We know how much an ill-fitting ski boot can ruin your time on the slopes. Good boots should give you 8 hours of hard skiing a day with slipper worthy support. Chris Lowe is UK Manager of Surefoot – the worlds’ leading custom ski boot fitter. With 14,000 boots to their name in over 26 locations they know a good boot. Here, they’ve given Pure Powder clients some handy tips when boot shopping for this winter:
1) A good ski boot fitter should take precise measurements of your feet. This will ensure the internal dimensions correlate to the correct ski boot shell for your feet. The width of the boot should reflect your foot shape and the internal volume of the ski boot should reflect your foot volume.
2) Wear thin socks as they’ll soak up moisture throughout the day adding volume to your boots. They will also reduce blood circulation to your feet.
3) All ski boot shells are adjustable to your foot shape and biomechanics. A good ski boot fitter will have a vast array of tools to help them to expand the shell to fit your foot characteristics and biomechanics. Adjustments are almost always necessary as it’s unlikely that a ski boot will fit straight from the box.
4) Get the right flex for you. Ski boots are laterally stiff but allow for the skier to flex forward when skiing keeping their weight forward in their boot. This ensures greater control of your skis whilst maintaining comfort. The right flex is achieved by considering the skiers height, weight, specific muscle group strength, ability, preferred terrain skied, stiffness of ski used and any other preferences you may have. Don’t skip any of these considerations and be honest about your ability. The wrong flex will lead to comfort issues and will reduce your ability to improve your skiing.
5) Support the foot by using a foot bed or Orthotic insole. The insole provides support for your foot from underneath reducing the tendency for your foot to move when reacting to the pressures inherent in skiing. The golden rule here is that the insole should keep the foot relaxed, produce support and allow for greater control of the ski.
6) Choose your ski boot liner as carefully as your ski boot shell. Pre fit liners (those sold with the ski boot shell) will ‘thin’ throughout the boots life meaning the skier will adjust the buckles of the ski boot in order to maintain control. This will result in ‘hot spots’ or pressure areas within the ski boot. Custom boot liners reduce this effect as they precisely match the contours of your foot, ankle and shin. Lasting longer than pre fit liners, they hold the integrity of the ski boot fit throughout their life. You’ll experience a snug fit with no pressure points and a more immediate transition of energy into the ski. In short more control and greater comfort.
7) Lastly and possibly most importantly go to a ski boot fitter that you can revisit to get any further adjustments made. It’s likely that throughout the ski boots life adjustments will need to be made. Investing in a ski boot should include a level of after sales service. This ensures that the ski boot fitter has a vested interest in getting you into the ‘best possible fitting ski boot’.
For ski boot-buying advice and to check out their excellent collection and methods of boot moulding, visit the London Surefoot store, at 104-106 Waterford Road, SW6.