When I heard that people spend hundreds of dollars getting ski boots professionally fitted, I couldn’t believe the things suckers will pay money for. But I’ve come to learn that a lot of our skiing weaknesses can be traced back to the wrong equipment. Last year I visited a professional fitter for custom insoles. After getting that toe in the water, I went back this season for the full deal and got an alignment. The question now: is it worth it?
When I first bought ski boots, I went into a store, found a pair half off, and tried them on until one fit. The young woman working the store assure me they were good boots and off I went blissfully unaware of my mistake. After a few seasons, of constant toe pain I decided my boots were too small. Luckily before I made another bad boot choice, I was directed to a professional boot fitter. The problem was the size of my boot; however, it was two sizes too big. “It’s a wonder you’re not injured,” he said. “I don’t ski that aggressively,” I replied. He shook his head, “That cause you can’t.”
Properly fitted boots lessons the chance of injury and can increase ability.
After getting the right size boot, I finally understood what all the instructors meant when they said to ski with your feet. Before, I could only use my calves and the back of my skis to brake, which meant I could only ski out of my backseat. With proper fitting boots, I finally got out of the level rut I was in.
After the purchase I took a ski class. We were making small and slow radius turns, and I couldn’t turn one direction without picking up my foot and putting it in place. I was always told this was a balance issue, but the instructor that day watched me ski a straight line and noticed one foot skied solid and one trembled. He suggested I visit the boot fitters. Their pronouncement: One leg was out of line with the other, and I compensated for it by standing on the edges of my feet. I could literally feel my feet flatten out as they stuck shims under my boot. The next time I skied, I could turn without the lift.
What are your options
- Even if you don’t have the money or inclination for properly fitted boots still visit the professionals. They understand proper fitting far more than the teenager at the ski store. Getting in the right size is the most important thing. Also they can walk you through different types of boots and what is best for you and your ability.
- The next thing they can do is heat the boot and its sole to give you a custom fit. It’s important to get the wiggle room out of your boot.
- After that you get measured and poked and your body gets picked apart in a way it hasn’t been since junior high. But at least fixing this problem doesn’t require a new wardrobe or diet.