Find out all about ski boot features, sizes, insoles and more!
Left, right, left, straight ahead: Did you know that your ski boots transfer your movements (via the binding) to your skis? This makes power transmission the main job of your ski boots. Their second job: making sure that your feet feel comfortable on the slopes.
To make sure you’re happy with your boots, they have to be adjusted to your individual needs. How can you do this? One way is to read the following article and find out everything there is to know about ski boots. Alternatively, you can visit one of our INTERSPORT Rent shops and have our RENTertainers assist you. Our recommendation? Do both!
The best choice: all-mountain ski boots
They are getting more and more popular – and for good reason: As their name suggests, all-mountain ski boots (just like all-mountain skis) are real all-rounders when it comes to skiing. Versatile and suitable for different types of terrain, they can be used for on- as well as off-piste skiing. Plus, they offer high wearing comfort, excellent insulation properties and a fairly soft flex. A perfect combination – especially for leisure skiers!
What parts does a ski boot consist of?
- shell (outer layer): should be as solid and lightweight as possible.
- cuff: the more flexible top part of the shell
- liner: should ideally feature a breathable membrane for a pleasant microclimate within the boot. Boots made from thermoformable materials can be customised to your individual foot shape.
- buckles: Buckles vary in their number, length and orientation. They should be easy to open and close with your gloves on. An additional Velcro strap fastener around the shin area is also useful.
Our tip: Keep in mind that your ski boots have to be compatible with your ski bindings! To make it easier to find a good match, there are several ISO norms for ski boots, such as ISO 5355 for Alpine soles and ISO 9532 for Alpine touring soles.
Different ski boot characteristics
All-mountain ski boots come in different shapes and sizes. Finding the right product depends on your individual needs on the slope:
- comfort and enjoyment: For leisure skiers and occasional skiers, comfort is the most important factor when choosing ski boots. Make sure that your boots don’t restrict your movement and that they have well-padded liners!
- performance: You love skiing at higher speeds? Then you should look for a combination of comfort and control when it comes to picking the right ski boots. Consequently, you should go for boots with a harder shell.
- speed: If your focus is on speed, excellent and precise power transmission should be your main purchase criterion. We recommend a solid, tight-fitting boot – wearing comfort is secondary.
- freeride: If you love to hit the powder away from the groomed slopes, you need a low shaft and good padding (dampening). Find out more about freeride ski boots!
The flex rating of your ski boots
Ski boot flex (also know as the flex rating) refers to the stiffness of your ski boots. The lower the flex, the softer the ski boot, and vice versa. The average flex rating is between 60 and 140, with higher ratings mostly found in high-performance and race boots.
During skiing, you will feel the flex of your ski boot in terms of how easy it is to bend it forward when applying pressure with your shin. A high flex means that your boot is more rigid, making it more difficult to bend forward. On the other hand, a high flex will improve power transmission to your skis.
Which flex value is suitable for you?
- less rigid boot = low flex: good vibration dampening, high wearing comfort, ideal for beginners, leisure skiers and winter sports athletes with a low weight
- more rigid boot = high flex: gives you more control but requires more effort, ideal for accomplished skiers who love high speeds and hard-packed slopes
Which other properties should your ski boots have? Ideally, your boots should be lightweight, waterproof, warm and comfortable. Nowadays, every good-quality ski boot is waterproof. Wearing comfort largely depends on the boot’s flex and the liner’s insulated padding. If you get cold feet easily, we recommend getting heated insoles.
Fit and comfort
If you’re looking for a perfect fit and maximum wearing comfort, it pays to have your ski boots custom-fitted. During a professional ski boot fitting, the liner is adjusted to your individual foot shape, ensuring a perfect fit without any pressure points.
Did you know? Many INTERSPORT Rent shops offer custom fitting of your ski boots. Just drop by with your boots and walk (or rather ski) away with the perfect fit!
How do I find the right size ski boots?
To make the most of your day in the snow, you need the right size ski boots, which depends on your foot length as well as on your riding style. Do you prefer relaxed carving, action-fuelled racing, ski touring or freeriding? Are you looking for women’s, men’s or children’s boots? The Mondopoint system helps you to find the right size.
Our tip: Wear ski socks when trying on ski boots or when having your feet measured!