First up – talk to your ski technician, tell him honestly about your level and whether you expect to progress during your holiday. It helps if you are fluent in their language or vice versa (most of us are familiar with trying to explain in a second language that we are leaning forwards, and that our boots are making your feet go numb).
Always try and go for a boot that is as snug as possible, never wear more than one pair of socks and always wear good quality ski socks – rather than cheap tube socks, which tend to move and bunch up in different areas creating blisters and discomfort.
Remember, as you grow in confidence you can always change your boots, few if any shops will charge extra or mind if you do this.
Once you have chosen a pair, there are a few simple pointers that you can use to make sure that you get the best from your feet.
When you start your first day’s riding try not to over tighten your boots. When putting them on in the morning keep them loose enough so that you can comfortably get your fingers (to your knuckle joint) down the back of your boot (calf) when in the skiing/riding position. Do a run like this and by the time you get to the bottom the boots will be feeling noticeably loose stop and tighten them further.
Repeat this gradual tightening process over the next two or three runs as you grow in confidence, thus allowing your feet to adjust slowly to being encased in plastic.
The advantage to this is that you slowly restrict the blood flow to your extremities in a controlled fashion, rather than all at once. This allows your feet time to adjust and will reduce the amount of cramp you experience, particularly on day one and day two as your body adjusts.
When you stop, whether it is to get on a chair or go for lunch, DO NOT undo your boots completely (we have all seen people walking around restaurants or in resort with their boots completely undone haven’t we?)
Instead undo the bottom two buckle clips of your ski boots, leaving them notched into the same ratchet clip ready to clip back down when you are ready to go again.
The advantage to this is that the blood does not rush back to your feet (which makes your feet swell), but does allow enough blood to flow in to relieve cramp as well as giving you enough space to wriggle your toes to warm your feel. This will mean that once you clip back down the ratchets, you will be ready to go again as soon as you hop off the chair or finish your lunch. Next time you are on the hill take a good look around the footwear of the local ski instructors, you will notice many of them using this trick!
This post was contributed by Rental Republic, offering snowboard and ski hire in France with their unique in-chalet fitting service. Book your ski hire and snowboard rental online, then sit back and relax whilst you wait for the ski technician to bring your ski and snowboard equipment to your chalet.