Ski Boot Fitting Tips
Why is it important to have your ski boots fitted?
Ski boots are the most important part of your ski setup. Your boots are the connection between you and your skis. The fit needs to be exact, too loose and you have lack of control, too tight or ill-fitting and your comfort can be seriously compromised.
So where do I start?
Choose a technical ski retailer with a high reputation in custom ski boot fitting. It is well worth the extra travel if it means seeing a boot technician with vast experience and knowledge. Check out if the store offers any comfort guarantees and what ongoing support you will receive.
What makes a boot correct for your foot?
Do not be overwhelmed with the vast quantity of ski boots available on the market. Never choose your ski boot based on colour or brand, ski boots are selected on several factors. The most important is foot shape which includes forefoot width, instep height, heel and ankle shape and finally arch profile. Biomechanics is of major importance such as injuries, flexibility of the foot and ankle joints, and whether you pronate or supinate. Other contributing factors are your ability, fitness and type of skiing (e.g. race, freeride, touring).
What should I expect in a ski boot fit?
The technician will measure your feet both weighted and unweighted then do an initial biomechanical analysis. Ski boots are always measured in centimetres also known as mondo point. Other key measurements are instep profile and forefoot width (also known as last).
The ski boot technician will usually select between one and three models of ski boots that are correct for you to try. One of the biggest mistakes made by skiers is heading from store to store trying on dozens of boots which only leads to confusion.
The true way to size a ski boot is to perform a shell check, this is carried out by removing the liner and placing the foot inside the shell, the technician will then carry out a few key checks to gauge how the boot will fit.
How should my boots fit?
You must use a well-constructed technical merino sock. Ski socks are available in different weights depending on the fit you require for example a medium weight sock for comfort or a light weight sock for performance.
The boot should be snug with good heel hold, your toes will touch the end of the boot when standing upright but will pull away with knees bent in ski position. This is the tightest the boot will feel as the liner will pack down with use over the first few days skiing. You may feel pressure points but these are easily solved with a custom footbed to align the foot or shell modification.
How do custom footbeds improve the fit of the ski boot?
Custom footbeds are the most important element of the boot fit, essential for all abilities and foot shapes. They support the foot and align the lower leg providing maximum comfort, relieving pressure points from the shell and relaxing the foot from tension. Custom footbeds are moulded to the contours of your feet improving blood flow which will keep your feet warmer.
Do custom footbeds improve my skiing?
Yes they do! Custom footbeds improve balance and energy transmission due to increased contact between your foot and the boot through to the skis. Movements will become quicker and more responsive reducing fatigue, improving edge hold and ability.
• Search for a reputable ski shop with high boot fitting standards
• Don’t buy online, well worth travelling to get the correct fit
• Allow at least 90 minutes for a boot fit
• Check out after care policies
• What works for your friend probably won’t work for you
• Don’t choose a boot on colour or reviews
• Don’t try on lots of boots, it causes you confusion
• Invest in a technical ski sock
• Most people will need some form of customisation to get the perfect fit
• Factor a custom footbed into your budget, it’s make or break