You wouldn’t think that something as simple as getting ski or snowboard boots would be so complicated, but it can be. Getting the right ski or snowboard boots for an instructor course is essential. Get it wrong, and you’ll find it hard to perform, be in pain, and spend extra money.

Getting the Right Boots for an Instructor Course

Every year we have people join us on our courses who come with the wrong boot and quickly regret it.
Going on holiday for 1 or 2 weeks with ill-fitting boots is manageable. Doing an instructor course for 11 weeks or more is impossible. You’re going to live in your boots. With up to 25hrs of training and shadowing a week, and that’s before the weekend! You can expect to rack up some serious mileage.
But how do you avoid making this mistake, and what are your options? We’re not professional boot fitters, and we’re not going to recommend a particular boot, but we do have some good advice on your options.

Buy Before You Fly

You don’t have boots yet, or the ones you own are as old as the stone age. If you’re going to buy new boots before you leave, make sure you go to a well-renowned shop. The Snow and Rock’s of this world have their place, but not when it comes to getting your boots for an instructor course. You need a professional fitter. They need to be fully trained, accredited and experienced.
The biggest mistake we see is boots that are a size too big. Sure they felt comfy in the shop, but they’re no good the minute you start to use them. A ski or snowboard boot that is too big means you have too much movement and flex within the boot. This translates to you having to overwork your leg and ankle to get the same response from your board or skis. The result is less performance and most likely pain in your leg, calf and ankles.
A good boot fitter will recommend the correct size. They will also understand the difference between a holiday skier/snowboarder and a full season. All boots age, the inner becomes compacted and hence looser, so expect to start with a tighter feeling boot. Listen to what the fitter advises but also request to try on other pairs. Not every boot is the same, and neither are our feet!
Remember you can also have them heat moulded in the first few weeks to improve the fit and give a little more comfort.
If you’re looking for ski boots in the UK, we recommend talking with Ellis Brigham. They take their ski boot fitting service very seriously, and we have discounts available for clients.

Ellis Brighman

For Snowboard boot fitting, you need to research your local shops, as this can be a little harder to find.

instructor putting snowboard boots on

Buy In Resort

Although you have to be patient with this option, I know hard, right? But it does have some real advantages. If you already have a pair of boots but think you need new ones, stick with them. Take them out with you and use them for the first few days but start talking to the local ski shop. Your instructor course will not get in full swing for a few days, so you have time.
We have arranged discounts in all the resorts we use with the ski shops, as do most providers. They’re professional fitters, and it’s their life! They also fully understand what boots you’ll need for an instructor course. The other advantage of buying out in resort is if anything goes wrong, or you’re unhappy with the boot, you can go back to the shop.

If you don’t currently have any boots, you can still buy them at the resort. After you arrive, you’ll have a day’s orientation, including getting your lift pass and any gear you might need. Your Rep will already have a list of those needing equipment and set up time slots with the shops for you to go and get kitted up. If you don’t want to commit instantly, as it’s a significant expenditure and you want to get it right, then rent. Renting for a couple of days won’t break the bank and gives you some breathing room. You’ll also find that most shops will offer a deal for renting than buying. This applies to boots, skis, and boards.

If you want to know more about what Ski or Board to go for, we’ve got some good answers in our FAQs