Do Not Buy Ski Boots Online

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Method of Fitting Ski Boots – Yes, it Matters!

As a ski instructor, I’m often asked about buying boots, so I have some advice.

First, put your money in your boots. This is where your skiing equipment comes in contact with your body, so it’s the most important thing. You boots connect to your bindings, which connect to your skis. Great skis and crappy boots is a bad combination. Get good boots.

Second, do not buy your ski boots online. You can’t try them – that’s a huge factor. What you want to do is go to a professional boot fitter. If you try to fit your boots yourself, no offense – but you’ll probably do it wrong. Ski boots do not fit like athletic shoes. You’ll probably need to go a size smaller.

The best way to fit a pair of boots is to first pull out the liner. Do that and put your foot in the boot. Make sure you wear the same socks you’ll wear when you’re skiing. You should just be able to get one finger behind your ankle when you touch your toes to the top/tip of the boot. If you have more room than that, you’ll have to choose a smaller size.

Everyone Has Different Feet

ski-bootHow your feet are depends on your genetics, any injuries and how you’ve taken care of your feet. Some people have extra bones or unique situations. If your feet are more arched or flat will make a huge difference, too.

Don’t worry about the brand of boot too much – you’ll want a boot that fits your feet. What really matters with the boot, besides the fit, is how much flex there is. Racers like a tight flex. Beginning skiers will want a looser flex.

You will also want some custom foot beds made. This can be about $150-200, so include it in your budget. They last about 200 days (on snow) and you can move them from different pairs of boots if you want.

Make Your Boots Even Better With an Upgrade!

When you get your boots – or even after you get them, make sure you get some Booster Straps installed. These things help a ton. Your top buckle is the most important buckle and then there’s a strap above that. What you’ll do is remove the strap that comes with your boots and install the Booster. You’ll be able to tighten the boot more (not too tight – you can over tighten boots) and this gives you better contact with your boots so that more movements you make get translated to the boot – then to the binding and then to the ski. In other words, you’ll ski better and it’ll be easier.

Has it Been a While?

If you have boots that are more than 5-6 years old, then it’s probably time to replace them. Boots wear out and dry out – eventually cracking. When you’re flying down the hill at 40 MPH, you don’t want your boots to crack. Having good equipment is a safety matter. Also, technology in ski boots changes pretty often. New boots will be more comfortable and help you ski better and longer.

Bring Your Skis

Once you get your boots fit, you’ll want to make sure they fit into your bindings. If your ski boot size has changed, then your bindings will need to be adjusted. I do not suggest you do this yourself. Have it done professionally. If you do it wrong, you might not eject from your skis and could up with a bad injury, like an ACL injury – and that’s very bad.

If your boot fitter can’t adjust your bindings, then find a pro that can. A tech shop at a ski hill should be able to help you.


Boots are where it’s at when it comes to skiing. You want the right boot and you simply cannot find the correct fitting boot for your feet by looking at them on Amazon, eBay or Craig’s List. A pro boot fitter can also make some adjustments to boots like knocking out certain sections by heating them up, etc.

They can fix your alignment so that you ski straighter (this is called “canting”). With correct alignment, skiing is easier and more fun.

If you’re kind of into skiing but find it difficult or find rental boots too uncomfortable, it’s because you don’t have the right boots. Believe me, when you get correct boot work done, they will feel good and be comfortable. Skiing should even be easier because all parts of your foot will be touching your boot, so you won’t have to tip your feet so much to get your skis on edge.

It’s just a whole, new world when you get boots fitted to your feet. It cannot be done online. Find a pro near you. If you don’t know of one, then call a ski hill in your area or talk to a seasoned ski instructor and they should be able to give you some suggestions.

Here’s a good article about ski boots:

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