How to Buy Ski Boots

How to Buy Ski Boots
Before you consider buying a new pair of skis or poles or a parka, take a moment to consider how much owning your own ski boots will improve your skiing. A properly fitting pair of boots can literally improve your skiing overnight. They can not only take the pain and discomfort out of renting a pair of boots that have been worn by a thousand other people, they can make the difference between your staying an intermediate skier forever and breaking through a threshold to become the skier you've always wanted to be. It all starts with the right fit.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Selection of ski boots Ski socks
  • Selection of ski boots
  • Ski socks
Step 1
Stop by your local ski shop and speak to a boot fitter about the differences between beginner's, intermediate, expert and racing boots. Each of them has specific applications to the type of skier you are. Have them make some suggestions for boots based on your current skiing ability.
Step 2
Narrow down your choice of ski boots based on your research. Things that enter into your choice are price, application and features. Remember that you'll probably be skiing in these boots for years to come, so don't be afraid to spend a little extra money to get the very best boot you can afford.
Step 3
Pull the liner out of the ski boot and put it aside. Slide your foot into the boot and move your foot toward the front until your toes are barely touching the front of the toe box. See how many fingers fit between the back of your heel and the inside of the shell at the heel. A properly fitting boot will allow one to two finger widths between the back of your heel and the inside of the boot shell.
Step 4
Insert the liner back into the boot shell. Slide your foot into the boot liner and stand with your weight equally distributed between your heel and your toes. Fasten the buckle that is directly over the arch of your foot, and flex forward at the ankle to push your heel backwards into the heel cup. Fasten the remaining buckles on the boot.
Step 5
After putting on the other boot, walk around the store for at least 15 minutes. See if any pressure points develop between your feet and the boot shell. Notice whether or not your heel lifts when you walk or if your toes are jammed into the toe box. If your heel moves up and down, you probably need a smaller-size boot shell. If your toes are jammed into the front of the boot shell, you may need a larger boot shell. Don't worry about minor pressure points. If the boot fits well except for some minor pressure points, you probably have a good fit. You can have the pressure points adjusted after you buy the boots.
Step 6
Look for special boot features before you decide on a pair to buy. Things to consider are flexibility, height, number of buckles, fit and ease of adjustment. Many high-quality boots are adjustable for cant to correct leg alignment problems, ankle angle and stiffness.

Tips & Warnings

 
Have your boots fitted in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest. Wear the same socks for fitting as you typically wear for skiing. Ask about getting a custom orthotic made for your boots.
 
Have your boots fitted in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest.
 
Wear the same socks for fitting as you typically wear for skiing.
 
Ask about getting a custom orthotic made for your boots.
 
Avoid buying someone else's boots because they're a good deal. Never buy rental boots that have been worn by thousands of people before you.
 
Avoid buying someone else's boots because they're a good deal.
 
Never buy rental boots that have been worn by thousands of people before you.

Article Written By Allen Smith

Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.

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