Ski boots are sacred! Guaranteeing the comfort of the skier, they have to support the feet and ankles throughout the skiing session, transmitting the skier’s every movement to the skis; that’s why you need to take your time and choose carefully.
It’s one of the things that helps make sure you have a successful skiing trip: the wrong kind of boots are a nightmare, stopping you from enjoying the pleasures of skiing…
Ski boots have 2 main purposes:
– to transfer your movements to the skis
– to be comfortable, protect you from the cold and keep your feet warm
On the practical level
The choice of boot depends on your skill level: depending on how good you are, you’ll need boots with a specific degree of rigidity to meet your various requirements.
The degree of stiffness of the boot is measured using an index called Flex.
The lower the Flex, the more supple the boot. The higher it is, the more rigid the boot and the greater the precision and control it provides the expert skier.
Warning: don’t choose a degree of Flex that’s inappropriate to your level: too high and you’ll lack feeling; too low and you won’t have the support you need.
Below you’ll find some recommendations for the Flex index that’s right for your level:
A heavy, powerful skier should choose a higher Flex than the one recommended for his level.
How do you know your size?
Once you’ve sorted out your Flex, then comes the essential stage: working out your size.
Ski boot sizes are measured in Mondopoint: this unit simply corresponds to the length of the foot in centimetres.
It’s really quick and easy to find your Mondopoint size by using the conversion table:
Choosing the next size up to avoid it being too tight is not recommended, as the foot would then not be properly supported.
Trying on ski boots
When trying on boots, several considerations have to be kept in mind:
– the foot needs to be well supported, especially at the metatarsus and heel
– the toes should be able to move around freely.
Any discomfort you feel when trying them on will only lead to pain once you’re out on the slopes. So be careful not to ignore any painful pressure points during the fitting, especially around the ankles.
Useful to know: the liner loses 30-40% of its volume during the first 10 days of skiing. Therefore, it’s best not to opt for too wide a boot in which the foot moves about, because this will only get worse as the days pass…
The fitting, step by step!
- Put the socks on you use for skiing. There’s no point wearing two pairs, as that would cut off the blood circulation.
- Undo the buckles and put the boot on, standing, closing the buckles at the first notch. Tightening the strap after fastening the 2 lower buckles helps close the 2 upper ones!
Useful to know: when trying on boots in a store, the foot often expands as the temperature is higher than outside. If you manage to tighten the buckles to the maximum notches, it means the boot is too wide for your foot, so you need to opt for a shell that’s suited to narrower feet.
- When you’re standing up fully straight, your toes should just touch the end of the boot.
Please note: if they don’t touch the end of the boot, you need to choose the size below!
- When you squat down, the shins rest on the tongue and the toes should move back slightly so they no longer touch the end of the boot. With the boots closed and the knees bent, the heel should not come up from the sole.
Please note: if the toes still touch the end of the boot, take the size above.
- Walk in the boots, checking that the heel doesn’t come up from the sole.
Please note: it’s normal to feel a degree of discomfort due to the rigidity of the boots!
Watch out for your socks! Too thick, and they squeeze your feet in your boots and cut off the blood circulation, producing the opposite effect to the one you’re looking for: a feeling of cold…