When you’re out there on the mountain, your boots are the connection between your body and skis. The right fit is essential for giving you the perfect amount of control on the slopes but also keeping you comfortable throughout the day. It’s not as simple as buying a pair of sneakers, though, so we put together this guide to help you find the best fitting ski boots.
Generally speaking, beginners should get a boot close to their Mondopoint length or a half-size longer. Intermediate skiers should get a boot close to their Mondopoint size or a half-size shorter and with a stiffer flex. Advanced skiers typically do best with boots that are a half- to a full-size shorter than their Mondopoint length, with a stiff or very stiff flex.
The sizing is for the hard plastic shell of the boot, so you’ll get sized for the boot without the soft inner liner. Your feet may feel snug when you add the liner back in, but will compress after you wear them a couple of times.
The flex rating of a ski boot ranges from soft to very stiff and refers to how easy or difficult it is to flex the boot forward. Your experience level, as well as your height and weight, play a role in which flex you choose.
Generally speaking, beginners want a softer flex while more advanced skiers want a stiffer flex. If you are shorter/lighter or taller/heavier than average, you may also want a different flex than your skill level might indicate due to how much leverage it requires to flex the boot.
The flex index typically ranges from 50 (soft) to 130 (very stiff), but every brand is different so try a few on to see what feels best.
More and more boots are being designed to go from a fixed ski mode to walk mode so they can be used for both downhill skiing and alpine touring. These ski boots let you separate the upper shell from the lower, making it more comfortable to walk.
Due to the number of factors involved in choosing the best-fitting ski boots, we highly recommend visiting your local Christy Sports retail store. Our seasoned experts will help you find the right size and get you going in no time!
After narrowing down your options, strap down the buckles to get a real feel for how they will fit. If the cuff feels too tight or loose on your calf, most adult boots have moveable buckle ladders so that the buckles can be tightened or loosened with an Allen wrench or screwdriver.
While four buckles used to be standard, ski boots now come with three and even two buckles. Fewer buckles will give you a slimmer profile and the boot will be lighter overall, but it really comes down to how they feel on your feet.
The liner provides insulation and cushioning, so many skiers choose to wear thinner socks for a better fit. Most boots come with heat-moldable liners so that they conform to the shape of your foot after a couple of sessions on the slopes. Non-moldable liners offer generic padding and stability and will eventually conform to your foot due to your body weight. Some ski shops also offer custom moldable liners.