Ski Boots Buying Guide
Your ski boots are the most important item in your ski bag, making sure you get the right pair is vital. A well fitted pair of boots will help to maximise comfort and performance for as long as possible. Here at Ski Bartlett, we offer a comprehensive Boot Fitting Service, and always advise booking in for an appointment with our knowledgeable in-store boot fitters!
Finding the right boot can be a daunting process, and there are many factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing the right one. Here we will highlight a few key elements to consider when finding the right boot for you.
A skier’s ability and level of experience will help to determine what features are required from a boot.
Beginner – You’re new to skiing. You’ve maybe skied a few times but are just getting to grips with the basics. Snowploughing your way down the nursery slopes and starting to link your turns.
Intermediate – You’ve skied a handful of times now and feel confident with your skis parallel, whilst attempting to go faster and steeper. You may even have tried some park, off-piste or backcountry skiing.
Advanced – You’re a confident skier that will attack any run on the mountain, in a variety of snow and weather conditions. You will know what type of skiing you love the most and may want to tailor your boot choice to develop this further.
The most important aspect of the boot fitting process, and the part in which the knowledge of our boot fitters will help the most. There are four key areas of your foot to look at when considering what boot to buy, these are: the length, width, instep height and heel and ankle shape. Taking all these things into consideration will help to ensure performance and comfort are maximised as much as possible.
Here are a few considerations when looking into which boot is best for you:
Length – When measuring your feet for a ski boot a different sizing standard is used, compared to regular footwear. The standard used is called the Mondo Point scale, which is the length of your foot in centimetres. This means that if your foot measures between 26.5cm and 27.5cm, you’re likely to be in a 27.5 Mondo Point ski boot.
Width – The width of a ski boot is also known as the last of the boot. The last is a millimetre measurement of the widest point across the boot in a specific size, 26.5 for men’s boots and a 24.5 for women’s boots. The actual width of the boot changes if you go up or down a size, changing by two millimetres up or down. For example???
Instep Height – Over the top of your foot, above your arch, is known as your instep. Common problems that occur in ski boots such as numb toes and cold feet, are often as a result of a boot fitting too tightly over your instep. It is therefore important to make sure that the boot you go for has enough height over the instep for your foot.
Heel and Ankle Shape – Not only will the shape of a ski boot vary between brands, but there will also be differences within each brands range. Heel hold is important as it helps to stabilise your foot inside the boot. Boots will vary in how much they grip around your Achilles and ankle.
The flex of a ski boot is a representation of how well a boot bends at the ankle. Each boot is given a numerical rating which indicates its flex, the higher the number the stiffer the flex. However, each brand will use a different rating scale, so it’s important to remember that two 100 flex boots from different brands are unlikely to feel the same.
It’s often assumed that a more advanced skier will require a boot with a higher flex rating, but that is not always the case. A shorter, lighter person will often require a lower flex boot than someone that is of similar ability but is much taller and heavier.
Socks – It’s important to try prospective boots on with the sock that you are going to use when skiing, to give the most accurate representation of how the boots will feel when out on the slopes. We would also recommend a more technical ski sock as opposed to a basic thicker tube sock. More technical ski socks are ergonomically designed to work best inside a ski boot. With moisture wicking materials and varying sock thicknesses, often leading to improved comfort levels.
Insoles/Footbeds –Used to create a more stable platform for your foot to sit on inside the boot, a supportive insole/footbed is invaluable in maintaining comfort and performance for the life of your boots. It helps to stabilise your foot and ankle keeping everything in the same position as much of the time as possible. Whilst they are an optional extra, we see insoles/footbeds as a vital part of the process that all our boot fitters will emphasise during an appointment.
Get a boot fitting!
At Ski Bartlett we want you to enjoy skiing as much as we do, so we will do whatever we can to tweak and adjust your boots to get your perfect fit.
Your ski boots will be fitted by trained and experienced ski boot fitters who will advise you which boot is correct for you. We offer heat mould-able plastic shells, mould-able liners and fully customised footbeds, helping you to achieve a comfortable fit and better skiing performance.
No matter what your foot shape (wide foot, narrow foot, a high or low instep, bumps and bunions, pressure points, large or skinny calves, or anything else that may cause you problems in an incorrect boot) we can find a boot to fit and make any necessary adjustments to make it perfect!
We are here to help you and our mission is to have you skiing with a smile on your face !