How to Size Ski Boots

How to Size Ski Boots
Ski boots can be tough when it comes to sizing. Unlike regular boots, these may be used with various layers of socks and will have to withstand various angles. Ski boots must fit snugly enough that they do not allow your foot to slide when skiing but also not so tightly that you lose circulation and your feet become cold. Luckily a few tricks of the trade exist for finding the right ski-boot size for the slopes.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • ski socks
Step 1
Check to see if the ski boots have a heat-moldable inside liner. This will determine the fit. If the boot has a heat-moldable liner, it will be easier to size to your foot and more comfortable to ski in. You should be looking for this type of boot.
Step 2
Take a pair of ski socks with you when you go try on ski boots. This is very important. If you try on ski boots with a pair of running socks or everyday socks, they will not fit the same as with ski socks. Try to emulate the fit as accurately as possible by wearing what you would wear on the mountain.
Step 3
Remove the liner from the boot's shell and stand in it with your foot flat on the floor. Your toes should be flat and relaxed. Your toes should brush up against the end of the liner, but it should not feel tight. If your toes bend or buckle up slightly, the boot is too tight and the next half size up should be tried on.
Step 4
Step into the plastic shell of the ski boot with the liner once you have a liner that fits correctly. Tighten all the buckles just as you would if you were ready to head downhill for a ski run. Try on both boots this way and walk around with the pair for several minutes. Take note of any part of the boots that may pinch, slide, rub or just doesn't feel right.
Step 5
Try the next boot shell size up if the liner fits but when you put on the shell it feels too tight. Often skiers find that the liner and shell size that come together are not properly matched. Once you have matched the right liners and shells, you can then heat mold the liners to your exact foot shape (some gear shops will do this for you if you don't want to do it at home), which will then give you the perfect boot fit.

Tips & Warnings

Go to your local ski shop to try on boots in the afternoon after you have been standing and walking around for a good part of the day. If you try on ski boots early in the morning, you may not get an accurate fit. Throughout the day, your feet become slightly (though not always visibly) swollen, and it is always best to try on ski boots when your feet are at their biggest.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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