How To Hike in Ski Boots - Tips For Back Country Skiing

Author: Efrain Silva

How do I hike in ski boots comfortably?

As many experts have agreed unilaterally, if you’re wearing a pair of regular ski boots, with no other footing options, the secret is to NOT hike OVER 2-3 hours in those boots. These types of boots are best for short hauls, respectively. So keep the trek “simple and sweet”, if you can; otherwise, you may burn yourself (and the boots) out before your time.

However, there’s more. Higher - quality ski boots can offer greater comfort on the trek. Let’s explore further some other aspects, shall we?

Hike in Boots That Have the Best Features

Now, when you’re hiking in the back woods (or wherever your next great adventure should take you), perhaps the best piece of advice to follow is likewise this: If the boot has all the latest perks, features, gadgets, etc., then it might be suitable for any length of hike (even if past the 2 - 3 hour mark, respectively). So, then, what are some features that good ski boots should have? I knew you were going to ask that next…..

There are a few elements to note here when shopping for all the right ‘features’. And you should note them down and remember them when you browse online or in store. And these, of course, are as follows:

Costs of Owning Ski Boots?

Brief ‘Buyer’s Guide’ to Get You Started

Many tend to ask, “Is it worth the cost?”

Absolutely! In fact, if you’re looking to save money long-term, then put down as much as you can afford into a solid build: great traction, durability, stability, and especially comfort. With this, you can’t go wrong; you alone decide how much you can, or want, to spend — no right or wrong budget. But be wise about it.

For entry - level cost ski boots, you can expect to drop around $200 - $400 and not much less, given the boots are purchased in brand - new condition (it’s not suggested to buy them used, unless your budget is truly in a pinch). Go one level up in quality, and you’ll find yourself at the mid - range cost, which stands anywhere from $400 - $600. However, if you want the cream of the crop, then you’re looking at a solid price range of $600 - $800 before totally breaking the bank (unless you’ve got the money, as countless online private sellers will try to get you to buy their boots for much more than that, depending on the retailer). Keep in mind that if you order internationally, shipping and other handling taxes might cost a bit more, especially if the initial MSRP price on the boot is higher. For instance, for boots at $1,000 or more, expect to pay $27 or more on import / export taxes, sales tax and shipping alone; in either case, major third party sellers like Amazon and Ebay would be your best bet toward this end.

If your ski boots include the amazing “walking mode” (as several do), take advantage of it as much as humanly possible! This not only makes it far easier for you to walk, but it also ‘upps’ the flex in your boots.

The soles, you will find, are what most quickly deteriorate on those boots. And this, naturally, is unpreventable. It happens as a result of simply walking around in the boots. But not to worry; there are a few tips to keep in mind for preventative maintenance….

Keep in mind. Sidewalks, asphalt, gravel, and such types of structures should be avoided when walking in “walking mode”. To add, if you can, get some cat tracks. These could be a big help.

50 - 200 entire days of all - out skiing, experts claim, are typically what you’ll be able to get out of your ski boots: That is, of course, considering you’ve purchased them brand - new. So to break this down a little further, say you ski 20 days out of the year (eg. 20 ski days).

That means you’re looking at anywhere from two - and - a - half to ten years of continued usage, respectively…..

More on the Life Span

After hitting that golden “10 - year mark”, your ski boots may still work well, in many cases. They are likewise, for the most part, still considered to be “modern”. Yet they may not give the best performance, certainly not as before, and you will more than likely find yourself working a bit harder on the upslopes (when walking back up the snow after a good ski drop, or even when hiking in general through “walking mode”, etc.) / downslopes (leverage and control, braking, slowing down or altering speed, etc.). Of course, the choice is yours, but it’s always suggested to invest once more at this point.

Final Thought

In a nutshell, make sure the boots are a good, snug fit. Make sure they (and you) move comfortably, especially if you’re planning on hiking all day long in them (or anything above 3 hours, per se). Determine your budget, preferably not under $200, to avoid sacrificing quality; you want to save on cost, if you can, but definitely aim for long - term quality and comfort. That is the key here. Check before buying —- ask about the liners, flex, shell, width and length of each boot, and any other features it may boast of. And when you’re well - prepared, keep all this in mind as you hike up those dirt roads!