Let's face it, ski boots aren't comfortable. In fact, at the end of the day, pulling them off feels great! So, when going to rent or buy your kids boots, how do you know if they fit or are comfortable? If you have kids, you know what the conversation. You "how do they feel"...them "too tight" You "where are they tight" them "everywhere". So, the challenge is to figure out if they are really too tight.
For ski boots, take the insoles out. Unless you can get your finger behind their heels and have them push their foot all the way forward, it's pretty hard. First, if you can, put their ski socks on it helps. I have posted many times about my "favorite" clothes. For socks, the Euro brand is my favorite. It sits very high on the leg, has a tight elastic to stay up and is not too thick. So, put the socks on and pull the insole out of the ski boot. Refer to the photo. Just like you fit the kids regular shoes, you can feel where their toe is, have them slide their foot forward or whatever way you want to do it. There should be about a finger length behind their heel. Especially if you are buying boots, you want a little room to grow without them "swimming" around in them. I bought Emily new boots this year and a little big, so will have to see how she does. Remember, with new ski boots, the insoles are nice and "fluffy" as Emily calls it-they aren't packed down-meaning worn a bit. As are as rear entry vs front entry boots.. for the real little guys, I prefer rear entry. They are easier to get on and off. They don't need all that big support since they are racing down the mountain. As they get older, definitely the front entry boots. I remember my kids waiting for the front entry like the "big boys".
Snowboard boots...easy. Burton makes an awesome boot called the Grom. It is 2 sizes! Yep, way to get 2 years of wear out of a boot and save you some money. Refer to the photos, but on the bottom of the boot you'll see 2 sizes. You'll want to buy the smaller size. When they get bigger, you pull out the insole-refer to photo- and like magic, you have a larger size. Brennan is on year 2 of his boots! Also, I prefer the velcro to the ties when they are little. You can still get them tight enough without dealing with "tie my boots". I already deal with that enough with shoes! Snowboard boots are so comfy and soft you really don't need to pull out the insoles, you can just feel the back of their heel for fit.
So, as we wait for the first big dump in Utah, we are fine tuning all our gear. Emily is in year 2 of her race "career". She is moving into a race ski-for another blog-so we'll see what a difference that makes. As always, outfitting your child is challenging and expensive, so if you want to share some tips, let me know!
And an FYI, I'm keeping my eye on my "crystal" ball and the week of Thanksgiving...looks promising. :)