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Tingly toes many days after skiing

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've skied my new boots six days now. I wear a size 11.5/12 street shoe and got size 28 Nordica HR Pro 125 boot. The foot-measuring device says I have a B width.


The first two days were brutal with my toes getting squished. I figured I just needed to wear them and get them packed out a bit. The third day was better but still feeling cramped in the toes. I went to a recommended bootfitter on my fourth day and he ground out the toe areas, thinned the toe area of my Superfeet footbeds and stretched out the toe area of the liner a bit. He asked me if I was feeling pain or pressure points in the widest part of my forefoot and I said no (the boots feel very snug there but I wasn't feeling pain in that area).


There was noticeably more toe room after this work and my toes no longer felt cramped. The next day in the boots I noticed my bottom two buckles sticking up (I was not buckling them with pressure and so they came loose during skiing), so I put them on the next notch to keep them from popping off. About 30 minutes later I noticed my toes were getting tingly again and starting to feel some pretty strong pain, so I unbuckled the bottom two buckles again. The tingly/semi-numb sensation is lasting for many days (it hasn't yet gone away).


Perhaps the bootfitter was on to something when asking about pressure on the wide part of my forefoot? Are there some nerves in that area that could be getting too much pressure and causing my toes to get tingly even though they now have some room to move? Is there anything else I should test before going back to the bootfitter? Thanks for your suggestions.

post #2 of 5

tracking where nerve pressure starts is a difficult task. and before you start on that journey, it is a good idea to revisit the boot fitting basics.


from the room i am sitting in with no view of your foot, there are few basics that need to be asked.


shell sizing - how much space was between the back of your heel and the boot shell when your toes where lightly touching in the front. and when your heel is al the way back and centered for width in the empty shell, do you have contact with the shell at the big toe?, pinky toe?, 1st met head?, 5th met head. is your instep high or low?


footbed - is the superfeet a custom kork, or a trim to fit. either way check the interface of the footbed in the liner. the way the footbed sits in the liner can have some effect on the forefoot.


ie: if the footbed trim at the toe is too long, it will pull the liner shape lower in the toe box.


ie: the footbed has been trimmed too short, it could be sliding forward, therefore bringing the arch and heel counter forward in the boot and bringing your foot with it.


ie: if the footbed is trimmed too wide in the forefoot, it could have a reverse curve, that may be causing the nerves between your toes to be squished.


ie: if the heel counter on the custom is not properly interfaceed to the back of the liner, it could be forcing your foot forward in the boot.


ankle dorsiflexsion - low or limited ankle ROM can force all of your body weight plus the g forces of turning down on your metatarsal heads while skiing.


proper buckling of your boot to get heel/ankle containment - focus on instep and ankle buckles for containment.


ok if all that stuff checks out there are 2 directions to take. first of all nerve pain swims downstream from the point of impingement. that means that your bootfiter has to swim upstream on the the nerves to find the pressure point causing the pain. that could lead to some weird discoveries, like pressure behind the outside ankle bone causing the bottom of your foot to go numb. or instep pressure from the top of the boot causing your toes to tingle.


second could just be that the boot shell is just not a good match for your foot shape, and your fitter needs to punch or grind the shell to give you relief.


all that said, narrow foot in a HR 125, seems unlikely from where i am sitting, that he boot shell shape is the cause. i would look hard at the basic bootfit stuff for your answer.


one other possibility, is your skiing style and the conditions that you have been skiing. if your instep is normal to low and you are a back seat ranger,  your forefoot can easily jam into the front of the boot. if you do not get the heel held down in the back of the boot and get your shin into the front of the cuff, your problem will not get resolved. in that situation giving the shell more toe room by grinding or stretching, will cause greater pain and suffering, as your foot will be able to accelerate a few mm further before it slams into the narrowest part of the shell.


long winded response, and unfortunately it will take a skilled fitter to assess your foot and check out all of the potential cause of nerve pain or numbing.




post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Jim. I appreciate the time you put into your thorough response. This will help me be able to better communicate with my bootfitter.


I have about 7mm-10mm behind my heel when my toes are lightly touching the front. When I center my foot in the shell the sides of my forefoot are touching both sides (not just lightly touching but there is not heavy pressure, either). When my heel is all the way back I have contact with both the first met head and the fifth met head and light contact with the pinky toe. My arch is fairly high but my instep is medium height (so I've been told).


The Superfeet is a trim to fit which I bought from my bootfitter. I later noticed that one side was cut too long and was pulling the toe area of the liner down as you mentioned, so I cut it back a bit, but I'm not sure about the width. I don't have my original insoles anymore since the bootfitter tossed them when I bought the Superfeet from him.


I've been told that I have good dorsiflexion (not limited or low). I really only buckle the ankle buckles because adding any additional pressure with the instep buckle starts the pain (not on the instep itself but rather in my toe area).


Again, I appreciate your response and would like to make it down to Start Haus for a more personal assessment in the near future.



post #4 of 5

good feedback. leads to a few more questions.....


which color superfeet trim to fit do you have in the boot? also high arch can mean higher than normal instep?


IMHO, the rubber is meeting the road somewhere around your instep. 


"My arch is fairly high but my instep is medium height (so I've been told)."


regardless of what you have been told, i would have a good look at your instep bump. you have a bundle of nerves and veins that run through the bump on the top of your foot and continue down to the toes. compression of these nerves or bloodflow at that spot typically ranges down towards the toes. the nordica HR 125 has a fairly low roof. this will exaggerate pressure to that spot. in addition to arch height, the flexibility of your arch will come into play as well.


"I really only buckle the ankle buckles because adding any additional pressure with the instep buckle starts the pain (not on the instep itself but rather in my toe area)."


crux move, if you cannot buckle of the instep buckle to contain your foot without causing pain or tingling, you need to find a fitter that can do one or all of the following:


5 possible fixes at the instep..... could take anywhere from 1 to all 5 to get relief.


1. remove bootboard and flatten the slight arch bump and varus angle ( takes good hand skills on the grinder cause the bootboard is rubberized.)


2. transfer the top point of your instep bump to the outer layer of the tongue, then grind or cut out a "fit pocket" so the instep bump has it's own little condominium to live in.


3. make sure that the footbed's undercarriage does not pass forward of your metatarsal heads. if it does then trim it back so that it only comes to the backside of the met heads, or switch to the next smaller size of superfeet. focus on the blue colored one. least amount of vertical lift to the instep.


4. heat punch or grind a large "pocket" in the shell where the heel bone hits, to allow the whole foot to drop further back in the shell. this will move your instep bump back a few mm, into a slightly higher part of the shell. side benefit is a little extra toe room


5. using the ultracam instep expander, "raise the roof" of the shell directly above your instep bump. we have had great success using this tool to improve the fit over the instep.


the hardest part for you will be finding a competent fitter that can do these things. the HR 125 is a great skiing boot. and it sounds like in general an ok match for your foot with the exception of instep room. if you can solve the instep pressure, i think that you will like the way this boot skis.





post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Okay then. Sounds like a trip to Start Haus is in order. Thanks for the very specific advice. I'll print this thread and bring it in with me.

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