How to properly buckle up your ski boots

Buckle up for the best fit, comfort and performance.

There’s a right and a wrong way to get the most snug fit. And unlike skates or regular shoes where you start from bottom-to-top, ski boots follow the reverse order — and for good reason. In order to get a proper fit, heel placement is paramount. Follow the incorrect order and you may suffer a profound loss of comfort and performance while riding.


Here’s the proper buckling order plus a demo video to boot (literally).

1. Pull the tongue to the side, open the boot and slide your foot in.

This is by far the most annoying part of the buckling process in our opinion. In order to slide your foot in, you’ll need to make as much room as possible by pulling the tongue to the side before sliding (or sometimes shoving) your foot in. This step will be made easier if you’re standing rather than sitting and wearing proper socks that aren’t too thick.


2. Pull the back straps and kick your heel into the back of your boot.

You’ll want to create an upward motion of the hands as you pull on the straps and stomp the heel of the boot against the ground so that your heel meets the back. This will get it into the proper position in the boot.


3. Secure the second buckle from the top (also known as the lower cuff buckle), followed by the top buckle.

Alternate between these two buckles until they are both snug. It should take some effort to close them, but it shouldn’t be a wrestling match. If it is, they’re too tight.


4. Do up the powerstrap and flex the boot.

By bending your knees and “flexing” the boot, this will further drive your heel into the back.


5. Close the instep buckles (i.e. the lower toe buckles).

Make sure you only use enough pressure so that snow and water won’t get in the overlap. Beware of buckling them too tight, as this will lead to losing circulation in your toes. A quick tip: if you notice the plastic on the boot shell slightly deform after buckling, your instep buckles are too tight.

Once you’re all set, you may need to adjust your buckles or the strap after a few runs if you’re feeling too loose or too tight in your boots. Remember, the more snug the fit, the easier it will be to control your skis.

Check out our demonstration video of how to properly buckle up — and enjoy some boot ASMR while you’re at it.

Need help assessing your boots for the right fit?

The Pulse team is your go-to for any questions or concerns.