Boot Shell Sizes & Boot Fitting Tips

We have dozens of ski boot fitting articles, check them out!

There are quite a few boot sizing charts floating around the web. Here are a few to get you started. Main purpose of this is to help you decide on a shell size when you’re “between sizes,” by knowing at what size point the shell gets smaller. This is especially useful when mail ordering boots (though we recommend buying boots from a retailer with boot fitting services.) When it comes to rating boots as being “wide” or “narrow,” we defer to BootFitters.com

Black Diamond boot sizes.

Black Diamond boot sizes.

Dynafit boot sizing

Dynafit boot sizing. Click to enlarge.

Garmont boot sizing.

Garmont boot sizing. Click to enlarge.

Sidebar, with help from Paul Parker: When comparing boot shell weights, do so by discerning what shell actually fits your foot, rather than looking at BSL (Boot Sole Length) numbers.

All boot shells have a number stamped inside the lower shell (scafo in Italian) such as “28.5.” This number is the boot’s Mondo Point Size. Shell cuffs and tongues often span two lower shell sizes so they may not reflect the exact size — it is important to look inside the scafo. That number in the scafo in virtually all cases will be the length of the inside of a complete boot. This is the number you need to compare one boot shell to another in terms of what will fit your foot. For example, if you fit a 28.5 scaffo in one brand, you’ll likely find that the same Mondo fits you in another brand.

The BSL, or BOOT SOLE LENGTH, is printed on the outside of the boot and is often mistaken for size. Most manufacturers also put a sticker on the outside of the boot that shows actual MPS size.

Scott ski touring and ski mountaineering boots 2014-1015, along with Cosmos includes various models For boot fitting, here are the Scott shell breaks. This won’t change much going forward so is probably fine for 2015-2017.

Celeste, Nova and other women’s backcountry skiing boots:
23.0-23.5, 24.0-24.5, 25.0-25.5, 26.0-26.5, 27.0-27.5

Cosmos, Orbit and other men’s boots:
25.0-25.5, 26.0-26.5, 27.0-27.5. 28.0-28.5, 29.0-29.0, 30.0-30.5, 31.0-31.5

  Your Comments

  • Terr: Thanks for the objective review, Rachel! Sounds like a good harness - almo...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Bill and Karl, we'll try to hit it tomorrow before we leave town. Just had...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Chet, now that I'm off my messed up phone for making comments, I wanted to ...
  • Karl: The Frontier: cinnamon rolls!...
  • Bill: I highly recommend breakfast or lunch at the Grove on Central. http://www...
  • ptor: Ueli is obviously much smarter gaining the advantage of avoiding French cof...
  • Lou2: The problem was schedule, that's why we ended up in NM....
  • Chet Roe: you could have done it at DIA for less of a drive...is a $100 and the appli...
  • Jah He: Thank you for sharing your story! Currently studying abroad in Vina del Mar...
  • Rick: Phil, I run the Power Wraps in my Radiums, two pair, my originals and a br...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Andy, not off topic at all, Plum demonstrates how variable the tech gap and...
  • Mark Worley: Take it to ISPO! Guaranteed conversation starter....
  • Mark Worley: Stunning views. I have to agree with Lou; many trails in such places are n...
  • Andy Carey: Probably will get lost here with all the comments--a little off topic. The...
  • Dan Powers: Nice!...
  • Pablo: As always Lou, Thanks! As you say, there are a lot well formed engineers...
  • Lisa: Beautiful! I'm always impressed how you and your crew get after it....
  • Lou Dawson 2: Pablo and all, I keep making changes and additions to this post -- and it's...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Phil, unless you are quite demanding on your boots, my take is the Dream...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Pablo, there is no exact number. The more flexible the ski and the longe...
  • Phil: Hi Lee, Looking to replace liners in my Garmont Radium. Hesitating between...
  • Pablo: and what about the opposite to heel gap? How many mm do you consider as th...
  • joost frakking: OK thanks a lot. I will wait with modifications until after the first snow...
  • Lou Dawson 2: This looks so wonderful, nice to see a multi-use trail in that type of loca...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Mat, I truly appreciate you dropping back by with your report! Glad to h...
  • Scott Allen: As close to making turns in the alpine as it gets..in summer..love that las...
  • Mat: Hi Lou, I got my boot back from dynafit here is what they did: -they cha...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Where did you measure the pins from? From the bump on the binding housing, ...
  • joost frakking: Thanks for the suggestions! I seem to have found the cause. My pins on the...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Getting serious here in the workshop, I measured some pins. On a classic TL...

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use. ...

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