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Limited dorsiflexion and stiffness. Your thoughts?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm hearing some differing opinions and experiences so I figured I'd ask the EpicSki Boot Guys.


I'm a 41 year old female (5'4", 120lbs), high level 7 skier, PSIA Level 1 instructor, and very active resistance training and rowing 5 days a week and ski/figure skate 5 to 7 days a week).  I'm more of a finesse skier than a power skier but I'm strong.  However, I have limited dorsiflexion.  Quite a bummer as ankle flexion is a big part of skating and skiing but I am working on it through PT.  I have narrow heels and a medium width forefoot.  Because of the limitation of flexion, I tend to flex diagonally across the foot (rolling inward or pronating a little) which results in heel lift.  That's why I started getting Haglund's deformity on my heels from my figure skates.  It's hard to keep my heel down when I flex.


I'd like to know your opinion on boot stiffness with regard to those with limited ankle flexion.  I can bend my ankles but just not as much as many people.  Some bootfitters have said that a stiff race boot is best for me since it wouldn't take much ankle flexion to pressure the front of the boot.  Other female instructors have said that they received the same advice and found that an overly stiff boot inhibited their ability to lean forward and actually put them more in the backseat and advised me against listening to such recommendations.


I'm currently skiing the Nordica Firearrow F1 as was recommended and customized by a local SLC bootfitter.  I feel like I can hardly flex it standing still let alone when skiing.  That might be a good thing or a bad thing.  I'm not convinced either way.  Some days I think I need a softer boot and that the Firearrow is like a brick wall prohibiting forward lean.  


What is your philosophy about restricted dorsi/ankle flexion and stiffness?  Inquiring minds want to know.

post #2 of 3

1)   demo and see what feels best for you


2)  I think that if you have limited flex, then you want a boot with limited flex too (so stiffer)    But try to get a more upright boot, to add range to amount of flex you do have

post #3 of 3

your solution is not a one dimension answer. just because the boot you have is "stiff", it is possible that it's "stiffness" is not inherent, but related to your leg, ankle, and movement patterns inside of it.


so all of the factors for good match of equipment and alignment are the factors that you have to figure out.


match of shell shape to your foot and lower leg

match of forward lean, ramp angle to your joint flexibility

match of the shell height to the length of your lever arm (lower leg)

match of the custom footbed to your arch shape and flexibility

how you buckle the boot to your foot and lower leg

width of ski that you are driving

tactical and technical skill level

learned muscle memory from previous boot set-ups

and more, etc..........................



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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Limited dorsiflexion and stiffness. Your thoughts?