How Long Do Ski Boots Last? Here’s When To Get New Ski Boots

Unconventional to common thought, ski books can wear out. Ski boots don’t last forever. How long do ski boots last? It depends. We’ll touch on how long ski boots last and when you should really consider getting new ski boots. There are a few tell-tale signs to look for in addition to the age of your ski boots.

new ski boots on display

How Old is Too Old for Ski Boots?

Ask a manufacturer and they will want you to replace your ski boots every 2 to 3 years. While this is fair, a good pair of ski boots should last at least 150 days on the slopes. Cheaper ski boots of course will last a shorter amount of time since they aren’t made as well.

Take your days on the slopes and divide them into 150 and you should find that your ski boots may last from 2 to 5 years on average.

While there is nothing wrong with boots that are hardly worn and older than 5 years, I typically like to replace mine before the 5-year mark. I’ve been on a 2.5 to 3-year cycle lately and self admittedly have shiny object syndrome too. It doesn’t help when Dalbello puts out a new pair of ski boots that catches my eyes.

More often than not, they break me into upgrading.

Why Do Ski Boots Wear Out

There are a few main factors that cause ski boots to wear out in the first place. Some are avoidable or at least you can lessen the wear and tear on your ski boots.

These are the factors that cause ski boots to wear out:

  • How often ski boots are used
  • Wear and tear from walking on pavement
  • How heavy the skier is
  • Exposure to the sun and snow
  • How you store your ski boots
  • The age of the ski boots

Two things you can do that will really extend the life of your ski boots are skipping the pavement and properly storing your ski boots. Wear a change of shoes at the ski resort and put on your boots closer to the snow if possible.

How to Tell If You Should Upgrade Your Ski Boots: What To Look For

SanMarco ski boots broken ratchets
SanMarco ski boots broken ratchets. Photo Credit William F. Yurasko (Flickr CC)

There are also some clear tell-tale signs to look for which will shout that you need to upgrade your ski boots.

Here are a few that stick out:

  • Worn out and degraded ski boot liners.
  • The toe or hell is worn out and the rubber is falling off.
  • Cracked and weathered rubber or components.
  • The bottoms are worn and chewed up from walking on the pavement.
  • Broken straps or ratchets.
  • Snow and water are penetrating into the ski boot.

A visible preseason inspection is really all you need to tell if you should upgrade your ski boots. Scan down the above and use it as a checklist. If your boots pass all the above with flying colors then they probably have another season or two left in them.

Let’s look a bit further at two areas that often are the culprits to ski boots calling for a replacement.

Are Your Ski Boot Shells Visibly Deteriorating?

You may immediately think of cracks when you think of visible deterioration of ski boots but it is much more than that. It’s time to replace your ski books when the soles are worn out or if the straps and buckles are broken.

Often ski shops can replace a missing screw, rivet or buckle but if the soles are worn out and beat up, that can be a tell-tale sign that you should start looking for some new ski boots. Admittedly just having the soles wear out isn’t an end-all but more of a tell-tale sign of things to come. It’s not like the ski boots are going to improve.

Are Your Boot Liners Falling Apart?

More common in cheap ski boots, older ski boots or boots that haven’t been maintained, boot liners can fall apart. You have to weigh whether it is worth it to replace the liners or replace the entire boot. Personally, if it is a very high-end boot, I’d check the components and maybe just refresh them with custom boot liners.

Other skiers might find it time to upgrade. It’s really up to you but degrading ski boot liners are another driver to get new ski boots.

When to Replace Ski Boot Liners

Ski boot liners ultimately should be replaced if they are falling apart, the stitching is breaking and even if they are losing support. Boot liners take wear and tear from the flexing and pressure on them in the ski boots.

While there is such a thing as a well-broken-in liner, there is also worn-out liners. It’s not hard to tell the difference once you have owned a few pairs of ski boots.

Do Your Ski Boots Perform Well and Are They Still Comfortable?

Going hand in hand with ski boot liners is the actual performance of the ski boots. They might not be as good as when you first got them but are they still going into the bindings smoothly? If not, see if it is a binding issue before getting new ski boots.

If your boots don’t feel as firm as they once were, then the linings may be the actual culprit as long as the shells are in good condition.

What Should You Do With Your Old Ski Boots?

Old ski boots are unfortunately often off to the trash bin. If they have properly been worn through and all the miles have been wore out of them then you can look to recycle or trash the boots. If there is still a little life left in them then consider putting them up at a ski swap.

What To Look For When Buying New Ski Boots

various ski boots display

So your boots are totally worn out? Maybe you just see a new pair coming out like I do and get excited.

These are the things I look for in new ski boots.

Finding The Perfect Sized Ski Boots

Honestly, my foot size doesn’t change but you can measure your foot length in cm if you don’t know your standard ski boot size. Alternatively, you can head into a ski shop and try a few sizes of ski boots on.

Next, you’ll want to narrow down the width of your foot from narrow to regular or wide. The last thing to look for in new ski boots is the flex. Personally, I go for a stiffer flex but if you are just starting out then you’ll want to be in the middle range for ski boot flex.

How to Take Care of Your Ski Boots

Final Thoughts

Ski boots are ultimately going to last longer if you care for them and aren’t just tossing them in the back of a pickup track. Maintain your ski boots and you’ll be able to extend the life of them. Keep in mind if the boot is in good shape then you can just replace a bad liner.

While 5 years is a good average for how long ski boots last, don’t be shy to treat yourself to the latest and greatest. When I can, I sure do!

Brianna Lee writes for Proper Peaks and lives in Duluth, MN. Her favorite thing about skiing is the glades. Your have to start in the glades if you want to catch a glimpse of Brianna’s pink ski helmet as she dodges the trees.

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