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Top 5 Ski Boot Problems that your friendly Boot Fitter can Fix!

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1)     Sizing

“My boots never fit properly!”

As someone new to the sport of skiing, you may think your regular UK shoe size is the best information to give when you are renting from the resort. Well, this is not always the best way to get the right size. Ski boots that you will be given approximate a shoe size which will always be either too big or too small. Just like buying different brands of clothes, you will most likely not be your ‘normal’ size in every single shop. (Believe me – my dress size goes from a 12 in one shop to a 16 in the other!)

 Ski boot sizes come in ‘Mondo Point’. This is a sizing system that was developed in the 1970s by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to create a universal sizing scale specifically for ski boots. Mondo (meaning ‘world’) is calculated by measuring the length of your foot in centimetres, from the heel to the big toe. Mondo point is universal for all ski boots and seeing a professional boot fitter is the best way to find out your correct ski boot size. Our boot fitters at Snowtrax have all the necessary apparatus to get an accurate measurement. The width of your foot is also considered, as ski boots can come in varied widths just as you can with regular shoes.

 

2)     Renting vs Owning

 

“Renting a pair of ski boots is the same as renting bowling shoes…right?”

Although ski boots come in universal Mondo point, rental versions of these sizes are widened to fit everyone. This can lead to too much tightening of the buckles around the top of the foot and ankle, resulting in the foot being clamped down and quickly getting that uncomfortable numbness after only half a day of skiing. This is often due to the poor blood flow that has occurred by incorrectly sized and fastened rental ski boots. You will also find that rental equipment is constantly used and abused, so they’re going to have less life in them and trying to overcompensate this is hard to do.

 When looking at getting fitted and buying your own ski boots – there are many factors that can be addressed, especially with the width and sizes issues that comes with rental equipment. Of course, there are many different foot shapes, so it is important to get the best fit for you. Professional fitters such as ours at Snowtrax will go through the options to suit your needs so you can confidently use your boots with little to no issues, due to the correct fitting and sizing procedures. You can check out our full Renting vs Owning article for further explanation as to the pros of buying your own ski boots.

 

3)     Incorrect Fastening

 

“Have I done them too tight or too loose?” 

Most of the time we think that the tighter, the better and therefore the more secure. When it comes to ski boots, this isn’t always the case. There is a better method to staying secure and comfortable in your ski boots without trying to squeeze the life out of your buckles.

Ideally, you should be focusing on 1) Heel hold and 2) critical buckling.

When you are in the ski boot with everything just resting or undone, you can tap the heel of your ski boots so that you feel your heel get right back into the correct position. If there is too much space between the heel and the back of your ski boot, you will create issues with comfort and it can affect the way you are skiing.

Next pull in your power strap which can be done fairly firm. Then you would look to your second buckle down from the top that sit between the shin and ankle. This does most of the work of holding your ankle and heel in place and should be tightened as far it goes before it starts to become painful. Your top buckle can be done in the same way, and then check if you can adjust the second one anymore. The bottom two buckles over the top of the foot should be on the loosest setting as these are mainly just for keeping the ski boot shell together and keep snow out.  Remember to use the micro-adjustment on your buckles for precision. If your foot is still slipping or rolling around in the bottom of the boot – they are too wide for you!

 

 4)     No arch support

“How do I stop my arches hurting?”

It is a common problem that the arch of your foot will start to ache and feel uncomfortable. This normally boils down to lack of support. With no support there, the ankle rolls in and can flatten your arches.

Custom footbeds eliminate this problem as they are moulded to the exact shape of your foot, so it covers the unique areas of which you specifically get the painful issues. Other advantages to ski boot footbeds are that in general they make ski boots much more comfortable, and your posture is improved while skiing because you have the correct support. We at Snowtrax are able to create these ski boot insoles for you as part of our premium ski boot fitting.

 

5)     Too Much Sock

 

“Why are my feet still cold whilst wearing ski socks?”

When it comes to staying warm, we often think ‘more is better’. However, the thicker the layers, the less likely your body will react in the right way. Less definitely is more, even with ski socks.

When we have a sock too thick in the ski boot, this is likely to cause more tightness or pinching around the shins, which leads to a cut off in circulation and therefore not enough warm blood getting to those extremities. We recommend a thinner sock made out of better materials such as merino wool. They may look a lot thinner, but the fabric reacts with your body in an essential way to keep the natural warmth in and stay very comfortable all day whilst skiing. As well as the amount of material, there are specific areas in ski socks that help your foot stay comfortable. This can be articulated areas around the ankle or toe box, or varying thicknesses where it’s needed most. You can ask one of our shop and ski boot technicians about the ski sock options available at Snowtrax Store.

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