How Different Beijing Winter Olympic Shoes Help Athletes Win – Footwear News


The 2022 Winter Olympics are approaching and will be held next February in Beijing, China. In 15 different sports, athletes from around the world will compete in competitions ranging from speed skating to cross-country skiing. However, just like the Summer Olympics, the Winter Games require specific equipment with specific functionality, namely shoes.

While some circumstances have changed — for example, the NHL has withdrawn completely from this year’s games — many are the same. The usual sports of the season, including biathlon, curling, bobsleigh and luge, among others, will resume. Additionally, the unique sports of the Winter Olympics require equally specified footwear, ranging from boots to skates, for athletes to achieve their desired goals.

Below, check out some of the unique footwear required for various Olympic winter sports.


Biathlon: World Cup, 10 km pursuit, women. Marte Olsbu Roeiseland from Norway jumps the finish line.

CREDIT: Hendrik Schmidt / picture-alliance

Biathlon has two parts: rifle shooting and cross-country skiing. The shoe that works in both cases is a ski boot with a thin upper, adjustable ridged buckles, and rounded toes. However, only the toes of these shoes attach to the skis of biathlon participants. Their heels, detached from their skis, allow them to go faster in competition.


Olympic winter shoes, Bobsleigh, January 09, 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia, Winterberg: Bobsleigh: World Cup, four-man bobsleigh, men, 1st round.  Pilot Justin Kripps with Cam Stones, Ryan Sommer and Benjamin Coakwell of Canada take to the ice track.  Photo by: Caroline Seidel / picture alliance / dpa / AP Images

Bobsleigh: World Cup, four-man bobsleigh, 1st round. Pilot Justin Kripps with Cam Stones, Ryan Sommer and Benjamin Coakwell of Canada take to the ice track.

CREDIT: Caroline Seidel / picture alliance

Bobsleigh shoes should make the starts of their participants count. After all, when sleds are pushed and gaining momentum near the start of races, speed is everything. The unique shoes designed for sports are made from synthetic materials that can bend with the natural movements of the foot. Its other features are tough mid and outer layers, usually in a zip-up silhouette. The pairs also feature slightly upward angled toes, which are accented by brush-shaped tips for quick traction on the ice.

Figure skating

Winter Olympics, Adam Rippon, skates, figure skating

Adam Rippon competes in the figure skating competition: men’s singles free skating at Gangneung Ice Rink during the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 on February 17, 2018.


Form-fitting lace-up boots are the norm for figure skating shoes, with thin blades attached to their soles with screws. The sharp tips on the front of each blade allow for better traction on the ice, as well as elaborate movements like jumping.


curling shoes, winter olympic shoes, (From L) Yurika Yoshida, Chinami Yoshida and Yumi Suzuki of the Japanese women's curling team play in a match against Estonia on December 15, 2021, in Leeuwarden, Netherlands -Low, during the last qualifying tournament for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. (Kyodo via AP Images) == Kyodo

(Left to right) Yurika Yoshida, Chinami Yoshida and Yumi Suzuki of the Japanese women’s curling team play in a match against Estonia on December 15, 2021 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, during the final qualifying tournament for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.


Curling shoes resemble sneakers, with chunky soles and a lace-up construction in a low-cut silhouette. Two large circular soles are attached to one of the shoes’ outsoles, which are made of Teflon to allow a smooth glide on the ice. The other shoe has an equal sole thickness to maintain balance during competition.

Speed ​​skating and short track speed skating

Compared to figure skating, speed skating and short track speed skating involve faster movements in more enclosed spaces. Speed ​​skates consist of lower boots with ridged straps and thin blades attached to their soles, which are flat along their entire length. Short track speed skates are similar in shape, except that their blades are set higher to allow skaters to move around tighter turns on the ice.

Winter Olympics, short track speed skating, skates

Athletes compete in round 2 of the men’s 5,000m short track speed skating relay at the Gangneung Ice Rink at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on February 13, 2018.



hockey shoes, shoes for the winter olympics, 6738928 11.01.2022 Dynamo goalkeeper Ivan Bocharov, Stanislav Galiyev, Jokerit's Teemu Turunen and Dynamo's Nikita Novikov fight for the puck during the ice hockey game of Kontinental Hockey League between Dynamo Moscow and Jokerit Helsinki, in Moscow, Russia.  Vladimir Fedorenko / Sputnik via AP

Dynamo goalie Ivan Bocharov Stanislav Galiyev, Jokerit’s Teemu Turunen and Dynamo’s Nikita Novikov fight for the puck during the Continental Hockey League ice hockey match between Dynamo Moscow and Jokerit Helsinki, in Moscow , in Russia.

CREDIT: Sputnik via AP

Hockey shoes differ from those used in figure skating, speed or short track speed because of their thickness. Most styles feature hard toes and shanks, which are padded on the inside and feature thick woven laces. Their soles are attached by screws to plastic tubes, which wrap thin metal blades that provide traction to navigate the ice.


sledging shoes, winter olympic shoes, UMHAUSEN, AUSTRIA, 09.JAN.22 - LUGE - FIL World Cup, natural track, team event.  The picture shows Ekaterina Lavrenteva (RUS).  Photo: GEPA photos / Daniel Schoenherr (Sipa via AP Images)

Luge athlete Ekaterina Lavrenteva (RUS).


Sled slippers are essential for good performance in sport. Olympic styles feature zippered ankle-high uppers, along with curved soles and outsoles that force wearers’ feet into the correct running positions. The streamlined silhouette also includes synthetic uppers which add to their lightweight feel.

Ski jumping

Legendary Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai performs in the HBC Cup jump in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture on January 10, 2022. The eight-time Winter Olympian placed 4th in the event.


In ski jumping, an athlete’s body is essentially horizontal in relation to their skis. This sport requires flexible boots that allow wearers to lean forward. The high-back pairs used by Olympic athletes include ridged soles with toes that clip onto their skis, as well as lace-up silhouettes with front buckles for added safety in flight.


Winter Olympics, Shaun White, snowboard, boots

Shaun White competes in the men’s snowboard halfpipe final at Phoenix Snow Park during the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 on February 14, 2018.


Snowboard boots are arguably the heaviest and most complex styles of all the pairs needed to compete in various Olympic winter sports. Pairs of laces with thick laces and padded soles provide added stability, while textured soles and synthetic uppers provide greater durability. However, the parts of the boots that really make or break riders on the slopes are their bindings – heavily curled plastic housings that connect the boots to the boards.


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