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Ilya Socks
Ilya Socks

How To Buy Skis And Boots

At we have selected our large ski boot range to accommodate for nearly every foot shape. Ski boots are the most important part of your ski setup and can make or break your next trip to the slopes. Not only do they have to be comfortable, they also have to have the right performance and features for the type of skiing that you like to do.

how to buy skis and boots

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Our ski boot buying guide has been developed to help take the confusion out of buying ski boots online. If you can't come in store for a boot fitting appointment, you can call or email us and have a chat with our qualified boot fitters for the best advice.

Believe it or not, there is a difference between men and women's ski boots, and it not just the fluffy liners! Women typically have lower and proportionally bigger calf muscles and ski boots are designed through the cuff and liners to accommodate for this. Men tend to have wider feet as well, so both men and women's boots are shaped appropriately for this.

As ski boots increase in size so does the last width of a ski boot. The increase is usually 2mm per size. This means if the stated last of a ski boot is 100mm in a 26.5, it will be 102mm in a 27.5, 104mm in a 28.5, etc. The same rule applies for women's ski boots. Boot fitters will try to select boots with a corresponding last width to the measured width of the foot.

Every boot fitter worth their salt will perform a shell size check. This involves removing the liner and asking the skier to insert their foot into the shell and move their toes to the end of the shell to touch with light pressure. By observing the space behind the heel they can get an idea of how the boot is going to fit for length. Using dowels as a guide, if the space available is 10mm or less this classified as a race fit. A performance fit is around 15mm space at the back of the heel, and a comfort fit is greater than 20mm at the back of the heel. If your purchasing boots online it's recommended that you do a shell fit when you receive them to double check you haven't bought boots too small or too big. If you can see a 25mm gap at the back of your heel you should definitely consider going down a size!

We've created a guide to measure feet for ski boots. Although it does not replace the value in seeing a qualified boot fitter, it will help to make better decisions when selecting ski boot sizes. Once you've figured out your measurements you can use the table below to decide what size ski boot is going to be best for you.

When sizing kids ski boots make sure to take into consideration how long you want the boots to last. If you're hoping to get 2 seasons out of them it can be good idea to select a size bigger so they can grow into the boots. If your child is a competent skier, in race club etc and needs a performance fit, it is recommended to size the boots in the same way an adult boot is sized.

Ski boots that have a narrow last less than 100mm are usually low volume boots, and ski boots that have a wide last greater than 102mm are usually high volume boots. Feet that are low in volume but measure wide in the last width can be harder to match into a boot off the shelf and often need the help of an experienced boot fitter to modify the shell.

As a general rule of thumb, a less experienced skier should look for softer flex in a ski boot as it tends to be more forgiving whilst the skier is learning the sport. Referring to the size chart above a less experienced skier may also prefer a comfort fit. As the skier progresses in skill level and explores steeper, more variable terrain, a stiffer flexing boot may be desirable as it will be more responsive and allow the skier to transfer energy much more effectively into the skis. An intermediate to advanced and expert skier will prefer a performance fit as the more snug fit around the foot will give the skier much more direct energy transmission.

The ski boot liner is the removable inner boot that adds comfort in a ski boot. They are generally made of foam, although sometimes other materials are used, and provide insulation to the foot. Over time the foam will compress which may lead to a sloppy, loose feeling inside the boot. This is commonly referred to as packing out. Some ski boot liners are partly moldable, whilst some liners are 100% moldable. It is best to ask a qualified boot fitter for the best way to mould your ski boots.

Nearly all ski boots will come with a stock sock liner in the bottom of the liner. The purpose of this is to absorb sweat and cover up any seams. Skiers can experience a big increase in comfort and performance by replacing the sock liner with a prefabricated insole, and the same increase again when a prefabricated insole is upgraded to a custom footbed. A custom footbed should be made by a qualified boot fitter.

Power straps are velcro straps that wrap around the top of the cuff and help to keep the shin in contact with the tongue of the liner. More advanced boots generally have wider power straps or are made out of elastic materials which require more energy and effort to push forward into the boot and are better suited to advanced skiers.

Some ski boots have the ability to increase or decrease a ski boots flex, generally by 10 flex points. In some ski boots, this is as simple as rotating a dial on the spine of the boot, wherein some ski boots a rivet may have to be added or removed to alter the flex.

Some ski boots have a lever or switch on the back of the boot to allow the skier to swap between ski and walk mode. They work by unlocking the cuff to increase the range of motion and make it easier for a skier to walk and hike in the side country and backcountry. They ar