Gorsuch taking ski boot, insole fitting into the future
February 18, 2016
VAIL — When you've been doing a job for as long as Dano Bruno has, inspiration doesn't always come easy.
But when he returned to work at Gorsuch from a recent trip to Germany, he was inspired.
"It totally lit a fire under me," he said.
Bruno's been fitting boots for 35 years. He's helped internationally known athletes such as Tanner Hall and Evan Raps, as well as local podium regulars such as Heidi Kloser and Taylor Seaton. Recently, he helped Chris Del Bosco in what Del Bosco said was the only equipment change he made prior to the start of the season, when he claimed victories in the first two World Cup competitions of 2015-16.
"(Bruno) was able to get my foot scanned and my shells lasted in Germany," Del Bosco said. "I went over to Europe for a camp just prior to the first World Cup, put the boots on and skied in them and loved them, and that was it. I was sold."
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The process Bruno used on Del Bosco is the same area of expertise Bruno has been working on furthering at Gorsuch, and that which had him so inspired upon his return from the ErtlRenz factory in Germany — 3D optical scanning. Gorsuch is the only ski boot fitter in North America that has a 3D optical scanner for the foot.
"I think it's a game-changer," Bruno said. "When I got back from Germany, I really immersed myself in the 3D scanner."
Bruno says whether the techs at Gorsuch are working on Chris Del Bosco's boot, or a person who walks in off the street, the process is exactly the same. Bruno is not alone in his excitement for the technology. The whole staff at Gorsuch is motivated by it.
"Knowing you have the best technology to work with makes you better at the job," Bruno says.
The top tier level of service has your feet 3D scanned at Gorsuch, which sends all the information to the ErtlRenz factory in Germany. There, a wooden last is made of your foot using the 3D scan, which is used to shape a pair of ErtlRenz boots.
The process can be duplicated within the Gorsuch shop, as well, with their boots on the shelf, which have also been 3D scanned into their system.
Once your foot is scanned, the imaging can also be used to create insoles, which is where some of the real magic happens, says Bruno.
IMPROVING SKIING, LIFE
"The plantar view of the foot that we get from the scan tells us so much about the way you use your foot and how it affects your body," he said. "Adding a sensomotoric insole that's built using your scan makes you so much more aware of your own body balance and bio mechanics — it's fascinating. It makes you very aware of what you do in your daily life and how your feet affect that."
The process comes full circle, says Bruno, when a client comes in for a boot that helps him or her become a better skier, and then uses the technology to improve daily life.
"It comes full circle when you're able to help people walk, run and jump without pain," he said. "I know it's a heavy statement, but in that way, we're offering people a product that's going to change people's lives."