Anatomy: Boots

Your first step to improving your skiing? Your boots. Here’s a look inside.
anatomy: boots

1 › Boot board The platform inside the boot shell on which the liner rests; usually removable; also referred to by its Italian name, zeppa.

2 › Footbed The removable platform— located inside the liner— on which your foot rests.

3 › Liner The removable inner boot, usually made of foams, leather and plastics; it provides padding for your foot to protect it from the rigid shell.

Anatomy of a Ski Boot

4 › Lugs (toe and heel) The portions of the shell’s sole that interface with a ski binding; must meet industry standards for size and shape; sometimes replaceable in the event of wear.

› Shaft alignment The lateral orientation of the cuff in relation to the lower shell; usually adjustable on at least one side so that the cuff can be angled to match the angle of the skier’s leg.

› Cant The lateral (sideto- side) angle of the boot in relation to the ski. Boots can be canted to lean inward or outward, usually by grinding the sole at an angle, to give the skier optimal access to all four ski edges.

› Shell The plastic exterior of the boot, usually comprising two components: the cuff and the lower.

› Last The shape of the interior cavity of a boot. (Traditionally, a last is a footlike form around which cobblers craft shoes.)


anatomy: boots

Anatomy of a Ski Boot

Whether you're in the market for new ski boots, or just want to get learned, we help you know your boot from liner to last.


Anatomy of a Boot

How plastic, steel, rubber, and leather come together to connect skier to ski.

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Boots: How We Test

We returned to Mt. Bachelor, Ore., last spring and called in the pros from America's Best Bootfitters and Masterfit University—the guys who teach bootfitters how to fit boots—to help us evaluate the 2012 offerings.

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Boot Technology Continues to Evolve

Next year's ski boots have a little for everyone.

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The Most Exciting New Ski Boots of 2021

SKI's top picks for those looking to upgrade their ski boots this season.

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Bode Miller's New Boot

No joke, he’s on Full Tilt—and that isn’t as crazy as it sounds.