aussieskier Ski Boot Online Buying Guide

At we have selected our ski boot range to accommodate for as many foot shapes as possible. Ski boots are the most important part of your ski setup, and can make or break your next trip to the slopes. Not only do they have to be comfortable, they also have to have the right performance and features for the type of skiing that you like to do.

An important thing to remember; ski boots feel like ski boots, and comfort in a ski boot will be different from any other footwear you have worn.

Our ski boot buying guide has been developed to help take the confusion out of buying ski boots. If you can't come in store for a boot fitting appointment, you can call or message us and have a chat with our qualified boot fitters for the best advice. We highly recommend making the effort to come in for a boot fitting appointment if you can.


Believe it or not, there is a difference between men’s and women's ski boots. Women typically have lower, and proportionally bigger calf muscles and ski boots are designed through the cuff and liners to accommodate for this. Men tend to have a higher calf muscle, so the cuff and liner come up higher on the back of the leg.


The Flex rating is a system that manufacturers use to differentiate between different models of boots. This is denoted on a boot by numbers such as “95”, “100”, “130” etc. However, the physical flex of a ski boot may vary due to a number of factors such as temperature, types of plastics used, number of buckles, and style of boot. There is no industry standard for Flex, so the values may be considered arbitrary and should be taken as a guide; the higher the number, the stiffer a boot should feel.

As men are typically taller, and heavier, they are able to exert more leverage and force on and through a ski boot. Because of this, men's boots will typically have a higher Flex rating than female boots.

Factors that are taken into consideration to determine an appropriate flexing boot include skier ability, aggressiveness, height, weight, terrain most often skied on, and ankle dorsiflexion (flexing the foot upwards at the ankle joint). The better a boot fits, the easier it will be to flex. Don’t be afraid of using a stiffer boot.


Performance ski boots are suitable for most skiers who are skiing on and off piste.
Freeride and Hybrid ski boots feature a more upright stance and can be seen in the side country. Hybrid ski boots feature walk modes, and tech inserts for touring. Alpine Touring ski boots have walk modes and feature rockered soles that don’t fit safely in regular bindings.


Ski boots are measured in a standardized system called Mondopoint which is the length of the foot in centimetres. Another important measurement to consider is the forefoot width of a ski boot. The forefoot width, referred to as “Last”, is the widest part of a ski boot in the forefoot area. The measured last stated on a ski boot is based on the ‘reference’ size - a 26.5. Boots under 98mm wide are considered narrow, 99-101mm is considered standard, and 102mm and greater are considered wide. The Last of a boot can also be referred to as the “Volume”; narrow boots are Low Volume, standard boots are Medium Volume, and wide boots are High Volume.

As ski boots increase in size so does the last width of a ski boot. The increase is usually 2mm per size. This means if the stated last of a ski boot is 100mm in a 26.5, it will be 102mm in a 27.5, 104mm in a 28.5, etc. Our Boot fitters will try to select boots with a corresponding last width that matches the measured width of the foot.

Some feet may have protrusions like bunions, fatty pads, accessory bones and bone spurs which can impact the way a boot will fit. In these situations, it’s recommended to see your local boot fitter. A more narrow shell than you think may be appropriate as a good, experienced boot fitter can modify the plastic ski boot shell to accommodate for these irregularities.

Sizing Adult Ski Boots and Shell Checks

The ideal fit in a new boot is for the toes to be touching the end of the boot when standing tall and upright, then for the toes to pull off the end of the boot when flexing forward into ski position. This kind of fit is usually found by following the guidelines for a performance fit below. For beginners and less experienced skiers, this is quite a new feeling. If you’ve only ever used rental boots, they are typically sized up to be big and spacious, but are rarely the correct size for your foot.

Every good boot fitter will perform a shell check before you try on a boot. This involves removing the liner and asking the skier to insert their foot into the shell, then move their toes to the end of the shell to touch with light pressure. By observing the space behind the heel, the boot fitter can see how the boot will fit for length. Using dowels as a guide, if the space available is 10mm or less, this is classified as a “Race” fit. A performance fit is around 15mm-20mm of space at the back of the heel, and a comfort fit is greater than 20mm. If you are purchasing boots online, it's recommended that you do a shell fit when you receive them to double check you haven't bought boots too small or too big. If you can see a 25mm gap at the back of your heel you should definitely consider going down a size!

We've created a guide on how to measure feet for ski boots. Although it does not replace the value in seeing a qualified boot fitter, it will help to make better decisions when selecting ski boot sizes. Once you've figured out your measurements, you can use the table below to decide what size ski boot size is going to be best for you.

Measured length (mm) Race Fit Performance Fit Comfort Fit
<22.5 21.5 22.5 23.5
22.6-23.5 22.5 23.5 24.5
23.6-24.5 23.5 24.5 25.5
24.6-25.5 24.5 25.5 26.5
25.6-26.5 25.5 26.5 27.5
26.6-27.5 26.5 27.5 28.5
27.6-28.5 27.5 28.5 29.5
28.6-29.5 28.5 29.5 30.5
29.6-30.5 29.5 30.5 31.5
30.6-31.5 30.5 31.5 32.5

When sizing kids and junior ski boots, make sure to take into consideration how long you want the boots to last. If you're hoping to get 2 seasons out of them it can be a good idea to select a size bigger so they can grow into the boots, but this is only appropriate for younger children with rapidly growing feet. If your child is a little older, and a more competent skier (eg. taking part in seasonal club programs), we recommend a boot that is sized correctly to ensure proper fit and performance.

Leg and Foot Shape

Ski boots come in different shapes and volumes through the foot and lower leg. It is just as important to ensure a good fit around the lower leg, as it is to make sure that the boot fits the foot. As a general rule of thumb, a Low Volume ski boot generally has a tighter fit through the lower boot and cuff, whilst a High Volume ski boot has a more generous fit through the lower boot and cuff. Too much space between the lower leg and cuff of the boot will result in discomfort, usually in the form of bruising on the shin or pressure on the back of the calf.

It’s just as important to consider the fit over the instep area of the foot. The foot is very sensitive through this area so it’s important to avoid being in a boot that's too low volume as it will cause boot compression syndrome. On the flip side, boots that have too much volume through the instep area can allow the heel to lift or the foot to ‘swim’ and move around inside the ski boot.

Skill Level

As a general rule of thumb, a less experienced skier will most likely prefer a softer flexing ski boot, combined with a slightly more generous fit around the foot. As a skier progresses in skill and looks to ski more advanced terrain in variable conditions, a stiffer flex and performance fit is more desirable. Advanced to Expert level skiers will typically want the strongest and tightest fit, to be paired with their more technical and aggressive ski style

Insoles and Footbeds

Ski boots come with a stock insole in the bottom of the liner. The stock insole is essentially packing material that keeps the liner in shape, and is designed to be replaced by a prefabricated or custom insole. Our boot fitters recommend that every skier gets an appropriate insole/footbed when purchasing boots.

Power Straps

Power straps are velcro or belt like straps that wrap around the top of the cuff and help to keep the shin in contact with the tongue of the liner. More advanced boots generally have wider power straps or are made out of elastic materials which require more energy and effort to push forward into the boot and are better suited to advanced skiers.

Flex Adjustment

Some ski boots have the ability to increase or decrease a ski boots flex, generally by 10 flex points. In some ski boots, this is as simple as rotating a dial on the spine of the boot, and others may have a rivet or screw that needs to be added or removed to alter the flex.

Cuff Alignment

Often mistakenly referred to as canting, cuff alignment is where the cuff on a ski boot can be angled towards the inside or the outside in relation to the lower part of the boot. Some ski boots don’t have this feature, whilst others will have it on one of the hinge points and more expensive options on the inside and outside of the boot. It can be a useful tool to help compensate for bow legged or knock kneed skiers. It is highly recommended to have a professional boot fitter make this adjustment for you.

Hike/Walk Mode

Some ski boots have a lever or switch on the back of the boot to allow the skier to swap between ski and walk mode. These function by unlocking/disconnecting the cuff from the lower part of the boot to increase the range of motion rearwards and make it easier for a skier to walk/hike in the backcountry. They are usually only seen on Hybrid and Alpine Touring boots.


Ski boots may use different materials on the sole of the ski boot depending on the intended use of the boot.

Nearly all modern ski boots use GripWalk soles. These consist of a partially rubberised and rockered sole with AFD plates that are compatible with all GripWalk bindings. Alpine Touring ski boots have a rockered sole for easier walking and use softer rubbers to increase grip on snow and rocky surfaces.

It is extremely important to check that your boot soles and bindings are compatible. If you use boots and bindings that are not compatible, you run the risk of causing extreme injury as your bindings will not eject properly when in use. Most alpine bindings produced after 2020 are GripWalk compatible. Check with your boot fitter before purchasing boots online to ensure that your new boots will work with your current ski and binding set up.

If you need help or advice deciding what ski boot is going to work best for you, don't hesitate to book a boot fitting appointment, and call or email us to have a chat with our qualified boot fitters

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