Buckle up from bottom to top when you put your ski boots on. This seems like an easy proposition but it is often overlooked. When buckling, you do not have to crank down the bottom two buckles of the boot, rather they should only be buckled enough to keep them fastened on the boot and you should be able to flick the buckle down with a little pressure from one finger. The bottom buckles are simply holding the boot in place around your foot, whereas the top buckles of the boot control the flex of the boot and leverage output from your leg. The top buckles can be tightened to personal preference. When you are done for the day be sure to unbuckle from top to bottom to avoid the middle buckle sticking.
Don't Get Cold Feet
Have you ever forgot your boots overnight in your car on a ski trip? Was not too fun skiing the next day, right? Going from a warm shoe to an ice cold ski boot will throw off the temperature of your foot causing it to sweat first, then causing that sweat to freeze. Secondly, it will affect the plastic shell, making the boot stiffer than usual. This makes it harder to flex and causes discomfort and fatigue at the end of the day.
Make It Custom
There are options to customize your boot other than making changes to the plastic shell. At Boston Ski and Tennis, we make custom Intuition liners which use a EVA foam to enhance comfort and performance. We heat the liners to mold around your specific leg and foot shape as opposed to stock liners that come with your ski boots. We also make custom footbeds. Whether it is Superfeet, cork insoles, or Instaprint, having a custom footbed in your boot will increase your performance on the slopes. Boot manufacturers put a stock, foam or fabric insole in the boots to take the variable of arch support out of the bootfit process. They put a generic insole in that will fit a high arch, low arch, etc. so that the customer can focus on how the rest of the boot fits. The stock insole is flat and keeps the foot sliding on a thin, unstable surface whereas any custom option will increase your performance by providing a heel cup to lock your foot into place, arch support, and a more comfortable gel or cork bed for your foot to sit in. Custom insoles will affect the fit of the boot as well, as the improved heel cup will pull your foot further back in the boot, moving any contact points you might have further back.
Choose The Right Sock
When it comes to ski socks thinner is better. Companies like Fox River and Darn Tough make thin socks with merino wool or synthetic insulation blends that are incredibly warm yet also breathable. Breathability is key with ski socks. A common misconception is to layer with two ski socks in colder weather. In fact, this delivers the opposite effect because having two socks will increase your foot's temperature and the two layers will trap and hold your sweat instead of giving it a place to run and get out, leaving your feet feeling heavy and cold. Avoid cotton socks at all costs as well, as they provide minimal warmth and will also soak and hold foot sweat, leaving you feeling just as heavy and cold as if wearing a double layer of socks. Socks are the keys to the Ferrari in this case, the better your foot feels inside the boot, the better you will perform.
Short Johns NOT Long Johns
We normally recommend purchasing 3/4 length long underwear that ends above your boot. If you have full length long underwear you can either put it over your boot or cut to the right length. The same rule with socks applies to your baselayers. Get leggings with an UnderArmour or Helly Hansen type wicking material that also has thermal qualities.
Trim Your Toenails
If you do not, skiing will trim them for you. Save yourself the discomfort.