PARK CITY, Utah — Brian Potempa can do just about anything to a ski boot to make it a great fit— he just can’t change your boot size. Thanks to Potempa’s decades of ski industry and boot knowledge, I learned I was wearing the incorrect size and volume boot for 10 years. The Ski Shoe and Biomoto Utah helps local athletes, professional to novice, get the right fit for their ski boots for a better skiing experience.
The Ski Shoe owner was a competitive mogul skier and coached the Wasatch Freestyle Team for 20 years, providing him with specialized insight into the relationship between biomechanics and skiing.
“I wanted to create a different bootfitting environment and experience,” Potempa said. “Performance is a word that people get scared of, but performance can be interpreted so differently for each person.”
Along with his experience and knowledge, Potempa said his greatest asset is listening.
“I really pride myself in listening. I think that’s what separates a good boot fitter. I try to listen twice as much as I talk and to have patience.”
Whether a client is bringing in an old pair of boots or looking for a new set, they will get a 3-D scan of their feet and lower legs. The device takes about 2,000 pictures per second and provides Potempa with loads of helpful information.
For instance, I learned one of my feet is longer than the other, I have a low instep, foot pronation, and overall narrow feet. This information informs Potempa that feet like mine need a low-volume boot— and that I was skiing with a full-size too-large boot for a decade.
“I have a whole library of boots that I can overlay exactly on your foot,” he said. “The program that I use has the technology to scan the inside of the boot and give me the exact dimensions of the boot. We can then overlay the appropriate boot on top of the foot and see where the bone structure lines up with the inside of the shell.”
With this 3-D imagery and dimensions, Potempa digitally overlays ski boots onto the foot and can see where the boot makes contact with the foot, shin, ankle, and toes. Because my boots were a completely wrong fit and volume, Potempa wrote me a boot prescription for brands making low-volume boots with the flex appropriate for my skillset.
Once I filled that prescription, I brought the new boots to The Ski Shoe where he heated the liners and cooked the shell to 300°. With those heated shells he reshaped the boots to fit my bone structure.
The Ski Shoe also creates personalized boot insoles, designed to keep a skier’s heel stable and metatarsals and phalanges (toes) free to “flex and articulate.”
Biomoto USA 3-D printed ski boot insoles are coming to The Ski Shoe in the near future for an extra degree of customization and performance.
“Building an insole that’s dynamic, meaning that it’s flexing with the foot is the key to achieving increased comfort and balance,” he said. “Having the plastic shell fitted and shaped to your bone structure gives skiers the best control and power to the edge.”
Next, he focuses on ski boot canting, which is finding the skier’s neutral stance, allowing a flat stance on skis.
Both of my boots received a two degree canting wedge. Others will fluctuate, where one foot may need a different degree from the other.
“When the body’s working efficiently from the ground up, the upper body is quieter, and your turns are more efficient.”
Which is precisely what I felt on my newly tricked out boots— just in my first few turns I realized how hard I was working in my previous pair just to make a turn. With the new set up, my skis are more reactive and I felt wholly in control.
The beauty of this process is that it is 100% about the individual. There is no one-boot-fits-all here. The process differs slightly for those coming in with well-loved and worn boots.
From custom insoles and creating a strong skiing foundation to offering ZipFit liners and boot heater installation— even the smallest adjustments make a large impact on the mountain.
Beyond bootfitting, The Ski Shoe is partnered with Biomoto. Using Biomoto technology, Potempa creates fully custom insoles for all athletic endeavors including golf, cycling, hiking, running and more.
“I have all kinds of great success stories of Biomoto results,” he said. “It’s incredible to see the body change and become more efficient— for athletes, for those dealing with neuromas or other medical issues or for people just wanting to be more comfortable.”
From homebase to the mountain, The Ski Shoe grounds people from the feet up. If you’ve given up on ski boots as both a tool of comfort and performance or are looking to get more out of your athletic shoes, then it might be time to make an appointment with The Ski Shoe & Biomoto Utah. It can be reached at 435-647-5945 or online at https://theskishoe.com/contact-us/.