Ten tips for buying new ski boots
1. Ignore your friend’s advice – forget what boots your friend’s think you should buy; they are your boots, what your friends have found works well for them may not work for you.
2. Trust the boot fitter – Getting the proper fit can take hours, boot fitting experts will be able access your foot shape, mobility, alignment, size etc and then suggest what boot best suits your needs, don’t go to the fitter with a certain brand, colour or model in mind.
3. Book an appointment- Good boot fitters are usually busy fitting boots, if you just walk in chances are the fitter is busy , so you will be given the next best person capable of selling a boot, it may be the guy who normally waxes the skis, who knows little about boot fitting.
4. Too big is a big problem – The biggest mistake people make (other than buying boots without trying them first) is buying boots that feel comfortable in the store. Boot liners will compress over time, even just the first few days of skiing will pack your liners out. Try on boots with a thin sock and look for a snug fit, a good boot will have a heat mouldable liner, after heating they will fit so much better.
5. Shell fit – because liners often feel too snug when first trying on new boots, we always start with a shell fit. A proper shell fit will give you a good snug fit when the liner is reinserted, when the fitter does a shell sizing, they will also look for room around the ankles, forefoot and the instep, as well as the length of the boot.
6. Do not buy on colour – Where possible we will try to work with you on colour, but we will always give priority to what fits best for your foot shape and skier level.
7. Beware of marked sizes (Mondo point) – Use the manufacturer’s marked size only as a guideline to get a shell size done. The sole length and inner cavities of supposedly similarly sized models can vary significantly; the boot fitter will be the best guide to the correct size.
8. Socks matter – Your boot’s liner is thick and warm when you first buy it. Try on and use thin socks at least for the first few ski trips. If you put thick socks in your boot you could restrict blood circulation and make your feet colder not warmer. As your liner packs out, use a thicker sock to maintain warmth and a good fit, the latest specialised ski socks have vapour transmission channels to keep your foot dry, some have a compression garment built in to help the calf muscles work better and recover quicker.
9. Try on pairs – Your feet could be slightly different and different models or sizes on each foot might mislead you, always try boots on in matching pairs.
10. Stand, don’t walk – Ski boots are meant to ski in, they are not suited for walking. Walking around won’t tell you how a boot feels when your skiing, instead, stand and flex into the boot for several minutes. You can even try edging from side to side for a more realistic test.