Boot Fitting 101: Why you should see a professional
Sep 19 '12
Ski boots so comfortable you can wear them all the way through apres.
It was just about this time last year that I was placing an order for my new Dalbello ski boots. The rep explained to me that although the liners were already designed to be used out of the box, I could also have them custom molded to fit my foot.
This concept was new to me. I’d always thought uncomfortable ski boots were just a rite of passage for the sport. You know, a brotherhood of skiers bound together by a love for the sport that transcends foot pain. I even toyed with the idea of not spending the extra time or money to have the custom fitting done. Wow, am I glad I did!
To say my new boots are as comfortable as my house slippers may be a bit of an exaggeration but they are about as close as you can get. I can’t believe I almost didn’t have the custom molding done. The results are amazing. I can ski for longer periods without breaks, there is no foot or calf cramping, my toes don’t become numb from cold, and I can stay at après for an extra two hours with my boots on and not even think about any discomfort.
If you are planning to buy new boots this season, below are some things to keep in mind so you get the best fit:
Find a professional – When choosing the right boot for you, consult with a certified boot-fitter. They are specially trained to match your foot type, ability level, and other factors to find you the boot that best addresses your unique needs. And remember to be honest with them about your skill level.
Liners – Typically boots come with a liner that can be molded to some extent. My boots had custom thermal-formable foam that used an external heat source to mold the liner to my foot. Many less expensive options react to your foot’s natural heat to form to your feet. You can also have a separate liner tongue and foot section formed individually and then sewn together.
Shell – Boots are rated on a flex-index. The higher the index number the stiffer the boot and usually the more advanced skier you are, the higher the flex-index you should have.
Size – Sizes fluctuate greatly between manufacturers so be sure to try your boots on with thin ski socks. Your toes should just brush the front of your boot without cramping them (in other words they should be snug).
Custom Footbeds – These are typically purchased after market and formed to your foot. They will ensure you get the best possible fit especially for people who have slightly different foot sizes, pronation, etc…
While custom boot fittings do take some extra time and money, the benefits far outweigh the costs and it will forever change your ski experience. Share your story with us in the comments below!