SKI BOOTS: THE GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT MODEL
Choosing a ski boot that is well adapted to your feet is essential when practising this discipline. Downhill skiing, ski touring or snowboarding, all these board sports require quality equipment. The boot acts as an interface between your body and your skis. They must both protect you from the cold and provide the best support to maintain your balance and the right position on the piste. The choice of a pair of ski boots depends on your level of skiing, the sport you practice and your morphology.
WHAT CRITERIA SHOULD YOU USE TO CHOOSE A SKI BOOT MODEL?
Before opting for a type of boot you must take into account several criteria if you want to feel comfortable and well protected by your ski equipment. You will be careful about :
- The size of the ski boots. As in many sports, you can add an extra size to your usual size. When you are bent on your legs, your feet must not touch the tip of the boot. The support must be complete without compressing the foot to leave all the joints of the foot free and not impede blood circulation.
- The width of the ski boots. Equipment manufacturers specialising in their design offer models that take into account skiers with thin feet and wide feet. This difference is mentioned on the shoe volume, also known as the "fit". The standard fitting volume is 102 to 104 mm, the larger sizes are larger than these dimensions. The fitting volume of women's ski boots with thin feet will be less than 100 mm. This index is even lower for children's ski boots.
- The design of the liner. You will have the choice between a traditional foam liner or a liner made of thermoformable foam which has the particularity of taking the shape of the foot in contact with body heat. The natural foam brings real comfort to the foot
- The hull. They are differentiated by the rigidity of the hull indicated by the flex index. The lower the flex index, the more comfortable and tolerant the ski boot. The higher the flex index, the more reactive and rigid it is. A front opening makes it possible to adapt the flex index of the boot. Wallet shells with lateral and frontal adjustment tabs allow you to customise the boot's tightness.
- The buckle system. We have just mentioned the different components of the ski boots. To adjust and hold them without blocking the joints, the buckle system consists of several aluminium or plastic hooks. They can be simple or designed to make different adjustments to the foot. A distinction is made between hooks with micrometric adjustment consisting of a head that can be screwed or unscrewed for customised tightening and hooks with micrometric adjustment. The hook's rack moves and provides additional adjustment.
THE LATEST INNOVATIONS
In recent years, Salomon ski boots, Rossignol ski boots or Nordica ski boots have refined their models for the comfort of the foot and their ability to adapt to the different needs of skiing on the slopes. Some have vibram soles and a flex adjustment that allows you to switch from ski mode to walking mode. Heated ski boots are also available to keep feet warm in extreme cold conditions and prevent frostbite.
ADVICE FROM SKI EQUIPMENT PROFESSIONALS
All the pros repeat that you should choose ski boots according to your practice and your level. If you are a beginner downhill skier, you don't necessarily need the ultra-sophisticated equipment required for extreme skiing.
If you take a ski boot with a thermoformable liner, opt for the top of the range with high density foam. Your liner will fit the shape of your foot perfectly and will not deform when you ski. Finally, choose ski socks with antibacterial and anti-perspiration treatments. Check that the seams do not hurt to limit friction. Accessories and ski clothing will complete your skier's outfit and allow you to enjoy winter sports to the full.