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All about Ski Boots

Ski boots are one of the most important parts of your equipment, not only are they very functional, but they also affect your comfort more than any other part of your ski equipment. If your ski boots are uncomfortable, or the rest of the equipment is perfect for you, then you will make the most of the day.

The ski boots are designed to transfer your movements to the skis while supporting and protecting your feet, ankles and lower extremities. In order for shoes to properly transfer forces, they must be rigid and restrict ankle movement. This stiffness and lack of movement make it much more difficult to walk in ski boots than in normal boots. Because ski boots are stiff, tight and restrictive, they can also make unsuitable ski boots very uncomfortable. It is important to find the right shoes and to fit them properly. Even well-fitting ski boots can be uncomfortable if you haven’t used them recently, as they put pressure on your feet and legs.

The soles of the ski boots are designed so that they can be attached to the ski binding so that the boots can stick to the skis. To ensure that any alpine ski boot can be used with any alpine ski binding, the sole complies with the design standard ISO 5355. This ensures that the lip shape and the overall dimensions of the ski boot sole remain within certain limits and will work in any alpine ski boots ski binding.

Ski Boot Parts

Below are some of the parts, features and functions that ski boots can have.


The shell is a robust outer layer of the ski boot and consists of two parts, the lower shell and the collar. The bottom of the cup is the part that holds the leg and the cuff is the part that surrounds the lower leg and lower leg. Trays are made of polymeric plastic, often polyurethane or polyether. It is common for the hull to be made with 2 or 3 different types or densities of plastic so that different parts of the hull can be optimized to affect strength, rigidity, flexibility, comfort and ease of attachment and removal. . . The role of the shell is to be the outer exoskeleton of the ski boot, to hold everything together, to secure it to the ski binding and to ensure strength and rigidity.


The curvature of a ski boot is a measure of the stiffness of the ski boot and the difficulty of bending the ankle in the boot. Manufacturers typically give each shoe a flex rating on a scale of about 50 to 140, with 50 being very soft and 140 being extremely stiff. However, there are no statistics to be used by the manufacturers, so a 100flex boot from one manufacturer may not necessarily be the same as a 100flex boot from another manufacturer. For this reason, although the elasticity coefficients can still be used as a guideline between different manufacturers, they are very useful for comparing the stiffness of ski boots from the same manufacturer.

Beginners and advanced skiers generally choose flexible shoes that are softer, more comfortable and more forgiving, while experienced skiers and runners prefer shoes that are very stiff, very sensitive and effective, but do not have the same comfort and warmth. Most intermediate and advanced skiers opt for medium-hard boots that adapt to the required performance without overreacting and sacrificing too much comfort or warmth.

Because women are generally shorter than men, they often need a shoe with up to 20 push-ups less than the values ​​in the table above. Lighter or heavier than average, men or women can also opt for a slightly softer or harder flex.

Flexible settings

Some shoes also offer the option of slightly adjusting the curvature of the shoe, so that you can better adapt the shoe to what you want to do. This is usually adjusted with a screw on the back of the boot.

In the shape of a shell

The shape of the shell can have a big influence on the comfort of the ski boot. For this reason, most hulls can change shape in several ways to adapt the ski boot to a person’s foot. The hulls have long been able to heat and compress the areas to regulate

Malleable bowl

A recent development is the shaping of a skier’s entire skull rather than just a few key areas. Only a shell made of boots can make this malleable plastic so that the entire shell can change shape. The process currently used to do this is very similar to malleable areas, except that the shoe is not moulded into the correct shape with the skier’s foot, but is equipped with an inflatable mould that will keep his feet and legs pushed out. . This allows each part of the shoe shell to adapt to the user’s feet and legs, even if the plastic only disappears by 5 or 6mm.

Tilt all ski boots forward by the lower leg so that the ankles and knees are bent while wearing the ski boots. Lean is usually set forward around 14 °, but can often be set to 17 °. The boot cuff prevents the ankle from shifting side to side or stretching the ankle, but the boot’s flexibility allows the shin to advance a few steps.

Walking methods

Due to the stiffness and stiffness of ski boots, it is more difficult to walk than normal boots. As a result, some ski boots, generally shoes intended for lower to mid-range skiers, have a condition that makes it easier to walk in boots. The precise effects of these conditions will vary between boots, but they usually release the cuff to facilitate forward rotation and often pull the cuff longer than normal. While these conditions do not completely solve the walking problem, they can make it easier to put on ski boots.

Walk mode is usually activated with a handle on the back of the boot, but some shoes automatically activate walk mode even if the boot is not attached to a ski binding.

Shell styles

There were different types of ski boots, but today almost all ski boots that can be bought in stores, where the shell folds in front of the chin and over the foot, are a “front entrance”. . To get in and out of the legs, the buckles are loosened and the overlapping parts are spread apart to create the extra space needed. Older models include “entry back” boots where the back of the boot rests to allow the foot to enter and exit the boot.


The liner is the soft layer of fabric that sits in the shell and sits close to the foot. Like trays, liners can vary greatly, including some of the features and properties to look for in liners.

Lining strength:

The thickness of the liner can affect the responsiveness, comfort and warmth of a ski boot. Thinner liners are best for comfort and keep feet warm, while thinner lines are better for power transfer and are usually less warm or comfortable. Thinner liners are usually found in boots for beginners and advanced skiers, while thinner liners are found in boots for runners or advanced skiers. Most mid and tall boots have a lining thickness that adjusts to their flex to create the right combination of performance and comfort.


Most slippers today contain heat-activated materials that are shaped with contours and swell the foot. The size, thickness and location of this material can vary greatly from liner to liner, depending on how the liner is used. To shape the liner, hot air is usually blown into the liner to warm it, after which the ski boots are worn for 5-10 minutes so that the liner adheres to the shape of the feet and ankles. A thermoformed liner combined with a custom insole and moulded shell, if needed, can give your boots a very precise and comfortable fit.

Foam injection

Another method used by some aftermarket liners to create a custom outfit is to inject foam into the sides of the liner while the foot is there. However, due to improvements in shell moulding and normal thermal forming of linings, this type of linen is less common than it once was.

Scroll zones

Many slippers have soft glide areas along the back of the foot and heels. This is done to make it easier to put on and take off the boot so that the heel can more easily slide over the back of the boot.

Toe cap made of neoprene

It is becoming common for manufacturers to place neoprene around the toe area of ​​the shoe to allow the area to stretch slightly and improve comfort.

Shoe lining

Some racing ski boots are so stiff that the inner boots are constructed in such a way that they can be removed from the shells and around them during the lunch break.


The insole or plantar is the platform that sits underneath and supports the foot. A common piece of advice given when buying ski boots is to replace the custom insoles with a higher quality custom insole or an aftermarket insole. The support of the foot contour is very important for comfort and power transmission, but the soles supplied with ski boots often do not offer much support, which is why replacement is generally recommended.

Individual insoles

Custom Insoles are individual insoles that have been specially developed for your feet. There are several ways to do this. Some methods take a model of your feet and use it to shape the sole, while others do a 3D scan of your foot and mould the sole out of a solid piece of plastic. . Custom made insoles offer the tightest, best, and most comfortable insoles, but as usual, this type of quality is available at an additional cost.

Heated insoles

The heating elements inside have heated insoles that can be connected to a battery and thus keep your feet warm in the mountains. For people who get cold feet easily, this can be a great addition as it can dramatically increase their comfort levels throughout the day. Heated insoles can be purchased as aftermarket insoles or made by adding heating elements to a custom insole.

Another technology on the market is heated socks, which can do without heated insoles and ensure that your feet stay warm not only in ski boots but in any other shoe in which your feet could get cold.


Buckles are the shoelaces that keep ski boots closed and determine how tight your boots are. Ski boots traditionally have 4 loops, 2 over the foot and 2 around porcelain, which many ski boots still have today. However, it is becoming more common than shoes designed for walking, freestyle or comfort only have 3 loops or even 2 loops.

While the type of buckle used may vary by boot and manufacturer, the systems used typically take a hand on one of several hooks, which are then pulled rigidly and placed vertically. The position of the hooks can often be changed for people with narrow or wide legs.


The buckling length of most boots can be tightened a little by twisting the buckle arms. As the arms are rotated generally clockwise or counterclockwise, the arm becomes approximately 1 mm shorter or longer with each rotation. This allows the loop mattress to be adjusted in millimetres when closed, instead of the much larger distance between the fastening hooks.

Oversized buckles

More and more often, less than the normal 4 buckles are used on shoes that are not intended for runners or ski experts. When replacing a buckle with 2 buckles, the manufacturer usually uses an oversized buckle for added strength and support.

3D loops

On some boots, the point at which the buckle is attached to the shell can be moved. This way you can change the handle of this loop to your liking.


The second is the term ski, which is used to describe the shape of the foot. Previously, each manufacturer made boots for a different foot shape, e.g. narrow, wide, high volume, low volume, etc. This is usually no longer the case, as most manufacturers now offer a variety of shoe designs for different foot shapes. However, you still need to find the shoe styles that best suit the shape of your foot.

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