How to Find the Perfect Ski Boots

25 April 2019
Comments: 28
Category: Ski Holiday Advice
25 April 2019, Comments: 28

By: Amin Momen

Now that it’s the end of the ski season, it’s the ideal time to go shopping for ski boots for next season’s ski holiday.

Not only do you have the time to find the perfect ski boots without the pressure of a ski getaway breathing down your neck, but you’ll also be able to grab a discount at most stores, such as Snow + Rock, as they need to sell their winter stuff to make space for summer or next season’s equipment.

And I’m sure we all know what good ski boots can do for you. If you need a reminder – let’s take a look at my ski boot journey.

 

Where It All Began

Here I am, looking fashionable as ever clad in my mum’s rolled up ski pants with three thick pairs of socks to wedge my feet into my older sister’s leather ski boots that were at least three sizes too large:

Amin Momen Ski Boots Child

Ice-nibbled feet with skis too long to manoeuvre was my baptism to skiing. And what an impression it made, clearly!

Somehow it wasn’t enough to put me off, and years later here I was again, still wearing incredibly uncomfortable and highly oversized skis with an unimpressed smile…

Amin Momen Ski Boots Teenager

The only difference was that at last I had (slightly) better clothing. I really had to crank the buckles to the absolute max to anchor my feet in the boots, resulting in cut-off circulation and painfully cold feet.

 

But The Years Flew By…

amin-momen-ski-boots-guide

Fast forward and I’m still the best dressed on the mountain, naturally.

I became a ski guide with Bladon Lines and Ski West, and the company got us a great deal with Salomon boots and Dynastar skis. My adult ski boot experience started with the Salomon SX90s and progressed to SX92s.

And my god – those foam buckets really were the best. To this day, they’re still the comfiest ski boots I’ve ever worn. Rear entry was the magic element – this meant that you could also unclip the back and stand straight – a perfect standing-at-the-bar position.

Salomon SX91 Equipe Boots - How to Find the Perfect Ski Boots

Well, that’s where my quest for the perfect boot began.

 

My Quest for the perfect ski boot

During the ’80s, I went to Snow Fun in Val d’Isere, where they started with setting me up with some custom-made insoles and then proceeded with a foam injection. Suddenly it was as though my skis had been awakened – my whole experience was totally transformed, as my skis actually reacted quickly to my movements.

The next decade was all about the Strolz shop in Lech that used to actually custom-make ski boots. I was happy in those days with my Nordica 22 Grand Prix boots. The race foam injection, stiff competition shell, the extra shin pad… I mean, you could ski with these boots unclipped – that is what I call a perfect fit.

I wore those for years until they fell apart, before moving back to some comfy Salomons again. But the time was approaching to invest in something that would better my performance, as well as being comfortable when hanging around with my children.

My next ski boot shopping experience took place slightly closer to home, in Fulham. And this is where I learnt my first piece of ski boot wisdom to share with you.

 

Lesson Finally Learnt: Don’t Go By Brand

The boot fitter in Fulham established the right size and shape boots for me and before I knew it, I was introduced to my first pair of Atomics. Never in my life had I pictured myself wearing Atomic.

It goes to prove that within each brand there are the right and wrong shell sizes for every person. So seriously, don’t be swayed by your favourite brand names – take expert advice and choose your boots based on what fits your feet best, not what brand you think sounds the coolest.

Right, that’s my ski boot life story done with. Now I want to help you find your ski boot soulmates using the lessons I have learned, so pay attention…

 

Vital Ski Boot Facts to Know Before Purchasing


Over the years, I’ve managed to gather some important facts on ski boots that you must take into account before deciding to buy, as told by ski boot fitting legends.

 

Ski Boots Fall into Three Categories

A ski boot’s a ski boot, right? Wrong – have you not been listening to a word I’ve had to say so far?

There are three main categories: Alpine, telemark and touring. Alpine boots are what most people use; telemark boots are for use with telemark bindings; and touring boots are essentially a combination of the two, allowing for both downhill and telemark skiing, as well as making hiking up hills much easier.

Once you’ve decided which type of boot you are after, find a shop with a great selection of brands and options for your feet. By options I’m talking variations of flex, liners, width and volume for your foot and a good boot doctor to make you the perfect footbed.

 

You’ll Need To Spare a Couple of Hours

Allow plenty of time for ski boot shopping, as you’ll want to ensure you try a variety of shapes and styles. And once you’ve found a pair that fits well, I’d recommend wearing them for a while to ensure they still feel comfy after a prolonged period of time. And you’ll need even longer if you opt for custom fit.

Things have progressed since my loose leather boot days, and now you can opt for custom moulded footbeds to fit the contours of your feet. A custom fit takes about two hours. It can take up to two days for World Cup racers. So if you plan to buy ski boots, it’s best to make an appointment and set aside a couple of hours.

 

They Will Loosen Up (So Loosen Up…)

Bear in mind, after your purchase, the boots will feel tight and small, particularly if you are used to renting. Shops tend to upsize, whereas boot doctors make you downsize.

They may be tight for roughly three days but you will settle in, so don’t fret.

 

Some Niche Brands Offer Customised Boots

Choose from the likes of Dale, Dahu, Apex, and of course Strolz in Lech who have been making the same shells for years and years with unlimited width options.

Look at this one below. The idea is that you take the shell out after skiing and you can drive your car!

Dahu Boots - How to Find the Perfect Ski Boots

 

Be Honest About Your Ability

When you see the boot doctor, don’t overstate your ability or they will simply recommend the wrong boots for you. I’ve been there, and boy was it unpleasant.

Picture aching feet in heavy hike boots resulting in a lot of hard uphill work for a powder-less outcome. If you say you are an expert but you lean back when you ski off-piste, your ski boots just won’t work for you.

So ask yourself: are you really an expert?

You scoff, but think about this one carefully. Most people think they are experts. An expert is not someone who is just capable of bombing down the mountain.

To claim this title you need to be confident (and in control!) when skiing in all conditions, from ice, to bumps to white-outs! .

 

Choose Wisely

So, to my skiing friends and clients out there, as winter season comes to an end and the perfect time for investing in ski boots has come, make the best future investment for next season and treat yourself to a gorgeous pair of ski boots.

And don’t forget, any clients of Momentum Ski are entitled to a 15% discount, off full-price items, not only at Snow + Rock but also their 3 other sister brands, Cotswold Outdoor, Runners Need & Cycle Surgery.

Oh, and if you’re interested in heading out to any of the ski resorts I’ve mentioned here, perhaps for a ski weekend that combines time on the mountain with a trip to one of the famous boot doctors, we can make it happen for you.

Get in touch today and we can start planning your tailor-made trip to one of the world-class destinations we offer.

I’d love to hear your feedback, too. How many pairs of ski boots have you owned? How did you finally get it right?

28 responses on “How to Find the Perfect Ski Boots

  1. Fantastic! Jamie was a legend

  2. Avatar Jenni Holman says:

    Laurence J Wigfield – as discussed!

  3. Avatar Chris Taaffe says:

    Huge thumbs up for Colin Martin , best fitting boots I have ever worn .. My wife also loves her perfect fitting boots.

  4. Guess you will be looking forward to January…..

  5. Darren this could save Chalkie De-glazier a fortune

  6. Avatar Dave Longdon says:

    Lockwoods in Leamington Spa were great. Sad day when my Nordica Grand Prix’s (with their third inners) finally died. Two ski shops recommended new Nordicas and Salomons. Was like skiing in wellingtons! Lockwoods got me in some Lange XT130 LV’s and I luurve them ( a lot!). So anyone with med to small volume feet, I can’t speak highly enough of these baby’s!

  7. Great story, and advice,,:)

  8. I didn’t even know there was somewhere in Abingdon. We only live a few miles from there. Thanks for the tips x

  9. Avatar TonyCave says:

    Customised boots and footbed transformed my skiing after many years struggling to adapt my bowlegedness to parallel skiing.
    The bonus was that my boots were ( and still are) blissfully comfortable and without any pressure points.
    My first pair of customised  boots eventually fell apart after years of use and were replaced by a customised pair from Boudu Sports in Plagne 1800.The technician took several hours to fit them and they are the most comfortable and effective pair of ski boots that I have ever worn

  10. Avatar Alan Towers says:

    Just got my new Head 120 flex boots with “adaptive fit” and so far they seem to be the right choice. In the process of adjusting the “cant” and the job should be done !!!!!!

  11. Avatar Stevie Boyle says:

    Alison I was talking to James about ski boots here’s a good article about buying and getting them fitted for your feet.

  12. Louise Bashford some tips for your next purchase x

  13. Avatar Jason Savage says:

    Joe Danby interesting reading

  14. I should get custom made boots see if it improves my skiing John Montgomery

  15. Avatar Vipul says:

    The guys in Surefeet Val disere are excellent manager Mark is friendly won’t sell something just because you walk in there

  16. Avatar Pauline says:

    I met you (Amin) on a school skiing trip years and years ago haha – recognised you from that second pic

  17. Avatar Alexander Schuster says:

    What would be your advice on renting a boot? Because the website where i was planning to rent doesn’t have a any advice for me as far as i can see… https://www.sport2000rent.com/en/skirental/ski-rental/ski-equipment/boots/

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