October 19, 2020
Snow ski season is approaching, and many of us are already thinking about getting on the slopes. Floridians are hesitant to buy equipment because they think they only ski once or twice a year. For those who usually rent equipment, consider the following about how a snow ski boot should fit.
Usually many other people have used those rental boots before you. The liner is usually packed out, and at best they fit ok in the shop. Many of our customers choose to buy only the boots, and rent the skis. With better fitting boots, your time on the slope will be better as you gain comfort and control. When shopping for ski boots, remember these three things: Fit, Fit and Fit.
Our boot fitters at Bill Jackson’s strive to put you in the best possible fitting boots. They will ask you what type of skier you are, and adjust the fit accordingly. You’ll have to answer a number of questions to help the fitter make product recommendations. Where on the mountain do you like to ski? Who will you are skiing with? How often do you anticipate going skiing? These are just a few examples. Roughly we classify you into three types of fit: Comfort, Performance and High Performance.
The majority of the boots we sell are for comfort fit. Our challenge as an outfitter is to educate the customer that the boot will not fit like regular shoes. When you buy a pair of ski boots, it is best to buy the closest fitting pair that is comfortable. We will measure feet both length and width, and seek a pair which fits both as well as accommodating volume. Remember that when you purchase a pair of ski boots, they will only get larger. Over time, the liner will pack out, and become roomier. It is expected that your toes will touch the front of a new boot. When in the ski stance, the foot shifts back. See video below. Again, the objective is to have the most control while maintaining comfort.
Don’t be surprised if your boot fitter pulls the liner out its shell. One step in fitting is what is referred to as a shell fit. The customer’s foot is placed in the shell without the liner. With toes at the front the amount of space behind the heel will help the fitter determine if the shell is too long or too short.
At Bill Jackson’s, we have dowels of three different diameters. For example, see photo. These dowels can be used to measure this space. The largest is for the previously mentioned comfort fit. The next size down is for performance fit in which the skier wants better control and is amenable to a closer fit. The smallest for high performance in which the skier is now willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort in exchange for more precise control and performance.
We understand the desire to have your boots color match your outfit, but that mentality can cause you discomfort in the long run. We hope you choose fit. Once the best fitting boots are found; then we can customize. Consider arch supportive insoles. In fact, this addition can greatly enhance the fit of your new ski boots which will increase comfort, feel and control. Some models have liners that are heat moldable. Others have shell which can be heat molded. Finalizing the fit will involve you utilizing those features.
Customers are encouraged to wear their new boots at home multiple times standing in a skier’s stance for an extended period of time. If fit issues are noticed, they can return to the fitter for necessary adjustments. At Bill Jackson’s, we want your boots to fit. Always let us know if there are any issues. We want to make your feet happy. Above all, a good fitting pair of ski boots will greatly increase your enjoyment on the slopes. Plus, you’ll have more fun, and a better vacation.