Forward Lean In Ski Boots

How Much, Do Most Boots Have Too Much?


Hi Rick,


I like what i've read on your site.  I teach at an eastern ski area and we've been having "on and off" indepth discussions about stance and flex issues and wanted to hear what you have to say.


  Would you agree/disagree that a skier with limited ankle flexion is best suited to a boot with minimal forward lean  - more upright...or unless you're a racer...maybe everyone would benefit from a more upright boot?


PSIA  Tele III, AlpineII

Your Ski Coach Home> Ask The Coach> Balance> Forward Lean in Ski Boots

I generally agree with those statements.  People have varying amounts of range of motion in the ankle joint.  For those with limited flexion the forward lean of the boot can use up the full range of motion they have, leaving nothing more to pressure the front of the boot.  Lifting the heel can compensate for this, but at often at the expense of fore/aft alignment, and the skier can end up with their hips stuck perpetually behind their feet.  A straighter boot cuff can return functionality.  

I would also agree that many people could benefit from a more upright boot.  Too many manufacturers put too much forward lean in some of their boots.  It can result in a weak, overly flexed stance, eats up available range of ankle motion, and just generally makes skiing more tiring.  That said, the exact amount of forward lean that is proper will vary with the biomechanical makeup of the individual.  A good boot fitter is needed to sort it out properly.


Rick Schnellmann

Your Ski Coach