The feeling of comfortable boots that wrap all around your foot and hold you snuggly is now not a pipe dream, but definitely a reality. With the amazing innovations that have come out over the last few years, there’s no need for ski boots to be uncomfortable! Do your ski boots fit your unique foot shape? Are they the correct flex for your physical build and skiing ability? Use our step-by-step guide to assess if your ski boots are the correct fit for you …
Step 1 – Make sure you put them on correctly
Put your ski boots on and buckle them up loosely, starting from the top buckle down.
Flex up and down a few times to make sure your heel is fully back in the boot. The overall shape of the boot should hold your foot in place, but if your foot is not held securely, tighten the buckles a bit more. Don’t force the buckles; you should be able to close them with very little pressure.
Step 2 – Is the length correct?
When standing up, with your knees slightly bent and your shins just contacting the front of the boot, you should be able to feel your toes lightly skimming the front of the boot.
When you fully flex forward, your toes will pull back off the front of the boot. There should be room for your toes to wiggle!
Step 3 – Do they fit around your foot and leg?
Roll from side to side, as if you’re edging your skis – your foot and boot should feel linked together and move as one. The tightness should feel similar to a firm handshake all around your foot and leg.
When you flex forward your heel should be held in the boot and not lift up … but remember, if you try to pull your heel out of the boot you will probably still be able to!
Step 4 – Are Your Boots the Right Flex?
When pushing your shins on the front of the boot you should be able to easily flex your ankles, without excessive force, and you should be able to maintain good balance. Flexing at the ankles, knees and hips should feel uninhibited.
If your boots don’t fit as described in these steps – don’t panic!
There are many ways an experienced boot fitter can subtly change and improve the fit of your boots using some of the following:
- Thicker or thinner socks
- Custom-moulded footbeds
- Volume-reducing footbed shims
- Moving buckles
- Heel raisers
- Stretching and manipulating the shell
- Heat-moulding the liner
- And many more…
Liners can compact over time and therefore adjustments may often be needed during the life of your boots. Boots are central to your skiing experience, both in regard to the ability to turn your skis and your day-long comfort, so if you’re not sure if your ski boots fit as well as they could, consult an experienced ski-boot fitter for advice.