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Big calves

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My calf muscles are very large around, not all that uncommon an issue, as I can see from posts below.  I also have a high volume, normal width foot, and limited dorsiflexion.  My go to boots are getting long in the tooth (Nordica Beasts).  I had them fitted at GMOL several years back, with a few tweaks by some other reputable bootfitters.  I would like to know where to start looking for a replacement boot.  My current setup has heel lifts inside, and toe lifts out.  I would prefer to find a much more upright boot with a large cuff, but that seems unlikely.  Any thoughts on where to start looking?


I know I ask this question every year or two, but please indulge me with your views on the more recent offerings in ski boots.


I have a second question, somewhat related.  What holds the foot in the boot?  Is a large part of the the holding force generated in the cuff?  How much of the holding force is generated over the instep, and how much at the ankles?  I ask because I was having trouble getting my boot cuffs tight enough without restricting circulation.  I think I would like to have the front of my shin in contact with the tongue of the boot as I start to move forward.  If part of the reason for having the cuff tight is to hold the leg and foot down, then I think I am applying pressure to do that, as well as to keep in contact with the shell.  It would seem better to me if somehow I did not need as much force at the top of the cuff.

post #2 of 5

Blind bootfitting is largely fruitless as I'm sure you know but here are few general thoughts. First, within reason most boots can accommodate most calves. My calf is 17" in circumference at the top of the boot cuff (Lange RS 130). On this boot model and for years earlier, I have cut the shell (medial and lateral) down about an inch. In older boots, (mostly Langes or Nordica Dobermanns) I have flared the rear spoiler a bit as well. The current version with flatter ramp and straighter cuff makes this unnecessary for my tastes. It seems to me like the Lange RS (97mm) or RX (100mm) would be worth a look. Both of these will fit considerably closer than the old Beast in the midfoot circumference area.


The retention of the foot is primarily managed by the middle two buckles. A booster strap is a nice addition to give your shin a better marriage with the boot tongue.



post #3 of 5




     In general a mans calf (women are different) will enlarge just before it exits the liner cuff---a larger calf will push the Tibia forward more, this will cause most folks to sit back a little to get off of the front of the ski.  This sitting back position will cause the hips to trail behind the heels and G forces will push the butt downward at the height of centrifugal loading.  You will not be able to ski in a skelletally stacked position, where you are using you bones for support and muscles for control at any point in the turn.  This will wear you out until you get into good enough shape to stand the strain. (whoa).  


     Why not get the boots to allow you to stand where the person it (the boot) was designed for stood, in that skelletally stacked position?  This would have your femur in an almost perpendicular position to the ski as you progress through a turn (inclined carving turn).  Connected short turns will build more angles at the knee/hip but still not load the quads as much.


     In the past we would lift boot toes trying to get folks into a more centered position but that method has a limited range of adjustment.  Flaring the boot cuff to the rear (upper 4 inches) will allow you to stand up (less tibia forward lean) you wont need to correct by lowering your hips at the knee , the result = less fatigue.


So what does your calf measure (circumference in inches) at the top of the liner,  Each inch of increase will push your knee forward by about a third of an inch (geometry).




post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Mike, my circumference is a little over 19 inches.  Heel lifts serve to reduce the effective circumference, by lifting the foot and leg so that the boot top is relatively lower.  Likewise, I have the boot cuffs cut down on a couple of pairs of boots.  The Nordicas still seem the best fitting, but I really need to do a restart.  My footbeds are about ten years old, so I may just start from scratch.  I think I have a better chance of getting a good fit if I start with a vision of what I am looking for as well.  The lower ramp angles of the latest boots help, but I probably will go with a few other improvements as well, including cutting the top down and flaring out the back of the cuff.  The heel lifts helped with dorsiflexion, but really push the foot up against the top of the lower boot, and also tend to get the ankle out of alignment with the hinges on the cuff.  Everything else being equal, I would prefer to move the back of the cuff out over most of the other modifications.  I think the Langes may be the right answer, based on what I have seen.  My biggest concern was that there might be some low sales volume boot, for example, Alpina (although I don't think they have anything for me) that has some very suitable boot that I just had not heard about.

post #5 of 5



You need to go with a more upright boot the Lange RX series has 60mm of forward lean when measured from a vertical (a tall book standing up behind the heel of the boot) to the back of the liner at the top of the shell,  This boot could then be pulled back to match the appropriate tibia forward lean you need. Skeletally stacked up means you ride your bones down the hill not your quads = your femur in an almost perpendicular position to the down hill ski, through most of the turn.


this tool:


can do the job---we charge $60.00 plus shipping and handling to pull a set of cuffs back and the results are phenomenal.  The adjustment then can be made to find your optimal fore/aft centered up position.


If you have 19 inch calves at the top of the liner you need a boot with about 35mm of forward when measured as described above---if the boot were pulled back to this degree you would not need the heel lift to try to get some of your leg up out of the boot---you would then not have problems with pushing the instep upward against the shell.  If your calves are smaller at the top of the boots you purchase you would need more forward lean than 35mm.  We have been doing this adjustment for many folks like your self over the years and the results speak for themselves.

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