Getting the Proper Boot Fit

Some say the hardest part of skiing is putting on the boots. Because of their stiff, outer shell, ski boots can be difficult to put on and take off. The shell is stiff to protect your ankles, but they definitely shouldn’t hurt!

To put the boots on, make sure all of the buckles are undone and that none have re-caught. With one hand, pull the tongue all the way forward while holding the inside back cuff of the boot with the other hand, spreading the boot as far open as it will go. Point your toe straight down into the boot, and then step straight down with your heel, letting it push your toes forward into position within the boot.

The boots need to be buckled when they are being fitted. Once the foot is in place, pull the power strap tight around the cuff of the boot and join the Velcro to hold it in place. Next, buckle the boot starting from the bottom and working your way up. (Later, when you are taking the boot off, unbuckle starting with the top buckle and work your way down, taking the power strap off last.)

When you are sitting or standing straight legged with the ski boots on and buckled, your big toe may be touching the front of the boot. However, when you stand up and bend your knees into skiing position, this should pull your feet back inside the boot so that the big toe just barely touches the front of the boot, or not quite touches the front of the boot.

The boot should fit snugly all over, but comfortably, like a glove. Not too tight, with too much pressure anywhere on the foot, but not too loose, either. You should be able to wiggle your toes, but not curl them, and your heel should not move up and down more than a quarter of an inch. You control your skis through your feet, so your boots need to fit snugly so that they respond immediately when you roll your feet and shift your weight making your turns.

Also, when you fit your boots, make sure you are wearing the same thickness of sock that you will be wearing when you are skiing. Socks shouldn’t be too thick; you don’t want your feet sliding within the boot. Definitely do not wear two pairs of socks for the same reason. And the socks should be made of a synthetic, or a wool/synthetic blend that will wick moisture away from your feet, helping to keep them from getting cold and clammy. Don’t wear cotton socks, as they absorb moisture, making your feet cold and clammy.

That’s all there is to it! Enjoy your skiing in comfortable, responsive boots—and don’t forget to think snow!