Ski Boots Buyers Guide
Read on for our exclusive Ski Boot gear guide!
How are Ski Boots Sized?
Ski shoes are the most essential component of a skier’s winter gear, without a good sized and well-fitting shoe it’s doubtful that you will go anywhere! Since you will be spending the majority of your time up and on your feet, it’s good to invest in shoes that will give you the comfort, warmth and coziness that you deserve. With that said, many brands have different sizing systems, and it can be very difficult to choose suitable shoes for you if you are not only buying new shoes, but new shoes from a new brand. Sizing charts can vary greatly and many people have trouble choosing a suitable fitting boot, especially when shopping online.
Our first piece of buying advice would be to go to the nearest outdoor store and check the ski shoes that they provide to their customers and you can try a few pairs on, even if you are not going to buy them. That way you can get a feel of how the ski shoes fit and what brands offer what kind of comfort; it’s true that online stores have a much wider selection of designs and products overall, but real stores can give you a lot of reassurance when looking at sizing, and there is the staff there to help you, too! They can help give you expert advice on which shoes could best fit your foot width and foot length, especially since people with wider feet can sometimes have a harder time finding good, suitable boots, and there are special brands that cater their products for exactly those kinds of people, providing the best and ultimate comfort for everyone.
It’s always good to flip the shoe upside down and put your heel to the boot’s heel and the toes to match the toe box area of the boot. This can also give you a general idea of what size of boot you would need, since ski shoes are measured by a system called the Mondo point, which means that you need to measure the length of your foot in centimeters, and this way you will be able to match this to the cm length of the boot. To find your Mondo point sizing, place your foot against a wall or any other flat surface and measure with a tape the cm length from the heel to the toe.
It’s recommended to wear very thin ski socks when putting on skiing shoes; although thick ski socks may provide more insulation, the liner inside your boot should already do that for you.
If you are intending to go to a store to buy or pick up your ski shoes, it’s best to take thin ski socks and slip your foot into the boot just to make sure that the shoe is a tight fit.
Advanced skiers usually get shoes a 1/2 size smaller to get a very tight and responsive fit; beginners are however recommended to buy shoes that are exactly their size, though some customers complain that when buying online, sizing can vary, and it’s always good to grab a 1/2 size or a full size higher to have reassurance.
What Size Ski Boots do I need?
Ski shoes and ski boot sizes can be very deceiving, and there is no perfect match for every person, since every foot is different! You will definitely need to go out and try out different brands and the kinds of shoes and sizes that they offer, since the craftsmanship, heat moldable shells and boot liners in every boot are different, and sometimes that makes the biggest difference for people. Some shoes have more reinforced boot liners around the ankles and heels while some don’t, that may be comfy for some people but may distract others. There is no fit-for-all ski boot, but there are definitely plenty out there that can satisfy even the fussiest customer!
If you are having trouble deciding, you can grab a ruler and measure your foot from heel to the longest toe and that will give you your general ski boot sizing. Then you can go out and customize your purchases to match your foot specifically, but the comfort will always be something you will need to experience for yourself!
How should Ski Boots fit?
Many people mistakenly think that you will need to take into consideration thick woolly ski socks when you will be wearing your ski shoes that however couldn’t be further from the truth. While that might have been the case in older times, nowadays, ski shoes can easily keep your foot insulated and warm without you needing to do that for them; the liner is nice and thick and replaces the thick ski socks entirely, and that’s why it’s recommended to wear thin socks when putting on your new shoes.
Wearing thin ski socks will not only keep your feet ventilated and keep them from sweating and being slippery, but it will also help improve the response of the shoes to your movements, since fewer layers will be in the way of preventing the motion. This is one of the reasons as to why more experienced skiers wear extremely thin ski socks and very tight shoes; it greatly improves the response of the skis to the movement through the shell and the reaction of the feet to the slopes.
If you are a beginner, your ski shoes should fit snug, but they shouldn’t be extremely tight, either. Many beginners tend to think that they can immediately jump into buying tight shoes like the professionals wear, and then they end up getting their feet and health into trouble! Scarred, bruised and wounded feet won’t do any good to anyone no matter how experienced they think they may be, that’s why it’s recommended that beginners and intermediate riders first get accustomed to the shoes that fit snugly to their exact foot size. If you are a proficient rider you can definitely go for the very tight fit, since these are perfect for good, fast and responsive ski rides.
There is also a sizing referred to as “shell sizing” within the skiing community. This will include you having to remove the liner and putting in your foot into the bare shell of the boot at hand. Then you will have to slide your foot to touch the ends of the shoe and measure the space left between your heel and the heel of the boot itself.
Most people use their fingers or small objects or pieces of wood that have an already established, accurate measurement. If you have a one finger or one and a half finger fit (meaning the width of the tip of your fingers, which is usually 15 millimeters), your shoes should be good to wear and perfect on the slopes. If the space is bigger than two fingers, that usually means the shoes it too big and too loose to wear out on the slopes.
It can feel a bit overwhelming to choose a good sized boot with so many measuring options, but it’s definitely worth the hustle, if in the end you will be able to spend your holidays and/or training sessions with shoes that are comfy and customized to your needs!
How to put Ski Boots on correctly?
The amount of buckles surrounding your ski shoes can look quite threatening to a beginner, but putting on your new ski shoes is just like putting on your daily shoes. All you need to do is slip your foot into the boot, buckle up, and you’ll be ready to go in no time! It’s a good idea to make sure all the belts and buckles are undone before you do so, since trying to force your foot into a fastened boot can only lead to trouble and injuries and usually also damages the product. Make sure to pull the tongue forward and towards one side as you slide your foot in so that you can get a nice, snug fit. Close the buckles at the top of the cuff first, and then make your way down. At the end, give both of your heels a kick to make sure your feet are as far into the boot as they should be!
Additional care may include exchanging the boot liners and foot soles within the shoes or washing them with a dry cloth if they are dirty from mood and snow, that way you can be sure you will have your clean boots on and you will be able to safely go on the slopes, worry-free. Makes sure you’ve got a safe ski helmet – click for the full guide.
Our Top Pick has to be Nordica’s ski shoes because they are some of the most affordable, best-quality boots out there. They have a lot of forefoot space and for people who have wide or high-volume feet, that is a vital feature. The 110 flex level is perfect for anyone that likes to have secure feet and also likes to be a bit more aggressive with their skiing on the slopes. The aluminum buckles are heavy-duty and will help keep your feet in place no matter how fast you are going up or down the slopes.
The Triax shell that is integrated in this design has been made to take 25% weight off of the shoe. This gives you a shoe that is not bulky and very easy to walk around in (with walk mode), which is perfect for the times when you are standing around in the ticket lines or when you are going back to your hotel with the skis on your back. The NFS technology will also help with this, since the natural foot stance technology will help you maintain a natural standing position when walking and skiing.
Nordica’s ski shoes are our Top pick because they have some of the best boot features that allmountain ski boots can have. The price is the best you can get and affordable for anyone that is willing to purchase a good pair of shoes for skiing and walking around and the product itself is very well crafted and designed to last.
Our Premium Choice spot has to go to SCARPA’s backcountry boots, since they are the most versatile ski shoes out on the market today.
You will be able to take them out on big-mountains, backcountry rides and in-bounds without an ounce of worry, since they are designed to last in that kind of environment.
The Ride Power Block function that is here gives you extra power both when you are going on downhill skis and uphill.
These allmountain skis are perfect for anyone that is looking for more intuitive and well controlled women or mens allmountain boots. They really are great for many types of skiing.
The soles within the boot can be exchanged and the cuff range is about 27 degrees. They are solid alpine ski boots and they will allow you to effortlessly walk around the campus so that you won’t have to change your shoes when you will be walking off the slopes for the day. The black and lime design is very attractive and is great to have since it will make you easily recognizable when you’re out skiing and have friends or family around that want to locate you.
SCARPA’s ski shoes are our Premium Choice simply because they offer a lot of versatility and comfort for the times when you are out on the slopes or walking around in the snow. They work best in almost any environment and look stunning, too!
Our Great Value choice has to be Dalbello’s ski shoes; you can get them at a fantastic price and they are perfect for both beginner and intermediate riders. They are extremely lightweight and won’t have you drag your feet in the snow due to the bulkiness that is common with many other boot designs. You will be able to ski without any worry and strolling around the resort won’t be a problem. The especially wide boot sole is the best choice for anyone that has high-volume feet and finds it hard to find suitable shoes.
The number 65 flex rating is perfect for anyone that is looking forward to improving their skiing skills out in the snowy mountains. The bi-injection technology combines two different polymers into one, which makes for flexible plastic panels and soft, inner linings while still having a hard but flexible outer shell. The cuff can easily adjust to the angle of the skier’s lower leg when they are both standing and skiing.
Dalbello’s ski shoes have to be our Great Value choice thanks to their fantastic price and even better boot features. You will have no trouble getting these flexible shoes to adjust to your skiing endeavors, no matter how fast or how slow you will go, these are the best ski shoes for any budding rider! They are the perfect addition to your next trip to lake tahoe…
If you buy a bad pair of allmountain boots, it can ruin a whole, well-planned trip. Having shoes that will fit you well both on the slopes and off of them is definitely something hard to come by. Some brands combine alpine ski boots and ski-touring (read the study here), while some just provide you with very comfy, insulating and breathable shoes that are sturdy and ready to endure all of the hits you put them through. We hope that you found one of your dream products here, and if not, we hope that the FAQ section helped you understand better what you would like to buy!
If you liked the review by MyProScooter, please leave your feedback.