Bootfitting 101

Boots are the most important thing when it comes to the enjoyment of skiing and snowboarding. Here are some things that are important to know before buying ski & snowboard boots.

Before Fitting
Write down any problems you may have had or what you liked about previous boots you have owned or hired and what model they were including model and year. Bring them in if you still have them. If you have had any prior injuries to feet or legs let us know which cause pressure points.

So we are able to find the right flex and style of boot we need to know your true ability such as where you ride and how often. Are you burning turns at high speed down accelerator, cruising the blues or in the terrain park all day? This will help us to give you an idea of the range and style of boots you are going to be looking at. Also don’t over research boots, or choose a boot based on colour or a review that a friend or magazine did. They have different feet to you, and what was heaven for them may be hell for you.

When looking at getting a setup, don’t set your budget on boots based on the hardware you want (Skis or Snowboard), the most important thing is finding a boot that fits your foot so you can be out on the mountain all day. You may be lucky and find a cheap boot that fits well, but don’t expect it.

If you have orthotics or wear pre-fab footbeds bring them in so we are able to have a look at them. If they are suitable we are then able to try on boots with them in there.

When arranging a fit remember to cut your toe nails, as this will increase pressure on your toes and will not give us accurate measurement of your toe length.

Socks are much more important than most people think. Good socks are a key requirement for a good fit; they must be thin with no ribbing. Thick socks will restrict blood flow and ribbing just increases pressure points in the boot. (eg. No Football socks). Avoid cotton as it absorbs sweat and keeps it close to your skin, which will make for cold feet. A good sock will keep your feet warm yet allow them to breath and wicks the moisture away from the skin. Circulation not insulation.

Allow yourself at least 1hr – 1.5hrs for the initial fitting and call us a few days in advance if possible so we are able to make sure we can have one of our bootfitters free to assess your feet. Keep in mind that almost all boots will require some adjustments to be made such as stretches that require time to make the adjustments, so they may not be ready to take home on your first visit. Call us on 02 9526 2566.

What to expect during fitting
When measuring your feet we will size you when you are sitting down and standing up to assess your feet lengths, arches, insteps and much more.

Ski/Snowboard boots are comprised of 2 basic components: The liner and the shell. The shell governs how the boot will fit. We will remove the liner from the boot and get you to step in the shell so we able to get an accurate measurement of the volume of the shell to make sure there is the correct volume in the boots around 4 main areas. The length, ankle width, forefoot width and the instep height. (If a bootfitter fails to do this you should walk out of the store)

Don’t pre judge a boot before having it done up and having a few flexes in it, as your foot has not yet settled into the correct position in the boot.

Don’t push to try on every boot in the store, as this will just confuse you. Your boot fitter will recommend the correct boots to suit your feet and this would generally be 2-3 pairs.

Don’t over tighten the buckles, the top two buckles you want to be firmly grasping the leg/ankle. Micro adjusters are key to this. They are in almost all buckles and they just twist in and out to give a precise amount of pressure. Over the top of the foot we want the buckles loose just to see how the boot is holding your foot without warping the shape of the boot with the lower buckles. (Blood vessels run across the top of your feet and clamping down will stop blood flow, resulting in numb cold toes, which can lead to frostbite in severe circumstances.

Ignore stiffness ratings on boots; there is no standard measurement. The boots will stiffen up when you get into the cold but our bootfitter will make sure your not over flexing or unable to flex the boot.

Footbeds that come inside boots generally offer little to no support (just ask we will show you), our bootfitters will offer a solution based on your foot and arch profile.
To read more about footbeds. Click here.

Although there are a lot of boots which offer custom moulded shells such as Salomon’s Custom Shell and Atomic’s Memory Fit which work well, in some cases we may need to customisation the boot on a press. For this we need to keep the boot for a period of time and get you to return once the adjustments have been done, which may be a day or two.

If you suffer from bad circulation or other medical conditions that keep you from having warm feet no matter what you have tried… Consider boot warmers. We sell Therm-ic who are the premier brand in boot heaters. They have a heating element, which is imbedded into the footbed and allows a battery back to be attached outside the boot and they keep your toes toasty all day.

Ski and snowboard boots have forward lean built into them and they are NOT made for standing up straight. So when you flex forward in the boot it will allow your heel to move back into the in heel pocket. You will need to simulate your ski and board stance with your legs parallel shoulder width apart. You then need to simulate angling movement that you would when riding. See the images below. These represent what is happening in a boot with incorrect position and even if the boot is 3 sizes to big you can still touch the front. The toe position is represented by the left red lines. *Note this boot is to big but to show effect*

Incorrect                                                             Correct

SkiPositionInCorrectSkiPositionCorrect

 

What should a good fitting boot feel like?
The boot should feel like a firm handshake around your foot and lower leg. Understand that the boot should feel snug even a little tight but not painful.  You want to feel like you have been comfortably immobilised while in the boot. Don’t be worried if you feel your toes gently touching on the front of the boot – this is normal and the thing most people aren’t used to. Your toes should touch but not curl and you must be able to wiggle your toes around for circulation.

The boots need to hold your heel down inside the boot, but the boots are not designed to hold your heel when you are standing on your toes because your feet are stronger than the foam. When you are driving your knee forwards they should hold your ankle in place. If you have movement/rubbing when flexing, the boot isn’t holding you correctly and could cause blisters and will not give you the performance you need. If they are big in store they will be even bigger once you have used them on snow for a few days.

After Fitting

  • Wear your boots around home 2-3 times for 30mins flexing and standing in the boots, as this will help the boots to conform to your feet. Not sitting down watching TV.
  • A few hot spots in the boot to start with are quite normal and in the moulding process, these generally disappear after a few days skiing in them while the boots foam is moulding to your feet. If the problem persists, come in store and we will remedy it.
  • Snowboarders don’t rest your snowboard sharp edge against your boot as this will cut the boot and is not covered under warranty. Rest the back of the binding on your boot.
  • Allow up to 2-6 days or roughly 15 hours of skiing/riding for the liners to mould to your feet and settle in completely.
  • When driving up the mountain try to keep your boots warm by having them in the cabin of your car and not in the boot.
  • Always leave your boots done up when storing them as they will loose there shape if left unbuckled or unlaced.
  • Don’t put your boots next to the heater, as the shells/liners are heat mouldable and this will affect the fit of your boot especially if we have done shell modification. They will dry adequately on the opposite side of the room to the heater.
  • At the end of the trip you can remove the liner from your shell carefully, this will let any moisture which has seeped through into the shell evaporate.

SX Snow Boot Bench Guarantee

All boot purchased which we have recommend and fit come with free labor for boot customisations; whether it is the day you buy your boots or 3 years down the line.

We want you to be happy with your boots, so we always try to remedy any problem before you may have one. Often this will be resolved by a simple stretch. In all cases we you will have need to have taken all our recommendations, such as good quality socks and supportive footbeds. If you do have any questions please call us on 02 9526 2566.

At SX Snow we are proud to offer on of the most professional boot fitting services in Sydney. With our fully trained staff, which have the knowledge from completing Masterfit Academy most advanced training course and having 30+ years of boot fitting experience.