Now that winter is closing in, our thoughts are turning to snow covered mountains. From skiing to snowboarding, people will be hitting the slopes in hopes of an adrenaline rush. If you will be counting yourself among these folks, it’s important to take the proper precautions to avoid serious winter sports injuries to your feet and ankles.
Ensuring your ski boots are properly fitted is one of the most important things you can do. Ill-fitting boots can be a contributory factor to injuries; largely because they are immobile once you are on the slopes.
When you buy a boot that is too big, there is nothing you will be able to do to make it fit properly as far as foot health is concerned. You will need to over tighten buckles, wear socks that are too thick or more. You may also be told that inserts can help. This is untrue. If your boots don’t fit properly, inserts aren’t going to help.
To fit your ski boots correctly and avert winter sports injuries, you’ll want to check for both length and width:
When trying on the boots, take the liner out. Place your foot in the shell and scoot your foot up so your toes lightly touch the front. Take a pen or pencil and use it as a spacer behind your heel. You want somewhere between 5 and 15 mm of space for your foot to move. If you have more than an inch, you have too much room.
Keep your foot in the boot, and center your foot from back to front, keeping the same amount of room in front of your toes and behind your heel. You want to feel your feet lightly brushing the sides. If you don’t, you should have no more than 3mm of space on each side of your foot. If there is more space, those aren’t the boots for you.
Once you have your boots properly fitted and ready to wear, there are a few more things to check before careening down your first hill. Make sure you have on clean, thin socks, that your toenails are trimmed and you have somewhere to dry out your liners when your time on the hill is done. Try this ski boot fitting guide for additional detailed instructions. When you take the time to do these things, your boots will last longer and your feet will stay healthier!
If you do happen to experience winter sports injuries to your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Elizabeth Auger in Salt Lake City for an appointment! Dr. Auger will examine your feet, discuss your medical history with you, listen to the details of your injury and diagnose your issue. You can’t enjoy your outdoor sports if your feet and ankles are causing you pain. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent a minor issue from becoming a major problem.