We have one of the largest selections of ski bindings on the web, a super knowledgeable staff and expert guides.
DISCLAIMER: THIS GUIDE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED AS A “DO IT YOURSELF” GUIDE TO SKI BINDING MOUNTING, ADJUSTMENT AND/OR MAINTENANCE, NOR AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND SERVICE. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR SKI BINDINGS MOUNTED, ADJUSTED, SERVICED AND INSPECTED BY A CERTIFIED SKI BINDING TECHNICIAN.
The arms attached to the heel piece of your ski bindings that stick out on the side of your ski are called brakes. Ski binding brakes are designed to stop your skis from "running away" after release so you can quickly retrieve your skis and click back in.
Is the brake wide enough for your skis?
Your skis’ waist width will determine the ski binding brake width (the distance between the two brake arms). For example, if your skis are 80mm wide at the waist, you will need bindings with a brake width of at least 80mm and no wider than 95mm. A brake width should not be much more than 15mm wider than the ski’s waist width. If your binding brakes are too narrow they will not clear the edges of your skis and will not deploy properly if your ski comes off. However, if your brakes are too wide they will drag when you put your skis on edge to turn or as you cross a steep traverse.
Wide brakes for fat powder skis can often be purchased separately. The narrow brake is removed from the ski bindings and replaced with the new wide brake. Please have a certified ski technician make the brake switch.
Shop Ski Binding Brakes
Two different brake widths shown on a K2 Pontoon Ski.
Release Force Setting (DIN)
DIN, short for Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization), is the industry-adopted scale of standardized release force settings for ski bindings. The DIN setting will be properly set by a shop technician, based on your self-disclosed weight, height and ability level, when your bindings are mounted on your skis. The lower the DIN , the lower the force required to release from your bindings. Your skiing ability level as well as your weight will help you determine the appropriate DIN range for your bindings. Ideally, your DIN will be set somewhere in the middle of your bindings’ DIN range. For example if you ski at an 8 DIN then you might want a binding with a range from 3 to 12. You should avoid setting a 3 to 12 range binding on an 11 DIN or higher if possible. See our DIN chart below.
DIN Range for Ski Bindings
Beginner - Intermediate
Beginner - Intermediate
Beginner - Intermediate
Beginner - Intermediate
Beginner - Advanced
Intermediate - Expert
Intermediate - Expert
Intermediate - Expert
Expert - Pro
Heavier beginning or beginning to advanced junior skiers
Intermediate junior skiers or lightweight beginning adult skiers.
Beginning skiers or lightweight intermediate to advanced adult skiers.
Intermediate skiers who are heavier or lighter weight expert adult skiers
Heavier or more aggressive intermediate to expert adult skiers.
Heavier skiers, very aggressive advanced and expert adult skiers.
Aggressive expert big mountain skiers and racers.
.5 to 2.5
.75 to 4.5
2 to 7
3 to 10
3 to 11
3 to 12
6 to 14
6 to 16
8 to 18
Important Notice: This chart should only be used as a reference guide to give you an idea of the appropriate DIN range you need from a ski binding. There are a number of factors which influence choosing the correct binding so the chart should not be relied upon solely in making your decision. If you don’t find the answers to your questions in this guide please give our customer care team a call at 866-386-1590, Customer Care Hours.
Another important aspect of a ski binding is its durability. In addition to DIN discussed above, your ski binding offers you, among other things, shock absorption. Because so much energy is transferred from the ski to your feet it is important that your binding be built to withstand a lot of force. In general, bindings built with stronger, or more durable materials will grip your boot more effectively and absorb shock more efficiently. While lighter bindings may make your skis easier to carry, lighter binding construction may offer a less robust connection between boot and ski, thus lowering confidence that your ski will stay on when charging the mank or sticking that critical turn or landing. The more advanced the skier, the stronger and more technical their binding should be. Attributes which contribute to a binding’s durability may include, without limitation, material density and tensile strength, DIN range, metal parts, stiffness and additional technical features.
Ski Binding Features and Options
Now that you understand DIN settings and ranges, know your brake width and have decided how durable you want your binding to be, you're ready to decide on a ski binding, but there are more choices than types of pasta in Italy. The following features cater to skiers with specific styles and help to differentiate between appropriate bindings.
Anti Friction Device (AFD)
The AFD can be a sliding mechanism or a low friction fixed device on the binding's toe piece that sits under your ski boot. It is a smooth piece designed to minimize friction between the binding and the boot during a lateral release. The purpose of the AFD is to allow the boot to more freely roll or slide sideways during a release.
To reduce the likelihood of inadvertent release, bindings allow a certain amount of elastic travel for vertical and lateral movements before the skier releases. The elastic movement in your bindings is also designed to provide substantial shock absorption during landings or in bumps. Some bindings are designed to provide a greater range of elastic movement than others.
Riser plates are designed for serious carving. They lift the binding higher off the surface of the ski. This allows the skier to lay the ski further over on its edge making the ski feel as though it has more shape. Riser plates help skiers leverage the ski's sidecut, to make deep carves and power into and accelerate out of turns.
Flat Skis vs. Skis with Integrated Bindings
Skis with a flat topsheet underfoot you can mount just about any binding as long as the brake width (see above) is appropriate to the ski’s waist width. System or integrated bindings are mounted to a plate or track on the ski. These bindings are designed to be paired to a specific ski. Integrated bindings are compatible with one ski (or a very limited selection of models). They are sold together as a ski package and should not be used separately.
Shop Ski Packages
Ski Bindings and Ski Boot Norms
What if I get new ski boots or my boots don’t fit my new bindings?
If you are using the same skis and bindings and you decide to buy new ski boots you will need to have your ski bindings adjusted to accommodate the new ski boot sole length and tested by a shop tech. On all ski bindings there is some adjustability in the heel plate via a sliding mechanism. However, the range of adjustment is rather limited and in some cases the bindings will have to be remounted to adapt to varying ski boot sole lengths. Adjusting your ski bindings in these circumstances is not something you should do yourself. In all cases it is highly recommended that any changes or adjustments to your bindings required to accommodate your boot be made by a certified technician.
Junior Norms vs. Adult Norms for Alpine Ski Bindings and Ski Boots
All current alpine boot manufacturers make ski boots with different adult vs. junior norms that meet ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) standards. Alpine ski boots are typically stamped with “ISO” or “DIN” to indicate that they conform to the norms. Generally, adult ski boot sole dimension norms begin at size mondopoint 22 (US Men’s Size 4) and go up to 31.5 or even higher. Junior ski boots run from mondopoint 14.5 to mondopoint 22.5. This is critically important to note, as you will need a ski binding that conforms to either the adult norm or junior norm. You cannot use a junior norm ski boot with an adult ski binding. Junior ski bindings have lower release settings. Most junior bindings can accept adult boots but almost all adult bindings WILL NOT accept junior boots. However, there are a few exceptions where junior bindings will accept both junior and adult ski boots norms. If the child is growing rapidly and at the stage where he or she is in between junior and adult products check out a binding like the Rossignol Freeski 45 Ski Bindings because it is designed to fit both junior and adult ski boots and it also comes with a set of junior and adult mounting screws so regardless it will be compatible with the skis and boots. Before making a purchase or mounting decision, it is imperative that you confirm the binding you select for a junior is, in fact, a junior-specific binding.
Junior Skis vs. Adult Skis
Ski bindings must be compatible with the user’s skis as well as their ski boots. A thin profiled junior ski is not deep enough to accommodate adult length ski binding screws. Adult screws are designed to sink approx 8mm into the ski where junior binding screws are designed to sink only about 6mm. The extra length of an adult screw doesn’t seem like much but it is enough to leave bumps in the ski base of a junior ski. Additionally, if you were to use kid’s screws are used on an adult ski the screws won’t have enough depth to hold the binding to the ski under normal pressure applied by an adult.
Freestyle and Park
Freestyle or park-specific bindings have a low profile and sit lower on the ski without much rise (see riser plate discussion above). The design is intended to provide a more nuanced feel or connection with the snow and greater stability when riding switch (backwards).
Variable Mounting-Position Systems
There are a couple of options for skiers seeking a variable mounting system.
The Marker Schizo Multi Stance Adjustment allows bindings like the Marker Jester Schizo and the Marker Griffin Schizo to be adjusted +/- up to 3cm’s from the mounting point for a total 6cm of adjustability. A screw on the front of the toe piece allows skiers to make on-hill adjustments. For example, move your bindings back to ski pow in the morning then move them forward in the afternoon to session the park.
Blizzard’s IQ Max Slider System integrates a sliding plate into Blizzard ski’s in the IQ Max™ product line that allows the user to mount any traditional Alpine binding to the system while maintaining quick on-mountain adjustability of up to 7cm.
Blizzard Slider Video - See how the silder works
Demo Ski Bindings
Demo ski bindings are usually used on demo skis or rentals are designed to adapt to a large range of boot sole lengths quickly and efficientlyly. If you buy a used package from evo or elsewhere, the ski bindings included will typically be demo bindings. Demo bindings typically have a wheel or a scale on the plate between the heel and toe piece that will denote the boot sole length accommodated by the particular setting. Although demo bindings are relatively easy to adjust, it is highly recommended that you have demo ski bindings properly adjusted and tuned by a certified technician.
Alpine Touring Ski Bindings
Alpine Touring (AT) ski bindings allow the skier to lift their heel to ascend the mountain and lock it down for descents. AT bindings are specifically for skiers who ski the backcountry. Because an alpine touring binding must function in two modes (ascent and descent), the design of an AT binding is complex relative to a traditional alpine binding. There are various design solutions utilized by a number of manufacturers. evo carries AT ski bindings from Marker, Fritschi Diamir, and Dynafit.
Shop Alpine Touring Ski Bindings
Fritschi Diamir has been manufacturing Diamir AT bindings since 1995. The Diamir concept was revolutionary at the time and remains a proven and widely trusted design. Fritschi Diamir manufactures simple but rugged AT bindings designed to last.
Dynafit’s AT system is unique fully integrated boot-binding system know as Tech. This system is extremely lightweight since the toe is attached by two pins to the boot, eliminating the need for a whole plate binding to lift up with the boot during ascent. The skier must use Tech compatible ski boots with Dynafit AT bindings.
G3 now also makes a similar Tech binding system that is compatible with only tech soles. This shares the same lightweight and easy usability as the Dynafit system.
Marker, although being a longtime manufacturer of traditional alpine bindings, has been making AT bindings for several years now. The Marker Duke and Marker Baron AT bindings more closely resemble traditional alpine bindings still providing the functionality sought by alpine touring skiers. The newer Marker Tour F10 and F12 are lighter weight bindings that are more similar to typical AT bindings. Marker AT bindings are compatible with most downhill and AT ski boots.
MFD has developed a new AT plate system for 2012, called the MFD Alltime Touring Plate. This lightweight, durable plate allows you use your preferred downhill ski binding by mounting it to the appropriate MFD Alltime plate. The plate keeps you low to the ski and provides you with float to eliminate the long dead spot formed by other AT bindings.
Alpine Touring (AT) Ski Boots
Alpine touring ski boot toe and heel pieces do not always conform to the same norms as alpine ski boots. Unlike alpine ski boots, alpine touring or AT ski boots often feature rockered Vibram soles for walking on rocks and hiking approaches with Tech-compatible sole attachments. When choosing an alpine ski binding for use with AT ski boots, be certain that your boot sole conforms to the ISO Alpine Standard to ensure proper release function. Which itself is a function of, among other things, the dimensions and design of the boot/binding interfaces.
Shop Alpine Touring Ski Boots
Telemark Ski Bindings
Telemark bindings can only be used with telemark boots. They are designed to bend at the bellow (where your toes meet the rest of your foot) and allow your heel to rise so you can make the perfect telemark turn (aka the Soul Turn). We do not currently sell telemark bindings.
Mounting Your Ski Bindings
Once you decide on a pair of ski bindings take them, together with your skis and both ski boots, to your local ski shop to be mounted by a certified technician. You will need to disclose your height, weight, age, boot sole length, and skier type. You are responsible for determining your skier type. A certified shop tech will have all the proper equipment and knowledge to install your bindings or adjust mounted bindings according to your ability level and desired mounting position. The installation must be done professionally to ensure your bindings function as designed. In addition, any warranty your ski setup has from the manufacturer will be void if it is not mounted by a certified technician. When you go in to have your ski bindings mounted make sure you bring both your ski boots so the ski technician can mount the bindings for the correct boot sole length and test the binding release.
Mounting position is relevant to how your skis perform on different snow conditions and terrain. On most skis the manufacturers have identified the recommended (default) mounting position; however that position does not always suit the needs of the skier. Mounting the bindings farther back generally means a stiffer, more stable feeling ski with more float in the powder. When the ski bindings are mounted farther forward the skis will initiate turns more readily and will ride switch (backwards) better.
If you can’t decide where you want to mount your bindings and want to be able to move the mounting position without going to the shop to remount there is good news for you. There are a couple of options that allow you to move the position of the bindings, the Marker Schizo binding system and Blizzard Ski’s utilizing their IQ Max Slider system. More information about variable mounting position systems can be found above under the Specialized Bindings section.
Ski Boot Wear
Excessive wear in the toe or heel of your ski boot can affect the boot/binding interface and compromise functionality. Check for excessive wear at least annually if not more frequently. The certified technician will visually inspect your ski boot for excessive wear on the toe or heel. Certified technicians will not mount or adjust your ski bindings if your boots have excessive wear on the toe or heel surfaces. Some toe and heel surfaces are replaceable otherwise at this point we highly recommend that you replace your ski boots.
Toe Height Adjustment
Toe height is very simply the height of the gap on the toe piece where the front of the boot fits (between the top of the toe piece and the AFD. Bindings typically have a clearance of about 0-0.5mm between the boot toe and the AFD. On some bindings the toe height is adjustable and must be adjusted to properly fit the boot by a certified technician. However, the toe height on the majority of bindings adjusts itself automatically.
Maintaining Your Ski Bindings
Unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer, ski bindings are designed to be relatively free of maintenance. However, we strongly recommend that before the start of each season you have your bindings inspected by a certified technician.
Keep bindings free of dirt, rust, salt or other contaminants.
You should not attempt to wash or clean your bindings with soap or solvents as you may remove factory lubricants which are vital to proper operation and function.
Always store your skis and bindings in a warm, dry place and do not leave bindings wet for long periods.
Shop Ski Bindings & Accessories
Shop Ski Bindings by Brand:
4FRNT Ski Bindings
Dynafit Ski Bindings
Dynastar Ski Bindings
Fritschi Alpine Touring Bindings
Look Ski Bindings
Marker Ski Bindings
MFD Alltime Touring Plates
Rossignol Ski Bindings
Salomon Ski Bindings
Learn more with our other Ski guides below:
How to Choose Skis Size Chart & Guide
How to Choose Ski Boots Size & Fit Guide
How to Choose Youth Skis: Size Chart & Guide
How to Buy Alpine Touring (AT) / Randonée Bindings
Ski Binding Weight Chart for Alpine & Backcountry Ski Bindings
This is evo. We are a ski, snowboard, wake, skateboard and clothing retailer online with a physical store in Seattle. Our goal is to provide you with great information to make your purchase easy.
Still have questions? Please give our customer care team a call at 866-386-1590, Customer Care Hours. They can help you find the right ski bindings to fit your needs.