How To Adjust Ski Bindings - A Step-By-Step Guide

James Shaffer
By James Shaffer
Last updated on October 21, 2020
Table of Contents

When you’re skiing gracefully down a mountain at anywhere between 10 to 25 miles per hour, it’s easy to forget about the bindings that are holding your feet securely to your skis. 

However, your ski bindings are one of the most important components of your gear. 

In fact, without your bindings, it would be nearly impossible to stay on your skis while barreling down the mountain. And at the same time, if your bindings aren’t properly fitted to your ski boots, you’ll have trouble maintaining control, which can put you and others at significant risk of injury. 

So with that in mind, I’ve put together the following step-by-step guide to help you learn how to adjust your ski bindings properly. 

Although it’s not a very complicated process, doing so ensures that you’ll have a safer and more comfortable experience out on the slopes. 

What You’ll Need

In order to properly mount your ski bindings, all you’ll need is a bit of knowledge and information about the skier, as well as a screwdriver. However, some newer ski models might not even require a screwdriver, as they’re designed with a special locking device to hold the bindings in place. 

Additionally, you’ll need to know a few things about the person whom you’re setting the binding up for. This includes: 

  • The skier’s age
  • Height
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Boot Size
  • And their skill level

Then, once you have this information, you’re ready to begin adjusting your bindings.

How To Adjust Ski Bindings

man showing how to adjust ski bindings

In order to properly adjust your bindings, you’ll need to take note of the sole boot length of your boot. You can usually find this number written on either the side or bottom of your boot. 

However, if your boots are new, or you're a bit confused on how to find the sole size, ask a shop tech for help in regards to your sole length. 

Step 1 - Adjusting The Toe Piece

The first step in adjusting your ski bindings is to know the length of your sole. Usually, this length can be found written in millimeters and engraved somewhere near the heel of your boot. 

To adjust the binding’s sole length, place your skis on a flat surface that will allow the brakes to be free. In the absence of a proper ski shop table, you can also use a set of two tables or a sawhorse. 

The skis’ brakes are made of hard plastic or black rubber and are typically located on either side of your binding. 

To open the binding, hold down on the two levers, then slid the toe of one of your boots into the binding's front piece. Then, press down on the heel, and you should hear the boot click into place.  

However, if you're finding it difficult to slide the boot into place, you’ll going to need to adjust your bindings either wider or smaller to fit your boots. 

For this, use a screwdriver to adjust the toe piece by simply turning the screwdriver anticlockwise to loosen it, or clockwise to tighten it. 

Stop when the toe piece is just slightly wider than the boot sole length. Then, try your boot in the toe piece again to test its fit. 

Note that this adjustment isn’t always needed because some newer models of ski bindings are designed with a built-in mechanism that will allow you to adjust your binding to the appropriate boot sole size, without using a screwdriver. 

Step 2 - Adjusting Your Heel Length

Once, you’re able to fit the boot into your binding, the second step is to set the heel length. 

To adjust the heel length, loosen the screw at the back part of your binding. Then, carefully lift and move the binding forward or backward as needed in order to match the length of your boot. 

Once you’ve moved the heel piece and you’re happy with its positioning, simply tighten the screw and double-check that your boot does, in fact, fit securely in the binding. If the boot is still loose, you may need to make further adjustments.

Finally, you’ll need to repeat this entire process on both of your skis to ensure that both of your bindings are properly adjusted. Then, you’re ready to move on the third and final step of adjusting your ski bindings. 

Step 3 - Adjusting The DIN Release Setting

The final step to adjusting your ski bindings is to properly set the DIN release setting. 

If you carefully observe your ski bindings, you'll notice a series of numbers on the toe and heel pieces. This series of numbers is known as the DIN setting, which will determine the amount of force and pressure needed for your bindings to release your boots during a crash or accident. 

Essentially, this release feature is designed specifically to prevent leg and ankle injuries. 

However, the DIN release setting will differ from one skier to another, and it’s always based on the person’s size, weight, and ability. 

Your ability to adjust your ski binding properly is an essential safety measure, which can help prevent you from injuring yourself. Therefore, although it’s not overly complicated to calculate the DIN setting you should be using, if you’re unsure about doing this, it might be better to consult with a ski shop tech. 

Final Tip

Closeup of skier clicking boots in his ski bindings

In the end, if you want the safest, most comfortable skiing experience possible, it’s crucial that your boots, bindings, and release settings are all calibrated properly. 

Every boot and binding must always be calibrated to the owner’s weight, height, skill level, etc. This way, in the event of a crash, your boots will be released from your bindings, potentially saving you from injury. 

Therefore, for your own safety and well-being, if you’re unsure of the processes involved in adjusting your ski, please consult the services of a professional shop technician. 

On the other hand, if you're a handy person who loves doing things for yourself, learning how to adjust your ski bindings and their DIN release setting shouldn’t be too challenging. Just make sure to follow the steps outlined in the guide, as well as learning how to calculate your DIN setting, and you’ll be ready to start carving down the mountain in no time. 

Hitting The Slopes Safely

As a beginner or novice skier, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of your ski bindings. 

However, as any experienced skier will tell you, your bindings are truly one of the most important components of your gear. After all, not only do they keep your feet secured to your skis, but in the event of an accident, they’re also designed to release your boots, reducing the risk of serious injury. 

Therefore, by ensuring that your bindings are securely mounted and properly adjusted, you’re guaranteed a much safer, and more comfortable experience out the mountainside.

James Shaffer

James Shaffer

James is a veteran snowboarder and skier. His passion for snow sport dates back to his early life growing up in Colorado. He spent his early adulthood as a ski instructor around popular locations in Europe but is now back in Colorado.
Published July 12, 2020
Last updated October 21, 2020
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