Step 2: Working the Angles

Fall Line

The most important adjustment you make may be cuff-alignment, which is often confused with canting. The latter refers to adjusting the angle of the boot sole, which changes the inward or outward lean of the entire boot. Cuff-alignment changes the angle at which the cuff of the boot is attached to the lower shell. It can be tilted in (if you're knock-kneed) or out (if you're bowlegged) to match the angle of your shinbone, so you're not fighting the boot. Adjustments are made at the ankle, usually on the lateral (little-toe) side of the foot, but sometimes on the medial (big-toe) side as well, by loosening the connection(s). To do so: "Remove the liner," Gleason says. "Then put the footbed in the shell and stand on it with your heel touching the back of the shell. Then look at how your leg matches the angle of the cuff." Have a friend help, because it can be hard to see what's going on while you're in the boot. Loosen the cuff and manually adjust it until it matches your leg, then tighten again.