Ladies, look out. In the world of competitive skiing, downhill racing, cross country skiing, and normal skiing, how do you choose your best boot?
How do you decide between the hundreds of options out there? How can you figure out which boot suits your skill, your style, your skiing frequency, and more importantly, your budget?
Buying Women’s Ski Boots
We’ll admit; the market is absolutely packed with options for you. The best women’s ski boots are advertised on just about every ski clothing site you go.
It’s difficult to figure out if there is actually a difference between models and brands of boots (Hint: there is).
It’s also difficult to work out if there’s a specific boot you should buy to suit your needs (Hint: there is).
We totally get It. Looking to buy ski boots can be a bit of a mine field. So we’ve done all the hard work to remove that difficulty and confusion.
We’ve laid out all the features you NEED to know about ski boots for women. We’ve eliminated the terminology you don’t need to know, and we’ve unravelled the mystery of which women’s ski boot is best.
If you’ve seen our guides for women’s ski jackets, pants and gloves, you’ll know that we like to keep things simple and understandable. Maybe it doesn’t sound as “professional” if we’re not throwing around skiing terms and lingo, but we’d prefer that you come out of this article knowing exactly what you need to know.
After reading this, you should be able to see any product description for a pair of ski boots for women and know exactly what you’re looking at.
If you can do that, we’ve done our job.
We’ll also be giving you some insight into the importance of women’s ski socks and showing you some great options to buy there too.
Picking the Right Ski Boot for You
If you’ve skied before, you probably just chose a ski boot that looked cool without ever considering if there was more you needed to know.
You probably liked the colour or you fancied the straps on the side. Or you just went with whatever the ski rental place offered you.
This is different.
You need to buy the right ski boot for your foot, your style, and for your skiing ability.
And because you’re reading this article, we’re going to assume that you’re a novice who doesn’t know the first thing about ski boots.
That’s alright. There was a time we didn’t either. But that’s all about to change.
First you should know about shell fitting.
When you go buy your very own ski boots, first get them fitted by a professional fitter. They’re going to ask you all sorts of questions; personal, invasive questions. Don’t be alarmed. That’s how you know they’re good for you.
The more questions they ask, the better they can know your foot and how you plan to ride.
The shell fitting is to check for your unique size. And just to make it a little more difficult, it’s measured in ‘mondopoint’. It’s totally different than a normal shoe size. For example, if you’re European size 37, your mondopoint is 23.5.
Because skiers like to be different. It’s actually a measurement of the length of your foot in centimetres. But all you need to know is that you can’t go shopping using the same numbers you do when you’re at the Nike store.
Wearing thin socks, and without the liner inside, slide your foot in. You should have a good amount of play for a normal skiing style. You should have 1-2 finger widths between your foot and the outer shell. That ensures that you’re not going to get pinched or squeezed while wearing the shell.
If it’s pretty tight without a liner, even a heat-moulded version (we’ll explain that in a minute) won’t stop your legs and feet from getting sore and squeezed.
Anything looser than 2 finger widths between boot and heel, and you won’t have a good day. It would be too loose and you won’t have a good amount of control while you ski. Also, you’re putting your foot a risk. Too loose, and the hard shell will cut and dig into your foot.
Ouch. Let’s avoid that.
Speaking of the shell, you’ll see a number on the boot that refers to the stiffness of the shell. The number ranges from 50 (pretty soft) to 130 (extremely rigid).
High stiffness translates to better control on the slopes. It’s not comfortable, but it does give you a great power and turning control. This is ideal for experienced skiers.
Novice and intermediate would be better suited in a softer shell for their foot. They give more for your inexperienced foot, and they feel comfortable enough to enjoy a full day of average, normal riding.
This is the part of the boot your foot actually sits in. It’s a removable shell of soft, fleecy material. Expert models can be heat-moulded to your foot to improve your overall fit.
Be warned. Heat-moulding your ski boot liners is a time-intensive process, and can take up to 2 hours to get the right feel. If you have problem feet with abnormal dimensions, it could even require more than one fitting.
Lastly, pay attention to how it feels once your foot is in and the straps and buckles are done up. You should have a good number of straps to secure your fit inside the boot. Straps over the front of the foot, straps around the ankle, and straps over the front of the shin help keep your foot immovable inside the boot.
And you want immovable. You want all your motion to transfer directly to the ski. Only a properly fitted, and well chosen ski boot can do that for you. Because your feet shrink and swell, you need a good range of adjustment in the straps and buckles. If you’re on the first one click or the last click of the buckle, you’re not allowing much wiggle room for your foot’s adjustments.
Buying the Best Women’s Ski Boots
Ok, let’s take a look at some of the best options for you this season on the slopes.
We’re super impressed what you can get with this budget friendly version of women’s ski boots. You’ll find a graceful boot, packed with punch and power.
Behind the sleek, white exterior, you’ll get a great boot that meets more than you need for a first run, or for your thousandth run down the hill. The three-piece boot is a moderate flexibility to grow with you as you learn. This does suit narrow feet better, to get the best response rate and performance.
The soft flex and light weight of the boot helps ease the burden on your knees and lower legs during a full day’s ride. You should notice a difference in your feet after slipping these boots on. They don’t hinder you from going full steam either.
It’s anatomically optimised for women, so you can get the ultimate fit that’s perfect for you.
As a beginner, you need a boot that is comfortable and easy to flex. For that purpose, we’ve added the Head FX as our top choice for comfort.
The soft interior and 60 flex rating gives your foot maximum comfort during the day. It does have a great interior sizing allowance to fit wider feet as well. It accommodates your foot so well that you’ll be happy with this boot for many years, even as your skill level grows.
You can remove the heel and toe pads for better stability while walking, and your straps give you a good degree of adjustable power.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that the price is many times less than competitors in the same grade of boot. Don’t break the bank when the Head FX should suit your novice style easily.
When talking about ski boots for women, it’s hard for us to pass up the Rossignol brand. They’re practically synonymous with the sport of skiing. And they’ve come to the table with one of the best options for all skill level skiers.
The Kelia is a women’s ski boot that doesn’t conform to the standards set by lesser boots. The 50 flex rating and wide foot sizing works to make any beginner feel comfortable and at ease in their own skis.
The Kelia is another option among much more expensive versions that do just as well on the slopes. It grips well to the ground, holds to your leg securely, and it provides a good amount of power transfer to the skis.
We’re stuck trying to fault this boot for all the features it includes in a novice-friendly price range. It certainly comes with one of the industry’s softest flex ratings which make it ideal for any skier wanting to try out the sport in an easy and comfortable fashion.
Best Ski Boots for Wide Feet
If you’ve got slightly wider feet, we have a couple options for you as well. Some ski boots aren’t known for accommodating wide feet, making it hard to find a good pair. Here are a couple options to consider
The only thing we can say about this boot is that it’s meant for intermediate riders to those with years of experience. It’s a stiffer boot with an 80 flex rating. That’s still soft enough for a beginner who’s serious about the sport.
The sizing works perfectly for women with larger feet. Sometimes, length isn’t the issue in getting the right size, and that’s why Atomic introduced the Hawx line to suit wider feet.
It’s an investment for the price, but it’s one that will adapt to your foot and skill level as your progress in ability.
At the top of the range for wide feet, we’re proud to put forth the five-star rated Salomon X Pro 90. The 90 rating should give you an indication of how serious this boot is. It’s stiff enough to give you as much control as you need during a hard day charging down the hill.
The wide foot of the Salomon suits all levels, but provides maximum comfort to those who can’t seem to get the right fit elsewhere.
The micro-adjustable buckles, the removable toe and heel pads, and the articulated fit of the boot all work to give you the best performance on the slopes we’ve seen in a wide boot.
All in all, the Salomon X Pro 90 shouldn’t be your first women’s ski boot but it will be your last.
The Best Ski Socks for Women
This guide couldn’t be complete without a couple options of the best ski socks you can get.
I’m sure you’re expecting to buy some thick socks, warm and woollen on your feet. You might be surprised to know that’s the opposite of what you should be doing.
Thin socks are, by far, the warmest and best option when you ski. The thinnest socks allow moisture from your foot to get wicked away onto the liner, the way it’s designed. Thin socks allow sweat to escape your foot, and keep you warmer because of it.
These socks come up high on your ankle to provide support where your foot meets your boot. They’re thin enough to wick away moisture effectively, and they won’t roll down mid-run.
They’re also contoured to fit naturally on your foot, giving as much control in your boot without ever slipping.
For a good option, we’d also recommend the Ralph Lewis pack. You get enough length to match your boot height as well as a great blend of warm materials.
It’s the budget friendly version for those who are interested in trying out new women’s ski socks.
Part of our job is to make sure that you are as prepared as possible to find the best women’s ski boots you can. This winter, have fun, play in the snow, and stay safe with the best fitted pair of women’s ski boots you can get.