Boot Shell Sizes & Boot Fitting Tips

DIY instructions for doing your thermo-moldable boot liners.

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

  • trollanski: See, you know what they say about big hands....Big medial malleoli....I hav...
  • A: Thanks Lou. Just the advice I needed to hear. Im often drawn to the latest ...
  • Tom M.: Hi Lou, Another boot review? There is hardly any snow in Colorado and many...
  • Mike: Hi, I saw these in the shop and looks like the U shape of the production mo...
  • Jeff L: I saw they have some kind of mesh "ventilation" above the ankle. I am inter...
  • Lou Dawson 2: AI and all, the binding position has to do with interaction of sidecut and ...
  • Al: I hear ya Christian. Mine aren't 3-4 mm. They're 5.5 CM further forward!! ...
  • Mark W: As far as the Scarpa line goes, the Maestrale RS should be nearly as stiff ...
  • Matus: Skialper, I would say that the "lateral picture" without any explanation wo...
  • Skialper: @Matus - That's a problem. We were ready with a lot of technical drawings c...
  • Matus: Skialper, thank you for the great piece of reading. Q: why there are no...
  • Kristian1: Somekind of flex comparison/characteristics is much valued in a boot review...
  • SkiB: The 1324 gram shell seems heavy(ish) when compared to some recent competito...
  • Erik: These are great instructions for adjusting the Vipec. I just thought I'd p...
  • Louie 3: According to scarpa the fit on the new Maestrales is the same as the old. I...
  • Christian: Just lined up some similarly-lengthed skis with my 176 BMT 94s, and the 94s...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Al, the common method are plastic plugs sold specifically for the purpose. ...
  • Al: Thanks for the input. Asa there is more snow I'll try them out at the curre...
  • Ranger: Not one mention of flex character when skiing. Not a boot review....
  • Ed: Great review - I bought these boots in 2010 and love them. I've now worn th...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Al, it's of course interesting to compare skis, but nearly worthless in de...
  • Al: Interesting. Lined up other skis and some were more forward than the bmts. ...
  • scottyb: I did this mod to my clamps and it was easy peasy Did not use any hot wate...
  • NIck: Tracker 3 vs Barryvox S?? Thoughts?...
  • See: For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed the same thing (with different skis) but ...
  • Bill Hoblitzell: @ Travis, Scarpa has had the practice in the past of breaking their shells ...
  • Al: Hi- I picked up some bmt 94s, 176. Mounted them on the line. Waxing them up...
  • Don Gisselbeck: Clamp a needle-nosed vicegrip in a vice, hook it behind the nylock nut and ...
  • Dabe: shout out to dynafit ultralock and old sportiva spitfire on the no icing fr...
  • GOB: Thanks, Lou. I haven't heard a clear answer, but I imagine they are saying ...

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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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