How ski boots should fit for pain-free skiing - AlpInsider (2023)

The wrong size ski boots can ruin a day on the slopes. Shin splints, blisters and painful pressure can rob you of the joy of skiing. So how should ski boots fit for a pain-free day on the slopes?

A pair of ski boots should be comfortable and keep your feet in place. We'll look at how to tell when ski boots don't fit, some frequently asked questions about ski boot sizing, and ten tips to help you find the right fit for you.

This is how ski boots should fit

Properly sized shoes should support you on your ski journey, but they can be tricky to size. While we always recommend a professional fitting, sometimes this is not possible. Use this to get startedski boot size chartZero to your ideal ski boot size.

How can you tell if they are too big?

Here are some telltale signs that your ski boots might be too big.

  • move heel: In properly sized ski boots, your heel should feel the boot lining holding it in place. It will move slightly as you adjust the ski's position, but it shouldn't slide back and forth. If your heels don't fit securely in your boots, they may be too big.
  • Shin-bang: Shin kick occurs when there is too much space between the shin and the tongue of the boot. If there's plenty of room, every time you move your body forward, your shin will accelerate through the empty space and "hit" the tongue of your boot. The less clearance there is, the less chance there is of a shin splint.
  • blisters: Similar to the heel flick, when your feet slide into your boots it creates hot spots that lead to blisters. Blisters are a sign that your boots may be too big.
  • curl the toe: As you adjust your body position, your feet move to adjust. However, if your boots are too big, a natural reaction is to curl your toes to try to stabilize your feet. If you depend on your feet to stay in place, you need smaller boots.

How can you tell if they are too small?

On the other hand, problems that are just as painful can occur if the ski boots are too small.

  • forced toe curl: In this scenario, there is not enough room for your foot to move naturally. Their toes curl up because they have nowhere else to go.
  • calf pressure: Ski boots that are too small dig into the lower/middle calf flesh. This is especially true for skiers withwide calvesorON Largoūüáßūüá∑ If this is a persistent problem, your boots may be too small.
  • ankle pain: The ankle bone stretches out from the rest of the foot and can be a major pain point for tight ski boots.
  • heal pain: Similar to the ankle problem, if you experience unwanted pressure, rubbing, and discomfort just above the heel, your boots aren't big enough.
  • Numb or cold feet: If you don't have circulatory problems and your feet are numb or cold all the time, your boots may be too small.


Ski toes or skier toes are another sign that your boots are the wrong size. It can happen if your boot is too big or too small. It is a discolored nail injury from repeated striking of the toe on the front of the boot, or from boots so tight that the nail always strikes the edge of the lining.

ski boot volume

Ski boot volume refers to the entire space inside the boot, from top to bottom and out to the toe box. Ski boot manufacturers have developed three volume options, low, medium and high. These categories are based on your last measurement.

The last measurement is the width at the western part of the forefoot in millimeters. A low volume shoe (for narrower feet) is between 97 and 99 mm, a medium volume shoe (average foot width) is around 99 to 101 mm and a high volume boot (wider feet) is between 101 and 104 mm.

You can measure the shape at home by finding the widest part of the foot. This is usually measured from an knuckle under the little toe and down the length of the foot. This measurement (in millimeters) corresponds to a final volume range.

How long do ski boots take to break in?

As with any device, there is a break-in period. It is best not to walk on dry land for more than 30 minutes a day in your new ski boots. Be careful with hardwood floors; It is best to try it on carpet or concrete. The break-in period should take place within a week.

If you want to break them on the slopes, dedicate at least 1-3 full days to skiing. After that, decide whether the boots will work for you or not.

Should ski boots even hurt?

Not. This is a common misconception as people often rent or wear boots that don't fit their feet. Ski boots may look weird if you've never worn them, but they should never hurt.

10 tips for the right ski boot fit

These suggestions will help you improve your skiing experience without increasing your foot problems.

1. Use aski boot size chartto get your measurements right

The ski boot width is just as important as the ski boot length.

2. Choose the right oneflexible ski bootRating for your skill

A softer boot is better for beginners, while a stiffer boot is better for intermediate skiers.

3. Choose the right startup type

Downhill boots are meant for the resort, and alpine boots (also called touring-specific boots or alpine touring boots) are meant for the backcountry.

4. Know your feet

do you have wide feet narrow feet? A high instep? Collapsed arches? Knowing your foot shape will help you in your search.

5. Don't forget the boot fitters

Online resources can get you the right fit, but it's always recommended to go to a ski shop and consult a boot fitter.

6. Buy the right pair of boots

The best ski boots for beginners

The best ski boots for advanced skiers

The 10 best ski boots for women

7 best ski boots for wide calves

7 best ski boots for wide feet

The best ski boots for all skiers

7. Think of custom ski boots

You can get custom ski boot liners, heat mold liners and shells to better fit your feet, and even add custom insoles. Custom-made boots guarantee a better fit, but will likely cost more.

8. Think about the break-in period

If a pair of ski boots don't fit well initially, walk in them for a week (max 30 minutes a day) or ski 1-3 full days in them. Ski boots feel firmer the first day you wear them.

9. Be patient

You may not find the perfect boots right away; Resist the urge to settle for less-than-ideal boots. The research and testing that you put into this decision will set you up with the perfect pair of ski boots for several successful seasons.

10. Don't push

If a pair of ski boots is the wrong size, don't try to compensate by wearing thick ski socks. It might seem like a great way to save space in an oversized boot, but it can speed up foot pain.


A good pair of ski boots will help prevent uncomfortable pressure, foot pain and blisters. Use the tips and tricks in this article to make the perfect choice; Your feet will thank you!

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