Wearing the correct ski boot will make or break a day on the hill. They are one of the most important pieces of ski kit, finding a boot to suit your skiing ability and style is important. If this is your first pair of ski boots, or you are just looking to upgrade make sure you are getting the correct fit. Ski boots generally fit into genres depending on the type of skiing. We specialize in mens and womens ski boots. Piste/all mountain boots or hike & ride boots for off piste skiing, and touring boots. All of our fitting service is normally carried out in a 1 to 2 hour appointment and you can nearly always take your finished boots away with you on the day.
Qualified ski technicians (like us!) will spend the time with you making sure you are in the right boot. All of this is carried out in our Chester Store by our team of boot fitters which between them offer over 65 years of fitting experience!
The start of a boot is normally with a technician taking measurements of your foot, looking at width, volume and even using our podoscope to analyse pressure under the foot and arch height, length and integrity. All of these factors greatly influence the boot you will end up in and can narrow down your choice of boots to just a handful of great options.
The last width refers to the outer shell of the ski boot, and its width measurement. The width of your foot will alter the type of boot you need. All ski boot manufactures have now started to create different widths of ski boots, unlike years ago when brands stuck to producing only wide or narrow boots. Generally speaking a wider last is for a wider foot or someone looking for a more comfort orientated fit, and a narrower last for a narrow foot or someone looking for a very performance orientated fit.
The more advanced skier will require and be able to cope better with a closer fit, allowing maximum performance. To achieve this is a fine balance of the perfect fit, and the boot may require extra modification from a ski boot technician. All the brands we carry in stock focus heavily on differing last widths these days with Brands such as Atomic and Head being very well known for their wider fitting ski boots.
To determine the type of ski boot you should be wearing, we need to first know what level and type of skier you are. Our technicians will start by looking at ability level. We've broken abilities down to three levels, though there is a wide variety of skiers that fit into each level.
Beginner: can range to being a first time skier, never stepped foot on the snow, to the cautious skier who's just started to link turns. A beginner skier tends to stick to pisted runs.
High Intermediate: The intermediate skier is confident skiing parallel. Linking turns and trying more challenging piste comes with practice. This skier has also started to try more difficult runs and off piste areas.
Advanced/Expert: The advanced skier either enjoys sticking to challenging reds or blacks, or else is interested in Freeriding. You have no problem skiing at high speeds on blacks, and may enjoy the park or backcountry.
Ski boots have a flex rating which is in relation to the stiffness of the boot. The flex number system on adult ski boots starts at 50 and works its way up to 150. Higher flex numbers refers to a stiffer boot and lower number to a softer boot. A stiff boot is for the fast and aggressive skier who requires the support this type of boot offers whilst they are turning at high speed. A softer boot is suited to the beginner to intermediate skier, allowing more comfort when skiing and easier turn initiation of the ski.
The guide below gives a brief snapshot at flex levels compared to skiing ability.
Once our Boot technician has completed his analysis and you have tried on enough boots to make an informed decision on which pair is right for you they will start the custom fitting process. With most modern ski boots this begins with moulding the Outershell of the boot with our custom ovens. The process makes the special polymer of Plastic that the ski boot is made from Pliable and allow them to cool and set around your feet.
Once the outershell is cooled we then have to mould the inner liner to accomodate your foot and the new outershell shape using the special ski boot blowers we have instore. Once they are hot, the boots are placed on your feet to cool for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
All of this custom fitting is included in the price of our boots as shown in store.
To finish off any custom ski boot we advise that you have a custom insole made to go in the ski boots. These are shown in the below video and are important to provide all day comfort, arch support and the best performance of your boots. They are made to the shape of your feet and can be stabilised to provide a more solid platform if advised by your boot fitter, prices from £69.95.