Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ever consider women's ski boots?

A good idea (for women, of course).

Why? It's very simple: women are built differently than men. Women typically have shorter legs, narrower ankles, lower calf muscles, less weight and a lower center of gravity than men. Which gives us less leverage over unisex boots, making them more difficult to flex.

How do you know if women's boots are right for you?

  • If your legs tire quickly, even though you're in good physical condition. Your legs are aligned differently than a man's. This can make it more difficult to roll your skis on and off edge, thereby making it harder to control your skis.

  • If your feet get cold. It's tempting to blame poor circulation, but it may be because of your instep. A woman's is narrower than a man's, which may cause you to buckle your boot more tightly in this area. This can cause the top of the boot to press down on your foot, cutting off blood flow.

  • If you can't flex your boot forward. Women's lower center of gravity and lower weight gives us less leverage. This can make it difficult to start a turn, throwing you off balance.

  • If you can't buckle the top buckle of your boot, or if the top of your boot pinches your calf muscle. A woman's calf muscle joins the ankle lower than a man's does, so this may be the problem here.

  • If your heel keeps coming up in your boot when you ski. Again, it's our anatomy. A woman's foot is typically narrower than a man's. A lifted heel can make your skis harder to control.

    For best results, see a qualified bootfitter. They can assess your situation and come up with the solution that's best for you.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.
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