Believe it or not, I own multiple of pairs of ski boots. Whenever I feel like skiing, I pull out my favorite pair. I’ve had them for years! But how long do ski boots last?
Ski boots typically last between 100 to 200 skiing days or 4-10 years of use. However, this varies based on the quality of the boots, frequency of use, and how well they are looked after.
Lucky for skiers, this is a darn site longer than snowboard boots last. But let’s talk about how to get more life out of your ski boots…
How Long Will Your Ski Boots Last?
Ski boots are probably the most critical piece of your ski gear. They provide the necessary support and control to keep you skiing at your best. It’s therefore essential to ensure that your ski boots are in good condition.
These are the key factors in determining how long your ski boots will last:
1. How Often You Ski
Obviously, the more you ski, the faster your boots will wear out. Weekend warriors might get a decade out of their boots. Dedicated season-slayers may only get one year.
2. Where You Ski
Park riding, especially rails, is much more likely to cause damage to your boots. Likewise, spending hours hiking the backcountry is going to put more strain on them.
3. Ski Boot Quality
High-quality ski boots are designed to be durable and last for longer. Investing in high-quality ski boots can therefore be one of the best decisions you can make. In contrast, lower-quality boots may not last as long and require replacing more often.
4. Proper Maintenance
Proper love and care should prolong the life of your ski boots. This includes:
- Store them correctly. When not in use, keep them in a dry, cool place and avoid direct sunlight.
- Clean your boots after each session. Use gentle soap and warm water or a specialist cleaning product. Our tips for cleaning your boots should help.
- Avoid walking around in them. Unless necessary, take them off at the bottom of the slope. Walking around the resort in them is a sure fire way to wear them down.
How To Know When To Replace Your Ski Boots?
Even with proper care and maintenance, ski boots will eventually approach retirement. If your boots resemble a duct-taped pair of old sneakers, it’s time to let them go.
Equally, large cracks (as pictured above) are unfortunately fatal. I think even the most frugal of us would have to accept that one!
However, there are some more subtle signs that your ski boots need replacement. These include:
- Difficulty buckling or unbuckling your boots
- Buckles not holding tension, resulting in a loose fit
- Experiencing pain or discomfort while skiing
- You have a noticeable lack of control and support
- The boots have visible cracks or damage
- Wet feet!
Which Ski Boots Last Longer?
Ski boots from well respected manufacturers have the best chance of lasting longer… though unfortunately there’s no guarantee.
Remember, price does not always equal quality. My advice is to aim towards the top of the product line in a well reputed but affordable brand (like Salomon or Rossignol). The newer brands tend to charge a premium, even for their entry-level boots.
My current favorites are the Salomon Shift boots. They’ve lasted me for years!
How To Make Your Ski Boots Last Longer
You might now be looking for some tips on extending the life of your ski boots. After all, they’re quite an expensive investment.
Keep ’em clean: After a day on the slopes, wipe down your ski boots with a damp cloth. This prevents dirt and debris from building up and causing damage. Rust is the enemy!
Dry them out: Don’t let your boots sit wet overnight! Stuff some newspaper into them or use a ski boot dryer. Again… nobody likes smelly boots (or rust).
Store them properly: We’ve discussed this already, but store them safely. Ski boot bags are a good investment.
Don’t over-tighten: It might be tempting to crank down on those buckles, especially at the top of the XL jump line. This can actually put unnecessary stress on the boot’s plastic shell and cause it to crack. Tighten your boots snugly but not excessively.
Invest in quality footbeds: Custom footbeds can improve your skiing performance. They can also extend the life of your boots by providing better support and reducing pressure points.
Avoid walking in your ski boots: Ski boots are designed for skiing, not walking! Try to avoid walking long distances in your boots, as this can cause the soles to wear down faster.
Repair damage promptly: Cracked shell or broken buckle? Don’t wait to get it fixed! The longer you wait, the worse the damage will become.
Why You Should Replace Your Ski Boots
Despite all of the above tactics, you’re only putting off the inevitable… eventually your ski boots will become unwearable. Spare yourselves those final weeks of painful, soggy feet. Replace them early.
This allows you to optimize your performance, experiment with new features and enjoy the very latest skiing technology. Sounds good to me (less so for my wallet).
So, how long do ski boots last?
Ski boots can last anywhere from 50 to 200 ski days. This of course depends on how often you ski and how well you look after them. If you ski a whole lot and really beat them up, they’ll clearly wear out faster!
Check your beloved boots regularly and get them fixed if needed. With good care, your boots should survive several happy seasons.
But it’s also important to accept when your boots are beyond repair. At this stage, treat yourself to a new pair.