They may not be very comfortable and walking in them usually doesn't look very elegant, but they are a very important part of the ski equipment: ski boots. The right ski boot fits on the foot like a second skin so that the skier has the necessary grip to control his skis.
But there are several aspects to consider when looking for the right ski boot. These include not only the boot size but also the flex. We will explain what this value means and which flex fits your needs.
The perfect hold in the ski boot
Ski boots must provide the perfect hold , because the boots transfer the force from the legs to the skis. Therefore, an important characteristic of the ski boot is its flex. This is the hardness of the boot, i.e. the stiffness of the bootleg to the front.
The higher this value, the stiffer the bootleg of the ski boot. For adults, the flex is usually between 60 and 150. For children's ski boots, the flex values are lower. The flex of the ski boot is indicated on the boot.
The more sporty the driving style, the higher the flex
Which ski boot flex is the right one depends on both skiing ability and body type (see table below). Basically the following applies: The more sporty the skiing style, the higher the flex. Whoever is skiing racing skis and is travelling at high speed needs maximum control over his skis. A stiff boot is required for this.
Beginners and skiers with a comfortable skiing style, on the other hand, feel more comfortable in softer ski boots. The more flexible models offer more comfort on the feet and are more forgiving of small skiing mistakes than their harder colleagues.
Differences between men and women
But it is not only in terms of driving style that the flex differs, but also in terms of gender (see table below). Women tend to ride with a slightly lower flex. As the calf muscles of women usually start lower than those of men, the shaft of ski boots is therefore lower and widened upwards. In addition, women's shoes are made for narrower feet. Besides the difference between women and men, the general physique also plays a role. More strongly built skiers should choose a higher flex, i.e. a stiffer boot.
Table with all Flex values
|Beginner||60 - 90||60 - 70|
|Medium level||90 - 110||70 - 90|
|Advanced||from 110||from 90|
|Professionals||140 - 150||140 - 150|
These values, however, are not set in stone, but serve only as a guideline!
There is in fact no set standard for Flex values. Ski boots from different brands and manufacturers can therefore have different stiffness even though they have the same flex. That is why it is important to try on the ski boots.