Boots for Rollerskiing

Boots for Rollerskiing

Boulder Nordic & Cycle Sport Staff

 As we gear up for the rollerski season, a question that often comes up is whether one can use their regular ski boots for rollerskiing. The answer is yes—the bindings on rollerskis are designed to interface with ski boots, just like on regular skis. However, it's important to note that just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean you should. We're big proponents of rollerskiing, and have some tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your gear.

Rollerskiing can be harsh on ski boots designed for a cold, snowy environment. Using them in warm environments often results in excessive moisture inside the boot from wet roads...and sweaty feet. If this condition persists, the glue holding the outsole onto the boot can fail catastrophically, causing the sole to entirely or partially separate from the rest of the boot. 

There are other logical issues with consistently using your ski boots for rollerskiing like getting scuffed up and dirty from use on the road or getting smelly from sweaty summer feet. The good news is that there are solutions! We've been rollerskiing for many years, and here are some ideas that have helped us out in the past. 

  • Consider the advantages of having a dedicated pair of rollerski boots if you're a frequent rollerskier. While rollerski-specific products are sometimes available, often a better option is to seize a great deal on a new pair in the spring and designate your older boots for rollerskiing only. 
  • Develop a habit of drying out your boots after every rollerski session. Remove the insole and open the boot as much as possible to allow proper airflow. If necessary, consider investing in a boot dryer. This simple step not only helps to reduce odor but also plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of your boots, ensuring they last longer and perform better. 
  • Minimize walking in your boots; the temptation to walk (or even jog!) on gravel or pavement can be greater during dryland season. The abrasion caused by walking on hard, rough surfaces degrades the boot/binding interface and, eventually, may cause the boot to become unusable.
  • Consider modifying your boot for warm-weather use. This idea is only for some, but it's a tip worth noting. It's often possible to remove some outer insulation from their boots (typically the outer 'bag' that covers the lacing) to keep cooler and increase airflow. Such a modification will vary from model to model, and it's important to avoid removing any components critical to the boot's integrity. While the aesthetics of the boot may suffer, we find that our feet are much more comfortable.