Ski Boot Fitting Guide
In order to have a good time skiing, every piece of equipment you use needs to be carefully chosen. You probably already know which skis and bindings you’re getting, but do you have the right ski boots?
If you’re new to skiing and want to get a good pair of ski boots, or you’re just looking to freshen up your ski equipment locker, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you can read why you need to have the right ski boots for your style and needs, and how to go about choosing them.
Why Is Having The Right Ski Boots So Important?
Having the right boots can make quite a difference in your skiing endeavors – they don’t just affect your comfort, but also your performance. With the right boots, you’ll be able to learn more and become more adventurous, as they will give you the confidence to try out new things!
Ski boots are basically your steering wheel. They help transmit your body movements onto the skis, and let you have your way with them, so getting them right means you can reach high levels of control and performance.
Now, before we get into the specifics, let’s get a few things clear.
- Ski boots are not as comfortable as your everyday shoes, and they don’t have the same purpose, so don’t try them on and compare comfort and other features to regular boots.
- Everyone has a unique foot, and there’s no such thing as “the right way to fit”, but a set of recommendations on what is best for performance and stability, the comfort is all up to your preference.
Now that we got this all cleared up, let’s talk about what you need to look for in ski boots.
Ski Fit Based On Experience & Style
Start off by thinking about what kind of a skier you want to be and how good (but honestly) you are with a pair of skis on your legs. You will belong in one of three categories: beginner, intermediate, or expert, and this will also determine the characteristics your ski boots should have, and the style of skiing that is suitable for you the most.
Whether you have no experience whatsoever or you’ve just learned the basics, you should go for ski boots that have a softer flex and which will be more forgiving to your legs. With softer boots you will be able to try out new moves without putting too much pressure and strain on your legs, which can tire you out quickly.
Of course, if you’re already doing sports and keeping yourself in a good shape, you might want to skip this category and move on to the boots made for intermediate skiers.
If you already know the basics, have tried a move or two and are comfortable to go down slopes at higher speeds, than you belong at this level. This means that you will need boots that will complement your skiing style and all the potential exploration that you might be doing since you’re at the level when – like most skiers – you’ll start thinking about going backcountry.
Go for medium flexed boots that will fit your foot like a glove, as by now, this is the only way for you to move on and learn more, by getting equipment that can help you raise your game.
You know your way around the slopes, the backcountry, and probably even the terrain park. You probably already have some pretty sick gear, but now it’s time to get the best. Spend some top-dollar on a pair of top ski boots that come with a stiff or very stiff flex, and that will fit your foot just right.
Don’t settle for anything less, as now you’re at the point where progress is possible only if you dedicate yourself to fine-tuning and carefully upgrading your equipment.
How Should My Ski Boots Fit?
As we already mentioned, there’s no fixed rule, but there are some guidelines that you can follow.
First off, when you put on the ski boot, it should feel a bit tight, but not to the point that it starts stopping your circulation. With time, some of the paddings will take the shape of your foot and leg, and it will become easier, but when first trying boots out, they should feel a bit tight.
If you feel as if they’re too short at first, you can try the following in order to get a better idea of how the boot will form around your foot and if there are any potential pressure points (points on the boot where you might feel as if something is pushing against your leg).
Try moving your knee forward and towards the tongue of the boot, and this will put your heel all the way in the back and keep it locked where it should be. When in this position, see how your leg feels (sans the pressure), as this is a good indicator of how your leg will feel while riding. Make sure you wear ski socks while trying, or thin socks at least.
So there you have it, a pretty concise guide on how to know if the ski boots you have your eye on are the ones for you. Make sure you’re honest with yourself about how good of a skier you actually are, and you will find the best ski boots for you in no time.