Imagine a child’s ski boot that grows with your weed-like child. I thought this sounded too good to be true. An expandable boot? Old school parents, myself included, accomplished this with extra socks, and boots that were too big at Christmas then toe-crunching come March.
But Italian ski boot and skate producer Roces has developed the first adjustable ski boot for kids. Parents can purchase, for about $99 on overstock.com, a ski boot that grows from toddler size 9-12, 13-3 or youth size 4-7. It’s called the IDEA and it may be a good one for fast growing families. The IDEA ski boot has a lever on the heel that allows the boot shell to expand, the accordion-style liner adapts within. The IDEA (patent pending) boot comes in 3 size ranges (each model adjusts 6 sizes) and a range of colors: white, pink, red and black. Note to parents: if you plan to “hand me down” these adjustable boots - pick a color pleasing to all your kids.
These growing ski boots may sound gimmicky. But they have been tested to be technically efficient and safe according to the 56-year old company Roces. Families are only one target market for this ingenuity, the IDEA boots were also designed with ski rental shops in mind to reduce inventory while satisfying many size demands.
My kids have not tried these boots; we were ahead of this invention. We instead found a few good ski shops that allowed us to trade in last year’s gear toward the next size. Another cure for crazy growth spurts is buying slightly used gear at ski swaps and local ski club sales.
Many ski shops offers Kids Ski Gear Trade-In Program for approximately $200 the first year for the initial equipment purchase. You can then trade in your kid’s gear for 50% value the next season, so you apply the $100 trade credit and pay another $100 for each consecutive year. So five years of equipment costs $600, and your child is properly fitted each season. At the end of the program you own the gear to hand down or trade in.
Of course, the IDEA ski boot may be the ticket for families with fast growing feet. Instead of blowing through boots (and bucks) midway through the ski season, your child could wear the same boot for a few years, then size it back down for the next sibling. That may even free up a little ski budget money for a new jacket for mommy.
Read more on Kids Ski Gear and How to Pack for your Family Ski Trip and our Best Skis Review