We’re sick of seeing generic and often incorrect recommendations for when you should replace your ski boots.
So we’ve made our own guide on when to replace ski boots instead.
One that takes into account that there are so many variables at play that there is no exact answer for every single person who owns a pair of ski boots.
What we will do, however, is give you the information you need, based on our own experiences (and others), to decide whether you need to replace your ski boots.
More skiing goodness -
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The lifespan of a ski boot depends on a wide variety of factors such as quality, amount of use, how well they fit, how hard you work them and how you store them when not in use, etc.
In fact, there are so many variables that affect how long a ski boot lasts, that there really is no right answer. At least, no hard and fast rule.
But, ignoring all of these factors and going off a hypothetical pair of ski boots that are never used, ski boots still have a limited lifespan.
Ski boots can last up to 20 years in some cases, and many skiers report doing so. However, we definitely recommend you replace your ski boots much sooner than this.
Another point to think about when considering replacing your ski boots due to age is the technology involved in newer boots. If your ski boots are 10+ years old, the likelihood is that the technology (comfort, heat retention, performance, etc) has dramatically improved.
We’re not gonna tell you to bin your boots just because they’re 3 years old (hello, environment).
We recommend that you at least consider replacing any pair of ski boots - well maintained or not, in good shape or not; when they are around 5-7 years old. No matter what their condition. Obviously, your ski boots may not last 5 years, and if you are a keen skier, the lifespan could be much less - but you’ll know yourself if this is the case.
Working in ski days is generally a better indicator of how long a boot will last than using years as an example.
Except, of course for seldom skiers, where plastic degradation and advancements in technology need to be taken into account, rather than the amount of actual skiing usage.
You should expect most quality of ski boots to last 100 full days of skiing, up to around 150 full days for top quality ski boots. Again, some people can achieve anywhere from 200-500 days of skiing from their ski boots, but this shouldn’t be considered the norm.
If you’re not quite ready to trash your ski boots or have just bought a brand new pair and want to extend their lifespan as much as possible, follow these simple rules to maintain your ski boots:
Ski boots these days are usually made of plastic and being exposed to UV rays can degrade the plastic and make it brittle. This results in the boot potentially cracking while up in the mountains. Besides the potential dangers of this happening while skiing, no one wants to be stuck halfway up a mountain in their socks.
The ski boot liners that are supplied with your ski boots usually last anywhere from 50-120 ski days, depending on your tolerance for pain...
Replacement ski liners, however, can last up to 400 ski days.
We wouldn’t recommend cleaning ski boot liners in the usual sense of the word: putting in the washing machine or hand washing, or anything that involves the liner being submerged in water.
Boot liners are not made to withstand soaking wet conditions, and if you put them in hot water you are also likely to melt away the glue that holds the liner together.
Along with this, having a soaking wet liner may encourage you to place the liner on a hot radiator or such, again melting the glue that holds the liner together.
We recommend that you simply try to keep your boot liner as clean as possible, rather than cleaning your liner.
Obviously, it’s easier said than done sometimes - some people's feet naturally smell, skiing can create your feet to sweat, all of this is going into your boot liner.
However, some people suggest applying Vicks vaporub to your feet before putting your ski socks on (the ingredients in Vicks are anti-bacterial, stopping bacteria from growing from sweat, and thus smelly boot syndrome).
Another easy trick is to simply make sure you dry out your ski boot liners properly after every use.
If your feet don’t naturally stink, then the average amount of sweat your foot will produce should not lead to the liner smelling if you dry them out correctly.
Whilst the best method to prevent smelly boot liners is to remove the liner from the ski boot itself and allow both the liner and underneath the liner to dry separately, removing the liner from the ski boot regularly will cause the liner to deteriorate much quicker.
As such, we recommend the use of boot liner dryers which simply go inside your boot liner inside your boot and gently dry the liner.
You could also try the use of shoe deodorizing sprays/inserts if your still worried your boot liner is grimey. They often include natural ingredients such as Tea Tree and Peppermint, similar to Vicks, to kill bacteria and odors.
Yes. You can replace ski boot liners, but generally speaking not with the original boot liners your ski boots came with.
There are a couple of options to replace your ski boot liner, with varying degrees of cost associated with each. None are particularly cheap, but depending on the cost, age and condition of your ski boot may still be a more frugal option than a new pair of boots.
Intuition liners are your cheapest option at circa $199. They provide great warmth and comfort and generally last 120 ski days, similar to that of an original boot liner.
Intuition liners are also one of the only ski boot liner replacements that can be bought online. You can check them out on evo.com.
Zipfit is probably the most popular option on the market right now and cost around $240. They provide great warmth (not quite like that of the Intuition), comfort and performance and generally last a whopping 400 ski days. The most attractive thing about Zipfit liners is that they can be moved to another shell (ski boot) if the liner outlasts the boot (which it probably will).
The third option is PU foam injected ski liners, which is the best option if your priority is high performance, but they can be cold on the foot for some people. It can also be the most expensive of the options at around $210 - $260.
You’ll probably already know if you need to replace your ski boot liner. But a few things to look out for that will indicate the need to replace your ski boot liners are:
Hopefully, you now know whether you need to replace your ski boots, your ski liners or whether you're all good with what you've got.
Let us know the current condition of your boots in the comments below!