Here at BootDoctors boot fitting is our passion and in our DNA (and literally our name). We pride ourselves on our experience and expertise in boot fitting, providing properly fitting boots with the appropriate level of performance for our customers. Members of the BootDoctors staff have travelled the world teaching boot fitting skills. We are recognized as the leaders in this craft. Comfortable feet means more skiing, more skiing creates more smiles. Below are a few tips to help you get started in understanding the process a professional boot fitter will take you through while selecting your next pair of boots.
5 Key Steps in Boot Fitting
1. Start by measuring both feet unweighted and then weighted. This will not only determine the proper size but also the effect of pronation (unlocking of the foot) on size and fit. We assess dorsi-flexion (fore aft ankle range of motion), windlass action (midfoot range of motion) and other key foot mechanics to pin point boot fit choices.
2. Get down to the bare naked skin. Socks can hide bunions, calluses, red spots and other anomalies that are important indicators for boot selection. Sock thickness can increase a boot size up to one whole size, Socks can hide unique shapes in the ankles, calves, instep and toes that are prime determinants in picking the best boot shape. Take the socks off and take a look at the foot, naked.
3. Have a conversation with your boot fitter about where you ski, how you ski, and what your desires and aspirations are in skiing. This information determines what types of performance characteristics and type of fit are important to you.
4. Prepare yourself; a new boot liner has lofty foam behind and above the heel to lock the foot in place. Until this foam compresses the foot will be forced forward and the boot will probably feel too small on the toes and likely too tight around the foot as a whole. Do not pass judgement until the boot is fully buckled, flexed and worn for a few minutes allowing the fit materials to morph. We will lock you in a ski simulator to speed the compression of the boot materials and get a true idea of which boot is best for skiing.
5. Try at least a couple of boot models on to compare the fit. Remember that in the end it’s your feet in the boot and even the best boot fitter can’t know exactly how your feet feel!
Further important considerations
1. Everybody’s feet are different. Boot models fit differently. Don’t take a friend’s, relative’s or spouses recommendation on what you should get because it works for them. Everyone’s feet are unique and what is great for one skier can be torture for another. Our world class boot fitters will stear you into the options that are best for your specific characteristics.
2. Don’t dismiss foot beds as a luxury add-on. They are often as important (and maybe more so) as the boot choice itself. A properly cast and finished footbed holds the foot in a stable position eliminating rub and abrasion. Maintaining a fixed position allows the boot fitter success in shell and liner alterations to match your unique characteristics. It is the foundation that the house of skiing is built upon. Once you have experienced skiing with a well-made custom foot bed, there are very few people who will ski without them.
3. Allocate enough time. You don’t want to rush the process, choosing the correct boot, getting fit and making foot beds takes time. Allow yourself an hour and a half to get the fitting done properly. The investment of a little time pays back dramatically in comfort and skiing pleasure.
4. The one thing the BootDoctors can assure you is a staff of great, experienced, and empathetic boot fitters. There are literally hundreds of boot models out there and you don’t need to waste time trying a bunch of inappropriate models on. A great bootfitter is going to be able to narrow the field down to the 3 +/- models that are best for your foot and performance needs.
5. Be fair. Going into a shop and spending an hour or so with a fitter to find the right boot so you can go buy them online is unfair. When you buy the boots at our store, we charge $50 less for the footbeds. When you get the boot with a footbed, all fit work is free for a year with a fit guarantee. Boot fitters invest serious time and money on training, skill building and ensuring that inventory is stocked to allow you the best options for your foot shape. Remember that you are not only buying a boot but also buying service that extends beyond the initial buy: What is it going to additionally cost to get the boots modified? Support your local boot fitting pro and they will be there to make skiing better for you.
Interested and want to learn more?