Buying ski boots can be a challenging task for a beginner skier. Ski boots are a piece of sports equipment unlike anything else. The hard-outer shell is what allows you to drive through the ski, control the ski, and attach it to the binding.
What to Look for In Ski Boots for Beginners?
So how do you know if a pair of ski boots is right for you if you’re new to skiing? There are so many different options out there that knowing which pair is right can be challenging.
When you’re learning how to ski, it is best to have a boot with soft flex. The flex of the boot is how much resistance the boot has on your shin as you push forward. For beginners, a softer flex is better so that you can learn to push into the boot. As you advance, a stiffer or higher flex is better since you become stronger and can push into the tongue of the boot more.
Ski Boots Flex Rating for Beginners
Ski boots come with a flex rating ranging from as low as 50 and going up to 140 for the most aggressive skiers. This number is arbitrary and depends on the durometer being use. It cannot be compared from brand to brand, but it gives you an idea of how much the boot will flex when you lean into it.
Typically, boots with a softer flex will be less expensive to buy new than stiffer boots. This is because a softer plastic is used when molding the outer shell of the boot. However, a good way to get a quality pair of beginner boots for a good price is to buy used demo boots at the end of the season. These demos have been broken in and won’t feel as stiff as a new boot and will be better quality than the cheapest new boot you can buy.
Beginners Ski Boots Size
Next, you want to make sure the boots are appropriately sized for your feet. Ski boots should feel tight when you first put them on. They don’t need to be performance tight but give your feet some time to get used to the boot.
Typically, the boot feels tighter on your foot when you’re in the shop. Once you ski around in the boot, your foot falls into place and the boot will not feel as tight. You don’t want to end up with a boot that is too big since you won’t have much control if your foot can slide around. The right size ski boot is a balance between a snug fit and not being uncomfortably tight.
Another great option for beginner skiers is renting boots the first few times you go skiing. Renting boots allows you to try the sport before committing to a pair of ski boots. With rentals, you can easily swap out boot sizes if you think you got the wrong size the first time around. If your local ski shop offers a season rental, that is a good way to consistently use the same pair without committing to buying a pair. You can always decide to buy a pair of boots later.
Your first pair of boots will not be the last pair you buy. As you get better and ski more, you’ll understand what you want in a pair of ski boots. A good generic pair will get you through your first season.