty old, got them in the early 1980’s when I was a teenager. They have the old 75mm, 3 pin bindings – basically 3 short pins fit into holes in the toes of your boots, then the clip would clamp down over the toe of the boot. For years my skis sat unused in my mother’s basement until this past year when I finally decided to bring them down to my house. We don’t get nearly the amount of snow as back home but we do usually get 1-2 good storms and depending on the weather around those storms, we can have a small window of decent skiing weather here. (Plus there are some nice groomed trails very close to us!)
Much to my delight, I discovered that there is one company that still makes the 3 pin boots. The name of the company is called Alpina and they are available from a number of different retailers. They come in European sizes but they seem to run a lot smaller than what I’m used to. Normally I’d wear around a size 40 but I got a size 42 based on their size chart. They are pretty comfortable, they are high-tops (my old ones came to just under the ankle like regular shoes – not so cozy in deeper snow) and they have a lot of padding. They are slightly narrow, which is not good for my bunion, but I was concerned about getting a longer boot since my heel slips around even in the best-fitting shoes. I can live with the snug toes for now, and will probably invest in one of those shoe-stretcher contraptions. It is not likely my bunion will get any better as I get older and I’d like to be a little more flexible with my choices of shoes. In this case, I’m not sure there is any other alternative if I want to use my old skis.
Here is the link to the site where I got my boots. I’ve had other people ask me where I got them because apparently there are quite a few of us out there who don’t really need new skis except for the boots. They seem very sturdy and warm and I’m hoping I can break them in easily. After taking a few trips around the yard today I realized how I am not at all conditioned for cross-country skiing! Which means I need to do more of it!