Ski Boots - The perfect fit

Ski Boots - The perfect fit

Practical Skiing Advice

Ski Boots - The perfect fit

I’ve been in this business a long time, initially as a ski instructor, then as a chalet operator and ski shop owner for many years. I am an experienced and qualified Advanced Ski Boot Technician with 30 years’ experience. Your ski holiday should always be memorable for the right reasons and I have witnessed many guests get stressed over the discomfort of their ski boots, whether rented or purchased.

So here is my recipe for getting the right boots.


Many people miss the most important factor in comfy ski boots because nobody ever takes the time to explain. It’s all about the socks and what goes into your ski boot. The socks are so important and a little money should be invested in a couple of good pairs of ski socks for a week skiing holiday. A ski sock is very technical, quite thick for warmth and comfort, breathable to avoid dampness which is the main factor in cold toes,  free from ribs to avoid rubbing and bruising and that they come up over your calf to just under your knee to avoid slipping down your leg and causing folds in the sock which cause bruising and poor circulation


Only one pair of good ski socks should be worn. It should be pulled up tight and only the ski sock and your foot goes into the boot. I have seen guests put tracksuit bottoms, leg-ins, the loops of tracksuit bottoms under their feet inside, these are all going to cause grief. Once the boot is clipped up, the pressure causes the stitching, ribs and folds to grip into your shins and ankles and soles; causing bruising and severe discomfort. So ONLY your sock, pulled up tight should be inside your boot and don’t forget the elastic from your salopettes/ski pants goes over the outside of your boot to keep the snow out.


A ski boot should be a snug fit. The ski boot is designed to transmit a signal from your brain through to your legs and to your ski, missing out the foot. If your foot can move inside your boot, you are going to risk discomfort and bruising from twisting movements of your foot. Failing to do up the buckles up correctly can result in a broken ankle as a worse-case scenario. When putting your foot into the boot with a correctly fitted ski sock, your toes should just “kiss” the end of your boot. If you can’t stretch your toes to do this, the boots are too big. Then clip up your boots as tight as possible but not so that your circulation is affected.  Then bend your knees so your body is relaxed with your shoulder forward so that you can’t see your feet. This is the correct skiing position and doing this should cause your feet to slide back a few millimetres inside your ski boot and removing the end of your toes from the end of the boot, allowing space to wiggle a little without feeling cramped. The sole of your foot should be comfortable on the sole of your boot and your ankle bones should be comfortable without pressure from the boot. However, your foot should not have room to twist and turn inside the boot. Remember, sitting back on your ski will cause your toes to be crushed against the toe of your boot. Body posture is important.


At the top of the boot is a very important ratchet strap called a power strap. Tightening the power strap is critical. If not fitted tightly, you will get very sore shins caused by the movement of your shins against the front of your ski boot.  Once the boot is clipped up, the ratchet on the power strap should be tightened and then your boots clipped another notch. The rule is if you can get your fingers into the front of your boot, the power strap is too loose. So the rule is, tighten the power strap with some assertive ness. Then pull over the elastic storm cuff on your salopettes over the outside of your ski boots to prevent snow getting into your boots.


Ok so we all have different shaped feet. Rental boots can be a minefield of shapes and sizes. If you have a wide foot, in my experience Head, and Nordica normally provide a good fit. For normal foot, Technica, Lange, Salomon and Atomic and for narrow feet, Rossignol. An old boot will have thin padding and thin insoles so check the lining of your boot.  On the exterior, the underneath of the boot should not have badly worn heels or toes, these faults can cause your boot to release too easily from your binding.  The buckles and power strap should be serviceable.


This little secret is the one everyone forgets. After a day skiing, your boots will be shaped to fit from the warmth of your foot. It is vital that they stay this shape, so slip them up and put them toe up on your boot dryer for an hour to dry out any dampness and to help keep shape.

So there you are, the secrets to comfy ski boots. Enjoy.

Bon ski!

Apr 2022
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