Properly fit ski boots are the most important item in all of your ski gear. Ski boots are the bond between you, your skis and the mountain. All of the energy you exert to ski gracefully goes from your boots to your skis. A properly fit boot will provide maximum energy transference to your skis for control. Your feet must be comfortable in your boots. Feet must be relaxed and have even weight distribution. If boots do not fit properly serious ski edging problems occur and muscle cramping problems are likely to occur. With poorly fit boots people complain of an inability to carve turns, difficulty on ice terrain, and inability to control skis.
How Should a Ski Boot Fit?
A ski boot should fit snug and comfortable, it should not be painful. When you are in your skiing position (knees flexed) your heel should be held down and be pushed back. If there is room for your heel to slide then you know that there is too much room in the boot for your foot. You also NEED to be able to wiggle your toes. It is all right for your toes to touch the front of your boot as long as they pull away when the boot is buckled and knees are flexed. The instep through the top of the ankle must be tight but not crammed. The foot should be held in the boot without having the buckles fastened too tightly. You want to be sure that the fit is from the boot not from the buckle system.
Other Problem Areas
Arch - Forefoot - Heel Lift - Cramping
If the foot is unstable in the boots the skier uses his or her muscle to try to lock up or another way of explaining this is expanding the foot muscles to fill the voids in the boot to aid with ski control. Therefore assuring proper fit will decrease the risk of cramping from occurring. Think of the way you like your sneakers to fit. Comfortably with good support is probably the answer most will give. Your foot has a structure and the boots you wear should conform to this. Not every boot is for every foot, just like not every sneaker is for every foot.
Shin Pressure and Pain
The boot tongue is designed to hold the foot securely in place as it distributes the pressure of flexing, to absorb shock of skiing and insulates the skier from pain. Shin Bite is a condition caused by friction of the skin or sock rubbing against the tongue of the boot. This can be a result of a bunched up sock or an improperly fit boot. A good guide to see if you are at risk of experiencing this is when trying on the boots, buckle them up and assure snug proper fit and assume your ski stance (knees bent) if you feel a pinch and then it is relieved as you stand up then you know there is a potential for problems. Some of this pain can be relieved by adding a customized liner or readjusting your socks and bindings.
Why Do Feet Get Cold?
Feet usually become cold due to restrictive blood flow. An improperly fitted boot will put uneven pressure on the foot, limiting blood flow. Again, proper fit is crucial.
The result of this should be that when you are wearing a pair of properly fit ski boots your adventures on the slopes will be more comfortable and probably last longer than 2 runs per shot. This information has been provided for your convenience and please be aware that the people that work in your ski shops are usually highly educated and can be an asset for you.