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Custom Footbeds?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a pair of Technica Icon Carbons. Had them up at Squaw this weekend an they were terrific. A huge difference from my old boots (12 year old Nordica racing boots).
Anyway, does anyone have any advice on the custom footbeds? The shop I got the boots has a master bootfitter who will do them. Are they worth it if the fit and the ride already seem great?
post #2 of 9
Hey Funston,
Funny you should ask the same question as me about 1 month earlier. Check this thread out: http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001212.html

I've talked to everyone at the shop i work at too, and they said that I should invest in a set. I'm planning to do so once i get this month's paycheck. The two conditions I know of where you don't need a custom footbed is if you're 100% flatfooted even with your foot off the ground or if you have a 100% infalliable arch that doesn't even begin to collapse when you start edging.

The reason for the flatfootedness is, even if you get a custom cork...the cork's gonna be flat...a waste of $100-150 you're spending. If you have an infalliable arch, you don't need it either because that's what you're trying to maintain with a footbed...an arch that doesn't collapse.

This is how I understand it. The instant your foot is placed on the ground, all the weight of your body is directed downwards to your feet. With all the pressure on your feet, your arch collapses and your feet get "bigger". Think of a piece of playdough shaped exactly like your feet...when you put pressure on it from above, the area with the lowest structural integrity collapses first...that would be your arch...as a direct result, the footshaped playdough gains more surface area on the bottom. That I believe is what happens to a normal foot.

Beyond this, when you're in a boot, you require a rolling motion from side to side to get the ski on edge. Take off your socks and stand up and roll from a vertical position to the left or right and look at the arch of the outside foot. The arch deforms further right? When you perform that same motion with a boot without a footbed, the same thing happens more or less because the stock footbed has...well...no support. When you roll to one side or the other, most of the energy for turning is initially diverted to the arch deforming. THEN you get the bulk of your energy going into the ski for edging.

When you have a custom footbed made for your foot and inserted into your boot, the cork which is dense and rigid, holds up that arch under all conditions. So, during turn initiation, the arch cannot be deformed (being supported by the cork), thus, the energy is transfered into the ski more quickly. Atleast, that's the theory behind it.

From my understanding, thus, custom footbeds are not just for comfort, but for performance enhancement as well.

Another thing you should consider is future medical complications. I'm sure you're aware, but improper foot alignment and such are acutely related to migraines, headaches, and other annoying ailments. Proper footbeds prevent that.

So, it comes down to this...is it worth plunking down the $$ for? Seeing how long they last...yes. You're paying an average of $12.50/year if they last 10 years which is common.

Will it enhance your skiing performance? Probably...but to what extent, it's hard to say.

Which ones to get? Well, there's Superfeet which are cork, and use a non-weight-bearing process, DFP which uses dense foam and a computer, and a few other ones out there.

What molding method is better? It's hard to say. There are people who say the non-weight-bearing process is better because it's the natural conformation of the foot that's being molded. Others say that an imprinting method is better because your feet are "normal" when you're standing. Which way to go is up to you to decide...and also the stores to some extent...superfeet is available at most shops I'd think, especially bootfitters. The other ones may or may not be available.

If you can wait a month or a month and a half, i'd be able to tell you a difference since im' in the same predicament as you. If it's not possible to wait that long, I'd definitely say go for it!!

Hope this helps...if there's any inaccuracy in here, i'm sorry...and i'm sure someone on this forum will catch it :O

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great info, RK, as well as the link to the previous thread. Think I'll be making an appointment this week to get them made.
post #4 of 9
Where are you at right now? If you're still in the Squaw area, most ppl who've been in the Tahoe area have recommended Granite Chief (in Squaw Valley somewhere). If you're paying the same price for any place to goto for the footbeds, ask around on this board and see who/where they recommend for the area you're living in.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm back in San Francisco. Was only up at Squaw for a quick day trip. I bought the boots from Norski in Lafayette, who several people in this forum recommended. The owner Chris is a certified master fitter.
post #6 of 9
Surefoot has store at Both Squaw and in San Fran. Go take a look at their Site www.surefoot.com to get more info.
post #7 of 9
given the choice between surefoot and a master boot fitter, I would go with the master boot fitter. If no other choice then would use surefoot. They have some good fitters but they also are growing very fast and some of the fitters are still learning the ropes.
Just my opinion.
post #8 of 9
I get pretty bad cramp in the arch of my foot, usually in the mornings, or the first couple of days of a trip. I have always thought that it's because I have a high arch, and when the pressure and movement of skiing combine, the foot scrabbles for grip on the sole of the boot, leading to a gripping tension in the arch to prevent collapse.

Is this the kind of problem a foot bed would remedy?

Otherwise the boots (Raichle F1s|) are fantastic, and when the pain subsides, they are very comfortable, with good support.

Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #9 of 9
Johnny boy
Yes the footbed would help. I have to warn you if you have a high arch, when you get the footbed you may find the boot is too wide. When you keep the foot neutral instead of pronating, your foot doesn't flatten out and change shape. A good fitter will be able to help you take care of this. Also it take some getting used to because your feet are so used to flattening out, you will probably get cramps at first until you learn to relax the bottoms of your feet when you ski. It's almost like getting a charlie horse on the bottom of your feet until you adjust to it. Then it's like having power steering with no pain!
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