Ski Boot Fitter Jobs
Boots are far from being as comfortable as a pair of flip-flops, but they are an absolute necessity for any skier or snowboarder. Boots are the first piece of equipment that connects a skier to the snow. It's that connection that can make or break a skier. Custom ski boots are critical if you want to be a better, more efficient, more dialed-in skier. If you're looking for performance, you better go see a professional ski boot fitter.
Ski boot fitters can find work in any quality ski shop anywhere in the world. Boot fitting is a specialized niche market that customizes a boot to a person's foot.
Custom ski boots help skiers reach a neutral alignment in their stance, which helps them ski better. It can also help skiers avoid problems like aching feet, numb toes, cramps, cold feet, knee pain, lower back or hip pain, pressure points, or ski performance issues. Plus a properly fit ski boot will be comfortable.
Boot fitters examine and measure people's feet. They match the shape of the foot to a specific boot shell, volume, and flex pattern that will correspond to people's skiing ability. Then they will scan your foot to create a custom foot bed that will help to align your stance. Next comes a moldable liner that will mold to your leg shape. Finally a boot fitter will relieve any pressure points or problem areas to make you as comfortable as possible. Being able to always make a boot more comfortable, while still maintaining a boots high performance is the key. After this process is done, you'll go out on snow and you will reach a whole new level of skiing.
Both recreational skiers and Olympians are dialing in their skiing with custom ski boots. It's helping to bring the sport to a whole new level. It's a job that you can do at any ski resort. You may fancy the steeps of someplace like Whistler or the highbrow clientele of a place like Vail. Depending on where you work and your experience, you'll make around $15 to $35 per hour, plus the occasional tip. Often boot fitting is a seasonal winter job, but in some cities or year round resorts, it can turn into year round employment. Some of the larger boot fitters, like SureFoot, also do custom fitting for golf shoes, hiking boots, running shoes, or rollerblades.
If you're interested in ski boot fitting, there are several ways to train. You can receive in-house training from an experienced boot fitter or get boot fitting specific training. One respected boot fitting course is the Masterfit University, which has a variety of levels and courses you can take until you become a Master Boot Fitter. Usually this training is offered in the Fall before the ski season begins. When you look for a shop to work at try to find one that is certified by America's Best Bootfitters.
Besides a vast knowledge of biomechanics, skiing, ski equipment, feet, skier abilities, and boots, a professional boot fitter needs to have strong customer service and communication skills. This allows you to build a repeat customer, which is key to success. In order to truly become a master of the ski boot fitting craft, you have to have a passion for skiing. If this sounds like you, it's probably time to get used to stinky feet and find your way to the closest boot lab.
Quick Facts About Ski Boot Fitting
Job Title: Boot Fitter
Office: Boot laboratory (usually near base of cool ski hill)
Description: Create custom boots, liners, and footbeds for skiers and snowboarders
Certifications/Education: Masterfit University
Necessary Skills: Knowledge of Skiing, Equipment, Biomechanics, Boot fitting techniques
Potential Employers: Ski shops worldwide
Pay: $15 to $35 an hour