Post a photo of yourself wearing any pair of Tom’s Boots with the hashtag #FTtomwallischpro on Instagram. It can be a photo of you skiing, standing in your house, a ski shop, wherever! But the boots have to be visible.
You’re entered! We’ll announce a winner on Monday, October 21st.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and The City Garage:
I started in 2001, fresh out of high school. Wax tech in training was my position. Fast forward to 2019 and people think I am the owner! Well, I kind of am, but I don’t pay the bills…yet! City Garage opened in 1999 was founded by Sean Lowes. People thought he was crazy. This is now our 20th year of selling skis. We’ve been keeping kids off of snowboards since 99 :).
What is the ski scene like around New York?
We are in the heart of ski country, New York style. Lake effect storms can bring in feet of snow. We are an eclectic group of skiers, a melting pot of sorts. We ski it all. Tele, moguls, trees, hard carving groomers, and whatever else the conditions bring about! When it snows we’ll see ya in the trees! Talking big!
How long have you been carrying Full Tilt?
Since the start! And we carried Raichle’s before that.
Which boot have you been most psyched about carrying? Which boots do well?
The Dropkick has been crushing it for years. We love how customizable it is and how easy it easy for any young skier to become accustomed to. It will flex and fit the right way for any customer over the right amount of time.
What is the most rewarding part about owning/ working at City Garage?
It all comes down to making people smile and getting them excited to ski. Building relationships that turn into friendships. Oh, and the deals are gear definitely don’t suck either.
What is one thing that makes City Garage a unique shop?
One word. VIBE. We are a collective of misfits that love our shop. People come in from all over the world, and we want them to remember their experience at City Garage.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Baker Street Snow:
I have been in the industry for 17 years now. I Started out scraping skis and cleaning machines at Peter Glenn in Orange County. They went out of business after my first season and Stefan Kaelin Ski & Golf came in. They gave me the opportunity to start mounting skis and eventually, I became the shop manager. Six years later the economy took a crap and at the same time internet sales were taking a toll on ski shops, so they shut down too.
Phil over at Phil’s Ski and Snowboard (Costa Mesa) recruited me after that. After managing Phil’s for 5 years I started selling hard goods out of his rental and tune shop as well as managing his store. I started out super small and within 5 years Baker Street had grown to carrying over 20 of the best brands.
We have the best selection in Orange County as well as selling across the country on our website. We owe all our success to these shops, awesome reps, and our epic customers and supporters!
What is the ski scene like around Southern California?
The ski scene is very alive and well! We have lots of resorts close by! We get every kind of skier here. That is why we love Full Tilt! We sell Full Tilt to the park rats that will only get the Classic and Dropkick, the mom or dad that want something comfortable to perform, and the 80-year olds that are blown away that you don’t have to struggle your ass off to get your boots on.
How long have you been carrying Full Tilt?
5 years now! Since the start!!
Which boot have you been most psyched about carrying? Which boots do well?
We absolutely kill it with the Descendant line! Especially the Descendant 6 and 8! We get a lot of wide footed people wearing flip-flops half of the year and these just amaze them! First Chair 6, 8 and 10 do great as well. The lady’s love the ease of entry, comfort and performance also!
What is the most rewarding part about owning/ working at Baker Street Snow?
The main thing would have to be doing what we love! We work our asses off for 9 month’s but at least it’s alongside the other best Ski Shop in town ( Phil’s Ski and Board.) My best friend who passed away, his little brother that I’ve known since he was 5, is my manager. All my employees are friends, and my wife does the books! It’s one big dysfunctional family haha! I love the ski industry and so grateful to be a part of it!
What is one thing that makes Baker Street Snow a unique shop?
We’re a small shop STACKED to the ceiling with so much gear it will blow your mind!! We only do Ski and Board. We don’t sell snorkels or rollerblades. We live winter!
Slip your ski boots off and slide right into your new favorite slipper. Our Après Booties are equipped with an Intuition insole, gripped sole, and cloud like comfort. After a long day on the hill your feet will thank you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Julen-Sport Zermatt:
We are a premier ski shop located at the foot of the world-famous Matterhorn. Julen-Sport was established in 1958 by professional Skier Martin Julen Senior. In 1984, his son, Max Julen won the Giant Slalom Olympic Gold in Sarajevo, giving rise to the name “Julensport The Olympic Champion Store”. In 1987, Martin’s other son Martin Julen Jr took over the business from his father and continues to run the business to this date with his wife Katja.
With over 40 years of expertise and experience, Julen-Sport has really established itself as the number one place to go for boot fitting in Switzerland. The rental department consists of the best and the highest quality skis to offer our clients, while it goes without saying, the snowboard department is probably the best in all of Switzerland. Finally, our clothing range caters from the exquisite luxury skier to the hang loose park rat.
What is the ski scene like around Julen-Sport Zermatt?
Winter is extremely busy in Zermatt. A lot of rich and famous people come here to ski and enjoy this amazing environment. Zermatt has over 200km of skiable terrain with the longest run being 25km, but as we also have the connection to Cervina, Italy, and it gives the resort access to more than 360km of skiable terrain! That’s not counting the real estate that the backcountry and off-piste terrain consist of.
Summer is less busy but more personal. Due to the location and altitude, we have a summer glacier which allows for some amazing summer skiing. This Glacier paradise has a dedicated summer park, Mogul course and race piste which attracts many of the world’s top athletes to come to Zermatt and train during their offseason. This gives way to a great opportunity to meet them either up on the hill, where you can see what they do up close and personal, or when they come by the store after a day on the glacier.
How many athletes have you fitted with Full Tilts? Can you tell us about some of these amazing athletes?
Bwoah…? Hard to say, lots, too many to mention. haha. This year we had the pleasure of meeting and fitting Henrik Harlaut and Phil Cassabon, (well we gave them the boots, they put them on and they were good to go) crazy guys.
What I can say though is for the last several years we have been helping and fitting many of the top Mogul athletes from all over the world. These include Marika Pertakhiya, Anastasiia Smirnova of Russia, Lea Bouard, and Katherina Foerster of Germany to name a few.
But the relationship that has really grown over time and the ones we are proud to have and call our friends is with the Kazakhstan Mogul Team. These guys and gals are some of the coolest and most humble people I have ever met. It started many years ago when Coach Yelena Kruglykhina came into our store needing boots for two of her Athletes, Pavel Kolmakov and Yuliya Galysheva. In the following years, this relationship would further develop and we would meet Coach Viktor Reikherd and his brother/ athlete Dmitriy “the destroyer” Reikherd.
Last year we got to meet and fit the whole Kazakhstan team (14 in total), from the Juniors right up to the top Dogs that I mentioned above. We are immensely proud to be involved and part of what they do and working together to grow the Full Tilt Family together.
Why do you choose Full Tilts so often when fitting these athletes?
Because they are awesome! Full Tilt is just an all-round great boot. Always has been and always will be, and in a market environment where all boots are so similar, it’s nice to have a genuine alternative. Full Tilt offers a warm, progressive and responsive fit which is both dynamic and versatile, it also gives great dampening which makes it a first choice for the freestyle athlete but works for the exclusive too.
What is the most rewarding part about working in Julensport Zermatt?
Working for such a reputable and established business is a great honor. With Zermatt being such an international destination we get to meet so many cool and interesting people from around the world including all of these amazing athletes that come here to train and thus we are able to work with. So it’s fair to say, that being part of this Julensport family and being able to contribute and push the industry forward makes me immensely proud. That and the 6 figure paycheck 😉
What Full Tilt Boot is your favorite?
All of them, it is like saying which is your favorite child, it is not fair to choose, all of them are unique.
Yes, you read that title correctly! During the late 60s and early 70s, NASA was in the early stages of developing the modern spacesuit. During this process, they ran into a big issue with the design in that the heating, cooling and electrical lines that ran throughout the suits, which powered the suit and kept the astronaut alive. These lines would kink, crease and crimp when the astronauts would walk and flex their arms, therefore cutting off electricity.
Al Gross with Dixie Rinehart ultimately came up with a solution to include articulating hinges with ribs that allowed a natural flex in the astronaut’s ankles, knees, and elbows; preserving the shape and functionality around the joint. Think of these hinges acting like a bendy straw. They can bend and maneuver, without compromising the performance of the straw.
When Gross and Rinehart eventually left NASA, they knew they were onto something with their ribbed design. When they found employment with a small company in Aspen known as Comfort Products, headed up by former racer Eric Giese. At Comfort Products, Al Gross applied his knowledge of space-age technology to skiing.
Do these ‘ribs’ that allow a natural flex sound familiar at all yet? Try looking at the tongue of your Full Tilt Boots! Al Gross was able to take the ribbed design they used on NASA spacesuits and transform the design into a fully functioning ski boot.
The 3 Piece Boot Is Born
With a ribbed tongue, a ski boot has the ability to bend and flex without compromising performance or causing any distortion in the boot (think of the bendy straw example). Armed with this new revolutionary design, Al Gross, Dixie Rinehart, and Eric Giese paved the way for the 3-piece boot to be created and ultimately made history in the world of skiing.
If you didn’t know already, Full Tilt Boots are created with a simplistic 3-piece design. In short, our boots are comprised of three elements:
The Lower Shell
The Upper Cuff
Without the tongue, any Full Tilt Boot can flex freely, without any resistance. This is where your flex comes into play. All Full Tilt tongues feature a ribbed design, making for a more efficient and naturally flexing boot. There is no distortion or bottoming out, along with no shin bang.
Perhaps the greatest thing about this 3-piece design is how you can change the tongue, or change the flex. Depending on your skiing abilities, you can put on a softer tongue for more flexibility, or a stiffer tongue for a more aggressive skiing style. You can even change your flex based on the current skiing conditions.
Change Your Flex
Changing your flex is easy and can be done in seconds. Simply unbuckle the boot and open the tongue up all the way. You will see a little hinge holding the tongue in place, simply pry this hinge open and slide the tongue out of boot. Grab your new tongue and insert it into the boot in the same fashion.
Skip to 1:25 to get a tutorial on changing your tongue
Ski boots are quite possibly the most complex, high tech piece of footwear that you’ll ever own. They perform a vital job day in and day out on the mountain. From connecting you to your skis, to keeping your feet warm and dry, to allowing you to rip groomers, moguls, park, and pow, your boots are a very important piece of equipment. That’s why it is imperative your boots fit properly.
Comfort Is Performance
It’s no secret that Full Tilt Boots are known for their comfort. They are the easiest boots to get in and out of on the market. But, there are more factors than comfort to take note of when trying on your boots.
Your bootsshould feel extremely snug when you first try them on. In fact, you should feel your toes touching the end of the boot. This may seem counterintuitive, but the more snug your boot feels, the more control you will have on your skis. Not to mention, when you are leaning forward in your ski stance, you toes will slide back from the front of the boot, relieving that pressure feeling.
Take note of the width of the boots. Ski boots come in different lasts (widths) to account for the different foot shapes of skiers. Do you know if you have a wide or narrow foot? In the case of Full Tilt you can get a boot with a 102mm last or a 99mm last. If you don’t know whether your foot is classified as wide or narrow we recommend trying on one boot for each last and determining which feels better.
You don’t want to be ‘swimming’ in your boots. This is a slight re-iteration on the first point, but that’s how important it is to ensure your ski boots are not too big. If you can feel empty space in your boots, then they are too big. They may feel comfortable when you first try them on, but that will change once you start skiing. When you have room to move in your boots, you will have less control of your skis, and your feet will slide around thus causing you more pain than if you had a snug, secure fit.
Perform a shell fit. Remove the liner from the shell of the boot. Step into the shell and slide your foot all the way forward until your toes are touching the end of the shell. Now test how much space you have between the shell and your heel. For this, you can use the finger test. If you have more than 2 fingers worth of space between your heel and the shell, the boot is too big. If you have a 1-2 fingers width of space between the shell and your heel then the boot is a good size. Now perform the same test on the side of the boot, on both sides of your ankle to determine if the width is right for you.
Ensure you are in the right flex. Finally, you want to determine if you are in the right flex for your style of skiing. If you are a casual skier, you may want a softer flex. If you are an expert, hard charging skier, a stiffer flex is for you. Ensure you have the flexibility you need in the boot, and remember you can always purchase aftermarket tongues for your Full Tilt Boots.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when finding the right ski boot. It is also important to note that over time, your boot’s liner will wear down thus giving the boot a slightly bigger feel. Just another reason to ensure you are getting a boot that is snug and secure on your foot, and not too big.
So check out all of the Full Tilt Boots that we have to offer, and don’t forget to go to your local boot-fitter to ensure you are getting the best-fitting boot you can.
Shin Bang. The dreaded pain that all skiers fear. Whether you’re new to skiing, or you’ve been doing it for years, sooner or later, you’ll experience the feeling of shin bang. Many people tend to think it occurs from one’s shin simply ‘banging’ against the front of the boot, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that.
Causes of Shin Bang
It all comes down to the size and fit of your boot, and your typical skiing style.
Let’s start with the obvious. Your ski boot is too big. If you have too much room to breathe in your boot, then it’s pretty obvious that your foot and shin will be moving around while skiing. Instead of having a ‘roomy’ feel, you want your ski boot to be as snug as possible. Many professional skiers will actually size down from their typical shoe size in a ski boot in order to increase control and limit the possibility of shin bang. Not saying you have to be like a professional skier, but a tight boot is the way to go.
You’re skiing and/or landing backseat. This is where the mis-conception that shin bang relates to purely from ‘banging your shin’ stems from. Rather, when you consistently ski or land in the back-seat position, you are actually causing a great deal of stress on your shins. Instead of banging and bruising them, you are tearing little tissues and muscles within your shin, similar to that of shin splints.
Your boot is the wrong flex. Flex, of course, relates to how stiff your boots is. In the case of Full Tilt, flex numbers can range from 4-12, with 4 being soft and 12 being stiff. While with many other companies you may see flex’s ranging from 80-130. In simple terms, if you are relatively small and lightweight, you should not be in a stiff boot as this will cause less mobility and therefore strain your shin. However, if you are a heavier, aggressive skier, you shouldn’t be in a soft boot, as too much maneuverability will onset shin bang as well. In order to find your perfect flex we suggest talking to your local skip shop and getting properly boot-fitted.
Your liner is worn out. Overtime, your boot’s liner will become ‘packed out.’ In other words, the comfy foam that your liner once had, will dissipate overtime and there make the boot more spacious and less padded.
Preventing Shin Bang
Shin bang can make or break a day on the hill. Don’t let it stop you from getting after it. Make sure you have a boot that fits properly. Nice and snug, not loose like your shoes might be. Make sure you’re skiing in the proper stance, and if you can’t stop landing backseat then work on strengthening your legs. The stronger your legs are, the less likely you are to land backseat!
The lifts have stopped spinning. The snow has melted. The ski season has officially ended. We know, it’s pretty sad. But, just because the ski season is over doesn’t mean you should neglect on properly taking care of your gear during the off-season. Check out these few tips to ensure you are extending the longevity of your Full Tilt Boots.
Wash Your Shells and Liners
For the sake of your mom, dog, and everyone else in your house, you should definitely be washing your shells and liners after every ski season. Using warm water, anti-bacterial soap, and a soft cloth, wipe down the inside and outside of your shells.
With your liners, give them a good rinse with a mixture of hot water and anti-bacterial soap. After rinsing, wipe them with a soft cloth just like you did with the shells. We strongly recommend NOT throwing them in a washing machine- the last thing you want is your liners to rip!
After washing, set out both the shells and liners to air dry- no rush right? You’ve got all summer… Avoid throwing your liners in the dryer as you don’t want the hot temperatures to mess with the mold.
Check Your Buckles and Heels
Are your buckles and heels in good shape after a year of wear and tear? If you spent a lot of your winter walking to and from a parking lot, chances are your heels are pretty beat up. It’s not a bad idea to replace your heels each year to ensure proper safety and bindings release mechanics.
Buckle Em’ Up
You want to keep your boots contracted so that the liners stay form fitting and don’t loosen too much over the summer. So buckle them up, store them in a comfortable, room temperature setting, and continue counting down the days until the chair lifts start spinning again.