The best way to start getting acquainted with new ski boots is to spend time wearing them at home. Put them on and watch a movie or game while standing and flexing them. Spending a few hours in your boots at home will allow your feet to become accustomed to being held stationary and rigid, which is quite different than normal shoes. It’ll also help you decide what adjustments you need to make at home and if you need any custom work done to the boots before you ski them. It’s better to figure this out in the living room than on your third ride up the chairlift on a perfect day.
Keep in mind that new ski boots are as snug as they will ever be right out of the box and the liners will compress as you ski them, making the boots roomier the more you use them.
There are a few simple things you can do on your own to make your ski boots fit better. Below is a list of common problems and solutions you can try at home.
For even better performance and comfort, we strongly recommend having a custom footbed made by a trained boot fitter.
While there are a lot things you can do at home to customize your ski boot fit, it's sometimes best to seek out a professional. A specialty ski shop with trained boot fitters like evo Seattle or evo Portland can perform extensive modifications to your boots. They are equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to help you achieve the best possible fit. Custom footbeds stabilize and balance the foot and are designed to fit your foot perfectly, while modifying the shell with heat or grinding allows it to take the shape of your foot and eliminates “hot spots” or pressure points.
Every skier, regardless of ability or experience level, can benefit from having a custom footbed made for them. Custom footbeds are molded to your foot by taking an impression of it, then placing the heated footbed in the mold with your foot on top. The process of molding a custom footbed typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Think of a footprint in wet sand which is unique to you and supports your entire foot evenly. A supported foot is stable, strong, balanced and relaxed, while an unsupported one is weak, unbalanced and easily fatigued. Much of the discomfort skiers experience is a result of an unsupported foot trying to stay balanced and working too hard to steer the ski through the turn. Proper footbeds are essential for an effective fit.
Once a footbed is selected, the next step is to check the alignment of the upper cuff. Ideally, you should be able to stand in a natural stance and have the base of both skis neutral (flat) on the snow. Not all skiers require cuff alignment, and not all boots offer a cuff adjustment feature, but ask a boot fitter if you suspect that the natural alignment of your legs puts unequal pressure on either your inside or outside ski edges.
Often confused with cuff alignment, canting refers to tilting or angling the entire ski boot laterally to achieve a neutral stance. This is done either by installing wedges under the bindings when the ski is mounted or planing the sole of the boot. Since this is not something that can be accurately done at home, canting should be left to a qualified boot fitter or shop with the right equipment.
When your bones are pressured by the hard plastic shell, you can expect problems. This is where shell modification comes into play. Modifying the shell to match the shape of your foot can be done by grinding the plastic away or by heating and reshaping the plastic with an assortment of specialized tools (also known as “punching” the boot). Common situations that call for modifying the boot shell include bunions, bone spurs, hardware or tender spots from surgery, and downsizing for the sake of performance.
This is evo. We are a ski, snowboard, wake, skate, bike, surf and clothing online retailer with physical stores in Seattle, Portland and Denver. 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 skis to fit your needs.