What Should I Consider When Buying Ski Boots?

Sherry Holetzky

When purchasing anything that will be worn, the two most important things to consider are fit and comfort. There is no exception when buying ski boots. While there are other factors, fit and comfort come first.

Supportive boot insoles are important features of a ski boot.
Supportive boot insoles are important features of a ski boot.

If your ski boots don't fit properly, you will have difficulty skiing. If the ski boots are too large, your feet will move around inside them, making maneuvering difficult. If too small, your feet will not only be uncomfortable, but the boots may not be flexible enough for optimum movement.

Experts suggest purchasing quality ski socks for added warmth.
Experts suggest purchasing quality ski socks for added warmth.

Choosing comfortable ski boots is important, because you will spend a lot of time on your feet. You do not want to hit the slopes for the day, only to find that your feet hurt after a short time. When you are buying ski boots, you should try to purchase them in a shop that is willing to let you try them out first.

You may want to walk around in a pair of ski boots for several hours before buying them to make sure they are comfortable after extended wear. If you purchase ski boots at a resort, in many cases, you may be allowed to try them on the slopes and return them if you are not satisfied. Ask about this option before you make a purchase.

If you are concerned about warmth, some ski boots come with built in foot warmers. Many expert skiers advise against these styles, however, because the warmers can take up a lot of space in the boots. Instead, they suggest purchasing quality ski socks. The choice is up to you, but most experts insist that if you are active on the slopes, your feet will not get cold. You can always purchase separate warmers and add them later if you decide you need them.

Another thing to ask about when looking for ski boots is custom fitted insoles. They don't add much cost and are well worth the price and the time it takes to have them fitted. Since ski boots transform foot and leg motion into ski movement, it is very important that boots fit snugly but are not too tight. A good fit should give plenty of support while still offering the necessary flexibility.

It is important that ski boots fit properly.
It is important that ski boots fit properly.

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Discussion Comments


Finding comfortable ski boots that fit just right can be a challenge. It seems like every time we go skiing, at least one of us has to try several pair of boots before we get the best fit. If you have wide feet, it can be hard to find wide ski boots at the rental shops.

You feel like your feet are squished inside the boot so tight anyway, but if your boot is too narrow it can really be uncomfortable.

If you ski often, I would recommend finding a pair of boots to purchase for yourself instead of renting every time. That way you will know they fit you and you won't have to fight it every time.


Many years ago I bought a pair of white Nordica ski boots that were heated with a battery pack. My toes are always cold when I ski, and with these heated boots I could go all day and never have cold feet.

These boots lasted me a long time and finally the batteries would not hold a charge any more. They were so old that they could no longer order anything that would work. Now I will use the heated insoles in my boots, but I have never found anything that worked as well as those heated boots.


The ski boots you wear can be a deciding factor in how much you enjoy your ski experience. If they are too tight, your feet will hurt the whole day and can sometimes make your feet feel almost numb. If they are too loose, then you don't have the control you need.

I don't have my own pair of downhill ski boots, and just rent them when I rent my skis, but there have been many times when I have had to exchange them for a different pair because every style fits differently.

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