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Why are ski boots the most important component?

While having the proper skis and bindings, ski boots are the most important to get correct. Why you ask? While comfort is improtant, it is more important to be in the proper fit and flex. The proper fit means the correct shell length and shell width so your foot stays in place. But it’s the flex of the boot that allows you to stay balanced on your skis allowing you you turn properly and control your turns. Let’s explain…

You must try on the boot to make sure it’s the right flex. When you flex your knee forward in your boots, your knee should move forward 3-6 inches at room temperature. If you can not move your knee 3 inches forward, you won’t be able to get your weight forward onto the tip of the skis helping you initiate the turn and absorb terrain and shock.  And if you can consistently move your knee more than 5 or 6 inches forward, you’ll be shifting your body weight too far forward on your skis throwing you off balance which can cause you to loose edge control and response.

Ski boots range in flex between 40 and 130. While boots come in different flexes, you need to know they are not consistent between manufactures. A 90 flex can be different than a 90 flex from a different brand. And while a stiffer boots are normally higher performance boots, many expert skiers can use a lower flex while many intermediate skiers can use stiffer boots. This is due to a persons strength, leverage and skiing style.

When you have the proper shell size and proper flex, you can virtually ski any ski because you would be balanced on the ski. Getting the wrong size and flex, would make you too far forward or too far back on the ski  making it more difficult to ski. Make sure you see a trained boot fitter that knows how to size the shell and select the proper flex for you.

Rick
Trained boot fitter since 1975

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