Backcountry (Touring) Ski Boots: A buying guide – How to choose Backcountry (Touring) Ski Boots.
How to choose Backcountry Ski Boots
Are you preparing for your first time skiing? Then you should know how to choose touring ski boots properly. Different than the other sport, you might need different equipment depending on your level of expertise in this field. For people who are already experts in skiing, they might need different ski boots than beginners, due to performance issues. However, beginners will mostly feel tortured with the equipment worn by the advanced skiers. That is why you would need to know which one to buy and what to look out for from skiing equipment. Here are some basic insights so that you could have a much smoother start on your first time skiing.
The most noticeable feature on ski boots would be the number of flexes. Ski boots use flex to define the stiffness level of the boots. The number ranges from 50 to 130. The small number indicates that the ski boots would be easy to flex, and as the number goes up, the stiffer the boots will be. If you are just starting to learn how to ski, you need ski boots with a low number of flex. The most ideal range for beginners would be around 65 to 80 flex. This will allow you to build your posture and look for your ideal stance to ski. However, once you have been able to ski properly, you might need stiffer boots to keep you from being exhausted quickly. Stiffer ski boots help to provide a better energy transfer to the ski, however, it should also be soft enough to perform front flexes. It is important to have ski boots that could fully support your weight. It means that the boots should be able to support the body while being in a neutral stance. If the boot couldn’t provide enough support to the body, then the knee will bend too much and cause muscles to fatigue much faster than they should be.
There are several types of skiing, and one of them is ski touring. Different from regular skiing, you will explore the routes with no marking, and sometimes you would need a little bit of climbing. You would need boots that fit your feet tightly. This is important because just a little space inside your boots could promote blisters and chafed skins after prolonged use. Choosing a pair of ski boots for touring requires you to pick the ones with free-heel bindings so that you could move your feet more freely and walk easier. What makes them different is that boots for ski touring would be light and allow your feelings to move in a wider range than the regular boots. In this case, of course, flex wouldn’t be the main concern anymore. When you are looking for touring ski boots, you won’t see the details about flex embedded on them. So, if you don’t see any description of the flex on some ski boots, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not for skiing. It could mean that they are the ones you should choose for backcountry skiing.
Last but not least, you might have been thinking that ski boots are unisex. Keep in mind that ski boots are also designed based on gender-specific features. This is because one of the purposes of these boots is to give proper support to the posture and body, so they should be made especially for gender features. For example, men and women have pretty different builds, especially the calves when it comes to buying boots. The position of calves on women should be generally lower than men. It means that if you accidentally buy ski boots for the opposite gender, you would feel pretty uncomfortable around your calves. Depending on the opposite gender, you would feel that the boots are too tight or either too loose at the calves. The other thing is the sensitivity to cold. Generally, women would be quicker to feel cold rather than men. If the problem persists, then it would trigger bigger problems with blood circulation and venous return. So, when you are looking at women’s ski boots, they would have warmer boot liners than men’s. This is the design they feature to ensure comfort. Knowing how to choose your backcountry ski boots, now you can immediately get your equipment and depart on a new adventure safely.