Boot Doctor: How should ski boots fit?

How should ski boots fit? Whenever I ski my feet and legs hurt despite having my ski boots adjusted many times. What can I do?

A: It is important to remember that there are many factors that can influence the fit of your boots:

1. Equipment: finding the correct size and shape ski boot for your foot is vital.  Having a custom footbed in the boot increases both comfort and control. Sometimes adjustments are required to fine tune the fit once the liner has bedded in.

2. Ski socks: they have a big impact upon the fit of your boot. An ultra-thin ski sock is always recommended with a newly fitted pair of boots. This allows better air flow and prevents excessive pressure within the boots. 

3. Technique: a ski boot is designed for you to be in a flexed position. If you stand too upright or sit back in the boots this will create pressure on the calves and force the toes into the front of the boot.

Fatigue can have an impact on the fit of your boots|Ian Coble/K2 skis

4. Fatigue: skiing is a vigorous exercise! As your legs tire, your form tends to suffer which can create stress and pressure on the feet and legs.

5. Snow conditions and terrain: ice, powder and moguls all put additional forces on our feet and can cause a change in technique. This can impact the fit of the boots by creating pressure points and reducing comfort.

6. Temperature: in cold weather boots feel stiffer and tighter as the plastic is more restricting. In warm weather, boots will have more flex and will often feel looser.