I get asked by lots of customers what qualifications do I have in Boot Fitting?
Well, the official answer is I have done a fair few formal courses along the way from when I started as a casual boot fitter at exhibitions. In the main I would credit Masterfit as being the most relevant qualifications in the Industry world wide and both myself and Andy are Master Level Graduates of the scheme.
But, the true answer is the quest for knowledge in my chosen weird field of foot fetishness is constant and ever changing. Sure, I could go and refresh my Mastefrit qualification or go on a course with one of my footbed brands to give me another piece of paper but that won't have any huge effect on my client outcomes.
No, I believe the way to learn anything is by participating. So we put ourselves out there as a business to turn to when you have boot issues that can't be solved in a normal retail environment. The A Team of Boot Fitting if you will, the people you call when no one else could help. That is intentionally cheesy BTW!
This is how you learn. On the bench fitting clients with problematic fitting requirements. Heavy injuries, birth defects, ski dynamics issues etc etc etc et al
This is the path to knowledge. Be presented with a problem and solve it. Sometimes conventionally, sometimes experimentally - always Interestingly.
Take specimen A in the picture, this guy was a real pleasure. Heavy injury sustained in a Motorcycle Accident (I feel your pain Brother). Result, a skier who thought his career was over. That he would never be able to ski with his son. That he would never have an apres beer with his pals again with that amazing glowing feeling of a day well spent.
With a Fused Ankle with zero range of motion, compartment syndrome post injury so lots of muscle atrophy, nerve damage, limited circulation and the foot was subsequently 2 sizes smaller than the healthy one. Aaaaaaand breath.
Assess. Evaluate. Formulate. Execute.
Result for the client - a very happy skier, who could not only just side around on skis again but could chase his kid around the mountain in a way he never thought possible from his hospital bed in the immediate aftermath of his injury.
Result for us - lots of knowledge gained, fitting solutions for future clients, improved methodology, job satisfaction and a customer for life.
Every day a school day for sure.