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Well, you are either a loyal reader of our blog or you just typed something into Google asking a question along the lines of; 'Are my ski boots the correct size?' or 'How should ski boots fit?'.

You are probably asking yourself and Google that question because of at least one of the following questions:

• 'Should my toes go all the way to the front of the boot and feel pressured/kinda curled when I first put the boot on?'

Yes! When you first put a ski boot on your foot will go all the way to the front and it'll feel tight in the toes.  This is especially true with ski boots that are really easy to get on.  Don't worry once you get your heel seated in the pocket it'll feel much better.

Give your heel a little kick on the ground (Don't do this on your Mom's nice hardwood floors) buckle the top buckles, then stand up flex forward then proceed to buckle up the bottom ones and then the power strap at the top.  When you're flexed forward in the boot with some pressure on your shins you'll be able to move your toes a little bit - nothing crazy like when you're in a shoe, the shoe will move too.

'When I flex forward in the boots like I'm in a Ski position, I feel my heel slide back and I can move my toes more, that's good right?'

That's great!  You don't want to be swimming in there though.  When you're standing up tall in the ski boots feeling the upper cuff on the back of your calves, your toes should touch the front.  

'When I stand up tall in the boots my toes don't touch the front and when I'm flexed forward I feel like I'm swimming, are my boots too big?'

If you feel like your swimming in a pair of ski boots than yes, they are too big.  Swimming isn't a word you want to use when describing a good fit.  

'I think my ski boots are the right size, but not sure.  How do I shell fit my ski boots?'

Shell fitting is done to make sure that a boot is not too big or too small.  To shell fit, take the liners out of the ski boots.  Put your feet in the boots with a ski sock on, and put your toes all the way to the front so they are just touching.  What we want to measure is the space behind your heel and the shell.  If you have more than 2cm (a little less than an inch) behind your heel your ski boots are too big.  If you have 1.5 - 2cm of space behind your heel it's the right size.  (Everyones fingers are different sizes, never been a fan of the '1 finger/2 finger fit rule.') 

Generally speaking.. The less space you have between your foot and the shell the more performance you will get and the less comfort you will have.  However the snugger the shell the less you'll have to worry about liners packing out which makes sense for skiers that ski often and aggressively that want their ski boots to last a while.  Most ski boots in the $399 - $599 range will last about 80 – 100 days or so of skiing before starting to feel too loose. (Depending of course on how much abuse you've given them, storage and general care.)

*Note: Some skiers like me prefer a shell fit with 1 cm of space or less behind the heel.  I like a really snug fit in my boots, I also have feet that are 106mm wide and am in Non-stretched 100mm lasted boots. I am of the small percentage of skiers that prefer this.  

• 'I can lift my heel when I'm buckled down is that ok?'

Yes, you're going to be able to lift your heel if you try to stand on your toes in the boots.  The reason you're able to lift your heel is because your foot is more flexible than the ski boot.  If you can't lift your heel that's not a bad thing, it's more likely that you are sized down in your boots or you have a less flexible foot.

If you are flexing forward in the boot and your heel lifts - that is most likely due to having less range of motion in your ankle and that's something you can fix by stretching and being more active.

'When I'm out on the mountain skiing I get an awful cramping and burning under the arches of my foot, is it the boots?'

If your boots are too long (size wise), too wide, too loose in the ankle, too much space on top of the foot, this can happen.  If you feel like you're in the correct size, width and volume. Read this post on why your ski boots hurt, you may be suffering from weak feet.

'How do I find a good bootfitter?'

Give us a call, if your not local to us in Boston, we'll point you to some great shops in your area that can make you happier in your ski boots.

• 'My friends an expert, I'll bring em', he or she will help me pick out ski boots.'

Is your friend a bootfitter?  If the answer is 'No' than he or she doesn't know as much about ski boots as the Boot Fitter you are going to see and talk to.  After you've found a reputable shop, listen to the bootfitter.  More often than not your friend just wants to justify their own ski boot purchase by having you get in a similar pair.

Ski Boot Sizing Chart

Ski Boot Technology Explained ← Must read for Ski Boot Geeks.

Why your ski boots, still hurt after you've tried everything ← Must read for Ski Boot Geeks.

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