How To Choose Ski Boots | The Ski Workshop

Here's our guide to choosing the right ski boots

Choosing ski boots can be a real pain – both figuratively and physically. Firstly, we should say that the most important thing about getting a new pair of boots is getting the correct fit. If a boot ticks all the right boxes but doesn’t fit right it can cause pain, discomfort and blisters at best, and be a total write off at worst.

However it is worth knowing what flex and features to look for before you start your hunt for the perfect fit. So let’s jump into them.


One of the first things to consider when choosing ski boots is what kind of performance you are after. If you’re focussed on laying down fat angles on the piste you’ll be after a very different boot from someone looking to get away from it all in the backcountry. Similarly, if you are just starting out you’ll be after a much more forgiving boot than a seasoned skier.

It is your performance level combined with your weight that will dictate what flex rating you should be looking for in a boot. Generally you will find boots with a flex rating from 60 – 140, this number isn’t standardised across the manufacturers and depends on the fit of the boot, but it gives a good indication to start with.

Ski boots at the lower range (60 – 90)  will be focussed on beginner / intermediate skiers and those who are smaller and lighter. In the middle of the range (90 – 130) is what most recreational skiers will be in, depending on their weight. When you start looking at the 130 plus flex ratings these will be built for more advanced skiers and those larger in build.


Once you have an idea of the flex range you would be in it is worth thinking about what feature you want on the boot. The two main items featured a boot, beyond the standard alpine boots, are walk mode and a grip sole.

If you are wanting to hike for your turns or use touring bindings to skin up the mountain then a walk mode is a must. For those who just want to cruise the pistes then a walk mode is worth considering for the comfort and ease of getting around town and relaxing at lunch. With the current technology you only lose a fraction of downhill performance by adding a walk mode while gaining usability on the boot pack or at the bar.

Boot Soles

In terms of soles there has been a big increase in options in recent years. Rubber soles add grip and shape to make it easier to walk while still functioning in harmony with many ski bindings.

With a variety of different standards appearing it is now important to match correctly with your binding. Standard Alpine Soles should work with all alpine bindings however if your boot has a Gripwalk or Walk to Ride (WTR) sole then make sure you get a compatible binding. Finally, if you go for a dedicated touring boot it is worth noting the sole may only work with a pin binding and not any regular alpine bindings.


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