Boots should be no more than three years old, must have a DIN number (see ‘Safety Alert’), and should be fit by a specialist in fitting children’s boots. Boots need to be flexible (the uppers) – not too stiff, especially for the lightweight or beginning skier. Two buckles for the smaller sizes and usually three for the larger sizes. Single buckle boots, with the exception of very small boots, don’t offer the alternatives in fitting and comfort or walking that multiple buckle boots do. It is very difficult to walk with your top buckle undone when you have only one buckle. On the other hand, too many buckles can contribute to stiffness. A child’s boot should have a little “grow room” that can be absorbed by a heavy thermal sock for a secure fit. How much is determined by how early in the season the boot is fit and how rapidly the child’s feet are growing. There shouldn’t be so much room that good firm contact between foot and boot is sacrificed as that is the main connection between skier & ski and thus the primary locus of control. If you are considering purchasing used equipment:
Important Ski Boot News
ASTM In an ongoing effort by the ski industry to remove as many of the risks of skiing as is humanly possible, there is an American directive about boot specifications. Each step of improvement in safety carries with it the corresponding action steps on our part. The upshot of this in practical terms is that new boot purchases, used boot purchases and remounts of equipment are closely regulated. Consequently older boots and bindings will probably come under careful scrutiny to assure they meet current standards. So be sure to check with the experts before you buy! Have used gear checked out by the experts before you allow your child to use it.
When you are buying ski boots, new or used, be sure the boot has a DIN number on it. It is usually found on the bottom of the boot. The DIN number indicates a standardization of sole dimensions, materials and torsional rigidity to insure a good crisp release from the binding. Bindings must also have a DIN number. It is important to make sure that the person that mounts the bindings is certified by the company that produced that brand of binding. All current bindings and boots made by major companies (e.g. Salomon and Marker etc.) comply with these standards and show a DIN number.