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Q: Purchasing ski boots ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Purchasing ski boots
Category: Sports and Recreation > Outdoors
Asked by: jjj-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 23 Apr 2002 00:59 PDT
Expires: 30 Apr 2002 00:59 PDT
Question ID: 3060
I'm an advanced but not expert skier.  Is there any reason for me not to 
purchase the stiffest ski boot possible?  Will a stiff ski boot make it more 
difficult for me to keep my weight forward and carve aggressively?
Subject: Re: Purchasing ski boots
Answered By: skis4jc-ga on 23 Apr 2002 13:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear jjj,

As a Professional Ski Instructor of America (PSIA), I can tell you that there 
ARE reasons for you to not purchase the stiffest ski boot possible.  There are 
many other equally important factors to consider when purchasing ski boots.  In 
my opinion, and in the opinion of many other expert skiers, ski boots are the 
most important part of your ski equipment.  It is crucial that you have a pair 
that is comfortable, warm, and suited to your style of skiing.

Some of the other equally important things to consider when trying out new ski 
boots include:

What TYPE of skiing do you do?  Racing, Moguls, Cruising, etc.?
What type of feet do you have?   Narrow, Wide, High Arch, etc.?
Any past foot, ankle or calf problems?
Is the boot comfortable?  
Can you walk around in it for 20 minutes and be pain free?
What is your weight?  Strength?
What is your specific skiing ability?  All black trails, mostly black trails 
and some blue, etc.?
The bottom line is that if the boot isn't comfortable and doesn’t fit your foot 
correctly, it won't matter how stiff the boot is, you're going to be in pain.  
Super stiff boots are more likely to pinch or cause unnecessary discomfort if 
they don't fit your foot and ski style correctly.

A stiff ski boot will NOT make it more difficult for you to keep your weight 
forward and carve aggressively.  If you reference your foot in sections A, B, 
and C, with A being your toe area, B being the center of your foot, and C being 
your heels, ideally you should be skiing on a balanced A/B combination, driving 
forward.  A good boot that lets you have that range of motion is ideal.  But as 
a Commenter mentioned below, this has less to do with the stiffness of the 
boot, and more to do with your technical abilities and if you're skiing 
atomically correct.  (The best way to find this information out if you don't 
know it, is to take professional lessons from a certified ski instructor (PSIA) 
and get a video made of yourself) 

Here are some good links to articles on buying ski boots.  I would recommend 
reading some or all of these before buying new boots to get more details on 
what exactly you should be looking for in not only the boot, but the seller as 

Buying Ski Boots
Go Ski Experts – Advice on Buying Boots
Boot Buying Guide

For some more advice on ski boots, check out some buyer's guides, but note that 
the boots are often rated by skier type and therefore just because the 
Rossignal Race 1 boot is rated #1 doesn't mean that it's the best boot for YOU 
(i.e., the Rossignal Race 1 boot is number one generally for expert skiers and 
racers).  Here are some links to some online buyer's guides:

Buyer's Guide – Alpine Ski Boots
Yahoo Product Review – Ski Boots
Ski Magazine's Boot Buyer's Guide Plus

Search terms used:
ski boots
stiff ski boots
buying ski boots

Happy Trails!

Schushingly Yours,
jjj-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Purchasing ski boots
From: koxinga-ga on 23 Apr 2002 02:26 PDT
As a former austrian ski instructor ski boots have been always the part of the 
whole equipment, where i was paying every price for high quality. To answer 
your question the easy way: No. 

As you were mentioning the "weight forward problem" i interpret that there are 
still some problems with the overall body positures. stiffer ski boots can keep 
your lower and your upper leg in the approbiate angle, but this depends more on 
the overall features of the boots than only on it's stiffness. stiff ski boots 
are a more reactive "interface" between body and skis. They can support more 
pressure on the edges (carving), but also emphasizes mistakes you are doing.

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