Master Class: How to Tweak Your Boots

Fall Line

“What the heck am I supposed to do with this?” you ask, holding up the plastic bag full of random parts and tools that came with your new boot. If you’re lucky, there’ll be an owner’s manual in there too, explaining (in four languages, one resembling English) how to use the various wedges, shims and tools to set your boot up. If you’re really lucky, you’ll have bought your boot from Bob Gleason, owner/proprietor of the Boot Doctors in Telluride, Colo., and Taos, N.M., and he’ll have set up the boot properly before you left the shop. Maybe you never buy a boot without getting the full treatment: from footbed to shell-fit to foam liner. But in case you do, here are Bob’s Rules on how to get the job done, working with a new boot right out of the box. Gleason likes to start at the bottom and work up. “It’s like building a house,” he says. “You pour the foundation first.”


>Spoilers (1,4, 5, 6) Added to cuff to increase stiffness and/or lean

>Footbeds (2) Custom are best

>Heel shims (3) To fine-tune fit

>Allen wrench (7) Usually included

>Screwdriver (8) You supply

Click below for the steps.

Sept 2004