Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports has opened its very first store dedicated to ski boot fitting on Whiteladies Road, Bristol. The Ellis Brigham Boot Lab offers one of the largest ski and boot ranges in the UK, and the new store is dedicated to custom fitting ski boots ready for your next trip.

With an online booking facility, state of the art boot fitting devices, a heli-skiing VR experience and free coffee, the Boot Lab is set to revolutionise ski boot fitting in Bristol and the South West.

For some people buying ski boots might seem a daunting prospect but in reality it is straightforward for the team at Ellis Brigham, where they pride themselves on their expertise. If you are looking for new boots or would like to modify your existing boots, the Bristol Team is skilled at achieving that perfect fit – so whether it’s stretching, grinding or softening, they’ll remedy potential problems to give a precise fit, greater comfort and even improved skiing skills!

To make things easier ahead of buying ski boots, the experts fitters at Ellis Brigham have pulled together some top tips when buying ski boots. Whether it is your first time purchase or you are looking for some new boots, follow these ten top tips to make the process even easier.

  • Allow Plenty of Time

Don’t rush, the initial fitting will take between one and two hours. It doesn’t matter if it takes longer – the staff at Ellis Brigham have the time, patience and skill necessary to make sure the right boot is purchased.

  • Know your feet

It sounds obvious, but consider and discuss your ‘ski boot history’ and any previous problems you may have had with ski boots or your feet in general.

  • Have an idea of budget

Do plenty of research and have a budget in mind of what you’d like to spend, though do be flexible if it means getting the most suitable model. Make sure the budget includes supportive footbeds if you don’t already own them – they will improve the comfort and performance.

  • Get measured by an Ellis Brigham professional

Measuring is just a guide. The correct size will be gauged from a shell check with your foot in the plastic shell of the boot, without the inner liner inserted. This will confirm if the size, shape, and volume of the selected model are the correct match to your feet.

  • Wear thin socks

New ski boots have warm, padded liners that will support your feet and insulate them. Thick socks will only make the boot tighter, restricting blood flow and ultimately make your foot colder. Thin socks will improve precision, control and comfort.

  • Choose the right boot

It isn’t about how the boot looks or what is recommended in the latest edition of What Ski Boot magazine. It’s about the fit and function.
Fit – the right size, shape and volume matter much more than colour, style or the latest trend. Focus on how they feel.
Function – biomechanics and weight are just as important asability. Some people need stiffer boots than their ability might suggest, someneed softer. The boot should support and work with you.

  • Select footbeds and stability

To really make boots perform and be comfortable, you have to ensure your feet are stable when inside. Ellis Brigham cannot emphasise enough the importance of a well-made custom footbed to a successful boot fitting.

  • Wear around the house

After buying your new boots, wear them as much as possible either skiing at indoor snow centres or dry slopes, or at home whilst stood up. The more you wear them, the more the liner will soften and mould to your feet.

  • Modifications

There are only a small number of brands and styles of boots, but there are millions of different feet. Ski boots are designed to be modified to accommodate lumps and bumps. The Ellis Brigham staff have the tools and knowledge to stretch and grind plastic shells, transform inner boots and alter angles and flex.

  • After sales service

Sensations like minor tingling, slight numbness or some hot spots can be expected to start with, as the liner packs down. If they don’t ease with use, take the boots into a store for modification. Even if you have a more painful problem, please don’t panic, in most cases it only takes a small adjustment to fix it. We provide free customisation work on all our boots.

Skier and manager of the Bristol Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports Store, Andi Bundai, says: “We are really excited about the additional space we have in the Boot Lab. We can’t wait for you to come and enjoy our expert fitting service ahead of your next trip to the mountains. Do follow the tips above as they will really help you get the most out of the fitting process.”

The Boot Lab is next door to the current Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports Store. Find it at 164 Whiteladies Road, Clifton Bristol, BS8 2XZ.

For more information call 0117 974 1307 or visit: ellis-brigham.com/stores/bristol