Boot doctor: How to solve sore shins from ski boots

headless man (from image cut off) in orange fits a customer with an orange ski boot in a shop

I get sore shins when I ski – they feel almost bruised. What can I do?

A: There are a variety of reasons why you might end up with bruised shins from your ski boots, but the most common we see is as a result of the boot being too big; your foot slides back and forth, banging your shins against the front. Eliminating space in a boot and securing the foot is one of the hardest problems to fix, which is why it is essential to spend the time initially ensuring you are buying a boot that is the correct size and shape for you.

We can help the problem of roomy boots by adding pieces of foam to the liner to take up volume and fill voids. Ensuring there is a custom insole will also help stabilise the foot and limit movement. By adding a custom liner you will be able to secure the foot further, however, these liners aren’t cheap and I’d only recommend this as a temporary solution. The only way we can truly solve the problem is by down-sizing you into the correct size of boot – so it may make more sense to invest that money straight into a new boot.

Sometimes it may not be the wrong boot but the tongue digging into your shin. In new boots the tongues come pre-shaped and sometimes they won’t match the shape of your shin. The tongues can be heated up and flattened so that they wrap better around your leg, providing more contact and spreading pressure.

When buckling your boots, ensure you keep firm tension around the cuff of the boot. If these buckles are loose you’ll struggle to control the skis and are likely to get shin pain. Also, do not wear your thermal leggings inside the boot as they will often create a pressure point.