As a beginner, your ski boots are your most loyal and reliable companions because, without them, you simply cannot go skiing. It’s like going to battle without a sword, your ski boots will help you maneuver the equipment correctly.
But how long do ski boots last? Just like all your equipment, ski boots don’t last forever, and they need to be replaced after some time. Even if you only ski a few days a year, your ski boots can deteriorate over time while being stored at your house.
How Long Do Ski Boots Last?
That depends on the material of the boot. If you have purchased low-end boots at a cheaper price, these tend to last between 50-100 days of skiing. But if you bought higher-end boots at a higher price, these normally last between 150-200 days of skiing. The durability of these boots is due to having stronger and more durable foams and plastics which give them a longer life span. As time goes by, boot liners will wear and tear, they last from 40-100 days which would be 2-5 years if you go skiing 20 days a year. It’s possible to only replace the boot liners and keep using the same boot solid shell for another season or two.
How Do Ski Boots Work?
So let’s think about the ski boots’ main purpose before reading about what should be replaced. Ski boots are made for protecting your feet, ankles, and lower legs from the unforgiving snow. When you put them on and lock them in, they also become an extension of your skis. Their stiffness is what allows you to control your skis.
You have to make sure that they fit well, and that you feel comfortable wearing them, otherwise you’ll feel miserable all day at the ski resort. If you have never tried on ski boots, you may find them stiff, tight, and restricting because they add pressure to your legs and feet. This happens because, unlike a normal boot, these boots were made to help you control and move the skis. Therefore, it’s essential to replace the boots’ components or even buy a new pair when necessary.
What Can Deteriorate My Ski Boots?
Your ski boots can get damaged by different factors:
- Time spent skiing: if you only go skiing once or twice every year, your boots’ lifespan will be 5 years or more.
- Walked distance (excluding cat tracks)
- The quality of the materials
- Your body weight: the higher your weight is, the faster your boots will deteriorate.
- Skiing style: the harder you ski, the faster your boots will deteriorate.
- The amount of UV exposure
- The way they’re stored
- The age of the boots
- How you are taking care of your boots: your ski boots should be stored in a heated room away from direct sunlight, don’t expose them to extremely high or low temperatures, and ask a trained technician to constantly check on them.
- Temperature, weather and skiing conditions: believe it or not, warm conditions can be detrimental to your boots’ lifespan. This weather, as well as extreme conditions, can damage essential components. Thus, it’s recommended to ask a technician to check your boots every season before wearing them at the resort, if you ski under these conditions frequently.
So the answer to how long do ski boots last is (like many things in life) “it depends.” Your ski boots can last for 5 years or more, depending on how often you go skiing, how far you walk, the quality of the materials, your body weight, your skiing style, the amount of UV exposure, how they’re stored, and the age of the boots. You can extend the lifespan of your ski boots by storing them in a heated room and taking good care of them.
When Should I Replace My Ski Boots?
Most manufacturers suggest replacing your ski boots every 3-5 seasons, even if you haven’t used them much or if you don’t see any damage. If the adjustments in your boots don’t work anymore, this is a clear sign that you should buy a new pair.
If your boots don’t fit you properly anymore and this is affecting your performance, maybe it’s time to buy new ones. However, please keep in mind that getting new boots won’t help you become a better skier, that can only be achieved through practice and discipline. New boots will only help you channel your movements onto the skis efficiently.
Also, sometimes it’s not necessary to buy a brand-new pair of boots. Instead, you can replace one of its parts. If your boots don’t fit you properly anymore, maybe you should try to replace the liners. If you see cracks on the shell or you have broken buckles, you can try to get them repaired and see if this is cheaper than getting a new pair of boots.
Even though some parts can be replaced, it’s best to buy a new pair when the soles are worn extremely thin or rounded. The soles are a piece of plastic that goes from the toe and heel and gets attached to the bindings. They should be able to detach whenever you want them to, but if they are not responding properly, you boots have become unsafe and it’s time to replace them.
Similarly, if your liners are packed-out and your shells are worn-out, it’s time to consider buying new boots. In fact, the plastic shell eventually becomes less elastic and more fragile which causes the loss of flexibility and diminishes the control that the skier has over the skis.
How To Take Care of My Ski Boots?
I know that ski boots are very expensive, but don’t worry, I’ll give you the following steps on how you can take good care of your ski boots, giving them a longer lifespan.
- After every ski session, take off the insole and the liners. Otherwise, they won’t dry properly, grow mold, and get a stinky smell due to the moisture.
- Dry your insole and liners in a low-heat environment, you can do this by leaving them in the living room, or in front of a fan, heater, or the fireplace. Please make sure that the temperature doesn’t burn or melt your insoles and liners. You can also use a boot specific dryer if you prefer.
- Wipe carefully the inside and the outside of the boot shell. It’s important to remove the dirt and any excess of water and moisture from the inside. This can help you avoid rust and deterioration. After draining the water, you should flip the boots upside down and let it dry.
- After it’s dry, put the insole back into the liner and insert the liner back into the boots. Then, secure the buckles and the power strap.
- Finally, make sure you store your ski boots inside your house, as the cold weather will make the plastic rigid.
Now, you know that ski boots don’t last forever and they should be replaced every few winter seasons. Even though it’s very expensive to buy a new pair of boots or find replacements for some of the components, consider it as an investment and as a way to keep you safe while enjoying your favorite sport.