One of the more common statements you hear on the hill is “the skiing’s great but my feet are sore”. This can more often than not be attributed to the wrong boot for your foot or improper fitting of the right boot. Proper boot fitting is essential to not only reduce soreness to your feet but also to improve your skiing with sharper ski response to movement and a better ‘feel’ for the snow. A good boot fitted well, will keep you comfortable as well as making you a better skier.
We have asked Neil from Salomon, a professional in the industry to give us a few tips on how to select and fit the best boot for your foot.
Hi Neil. When selecting a boot, what are the most important things to look for?
Feet are just as individual as the bodies they’re connected too. Due to the stiff nature of the ski boot, getting the fit wrong can be an awful experience that is hard to resolve. The key is to buy a boot that suits your level of skiing and body size and of course your foot shape. Each brand of Ski boots have a range of widths, commonly referred to as the ‘last’. Typically the wider the ‘last’ the more comfortable the boot will be but this will come at a cost to the boots performance. The other variable is the flex of the boot. A stiffer boot will offer more precise performance or more support for a heavier skier. A softer flexing boot will be more comfortable but won’t offer the same precision. With all the variables involved with boot fitting, I highly recommend that you involve an experienced boot fitter.
What is the best advice with regards to size? (racer ‘vs’ weekend enthusiast etc)
A snug fitting boot is key, too small and you will be in pain, too big and you won’t have control of your skis. Often people will be buying boots at the beginning of the winter after a summer spent in Jandles, so ski boots often feel too tight. Once again I strongly urge you to use a good boot fitter.
Are foot beds a good idea and why?
Foot beds are a fantastic idea, particularly if you have unusual foot features that need dealing with such as flat feet or high arches. Foot beds aid in keeping the feet in a natural position were the feet can relax and perform without being painful. Other benefits include better circulation which increases the body’s ability to manage temperature and reduce fatigue.
What is it that makes Salomon such a good boot?
Salomon has been working with Athletic feet and ski boots since the mid 70’s. Over this time they have come up with many innovation’s to ski boots to increase performance and comfort. Salomon came up with the idea of a Custom fit heat moldable liner which is now standard practice. Recently Salomon has introduced the Custom Fit Shell which has made the process of fitting boots accurately a very easy process.
Big Thanks to the team at Salomon for helping us out with this article.