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how to buy boots

All About Ski Boots

Start your ski boot research here. Because a good skier starts with good boots.


Anatomy of a Ski Boot

Whether you're in the market for new ski boots, or just want to get learned, we help you know your boot from liner to last.

Common Terms Defined:

>> Last: The shape of the interior cavity of a boot. For a given size, some boots are designed to be wide and roomy, some sculpted to be snug and tight. “Last” is the cobbler’s term for the wooden, foot-shaped blank around which shoes of a particular size were built.

How We Test Ski Boots

To get the best ski gear, start at the bottom and work up.
(Photo: Kirk Devoll)

The question we get asked the most about boot testing (after, “Can I help you test?”) is: “Why are all the reviews so damn positive?” The answer is simple. We begin the test process with only boots we think are going to perform well.

SKI Magazine Ski Test Results Announced

Skis Ready to Test
Fat Skis Ready to Test
Welcome to Gearfinder 2013-14, SKI Magazine’s comprehensive compendium of information on virtually every adult recreational ski on the market.’s Gearfinder is now live, with about 700 2013-14 ski test results plus in-depth technical information on virtually every adult recreational ski that will hit shelves this fall in North America. Gearfinder is a ski shopper’s best friend, and we hope you’ll use it as a resource.

Retail Tactics, 101

Retail Tactics, 101
Retail Tactics
Not all shops are created equal.

Some ski shops are bigger and more professional than others; some are smaller but offer excellent service and key brands. One might be family-oriented in its model selection, another strictly hardcore.

The Test

The Test

SKI Magazine testers fill out review cards.

An insider’s guide to how we test


Q. How does the test process work?

A. SKI’s gear test is the most comprehensive, objective test in the ski world. Before we hit the snow, we spend countless hours discussing categories that mesh with what the manufacturers offer and that help consumers identify what’s right for them. Manufacturers then decide which model to enter in each category.

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