Have you ever been skiing and ended up with boots that felt like they were clamping your leg like a vice turning your feet numb in the process? Unfortunately, this is what happens when your ski boots don’t fit properly and there is certainly a right way and a wrong way to choose a pair whether you are hiring them or buying them.
Ski boot size is not the same as shoe size
One of the biggest mistakes you can make make when choosing ski boots is to assume that shoe size and ski boot size are one and the same. Ski boot fittings are actually much more precise than those you use to choose shoes or trainers and both the length and width will need to be considered for a comfortable boot.
A ski boot should be snug but not too tight
While you can get away with a bit of extra room in shoes, a ski boot will need to fit snugly around all areas of the foot to do its job properly. A ski boot may feel tight when you first put it on as a result but not so tight as to restrict blood flow to your foot. A correct balance should be struck between supporting the feet and ankles and providing enough wriggle room to move your toes.
When you have chosen what you think is the right size of boot try it on and ensure that when you stand up in the boot, your toes are just about touching the front. Then if you lean forward your toes should only be lightly brushing the front of the boot.
Another common error when trying on ski boots is fastening the buckles too tight. This is often done when people think their boots feel too loose when a boots should already be a snug fit without fastening the buckles. If your buckles need to be fastened tight for the boots to fit then you may need to try a smaller size.
The buckles are only really there as an extra guide. They are there to hold the foot in place and prevent the boot from coming off when you are skiing. This means they should be fastened tight enough to stay on but not too tight your leg goes numb and you can’t walk!
Start by fastening the bottom buckles on the upper cuffs to lock in you heels before proceeding to fasten up the lower buckles just enough to hold the boots in place.
Out on the slopes
Once you are out on the slopes, the boot needs to hold the skis and your knees in correct alignment. Any looseness in the boots could result in injuries. If boots are too tight, then over the course of a day your boots will make life very uncomfortable and you will find yourself feeling very relieved to be taking them off after a few hours.
If you are at all unsure if your ski boots are the right fit ask your instructor for advice.