Our Guide to Buying New Ski Boots
Buying new ski boots is an experience unlike any other shoe fitting process. This article will help you navigate this process and better inform you about how to do it right, the first time.
The specialist in feet and Ski Boot Fitting.
Take the time to research what ski boot fitting is all about, so you know what to expect when you come to Footpro. Customer reviews are also helpful however a ski boot product review is less helpful, as they lack one important factor, all feet are different and whilst one product may suit one person it may not fit you.
At Footpro we understand feet and the challenges with ski boot fitting. We ski and have years of international boot fitting experience. In-Store our team are made up of Sports Science Graduates, ski boot and shoe experts and because of that we understand lower limb injuries and the biomechanics of skiing.
Make an Appointment and allocate some time
We provide one-on-one service and making an appointment is the best way to ensure that happens. The entire ski boot fitting process can take up to 2hrs. This provides enough time to try on a good range of boots, make custom moulded insoles and make any necessary boot modifications.
On the day of appointment
A few things to consider on the day; Skinny jeans are not the best for ski boot fitting. Trim your toes nail and bring along your favourite pair of ski socks and your previous pair of ski boots, if you have any. It will be helpful to your boot fitter to know what equipment you have been using up until now.
What to expect during your ski boot fit
A top-notch ski boot fit starts with a bold and open conversation about skiing, ability or lack of, previous experiences, likes, dislikes, wants and needs. At Footpro we are listening to you and through this process start shaping our strategy to fitting you.
Some important rules of ski boot fitting must be adhered to with all skiers. Having said that, every skier will have very different wants and needs and it is the boot fitters job to factor them in. The individual nature of each customer starts with conversation then continues with each boot we try on.
Now that we know a fair but about you, we will start taking a good look at your legs and feet (from the front and side profile). This step may feel very personal and we are aware of that. You can feel reassured that this is part of the biomechanical analysis.
The shape of the foot and lower leg play a significant part in the types of ski boot we select for you to try on. Each pair of boots selected will have a ‘Flex Rating’. These ratings are a way of grading the performance of a ski boot. The higher the rating, the higher the performance of the boot.
Prior to putting the ski boot on, ‘Shell Sizing’ is done. The inner lining of the boot is put aside and by placing the barefoot inside the plastic shell we can check the size of the boot for length and width. Without this process you will most likely end up trying on and purchasing boots that are too big.
Finally, you actually get the ski boots on your feet. They will feel tighter than you’d like, and that is normal. Give it a few minutes as the lining of the ski boot warms up and begins to stretch. Each ski boot you try on will have a slightly different fit, and during this stage we ask you questions about the way the ski boot feels on your feet. Two or three pairs later, and with guidance from your boot-fitter, we will start agreeing that one of the options is the boot for you, WOO HOO!
The next stage is the most important step in finding ski boot bliss.
Customise the fit with moulded insoles / footbeds and boot modifications.
Every great ski boot fit must include an insole / footbed to support the foot. Given the infinite variety of foot shapes, Custom Moulded Insole’s or Footbeds (as they are known in some circles) are the only way to fully integrate and connect your foot to the boot and ultimately your skis.
The Insoles support the sole of your foot and will position your foot in a way that it is more responsive, providing a significant increase in control and performance. The Custom Moulded Insole option will cost more than an off-the-shelf option but given the life span of a ski boot and Insole, and the improved comfort and performance, they soon feel like a very worthwhile investment.
A good ski boot fitter will also be open to boot modifications and adjusting the fit, ensuring the fit is optimised from day one. Making some modifications to the ski boot will take some extra time and that can usually be done at the time of the initial fitting. Making these adjustments maybe a necessary part of your boot fit.
We can guarantee the new boots will loosen up after the first couple of days of skiing. Having said that, a good boot-fitter will be able to pre-empt what pressure points ‘will’ and ‘will not’ sort themselves out with skiing and modify the boots prior to hitting the slopes.
Skiing in new boots
Your first day of skiing in new boot will be good fun as you finally get to feel the control and support that was discussed in-store. The width and length of the boot will feel a little snug but don’t panic. Each hour you push through and keep skiing the boots will loosen up. The boot adaptation is most dramatic in the first 2-3 days of skiing then settles from there on.
Make sure you wear a good quality ski sock for those first few days (thinner is better). The try-on socks you used in-store may have been thinner than the ones you usually use so consider buying a pair before you leave the store.
Don’t over tighten the bottom two buckles. The boots are already pretty snug and one clip too tight can have a big effect and your comfort and blood circulation to your toes. The upper two buckles should be fitted quite firm to secure your ankle and foot, preventing your foot from slipping forwards and squashing your toes.
If this is your first pair of ski boots, or a significantly better fit than what you previously had, we would highly recommend having a ski lesson. This is a great opportunity to refresh your ski stance and have a professional ski instructor help you find your balance in your new boots.
If you have been fitted by the best, then they should back up their work with a ‘Comfort Guarantee’ that does not expire after 12 months. At Footpro our ski boot fits have a lifetime guarantee which means free ski boot adjustments for the life of the boot. A ski boot has a life span and until they reach that point we are here to make sure they are comfortable.