Boot Fitting 101
Boots are undoubtedly the most integral piece of equipment you will purchase when it comes to the comfort and enjoyment of skiing and snowboarding. The last thing you want on your snow holiday is to have sore feet or ill-fitting boots. Our goal is to make your boot purchase leaving you in all day comfort every day.
We are proud to have offered a professional boot fitting service to Sydney for over 40 years. Our fully trained staff have the latest knowledge from completing Sidas and Masterfit Academies most advanced training courses, with each of them having up to 35 years of boot fitting experience.
Write down any areas of concern e.g., pressure points, blisters etc, as well as any operations or injuries to your feet or legs which may cause discomfort.
Let us know what you liked about previous boots you owned or hired including model/size.
When looking at getting a setup, don’t set a budget on your boots. 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 prefab footbeds please bring them in so we can have a look. If suitable, we will try the boots on with them.
When arranging a fit remember to cut your toenails and remove any build up of skin like calluses, etc as these can increase unrelated boot pressure.
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
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. (No Football socks).
Avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture and keeps it close to your skin, which will cause 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.
A full foot and stance analysis will be done including foot sizing, width, arch, instep height, pronation, knee tracking, mobility/ROM tests and more. Giving us not only your sizing but any biometrical issues that you may have that could cause complications with not only your ski
boots, but also with your ski/board interface. In ski and snowboard boots, a footbed is crucial, especially for those in Australia who might have
fewer chances to ski. Standard footbeds in boots lack support because everyone's arches are
different, and inappropriate support can lead to discomfort. That's why boot manufacturers recommend customized solutions from boot fitters based on your unique foot and arch profile. A proper footbed enhances comfort, balance, and performance on the slopes by evenly distributing
pressure, reducing fatigue, and preventing foot-related issues like blisters. To read more about
footbeds. Click here.
Ski/Snowboard boots are comprised of 2 basic components: The shell and the liner. 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 4 main areas. The length, ankle volume, forefoot width and the instep height. (If a boot fitter fails to do this you should walk out of the store)
Ski and snowboard boots have forward lean built into them and they are NOT made for standing
up straight. When you flex forward in the boot it will allow your foot to move back into the 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 too big but to show effect*
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. As above, don’t be worried if you feel your toes 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 should be able to wiggle your toes around for circulation.
Remember the boot fitter has done a shell check.
The boots need to hold your heel down inside the boot. The strength of your feet/ankle will easily be able to put enough pressure to push your ankle out of the heel pocket feeling like excess heel lift. So, trying to stand on your toes is a “No No”. When you are driving your knee forward, they
should hold your ankle in place and the heel/foot should feel comfortably immobilised. If you have movement/rubbing when flexing, the boot isn’t holding you correctly and could cause blisters and not give you the performance fit for ideal control. If they are big in store, they will be
even bigger once you have used them on snow for a few days. A boot that is firm all over with one pressure point that needs an adjustment is by far better than a loose boot with no pressure points.
When first trying on boots don’t over tighten the buckles, the top two buckles should 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/boa loose just to see how the boot is holding your foot.
Snowboard boots - firmly tighten the front boa to grip on your leg, but only loosely turn the side boa to gently close the bottom half of the boot over the instep, but not firmly.
We do this on the initial fit as to make sure if there is not excessive instep pressure coming from boot. If the customer is to tighten the buckles up, the pressure we might see could obviously be the buckles. This will affect our judgement of the boot fit for your foot, we need to know that the
boot fits firmly without having to crank up the buckle or boa system. Blood vessels and nerves run across the top of your feet and clamping down can result in numb toes, nerve pressure, cold feet and more.
Certified boot fitters worldwide will always recommend a stabilising footbed as it is an integral part of your boots. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is an add on sale. Most of the population have issues with the stability of their ankle joints and arches which can lead to cramping, pain, and pressure points in your boots.
As everybody’s arches are different, boot manufacturers are unable to put in a supportive footbed. If support was put in at manufacturing and it was inappropriate this will cause
discomfort / pain. That is why the footbed that comes standard in boots offers little to no support. Boot manufactures recommend boot fitters offer a solution based on your individual foot and arch profile. To read more about footbeds. Click here.
If you suffer from bad circulation or other medical conditions (Raynaud’s) that keep you from having warm hands/feet, no matter what you have tried, let us know, and consider boot warmers heated socks/gloves; we stock a variety of brands in store. Click Here To View
Wear your boots around at home 4-5 times for 30mins flexing into your boots, as this will help
the boots to conform to your feet and promotes blood flow. Don’t sit down watching TV, this will send your feet to sleep. Please try not to stand on your toes and try not to feel for previous boot fitting problems, e.g., a sore ankle. If you look for it, you will find it.
A few pressure point in the boot to start with are quite normal and will generally disappear after
wearing them for a few days. If a pressure point does not go away and is hurting, please make an
appointment to bring your boots back into store so we can look at them.
It generally takes 3-5 days of skiing/riding for the liners to mould to your feet and settle in
Boots purchased from SX Snow with our recommendation and fitting come with complimentary labour for boot customisations from the day you buy your boots for 3 years.
For this guarantee to be accessed all recommendations for your boots including footbeds, wearing them around before using, leaving enough time for proper fitting before use must have been accepted.
This guarantee is limited to customers with reasonable feet. If you have a medical issue or major injury that will increase the time for fitting and extra work needed on the boots there will be a surcharge and you will be notified of this at the initial fitting.
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.
Snowboarders – when doing up your boa’s do it up, flex it 3 or 4 times then retighten, after walking to the lift retighten again.
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 lose their 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, we don’t recommend removing the liner from your boots. Your liners are heat mouldable when you pull them out of your boot, they may change
shape. Therefore, we recommend leaving your boots out of your bag, in an area with air flow and a little bit of sun, but not direct for several days until you can feel with your hand the moisture has evaporated completely. You can buy specific boot dryers
that will dry your boots without any chance of changing the shape of your liners.
Have a question?
Wanting to book in with one of our experienced boot fitters?