PROPER SKI EQUIPMENT FITTING WILL ENSURE A MORE ENJOYABLE TIME ON THE SLOPES!
We all hear about how being “fit” will make for a more enjoyable time on the slopes. Being athletically fit is important, but having the boots and equipment that you are skiing or snowboarding with fit you is just as important…maybe even more so!
When purchasing skis or a snowboard without first being FIT for boots that are relative to your skiing or snowboarding ability is not a good idea. Purchasing a boot that is too large or small – or even buying boots that are not tuned to your skier level make your enjoyment level take a nosedive! Whether you are buying or renting equipment, proper boot fit is imperative if you want to enjoy your time on the slopes! Believe it or not it is more common that someone has purchased a boot that is too large, rather than too small…but EITHER scenario will make for some bad times on the hill.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU ARE PURCHASING NEW BOOTS:
• GET PROFESSIONAL HELP! Work with a retailer who specializes and is professionally certified in boot fitting. C&R Ski/Outdoor in certified by both Americas Best Bootfitters (ABB) and the Soze Group the maker of Sidas high proformance insoles. We take the time to look at your feet and discuss any foot problems that you might have, such as past injuries or boot issues. We will also help you assess you skill level so we can get the proper gear for you.
• SHOP DURING NON-PEAK HOURS! If you have the opportunity – when you are BUYING new boots, try to do so during slower times. Getting fit for the proper boot is not an in-and-out experience. Boots that properly support 26 bones, 36 muscles, 56 ligaments and over 10,000 nerve endings are not found in mere moments. Allot some time! Finding the proper boot fit and the one that is best for your skier level is an effort that can take over an hour. If you’re going to need custom insoles or shell modifications it can take a couple of hours or even a couple visits to the store JUST to get the exact fit you need. In any case, try to hit the shop mid-week.
• AVOID BEING INFLUENCED BY HYPE AND BRANDS! A couple of months ago a young lady was in the process of purchasing new boots. It seemed that her sole prerequisite for her choice in boots was the color that was available and whether or not it matched her outfit! Don’t buy a boot just because it’s gotten all of the rave reviews in your favorite Ski Mag. Too often the reviewers of these products have a very high skill level and what works phenomenally for them might be the worst boot on the wall for you. By the same token, boot brands fit differently. It’s a good idea to try on numerous brands and models to see one that works for you.
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO GO TOO BIG! As mentioned previously, it is a much more common occurrence to find someone with a boot that is too large rather than too small. While getting a boot that pinches your feet IS painful…you need to know that boots, and particularly ski boots, fit pretty snug at first. Here is where trusting in a professional boot fitter is important. If your foot measures a 27 then you should be in a 27…not something slightly larger. While it WILL feel slightly uncomfortable at first, but as the liner breaks in, the boot will feel more comfortable and that good fit will give you the control of your skis that you need when you’re on the slopes. A boot that fits too large will allow your foot to slide up and down the footbed. This causes the toe of your foot to constantly hit the front of the boot. Many novices incorrectly think this is a boot that is too small because their toes hurt.
A FEW MORE TIPS…
• FIND YOUR SOLE-MATE – Put a different boot model on each foot and plan to spend at least 15 minutes in them. The ball of your foot should sit flat and snug. Same with your heel. As your foot warms up the boot, the liner will begin to mold to your foot. The boots should feel better after this time, not worse.
• SNUG BUT NOT PAINFUL – New boots should feel snug—not painful or so restrictive as to cut off blood flow, but uniformly tight with no severe pressure points. Your toes will touch the end of the boot when you stand up straight. That’s OK. As soon as you flex the boots, your toes will pull back.
If you’re in the market for new boots or equipment – and if you are going to spend the money to do so – why not allow a professional boot fitter to get you into the proper boot and proper fitting for you. Your time on the slopes will be much more rewarding!