4 key things to consider when you shop for ski boots

February 3, 2015

Ready to replace those ratty old ski boots you've worn for years? Not sure what key things to consider when you shop for new ones? Here's some handy advice to help you.

4 key things to consider when you shop for ski boots

Before you buy

With all the advances in ski technology, it’s important to know whether you’re buying adequate gear for your style and skill level. There are a few things you should look for to determine which boot will best suit your needs.

1. Flex

The first thing you’ll want to research is where the boot falls on the flex index. Keep in mind that the flex index for each company is slightly different, so it’s preferable to try the boots on to determine how much give you can feel leaning forward. If you’re buying boots online, use a company you're familiar with so you have a reference for the way their boots flex.

  • Soft flex boots are typically a beginner boot.
  • Medium flex boots are great for intermediate level skiing.
  • A stiff flex boot is suggested for experts who are going to tear down black diamonds.

A soft flex is usually rated under 80, while medium is 80-100, and stiff is over 100. Some boots have an adjustable flex and a walk mode, which is important for skiers who plan on hiking by the hill. Adjustable flex boots are a worthy investment since you’ll probably want a stiff boot once you’ve attained a higher skill level.

2. Size

Sizes can fluctuate between companies when it comes to ski boots. It’s important to understand that most boots are “mondo” sized, meaning their sizes are slightly larger than a rider’s average shoe size.

  • Look up a chart to help you determine the correct boot size.
  • Also check out which molding technology your boot uses in order to achieve maximum comfort.

3. Heat

Ski boots now are much more adaptable to the skier. Aside from the amount of flex a boot can offer, boots also now adapt to specific temperature needs for riders. Everyone’s circulation is different, and some skiers struggle keeping their feet warm on the slopes. The invention of heated ski boots isn’t recent, but the technology has made strides in the past couple of years. Originally, they were clunky and inconvenient for the low amount of heat they generated. Now you can buy boots that come with compact batteries and multiple levels of heat. This advancement in ski boot technology is another way boots are becoming more personalized for the rider.

4. Price

If you plan on buying ski boots rather than renting, you should understand that buying ski equipment, especially boots, is an investment. For the top rated equipment, you’re usually going to be paying anywhere from $450 to $850 when you purchase new boots. If you spend less than $450, you probably won’t be satisfied in the long run. Since boots can be incredibly expensive, be sure you get your money’s worth before you hit the slopes.

With advancements in technology, ski boots are becoming tailored to rider's specific needs. Pick your perfect pair and don't forget to pair it with the perfect helmet.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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