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EpicSki › Gear Articles › Boot Fitting Terms And Glossary

Boot Fitting Terms And Glossary




What It Looks Like

BOOTBOARD The platform inside the boot shell on which the liner rests; usually removable; also referred to by its Italian name, zeppa.  
BRANNOCK DEVICE A measuring instrument invented by Charles F. Brannock for computing a person's shoe size.


A device developed in the '80s by Harry Campbell that is used to determine the best position (fore and aft) of the boot on the ski for individual skiers.


Related Article: Is the Campbell Balancer an Effective Tool for Determining Ski Binding Position


A measure of the hardness of plastic. Boots using high durometer plastic are stiffer-flexing.  
CANT (1) The angle of boot bottom with ski viewed from the front. (2) The lateral angle of the boot in relation to the ski; often confused with cuff-alignment (the adjustment of cuff angle). Boots can be canted inward or outward, usually by grinding the sole at an angle, to give a skier better access to all four ski edges.  
CARDINAL PLANES Sagittal, transverse and frontal planes.
FOOTBED The removable platform inside the liner of the boots on which the foot rests. Custom footbeds are those molded by a bootfitter to conform to the shape of the skier’s sole for better fit and more precise energy transfer.

A plane parallel to the long axis of the body and perpendicular to the sagittal plane that separates the body into front and back portions.  Sometimes referred to as the coronal plane or the roll plane.
LAST The interior shape of a boot. “Last” is a cobbler’s term for the foot-like form around on which shoes were once crafted.  
LINER The removable inner boot, usually made of foams, leather and textiles; provides padding for the foot to protect it from the rigid shell.
LIFTER Layer of plastic applied to the boot sole for extra height/leverage.  

The portions of the shell’s sole that interface with a ski binding; must meet industry standards for size; often replaceable in the event of wear.  
ORTHOTICS The field concerned with the application and manufacture of orthoses, devices which support or correct human function. The term is derived from the Greek "ortho", to straighten. Sciences such as materials engineering, gait analysis, anatomy and physiology, and psychology contribute to the work done by orthotists, the professionals engaged in the field of orthotics. A foot-supporting device or insole. In addition to providing relief for painful foot problems or an injury, those who may benefit from orthotics include people who must walk or stand excessively on the job. For those who are active in sports, orthotics will often increase endurance, performance and strength. For overweight individuals, orthotics can help to counteract the extra stress on the feet, as minor problems are often magnified due to the increased weight.  
PEDORTHIST C.Ped.s select, make and/or modify footwear and foot control devices to help people maintain or regain as much mobility as possible or to optimize their lower extremity biomechanics. Their scope of practice is typically defined as the ankle and below in layperson's terms. Most often, it is Certified Pedorthists, not Podiatrists (or D.P.M.s), who create foot orthotics, whether custom-molded, or pre-molded. A Podiatrist will often take an image of the foot by means of a plaster cast, foam mold, or computer scanned image. He or she will then make recommendations for changes to that image, and send the mold to a lab where the Pedorthist produces the final product.  
PRONATE (pronation) Pronation refers to the inward roll of the foot during normal motion and occurs as the outer edge of the heel strikes the ground and the foot rolls inward and flattens out. A moderate amount of pronation is required for the foot to function properly, however damage and injury can occur during excessive pronation. When excessive pronation does occur the foot arch flattens out and stretches the muscles, tendons and ligaments underneath the foot.  In skiing, excessive uncorrected pronation causes a mis-alignment that makes it hard to achieve and maintain a good inside edge, particularly in high performance skiing.  The opposite is suppination.
 Q Angle  The quadriceps ('Q') angle is the angle between the quadriceps muscle (primarily the rectus femoris) and the patellar tendon.[1] When assessed correctly, it supplies useful information concerning the alignment of the pelvis, leg, and foot. It also provides useful information regarding the alignment of the knee in the frontal plane. Since large forces are transmitted through the patella during extension, misalignment will cause problems with knee function.  
 RAMP The angle (when viewed from the side) of the foot inside the boot. The angle created by a line connecting the bottom of the ball-of-the-foot and the bottom of the heel with a horizontal line. Positive is when the heel is higher than the ball and negative is with the heel lower than the ball.  
 Vertically from the front to the back;parallel to the sagittal suture of the skull divides the body length wise front (anterior) to back (posterior).    Mnemonic: Saggitarius is  the Archer of the zodiac; this is the plane an archer draws a bow in.  In reference to skis and inanimate objects, this might be referred to as the pitch plane.  
SHAFT ALIGNMENT The lateral orientation of the cuff in relation to the lower shell (clog); usually adjustable on at least one side of the cuff, so that the cuff can be angled to match the angle of the skier’s lower leg when standing.  
SHELL The plastic exterior components of the boot, usually comprising two elements: the cuff (or upper) and lower.
SHELL FIT A shell-fit is when the technician removes the boot liner and has the customer place their foot in the shell and slide it forward until the toes begin to touch. Then the technician will shine a light to observe the clearance to the spine of the shell or slide his hand down the back and see how much room is behind the heel.  There should be enough space there to fit 1 to 2 fingers. This is the best way to determine if the boot is the right length for you.  A performance fit is 5 to 10 mm (one finger width), a recreational fit is up to 25 mm (2.5 cm).  Shell fit is also useful for determining lateral and instep clearances and marking where corrections need to be made to the shell. This may be done with the footbed on the bootboard.  Shell Fitting is important because ultimately all liners compact and it is common to purchase a boot too large based on trying the boot with the liner.  Liners may be short-lasted or not conform to the shell fit as they will after several days of skiing.  
SHORT-LASTED Refers to the "Last" or length of a liner or boot.  Most boots shells are the same for an entire size i.e. as size 27 and 27.5 use the same shell, but use a different liner.  A liner is often shorter than the shell giving the impression of a tighter fit than will exist after the liner packs out, or causing discomfort in the toes.  
SBS Shim Balance System.  A proprietary (The Foot Foundation) pronation measuring and alignment system based on the use of  corrective shims inside boots or shoes.  
TEKSCAN Pressure measuring and mapping device and software from the medical community that in skiing is typically used to measure pressure under the boot with results being used to determine cuff alignment.

horizontal to the body parallel to the horizon, divides the body upper from lower at the center of motion.    Sometimes referred to as the azimuthal  or yaw plane, esp. when reference is made to inanimate objects.
ZEPPA Also called bootboard. It is the removable section (usually plastic or foam) inside the shell and under the liner on which the liner rests . It supports our weight when we stand.  



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