Ski Boot Widths

by | Dec 28, 2018

At Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle, we see people with ski boot problems almost every day, especially during the winter season. Thankfully, the ski boot industry continues to improve their technology and we skiers are fortunate to have better fitting, more responsive boots without the pain our forebears experienced years ago. Everyone knows their shoe size and this can translate into selecting a boot off the shelf and thinking it will fit immediately, but fewer people know their foot width. Until recently in ski boots, it didn’t matter much. All boots were around 98 mm wide, so if you had a narrow or wide foot, you were in a boot that was kind of “one-size-fits-all”.

Now, we have options. Generally speaking, boots are now sized in length and width. The “last” size is the width of the boot at its widest point, in the forefoot between the 1st and 5th rays. Ski boots can now be classified as narrow, between 97 and 98mm, average, around 100mm, and wide, up to 106mm. Thankfully, these widths correspond very closely with our classic foot width sizing system. Narrow boots correspond to A and B widths, which are almost always seen in females. Average boots are around C and D widths, which are normal for men and women with wider feet. Wider boots are generally reserved for men with wider feet.

Traditionally, stiffer high performance boots were only available in narrower lasts, and expert skiers who happened to have wider feet were forced to simply endure the pain or work with a boot fitter to modify the boots before they could wear them. Beginner skiers who needed a soft flexing boot often had no choice but to buy a wide “comfort” fit boot even if they had a very narrow and low volume foot. This is no longer the case and we often end up at odds with boot fitters who try to get their clients into painfully tight boots. With recent technological advances, comfortable ski boots do not have to be a sacrifice.