New technologies are constantly making improvements to ski boot comfort, performance and control. It could be time to consider new ski boots to benefit from the latest innovations in ski tech!
Ski boots have a shelf life, and our bodies also go through changes over time – feet can flatten out as we age and calf width can vary thanks to fitness levels and weight fluctuations. That’s why a personal ski boot fitting will ensure that you get the best fit, comfort and performance from your boots before you hit the slopes again.
Polly is one of Profeet’s ski boot fitting technicians, as well as a BASI qualified ski instructor. She looked at ski kinematics (joint angles) in her dissertation for her masters in Biomechanics. She was also once a pointe dancer, so she knows a lot about snug fitting performance footwear. Here she talks about key elements that go into a well-fitting ski boot.
Photo: Polly (right) in Verbier for the Profeet Team Ski Trip 2023
Boot adaptations – to maintain a good ski position
A key part of controlling ski boots is your ankle flex. You need to maintain a good position over your skis, using balance and control so that you can reset on each turn. This requires a certain range of ankle flex, otherwise other parts of your body may compensate – commonly the knee.
Your height, your weight and ability will determine the degree of ankle flex.
“It all starts with locking in the ankle and the heel, and the rest follows,”
With the ankles firmly and comfortably set in position, it is unlikely that an ankle injury would occur. However, your soleus and Achilles muscles will come into play in maintaining that position for a long time.
“If there are any issues affecting the range of ankle flex, for example rigidity caused by the tibiotalar joint (where the distal aspect of the tibia and fibula of the lower leg meets the talus bone), then solutions such as a slight heel lift can be included in the boot.
We can also recommend exercises to get your muscles prepared for being held in that flexed position.”
Insoles fitted with arch supports can help lock the foot into position, giving better overall contact with the ground. This takes strain off the knees, allowing the muscles to work together to deal with forces, and gives better control when carving. “It should fit like a glove,” says Polly.
Corrective orthotics can be especially important for skiers with persistent boot-fitting difficulties, and for performance skiers whose technique can suffer as a result of uncorrected alignment problems.
BOA foot wrapping – for the ultimate comfort and control
With a lot of technical innovations in sports footwear right now, the latest buzzword in ski boot design is the BOA system. This new tightening system aims to make ski boots more supportive, better fitting, and more convenient to use.
Traditionally, ski boot buckles clamp down on the top of the foot, adding pressure to the instep, but the new BOA system (called Fit System H+i1) uses a five contact point system that pulls the shell in like a net around your foot, distributing the pressure evenly. By dialling up or down to tighten or loosen the boot, it allows for a better fit in the heel and the forefoot.
By choosing these newer boot models, having them correctly fitted and coupling them with a corrective insole, skiers can perform better without compromising on comfort.
Ski Boot Fit Guarantee
Your ski boots are the most essential piece of ski gear to invest in. But with so many aspects to consider, a ski boot fitting with an expert is highly recommended. Polly’s key piece of advice,
“Be honest. About your skiing ability, what you’re expecting from the day, and exactly how you’re feeling.”
In our Ski Boot Lab, we’ll do everything we can to ensure the best fitting boots first time. But, we know that things can feel different after a week or two of skiing.
Our ski boot custom fit guarantee means that should that initial comfort feel compromised, we’ll do our best to refit your footwear at no additional cost. Just call us to arrange your refit back at the Lab as soon as you can.