News Headlines     |     


THE RIGHT SKI BOOT - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Friday November 16, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Why invest in a pair of ski boots professionally fitted & moulded to your feet? Well, here are all the reasons why.





If you haven't experienced the excruciating pain of badly fitting ski boots on the mountain, you're one lucky skier.

I'm still yet to meet one, though.

Plastic coffins, I've heard them be referred to as well as much worse.

We worry how many skiers have quit the sport after a bad day in even worse boots.

Imagine a beginner in poorly fitted rentals, believing the discomfort to be the norm, thinking skiers are crazy - nothing can be worth that foot pain...

And really, stuffing your feet and ankles into stiff, seemingly immovable reinforced plastic to crank them up as tight as your blood supply will allow is an incomprehensible desire for a leisure pursuit or holiday.

But, oh, when they're right...

Jorg AngeliJorg Angeli














So, how do we get here?

Leave it to the professionals.

We might know skiing.

We might know our own bodies.

We might know skis.

But it doesn't mean we can 'self-diagnose' and research to find 'the one' online.

It's more complicated that you could imagine with the many dimensions.

To take into account there's the toe shape, the width, the instep height, the ankle shape, the hold on the achilles, to leg cuff and so on.

Get yourself to a boot shop.

Try on as many models and brands that support your ski style - take your time.

Then let the pros get to work.

Ellis Brigham know feetEllis Brigham know feet
















PlanetSKI moseyed on down to Covent Garden's Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports to talk to both the trained boot fitters and the customers buying ahead of the 2018/19 winter season.

Tip 1 we'll give you right now is get down there soon.

It was pretty busy and apparently it just gets more so during the run up to Christmas/January.

"Go while stocks last" essentially, for the best selection and your ultimate boot.)

At the store there was a first time buyer as well as someone trying on for a new pair after a knee injury (very wise as your stature and body has just changed).

Another was hanging out in a serious looking pair of race boots for 45 minutes - he knew to take his time in choosing.

Ellis Brigham shop floorEllis Brigham shop floor
















Tweaks and small adjustments needed become clear through wearing the boots (so remember to wear them round the house before you take them to the slopes) as well as skiing in them.

Another good reason to buy early - wear them in at home and it's less of a journey back to the store if you feel something that needs some attention.

Beyond this, however, Ellis Brigham has an 18 month guarantee system.

After buying your boots and skiing in them, you can come back to the store for adjustments as many times as it takes to get your boots right.

And if that means a whole season later, Ellis Brigham has you covered.

Ellis BrighamSurefit















We spoke to the London flagship shop's boot fitting manager, Florrie.

She told us that buying ski boots is not just for dedicated skiers that go all the time.

It's for anyone that has had issues, so from pleasure skiers to hardcore seasonaires.

It's all about performance and precision, and that, in skiing, is for everyone.

"If you're spending as much money as you are on a ski holiday, then a few hundred extra to make sure you get the very best out of it - to make sure you're comfortable and skiing your best - is a worthwhile expense."

Getting professionally fitted at Ellis Brigham means an 80-90% custom fit.

A precision fit.

The staff will help pick out a selection of models to suit your foot and leg shape, as well as your ski style.

They will help explain what it should feel like.

For example - if you're super comfy in the boots in the shop, they might be too big a week into skiing when you're moulded into your liners a little...

They can tell you how to flex, and judge your ability to flex (taking into account your strength, your weight and height and posture), therefore finding the correct stiffness in a boot for you to get your best turns.

Learn more on how to get the best out of your skiing with pre-season exercises from the ski instructor to the stars, Warren Smith:

Florrie, Ellis Brigham's boot fitting expertFlorrie, Ellis Brigham's boot fitting expert
















The boot-buying process takes around 2 hours.

After choosing the best model, the bespoke fitting begins.

A custom foot bed is made and inserted into your boot to replace the general purpose inner sole that comes with the boot.

The is the Surefit guarantee system.

10 minutes standing on the machine that takes your mould then another 20 minutes with the team while it's constructed.

Ellis Brigham will do this for you if you already have a pair of boots that haven't been properly moulded to your feet.

It's £90 for footbeds if you're not buying your boots with Ellis Brigham.

These footbeds are so important - your whole body is held up all day doing the strenuous sport and it all goes through these soles.

Any damage to the feet can be helped here: skeletal problems, knee issues and bunions are the most common issues that come up in skiing.

The footbeds help support your knees and hips (and can even help a lot in your style - like reducing that A-frame).

Heat, vacuum and infrared are all used to make your plastic shell modifications after you've got your inner boots done.

A well fitted pair of boots holds you up and supports the skier.

If they're right they can reduce pain, increase comfort and improve performance.

Ellis Brigham's Surefit GuaranteeEllis Brigham's Surefit Guarantee
















I recently forgot my boots and tried another pair and my skiing went to pot.

Whether it was a lack of trust I had in the borrowed boots or a real lack of control, it's not something I'll be leaving at home again...

I'd sooner forget any other piece of gear!

Many (myself included some years back) choose to invest in skis first.

Because, let's face it, they're more exciting to choose, they look better in your hallway, you get more of a thrill with them on.

But there's no point having a great ski if your boot doesn't fit - there's no way of passing the energy, the technique, the anything through to the skis and onto the snow if your boots aren't working to help you.

PlanetSKI's Katie Bamber having boot issues on the hill in VerbierPlanetSKI's Katie Bamber having boot issues on the hill in Verbier
















See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

Related Articles

VIP SKI EXPANDS IN AVORIAZ (Thursday September 12, 2019)
NEW FOR ESPRIT NEXT WINTER (Wednesday August 21, 2019)
LAPLAND THIS WINTER? (Wednesday August 21, 2019)
ALTERRA: WHAT'S NEW THIS SUMMER (Tuesday July 2, 2019)
10 TIPS FOR TIROL IN THE SUMMER (Friday June 28, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners