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Question of the Week- December 11, 2007

I have some big feet. Big like size 15-16. Where can I find ski boots, snowboard boots or cross country ski boots that will fit?

This is a great question that we hear every season. For the answer to this question we turned to some of our favorite and most reliable local Tahoe ski shops and ended up with some good knowledge and insight into the ski and snowboard boot universe.

Cross Country Boots:

For an answer to this question, we talked to Paco who runs Paco's Cross Country located in Truckee. Paco has been dealing with this same probem for a number of years and has been working closely with the manufacturers to make a larger boot. Here is the good news: Through his work with these manufacturers, Paco tells us that Salomon is going to manufacture cross-country ski boots possibly up to Euro size 54 (approximately US 16) for the 08-09 ski season. This leaves you big feet out in the cold for the current season but if you can hang on, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Currently, cross-country boot manufacturers such as Salomon, Alpina and Rossignol only make up to European size 50. Which translates to just a touch over U.S. size 15. Just a few short years ago, manufacturing Euro size 50 was a big leap in boot sizing for these companies. It is apparent that this is the largest size cross-country boot available in the entire global economy.

Alpine Ski Boots:

For the answer in alpine ski boots we turned to Elite Feet in Squaw Valley to see if they could steer us in the right direction. We talked to Jeremy P. who is the resident boot pro in the shop and here is what he had to say.

Elite feet carries alpine boot sizes up to size 17 and will custom fit them to your enormous feet. If you give them a little warning that you are bringing two big feet to the store, they can pull inventory from their two shops and have a selection of boots to choose from.

Snowboard Boots:

Snowboard boots seem to be the easiest mountain sport footwear to find in large sizes. Not all snowboard boot companies manufacture up to those large 15-16 sizes but there are a few that are aware that some of us have larger than normal feet sizes.

A few companies that produce large boots are Burton, Northwave, Salomon and Vans. For the most part, you can find base models in large sizes. For example, the Burton Moto boot. The higher end models are in general manufactured in smaller quantity and therefore do not have the same size range as the more popular base models.

Special Thanks:

We wanted to give a special thanks to Paco from Pacos Cross Country and Jeremy P. from Elite Feet for taking the time to answer our questions.

Sean Kristl

Outdoor Adventure Club