Whether you're hitting the slopes at a resort or doing a little backcountry skiing, having the right equipment – from thermals to goggles to gloves – can make or break your experience. Bulky ski boots are a notoriously uncomfortable part of this array; choosing boots that fit properly can drastically improve your comfort. Ski boots use a sizing system known as Mondopoint, which directly translates foot length in centimeters to boot size. As there is no formula for conversion, you can use a chart to translate standard U.S. shoe sizes to Mondopoint or obtain a more accurate measurement by actually measuring your foot.
Obtain a Mondopoint conversion chart. Many online ski equipment retailers that sell ski boots offer these charts for free viewing. Sports supply centers and specialty ski shops may also offer conversion charts.
Find your U.S. shoe size, such as a men's 8 or women's 6, on the chart.
Locate the corresponding Mondopoint size on the chart. Most conversion charts feature U.S. men's, women's and youth sizes in vertical collections of cells, which lie next to a vertical collection of Mondopoint sizes; as such, corresponding sizes usually lie on a horizontal line. Use your finger to follow your standard U.S. shoe size to the corresponding Mondopoint size on the same horizontal line. For instance, a U.S. men's size 8 translates to a Mondopoint size 26 while a U.S. women's size 6 translates to a Mondopoint size 23.
Remove your shoes and socks so you are completely barefoot.
Stand up straight or sit in a chair and place your foot flat against a wall. Relax your feet – keep your heel flat on the wall and your toes uncurled. Enlist a partner if you have trouble maintain your balance.
Place a centimeter ruler or measuring tape alongside your foot. Align the ruler so that it starts at the bottom of your heel or the top of your longest toe. Measure the distance in centimeters from the bottom of your heel to the top of your longest toe. Record the measurement.
Measure your other foot in the same fashion. Don't be alarmed if you get two different measurements, as feet are often different sizes. The largest measurement is your Mondopoint size. For example, if your longest foot is 28 centimeters long, your Mondopoint size is 28; if your longest foot is 23.5 centimeters long, your Mondopoint size is 23.5.
- Boot sizes often vary slightly per manufacturer; if possible, try the boot on before you make your purchase.
- Round up to the nearest half size if your particular Mondopoint size ski boot isn't available; ski boots only change shell size at whole numbers.
- Invest in a custom insole that molds to the shape of your foot if you find your ski boots lacking in support.
Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.