We often meet customers who once they’ve had ski boots fitted and have hit the sweet spot for comfort, fit and performance, are reluctant to let go of them.
It’s a credit to our boot fitting technique we think, but nevertheless, there comes a point when you have to ask yourself if your boots are still serving you?
That’s why we created the ski boot MOT!
What is the lifespan of ski boot?
This is a good question especially if you only ski one or two weeks a season. The answer is 75-200 days depending on the quality of your boots if you’re skiing regularly. But it’s not just about how often they’re worn, it’s the age overall, so 6 – 8 years seems to be a better rule of thumb.
All ski boots have a shelf life and here’s why:
- Plastic degrades
Plastics get stiffer and brittle with age. Cracks in the plastic particularly around the stress points are a sure sign of age and an indicator that the materials are breaking down. Hardening of the plastic is another sign, often noticeable when it gets harder to pull the shell apart to get your boots on. Another symptom is loss of stiffness in the flex and with that, loss of power transmission.
- Soles get worn out
Depending on how much you walk in your boots from accommodation to the slope, especially on hard rough surfaces, the soles and heels will wear down. This affects how well they hold the binding and can be hazardous. If your soles are slippery and the toes and heels rounded it’s time to think about new boots.
- Liners become compacted
The ski boot liner is a softer material and will wear out faster than the shell and cease to hold the foot properly and also lose its thermal qualities. Typically a decent liner could be good for 5 years, but once it’s past its shelf life consider investing in a replacement to extend the life of your boots.
There are many kinds of liner available designed for comfort, warmth or if you want a super firm fit you could try a foam fit. Take a look at our custom liners.
Reasons to replace:
- Boots don’t fit well anymore
- Foot and lower leg musculature and shape can change as we age
- Liners have become compacted and no longer offer a good hold
- Cracks in the shell
- Broken buckles
- Sole toes and heels have worn away
- Risk of failure on the slopes – if your boots fall apart, you could come unstuck
- Your skiing level has improved and you need a stiffer boot
- Your skiing requirements have changed and you’d like a softer, easier boot
New boots bring new features and improvements
Even if your boots seem OK then you might want to consider what a new boot could offer in the way of improved comfort, performance and functionality.
As a rule of thumb manufacturers upgrade models every 3 years. Often a single upgrade isn’t a huge difference (although sometimes it is) but every 2nd upgrade usually delivers significant improvements. On top of that we are currently seeing huge advances in boots with lighter materials, more custom fitting of liners and grip Walk soles for safer more comfortable walking to and from the lifts. Then there are the latest freeride and touring boots with walk modes that deliver downhill performance like never before.
And finally for those of you that are struggling let go – if your boots are 10 YEARS OLD it really is time to get a new pair!