Buying ski boots
Buying ski boots is a pivotal decision to skiing better – in comfort.
Whether you are an avid skier or buying boots for the first time, it wouldn’t be surprising if you find the process of selecting the perfect pair of ski boots a bit daunting. However, if you understand the steps, it’s actually pretty straightforward.
The best way to ensure that you purchase the right pair of boots is to put your trust in a specialty ski shop. There, a professional and competent ski boot fitter will be able to aid you in making the best decision. Expert fitters use their experience, knowledge and some tried-and-tested techniques to ensure that you get expertly fitted ski boots. They understand what to look for and what will work best for your particular skier profile and foot shape.
Want The Perfect Ski Boots? Here’s What You Need To Do
Before we go ahead, let’s make one thing clear. No two people have the same type of feet. So there is no magical pair of ski boots that works for everyone. The expert ski boot fitter will take multiple factors into account while deciding what will work for you. Before we talk about how the boot fitter will pick out the right ski boots for you, let’s shed some light on what you need to do to be prepared.
1. Give Yourself Time
Never rush while buying ski boots. The dealer is likely to take some time before determining the right pair for you. Don’t expect to be done with the whole thing in a couple of minutes. Patience is mandatory if you really want the perfect pair of ski boots.
2. Mention The Details
Don’t forget to let the fitter know about your ski boot history. If you have had any problems with your ski boots in the past, the ski boot fitter should know about it. Try to recall any issues you have had before you arrive at the store or even bring your old boots with you. This will be invaluable information for your boot fitter.
3. Have A Clear Idea About The Budget
Naturally, the ski boot dealer will offer you the best options but are you willing to spend that much? It will help if you have a clear budget in mind. Make it a point to ensure that you don’t end up compromising on comfort and performance due to affordability. Try to focus on the bigger picture. Remember – your ski boots are the most important piece of equipment!
4. Trust The Professional
Your expertise and interests lie in skiing, and you may even consider yourself to be a pro at it. However, that doesn’t mean you are a pro at selecting the right ski boot. In addition, just because your buddy or favorite pro skier skis in a certain boot does not make it the right one for you. Determining the correct ski boot is something which should be left to the advice of the professionals. Let him/her take the measurements and offer the choices. Of course, you have the final say but don’t forget to pay heed to his advice.
The Process Of Selecting Ideal Ski Boots
So, how will the boot fitter decide which pair of ski boots will be suited to your needs? Be prepared because he will ask you a several qualifying questions during this whole process to ensure that he determines the best ski boots for you.
1. What Level Of Skier Are You?
The ski boot fitter will want to know whether you are a beginner or advanced level skier. There is a valid reason for this.
If you are still in the initial stages and are slowly working your way up, a soft to moderate flexing boot will be the best choice. If you are more aggressive and like steeper terrain, a medium to firm flexing boot with high precision will be best for you.
If you have mastered the art of skiing and can speed around the entire mountain, the dealer will be inclined to show you boots that are stiff and fit snugly.
The firmer flexing the boot, the more power and precision it can provide. However a boot that is too stiff for a given skier can hinder skiing and will be less forgiving. So, again, this is where a qualified boot fitter can help you get the right boot for your needs.
2. What Is The Right Size Of Ski Boots For You?
This is one aspect where professional expertise is mandatory. The right size ski boot is most critical to performance, control and comfort. Ski boots are typically measured on a scale referred to as Mondopoint. This scale takes the length of your foot in centimeters. Here’s how the dealer will determine which boot size is correct for you.
- If you are a beginner or intermediate skier, you will normally be advised to go for boots close to your Mondopoint length.
- Intermediate and advanced skiers are typically recommended to go with their Mondopoint size or slightly smaller boots.
- It is often advised for advanced and expert skiers to choose a full size smaller than your Mondopoint length. While this may result in a somewhat confining fit, an expert skier is seeking the utmost in control and precision and therefore is often willing to give up some extra space. The boots should still be comfortable of course.
3. The Ideal Flex And Stiffness For Ski Boots
Options of very soft to extremely stiff ski boots are available. Flex index is used to indicate the range of firmness for the range of ski boots. A 75 flex denotes relatively soft ski boots, while a 130 flex index is at the top of the retail ski boot stiffness range (Racers may go higher). You will typically find the flex number printed on the outside of the boot cuff.
Determining what type of ski boots will work for you depends on the terrain you intend to ski. Soft boots (60-80) are forgiving and provide more shock absorption. Moderate flexing boots (90-110) are the most versatile for the broad segment of intermediate to advanced skiers. Stiff boots (120+) are reserved for expert skiers looking for extreme precision and control.
4. What Width Of Ski Boots Work Best?
The width of the ski boot is referred to as last. The ski boot dealer can offer you any of the following options depending on how wide your feet are:
- Narrow lasted boosts typically have a forefoot width of up to 99mm. These are relatively narrow, and therefore not a choice for those with wide feet.
- Average lasted boots have a forefoot width of 100mm. These work great for average feet.
- Those looking for the best ski boots for wide feet should go for the wider lasted boots. These typically have a forefoot width of over 102mm.
The overall volume of ski boots is closely related to the forefoot width. Naturally, a narrow forefoot width has less volume compared to a wide forefoot.
Remember that there is no fixed rule for selecting a particular type of ski boot. It all comes down to your weight, terrain, speed, and the level of performance you need. All of this can be overwhelming. That is why it is best to go to a specialty ski shop where you can receive the best advice to SKI BETTER – IN COMFORT!