The state of play
Chances are you don't use roller ski boots, and you probably don't know anyone who does. Are you missing out?
The differences between winter boots and roller ski boots
The main difference between winter boots and roller ski boots is in the function of the outer fabric. Winter boots use waterproof and windproof fabric that protect the skier's feet from snow and freezing temperatures. Roller ski boots use an outer fabric that encourages airflow to maximize breathability.
Advantages of roller ski boots
Roller ski boots are a lot more comfortable in hot weather. The insulation and waterproof fabric of winter boots is very hot in the summer months, especially when the sun is shining and the pavement is hot. Roller ski boots help keep your feet cool by maximizing airflow and allowing the sweat on your feet to evaporate effectively.
Using roller ski boots also saves winter boots from wear caused by roller skiing. This is particularly important for biathletes since prone shooting on pavement causes significant damage to a boot's outer fabric. The image below shows damage caused from prone shooting.
Disadvantages of roller ski boots
The only disadvantage of roller ski boots is the cost of purchasing them.
Roller ski boot options
Alpina has a fantastic selection of roller ski boots and is the most widely recognized company of the three roller ski boot manufacturers.
Botas is a Czech company that makes a variety of sports footwear. They offer several roller ski boot models from budget friendly all the way up to carbon fiber.
Spine is a Russian company focusing on cross country ski boots. Their products are hard to find in North America, but their Ultimate Skiroll Skate boot might be the most advanced roller ski boot currently available. They’re constructed more like a road cycling shoe with an added carbon cuff, rather than a winter ski boot adapted for summer use. We haven't tried them, but we'd assume the performance is amazing considering the $700 USD price tag.
Roller ski boots are worth purchasing if:
- You spend a significant amount of time roller skiing in the hot summer months.
- You have the budget to invest in roller ski boots that are similar or better quality than your winter boots.
- You can try on the roller ski boots before purchasing, or you can return the roller ski boots if you purchase online and they don’t fit.