Guide to Buying Ski Boots
First things first, decide where you are going to do most of your skiing, currently and aspirationally.
It could be piste, off piste or touring. Some people will want one boot to do all three, this will involve compromises and that is a personal choice. You may know you will want to climb in your ski boots, you may know that you will never want to climb in them!
Most boot descriptions will give you figures for the width across the ball of the foot and a flex number to indicate the stiffness of the boot, the higher the number the stiffer the boot. Please take these figures with a pinch of salt as they are only a guideline and can be misleading.
Ski boot sizes are based on a scale we call mondo sizing going from approx mondo 23 (approx UK 4) to mondo 32 (approx UK 13), do not expect all boots to be produced in all sizes. Shells for ski boots have never been produced in half sizes, it was different liners that used to be used to create the half size but now with modern thermo fit liners there is no longer any difference between the full and half sized boots, more on this here.
We strongly recomend supportive arch footbeds for most people, these provide increased performance and comfort.
Plastic shells can be stretched, volume taken out or put in and footbeds custom moulded to get you the perfect fit. This why good fitting takes time, allow for approx 2-3 hours. Find out more about our boot fitting services here.
Below is a brief introduction to the different types of boots.
These will come with a standard flat DIN sole unit designed to fit into any downhill binding. Most women will choose a flex from 60-100, men from 90-130. For most people fit is more important than the flex, but it is important not to choose a boot which is too stiff or too soft for you.
Designed for use around a resort, piste and off piste, and shorter tours. All of the freeride boots will be fitted with a walk mode and will have interchangeable sole units to fit different binding types. The boots are normally sold with one set of sole units, the alternative type will be sold as an extra.
Designed for going up as well as down, these are light weight, warmer and softer flexing. They have a walk mode and are fitted with rubber vibram type touring soles which will not fit into standard down hill bindings.
Designed for free heel skiing, telemark boots feature a flexable bellows which allows the boots to bend at the forefoot. There are different boots for different binding systems, for cable or 3 pins bindings you will need 75mm 'duck bill' boots. For the NTN system you need NTN boots, we just stock NTN telemark equipment.