“To ensure proper fitting, K2 boots are only available through expertly trained K2 boot fitters at physical retail outlets.” That’s how a recent press release from K2 states the case.
Back in November of 2012 K2 announced their new line of tech compatible beef boots. We hoped at the time that in starting from scratch with an entirely new ski touring boot, they’d throw convention out the window and come up with something disruptive for backcountry skiers. While the K2 boots gave great attention to details such as mounting the tech fittings in the shell body instead of on a potentially wobbly swap sole, they’re basically conventional alpine boots that tour. In other words, if you’re looking for a beefy boot be sure to check them out.
But how will you do that?
As the PR states (see below), you won’t be able to just know your size and order online. You’ll have to walk into a brick-and-morter store and make a deal.
In a perfect world that sounds workable. But in the real world it sounds a bit silly. For example, who’s to say the store employees are the “experts” that K2’s policy assumes they are. Or, what if the brick-mortar store has an online store as well? And what if you rock the same K2 boots year after year and just need a replacement pair?
Looking at this from the other side, we’ve long been advocates of boot makers taking a more radical approach to how their boots are merchandised. For example, we’ve mentioned the idea of all shells and liners being sold separately. What is more, we are huge advocates of boot fitting — to the point of recommending that most boots should be sold with the involvement of a boot fitter from the moment they come out of the box for your first try-on. With those ideas in mind, K2’s policy sounds good.
Will K2’s policy work? Comments are on!
Press release follows, lightly condensed:
K2 Ski Boots Sold Exclusively at Brick and Mortar Retail Locations
K2 supports specialty retail by committing to in-store sales
Seattle, Wash. (Dec. 16, 2013) – K2 Skis‘ award-winning lineup of all-mountain and freeride boots are now on sale at specialty ski and outdoor shops across the country. To ensure proper fitting, K2 boots are only available through expertly trained K2 boot fitters at physical retail outlets.
“When purchasing a new ski boot proper fit is the single most important thing,” said Mike Gutt, K2’s Global Marketing Director. “Having expert shop employees making sure the shell is sized right and the fitting process is done correctly is key to making the boots fit and perform at the highest level.”
When K2 began designing its innovative line of ski boots hours were spent getting feedback from boot fitters from across the globe. Design engineers were very interested to hear what worked well in existing ski boots and more importantly, what could be improved. This feedback led to a ski boot that can easily be broken down in minutes with the use of just a couple allen wrenches for customizations that are a normal part of a boot fitters day.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.