by Frank V. Persall
Most of the skiers are tormented by the question that whether their ski boots are good enough to last for a few more seasons. Frankly speaking it all depends on the quality of the shoes you purchase, how you maintain them and also on the frequency of their use. However, for most of the times do not expect your ski boots to last for a decade as they slowly start to weather off, become less comfortable and the weakened shells may also give an invitation to feet injuries.
We may not be able to tell exactly how long your skiing boots will last but there are a few factors which determine the quality and durability of your ski boots. Let us discuss these factors more in detail:
Ski boots are designed only for skiing and therefore their soles are designed in such a way that they hold on to the ski bindings and protect your feet at all times. The ski bindings will hold your ski boots firmly at all times but when you start feeling a bit uncomfortable while skiing, it is usually because your soles are either worn out or too slippery. Always check the heels and toe part of their outer soles before skiing in order to enjoy a comfortable and safe skiing experience.
Too much walking with ski boots and walking on rough and hard surfaces causes their soles to degrade faster. Therefore, you must avoid using ski boots for climbing rocky mountains and hills as long as possible. New generation ski boots come with replaceable toe and heels parts and that can be used to revamp their performance and condition once they start to deteriorate. This also enhances the overall life of your ski boots and therefore replacing them after every couple of years or according to your use is recommendable.
Liners are not meant to protect your feet by any means and they are the first things that wear off while using the ski boots. They are just to insulate your feet from the tough hard outer shell and sole. If your liners start to fade, come out or wither off, then you need not be too worried as it can be due to the poor quality of the liner itself. Some ski boots can be realigned with fresh liners and therefore, you can also prefer them over the others.
Worn off liners do not actually hamper the performance of your ski boots but they can definitely make you feel less comfortable while skiing. If that is affecting your experience in a negative way then you must either go for new liners or change the boots. If the particles of your liners start sticking to your socks then it is a good indication that you must change your pair.
The shell of your ski boots is the most crucial factor which determines the comfort and safety of your feet in the long run. The shell of most local and poor quality boots start to disintegrate after using them for a month or so. High-quality ski boots have tougher shells that last longer and show ageing signs only after you have used them for a good three to four months of actual skiing. The longer you use your ski boots the shell will start to come out eventually and you will have to start looking for new ones.
One good method is to keep your skiing boots buckled when they are not in use. This keeps the plastic in shape and the chances of it getting extended by all sides reduce by a great extent. It also proves to be instrumental in keeping the performance and quality of your ski boots intact. Prefer storing your ski boots in cold and dry places as it helps to maintain their condition. You can keep them near a heater a couple of hours before actual skiing if you like have them nice and warm before starting the adventure. All these good practices might help your ski boots to last a couple of seasons longer than they are actually intended to do.
The technology of ski boot manufacturing always keeps evolving and they are getting more contoured, ergonomic, comfortable, and warm with time. Most of these boots are engineered to be weatherproof and waterproof nowadays which increases their overall durability and makes them long-lasting. The plastic used for making these boots are much more flexible and therefore do not deteriorate easily.
In the past few decades or more so in the last decade we have seen a massive improvement in the designs and structure of the ski boots. One thing is for sure that your ski boots have become more durable, comfortable and easier to wear. Modern ski boots are designed to be replaceable. As a result, their sole piece, liners, buckles, etc. can be replaced now which enable you to keep the performance of your ski boots intact. These replaceable parts also improve the quality and toughness of the ski boots and they can invariably be used for a longer period of time without any issues. A robust boot manufactured with the latest technologies and high-quality materials can even last for more than 5 seasons if properly maintained.
Lots of manufacturers, Salomon for example, recommend that the useful life of their liners are good for around 10 weeks skiing. After this time the liners have usually been squashed and no longer support your foot sufficiently. Liners are easily replaced, costing from around $60 for a normal liner up to $150+ for a custom liner. Once you start questioning it, its time.. take them out back and put em down. Here is a list of reasons to help decide if you should replace your ski boots:
These are the factors that determine how long your ski boots will last. However, these are not the only factors as most of it depends on how well and carefully you use and maintain your pair. The wisest thing to do is to get a new pair when you feel that your heels are moving a bit or feel more loose and uncomfortable. Therefore, we advise you to buy a new pair before crushing your toes due to damaged boots.
About Frank V. Persall
Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.