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Are custum footbeds really necessary?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I understand they are for some people but I'm a poor college student and I need to buy my first pair of boots. I'm an intermediate skier and I never really had any discomfort on the rentals (hard to believe huh) but everyone is telling me I HAVE to get a custum footbed. They're going for 150 bucks in the chicagoland area.

The only reason I want to replace the stock footbed is for better performance and a snug fit. I've seen those generic sized footbeds going for 30 to 40 bucks. Has anyone had experience with them? I'm sure they'll be better than the stock and for what i'm looking for do you think they'll help out? Thanx
post #2 of 21
You don't need them but they can make a huge difference.

I didn't see a huge comfort increase but alot of control and less foot fatigue.

You should be able to get some Superfeet for like $80 that will be heated and molded to your foot.

$150 seems like alot especially if you are on a budget.
post #3 of 21
my suggestion would be that if you have a pretty standard foot and fit in to the cheaper one footbeds, go w/ 'em. As for me, I have a high arc, and a wide mid foot and went with 170 InstaPrint footbeds. Love 'em.

Jay
post #4 of 21
Go with SOLE footbeds. I had custom-fitted Superfeet in my boots for a couple seasons and the SOLE product is better. The nice thing about SOLE is you get the custom fit for cheap - CDN$39.99 in BC. You just warm them up in a 200 deg. oven for 10 min, slip 'em into your runners, lace up, and stand still while they form to your foot. And if you don't get the fit right the first time, you can reheat up to 5 times. Foolproof!
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by midwestsucks:
I understand they are for some people but I'm a poor college student and I need to buy my first pair of boots. I'm an intermediate skier and I never really had any discomfort on the rentals (hard to believe huh) but everyone is telling me I HAVE to get a custum footbed. They're going for 150 bucks in the chicagoland area.

The only reason I want to replace the stock footbed is for better performance and a snug fit. I've seen those generic sized footbeds going for 30 to 40 bucks. Has anyone had experience with them? I'm sure they'll be better than the stock and for what i'm looking for do you think they'll help out? Thanx
post #6 of 21
Truthfully, anything support you put in your ski boots is better than what came with your boots. There is, however, a HUGE difference between a footbed and a custom orthotic. The difference is in how your foot is supported by the product. A footbed is a mold of your foot "as is" with no correction taken into account.

While it is more of an investment, an orthotic will correct and hold your foot into what is known as a "neutral position". This position is different for everbody so it MUST be custom made by someone who can find your "neutral". This reason this position is so good is that it stacks the bones of your foot and ankle properly into their anitomically strongest position which allows for: greater efficiency, greater edge control, limited pronation, less slop, less fatigue, and less splaying of your foot. This is the type of support your ski boots are designed to have inside them. Footbeds do not and can not offer this type of correction or performance.

As I said before, anything is better than the insole that came in your boot but you will definitely get what you pay for with any of these products. You don't have to break the bank but I would recommed paying a bit more than the 30 or 40 dollars for the cheaper stuff and then save up for a better support.

I hope some of this helps! Have fun.

Quote:
Originally posted by midwestsucks:
I understand they are for some people but I'm a poor college student and I need to buy my first pair of boots. I'm an intermediate skier and I never really had any discomfort on the rentals (hard to believe huh) but everyone is telling me I HAVE to get a custum footbed. They're going for 150 bucks in the chicagoland area.

The only reason I want to replace the stock footbed is for better performance and a snug fit. I've seen those generic sized footbeds going for 30 to 40 bucks. Has anyone had experience with them? I'm sure they'll be better than the stock and for what i'm looking for do you think they'll help out? Thanx
post #7 of 21
Get the type of footbed that is right for your foot shape.

I am not surprised you didn't have comfort issues with rentals. I never had comfort issues either but I did not have the performance from a rental that I had from my first pair of boots, which I got at the end of the season two years ago.

Footbeds will outlast boots most of the time.

Good luck,

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #8 of 21
At first I used rentals or borrowed boots and rarely made it past noon befoer the pain was too much to take (narrow heel, wide forefoot, HIGH arch). Then I got some entry level boots (Salomon Verse 5) that were a ton better, but I had to wiggle my toes on lifts to keep my foot from falling asleep. Now I have Tecnica Rival 8 boots with Superfeet molded footbeds and these boots are more comfortable than my running shoes. The shop, Freestyle in C'ville, VA, also added a heel shim to better fit the boot to my foot/leg angle (I don't know the technical term). Now my ski boots are more comfortable than my running shoes...

In short, get footbeds now if you can afford them now. If not, get them later when you get the money and you will notice the difference.
post #9 of 21
This same topic was just discussed a few weeks ago here in a thread started on October 30th. It presents a pretty balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages of spending $$$ on footbeds. See:
http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...=004681#000000

Good luck. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanx guys. I think I'm going to buy the Sole Custom Footbeds. They are footbeds which you put into your oven and then stick into your boots and stand in for two minutes molding to your feet. Not excactly high tech but for 40 bucks i think it can get the job done. Also they have a 90 day money back garauntee no questions asked, I'm sold. :
post #11 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by midwestsucks:
I'm an intermediate skier and I never really had any discomfort on the rentals (hard to believe huh)

Do you have your own boots ?

How many day's do you ski ?

I doubt any foot bed will help much in a rental boot.

I have had my boots picked out for me and fitted by one of the best boot fitters in VT. I have taken naps with my boots on, that is how comfortable they can be when done right.

Why don't you wait until after college when you have the money to do it right.

[ November 18, 2003, 07:45 AM: Message edited by: Max Capacity ]
post #12 of 21
Sounds like you already made up your mind but just to add fuel. First it depends entirely on your foot. You say you generally have no problems so a good 'over the counter' unit would probably do very well for you. As I tell many people the genaric unit may do 90% of the job it's that next 10% that's going to cost the extra $120. Economics are usually a factor.

Gimmesnow's recommondation of Sole footbeds is an excellent one. They are by far the best over the counter unit I've seen. My only suggestion is I wouldn't bother with the heat molding unless you have a problem spot. I generally put people on them because they need support. Heat molding them standing in your boot/shoe will only serve to collapse some of that support. IF you have a problem with pressure in an area you could spot heat and stand on them to ease that pressure. At some point if you feel you need to heat mold them you can but I strongly suggest you try them without first.

They operate out of Calgary under the name Edge Marketing and I believe have US offices in Kalispel. They have an excellent website that I believe lists dealers. I believe they are also available in any Red Wing shoe store.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Max Capacity:
Quote:
Originally posted by midwestsucks:
I'm an intermediate skier and I never really had any discomfort on the rentals (hard to believe huh)

Do you have your own boots ?

How many day's do you ski ?

I doubt any foot bed will help much in a rental boot.

I have had my boots picked out for me and fitted by one of the best boot fitters in VT. I have taken naps with my boots on, that is how comfortable they can be when done right.

Why don't you wait until after college when you have the money to do it right.
I am in the process of buying my own boots. I don't want to wait till after college because i'm only a freshman and I love to ski, I'd just rather spend more money on lift tickets than on equipment I could use without. Although I do want to get better. hmmm...decisions, decisions
post #14 of 21
IMO you need to find a good boot fitter. do not just buy boots from any shop. A good fitter will examine our feet and tell you what boot you should be in. Be honest with the fitter tell him how you ski. You don't want to get a boot that is to stiff for you.

If you need some name's I'm sure you can ckick on the link to boot fitters on this site or ask the question.

We're here to help.

Good Luck,

[ November 18, 2003, 11:16 AM: Message edited by: Max Capacity ]
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanx for the help guys
post #16 of 21
before you buy....

the poster who explained the difference between footbeds and orthodics was DEAD ON. and then a later response told you that orthodics last - and you can switch them from one pair of boots to another.

I understand your money situation and offer my 2 cents.

You use your feet to ski... obviously the more often you ski, the better you'll become (in general)... but your feet come first, then the right boot, then the right ski.

plus your foot won't change, your biomechanics aren't likely to change much - but your equipment will. buy the custom orthodic and get a good boot, then buy used skis/bindings. The $150 you spend on the orthodic is an investment in your sport. You can find boots (hunt around for last year's stuff, etc) for under $300 for GOOD boots. You can buy a decent ski/binding package at a ski swap for $150-200.

good luck,
kiersten
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by midwestsucks:
I understand they are for some people but I'm a poor college student and I need to buy my first pair of boots. I'm an intermediate skier and I never really had any discomfort on the rentals (hard to believe huh) but everyone is telling me I HAVE to get a custum footbed. They're going for 150 bucks in the chicagoland area.

The only reason I want to replace the stock footbed is for better performance and a snug fit. I've seen those generic sized footbeds going for 30 to 40 bucks. Has anyone had experience with them? I'm sure they'll be better than the stock and for what i'm looking for do you think they'll help out? Thanx
Save you $ till you NEED higher performance...(you did say they will be your FIRST pair of boots)

I've gone through probably 15-20 pairs of boots in my life and never yet found the need for custom foot beds. But everyones feet are different...buy what is right for you, if the boots you buy are comfortable and seem to fit well, then don't let some sales person talk you into $150 custom foot beds (this price sounds pretty fat to me...my wife had some custom beds made for a lot less than that...with her it was a comfort issue).

At least get out and try you new boots first...then if your not satisfied you can always go back and have them done later...don't be misled by sales people!
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by midwestsucks:
I understand they are for some people but I'm a poor college student and I need to buy my first pair of boots. I'm an intermediate skier and I never really had any discomfort on the rentals (hard to believe huh) but everyone is telling me I HAVE to get a custum footbed. They're going for 150 bucks in the chicagoland area.

The only reason I want to replace the stock footbed is for better performance and a snug fit. I've seen those generic sized footbeds going for 30 to 40 bucks. Has anyone had experience with them? I'm sure they'll be better than the stock and for what i'm looking for do you think they'll help out? Thanx
My advice is to spend the money on custom orthodics and a properly fitted pair of boots, and don't buy skis or bindings for the moment. We generally replace our boots every 3-5 years. Whereas many people update their ski's every 2 years. If you're not going to ski for more than 10 days a year, you should consider renting the newest ski's at the resort, rather than buying. This way, you only have to travel with your boots, and you can try out any ski you want. If you don't ski enough, it doesn't pay to buy ski's and bindings (which can easily run $1,000 for a high end pair).

You can demo two or three pair of the hottest new skis over two days for about $35-50. Rather than buying skis so quickly... consider utilizing the demo program. You may find it's the best deal out there. Also... if you do choose to buy, the store will put your demo spending towards the purchase price.

GF
post #19 of 21
IMHO, a pair of over-the-counter footbeds is better than nothing. I bought a pair of Superfeet last year, cut them out to fit my needs (my problem is the pain radiating from the little toe ball, not the stance, so I knew what shape to cut them into better than an average bootfitting guy at the shop: I never have the time to go to the real pro - although I do recommend all other people not to follow my example) - and I never had any problems since.

Granted, a pair of custom footbeds is better than a generic pair of fixed-shape ones, but considering that you are a student - if you can buy a pair of heat-molding footbeds for $40 - go for it, but keep in mind that they will take on the shape of whatever boot you put them into while hot; if not - try what I did. It only cost me $30 and a hundred milliliters of blood when I slashed my finger [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #20 of 21
I've had my custom footbeds for over 10 years and used them in several different boots I have owned over that time. So, if you look at the cost over that period, it was cheap. For the comfort and confidence they have given me, it was worth every penney.
post #21 of 21
I use $14 insoles from CVS in all my athletic shoes and ski boots . They fit my feet well and support me well enough after running, walking, skiing for many hours. They are Dr. Schools Sport insoles (blue felt on top). They are superior to any thing that comes in my shoes or my ski boots.

My father has a bad planter fascitis / heel spur from plaing tennis in bad shoes from the 60s - mid 80s. He needs insoles custom built by a podiatrist to alow him to walk any distance wiht out pain. These cost over $1500 includign consultation and manufacturing the orthotics and it isnt covered by his health insurance. If you are expereincing foot pain when you ski then see the boot fitter and try to get things set up as well as possible. For like 99% of people properly fit boots with aftermarket insoles will work just fine. But if you have bad feet explain your condition to the boot fitter and also Consult your podiatrist to make sure your doing things right. If you have sore feet all the time from walking, stnading etc... consult a podiatrist and investigate custom orthotics. This is a case where $14 of prevention will save you $1500 or more if you need surgery later in life.
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