SIZING YOUR BOOTS
1. Measure Your Feet
- Wear a clean, dry pair of ski socks similar to the ones you would wear to the hill. A properly fitting pair of ski socks can make a big difference in how your boots fit.
- Consider using a supportive footbed. Adding a footbed to your boots provides extra support, comfort, and warmth.
- Measure your feet while you’re seated and again while you’re standing. Your foot size is a good starting point for sizing your new ski boots but don’t get attached to a certain number, it’s all about how the boots feel on your feet.
2. Start With the Shell
- The shell of your ski boot will remain stiff and unchanging but ski boot liners can be expected to stretch half or three-quarters of a size. That’s why it’s important to base your boot fit on the shells – if it doesn’t fit now, it won’t fit later.
- Pull the liners out of the boot shells and set the liners aside.
- Step into the shells and wiggle your feet forward until your toes lightly brush the front of the shell.
- Bend your knees and flex forward at the ankles. There should be room for one finger or two fingers (approximately ½ an inch) between your heel and the back of the shell.
3. Add the Liner
- Put the liners back into the boot shells, ensuring they’re flat and smooth within the shells, and insert your Superfeet foot beds.
- While seated, put on the boots and rest your foot on its heel before you begin buckling the boot.
- Pro tip: As you slip your feet inside, pull the tongue of the liner to the side of the boot to create more room. Remember, ski boots are meant to be snug and stiff, so getting them on can require a bit of work.
- When you begin buckling, start with the instep buckle to gently press your heel back and down in the boot. Work your way up the front of the boot from the instep buckle, and finish with the toe buckle. You should be able to close all the buckles comfortably with your thumb. If not, the boot is too tight.
4. Test the Fit
- Stand up, distributing your weight evenly on both feet. Your toes should be able to just brush the front of the boot. Bend your knees and shift your weight to the balls of your feet. Your heel should lock in the heel counter, holding your foot down in the boot, and your toes should naturally pull back so they no longer touch the front of the boots.
- If the boots feel almost right, try wearing them buckled up for a couple of minutes. This gives the liners time to warm up and form to the shape of your feet.
You have found a great fitting boot if you’re still comfortable after moving around in them for a few minutes and your toes pull slightly back from the end of the boot. Remember, if they don't feel good after a few minutes in the store, they won't feel right on the slope. A properly fitted boot should be comfortable and snug, never painful!
Boots with more flex are considered a more desirable choice for a beginner skier. Boots with less flex are considered a more desirable choice for a more advanced skier.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FIT
While it may be tempting to use men’s, women’s or kids’ ski boots you already have access to, an ill-fitting boot can result in a variety of unpleasant experiences during your time on the hill:
- Ski boots that are too small tend to pinch and press on the foot, restricting blood flow and causing cramping, pain and numbness. Repeated impact of toes on the end of the boot is not only painful, but can lead to the loss of toe nails.
- Ski boots that are oversized allow too much extra air in your boots which in turn becomes cold air. The result is that your feet will get cold quickly, your gear will be less responsive and you’ll have decreased control. Oversized ski boots can also result in injuries caused by the foot twisting or sliding inside the ski boot.
MEN'S VS. WOMEN'S BOOTS
Men's ski boots tend to have a stiffer flex, a wider heel and a taller spine. On the other hand, women's boots tend to have a softer flex, narrower heel, and shorter spine to accommodate a lower calf muscle. Despite these slight differences, a good boot fit is the size and design that allows for a snug, comfortable fit. Don’t be afraid to try a variety of boots in order to find the right one.
This article and post is designed for educational purposes only. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. Please consult with a doctor prior to engaging in any exercise or exercise program. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Product selection is an individual choice and the consumer is responsible for determining whether or not any product is suitable based on the consumer’s circumstances.