How To Buy the Right Ski Boot for You
By Brooke Danielson
Finding the right ski boot can be a daunting task. How well your boot fits can make or break your performance and comfort on-piste. We turned to expert Jim Lindsay, founder and head technician of BOOTech Inc., to help break it down. Jim has decades of experience improving skier’s alignments, from U.S. Ski Team racers to beginners.
Jim was quick to point out that, “Short of a problem with an airplane, no other single component has a bigger potential impact on your ski vacation than your ski boots. And not just in terms of comfort, but also performance. How well you ski can also be dictated by the fit of your boots. This is why you often see skiers carrying their boots on the plane instead of checking them with the rest of their luggage. It is also why it is almost more important where you choose to shop for boots as it is what boots you buy.”
Jim has some crucial criteria for buying the perfect boot and we’ve broken it down with his seven key points you can take with you anywhere.
“A good boot fitter will ask a series of questions, ‘Where do you ski? What type of terrain do you prefer? Is your skiing improving? What did you like/not like about your last boots?’ And so on.”
Measuring & Evaluating
“Some time should be spent measuring and evaluating your legs and feet. This can be as simple as length and width or may involve a complete biomechanical assessment of your lower extremities. Feet come in a variety of shapes and dimensions and so do ski boots.”
“If you have wide feet you don't need to try on narrow boots. You also should be trying on boots that are a little ahead of where you are performance-wise. The goal should be to improve and you want a product suitable for where you are going, not where you are or below.”
First Impressions Are Not Last Impressions
“It is very important to keep in mind that when a boot comes out of the box, it is the smallest it will ever be. Throughout its life as the liner compresses the boot gets bigger inside. Because of this, a new boot will feel like it's just a little smaller inside then you might want a shoe to fit.”
Fitting in the Boot
“Additionally, when you first slide your feet in, your toes should be touching the end. After buckling the top buckles and the cuff strap, stand up and flex forward. This drives the heel back into the boot and should pull your toes off the end. When standing in flexed, skier position, the toes should know the end is near but able to wiggle around just a little. Stand up straight and the toes should hit the end, but not curl, and when flexed forward the toes should be free.”
Standing in Your Boot
“When you put on ski boots you are forced to stand at the angles the boots are dictating. If these angles don't match yours, you get compromised and are forced to adapt to the equipment.”
“Women tend to have a shorter Achilles' tendon, which can lead to a thicker calf at the same point on the leg. This makes it easy for a boot to be too tall on a woman's leg and can cause her to be over flexed, which makes it difficult to move forward correctly.”
You can find Jim at the base of Aspen Highlands, 0115 Boomerang Rd. Calling ahead for an appointment is highly recommended: 970.925.2526!
Photos by Tony Prikryl for Aztech Mountain
See You On The Slopes!