Are You Ready Boots?
pop quiz: Nancy’s original gets updated by a distant cousin of Springfield’s favourite yellow folk, who hails from Hazzard County
You’ve been going skiing once, maybe twice a year for years; after you’d been three or four times, fed up with ill-fitting boots leading to cold and achy feet, you bought your own boots. All is well, but when you only wear them for a week, once a year, can you ever justify a new pair? Let’s see...
- The 10 Year Rule
Without noticing, time passes by and stuff gets old and wears out. The absolute rule is the 20 year one; if you have any gear older than 20 years it has worn out; lifetime guarantee or not!
You should apply the shorter, 10 year rule to anything whose performance you rely on; waterproofs to be waterproof, climbing ropes to prevent you hitting the ground, ski boots to fit well and aid your skiing performance.
The plastic of ski boot outers can get stiffer and more brittle, the foam of ski boot inners can lose their sponginess to give your feet a snug fit, the buckles and Velcro don’t work properly anymore.
If you have had your ski boots for longer than 10 years you can justify new ones.
- Advances in Boot Technology
Most ski boot manufacturers now offer some form of custom fit on both the inner and outer of the ski boot. To start with, ski boots come in many more standard sizes than normal shoes. They can then be heated and moulded to your feet, they can be vacuum fitted, they can have extra or less high density foam incorporated and virtually every retailer will advise custom foot beds.
If you spent less than 3 hours in a ski shop having your ski boots fitted you can justify new ones.
- Changes in Your Weight, Fitness or Health
Be honest now, have you got a little rounder, a little less fit over the years? Do you have a few more twinges in your knees than you did 10 years ago? If nothing else, it is a home truth, you have got older!
The shape and size of your feet and calves could have changed. Your weight, fitness and the health of your joints may affect the response you get from your ski boots.
If you have worn your body every day, you can use the 10 year rule and justify new ski boots (sorry, I don’t think a new body is an option!).
- The Type of Skiing You Do
Ski touring has become more main stream over the past few years and this has led to developments in ski boots that transfer to alpine skiing. Many ski boots have had a ‘walk’ mode for years, but now ski boots come with a flex-rating, which in some is adjustable; this allows you to select a ski boot based on how much flex you need. More flex for powder and ski touring, less for speed and pistes.
If you ski on-piste and off-piste, fast and slow, you can justify new ski boots.
- Fashion Darling!
We’ve all seen them, those who bought their ski gear in the 80s and still think they look good; they don’t! Don’t become one of them!
A one-piece in purple, orange and green is not a good look. Ski boots with a rear entrance and back buckles are not a good look either.
If your ski boots don’t look the part, and are heavy, you can justify new ones.
So if you think you can justify new ski boots, read on to discover how a couple of my mates got on at Snow and Rock.
pop trivia: ‘These Boots Were Made for Walkin’’, originally a hit for Nancy Sinatra in 1966. Jessica Simpson gave it an update for the 2009 ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ movie.
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