The most vital function of a ski boot is to join a foot to a ski with a comfortable firmness that does not chafe and prevents lateral movement, while permitting freedom of Vorlage—forward leaning. It should also keep out the snow. The manufacturers of the boots shown on the facing page have solved these problems in various ways. Most of these boots are really two boots, one inside the other. The inner is a softer, padded, foot-molding one; the outer a strong-walled support. Those that do not have a complete inner shoe (André, Bass, Sandler) have a hugging corselet. Boots in the column at left have a hinged heel to permit freedom of Vorlage. Those in the center lace front and rear, and those on the right have notched uppers to give Vorlage room.
There is no ski boot available for much under $30 which measures up to a skier's requirements. The leathers should be both chrome and vegetable tanned to make them moisture proof and last for years without stretching. They should preferably be sewn by hand. There are other fine boots than those shown here, and each maker has several models. But every skier, from novice to champ, should be able to find his best boot bet among this selection. Properly cared for—never saddle-soaped (which causes leather to stretch), never dried before a fire nor worn for a bit of after ski dancing, and kept on trees—they should last him for many years.
Henke boot (left) demonstrates heel-hugging inner boot, sturdy outer wall, snow-proof padding around ankle. More than 25,000 pairs of this boot were sold last year. The popular Molitor 116 (below) shows that the inner boot is an entirely separate shoe. The tongue and inner shoe are softly padded with felt in this model, though many boots have foam-rubber padding. The ankle collar anchors at the heel. Like all other boots shown here, the Molitor is made over American lasts, a very important factor in European-made boots, since European feet are wider than American.
Boot trees of the outside type, like this Barrecrafter model ($2.95), are easy to carry, should be used to keep the soles from curling and allow boots to dry properly.
CORNUDA "RACER," ITALY, $54.50
MOLITOR "116," SWITZERLAND, $49.95
HENKE "SLALOM," SWITZERLAND, $46.50
TYROL "SUPER," CANADA, $45
RAICHLE "ST. MORITZ," SWITZERLAND, $49.95
STROLZ, AUSTRIA, $60
LIMMER "RACER." U.S.A. (CUSTOM), $60
ANDRÉ, U.S.A. (FRENCH MADE), $55
GARMISCH, GERMANY. $38.95
KASTINGER, AUSTRIA. $42.50
LE TRAPPEUR, FRANCE, $32
BASS, U.S.A. (SWISS MADE), $42.50
NORDICA "AOSTA," ITALY, $52
MEINGAST, AUSTRIA, $45
SANDLER, U.S.A. (GERMAN MADE), $29.95