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Heel Lift For Women

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I was in a ski shop today discussing a heel lift for my wife - a level 1 instructor- in order to get her "more forward".  He did a demonstration with my wife and my 14 year old daughter -J3 racer- how if he raises their heel and they flex forward, their butt will compensate by dropping back and outside of the invisible line above theri ankle.  He then put a lift under their front toes and when they flexed forward, and their hip remained aligned with their ankle.  A race coach noted that if you put the heel lift in, you create a gap at the back of the boot that needs to be filled between the shell and the liner.  I have spoken with two boot fitters and one race coach and have three different approaches/ideas.  I would like to break the "tie" and find the best method for offsetting women's natural back-seat tendency. 

 

Thanks 

 

 

I moved to the gear section

 

post #2 of 10

A lot of this is counter-intuitive. Sometimes, lifting the toe does make you move forward. I think the first thing you need to do is identify the problem and also figure out where she is now. Also understand that changes can be made inside the boot and outside the boot and the effects are not the same. So... why do you want her more forward? How much delta do her skis have? Delta is the difference in height between the toe and the heel. Once you know what you want and where you are, you can experiment. You can try shims under her boots or bindings or in her boots or try demo skis with different amounts of delta and see for yourself how it changes her stance.

 

A quick story for you on what kind of difference this can make. My wife was about ready to stop skiing because her quads would feel like they were blowing up after only one run (she's not in great shape, but she does ride 3 horses a day and has some leg muscles). Last year I lifted the toes on her bindings by 4mm with some sketchy shims. She could instantly tell a difference. She still got tired, but it was better. I measured the bindings on her skis at 9mm toes down on one pair of skis and 8mm toes down on the other. This season, I got her a pair of Kastles which are only down 1mm at the toes. It's like a whole new world of skiing for her. She is no longer "hanging" from her quads, but is stacked on her bones.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

She has Atomic Cloud 7 Skis

post #4 of 10

Not being an expert, or a bootfitter, nor having seen your wife, I can't offer advice on what to do for her. However I can warn you against generalizations based on gender. Every body and ever skier is different and those differences go far beyond X and Y chromosomes.

 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Fair enough, though her co-workers (levels #1, #2, and #3) have indicated that she is not forward enough, particularly at the end of her turns. 

post #6 of 10

boots might be too stiff? so not allowing her to get to the max forward?

post #7 of 10

Quote:

Originally Posted by handhdad View Post

I was in a ski shop today discussing a heel lift for my wife - a level 1 instructor- in order to get her "more forward".  He did a demonstration with my wife and my 14 year old daughter -J3 racer- how if he raises their heel and they flex forward, their butt will compensate by dropping back and outside of the invisible line above theri ankle.  He then put a lift under their front toes and when they flexed forward, and their hip remained aligned with their ankle.  A race coach noted that if you put the heel lift in, you create a gap at the back of the boot that needs to be filled between the shell and the liner.  I have spoken with two boot fitters and one race coach and have three different approaches/ideas.  I would like to break the "tie" and find the best method for offsetting women's natural back-seat tendency. 

 

Thanks 

putting a lift under the heel, is usually a boot internal thing.

putting a lift under the toe is usually an external operation which changes the angle of the binding (delta is common term).

2 diff. things...

 

a heel lift internal does not change the forward lean angle of the boot - a lift under the toepiece does change resulting forward lean, but not directly affecting the boot, rathert by changing binding delta.

 

a heel lift changes the angle of the foot to the lower leg, within the boot - boot forward lean remains the same.

 

mntlion's comment is prolly where you should start...

 

boot may be too stiff  OR  may appear too stiff...

 

if the boot upper is NOT closed/wrapped properly around the lower leg, then when she comes against the front/tongue area the resistance is abrupt, causing her to 'fall' back.

as a consequence of not having good wrap around the upper, there is a gap then behind the leg; which then allows/contributes to her  'fall'  to backseat against the back of the boot. Even a relatively small gap can cause a huge shift of the hips.

 

Does her boot have a 'power'booster' strap? A velcro strap above the top buckle area?

If so, get her properly buckled into the boot, then tug that strap tight, then go back and make sure the buckles are again/still snug.

We're not talkin 'cut-off-circulation' tight, but to where the buckles at least offer some amount of resistance.

 

Before you do all this, make sure the boot liners are properly pulled up and in place when she gets into the boots.

Make sure the boots are not rock hard from cold, when she gets into them - don;t transport in the cold trunk of a car, keep them with the passengers, same for overnight storage. Don;t keep them in a ski locker - those are always in cold areas - keep them with you in a warm room.

 

Many *EDIT* SKIERS  - there fixed that... (and women) have a hard time getting the boots buckled properly, that's where your assistance and their feedback is important.

 

Heel and toe lifts may at some point be called for, but do the basics first.

And if the boots still seem too stiff, even in a warm-ish try-on area, then maybe consider demo-ing some softer flex boots.

Ask questions at the boot guys forum - they'll have more ideas and good direction.


Edited by moreoutdoor - 3/7/11 at 9:17am
post #8 of 10

My son, daughter and me have heel lifts in our boots due to poor dorsiflexion i.e. tight calves/poor ankle flexibility. That's just one of many reasons for not being able to get one's weight forward.

 

Since they're cheap ($5-$10) and removeable, why not try it?

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by garylk View Post

My son, daughter and me have heel lifts in our boots due to poor dorsiflexion i.e. tight calves/poor ankle flexibility. That's just one of many reasons for not being able to get one's weight forward.


Me too.

 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by garylk View Post

My son, daughter and me have heel lifts in our boots due to poor dorsiflexion i.e. tight calves/poor ankle flexibility. That's just one of many reasons for not being able to get one's weight forward.

 

Since they're cheap ($5-$10) and removeable, why not try it?



Or, like me she might have excess dorsiflexion in which case a toe lift is warranted. Or the boot might be too stiff etc. A good bootfitter can figure this out.

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