How to Put on Ski Boots without Working up a Sweat

Anyone who's ever donned a pair of ski boots knows that putting them on can be one of the most challenging parts of your ski day. So what is the correct way to put on a ski boot, and how do you buckle ski boots while keeping a cool head? This step-by-step guide will help you put on your ski boots without enlisting the help of a friend or significant other.

How to Put on Ski Boots

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to put on ski boots, it's important to understand the difference between plantarflexion (pointing your foot down) and dorsiflexion (pointing your foot up).

how to put on ski boots

  1. Fully undo all of the buckles and straps of your boot.
  2. In a seated position, flex your foot down (into plantarflexion) and slip it into the boot. You should be wearing a pair of thin wool socks, such as merino wool ski socks.
  3. Fix any wrinkles or bunched areas of sock using your hands. At this point, your heel is not yet secured in the boot.
  4. While flexing your foot up (dorsiflexion), tap your heel on the ground to get your entire foot into the boot. If getting your heel into the boot is a struggle, you should consider getting your boot fitted by a professional.

How to Buckle Ski Boots

For these instructions, think about your ski buckles as being numbered one through three (or four, depending on your boot), with number one being the ski buckle closest to your toes and the highest number being the ski buckle closest to your shin.

how to buckle ski boots

  1. In a seated position, buckle #2 to the first rung on the ladder of your boot buckle.
  2. Do the same for #4 if applicable, #3, and #1, in that order.
  3. If your boot has a tongue, adjust it to a comfortable position. The tongue should work to protect your shin when you are in a forward-leaning position, so it might work best to position it slightly inward.
  4. Continue to tighten the buckle of your boots one rung at a time, until they feel secure without causing too much pressure to your toes and shin.
  5. If your boot has a Velcro strap at the top, tighten and secure this.
  6. Stand up and test your work by leaning forward on your toes (as if you were skiing). Make any necessary adjustments before heading to the slopes!

Additional Ski Boot Tips

Store your ski boots indoors the night before leaving for a ski trip, and keep them in a warm spot of your vehicle en-route to the mountain. It's easier to put on ski boots when they aren't cold and stiff.

Too much fabric bunched within your ski boots can lead to pain and circulation issues. For this reason, don't wear multiple pairs of socks. It can also help to wear shorts or capri leggings under your ski pants with a pair of ski socks rather than pants or long leggings and tall socks. This small adjustment can make you that much more comfortable for your day of skiing.
posted by
Lauren Seidl
Blogger at Sierra Trading Post
Lauren enjoys hiking, camping, climbing and exploring the outdoors. She's always up for trying something new, especially if it involves getting outside. When Lauren isn't out finding adventures in her home state of Colorado, she can be found writing as Sierra Trading Post's blogger.
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