How many times, when choosing your snow equipment, have you underestimated the choice of the right ski boot and bootfitting?
If you don’t choose the right ski boots, the result is often excruciating pain in your feet every time you put them on, and you find yourself halfway through your day in the snow that you really can’t wait to get them off your feet. Proper boots are really crucial for a successful ski day, and we can guide you to choosing the right ski boots.
If, on the other hand, you already have a pair of ski boots and feel exactly in the situation we described, bootfitting is the way to go. But what exactly does bootfitting mean? Read on to find out.
Bootfitting: what is it and what does it consist of?
What exactly does bootfitting consist of?
Bootfitting is nothing more than the possibility of adjusting, adapting and thus customising one’s ski boot to suit one’s foot, but not only that, also to suit one’s skiing needs.
This practice is not very commonly used because, as we know, sports equipment, especially mountain equipment, can be expensive in itself, so we choose to avoid, especially at the beginning, an additional cost.
Not bootfitting often, however, can lead to two problems:
- suffer wearing their ski boots until they adapt to their feet:
- or, at first, choose wider and more comfortable boots, but lose the efficiency and performance needed when using skis.
This is because the perfect ski boot is one that wraps around the foot without leaving any gaps, so that it has a full fit and improves contact with the ski and snow underneath.
And if it is the additional expense that worries you, I would like to remind you that a product that is not suited to the morphology of one’s foot could however be what will make you spend money on physiotherapy because of pain, or force you to change a boot after only a few outings thinking that the causes of your discomfort are only related to the model.
Bootfitting can therefore be an excellent solution for getting the most out of your boot, without giving up performance or even waiting for the pain in your feet to pass with time.
Why resort to bootfitting?
But why is bootfitting necessary?
The necessary preamble to this question concerns the importance of ski boots during skiing itself. While the quality of skis can improve skiing performance to a certain extent, the choice of boots is crucial. The feeling one has through the contact of the boot with the ski and the comfort can affect both performance and skiing pleasure.
Ski boots are produced with a mostly industrial and standard design and fit and consequently do not always fit every foot type perfectly. In fact, there are so many cases: high neck, narrow sole, wider big toe, thicker or thinner ski socks, and so on.
It is therefore important to find a shoe with a comfortable, snug fit, and if, after a few days of skiing, you realise you have some pain, you can resort to bootfitting.
How to widen and adapt ski and snowboard boots for your foot
Bootfitting includes all those techniques that are able to widen and adapt ski or snowboard boots to your foot:
- the lengthening or shortening of hull plastics;
- the addition of customised insoles and insoles
- the realisation of ad hoc modifications of volumes.
The possibilities for boot modification are many and mostly depend on two factors: the needs of the boot owner and the skill of the technician in understanding the problem and solving it in the best possible way.
The ski boot is undoubtedly the ‘most personal’ piece of ski equipment as it must guarantee maximum sensitivity without penalising skiing comfort.
This is precisely why all professional athletes resort to bootfitting in order to have a perfect shoe for their descents.
Bootfitting and thermoforming techniques
Bootfitting is a real ‘art’, in fact, it is not a very widespread practice and sometimes few skimans are really good at this activity and have the appropriate equipment.
Modifications to ski boots are carried out either by hot moulding (curving and thermoforming) or by milling techniques, and it is necessary to have the right machinery and experience in order not to run into unpleasant mishaps and ruin your brand new boots.
But what are the techniques used? Without going into detail, the main bootfitting techniques consist of:
- Realisation of the perfect angle: alignment by milling the sole from 0.25 to 2 degrees or by inserting shims.
- Machining of hulls: milling and stretching of ski boot hulls, thermal widening of pressure points and thermoforming of hulls and boots to alleviate discomfort.
- Lateral canting alignment: study of leg inclination with laser detection and alignment and insertion of a wedge with internal support.
- Introduction of injection moulded shoes (mainly used by athletes).
- Various applications such as elevations, reinforcements, hooks or other.
These are a series of bootfitting techniques that the best skimans are able to implement to make your boot the perfect ally for experiencing even the most difficult slopes.
Rent your customised boots online at Snowit
Have you still not found the perfect ski boots for you or are you not yet ready to invest in your snow equipment?
Don’t worry! With Snowit you can rent boots together with your skis conveniently online. Enter your details during the booking process, such as shoe size, height and weight, and our partner rental centres will prepare the equipment in advance, tailor-made for you and ready for collection.
Moreover, if you book your equipment online with Snowit, you can save up to 15% compared to on-site rental.