Boot Fitting Advice
Ten top tips for comfortable ski boots (… by the way, this works for adults as well as children!):
1) Take your time! Don’t rush the boot-fitting in your anxiety to get onto the slopes. A good-fitting boot is paramount (and you could end up missing a load of skiing if you keep on having to return with your children to the ski-hire shop because you got it wrong first time round). On change-over day in resort, ski hire shops are always extremely busy so, even if there’s a queue waiting for ski boots, don’t let this put you off.
2) Forewarn your children that their ski boots won’t be as cosy as a slipper. Nor will they be as easy to slip on as a wellington boot, or as comfortable as a trainer.
3) Make sure they have suitable socks (and toenails trimmed short!) for maximum comfort. Snug-fitting, high quality thin ski socks are best, with a proper heel and padding in strategic places (including the on the shins). See FamilySkiNews Packing Checklist for more information.
4) Put both boots on and get the child to stand up.
5) Fasten the buckles around the leg first as this will pull the foot back into the correct position. Ski boots are made up of two parts: the softer inner boot, for comfort and control; and the hard exterior shell, for performance and fit. When your child first puts them on, they will feel tight and possible a bit short. The inner boot should fit snugly (like a glove) with no excess space (although their toes should not be pressing against the end). Get them to do a couple of ankle flexes to get the heel right to the back of the boot to double check the fitting is sufficiently snug.
6) Don’t oversize. Reassure your child that their body heat will soften the foam of the inner boot, making it a little more comfortable. It’s particularly important that there is very little or no movement at the heel and ankle.
7) Don’t make the buckles too tight. They are there simply to close the boot, not to clamp their feet in and stop them from moving. They need to be firm (with no slackness) but not too tight, otherwise it can lead to circulation problems.
8) Try different models. If they’re unhappy with the fit, it’s often worth trying on a different boot in the same size – models can vary slightly. That said, don’t try on too many boots – your child will only get confused.
9) Don’t be swayed by your child into hiring a certain pair because they like the colour or because they’re the same as their friend’s pair!
10) Rest assured, if you do get it wrong, you can always come back to the ski hir shop another time and try again. There’s no need for anyone in your family to persist with uncomfortable ski boots. That only makes for unhappy skiing.