Before you buy or rent ski boots, it's very important to make sure that the boots fit appropriately. The next step is to make sure that your boots are adjusted for optimal skiing.

Try Before You Buy or Rent

Not all ski boots that have the same size will fit the same way. Some brands of boots have wider widths, others have low-arched or flat feet. Try your boots on with the socks that you will be wearing skiing. The boots should feel snug on your foot. Make sure that the boots are comfortable. There's nothing much worse than skiing all day on boots that make your feet sore. You may have to try on several pairs to find a boot that fits correctly.

Entry Point

Ski boots will either be top entry or rear entry. With rear entry, you slip your foot into the boot from the back. With top entry, insert your foot from the top.

Tighten the Clips

Once your feet are in the boots, you can latch the clips to tighten the boot. Rear entry boots typically have one clip, while top entry boots have as many as four clips you can use to adjust the fit of the ski boot.

Tighten the Power Strap

Most ski boots have a Velcro strap called a power strap, across the top of the boot. Pull it tight to adjust the fit of your boots, so they are tight on your calves and shins.

Once Your Boots are Buckled

Once you've tightened the clips and the strap, make sure that you're comfortable. You don't want the boots to be too tight (and cut off your circulation) or too loose, which will impede your skiing. Be sure that you have room to move your toes. When you bend your knees, make sure that your heel stays put and your foot doesn't move up. If your foot is sliding in the boot, rebuckle it so it's tighter.

Before You Buy Ski Boots

The most important rule for buying that first pair of boots is go to a respectable ski shop, preferably a specialty store with experienced salespeople who are themselves skiers. Better yet, search out a store with boot certified sales and service personnel. Then, have a trained boot fitter adjust your boots for you.