Shoe fitting and shopping on its own can be tough enough, but, getting the perfect ski boot fit? That’s even more important. Ski boots will have to accommodate a greater range of motion than regular shoes and withstand all kinds of bending or flexing. How your ski boots fit can directly affect your performance, so if they don’t fit properly, they have the potential to cause serious foot injury. When you’re hurtling down a ski slope, the last thing you want is poorly fitted ski boots!
So, the question is, how should a ski boot fit?
One rule of thumb to see if your ski boot is of the correct size is to measure how much space there is in your boot. To do this, remove the liners and put your ski socks on. Slide your feet forward until they are just touching the front of the boot. Now, measure how much space there is between your heel and the heel of the ski boot. If you have 1.5 to 2 cm of space, they are just the right size. If it is more than 2 cm, the boots are too big.
Generally for ski boots, the tighter the shoes, the more it contributes to your performance. You can maneuver your skis better when they’re tight. So, you will have to make compromises between comfort and performance when it comes to ski boots.
Ski boot fitting in more detail
As with any shoe fitting, it is not ideal to have tight ski boots. The pain, the stuffiness, the calluses, and blisters are inconvenient. So, going back to our previous question:
How should ski boots fit?
Here are some tips on achieving a snug fit on your ski boots:
- • The upper cuff or tongue of your ski foot should feel snug. It shouldn’t feel like it’s choking your calves.
- • Standing up straight and fully buckled up, your feet shouldn’t feel stuffed or cramped. But, they also should not have much room to move around in the boot. They should touch the front of the boot with a minuscule amount of space reserved for flexing during skiing.
- • When trying on ski boots, mimic the motions of skiing to see if they fit. Bend your knees and flex your feet.
- • As you flex your feet and bend your knees, you should feel your toes just touching the front of the boot.
- • Just as with most shoes, ensure you go boot fitting towards the evening. Our feet can expand by as much as 5% towards the end of the day.
- • If you truly want to maximize your skiing performance, you should opt for ski boots that are a full size smaller than your usual footwear. When you put on the boots, you should feel the boot’s shell up against your toes. However, it may feel uncomfortable for a beginner. It may take around a month to be fully accustomed to this.
- • Wear thin ski socks. Wearing multiple layers can make your feet feel stuffy and sweaty.
Ensure a shell fit
It’s important to note that a ski boot’s liners will compress over time and the boot will feel looser which can restrict your skiing performance as it will be harder to maneuver your skis. The motions and force from your feet will only get transferred to the skis if the boots are tight.
So, take off the liners and ensure that the shell is still snug around your feet and ankles. Push your feet until they touch the front of the shell and see if there’s more than 2cm of space. If not, they are a proper fit.
With the complexity and cost of ski boots, it is essential to do your research to find the correct fit if you want to maximize your skiing performance. I hope that this guide, ’How should ski boots fit?’’ has simplified your research, so that now you know what to watch out for!