A couple of weeks ago we were invited to the opening of the new Snow + Rock store in Leeds and as an avid skier, Lizzie went along to check out the new store!
I've been skiing since I was nine years old and genuinely love doing it. So much so, my usual line when asked about skiing is 'it's the only sport i'm good at'. I always love my annual skiing holidays to France with the family! Having the right gear is so important when facing the cold (I was once so cold my eyelashes froze together!) and Snow + Rock has always been my go-to store for getting my clothes and boots! Annoyingly, my closest store was always a good hour away in Manchester, so you can imagine my excitement when discovering there was going to be a store in Leeds!
As Snow + Rock kindly gave us the opportunity to have custom insoles fitted free of charge, My boyfriend Alasdair decided to take the opportunity of the store event to get some ski boots fitted. Having bought ski boots myself over a year ago now, I knew the process takes a long time, but I hadn't seen the new methods used to fit them (the ski nerd in me really came out here, cue a million questions!) so it was a good new experience for both of us! Ski boot fitting is an extensive process to get the fit just right and find the best boot for your ability. Literally can't stress enough how informative and friendly Laurie, who fitted the insoles and boots, was and she made the process so easy for us! Every step was throughly explained and having a sales assistant who not only knew her stuff but clearly loved her job was such a great experience.
So I thought i'd give you a little insight into the process, there's a lot of new technology and science that goes into making ski boots as comfortable and practical as possible! They first measure your feet and look at the arches of your foot. You then try on some of the wide selection of boots they have depending on your ability and feet and a bit like a crap version of Harry Potter where the wand chooses the wizard, the boot tends to chose the foot!
To create the insoles, Alasdair was placed on two bags of silicon, which was moulded round his foot, then had the air vacuumed out. This ensures a true custom fit (and makes it super comfy, my boots fit like gloves!)
Whilst Laurie worked on Alasdair's insoles, we took the opportunity to explore more of the store and see what was happening at the opening event! As well as the winter sport area, there is the 'Rock' aspect which had climbing and walking gear, but we were also excited to see both a cycling and running area of the store. As Alasdair is a cyclist and I attempt to run (i try really hard to run but i look like Phoebe off of Friends, my arms and legs flail as if independent from my body) the store basically covers all bases for us!
To celebrate the opening, there was a little ceremony outside in which Olympic and Commonwealth medal athlete Laura Weightman opened the store. The CEO of Snow + Rock was also in attendance (he has a man to hold his umbrella - goals!) and everyone seemed genuinely excited about the opening! I had a chat with some of the guests whilst milling around the store and the reception was all positive, my favourite person being a man who hadn't skied in twenty five years but had been inspired to give it a go again, love it!
One of my favourite parts of the opening was the balloon release, where gold balloons had prizes inside. Not only was it fun to be a part of (Alasdair was literally the keenest person there, so determined to catch one!) but was pretty to watch!
Once we'd watched the opening (and got soaked in the process, classic Leeds weather, always bloody raining!) We went back upstairs to see how Alasdair's boots were doing. This next part of the process I hadn't seen before, not only were the insoles fully moulded, but the shell of the boot was also custom fitted!
The boots were heated up to 180 degrees and then placed on Alasdairs feet to mould around them. Icepacks were then placed around the outside to cool them to his feet. I didn't envy him at this point, the process isn't the most comfortable!
And these are the boots! Fully custom fitted with excellent service in a lovely new store. Can't fault our experience at Snow + Rock and look forward to buying my new ski suit there next year!
this post was sponsored by Snow + Rock