The most common mistake people make is wearing boots that are too big. There are several reasons for this, starting with the fact that folks are used to a loose, comfortable fit in their shoes. As such their initial reaction when the right size ski boot is put on their feet is that it’s too tight. Another reason is that the foam in a ski boot can compress as the day goes and even break down over longer periods of time. And lastly, many skiers don’t realize that as the day goes on, blood begins to partially leave the feet when the boot is buckled tight.
A good fitting boot should be comfortably snug and not sloppy. You should be able to wiggle your toes but not have heel slippage or movement from side to side or forward to back. Be aware that boots come in widths from 95-106mm wide. If you have a wide foot, you probably want to be between 102-106mm; a normal sized foot is in the 100-104mm range; and most narrow feet fit a 98-102mm width. Higher performance boots tend to be narrower with a snugger fit. Before ordering boots, pick a size that matches your foot width as well as length.
Before trying a boot on, remove the liner from the shell by unbuckling the boot fully and pulling on the back cuff of the liner until it pops out. Then put your foot in the boot’s shell and push your toes up until they touch the front of the boot. Now look at how much space is between your heel and the back of the boot. You’re looking for 1/2 – 3/4 of an inch space, and even less if you are a racer or very high performance skier who likes a very tight fit. If you have more than that, you probably have a boot that is too large.
Slip on the liner while it’s still out of the shell. Your toe should just feather the front of the liner. (This assumes that your foot has stopped growing; a little growing room for kids is fine.) Next look at how the liner is shaped compared to your foot. If any part of your foot is pushing hard or stretching out the sides of the liner you may have a boot that is too narrow. If the liner fits properly, put the boot back together. This can be a little tricky, but it helps if you put the boot shell on a hard surface. Insert one hand into the liner (making a fist), while using your other hand to spread the shell as you push down hard with the liner.
Putting Your Boots on Properly
Now it’s time to put on your boot. Open all the buckles and pull the tongue up slightly. Then spread the sides of the boot while you slide in your foot – you may need to wiggle the tongue to get your foot to feel right. Next, kick your heel down hard on the floor to properly seat your heel in the boot’s heel pocket.
Now start buckling up, starting with the lower buckle on the upper cuff – this helps to lock your heel before tightening the other buckles. Next move to the lower buckles, but don’t buckle them very hard. They should only require a small amount of pressure to buckle and unbuckle. If you have to buckle these hard to get a snug fit, you probably have the wrong size or model of boot. The upper buckles are the ones that really hold your foot in place in the boot. You may need to go back and forth between the 2 upper buckles to get them snug.
Determining a Proper Fit
Now that you have the boot on and snuggly buckled, stand up. This is the part that confuses new skiers the most; your toes should be touching the front the boot. Lean slightly forward and bend your knees. Your toes should pull back from the front of the boot. It’s ok if they are still feathering the front but they should not be pushing hard. Many better quality boots have a neoprene toe that is made for the toes to be right up against the front of the liner.
Still leaning forward, bend your knees and push your shins hard against the front of the boot. Your heels should hold in the heel pocket of the boot without lifting. Note that you’re not trying to force your heels up, but testing if they come up when you flex the boot.
If everything is good so far, walk around in the boots for 10 minutes. This should help determine if the overall fit is right and that you don’t have any severe pressure points. Too really determine if the boots fits, I like to wear them around the house for a couple hours just to be sure they fit. Remember that boots are made of plastic not leather so they don’t really break in much.
If the boots really hurt after wearing them around for a while, they are almost certainly too narrow. And if there are any pressure points squeezing down hard on areas like your heel, instep or arch, then the boot probably isn’t for you as well.
With that said, more advance skiers usually want a very snug fit and most high-end boots will need some custom boot fitting to get them to fit properly. I recommend having that done at the ski hill so that you can ski the boot immediately and then bring it back to the shop for additional minor adjustments. Most major resorts have ski shops that specialize in custom boot fitting.
Forget the Alta Chutes or Killington’s Superstar minefield. The most difficult ski challenge you’ll probably ever face is finding a comfortable fitting boot that also performs well. Here are 10 tips from ABB’s Certified Boot Techs to will make sure your next boot is your best ever.
1. DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS
Boots not only have to match your skill level, they must mate with your foot and leg shape. That means your pal’s star may be your black hole of pain. Since on-slope boot testing opportunities are rare, visit an America’s Best Boot Fitters shop where our experienced techs can analyze your feet and help you narrow down the choices.
2. TAKE YOUR TIME—LOTS OF IT
Buying ski boots is a time-consuming process that too many skiers rush through. You probably spent an hour selecting your last pair of running shoes —and they’re made from pliable materials! A plastic boot shell will not mold to your foot’s subtle nuances, even if you wear it all day, every day, for 25 years so take your time to make the right choice. Expect the process to take hours, not minutes. Even with an ABB tech’s guidance, you should plan to try on a variety of different brands, models and sizes.
When you seem to have mined a gem, leave it on your feet and walk around the shop for 10 or 15 minutes. Flex repeatedly to seat the foot and start the foams compressing.
3. MAKE IT A ROUND-ROBIN ELIMINATION TOURNAMENT
Try different models and different sizes of the same model on your left and right feet. Keep the “winner” on and pit it against newcomers. Remember, though, your feet are probably not identical and may vary in size so when you find “winners,” try on both boots.
4. SHOP WHEN NOBODY’S AROUND
For the best boot fit service, visit ABB city and suburban shops midweek in early fall at off-hours. During ski season, ABB resort shops are busiest early in the morning and right around lift closing. Trade sliding time for personal attention and go when everyone else is out skiing. And remember, your feet can swell up to a half-size during skiing so size to fit them at their largest. For the best fit, shop in the afternoon or evening or after physical activity.
5. TOO BIG IS A BIG PROBLEM
Many people buy their boots too big. Understandably so. A good fitting boot feels tight out of the box and may remain very snug during the first few days of skiing. Relax. Your liner will pack out and become roomier with use. We’ve tested hundreds of brand new boots over the years and most initially feel short and tight but compress to comfortable levels after being skied as few as two runs. Frequently our testers batten down all the buckles an additional notch after just one run.
It’s common, though, for there to be some snugness for the first few days you ski a new boot. Buying a boot that’s too big can be painful and cause injuries. In extreme cases, oversized boots can cause ankle sprains and bone breaks. Oversized boots also hinder skiing and promote fatigue. You’ll find yourself in the “backseat,” clawing your toes and tightening your thigh muscles and hamstrings to maintain stability and control.
6. SHELL FIT IS PARAMOUNT
ABB tech’s can easily shim, trim or stretch boots but shell work is best kept to a minimum. To check shell fit, remove the liner and put your foot in the shell. Slide your foot forward until your big toe touches the front. A finger to a finger-and-a-half of space between your heel and the shell will give you a good snug fit when the liner is reinserted, assuming no other parts of your foot are touching the shell. If you feel contact, these are potential “hot spots” and your boot fitter may suggest another model or customization options.
7. BEWARE OF SHORTLASTED LINERS
If a boot has a good shell fit but feels unusually tight with the liner reinserted, have your boot tech check for a “short lasted” liner. Manufacturers spec a small gap between the toe of the liner and the shell to ensure liner toe boxes don’t become crumpled when they’re inserted into the shell at the factory. Sometimes, though, liners come from the factory as much as a half-inch shorter than the shell cavity. Your ABB tech can stretch them.
8. THE CUFF IS IMPORTANT STUFF
Boots have high cuffs for other reasons than to keep the snow out; studies show the cuff is critical for controlling your skis. You’ll ski with greater stability and confidence in a boot that contours snugly along your lower leg. The cuff should wrap snugly with your buckle bails set somewhere near the beginning to middle of the ladders. (Remember, the liner materials will compress!) If you’re near the end of the ladder, the buckles may deform the shell and change the boot’s intended flex pattern. Remember to use the macro and micro adjustments common to most buckles to custom tailor your fit.
Just as important as leg contact is the angle of the cuff in relation to your skeletal structure. If the cuff angle doesn’t follow your lower leg, your skis will not sit flat on the snow and you will have problems controlling your skis. For the approximately 75 percent of the skier population with bowleg or knock-kneed tendencies, it is nearly impossible to create a balanced stance in boots without a cuff cant adjuster. If you fit into either category, make sure your boot cuff has one.
Cuff height also dramatically affects stance. Short skiers particularly may have difficulty balancing in boots with tall cuffs. Bowleg or knock-knee skiers may experience similar problems. If you’re having stance problems in a tall cuff boot, try models with lower cuffs. ABB Certified boot techs will be able to spot balance problems and help you select proper models.
9. BEWARE OF MARKED SIZES
Use the manufacturer’s marked size only as a guideline. The sole length and inner cavities of supposedly similarly sized models can vary significantly. We’ve seen boots marked 27.5 vary from 305mm to 314mm. It’s easy to check the sole length; it’s embossed into the outside heel sidewall of nearly every boot. Liner construction and materials also affect fit. It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer’s Race model liner to feel too tight while the Freeride model in the same collection will feel just right because of the softer foams that are usually employed.
10. VISIT AN ABB SHOP
Don’t negotiate the minefield of boot selection with a novice. It is the most complex piece of sports gear you’ll probably ever purchase. Buying at a shop that displays the ABB logo is your assurance that that your boot tech has received the best training and expertise available to help you make the right choice.
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Finding the perfect ski boot requires tapping into—and being able to articulate—feelings.
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Photo credit: Re Wikstrom
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Fact: Ski boots are your most important piece of ski equipment. No other gear item—not even skis—makes or breaks your ability to ski well like ski boots. Sure, your skis make direct contact with the snow and guide your turns, but it’s your feet and ski boots that guide those skis. Ergo, good turns come down to your ski boots.
When you wear ski boots that fit your skiing style and your foot, your ski boots and skis enter into a symbiotic relationship—the energy you generate by flexing your knees and ankles is seamlessly transferred to your skis via your boots. Unfortunately, many skiers are skiing in boots that don’t match their ability or don’t fit properly, so they’ve never experienced this kind of seamless energy transfer and efficient skiing.
There are a number of reasons skiers end up with the wrong ski boot. They buy boots online without trying them on or they get ski boots based on reviews without considering whether this boot is the right fit or style for them. But the biggest culprit is a lack of understanding of how a ski boot should fit. Age-old myths continue to circulate—“Ski boots are supposed to be excruciatingly tight and uncomfortable!” or “If your toes touch the end of the boot, you’re definitely going to lose toenails.”
Neither is true. A proper fitting boot should not be painful, but it shouldn’t feel like a slipper either. What you’re looking for, says professional bootfitter Sam Tischendorf, is a snug fit. “It should feel like a firm, almost creepy handshake. The boot liner should engulf your whole foot and feel like a snug-fitting glove,” says Tischendorf. But what, exactly, does “snug” feel like?
“With an ideal fit, I want people to be able to wiggle their toes still. You shouldn’t be able to curl your toes, but you should have some toe movement. There should be no movement at all through the mid-foot or ankle. Know that the boot is going to be at its tightest when trying it on in the store, and it’s going to become more spacious over time. So, err on the side of feeling contained,” says Tischendorf.
A bootfitter can help take guesswork out of finding the right boot, but it still comes down to skiers understanding how a boot should fit, then being able to articulate to a bootfitter how a boot feels. Consider these tips from Tischendorf, then get ready to spend an hour with a bootfitter, talking about your feelings.
How Tight Should New Ski Boot Be?
Illustration by James Provost
The boot’s sole length is too long for your foot and/or its volume too large for the width of your foot and height of your instep.
- Too much room in the toe of the boot, enough room for toes to curl.
- Too much space between the top of the midfoot and the ceiling of the boot, enough room for the whole foot to lift.
- Too much space around the heel and ankle bone, enough room for the heel to lift and move laterally.
Illustration by James Provost
The boot’s sole length is too short for your foot and/or its volume too low for the width of your foot, height of your instep, or size of your calf.
- Toes are curled or significantly jammed up against the end of the boot.
- The boot is cutting into the top of your midfoot/instep.
- Uncomfortable pressure or hot spot on the outside ankle bone and/or back of the heel.
- Uncomfortable pressure or pinching at the back of the calf.
Illustration by James Provost
The boot’s sole length matches the length of your foot. Its volume is appropriate for the width of your foot, height of your instep, and size of your calf.
- Toes are just barely not touching the end of the boot when ankles and knees are flexed.
- No space between the top of the instep and ceiling of the boot.
- The heel is firmly locked into the heel pocket.
- Cuff firmly envelopes shin and calf.
Pro Tip for Boot Fit
When you’re in an unbuckled boot, your toes might feel a little jammed up against the front of the boot. But when the boot is buckled and you stand with ankles and knees flexed, driving your shins forward, your toes should come away from the front slightly as your heel moves back into the heel pocket.
About Boot Volume
Most brands now make boots that come in three volume options: low volume, ranging between a 97-99mm last; mid-volume, between 99-101mm; and high volume, between 100-104mm. It’s important to consider volume when buying a boot because too much space above the instep and around the midfoot and heel will leave your foot flopping or sliding around and limit your ability to accurately steer your skis, especially in bumps and off-piste. “If you have a wide foot but short instep, you’re better off accommodating for width than volume,” says Tischendorf.
Translation: Find a boot that fits your instep height, then work with a bootfitter to stretch or punch out the boot shell to fit your wide foot or sixth toe.
Sam Tischendorf, Professional Bootfitter, Bootdoctors
Sam Tischendorf is one of the very few professional female ski bootfitters—or as she likes to say, professional feet ticklers—in the industry. She currently works at Bootdoctors in Telluride, Colo., is a member of the Masterfit University teaching team, and collaborates with Blizzard/Tecnica on the Women To Women gear project.
Pain free boots that make you a better skier? It can be done. Photo credit: AS Kom/Shutterstock
Peter Clark’s family founded Jindabyne Sports in the lakeside ski town in 1967, over fifty years ago. The respected boot fitter has spent his life growing up in a ski shop.
“Before that my Grandfather was a shoe maker in George St, Sydney” laughs Peter, now a Master Bootfitter who has worked around the globe. “So I guess you could say boot fitting is in my genes!”
While working in ski rental, Peter had an appreciation of how the fit of a customers ski boot can be the difference between them having a great holiday or a terrible one if their feet hurt.
You could say, Peter knows his stuff. So we asked him some questions.
Can ski boots really make a difference to how you ski?
Peter Clarke at Gravity Thredbo.
If your foot is supported by the use of a well-made custom insole you will find your foot is much more stable, circulation is improved and they will help with the alignment of your hips, knees and ankles.
Knee alignment is an often overlooked area, but it makes a huge difference having your knees centred over the top of your boots and hence your skis. Anyone with knock knees will find it difficult if not impossible to carve both skis as one, and this will inhibit your ability to progress.
A snug, good fitting ski boot can make or break your holiday. They are the most important piece of your ski kit.
So the answer is definitely yes, if you want to improve quickly and most importantly enjoy your time on the hill, an investment in a set of correctly fitted, quality ski boots should be your first priority.
Pete Clark working his magic at Gravity Jindabyne.
Most common boot fitting issues?
I find that most skiers are skiing in boots that are at least a size too big. This creates a myriad of problems such as lack of control, but more importantly can lead to very sore shins and black toes.
The skier hits a bump and their foot slides forward, the resulting momentum causing the big toe to hit the front of the shell, bruising the toenail. This slight movement forward and back, plus the heel moving up and down, causes the skiers shin to rub on the boots tongue and leads to sore shins.
What causes foot pain in boots?
Try to fit a square peg into a round hole and you’re going to have problems, a ski boot plastic shell is not going to stretch and become wider like your shoes will over time.
As boot fitters, our job is to shape the shell to match the shape of your foot, not the other way around. So we use tools to stretch or grind the boot shell and even modify the liners to try and adapt the shell to your particular foots morphology.
Inside ankle pain, forefoot area too tight, burning pain under the sole of the foot, these are all problems your boot fitter will be able to fix and ensure you have a comfortable day on the slopes.
Is it ever possible to get a boot straight out of the box?
The Holy Grail of skiing, if you can then you’re one of the lucky few with a perfect foot!
You’ll still need a custom footbed to stabilize and support your foot as when your skiing there is quiet a lot of stress placed on your feet as you steer and navigate your way down the slopes. If we come up with a shell that’s a good match out of the box, then yes its possible we won’t need to modify the plastic.
Also, you should insist the liners are heat moulded before you go skiing for the first time, the foam needs heat to adapt to your foot. The ski boot companies have spent a lot of time and money the last few seasons (3D fit liners) and simply skiing in them won’t create enough heat to do this.
The liner is the most expensive component of your ski boot, they take up to 50 hours to make, are mostly hand made, and are made from a multitude of hi tech foams and material’s.
What socks should you wear – thick or thin?
This depends on the fit of your particular boots fit, if its very tight then go for a thin (ultralight) sock. I sometimes start with thin socks for the first few days of skiing while my new boots break in, and after time I find a regular (light weight) sock works best for me.
Thick socks take up too much room in a correctly fitting ski boot and will cut of circulation making you feet go cold and numb. Once again, if you need to wear thick socks, or even two pairs, to make your boots tight, your boots are too big.
Consider compression socks as well. I find they are great for wide feet and large calves, they stop the foot from swelling throughout the day.
How long should a boot fitting session last?
Peter Clark on top of the Aussie snow world!
At Gravity Thredbo we allow 90 minutes for a new boot fit. You’re likely to try on 2 or maybe 3 boots, and your boot fitter will ask you which one is the most comfortable, which holds your foot securely etc.
He may break it down into 3 sections. Which one is best on your shin when you flex forward, then area 2, which one holds your heel down securely, and 3, the toe box, can you wriggle your toes.
Your toes should lightly touch the front of the liner, moving back a bit when you flex forward, and hitting the front if you try and lean back. Try not to judge the boot in the first 30 seconds, some will feel better the longer you leave them on, conversely if they feel worse the longer they’re on, they are probably not for you.
How should you look after your ski boots for longevity?
Removing your ski boots liners will allow them to completely dry out, so never leave them wet, otherwise mold and odours can form. Then you can store them away for summer. You can wash the plastic shell with warm water and a little soap, and don’t leave them in direct sunlight, store them in a nice cool place.
Finally, what is a boot fitting no no?
Don’t buy your boots online! You’re not buying a jacket. Unless you know exactly what you’re after you are asking for trouble. “Poor man pays twice” my mother used to say!
Gravity Thredbo in the Village Mall, is open seven days a week during the ski season. Book online for boot fitting.
When buying ski boots, it’ s critical to try them on before settling on a pair. If you choose to buy ski boots online, make sure you choose a retailer that allows you to wear your boots at home for at least a few hours before deciding if they are right for you. Good thing Altitude Sports has a 90-day return policy. That’s plenty of time to test your new boots before the ski season starts! But that doesn’t mean you have to make a blind guess. Before deciding on a new pair of ski boots, it’s important to measure your feet and determine how you want to use them. Let’s review the things to look for:
- The stiffness of the boots
- Size and width of your feet
- Compatibility of the boots with your bindings
The right ski boots for your needs
What is the stiffness index? More commonly known as “flex”, it is the ability of the boot to bend forward. The higher the flex rating, the stiffer the boot. Conversely, the lower the flex rating, the softer the boot. Most models have flex ratings of 50 to 130. A flex rating of 50 is very soft and a rating of 130 means the boot is very stiff, meaning you’ll need to exert more force to get it to bend. However, flex is not standardized across all brands all. Manufacturers set their own scale of calculation. You could very well ski with a boot with a flex of 100 from one manufacturer, then find a boot with the same rating from another brand too soft.
That’s why it’s important to try your boots at home before making your decision.
Soft or stiff, what is the difference?
The advantage of a soft boots is that they are the most comfortable when putting on ski boots for the first time. Beginner skiers will generally choose a lower flex rating because they make it easier to correct stance errors or loss of balance compared to a very stiff flex. On the other hand, a stiff boot allows more energy to be transferred to the skis. It allows you to go faster and descend steeper slopes because of its better support. This is why advanced skiers prefer them to soft boots. Make sure you have enough strength to bend them. The weight and height of the skier will also determine the stiffness rating to be preferred, as they directly influence the pressure that will be applied to the boot.
How to determine your shoe size and width
Forget the 9 or 41 of your urban boots! When it comes to ski boots, the size is established using the Mondo system. This is an international standard that measures boot size in centimeters. Simply put, the size of your boot corresponds to the length of your foot in centimeters! That’s it! Please note that as with all shoe manufacturers, sizes can vary from one brand to another, so it is always best to try.
The width of your foot will also be a determining factor in choosing your ski boots. Some brands are known for designing boots to fit particularly narrow feet, while others are known for fitting wide feet. Be sure to research the brands and models of boots before making your choice. As a guide, a narrow foot is defined as less than 99 mm and a wide foot as more than 103 mm. The width is always measured at the widest point of the foot. The width of the boot is indicated in the technical data sheet of the model.
You will have noticed that the length of the foot is measured in centimeters and the width in millimeters. Skiers sometimes like to complicate their lives!
How to measure your foot?
Did you know that nearly 75% of people choose ski boots that are one or two sizes too big? Therefore, determining the exact length of your foot is essential in order to choose a boot that is properly adapted to your foot. No need to panic! By following these few steps, you will be able to know the right size for you.
- First, place a sheet of paper on the floor against a wall.
- Ensuite, placez votre pied sur celle-ci, en prenant soin de bien appuyer votre talon contre le mur.
- Bend your knee slightly forward as if you were skiing.
- As you bend, draw a line across the front of your foot at your toes. You could also ask someone to do this for you to avoid moving your foot.
- Finally, measure the length in centimeters between the line and the edge of the sheet. This measurement corresponds to the boot size you should choose.
- To measure the width of your foot, you”ll need to draw at the widest point, usually at the fifth metatarsal. Measure the space your foot occupies in millimeters.
- Remember to repeat all the same steps for your other foot. It is not uncommon to find that our two feet are not the same length. If this is the case, take the larger of the two measurements: this is your boot size. Keep in mind that it is possible to adjust a boot that is a little too big by tightening the hooks or adding a sole. Conversely, it is not possible to add room in a boot that is too tight. If your feet are cramped, you’re bound to get cold.
The right ski boots for your bindings
There are several types of bindings for downhill skiing, and so there are many boots suited to these different types. To know everything about ski bindings and how to choose them, read our article on the topic . Let’s take a quick look at them:
1. Downhill Ski Bindings
These are the most common. Most downhill ski boots are compatible with this type of binding.
2. Tech Bindings
They are only used for downhill skiing and are NOT compatible with downhill ski boots
3. Multi-Purpose Frame Bindings
In this case, it is more complex. Some ski boot models work with some frame bindings. Bindings with spikes are only compatible with ski touring boots or alpine ski boots that can be attached in the same way as tech bindings.
The ski boot, an essential interface between the skier and the snow, has benefited from several years of constant innovation. With the technical nature of the materials and changes in footwear, comfort and warmth, manufacturers are now getting very close to the perfect combination of performance and accessibility. But one thing does not change, the ski boot is still very far from the concept of a flip flop, it is nothing but a big piece of plastic into which your foot, subjected to considerable effort, is not really in its place.
Comfort and precision
Whether you are looking for performance or the Holy Grail of “comfort / warmth”, your footwear will surely need to be adapted to the life of your foot, its morphology, its support, etc. With our experience and our expertise, we can advise you and be at your disposal to analyze your problems or needs and remedy them to bring you comfort and precision.
Shell distortion, traditional boot cushioning, customized thermo-molded soles, booster straps; boot fitting is a set of techniques and materials to find a solution for your foot problems, so that the relationship with your skis is a harmonious one.
Do you want more information about our services? Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
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Uncomfortable ski boots are finally a thing of the past: No more pressure points or cold feet thanks to the most modern technologies that guarantee tailor-made ski boots. Boot fitting factors all of your feet’s features – so that nothing stands in the way of a comfortable ride down the slopes.
How does boot fitting work?
There are different technologies depending on the brand. This is how it works usually:
1. The boot liner is first adjusted exactly to your foot’s size and shape.
2. Then, the exterior shell of the ski boot is briefly heated up in a special oven.
3. Finally, you slip in the heated-up exterior shell with the boot liner and stand for a few minutes, so that the entire boot adjusts optimally to your foot and keeps its fit after it has cooled down.
Our Perfect Fit Guarantee
Supreme skiing pleasure on the slopes can only be guaranteed by a ski boot that fits optimally. And that is why we at INTERSPORT offer you the Perfect Fit Guarantee.
Because in addition to the best skis, you also want matching ski boots. It must be comfortable, without any pressure points. The ski boot must provide you with good support while staying flexible enough to optimally transfer all your movements to the ski. Safety is also only ensured by a perfect support inside the ski boot. This makes following specialist advice all the more important. The right ski boots are, after all, an important investment that will last many seasons.
All-day comfort, thermal warmth and intuitive performance have always been the hallmark of a proper fitting ski boot. These days most new ski boots provide a great fit right out of the box but given that there are billions of different foot sizes and shapes in the world, the perfect fit is not always automatic. This is where custom boot fitting can make all the difference. By utilizing state-of-the-art shapable plastics, heat moldable liners and revolutionary foam injection technologies, the ultimate in custom fit, comfort and performance can be achieved – regardless of foot size or shape
The most personalized piece of ski equipment, ski boots are the vital interface between skier and snow and a good skiing experience starts with choosing the correct ski boot last, length, and flex to accommodate your foot size as well as your ability level. Luckily modern ski boots not only provide a better ‘first-fit’ than ever before, they offer more customization potential that can be easily and inexpensively adapted to any foot shape in a matter of minutes. Find out how to find the correct size and the right boot HERE.
A CUSTOM FIT HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER
A boot that fits too snug compromises comfort and warmth, while a fit that is too roomy sacrifices power transmission and control. For this very reason, a custom fit from a professional boot fitter allows the boot to be widened or reduced by completely adapting the outer shell, cuff, liner and insole for an optimized fit that mimics the shape of your foot. It sounds like the mysterious work of a magician, but nowadays boot fitting is easily accessible as a result of more practical methods and technologies.
INSOLES FOR BETTER BALANCE AND STABILITY
The easiest way of optimizing the fit is to install a custom insole or footbed. A custom insole provides critical support and cushion for more comfort, better balance and improved power transmission by stabilizing the foot and allowing for even pressure distribution. A personalized insole can also help reduce stress on feet, ankles and knees for longer, more comfortable skiing.
HEAT MOLDABLE LINERS FOR A PERFECT FIT
Another versatile custom upgrade is a heat moldable liner that can be customized thanks to its thermoformable material. By heating the liner in an oven, the material is softened and then the foot is placed inside the liner and the outer shell. Within minutes the liner molds to the exact contour of the lower leg, ankle and foot, eliminating any and all pressure points. Heat moldable liners work very well for expanding the fit while other tools like Volume Reducing Pad Kits or Volume Reducing Leg Pads help to accommodate a more precise fit for skinnier legs and ankles.
PERSONALIZED COMFORT + PERFORMANCE
The hard-plastic exterior of your boot, comprised of the shell and the cuff, are selected to best match each skier’s ability level and intensity. In addition, fit criteria such as plastic stiffness, canting, and gender-specific construction are also factors in the selection of the shell. Current shells use stateof-the-art plastics to provide support while still allowing ample flex for driving the ski. Modern shell material is also thermoformable in order to expand and further optimize a custom fit.
FINE TUNE YOUR FIT WITH MICRO ADJUSTMENTS
Today ski boots also come equipped with components that can be quickly adjusted to personalize the geometry of the boot. By adjusting the cuff alignment, forward lean and sole canting of the boot, final customization results in a ski boot that perfectly contours to the shape of the leg, ankle and foot while positioning the skier in a balanced, symmetrical and dynamic stance.
Our Ski Boot Lab specialises in ski boot fitting and customisation. Ski boots rarely fit straight out of the box and require adjusting, fine-tuning, shaping and stretching. Investing in a personalised fit will help increase your comfort and performance.
> Ski Boot Assessment
> Custom Ski Insoles
WHY HAVE YOUR SKI BOOTS CUSTOM FITTED?
Buying ski boots is very different to buying any other footwear!
Ski boots vary considerably in size, fit, function and performance depending on the type of boot, manufacturer and model. With a hard shell and soft inner-boot both influencing the way they fit and making it difficult to judge if they fit correctly.
They will need to be carefully selected, sized and customised to ensure they match your foot and leg shape as well as needs and ability.
That’s where our experts come in…
OUR SKI BOOT FITTING SERVICE
We are proud of our reputation as the UKs number 1 ski boot retailer and custom fitter.
Our ski boot fitting service expands on our 3-step process and can include:
Biomechanical Analysis and Foot Assessment
We measure and assess your feet in detail, looking at length, width, arch height, foot shape, volume and function. We discuss any previous issues you may have had as well as your skiing ability and terrain preference and any specific needs.
A special pressure plate is used to scan your feet. This reveals your natural weight distribution and more details about your foot shape and type and how these specifics might influence your ski boot needs and how your boots need to be set up and tuned.
Ski Boot Selection
We stock one of the widest ranges of ski boots in the UK. We carefully select models after testing thoroughly for comfort fit and skiing performance. We consider parameters such as foot shape, volume, arch height, calf size. Finally, for ability and terrain preference. We don’t look at colour or brand names. We use your assessment and our boot knowledge to help you find the best possible fit from our extensive range.
Custom Ski Insoles
Our custom insoles form the foundation of your custom-fitted ski boots. A high definition mould of your feet, taken in a ski stance, supports your feet and reduces fatigue while skiing. They also stabilise your foot and reduce movement inside the boot that could result in rubbing or pressure points.
We understand that you need to ski in your boots to really feel how they fit. Needing an adjustment is not uncommon following a holiday as the fit of a boot is dependent on so many variables. That’s why we offer a comprehensive Fit Guarantee that goes above and beyond your statutory rights.
Shell Customisation & Custom Liners
We are experts when it comes to customisation. We have specialist tools to heat and stretch and even grind the inside of boot shells. We can shape a boot to better follow the contours of your foot and leg and relieve pressure on bunions and bone spurs. The addition of a custom liner can further personalise your boots to enhance comfort and performance according to your requirements.