Whether you've just recieved your new ski boots in the mail or are heading to your local shop to check some out, there's no substitute for trying ski boots on and leaving them on for a while to see if they really fit. Explore our video tutorials and step-by-step instructions below to learn the basics of ski boot fitting.
With that said, however, we always encourage you to explore a professional assessment/fitting to get the best blend of both performance AND comfort.
We recommend wearing a single pair of thin ski socks. One pair is enough, really. Multiple socks or too thick a sock puts pressure on the tops of your feet, reducing circulation and resulting in cold and numb feet. Thick socks also give you less control over your skis – top racers often ski only in nylons or no socks at all! Choose socks made of wool or a wicking synthetic material, and avoid cotton socks - cotton absorbs sweat but keeps it close to your skin rather than moving it away.
To make sure you’re in the right size boot, do a “shell fit.” Liners will compress with use and the overall fit will get looser, but the shell size won’t change.
After determining that you’re in the right size shell, spend some time wearing the boots around your house. Standing in the boots and going through the motions of skiing while watching a movie is a good way to start the process of making the liner foam conform to your foot, as well as acclimating your feet to the feel of ski boots. If you’re new to skiing, remember that no ski boot will feel as comfortable as your street shoes, but stick with it – your street shoes won’t cut it for sliding down the mountain.
As you wear the boots, they’ll begin to conform to your feet. You can fine tune the fit in a number of ways using adjustments that most buckle systems have – twisting the wire bale of most buckles clockwise will shorten the length and increase the tightness slightly, so you can achieve a tension in between notches on the strap. If the cuff of the boot is too tight around your ankles or shins, most buckle ladders (the notched metal plates the buckles fit in) have two or three available positions. Some ladder tracks can be moved simply by twisting or unfastening a latch, others require a screwdriver or allen wrench. Rarely, you may have to drill a new hole in the plastic strap of the boot.
Many boots have a removable spoiler attached to the shell in between the liner and rear of the boot – if the boot hits you in the calf, you can try removing this piece, which is normally attached with Velcro or a screw.
One more thing - make sure your boots stay warm on the way to the mountain by keeping them in the passenger compartment of your car or using a heated boot bag - boots that travel in the trunk of your car start the day cold and are hard to put on when you get to the ski area.