Finding a comfortably fitting pair of ski boots can be much more challenging than some people may think. Too small, and you can experience pain all day just by simply standing, not to mention putting weight on your feet when on the slopes. Too big, and you put yourself at risk for serious injury. Finding a middleground is essential not only for personal comfort, but for your safety as well.

First, despite what you may know in terms of comfortability regarding standard shoes, your toes should reach the very front of the ski boots to the point of feeling slight pressure. Once your heels are settled, it will much more natural. To achieve this position, kick your heel to the ground and allow the back of your foot to settle, then flex your foot forward. Make sure to buckle the straps from the bottom up. Once you’re strapped in, you should be able to lean forward and balance on your shins.

If you feel as though you can move your feet freely within the boots, they are most likely too big. For example, if upon standing your toes are no longer touching the front, or if you lean forward and your heels move up with ease, you will need to find a smaller size. Note that you can lift your heel when trying to stand on your toes due to the fact that the human foot is much more flexible than a ski boot.

Should you be experiencing pain or cramping when skiing, there are a number of reasons why this may be. Aside from them being too big or too small, the shape of your foot can play a factor in just how comfortable they feel. Wider feet and those with prominent arches tend to experience more pressure. To remedy this, skiers should seriously consider investing in custom footbeds. These are capable of solving issues for nearly every foot type, and can effectively prevent cramps, aching, toe jamming, and even cold feet.

Shell fitting is a great way to make sure that your boots are just the right size. To do this, take the liners out of the books. Then, (wearing socks) place your feet inside and bring your toes as close to the front of each boot as you can. What needs to be measured is the space between your heel and the shell upon doing that. If there is more than 2 cm or so behind your heel, the boots are too big. You’ll want just about 1.5 to barely 2 cm of space for optimal comfort.

Skiing is all about having fun. One thing that can ruin a day on the slopes is constant foot pain due to improperly fitting ski boots. Take the aforementioned factors into consideration when buying a new pair of boots, or resizing your current ones. Being comfortable throughout your day skiing is crucial, which can also prevents any injuries from occurring.