So here we begin the massive subject of ski boot shell fitting. Besides a footbed, the fit of your shells will be the next most important element of your ski boots. Whether you are looking at a new pair of boots or looking to see what is wrong with your current boots, Shell fitting is the only way to check if your ski boots are suitable for your foot.
Now, before you step in to the shells, you need to measure your foot. Knowing your foots length, width and instep height are all key dimensions you want to have as a reference against the plastic shell. Not just that. Also take a good look into the shape of your foot, become familiar with the toe area, forefoot curvature and relative heel and lower leg dimensions.
The ultimate goal of your ski boot is to completely surround and support your foot. If there’s a mismatch of these key areas the boot can’t do its job properly. Extra space destroys ski control and can lead to pain from impacts.(shin and toe bang). Not enough space leads to constriction pain and blood flow issues. So we gotta check it all out.
When doing this process it is best to do so on a footbed. A footbed will give that true position of how your foot will sit within the shell. And with the arch support it will also generally shorten and narrow the foot.
Check the length
It an unfortunate fact that a lot of skiers end up in a boot with too much length. Usually due to the fact that they desire space in the toes like they wear their daily shoes. This is not what you want in your ski boots though. You must keep your boots within these parameters:
Firstly, slide your foot to the front to see how much space you have from heel to the back of the boot. The ideal distance will be within 10-25mm, for more aggressive skiing keep this down to around 10-15mm. Extra length in your shell will allow your foot to slide within the boot and this will cause problems.
Check the width
So then we should compare your forefoot. Matching the curvature of both sides of your foot to shell will help ensure an even security of fit. Space wise, having between 2-5mm of space will keep you in a good range. This allows enough space for your liner foam to settle once you have them back in with your foot. More than 5mm is getting into a boot too wide for your foot. Having little or no space may cause constriction issues, however it is better too steer towards the narrower side as you can gain relief with either a stretch or punch.
Check the volume
Lastly, we look into the height of the boot and also look at some other critical fit points. So around the heel, ankles and lower leg. Have at least one finger width of clearance over the instep. You can get away with a bit more space here if you have a thick liner, but the instep is where you want most of your security.
Also you need a couple of mm clearance around the heel. A couple of mm either side of your ankles. Make sure them ankle bones line up with the ankle pockets. And check that your calf sits above the top of the cuff.
So every time you need answers, shell fitting will give them to you. Go through the process and see what you have got going on. Now I know shell fitting is a big subject and you may have some unique circumstances.
If you have any questions on this, don't hesitate to get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org