Everyone talks about wearing helmets and pads to prevent skiing injuries, but what about those darn boot bruises? After a day of skiing the mountain, the constant pressure of your boots digging into your shins can cause the nastiest bruises. Here are some suggestions to ease the pain:
- Purchase your own boots. Renting boots might save you money, but it's impossible to get the perfect fit. Depending on what type of foot you have and if you pronate, a specialist will help you figure out which brands might suit you best. If you're having a hard time finding boots to fit you properly, you can buy boots that have heat-moldable liners (if you already own boots, you can still buy new moldable liners to put inside). You heat them in the oven until they're the consistency of jello, and then you slip them in the boot and wear them. As they cool, they'll mold to fit your foot perfectly.
- Buy a new pair of footbeds (insoles). These go into the bottom of your boot liners. The ones that come with the boots you buy are kind of cheap, so get a pair that will offer more arch support. More support means a better boot fit, and that can help with bruising, too.
- Get yourself some padded socks. Smartwool makes some great knee-high socks made of merino wool that have extra cushioning in the shins, where most of the boot pressure goes. For an added bonus, they'll wick moisture away from your sweaty feet to prevent blisters.
- Do some strengthening exercises so your muscles hold you up instead of leaning all your weight forward into your boots. Try this single-leg squat series to get your quads mountain ready.