Essential gear for skiing

🕒 6 minutes

skiing special shoes

Skiing is a sport that requires a lot of equipment besides the skis themselves. One of the most important pieces of clothing that are required to perform this sport is special shoes. There is a huge variety of products available on the market, it is quite difficult to choose the right option which would fit your particular requests and needs. The process of selecting great equipment takes a lot of work. That is why we want to help you and provide you with a guide on choosing the proper ski shoes.

Difference between men’s and women’s ski boots

The shoes, independently of their other specifications, have the same build. 

ski boots construction

They consist of:

  1. Shell – the outside cover of the shoe which protects it from moisture and gives support;
  2. Lining (inner boot) – the inner layer of the shoe;
  3. Buckles – shoe fastening that ensures that the boot is tight enough around the leg;
  4. Tongue – keeps the foot from slipping to the sides of the shoe;
  5. Cuff – the upper part of the shoe;
  6. Sole – the bottom of the shoe;
  7. Power strap – holds the ankle in place;
  8. Forward lean adjuster – a mechanism that allows setting the degree of the front lean of the shoe.
  9. Alpine or touring bindings – this is what holds a ski boot to a ski. They are designed for groomed slopes and backcountry riding respectively.

Unlike any other shoes, those for skiing are very hard and feel like a cast on the legs. The materials used in manufacturing are usually plastic, rubber, metal, and foam.

There is a difference between the male and female models:

Smaller and narrowerBigger and wider
Soft flexHard flex
Warmer linersLess warm lining
A smaller degree of stanceMore stance

These differences are explained by the anatomy of our body and ensure that the shoes fit perfectly. The ski boot flex rating is measured on a scale from 60 to 140 from softest to hardest respectively. The harder the product is, the more it is fitted for professionals who require direct energy transfer and a high degree of responsiveness.

How to determine ski boot size?

The sizing varies from normal shoes. It is called Mondo sizing and means measuring your foot in centimeters. Besides, each brand has its own size specifications and charts that you need to check before buying the product. How heavy are the ski boots also depends on their size. Usually, the weight is somewhere between 1.3-2.3 kilograms.

MondoMen (US)Women (US)EuroUK
15-15.58 (kids)-257 (kids)
16-16.59 (kids)-268 (kids)
1710 (kids)-279 (kids)
17.511 (kids)-2810 (kids)
18.512 (kids)-2911 (kids)
19.513 (kids)-30.512 (kids)
2013.5 (kids)13113 (kids)
20.5123213.5 (kids)

How to tell if ski boots fit:

  • Measure your foot. You can do so by tracing it on a piece of paper.
  • Check your foot’s width; Ski boot last width is the widest point of the shoe’s interior part. This figure can vary between 95 and 103 mm and is an important point for detecting the needed size.
  • Go shopping offline and try on the product;
  • Lace and buckle up the shoe and check the fit. There should be no pressure and the item should not slip off.

If you are shopping online, each website has a sizing chart that you can refer to. Make sure that there is a chance to return the product in case it does not fit. 


How to buckle up ski boots

ho to buckle up ski boots

Buckling up is one of the most essential safety measures when it comes to skiing. It prevents a number of foot injuries and makes the riding process safe and comfortable. There is a certain order that you should follow:

  1. Put on the boots. Make sure your foot is centered and lace them up tightly.
  2. Check whether the tongue is in the center;
  3. Fasten the bottom buckle which is usually located near the ankle; Do the same with the middle and top ones. All of them ensure that the foot stays in its place while riding and does not slip.
  4. Adjust the power strap, if there is one, around the ankle.

Walk around to check for any discomfort and adjust whatever feels wrong.

How to walk in ski boots?

ho to walk in ski boots

This item is not primarily designed for walking and is very stiff, so you need to get used to the process. At first, try taking small steps not to fall down. Bend your knees to even out the stance degree and maintain balance. If you have ski poles, use them as additional support. Walk mostly on flat surfaces, as slopes will make the process much harder. If you are planning to walk a lot, consider taking another pair of shoes with you to change into. However, the most important thing is practice. Perfection always comes with patience, which is crucial in anything.

How long do ski boots last?

The answer to this question depends on a number of circumstances. The life of the product in question can vary mostly from 3 to 5 seasons, depending on your level of professionalism, frequency of use, and storing conditions.

You will prolong the life of this item if you store it away from excessive heat or moisture, dry them after every use, and take care of all the little detailing of the shoe.

how long do ski boots last

Professional sportsmen need to know when to replace ski boots. The more you use the product, the quicker it wears out. So if you notice that your ski shoes have become looser, lost their form or stopped fitting you properly, it is worth replacing them.

Nonetheless, what to do with old ski boots? There are multiple options you can choose from:

  1. If they are still in good condition, you can donate them to institutions that require this kind of equipment;
  2. Some brands offer a recycling option for their products. It is usually stated on the website of the manufacturer;
  3. You can repurpose the shoes for things like ice walking or gardening;
  4. Finally, you can simply throw them away in a landfill, although this is not eco-friendly.

Please consider repurposing the item before throwing it away, as this would largely contribute to our environmental problems.

Ski boots vs snow boots

ski boots vs snow boots

Both of these footwear types are designed for winter, however, their exact purpose varies. The former is manufactured specifically for winter sports like skiing. They are stiff, made out of plastic, and provide great protection and control.

The latter are simply shoes for general winter activities like cleaning up the snow, walking in cold and moist weather and so on. This footwear is primarily created to keep your feet warm and dry. It is produced from soft and flexible materials. Their soles are lighter and more pliant.

Comparing prices

If you like shopping for sports equipment online, you may find that Amazon provides the most extensive choice of items and a good range of prices. In our case, this is not an exception. The item itself is not cheap, so the less expensive option is $130. The priciest costs $900. The website has both men’s and women’s models on sale, in various sizes and colors to select from.

Let us compare some ski boot brands mentioned above:

Salomon ski boots

Salomon – known for their good performance and comfort. Suitable for both beginners and professionals;

Fitcher ski boots

Fischer – offers a wide range of options with a focus on comfort and performance;

Rossignol ski boots

Rossignol – employs innovative technologies and designs in production and has a choice for all skill levels;

Lange ski boots

Lange – oriented at professional sportsmen and has performance as its main feature;

Nordica ski boots

Nordica – has a “custom comfort” option, where you can customize the shoes to fit your foot perfectly;

K2 ski boots

K2 – focuses on comfort and versatility.

Head ski boots

Head – offers both alpine and touring bindings, are heat-moldable.

To truly compare the brands between themselves, like, for example, Head vs. Salomon, you need to try them on and discover which is more comfortable to wear yourself. There is no universal guide on picking a specific brand, so you have to go through trial and error to make a selection that truly fits you. Just make sure the product is not too stiff and is easy to break in.
In the future, you will be able to meet articles about top speed bobsled and how to build a sledge?

Have fun riding in the mountains!

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