Skiing: How to Size Ski Boots

Having ski boots that fit properly is essential to having a fun time on the slopes. We’ll show you how to try on ski boots, including how to do a shell fit, how to buckle the boots and what to look for as you examine the fit. Shop REI’s selection of ski boots at

Boots are arguably the most important part of your ski system, so getting the right size is essential. So, you’ve got a new pair of ski boots. How can you make sure they’re the right size?
Start by removing the liner and stepping into the shell. Make sure you’re wearing thin wool or synthetic ski socks. Slide your foot forward until your toes are lightly brushing the end and stand up. A good fitting shell should have enough room behind your heel to fit 2 fingers stacked. If you only have room for 1 finger, you’ll need to size up. If 3 or more fingers fit, try a size down. Finally, pay attention to the ball of your foot. Your foot shouldn’t be touching the sides of your shell when you stand.
Next, replace the liner and step into the boot. Your toes should be brushing the end of the liner at this point. Lightly buckle the boot starting with the cuff and power strap, then stand up. Now, lean forward and flex the boot several times. Your heel will set into the heel cup and your toes should pull back from the end as you flex the boot. Most people’s feet are not exactly the same size so make sure to repeat the whole process with your other boot.
The rest of your foot should feel very snug. Remember that boot liners pack out with some use, so you want to start with them quite tight from the beginning. The first time you try on the boots is the tightest they’ll ever be.
To recap, slide your foot to the front of the shell and check the room behind your heel. Replace the liner, step in and tighten the boot. Flex the boot several times to make sure your toes pull back and repeat the process with the other boot.


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