How to Adjust Ski Boots

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A properly fitted ski boot can become like an extension of your foot, enabling powerful, graceful skiing. An improperly fitted ski boot can make a day on the slopes seem like a waking nightmare. Adjusting ski boots involves much more than simply fastening the buckles; many modern boots have adjustments that can customize the skier's fit inside the boot to help overcome problems with alignment, or to give the skier more control over how the boot interacts with the ski.

  • Adjust the forward lean of the boot via the control near your ankle. More forward lean can help aggressive skiers, but if you are an intermediate, too much forward lean can lead to problems and potential injuries. Experiment with how much forward lean feels comfortable to you.

  • Adjust the upper lateral cuff so that it is in alignment with your calf and knee. For skiers who have a more bowlegged stance, this means the cuff tilts outward; if you have a more knock-kneed stance, the cuff should tilt inward.

  • Adjust the flex. Be careful with this adjustment. Many intermediate skiers may be on boots that are too stiff, but if you go for too much flex, your skiing will suffer and you will have to work harder. The stiffness is usually adjusted via a lever near the back of the boot.

  • Fasten the power strap around the top of the boot so that it is snug.

  • Fasten the lowest buckle at the middle position of its range. Fasten the rest of the buckles, working from low to high.

  • Fine tune the tightness of the buckles, working low to high. The fit should be tight, but not feel like a vise grip that cuts off circulation in your foot. Make sure you can still wiggle and feel your toes. Finish by snugging up the power strap as tight as it goes so that there is no slop at the top of the boot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider going to a specialized boot fitter to get a boot properly adjusted to your feet. In addition to making foot beds that will hold your foot and knee in a neutral alignment, a boot fitter can do things like cant the boot to correct for a bowlegged or knock-kneed stance.

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