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We have a one of the Australia’s largest selections of ski equipment on the internet as well as 2 store locations in Brisbane CBD and on the Gold Coast. Our knowledgeable staff have years of experience, and will help you make an informed, educated decision when choosing the right ski boot. Boots are the single most important component of your ski setup, and it’s worth spending the extra time into getting the right boot with the right fit from the get go. Your boots are the only way of translating your body’s intentions to your skis, so a specific fit is crucial for control, performance and improvement. Ski boot shells have a makeup hard plastic, this conflict between the shape of your feet and the shape of your boots and can cause fit problems. Here are some things will need to take into consideration when choosing the right ski boot - Skier Type, Size, Flex, Cuff Shape, Features, and Buying Online.
Firstly start by thinking about where you fit into this Skier Type chart. This chart will give you an idea of what type of fit, flex and features to look for in a ski boot. Here we have broken skier types into three groups based roughly on ability:
You prefer green and blue runs and typically like cruising on groomed terrain. You’re still working on mastering the mechanics of the sport, but are making good progress. The best option for beginner/intermediates is a softer to medium flexing boot and a fit that will allow them to be comfortable all day long.
You enjoy a variety of speeds and conditions, including moguls and steeper terrain, and require more precise steering and control from your boots. You ski blue and some black diamond runs, cruise groomers with confidence and experiment with off-trail terrain. Intermediate/advanced skiers often have several years invested in the sport and should look for a medium flexing boot with a fit that’s precise enough to allow full control in a variety of conditions.
You ski the entire mountain in any condition with confidence. You easily make the transition from designated trails to off-piste in a variety of snow conditions including deep powder, ice and moguls. You should be looking for a boot with a stiff to super stiff flex and precise fit. Expert level skiers sometimes intentionally downsize both in length and volume, then work with a boot fitter to make the boots comfortable.
Ski boots are measured on a scale called Mondo point, which is based on the length of your foot in centimeters. When fitting/wearing ski boots, we suggest wearing a thin sock. While a thicker sock may be slightly warmer in some instances, the plastic shell and foam in the liner provide a good amount of insulation, and extra sock thickness between your foot and the boot shell diminishes control and response.
Just because you measure a certain size doesn't mean you should necessarily buy that size ski boot, but it's a good starting formula for most skiers. Not every skier has the same requirements, or tolerance for close-fitting footwear, or access to quality boot fitting. Here are our general recommendations:
Beginner/Intermediate Skiers should generally choose a boot close to their indicated Mondo point length or slightly longer, even if it feels small. Keep in mind that the liner of the boot will compress after you ski in it a few times, and the boot will mould to your foot shape fairly quickly.
Intermediate/Advanced Skiers should also choose a boot close to their indicated size or slightly shorter, but in a stiffer flex. Pay attention to the width of the boot as well, and choose one that offers a snug fit if possible.
Advanced/Expert Skiers normally choose a shell size 1/2 to a full size smaller than their indicated size for a super precise and responsive fit, and a stiff or very stiff flex. Downsizing in ski boots may call for collaboration with our skilled boot fitters to make the boots comfortable enough for skiing.
Slight to moderate pressure on your toes when the boot is buckled and your leg is in an upright position is usually an indication that the boot will be the right length. If the boot feels too short, try flexing the boot hard with the ski boot done up – drive your knee forward into the skiing stance several times with force. This will push your heel back into the heel area of the boot and create more space in the front - you should feel little to no pressure on the toes while flexing the boot forward. All ski boots will fit looser after a few days of skiing, and your object is to have a perfect fit at the end of the boot fit rather than when the boot is brand new. Keep in mind that while it’s usually possible to enlarge a boot that’s a little too small, it’s not possible to shrink a boot that's too big.
A common method of measuring the length of the boot interior is called a “shell fit,” and it’s a good way to see if a boot is close to the right size. This requires removing the inner liner from the shell - Inserting your foot into the bare shell and slides your foot forward until your longest toes just touch the end of the shell. We then check the distance between your heel and the rear of the boot. Our Boot fitters refer to this measurement in terms of fingers. Using this standard one finger or one-and-a-half fingers is considered a good performance fit, two fingers is usually too big, while less than one finger is getting into a race fitting fit and is usually best left to elite skiers.
The length of your boot isn’t your only fit option. Like feet, every ski boot interior has a different shape. Most manufacturers of alpine ski boots now make two or three models to fit various types of feet. Generally, these can be divided into narrow, medium and wide, and are based on the width of the forefoot measured on a slight diagonal across the metatarsal heads.
Narrow boots normally have a forefoot width of 97 - 98 mm, and are quite narrow through the mid foot. These boots are best for people with narrow and low volume feet.
Average boots have a forefoot width of around 100 mm. These boots fit average feet well out of the box, and have a more relaxed fit through the mid foot and heel.
Wide boots are best suited to skiers with wider and higher volume feet, and typically have a forefoot width of between 102 mm and 106 mm.
Irregularities in the shape of feet, such as bunions, bone spurs, abnormally long toes or bony protrusions that are not common in size or location can also cause fit problems. These problems are often best handled by our experienced boot fitters – they can modify the boot to accommodate the problem area rather than buying the next larger size.
Flex in ski boots refers to how difficult it is to flex the boot forward. Boot flex ranges from soft to race stiffness, indicated by a numeric flex index that’s usually a number from 50 / soft to 130 / very stiff. Beginner-Intermediate men’s boots range from about 65 to 80 flex index, with Intermediate-Advanced boots going from about 90 to 100. Advanced-Expert boots normally are in the 110 to 130 range. The stiffest race boots are rated at 140 to 150, which is far beyond what most skiers need or want and usually reserved for high level competition skiers.
Terrain, speed and type of snow play a role in choosing your flex as well. Personal preference and physical makeup are equally important. An athletic beginner may do just fine in a medium to stiff boot, and some expert skiers prefer a moderate flexing boot to a very stiff one. Your height and weight are also factors in choosing the best flex. Someone who is short and light in weight doesn’t put as much leverage on a ski boot and a very stiff boot will limit natural body movement, while someone who is larger/heavier may require a stiffer boot, even if they are new to skiing. Keep this in mind if you are smaller or larger than average.
Matching the cuff to the size and shape of your calf is an important part of your ski boot fit. The shape and height of both the shell and liner cuff can be a big consideration for women (whose calves are generally lower and proportionately larger than men) or those with very large calves. If the upper buckles on a boot are extremely tight out of the box, most boots have upper buckle ladders that can be moved to several different positions, to give you more adjustment range.
Manufacturers offer women specific boots that are designed to fit larger and lower calves, and many women’s models offer an adjustable cuff that will flare out to give you more fit options.
Alpine ski boots normally have a fixed forward lean of between 11 degrees and 18 degrees from vertical. Most modern boot designs reflect the shift in ski technique toward a more upright style and have less forward lean than boots from past years, but the forward lean that works best for each skier is highly personal, and most boots have some adjustment capability. The angle of the boot board (bottom interior of the boot) relative to the ski, is normally fixed as well, but can sometimes be adjusted by our boot fitters or by installing shims under or wedges between the boot board and liner. Some skiers are more sensitive to ramp angle than others.
The liner is the removable, soft inner boot that protects and insulates the foot from the rigid outer shell. All liners will compress or pack out and form to the skier’s foot with use, and a boot that feels tight the first time you try it on will often be just right after a few full days of skiing. Most boots offer a fully customisable thermo liner that can be heated molded and formed to the owner’s foot, retaining the exact shape of the foot when they cool. This fitting process offered in both of our stores.
This is the velcro strap at the top of the cuff of your ski boot (some boots use a mechanical cinching buckle). When tightened, the power strap increases energy transmission and control. It acts as an additional buckle with a large range of adjustability and aids in reducing the gap between leg and boot. Power strap tightness is a matter of personal preference, so feel free to experiment.
The foot bed lives inside the liner; it’s the platform on which the skier’s foot rests. We stock foot beds to provide support for the contours of the foot. We offer a selection of foot beds some are pre-molded and simply trimmed to the correct length while others are fully custom molded specifically to your feet. Foot beds can greatly reduce many fit problems.
Many ski boots come with the ability to switch from a fixed ski mode to a walk mode with greater range of motion. This feature is increasingly popular on “crossover” boots that are intended for use both in the ski area and for alpine touring.
Now that you know what you need from your boots and have the tools to begin your search, we strongly recommend you resist the urge to buy strictly on style, brand, price and or colour. It’s wise to save elsewhere in your budget if it means getting the right boot.
We recommend allowing an hour for a boot fit in our stores, this gives our boot fitters time to ask the relevant questions they need to about your skiing, what you are looking for in a boot and to assess your foot. From there we will try on a selection of boots that are suited to your shape of foot - Trying each option for however long it takes before the best fit is found for you. All our boot fits are guaranteed, and any ongoing adjustments needed are done free of charge.
Your overall skiing experience depends on getting the fit and features that best suit your foot and skiing style, so take your time and feel free to call us for help at 07 3229 8911 Brisbane or 07 5531 3035 Gold Coast.
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