I spent this last weekend with my 3 boys on the ski hill and had a great time doing it! Skiing is one of my favorite pastimes and I am so grateful that my children enjoy it as much as I do. Of course, as they have gotten older, I’ve had to keep up with their equipment. The most challenging part of that has been always fitting them correctly into their boots as they grow.

I frequently run into people who tell me about the problems that their ski boots create for them. Many will describe challenges with their toes banging against the boot, their heel coming out of the boot or their feet getting cold while they ski. A well-fit boot is your key to a great time on the mountain and is instrumental in your experience.

Let’s talk a little bit about how to fit the boot correctly to you

• As with all things that go on your feet, there is usually a size chart. This chart should not differ a great deal from what you would wear normally in your regular shoes. Compare the chart to your regular shoe size before selecting boots to try on.

women-sizing-chart
men-sizing-chart

• Contrary to urban legend a well fit ski boot should not cramp your toes! This is not a pair of soccer cleats! Your toes should have enough room that you can move them and wiggle them just a little bit. Provide enough room in the toe box that you can squeeze your toes together and create a “fist” with them.

• A well-fit ski boot should create compression over the bridge of your foot and lock the ankle into place. By doing this, you will create the best interface and control over your skis. The boot should never be so tight as to cut off the circulation in the foot and leg. This is a great way to have a cold foot! Without blood flow, everything goes cold quickly.

A few extra tips-
1. Make sure that the upper portion of the boot allows enough room for the size of your calf muscle. This is an area that can frequently become a source of irritation if you do not check it out ahead of time.
2. If you are in doubt about whether the boot fits correctly remove the liner from the plastic portion of the boot and stand in the liner by itself. If your toes are touching the end of the liner the boot is too small! Leave just a tiny bit of room at the end of your toes that they do not run into the end of the liner.
3. Insoles inside of your boot can be very helpful. Often a simple generic arch support or orthotic can go a long way to increasing your fit inside the boot.
4. Don’t be afraid to add an external heat source inside the boot. Often a simple toe warmer can go a long way in making your winter experience a great day. If you find that your toes are consistently cold buy a box of toe warmers, they’re easy to use and very inexpensive. You’ll be glad you did.
5. Enjoy yourself! If your feet are uncomfortable when you’re skiing,  you’ve got the wrong boot! Talk to a boot tech or come see me, we’ll get you straightened out!