How to avoid common injuries caused by ski boots

Well-fitted ski boots prevent injuries and keep your winter vacation from going downhill. But a pair that doesn't fit right can be just the opposite. Here’s how to prevent common ski boot injuries.
Fit matters

The ski boot is the most important piece of your skiing gear. Getting a proper fit isn’t as simple as walking into a store and picking out your size from the shelf. It’s important to find the correct boot size, because most ski boot injuries originate with improper fit.

To ensure a proper fit, remove the shell from the boot you are trying on, push your toes to the front of the boot, and measure how much space is behind your heel. If you are a novice/tourist skier who only takes on gentle slopes, a space of 1” between the heel and the shell edge is going to be no problem. As your skill level and time on the slopes increases, however, you’ll want a boot with less of a gap—3/4” inch for intermediate skiers and closer to 1/2” for experts looking for the highest level of responsiveness.

Consequences of an ill-fitting ski boot

If you purchase the wrong size boot, you will likely compensate by over-tightening the straps—which will be necessary to help you get control on your skis if your boots are too large. This can prevent proper circulation to your feet. The result? Reduced circulation and cold feet.

You may also find that you develop bumps and bruises as your feet shift around in your ski boots. Ankle bones, toes, the tops of your feet and the front of your shins are the most susceptible to ski boot injuries.

Ski boots can worsen existing problems

If you have any foot conditions, such as bunions or bone protuberances, alpine skiing can exacerbate these problems, especially if your boot does not fit correctly. Monitor any conditions so you can avoid serious injury.

Some ski boot injuries aren’t even to the foot

Decades ago, when it was more common for skiers to wear soft-sided boots, ankle injuries were common. However, because today’s skiers wear ski boots that are made up of hard outer shells with soft liners, there are far fewer ankle fractures and sprains.

What is a more common ski boot injury, though, is a sprained knee or ACL tear. Why? The design of a modern ski boot relocates the pressure that would have previously impacted the ankle and sends it to the knee instead. Ankles are protected, but knees sometimes take a beating.

Awareness is your best protection

Thanks to modern ski equipment innovations, skiing injuries, including ski boot injuries, have been drastically reduced. However, this winter activity is not without its risks, so it’s wise to be aware of what types of injuries are possible if you don’t take care when you next hit the slopes. Shop smart for your ski boots and get the perfect fit. You can prevent some of the more common ski injuries just by selecting the right-sized boot.

How to avoid common injuries caused by ski boots
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.
Close menu