Your ski boot buying guide: size, fit, and flex


YOUR SKI BOOT BUYING GUIDE: SIZE, FIT AND FLEX

Choosing a pair of ski boots can be a daunting task so we’ve made the process as easy as possible for you with our guide on everything you need to know about ski boots.


Ski boots are one of the most important pieces of your kit; comfortable, well-fitting boots will keep you going and going all day long so it’s worth spending a bit of time to get the right boot with the right fit.   

We’ll take you through the following steps, giving you all the information you need to make the right choices for you:  

  • Skier ability
  • Foot profile 

Size

  • Footbeds and socks
  • Boot stretching
  • Flex
  • More features

But first, there are a couple of things to remember:  

  • Your ski boots will never be as comfortable as your street shoes.
  • The foam padding inside the boot will compress with a couple of day’s use so a snug fit at the time of purchase is ideal.  
  • When buying ski boots the ideal fit will come from a professional boot fitter who can guide you through the process and offer advice specific to you. 
  • Modern ski boots usually require heat moulding to fit the liner to your feet, using a special machine operated by a qualified technician. If you’re buying your boots online, you can still take them into store and have them moulded for free.   

Our staff are fully trained to help you choose the right equipment, so visit your nearest Snow and Rock store for more personalised expert advice. 

 

Skier Ability: What Kind of Skier are you?

Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced? All our ski boots include a performance level making it easy for you to choose the right boot for your ability. 

If you’re not sure, think about your skiing ability on a scale of 1-10, once you have a number in mind have a read below to see what category you fall into.  

 

BEGINNER (1-4)  

 

You’re either a first time skier or you’ve skied a handful of times before. You are able to do a snowplough on a gentle nursery slope and make changes in direction using your snowplough to stop.  

You might be able to link your snowplough turns consistently, perhaps finishing your turns with your skis parallel. You stick to a wide stance and are cautious on the mountain.  

 

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED (5-7) 

 

You’re a more confident skier now that your skis are parallel most of the time, but you may still occasionally use your snowplough if you’re on a steeper unknown slope.  

You travel faster and feel more in control.  You’ve skied in a variety of conditions and feel more comfortable on different grades of slopes. You might be considering or have tried off-piste, park, or backcountry skiing.  

 

EXPERT (8-10) 

 

You’re a confident skier, you’ve skied in many resorts on all types of terrain and in all conditions.  

You may have hiked for your turns or are looking to further develop your freestyle or off-piste ability. You take moguls easily and want high performance equipment.  

You could even have a professional instructor’s certification, actively compete in events, or are someone who skis backcountry and is knowledgeable in avalanche safety.  

Foot Profile

Knowing your foot profile, or shape, will help you easily identify the most suitable ski boots.   

The three most important factors for fit are heel width, forefoot width, and instep height.

 

If you’re not sure about your foot shape, our expert boot fitting technicians will measure and assess your feet to creative a 3D foot profile by focusing on the followin:  

  • Width; looking at how wide your foot spreads across the forefoot when standing
  • Volume; the height of the instep and the arch of your foot
  • Heel and Achilles; the width of the heel, the Achilles as well as the width of your ankle bone a

Finding the Right Size

Our comprehensive range includes over sixty models of boot, ranging in UK sizes 1 to 15. With supportive custom-moulded insoles, foam injected liners, and more you’re sure to find the right fit for you, but as many custom products need the help of skilled technician and heat moulding equipment we always recommend you visit your nearest store for the best ski boot buying experience.

Mondo Point Sizing

Ski boots are measured on a scale called Mondo Point. This is based on the length of your foot in centimetres and acts as a good starting point for finding the right fit boot. 

To measure your Mondo Point size place your heel against a straight surface like a wall with your toes pointed outward. Measure the distance from the wall to the end of your longest toe, for example. if the length of your foot measures 26.5cm your Mondo Point size is 26.5. 

You can use a conversion chat to help translate your ski boot size however shoe sizing is often inconsistent. If possible, measure your feet instead. 

Custom Boot Fitting

We’re committed to providing you with an expert level of boot fitting so all our boot fitting staff complete an eight week accredited training scheme.  

Focusing on ski boot fitting procedure and in-depth foot analysis, our in-store staff will be able to give you the best level of technical expertise. Our service is free, even if you’ve bought online (just bring along your receipt) and takes around two hours.  

Think ahead about any problems you may have had with any previous ski boots you’ve owned or rented or any injuries that could affect fit to ensure you get the very best advice. We also offer a free re-fitting service to adjust or modify your books should have any problems before or after skiing. 

Footbeds and Socks

Don’t let uncomfortable boots or cold feet get in the way of enjoying your skiing, instead, to complete the boot fitting process think about a custom footbed for the very best in comfort and performance.  

Although not included in the cost of your ski boots, your boot fitter can help advise you on the correct footbeds for you. Whether it’s the Superfeet range of pre-moulded footbeds which offer improved alignment and support or the Conform’able range of custom moulded footbeds for the ultimate fit.  

Socks are also an important factor when fitting (and skiing in) your ski boots, gone are the days of chunky woollen socks, instead we recommend using a thin, technical ski sock for total comfort and control. Modern ski socks will support your foot with strategic padding and mesh, and draw moisture away from the skin to help keep you warm. 

Boot Stretching

We understand that no two feet are the same, even your own! So when choosing a boot you may find that the fit is 98% perfect but there may be one or two "hot spots" where it pinches or is a bit tight.   

Our boot fitting experts can warm your ski boot and stretch specific areas to relieve pressure on the toes or around the ankles for example, and create that little extra room. This process is all included in the price of your boot too.   

Our boot fitting team have seen thousands of feet and can help to sort out your needs. However, if you know you’ve got significant medical issues we can still assist by referring you to our Podiatry & Physiotherapy specialist, Body Factor.

Flex

The boot flex is its ability to bend forward at the ankle joint. The paradox of ski boots is that though they need to be stiff to support and provide control, they also need to bend in order to allow skiers to absorb pressure and balance. An indication of how difficult a boot is to flex is usually given by a number ranging from 50 to 150. Racers will tend to have boots 120 and above because they apply greater pressures to boots when skiing whereas recreational skiers are usu ally happy with a flex of 80-110.   

Remember though each manufacture has its own way of designing boots, and though they may have a similar published flex rating, you will only be able to tell if it is right for you by trying it on.  

More Features

Now that you know the basics to fitting your ski boots, see more on ski technical details and terminology. 

 

For more help and advice specific to your skiing needs, visit your nearest Snow and Rock store for expert advice.