Snow+Rock’s experts have been fitting boots for over 30 years; whether you’re a regular on the slopes or just starting to get serious about skiing, they’ll be able to find you the perfect pair of boots and tailor them to fit your feet in specialist boot fitting labs.
How it works:Ski boots
The first step in the boot fitting process is a chat with your Snow+Rock boot fit technician about your needs. This will include your current skiing ability level (honesty is key!), any past injuries which may affect you on the slopes, and what kinds of skiing you plan to be doing. If you’re looking for touring boots, these factors will affect the weight of the boot you’re looking for: more flexible boots allow greater ease of movement but don’t perform as well downhill, whereas stiffer boots suit experienced skiers who like to go fast or hit big jumps.
Next, detailed measurements will be taken of your feet, including forefoot width, instep height and heel and ankle width, to get an accurate picture of which boots will be best for your foot shape. The boot fitter will also assess your feet in terms of pressure points or anything else that might cause you discomfort in an ill-fitting pair of boots.
It’s always best to wear technical ski socks to your fitting; if you don’t currently have any, you’ll be assisted in choosing a pair from Snow+Rock’s extensive range. Once you’re in the right socks, and your technician has selected the best boot for you, they will perform a shell check. This is done without the boot’s inner lining to make sure your foot has enough space in four key areas: length, width, volume and the ankle cavity. If the boot passes the shell check, it’s time to try it on with the inner lining to make sure it fits the shape and volume of your foot.
Remember that, initially, ski boots will probably feel tight and uncomfortable. They’re intended to be stiff to provide the best support for skiing, so they won’t feel anything like your normal shoes, and are very unlikely to be the same size. Being honest with your expert boot fitter will let them judge whether the boots are a good fit!
All ski boots come with a flat foam insole, which doesn’t offer any support. For greatly improved fit and performance, Snow+Rock always recommend replacing this with a custom-made, moulded footbed, to exactly match the individual shapes of your feet. Your boot fit technician will make these for you at this stage.
Finally, it’s your chance to let your boot fitter know if there are any specific areas of discomfort in the ski boots. Snow+Rock have advanced technology in-store to customise your ski boots for the perfect fit, including spot stretching, softening the lining and even grinding away parts of the shell. Keep in mind that it’s easier to make a tight-fitting boot looser than the other way around. It’s especially important in touring boots to identify and remove even the smallest area of discomfort, as the added range of motion uphill creates more potential areas which could rub or chafe.
It’s recommended that you allow two hours for your boot fitting to make sure it’s done thoroughly, and the boots you leave with are the perfect fit for you. However, if you get to the mountains and discover they don’t fit perfectly, you can take advantage of Snow+Rock’s Comfort Guarantee.
The fitting process is very different for a mountaineering boot. The first task is to find the right boot for the job: a mountaineering boot can cover anything from winter walking in the Lakes to vertical ice climbing or even a trip up Everest. Each of these boots will have a very different make up. A mountain walking boot like a Scarpa Manta Pro will be stiff enough to take a crampon and provide excellent support, but be comfortable and flexible enough for all-day walking. This will take a flexible walking crampon, known as a C1 crampon, or a more rigid C2 crampon.
An ice climbing boot will be very close fitting and incredibly stiff; it will be either crampon compatible or have it integrated into the boot. They are built for high performance, so you will often find cutting edge materials such as carbon fibre and Kevlar employed to provide stiffness and lightness. These boots will use a C3 crampon, equipped with front spikes for ice climbing. Crampon and boot compatibility can get complex, so ask Snow+Rock’s in-store experts for advice on which crampons will fit your chosen boot.
If you are travelling to a high-altitude peak you will need a boot that is extremely warm, stiff enough for some technical work and comfortable for all day use. These boots will often incorporate a separate, removable inner liner.
Mountaineering boots are rated for stiffness as B1, B2 or B3. B1 boots are the most flexible and are suitable for trekking on relatively flat surfaces, whereas B3 boots are very rigid and useful for technical ice climbing.
Your boot fitting expert will help you select a few pairs to try based on your needs and foot shape, and will then check the fit to make sure the boots are correctly fitting and provide the best support. Key areas to check will be the length of the boot, how well it supports your ankle, and of course, whether it’s the correct size. Never assume that your mountaineering boots will be the same size as your regular shoes, as this is not always the case! Your boot fitter will also make you a fitted footbed to massively improve the comfort of the boot, and help you choose the right pair of technical socks for the activity you’ll be doing.
If you’re experiencing problems with your ski boots after 14 days of use, simply take them back to the Snow+Rock store you bought them from for a free re-fitting and further customisation. If they’re still causing discomfort, having allowed sufficient opportunity for Snow+Rock to refit your boots, you will be issued a credit note for the purchase price minus a 35% usage fee. It’s that simple.
Ski and snowboard boot fitting is free of charge in all Snow+Rock stores (excluding Bridgend). Find your nearest Snow+Rock store here.
Don’t forget, BMC members benefit from 15% off at Snow+Rock, so visit us in-store for your exclusive boot fitting, in-store expertise and ski gear from the very best brands.
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