How To Fit Ski Boots

Alpine Skiing

The fit of your ski boots is critical in delivering maximum comfort and performance – no matter your skill level – but why is the fit SO important? The purpose of a ski boot is to create a direct connection from your knee to the ski without any unnecessary slippage or movement. If your boot is too loose, your skiing will suffer (and you could hurt yourself), and if your boot is too tight, you’re also going to feel a fair bit of pain in the days following your trip. Having a ski boot that fits properly is crucial and cannot be underestimated. Read on to learn more about how to find proper fitting ski boots for your next ride down the slopes:


WEAR THE RIGHT SOCKS

During the entire fitting process, it’s important to wear ski socks, which not only keep you warm and dry while out on the slopes, but they also create the bond between yourself, the boots, and the skis. You may be thinking, “Can’t I just double up on a pair of regular socks?” The answer is absolutely not! The reason for this is because you will lose the intimate feeling between the ski and the boot, not to mention the fact that having two socks on top of each other will create friction – which will ultimately run you the chance of getting blisters anyways.


LENGTH AND WIDTH

A good fitting boot should be comfortably snug. You should be able to wiggle your toes but not have heel slippage or movement from side to side or forward to back. Did you know that ski boots are available in different widths from 95-106mm wide?

FOOT SIZE

 BOOT WIDTH (mm)

Narrow

96mm - 100 mm

Regular

100mm - 104 mm

Wide

104mm +


You’ll want to ensure that you select a size that matches your foot width as well as length.


SHELL FITTING

Before trying a boot on, you’ll want to remove the liner by unbuckling the boot fully and pulling on the back cuff of the liner until it pops out. Once the liner has been removed, slide your foot into the boot’s shell and push your toes up until they touch the front of the boot. Next, measure how much space is between your heel and the back of the boot, ideally, you’ll want somewhere between ½ – ¾ of an inch (1-2 fingers) of space. High-performance skiers, often prefer a tighter fit, with only about 10 mm of space or less. A shell fit that is larger than 2 fingers (30mm) will normally prove to be too loose once the liner compresses from skiing. Now, centre your foot in the shell and see if you can fit a finger between the shell and both sides of your ankle. If your ankle bone is touching the shell, you may need to try a larger boot.


LINER FITTING

The trick here is to try on the boot’s liner while it’s still out of the shell. The liner should feel like a padded, second sock with a stiff tongue and back. It should hug your foot and leave your toes just enough wiggle room. Next look at how the liner is shaped compared to your foot. If any part of your foot is pushing hard or stretching out the sides of the liner, you may have a boot that is too narrow. If the liner fits properly, it’s time to put the boot back together (liner inside the shell).


BUCKLE UP

Now that you’ve checked the fit of your shell and liner, it’s time to put on your ski boot. Once you have it on, kick your heel down hard on the floor to properly seat your heel in the boot’s heel pocket. Starting with the lower buckle on the upper cuff, begin buckling up the boot. Continue to the lower buckles, keeping in mind that these don’t require a ton of pressure to open and close. If you must buckle these with lots of pressure to get a snug fit, you probably have the wrong size or model of boot.


FIND THE RIGHT FIT

Once the boot is on and buckled, stand up. Your toes should be touching the front the boot. Now, lean forward slightly and bend your knees. Your toes should pull back from the front of the boot (it’s ok if they’re still touching the front but they should not be pushing too hard). While still leaning forward, bend your knees and push your shins hard against the front of the boot. Your heels should hold in the heel pocket of the boot without lifting.

To ensure the proper fit and that you don’t have any severe pressure points, walk around in the boots for about 10 minutes to an hour. If there are any pressure points squeezing down hard on areas like your heel, instep or arch, they are most likely too narrow, and you’ll have to start the process over again.


PRO-FORMANCE ADVANTAGE CUSTOM FITTING SYSTEM

At Source for Sports, we know that your boots can make or break your day on the slopes. We will always encourage you to explore a professional assessment/fitting to get the best blend of both performance AND comfort, which is why we offer our customers the Pro-Formance Advantage Custom Fitting System. The Pro-Formance Advantage Custom Fitting System is designed to fit each skier with the boot that is perfectly suited to their ability and skiing style. Our ski experts will:

  • Evaluate your skiing ability and level
  • Assess your foot structure
  • Establish proper foot alignment and arch support
  • Customize the perfect fit for your feet

At Source for Sports, our experts will help you choose ski boots that fit so that your family can enjoy their time on the slopes this winter!


For expert advice on Ski, Snowboard, or everything Winter, come see us at your local Source for Sports winter sports store near you. We'll find the equipment that is right for your experience, level of skill, and budget. We Fit Your Game.

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