The ski setup is never complete without the ski boots. To have a good time on the slopes, the boot you put in your ski boot bag should feature the right fit and size
If you are just learning how to ski, this could be the first time you are buying ski boots. This suggests that you may not know how the ski boot size chart works. You may also not have a good idea of how the ski boot fitting works.
In this article, we will be changing all this. We will ensure that the next time you put on your ski jacket, you will have the right ski boots on your feet.
Understanding the Ski Boot Size Chart
To make sure that confusion does not exist between the EU, US, and UK ski boot sizes, the manufacturers prefer to stick to one sizing norm. The manufacturers call this norm the Mondo Point Size. This is generally the length of your foot in centimeters.
The procedure for determining the Mondo Point is basically simple. All you will need to do is follow the simple steps below:
1. Place the heel against a vertical surface, say, a wall, with your toes pointed outward.
2. Simply measure the distance from the vertical wall to the end of your longest toes, in centimeters.
Note: If the measuring device features the inches, you should multiply the obtained inches by 2.54 to get the centimeters. If the length of your foot is 10.23 inches (26.5 centimeters), then your Mondo Size should be 26.5.
A crucial thing that you should keep in mind is that using the conversion charts to translate the street shoe size to the Mondo Point may not help you with the ski boot fitting. You should only use this option as a last resort.
While people can wear shoes a size or two too big than their ideal shoe and walk comfortably, skiing is generally more demanding. If the boot is too big, you won’t have a good time on your all-mountain ski.
Trying the Ski Boot Fitting
After determining your Mondo Point and using the ski boot size chart to locate a boot that may work for you, you should try it, before paying and adding it to your backcountry ski gear list. When trying the ski boot fitting, there are some things you should keep in mind. These include:
- You should wear thin and synthetic ski socks. Avoid thick hiking socks. Also, avoid cotton.
- During the course of the day, normal feet tend to swell. Try the ski boots in the evening or the afternoon when your feet are the largest. This will give you a better idea of how fit the boots are.
- When standing straight, ensure that the toes are brushing the end of your boots. However, ensure that they are not turned under or crammed.
- When you are in the ski-tuck position, the toes should barely pull from brushing the boot front. The fit is not supposed to be painful.
- When you are flexing the knees, ensure that your heels are staying down.
- Walk around and then stand in the boots for a minimum of 20 minutes.
Consider Your Performance Requirements
Just because you have measured a specific Mondo Point this does not mean that you should invest in that specific ski boot size. Basically, this is a great starting point for the majority of the skiers.
A much better way of achieving ski boot fitting is to consider your performance requirements. Below, we have some recommendations:
If you just purchased your ski or you have been using your ski gear for only a short period of time, you should invest in a ski boot size that is close to your Mondo Point length or slightly longer. You should keep in mind that the boot liner generally compresses after you ski in the boot a couple of times. Also, you may generate additional space pretty quickly.
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Intermediate/advanced skiers should invest in ski boots slightly shorter or close to the Mondo Point. The boots should, however, feature a stiffer flex. Pay attention to the boot’s width and choose a boot that features a snug fit.
These skiers use the ski boot size chart to purchase a boot featuring a shell size approximately a half to a full size smaller than their measured Mondo Point. This ensures a more responsive and precise fit.
An additional feature that these skiers look for is flex stiffness. The ideal boot is supposed to feature a stiff or very stiff flex. It is worth noting that downsizing on the ski boots may involve collaborating with skilled boot fitters, to ensure that the boots will feel comfortable once you put on your skiing gloves and decide to hit the snow.
This is a common method used by skiers to determine the ski boot fitting. It can help the skier figure out whether the selected boot is close to the ideal size.
To test the shell fit, you will need to follow the steps we have outlined below:
- Remove the liner from the shell.
2. Insert your foot into the bare shell and then slide the foot forward, until the longest toes touch the end of the shell.
3. Check the distance existing between the heel and the rear part of the shell. You can use your hand or a piece of wood featuring a known thickness to check the existing distance.
Experienced boot fitters will refer to the distance in terms of “fingers”. This is generally inconsistent considering that different people will have fingers featuring varying sizes. On average, a finger is usually 0.6 inches (15 millimeters) for most men. Using this standard, a one-finger or 1.5-finger fit (0.6 to 0.9 inches or 15 to 22 mm) should offer you ideal performance.
More than 2 fingers are generally too big. Less than a single finger is considered to be the race fit, usually ideal for elite skiers who can easily access a good boot fitter.
To carve comfortably when skiing, you should consider the skiing boot interior design, often called last. Similar to feet, different ski boots will have varying lasts or models. Companies that produce alpine boots currently make 3 distinct models. The lasts are wide, medium, and narrow. Below, we will look at the lasts:
If you have wider and higher volume feet, you should invest in boots featuring a wider last. These boots feature a forefoot width ranging between 102 mm and 106 mm.
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If you decide to break in boots featuring an average last, you should keep in mind that they will have a forefoot width of approximately 100 mm. Compared to the narrow lasted boots (we will discuss these below) the average last boots will fit the feet well, out of the box.
These feature a forefront of approximately 97 to 98 mm. They are generally narrower through the midfoot. They are ideal for people whose feet feature a low and narrow volume.
If you are familiar with the width you take on normal street shoes or hiking boots, you should be able to pick your model more easily. An “A” or “B” width foot should work ideally with a narrow-lasted boot. A “C” or “D” foot will fit in an average last of approximately 100 mm. Skiers who have an “E” or wider foot should look for the boots featuring a wide last.
Volume and Instep Height
Volume generally goes hand in hand with the boot’s forefront width. Boots featuring a narrow forefoot will have less volume through the midfoot and the heel. If a boot features a wide forefront, it will feature a roomier fit throughout the boot.
Generally, boot manufacturers will not indicate the boot volume as a number. To figure out whether a boot has a good volume, consider trying it on.
The instep height, which is the bony area on top and slightly forward of the arch, is another important fit area. If a boot is too tight on the instep, it can be more challenging to fix compared to one that is too tight around your foot perimeter. Wearing a boot for approximately 10 to 15 minutes should help you determine whether the boot’s instep is ideal for you.
Foot Shape Irregularities
Irregularities in the shape of your foot, including bone spurs, bony protrusions, and bunions, can cause ski boot fitting issues even after you use the ski boot size chart to locate a good boot. These problems can be solved by a boot fitter.
An experienced boot fitter should have the ability to modify your boot to accommodate the problem area. Compared to purchasing a huge boot, using the boot fitter services is a much better option.
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If you intend to purchase a fitting boot, you need to know your Mondo Point. This point will help you use the ski boot size chart to purchase the right boot.
To achieve good ski boot fitting, you will need to consider more than your foot length. Also, consider the width and even the instep. If your feet have some irregularities, a boot fitter can adjust ski boots to accommodate the irregularities.
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- HOW TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT SKI BOOT SIZE, Lange-boots.com