Putting your ski boots on for the first time

Your new HEAD ski boots have arrived – but what is the best way to put them on? It’s always great to wear them around the house a few times just to ensure that they are correctly molded to your feet and are comfortable.

Step By Step

It’s important to make sure that the boots fit well when you are on the mountain, so it’s best to wear a pair of skiing socks that you are going to be using on the mountain. Extra thick socks generally limit blood circulation and provide less warmth by trapping moisture around the foot – whereas a thinner sock will offer greater sensitivity and precision, whilst managing moisture better and keeping the foot dry.

Open all the buckles on your ski boot to make sure that you’re giving yourself the easiest chance to get your foot in, and make sure the buckles aren’t caught on the ratchets. Make sure the buckles are pointing outwards, so you know which is your right ski boot and which is your left.

Push the tongue forward and up as you slide your foot into the top of the boot. It shouldn’t be really difficult to get your foot in, but your foot also shouldn’t just slide in with no resistance. Either of these might be indicators of the wrong size boot.

Once your foot is in the ski boot, tap the back of your heel on the ground 3 or 4 times to slide your foot into the back of the ski boot.

How do I make putting on ski boots easier?

HEAD ski boots are designed with the easy entry shell to help you step in and out with less effort. We recommend you store your boots in a warm and dry area to ensure the best performance and fit. If you leave your ski boots on the balcony of your hotel or somewhere cold, the shell will stiffen up and the liner will freeze and come morning your boots will be practically unwearable.

Many HEAD boots have a loop on the tongue to assist you while putting the boot on, gently pull on this loop to lift the tongue up and towards the outside of the shell whilst you slide your foot into the boot.

What order do I buckle them up?

Start by tightening the power strap up, which is the velcro strap around the top of the cuff. Next, tighten up the third buckle, just above your ankle, then the fourth buckle, before moving to the buckle over the top of your foot, and finally the buckle at your toes.

The buckles above the ankle and power strap should be very tight, but not so they cut off blood flow, while the ones on top of your foot should be finger tight so as not to limit circulation.

What's the advantage of the Booster Strap VS a normal strap?

The strap of the Double Power Booster Velcro works as a double pulley for better closure and a tighter wrapping on the cuff. The elastic Booster Strap allows for a more dynamical response to the boot. The result: more precise transmission of energy and a faster ski reaction.

Should I flex in the boots as I go?

Once you have buckled up your ski boots initially, flex in them a few times to get an indication of whether they are too tight or too lose. Your foot shouldn’t be sliding around within the boot, so if you flex and feel your feet significantly moving around, then tighten the buckles by a notch or two.

Your toes should be gently brushing the end of the ski boot – but they shouldn’t feel cramped. If there is some pressure on your toes, then flexing forwards into the boot should release that pressure.

Can i change the flex of my boot?

HEAD offers a wide range of ski boots to suit different performance levels. Many HEAD boots have the ability to adjust the flex.

The flex refer to how soft or stiff the boot is based upon the plastic used.  Flex occurs in a ski boot when the skier flexes his/her ankle and knee. The flex can vary from soft(beginner level performance) to stiff(race level performance). The flex is indicated by a number included in the name of the boot.   The flex can range anywhere from 40(soft) to 130(stiff). 

Expert skiers prefer boots with a stiffer flex index, 130 or higher. The skier’s weight and height are key factors in identifying the correct flex. A skier who is short and light usually doesn’t put pressure on a  ski boot as much as a larger, heavier individual.  

We have identified four levels of flex for men:

Ski Boots Men's Flex Level

Skiing Level Beginner - Intermediate Intermediate - Advanced Advanced - Expert Expert - Race
Flex Rating - Men's 60-80 85-100 110-120 130+
Feel Soft Medium Stiff Very stiff

We have identified four levels of flex for women:

Ski Boots Women's Flex Level

Skiing Level Beginner - Intermediate Intermediate - Advanced Advanced - Expert Expert - Race

Flex Rating - Women's

50-60 65-80 85-100 110+
Feel Soft Medium Stiff Very stiff

t’s important to remember that:

A boot that is too stiff can limit a skier’s ability to progress.More powerful and heavier skiers should use a ski boot with a higher flex index.
HEAD has developed three methods to adjust the ski boot-flex.

Method 1

A) With a 4mm key unscrew the back mechanism. Pre-drill the plastic in the marks first with a 6 mm drill for a pre-mark and then drill with a 9 mm bit to complete the hole. Place the nuts in the internal side of the cuff and tighten the two rear screws.

B) Put on the boot and try the flex of the boot.

C) If you need a stiffer flex repeat the process with the second round hole and add the third screw.

Method 2

With a 5mm key unscrew the back mechanism,
turn it 180° and set it to hard or soft.

Method 3

With a 4mm key, turn the rivet to the left to decrease
the flex or to the right to increase it.

What's the difference between the two series of Raptor boots?

The difference between the Raptor boot is the last.
The last of a ski boot, although completely invisible, refers to the internal fit and design of the boot and is the most important fit-factor. HEAD boots, shell and liner, are built around seven different lasts, each tuned to match the requirements of a certain type of skier.


RD 1500CC/93mm @ 265

The epitome of a racing last, developed together with our top athletes, geared towards the perfect anatomical wrap around the foot and optimal foot retention.

RS 1800CC/96mm @ 265
Our expert last, used both in racing and pro-freeride boots, finds the perfect balance between performance and comfort for all day charging.

Head offers 2 different high performance lasts within the Raptor line with the same external design:

racing performance without compromise
optimal balance of performance and comfort (reduced thickness of the walls of the shell)

RD 1500CC/93mm @ 265

The epitome of a racing last, developed together with our top athletes, geared towards the perfect anatomical wrap around the foot and optimal foot retention.

RS 1800CC/96mm @ 265

Our expert last, used both in racing and pro-freeride boots, finds the perfect balance between performance and comfort for all day charging.

How do I know my boots are the right size?

If you bought them in a shop with a boot-fitter, then they should be the right size and be heat-molded to your feet already. But it’s always good to check when you get home. If you bought the boots online, then put them on and see how they feel.

Tap the heel of the boot on the floor, ensuring your heel is correctly positioned in the back of the boot. Before you’ve done up the buckles, the initial fit should be precise, not overly loose and certainly not too tight – they will feel much snugger than your average rental boot, so don’t be alarmed if you have been used to using rental ski boots. Buckle your boots up, avoiding pressure points by not doing them too tight.

With your feet shoulder width apart in a parallel ski stance, flex forwards into the boot a few times and walk around the room. Tighten or loosen the buckles depending on how the boot feels. If the buckles are at their maximum tightness and your foot is still moving forward or backward within the boot then the ski boot is too big for you.

If you can feel your toes at the end of the liner and feeling cramped, even with loose buckles and when flexing in them, then you should move to a bigger boot size.

Should my toes be touching the end of the boot?

Your toes can be brushing the end of the liner ever so slightly when stood upright. The contact between your toes and the liner should be the bare minimum, and you should find the right balance between your toes having too much space and being cramped. If when you flex forward into the boot, you can still easily feel the end of the liner with your toes, then your ski boots are too small.

How do I resolve heel lift?

The best thing to do is to see a boot fitter, as there are various technologies that can help resolve this – whether it’s HEAD Liquid Fit or simply heat molding the liner. Wearing a custom insole might help resolve heel lift, or you can speak to your boot fitter about putting a wedge in for you. Don’t overtighten the ankle buckle though as you may affect the circulation in your foot and having good circulation in your feet is essential to have a good day skiing.

How to relieve a pressure point in a ski boot?

Most skiers find their boots feel great out of the box, however if your ski boots are feeling tight around a certain pressure point, then talk to your boot fitter. They may be able to blow the shell of the ski boot out or even adjust the liner of the ski boot to relieve this pressure.

How should I store my ski boots?

In order to avoid damaging your ski boot or experiencing excessive wear to the materials and mechanical components, we recommend a few simple steps to keep them in the best possible condition.

After skiing, dry your boots naturally and away from any source of direct heat – don’t use a hair dryer, radiator or a fireplace as this may negatively affect the mold of the liner. You can use a ski boot specific dryer that will safely remove the moisture within the boot. It is advised that you remove the liner every few days of skiing to ensure the boots dry all the way through.

Make sure you remove any snow and ice away from the mechanical devices within your ski boot. Leaving ice and snow around the buckles and mechanical devices for extended periods of time can cause damage to your ski boots, so it should definitely be removed.

Loosen any mechanical devices within your boot and close the buckles – but not so they’re too tight. Overtightening the buckles whilst you store your ski boots can cause the liner or shell to be bent out of shape – limiting the performance and comfortability of your ski boot when you next go skiing. Equally, if you forget to close the buckles when storing, you will find that your boots naturally open up, making them more difficult to close when putting them on.

If you are storing your boots for an extended period, make sure they are completely dry and store them in a dry place, preferably in a bag to protect them. Try to avoid storing them in airing cupboards or anywhere too warm as this may let the shell change shape. Don’t keep them in your ski bindings for long periods of time either, as this might damage the boot and/or the binding.

To clean your ski boots, only use mild soap and water, refraining from using any chemical cleaning products as these could also damage the materials within your ski boot. Once you have used soap and water – ensure the boots dry naturally and are completely dry before storing them.