Who has never complained about his ski boots at the top of snowy slopes? We have all experienced the feeling of frozen feet or the desire to take a break to set free your toes, or even sometimes regrets to shorten our day of skiing.
And yet, there is a way to make skiing days much more enjoyable. Although too often neglected and yet essential, the choice of our ski boots can really make the difference.
But among all these boots, how to choose the one that fit us best ? Do not panic, we tell you everything about it!
We have called on Laurent Tacussel, bootfitter & Bootfitting training manager, who will guide us to find the best ski boots to face the winter without apprehension.
Our foot profiles are unique, it is impossible to make a ski boot that fits everyone.
The types of skiers are also very different. Some will want comfort, with shoes that are easy to put on and take off, others will look for performance, or both.
In general, we shorten our ski day because of discomfort, cold or fatigue. Fortunately, it is possible to make our pair of shoes optimized, by modifying it in several ways. With medium cost solutions, you can increase your comfort and therefore your performance.
Here are 4 steps to increase your skiing comfort and performance:
It is essential to make a good foot analysis, ideally made by a specialist. It includes: the measurement of the foot in Mondopoint, the lateral measurement and the width of the metatarsals, the height of the kick and the shape of the heel.
More and more stores are equipped with 3D scanner for specific measurements. They scan the foot in 3D with the distributions of supports. Those precise and flawless measurements are truly the future!
Don’t hesitate to share your ski level with the specialist, he will adapt the choice of the shell according to your needs.
Once the choice of the shell is made, it is necessary to stabilize the foot thanks to the insoles, personalized ones are better. They play 80% on comfort!
Our feet work in length, in width and in flexion. Custom insoles are a great way to avoid instability. They will support and control the foot, while distributing the supports. In addition to providing comfort, they will stabilize our movements and adapt to our type of foot (sagging arch, neutral or over-arched).
Our foot, having 100% support with the insole, can then relax and the effect of fatigue will be reduced during the ski session.
You have the choice between 3 types of inner shoes: the standard (the one of the shoe brand), the thermo (that goes in the oven to be molded to your foot) and the injected inner shoes (100% molded on the shape of your foot).
The thermoformed inner shoe is molded to the shape of your foot. It brings insulation and lightness for maximizing comfort.
The injected inner shoes combine comfort and performance. Thanks to the molding, there is little space between your foot and the shoe. Their customization is optimized and they will therefore make a difference in terms of comfort (PU comfort) or performance (PU Race).
Quick reminder: It is better to mold an inner shoe with a pair of insoles, it significantly increases the quality of comfort and the result of footwear. The same way we wouldn’t build a house without foundations!
The quality of the socks plays a much bigger role than we think. They will be able to regulate the temperature inside the shoe and thus fight the cold. They must be technical (ban coton!), anatomical (ideally with a left foot and a separate right foot) and be specifically your size.
Note: the greater the thickness of the sock, the more you lose sensation.
What you should have: a thin but warm and breathable sock.
Beware ! Errors not to commit with your ski boots:
✖ - Taking a size over your size for comfort
✓ - Choosing a pair of shoes that are too big to feel comfortable is a mistake made too often. When the shoe is too big in length and volume, the heel lifts and stability of the foot is compromised. This reduces the skier's performance and can lead to early fatigue.
Make it simple : Measure your foot and move towards the size that suits you. The choice of custom shells, insoles and inner shoes will do the rest!
✖ - Trying your shoes sitting on the bench
✓ - This is how you should try out your ski boots: stand in flexion, with hooks closed and suitable socks.
✖ - Not drying your ski boots
✓ - When drying your shoes, you avoid the premature wear and the proliferation of bacteria created by wet and cold boots. You can either take out the inner shoe and the insole to let them dry overnight, or use small electrical dryers. They do not affect the personalized inner shoes and have an anti-bacterial and sanitizing action. I highly recommend !
✖ - Continue skiing without controlling your equipment
✓ - Ski boots wear mainly with the UVA / UVB pollution, as they alter plastic. This is why it is important to have your equipment checked once a year, mainly on the condition of the hooks and the wear pads to ensure the safety of the ski bindings.
If you want to be correctly oriented towards the type of product adapted to your practice, nothing is better than the advice of specialists in sports shops. They are trained and labelled in our premises to master the techniques and will truly listen to your needs.
Sales technicians or Bootfitters will analyze your feet and recommend the right model of shoes. They will also be able to mold insoles and inner shoes at your feet and make shells deformations, if necessary.
The golden rule: the more the shoe becomes a part of the foot, the more comfort and responsiveness are optimized!