If you ski, you need ski boots. There’s no way around that. Even if you have great skis, you can’t use them without the right boots and bindings. While ski boots are not always easy to break-in or wear for long periods of time, the added performance that a good pair of boots provides on the mountain is well worth any slight discomfort you might experience while wearing them.
If you’ve ever purchased your own ski boots or are looking for your first pair, you know they can be quite expensive. In some cases, boots can even cost as much as skis. For the amount of money you spend on boots, you want them to last for many seasons. That is why so many people wonder how much they can get from their ski footwear.
Ski Boot Longevity Factors
Just like any other shoe or accessory, the more you use your ski boots, the faster they will wear out. There is no set time on how much use you’ll get from your boots. They are not food items with a shelf life. However, boots made with high-quality, durable materials will last longer than cheap ones.
Quality also affects boot longevity. If you purchase cheap boots, they will not last as long as more premium models. Such options are fine for beginners who don’t need as much quality, but they simply will not work for intermediate or advanced skiers. Never shy away from high-quality options. Your feet will thank you.
How Long Do Ski Boots Last?
How long your boots last largely depends on how much use them, as well as their quality. However, most solid boots will last for years even with a good amount of use. If you only ski every once in a while, your boots can stay intact for a decade or more.
In terms of quality, cheap, beginner boots will last between 50 and 100 ski days. A nice, high-quality pair can last for 200 or more. As you can see, it pays to invest in a quality set. The better your boots, the longer they’ll stick around.
Even with lesser-quality boots, 50 to 100 days can be several or more years of use. Let’s say an average beginner goes skiing about 10 times a year the first few years as they learn and then 20 times a year after that. That would make a 50 to 100 day lifespan around three to six years.
An advanced skier with performance boots will get a higher amount of total days but will probably ski more often. Let’s say an average advanced skier goes skiing 30-50 times a year. This is a lifespan of about 4-6 years with high-quality boots with a lifespan of about 200 days.
I can tell you from personal experience that ski boots can last a lot longer than 200 days. I usually invest in high-quality boots, but I once got nearly 400 days out of a set of Lange boots that I finally had to retire once the plastic shell started to rip and crack.
How to Tell When Your Ski Boots Need to Be Replaced
It’s easy to tell when your ski boots become too worn down. If you’re a serious skier, you may have experienced worn down boots. If you don’t ski much, there’s a good chance that your boots aren’t worn at all.
A packed-out liner is one of the keys that your boots are getting old. The liner is the insert that fits inside of your ski boot. They can wear out over time as the foam and other materials used in their construction erode after consistent use.
Liners wear out before the outer shell and they are easy to replace. I just replaced the liners in a pair of 5-year-old shells and I should easily get another 50-100 days of skiing out of them after that replacement. This is a good way to prolong the life of your boots and is far less expensive than getting new footwear. Check out Intuition Ski Liners if you want to go this route.
Visible wear on the outside of the shell is another sign that your boots need to be replaced. You might notice some slight cracking in the shell where the two sides slide under one another when you buckle them. A larger concern is when the soles of the boot, especially in the toe and the heel, start to wear down.
Some boot soles can be replaced, which is a nice feature to look for when getting new footwear. That will allow you to walk on harder surfaces without too much worry of wearing down your ski boots to a point where they will no longer fit in your bindings. Replaceable soles are easy to purchase and replace. You usually just have to remove a screw or two.
New ski boots should last quite a while, but they will eventually wear out. If you’re an average skier or someone who does not go out that often, you can easily get a decade of use out of your boots. If you love to ski and go as often as you can, you can still get years out of premium models.
If you want to make sure your boots last as long as possible, be sure to avoid walking on pavement and hard surfaces. Also remember that you can easily replace boot liners before the outer shell.
How long have you had your ski boots? Have you ever worn a pair out? Let us know in the comments below!