Get your ski boots on with as little hassle as possible!
No matter how well your ski boots fit, we have all struggled at some point with getting them on in some way or another, whether it's being unable to get your buckles slammed shut or getting stuck halfway. It can be enough to put some off the idea of skiing entirely, while others will end up spending 80% of their trip on a boot bench trying to fix an issue that has nothing to do with the fit of their boot. Don't forget that women's ski boots fit slimmer than men's, so take that into account while making your purchase.
If this boot struggle sounds like a familiar story, then I suggest you get comfortable, grab yourself a pen and paper and start taking notes because we have some simple yet effective methods for getting in and out of your men's ski boots without any of the stuffing around.
It's all about preparation:
Taking a little bit of extra time to get yourself ready to put on your boots can make all the difference between a sweet, smooth entry and wrestling that demon boot in the fight of your life.
The Best Ski Socks For Ski Boots
Ski sock selection is crucial in the preparation step. If you go too thick, you will often find you have added volume to your foot, which is going to, in turn, decrease the amount of space inside the boot for your foot to slip into. This is an extremely common issue that boot fitters we see on a daily basis. Generally, a simple swap to a thinner sock will make life a lot easier. It will also keep your feet on the dry side because you have room for the foot to breathe.
Try to stay away from ski socks that have coarse textures as they essentially behave like sandpaper (grip-tape) against some liners. They also cause lots of pressure point issues as the sock is likely to rib and fold as it grips. If unsure about sock selection, always speak to your boot fitter about what works best for you.
Once you have the appropriate sock, spend some time preparing your shell and liner so they are ready for you to insert your foot. Make sure ALL your buckles are undone. If you have a micro adjustable buckle system (the kind you can extend/retract), now is a great time to put a turn in them so they don’t catch back over your ladders as you get into the boot.
Next, we recommend running your hand through your liner to ensure it is in fact sitting correctly inside the boot with no creases or folds. As we take our feet out at the end of the day, we will occasionally displace the liner so it always pays to double-check it. Finally, do a quick check on the placement of your footbed (if you don’t have one come and talk to a Snowcentral bootfitter about why you SHOULD have one), to ensure it's sitting flush against your liner.
Putting On Your Ski Boots
So we’ve found the right sock, prepared our buckles and double-checked our liners and footbeds. Now, we are ready to start putting the boots on. You won't need a ski boot shoe horn, but it can be handy to have around.
First, spread the top of the liner and shell with your hands, pulling the tongue forward to allow the instep (top of your foot) enough room to make the “hook” into the lower section of the boot.
Continue to hold the tongue forward as you slide into the boot, making sure the flap at the top of the shell doesn’t fall behind the tongue. As you go to “slam” your foot down into the boot, pull the tongue UP against the shin. This will help move the lower section of the liner over the foot, which prevents liner material building up from the foot being pushed into the boot.
Once the foot is inside the boot, use your hands to pull up on the tongue and upper liner structure around the rear of the calf. This will make sure you have a firm and secure heel hold. It also moves any liner material around the areas it needs to be.
If you have followed these steps, by now you should be in the boot without any issues. Remember that your ski boot will never be as easy to use as an Ugg boot and you’re going to have to work a little harder for a smooth entry.
Ski Boot Buckle Levers
"Tips on buckling my boot?" is one of the main questions we boot fitters get asked. You would be surprised to learn it's generally just one simple step that most people get back to front.
Once your foot is securely inside the boot, stand up (if you are not already standing) and clasp your lower buckle on your UPPER CUFF first (we will call this buckle #2). This locks the heel back into the boot and gives us a neutral starting point because we have secured our feet without applying pressure over the instep.
Once our #2 buckle is secure, move back up to your top buckle on the UPPER CUFF (we will call this buckle #1) and secure against the shin. Move back and forth between these buckles until you reach your peak level of support.
Once our feet are firmly in place and our heel is locked back, we then need to bend forward at the knees (as if you were putting your weight over the forward of your ski), once forward, clasp your ski boot buckle levers ( #3 & #4) on the LOWER BOOT to the first point that they lock down on with tension. Also buckle your ski boot power strap if you have one.
How To Adjust Ski Boots
NEVER close your boots beyond this point unless advised by your boot fitter, undue pressure on the instep will cause circulation issues and may cause nerve irritation which is nearly impossible to reverse in the time frame most of us will get. We also narrow the ‘last’ (width measurement) by sometimes as much as 2mm per adjustment inwards so your boot will actually no longer fit the volume of your feet.
Some buckles themselves become difficult to clasp, particularly when your boot’s upper cuff and your calf profile do not match. Boot fitters are capable of moving buckle placements which may be the answer to this issue, however it can also just be a simple case of lack of leverage. Most brands do offer extra levers attached to the main buckle system which can be used when this issue occurs, in order to get a smooth close without pulling a muscle.
Tight Ski Boots
If this is something that plagues you regularly, speak to our boot fitters at Snowcentral for alternate options and advice on what we can do to combat the issue. Nothing is too hard and sometimes a quick chat with a boot fitter will save you a lifetime of hassle. Need help finding the perfect pair of ski boots? Our Ski Boot Buying Guide can help.
We have experienced and seen it all, so don’t feel like any issue is too trivial to come in and have a chat about. Chances are, we can work through the issue together. Hopefully these quick tips make life easier on you and help you get on the hill quicker.
Just remember, the Snowcentral staff are here to discuss all things boot, so come on through and book an appointment with one of our MasterFit BootFitters today! We gladly assist you in fitting boots purchased anywhere.