First and foremost, there is no “Best Ski Boot On the Market”, and there is only “The Best Ski Boots for You”. Above all else, the most important feature of any ski boot is how well they fit your foot. This is also a purchase where you should not skimp out on price or rely on an online discounter. Often you may require some additional custom fitting after a few days on the slopes. Great boot fitters will guarantee a good fit, and will include post purchase custom fitting to ensure you’re feet are happy…
When it comes to ski boot reviews, the most important part of our review is where you get your boots vs. which ski boots are the best. A skilled ski boot fitter will ask you questions about what type of terrain you ski, how often you ski, other sports you enjoy, as well as taking a close exam of your feet and legs. It’s good to think about how sensitive your feet are to pressure, how prone you are to blistering, and how much pressure your foot can take for extended periods of time.
Expert skiers will require a boot with a tighter fit and stiffer shell to ensure that you can point your skies in the right direction quickly. It’s common for an expert skier to require custom boot fitting, custom foot beds, perhaps a custom liner to ensure that the boot feels and acts like an extension of your body.
Intermediate skiers need to think a bit more about what they want out of their skiing experience. If you’re athletic and you want to progress to a more advanced level, or if you’re happy skiing blue runs and want to get the most out of your ski adventure. The athletic advancing skiers should seek a bit firmer flex and snugger fit, with a bit of a trade off from a cushy comfortable feel. In contrast a person who’s more of a casual intermediate skier should think about comfort and getting the correct size boot to ensure that they stay warm & comfortable to enjoy the full day of skiing on the slopes. No need to torture yourself if you just want to get up on the hill for some fun.
Beginner skiers should focus on the same elements of casual intermediate skiers. A comfortable fit is essential to enjoying the sport from day 1 and enable you to progress into skiing on intermediate slopes quickly.
Although not an absolute, you’ll generally find the best ski shops in the top ski destinations – so you may want to plan your ski boot purchase during one of your big ski trips to a top resort. Hard core skiers might even take a special trip to Mammoth, Truckee, or Taos and seek out world class boot fitting ski shops including:
Great Ski Boots start with a great boot fitter. Be sure to find a patient and knowledgeable boot fitter to ensure your feet are happy
- Footloose – Mammoth Mountain, CA
- Granite Chief – Truckee, CA
- Bootdoctors – Taos, NM
- Hoback Sports – Jackson Hole, WY
The best time of year to shop for boots is early winter / late fall when ski shops are less crowded and supplies are good to find your perfect boot in-stock. Ideally you can get 2-3 days of skiing in prior to shopping to ensure your foot is pre-sensitized to the pressure of a ski boot. I love Mammoth and Footloose for this purpose as Mammoth tends to open the season in early November – so you can ski a bit and get things going, then sit down and get a great custom fit for your needs.
I strongly advise all skiers to use some sort of custom footbed for added support. Many start around $50, and go up to about $300 depending on how much customization they require. A good footbed is essential to a great fit and better performance of your equipment. Think of a footbed as “bucket seats” for your car, offering more support for tight corners.
Custom Fit Insoles are the foundation of great ski boot performance – all skiers should get fitted for the best skiing experience
Here are a few good examples of Custom Footbeds:
Advanced and Expert Skiers should also consider a custom fitted liner as they will better enable a comfortable way to achieve an ultra snug, performance fit
Custom Ski Boot Liners are essential for Advanced and Expert skiers looking to maximize their performance
Here are a few good examples of Custom Liners