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
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 doesnt 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:
stiff ski boots
buying ski boots