Take an extra lap thanks to the perfect fit
Whether you’re new to skiing or an avid enthusiast of the sport, getting the right boot is the most important part of your equipment selection. A boot that fits properly and is built for the appropriate style of skiing you’ll be doing will make all the difference in how enjoyable your day on the slopes will be. Feet are quite unique from person to person so taking the time to consider which boot will be best suited for you is worth the comfort you’ll get in return. The purpose of this guide is to help you determine what you need to look for in a boot but we always recommend trying on boots before purchasing them or better yet, visit our seasoned boot fitters at our retail location.
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03. Size (Mondopoint Conversion Size Chart)
06. Best Use
07. Other Features
MEN'S: With one of the largest boot selections online, we have a boot for you. Men’s boots are designed to fit the male foot and leg shape, you’ll see slightly taller cuffs, stiffer flex and more room in the forefoot.
WOMEN'S: Just like skis, women’s boots are designed to work with the female body. Slightly narrower boots with softer flexes are common to accommodate smaller feet and less weight behind the boot. Additionally, since ladies tend to sit back on their heels due to their center of gravity, most women’s boots have a heel lift to help counteract this and provide more stability in the boots.
KIDS: Built forgivingly with a soft flex, Junior boots are designed so smaller, lighter skiers can move freely in their boots and have better control over their skis.
Like any other piece of equipment, you want to match up your boots to your skiing ability. Not only will this ensure comfort for your feet but it will also help your performance whether you’re learning and looking to improve as a skier or you’re an aggressive skier that needs a boot that will respond well. While we recommend softer flexes for beginners, consider adding a bit of stiffness to your boots if you’re weight is above average for your height. Similarly, if you’re on the lighter side for your height, consider scaling back the stiffness even if you’re a strong skier.
Ski Boots are sized in Mondopoint which is a scale based on the length of your foot in centimeters. As a starting point, you can measure your foot against a flat surface from your heel to the tip of your longest toe. From here it’s pretty straightforward, if you measured 24.5 cm, your Mondo Size is a 24.5. Where things get more complicated is that although you might have sized as a 24.5, it is sometimes suggested to give yourself a bit more room if you’re still learning, or a bit less room if you need a more responsive fit. We’ll get more into the details of boot fitting a little further down.
While measuring your foot is the most precise way of finding out your Mondopoint Size, you can take a look at this Mondopoint conversion chart to get your started.
|Mondo (cm)||Men (US)||Women (US)||Europe||U.K.|
As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, even though you may have found your indicated Mondopoint size, it may be beneficial for you to size up or down, here are a few general recommendations:
If you’re still new to skiing, picking a boot that is your indicated Mondopoint length or half a size bigger is usually a safe choice. Even if the boot feels snug at first, with use, the boot’s liner will compress and shape to your foot to give you more room in the boot.
With a bit more confidence on your skis, you will most likely prefer a snugger fit for more control of your skis. Again, staying close to your indicated Mondopoint length to half a size smaller will generally suit your needs. Also take note of the flex and width of the boot, you might want to pick a stiffer boot and something a little narrower for more precision.
For the most precise and responsive fit, the Advanced to Expert skier may want to go down half to a full point down from their indicated Mondopoint length. While the goal is to create a very snug fit, the boots still need to be comfortable enough to wear, working with an experienced bootfitter is recommended if you plan to size down your boots.
Ready to try on some boots? We’ll cover a few tips so you can feel confident that you’ve picked out the right size.
First, it’s important to note that most ski boot manufacturers do not make boot shells in half sizes. A 25.0 and a 25.5 will have the same boot shell and usually the same liner as well, the only thing that will differ is the footbed (you’ll notice that for this reason, we stock primarily only half sizes in boots).
To ensure a proper fit, whatever socks you like for skiing are best while trying on boots, although we suggest a thinner sock for a truer fit. Your boot’s shell and liner should provide the insulation you need to keep your feet warm. Once you have the boots on, buckle them all the way up. If you’re feeling a little pressure on the tips of your toes in an upright position, you’re on the right track. Lean forward into the boots as you would on skis (this will also help you assess the flex of the boot), the forward pressure should lock your heel into the heel pocket and add a bit of room at the toe. In this flexed position you should feel very little to no pressure on your toes. If the boot still feels tight, you’ll want to determine if the shell is causing the pressure or if it’s the liner.
Remove the liner from the shell and try them on separately. With the shell, you’ll want to slide your foot in so your toes are just touching the end of the shell. Measure the gap between your heel and the rear of the shell. One to one and half fingers usually means that the shell is the right size, two fingers won’t offer you a performance fit. Anything less than one finger will be getting into expert or Race fits which will require some help from a boot fitter to get just right. If you’ve determined that the shell is the right size, try on the liner. At this point you may still have some pressure in the liner but if the shell is the right size, the liner can be packed down to fit your foot. Keep in mind that brand new boots will start off quite snug and should get looser after some wear until they become a perfect fit.
The length of your foot isn’t the only measurement to consider while selecting the fit of the boot. Ski boots come in a range of widths referred to as the Last of the boot which is measured in mm. This measurement corresponds to the forefoot width (across the metatarsal heads). The varying widths can be grouped into three categories, Narrow, Medium and Wide. More volume in the last usually means more volume elsewhere in the boot as well.
Narrow boots will have a last ranging from 96-98 mm. They will be quite narrow throughout the entire length of the boot.
A Medium last will be in the 99-101 mm range. These will fit the average foot and will provide a more relaxed feel especially in the rear of the boot.
A boot with a Wide last will have a 102+ mm measurement. Wide boots will be excellent for people with higher volume feet and will offer lots of comfort. Wider boots are popular with recreational skiers.
As we briefly mentioned above, volume is usually directly related to the last of the boot. Volume refers to how much room a boot offers. Not only does the volume apply to the foot of the boot, but volume can vary in the calf area as well. As you can imagine, a boot with low volume in the calf will fit a skinnier leg. It’s just as important to make sure calf area of the boot fits well, if the boot is too tight around the calf, circulation will be hindered and you will suffer from cold toes!
The Instep of the foot is the part on top of your foot over your arch. Typically, the higher your arch is, the more instep height you’ll need and vice versa. This is another sensitive point of the foot that you should be aware of while trying on boots. Wear your boots indoors for about 15 minutes, if no discomfort is detected in this area, the instep shouldn’t be an issue. However, bear in mind that correcting the instep of a boot is much more difficult than the perimeter of the foot so pay special care to this area of your foot.
The Flex in a ski boot refers to how much force is necessary to the bend the boot forward. Flex is measured in a number rating, the higher the number, the stiffer and more difficult it is to bend the boot forward. In our ski boot product listings, the flex will be indicated in the title of the boot to help you quickly narrow down your search. As you can imagine, as your skiing ability increases, stiffer flex is recommended for support and responsiveness.
Your height and weight will also come into play when selecting an appropriate flex. As we mentioned previously, if you’re on the heavier side for your height you will benefit from a stiffer boot and scaling back on the stiffness is a good idea for a lighter skier. Your height will similarly affect the flex, the taller you are, the more leverage you’ll have behind a ski boot, consider adding a bit of extra stiffness in this case.
As you can imagine, different manufacturer’s use different materials and designs which can affect the flex of the boot. Two boots with the same flex rating might not feel quite the same. Use the chart below to determine a good flex range based on your ability level and use that as a starting point.
MEN'S FLEX RATING
|Feel||Very Soft||Soft||Medium||Stiff||Very Stiff|
Ladies typically have smaller feet and body mass for their height so the suggested flex rating for your ability level will differ than what we suggest for men. Check out our ladies’ specific flex rating chart below:
WOMEN'S FLEX RATING
|Feel||Very Soft||Soft||Medium||Stiff||Very Stiff|
Just like women, Junior skiers will have even less mass to put behind a boot, Junior boots typically have very forgiving flexes, again, check out the chart below to determine the appropriate range.
JUNIOR FLEX RATING
|Feel||Very Soft||Soft||Medium||Stiff||Very Stiff|
Most ski boots aren’t designed for a specific type of terrain, in fact most are classified as Downhill unless they are an Alpine Touring boot. Boot features are primarily about fit and comfort, we'll offer you a few suggestions about what is popular with different types of skiing but for the most part, it all comes back to preference.
The Buckles on a boot will keep you locked in. Boots come with a varying number of buckles from 2-4. While the more buckles you have on a boot might offer more adjustment options, they also add weight to the boot. As long as you can get a comfortable fit, don’t stress too much about how many buckles a boot has.
Micro Adjustable Buckles offer more customization in the tightness of your buckles, especially helpful if your perfect fit is in between two settings.
Buckle Ladders (the piece with the notches), are typically movable on most Adult Ski Boot models adding more customization to the range of settings.
Some boot models will have a Cuff Adjustment on the outside of the boot, higher end boots might have a second cuff adjustment on the inside as well. The purpose of the cuff adjustment is to correct any natural alignment issues you may be prone to (such as bowed legs or knee knocking), by angling the boot’s cuff to the inside or outside slightly.
As you probably guessed, the footbed is the sole inside the liner. These are typically just a stock model that should be swapped out for an aftermarket footbed that will better support the shape of your foot. An aftermarket footbed can make all the difference in the proper fit of a boot.
Some boots will feature a latch on the back of the cuff of the boot which when released offers more range of motion making it easier to walk and hike uphill. Most commonly you’ll see this feature in Touring boots but this ‘crossover’ feature is becoming more popular in other Downhill Boots to accommodate Big Mountain skiers.
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Still have some questions? We've got an extremely knowledgeable and friendly team at Corbetts. Visit us at our retail location or give us a call and we'll help you find the perfect bindings to fit your needs.
Need help with more skiing gear? Check out our other Ski Buying & Sizing Guides.