Backcountry Ski Boots

Want to know the best news about fitting backcountry ski boots? Whether you’re opting for telemark or alpine touring (AT) style, “the fit is considerably more comfortable than with alpine boots,” says Julian Gasiewski, backcountry hard goods buyer at Jans. And to that, we say “hallelujah.”

Mark Khami | Guardsman Pass, Park City, UT

Custom Fits for Touring Boots

The unique requirements of backcountry skiing have led boot designers to make backcountry boots that tend to be lighter and more flexible than their alpine ski boot cousins. Because of the improvements in equipment, most backcountry skiers are spending longer hours in their boots, many of which are spent gliding uphill with the backcountry ski boots in “walk mode.” Unfortunately, all of the climbing in backcountry skiing creates the potential for blisters, so you need to ensure a proper fit to avoid that unseemly scenario.

Starting with your alpine boot size is a good jumping off place for backcountry boot fitting. But we highly recommend you come into the shop for a custom boot fit to make sure you get a good heel cup with no pinching or hot spots. The Expert boot fitters at Jans provide two sizing options for each boot—a performance fit and a comfort fit—so you can compare both before making an informed decision.

For both telemark and AT boots, Jans provides thermo-formable liners, which we heat in our ovens and mold to the unique contours of your foot. These foam liners tend to make backcountry boots warmer than alpine boots, and best of all, this custom-fit process is free of charge for all boots bought at Jans or White Pine Touring.