Published DateBy John Macdonald
Most advanced and expert skiers will tell you that the most important piece of ski equipment they own are the boots on their feet. When you have the right match of boot and skier — when fit, flex, and boot geometry match up to the foot, weight, skier capability and skier geometry — your skiing can jump to a whole new level.
What can be so different from what you are wearing today? A number of things that can have a profound effect on how the skis react to every move the skier makes. Moving onto and off of the edges, balancing on carving skis, feathering the skis somewhere between a hard carve and a finessed skid — the right boots will make everything easier, more accurate and precise, and most importantly, more fun.
The boot manufacturers have embraced technology and now have the ability to custom fit the shells of a boot the unique shape of a skier's foot. The plastics used in boot construction allow boot manufacturers to label a boot with the flex rating. Many, many, MANY skiers are in boots that are just too darn stiff. If you are in a stiff boot that is difficult to flex, you are in for a treat when you start skiing in a boot that allows your ankles to flex when your knees and hips and flex.
What to do? If your boots are old, or you suspect they may be too stiff (that's just about everyone!), go to the ski shop, have them look at your old boots, and have them make a suggestion. They can custom fit a boot to your unique self, and you will be thrilled that you spent the bucks. Your skiing will thank you!!
Remember — best advice of all — take a lesson or attend a race clinic. You'll have a great time and improve your time. Try it!