Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boot up.

It wasn't too long ago that all ski boots were built the same. You had the same boots as your brother or your husband or your son. There weren't any just for women.

Now that's changed. And it's not that they're making them in pink (thank God it hasn't come to that!). Manufacturers have finally realized that women have special needs in boots, just as they do in skis. Many now offer female-specific models. And they're worth checking out.

Women tend to have lower, thicker calf muscles than men, so the cuffs may be larger, lower, or scalloped. Our anatomy may make it harder for us to get forward, so boots may include heel lifts, spoilers, or other devices. And because we're (generally) lighter in weight than men, the shell may be softer. (Look for a boot that can provide this without any sacrifice in lateral or rear support.) Some boots may even have cushier, warmer insides to reflect our cushy, warmer insides (not really; it's just because that's something we like).

Boot shopping takes time, and it takes some real expert assistance. So be sure to visit a shop where there's an expert bootfitter on staff. Your feet will thank you.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an 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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