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7 tips for Finding the Perfect Pair of Ski Boots

Fitting ski boots is a big deal.  Ski boots are hands down the most important purchase you’ll make when it comes to ski gear.  Your boots are the connection of your skis to your body, so a good connections is critical.  Here are 7 tips that are sure to help you find the right boots.

1 - Take your time.  Make sure you have plenty of time when you go to try on boots.  You’re going to need to spend time in each pair of boots that you try on and a quick trip to your local ski shop during lunch generally doesn’t provide adequate time.

2 - Go to a shop you trust.  Lots of stores sell boots, but not every store knows how to sell boots.  Go to a shop you trust that has a knowledgeable sales staff.  Boot fitting is both an art and a skill and not everyone who sells boots knows what their doing.  You’ll know if the sales person who is helping you is a ‘boot fitter’ based on the level of service you receive.

3 - Bring your socks.  Most ski shops will have socks you can use when trying on boots, but lets be honest, they’re gross.  Even if you’ve been told they were recently washed, they probably weren’t.  So here’s a better idea, bring your own.  This way you know who’s feet have been in them and you’ll have an even more accurate feel as to how they’ll fit when you’re on the hill with them.

4 - Both feet.  Always try on both boots.  Just about everyone has a foot that’s slightly larger or smaller than the other one.  I recommend buying boots to the smaller foot if you’re going for a more performance fit; this way when the boots packs out a bit your small foot won’t be swimming in the boots.

5 - Keep an open mind.  Don’t pigeon hole yourself with a specific brand.  Find the boot that fits your feet and skiing style best, regardless of the brand.

6 - Plan for some pack out.  The padding in ski boots will compress a bit after you’ve skied in the 6-10 times.  Depending on what type of padding they have they can pack out a 1/4 to 1/2 size.  Keep that in mind so you don’t buy boots that end up just getting bigger.

7 - Give them a chance.  There’s a good chance you’re probably buying these boots at the beginning of the season.  Give your feet a chance to get to know your boots.  The boots will need to be broken in a bit and your feet will need to be reminded what it’s like to wear ski boots (especially after a summer of flip flops and Chacos).  One easy way is to wear them around the house before your first day on snow with them.

Finding the right ski boot is magical moment, when foot and boot come together in perfect harmony.  These tips should help your feet find the love of their lives.  Just remember, like most romantic stories there might be some bumps along the road and a couple of wrong turns, but with a little persistence you’ll find what you’re looking for.

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