There’s nothing like happy feet
With tools like grinders, expanders, pointers and even a ski boot torture device, comfort does not come to mind.
But when dealing with ski boots those are the tools Patrick “Cosmo” Cosentini uses to make skiers’ feet happy.
Cosentini specializes in ski boot fitting, but the 42-year-old Tahoe Vista resident will do footbed and fitting on pretty much any type of footwear.
“I work on anything that goes on your feet,” Cosentini said.
Cosmo’s Custom Footwerks and Clubwerks has been in Tahoe City for 18 years and on the balcony of the Bechtoldt Building for the past four. Cosentini not only sells ski boots, but also custom fits them starting with Superfeet’s vacuum form custom footbeds as well as doing regrips, repairs and custom golf clubs to keep busy in the summer.
Cosentini has no employees except for his wife and his official greeter, a monstrous 5-year-old Saint Bernard named Elvis.
He has done more than 20,000 custom-fit footbeds, and many of those have been for medical reasons or special cases.
Cosentini said he gets referrals from local doctors as well as cases from the Tahoe Adaptive Ski School at Alpine Meadows.
Cosentini has even helped get a professional patroller back on the slopes after losing a leg.
He has seen shattered feet, fused ankles and broken legs.
“I get to see a lot of mangled feet,” Cosentini said.
However, custom-fitted boots is not all about medical issues, anatomical abnormalities or even comfort.
According to the veteran fitter, when someone’s foot fits in a boot, he or she will get the most out of the equipment. From edge control to cantor, everything is affected by how the boot fits the foot.
“It all just makes you not have to work as hard,” Cosentini said. “And you get more out of your skis.”
said that it all starts with the footbed. Superfeet’s custom cork footbed gets heated up, and after it is fitted on the bottom of the foot a vacuum sealer pulls the bed tight to the foot, which Cosentini said pulls the bed up to the foot, forming it in a non weight-bearing situation for a more accurate fit.
“Footbeds are key; it’s like building a house, you start with the foundation,” Cosentini said.
After the bed is right, Cosentini “tortures” the rest of the boot, smoothing down and point smashing liners, pushing out specific places on the plastic outer shell and generally fitting a boot to a specific foot.
The result is a ski boot that is tight and supportive in all the right places, instead of all the wrong ones.
In nearly two decades of boot fitting in Tahoe, Cosentini has done work for countless big names in the ski industry, and his store’s walls are lined with signed posters from the likes of local Alpine skiers Daron Rahlves and Marco Sullivan.
Cosentini said once skiers make it to the World Cup level, they have a whole crew of people to take care of them, so he deals with the freeskiing crowd the most, such as Brad Holmes and Shaun Palmer, whose boots he’s been working on for years.
Whether hucking cliffs for the latest TGR film or just cruising the groomers, anyone who has ever been on skis knows the common pairing of ski boots with discomfort.
And if ski boots are uncomfortable, Cosentini said, they don’t fit right.
Cosentini is a certified golfsmith and does a lot of repairs and regrips as well as custom golf clubs. He has the tools to do shaft extensions and grips and says there is a lot of new technology out right now in the form of grips as well as weighted head advancements. Cosentini works on both ski boots and golf clubs year-round.
Cosmo’s Custom Footwerks and Clubwerks is located at 243 N. Lake Blvd in Tahoe City. For more information call 581-5404.