The Right Equipment, The Right Fit
Downhill skiing is exhilarating and an excellent workout. However, as with most winter sports, skiing requires proper equipment and footwear to prevent foot and ankle injuries. Don’t ruin your ski holiday with ill-fitting ski boots. Choose the right kind of ski boots to enhance your skiing experience and make it more enjoyable.
Whether you rent or buy your ski boots, it’s important that they fit comfortably. Ski boots should be snug and have an accurate fit. If the boots are too loose, your foot and ankle can slide around inside the boot, potentially leading to sprains, strains, and fractures caused by the constant forward and lateral movement of skiing. If the boots are too tight, they’ll rub and blister your foot. The boots must be rigid enough to keep your feet and ankles firmly in place. The toe box should be snug but not too tight.
Ski boots are available in several styles: forward-entry, rear-entry, or a hybrid that incorporates both designs. Skiers who use custom orthotics to correct biomechanical imbalances can transfer orthotics to ski boots to help maintain the best possible foot position. To find the right boot, work with ski shop technicians who are familiar with different foot types. If you’ve purchased new boots, bring them to your podiatric physician so your foot can be evaluated with the boot. Boot fit can be improved with custom foot orthotics specific for skiing or snowboarding. In addition, having custom heat or injection molded boot liners will also improve your boot fit.
Pick Up Your Socks
Finally, a good pair of socks is crucial for winter sports like skiing. Socks will keep your feet dry, warm, and comfortable in your boots. Take the socks along when having your ski boots fitted.
Tips for Snowboarding
Because boots for snowboarding differ from ski boots, here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing or renting snowboard boots:
Make sure to get snowboard boots (not hiking boots) that fit correctly to keep your feet comfortable and warm.
To determine proper fit, try on both boots and lace them up completely. Laces should be snug. Stand up and walk around to see if the boot laces remain snug. Pay attention to whether the boots rub or pinch anywhere.
Try on both boots while wearing thin synthetic socks with padding. Synthetic socks are preferred to control moisture as well as prevent friction.
This article originally appeared in PRO Pulse Magazine©, a publication of PRO Sports Club. Reprinted with permission.