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Boot fitters: do you run into people with different length legs?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

My left leg is a full 2 cm shorter than my right from a wicked break some years ago. Only recently have my doctors messed around with giving me a heel lift in my everyday shoes. To say that skiing has been a challenge in recent years with two different length legs is probably putting it mildly. 

 

Anyway, these cats initially gave me a heel lift of just over a quarter inch. The difference that it has made in my balance and walking around/standing is already pretty incredible. Is this something most good bootfitters could duplicate for me in a boot? I'm hoping to to raise the footbed in a boot by that amount front to back (as opposed to just a heel lift) so that I don't have to deal with the front of my foot sweeping downward as it gets to the toe.

 

Does this make any sense? I think my (relatively) local boot expert is Shon at the Boot Pro at Okemo. It's about an hour and a half from me. Thanks in advance for any info/comments.

post #2 of 12

jfrafa,

 

     I believe the reason you have not received a reply is that there is no short answer to your query, (nice little play on words there).  I have read that, in the adult population, 92% of us have a short led (LLD = leg length discrepancy) and 42% have a difference of 10mm or more, this really messes up skiing.  The turn with the long leg down hill works "ok" the other one SUCKSmad.gif   You definitely need to get symmetry in your ski turns to excel (get it fixed if you can).

 

     Working with / correcting for, a leg length discrepancy, requires a prescription from a Dr., to cover the ethical aspects, for boot fitters who are certified pedorthist (hint---they would be practicing medicine without a license if no script in hand) LLD is a diagnosis---only a Dr. can diagnose a condition.  I am not sure where that leaves the other boot fitters who are not Cpeds.  Which is why, not many, have answered this post.

 

have a good season.

 

 

mike

post #3 of 12

Agree with Mike.

 

Good boot fitters regularly make mods for LLD's.  You are on the correct line of thinking too that you want to raise the whole boot vs. just a heel lift you use in your walking shoes.   I like to keep the ramp angle and delta angles the same for left and right boots.  The LLD adjustments, if small can sometimes be done inside the boot with bontex (pressed cardboard) shims or with larger adjustment can be done with lifter plates screwed to boot soles and/or installing appropriate lifter plates between the binding and ski.  Getting this done will certainly help your skiing.  Though I am not a Doctor, I have noticed from years of dealing with these issues that someone like yourself who have had sudden and tramatic injuries that change leg length respond well to closer to full correction vs. people who have lived their whole lives with these discrepancies who will warrant less than the full adjustment.  In other words if you had a 2cm leg length difference your whole life the Dr. may only prescribe making up 1cm difference for skiing while if this was a result of a broken leg, they may possibly prescribe making up the whole 2cm.  

 

Get it addressed and your skiing performance will benefit for sure!

 

bud

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the responses from both of you! I'm looking forward to tackling this before the season starts. Can't wait to see what effect it has on my skiing.

 

Thanks again,

 

Jay

post #5 of 12

Bud as usual is right.  Don't mess around inside the boot since you want all angles to remain the same left to right.  Instead had someone do a full correction under the binding and have a left and right ski.

 

Lou

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post

Bud as usual is right.  Don't mess around inside the boot since you want all angles to remain the same left to right.  Instead had someone do a full correction under the binding and have a left and right ski.

Lou
I would agree with Bud's first suggest doing the 1cm lift on the boot vs. under the binding, this does not limit him to just a specific left/right ski combo and not the need to do it with every ski that he either owns or wants to ski plus the difficulty with most system type skis. The limitation in doing the boot might be the specific sole.
post #7 of 12

One cm under the sole?   HHHHHMMMMMMMM, not certain I know how I'd go about doing that.  Certainly finding a shop to do that work will be less than easy.

 

Lou

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post

One cm under the sole?   HHHHHMMMMMMMM, not certain I know how I'd go about doing that.  Certainly finding a shop to do that work will be less than easy.

Lou
Ys, it is a lot. 5-7mm is more easily obtainable but for flexibility I would do as much under the boot as possible without getting under the binding. While a bit of precision might be lost with that amount over the ideal 1cm, it is still significantly better than no adjustment. Plus he won't have to have a separate right/left ski and the luxury of getting on any ski that he wants.
He have a member here with a 2" LLD, in his case we got as much on his boot as we could easily then the rest under his binding. But his case was a little more extreme.
post #9 of 12

Well Jay here is how I see it.  The break is a few years old but before that we assume you didn't have a leg length discrepancy or not one that you knew about.  I think you should try to correct it completely.  Maybe sneak up on it a little at a time to give your back and everything else time to adjust but I would try to correct it.  I don't see the benefit to doing some under the boot and some under your skis since you'll never get enough to do it entirely under your boots.  Never.  Therefore, you will still end up with a left and right ski no matter what.  Adding two cm or very close to it under a binding is straightforward  and the parts to do it already exist and come directly from the manufacturer.  All that is necessary is some screws.  Yes you will have a left and right ski, but you are going to anyway.

 

For what it's worth.

 

Lou

post #10 of 12

i am going to jump in and add to the fray 

 

if i get you right the difference is 2cm (diagnosed) and a 6-8mm lift (just over 1/4 ") has made a massive difference to day to day life.... we ski on an uneven surface so the forces on the body are not the same as walking on concrete, my gut feeling would be to get as much onto the boot as possible (perhaps that 1cm) and see how it goes, ski a bit and feel the difference, the break was some years ago so your body has adapted to not having any lift or having this 1/4" one more recently, so i think that in this case trying to correct the full amount is probably a step to far 

 

ok so who and where is going o do this best:  well to get any lift on a boot sole it needs to be a solid soled boot (race boot or some of the consumer models, doesn't have to be a stiff race boot)  and you need someone who has experience of adding lifters to boots... i would travel a bit if required and find a fitter who works with this type of product and has the lifters required...Salomon used to make (many years ago) 9mm and 11mm lifters for their boots (before the days of FIS making up height rules) so it is very possible to do, you just nee dthe right boot and the right guy

 

best of luck getting this sorted, i know form the picture i have in a file from a client with a similar problem that it makes the world of difference... the shot was him with his 2 daughters stood with the matterhorn in the background, scrawled on the back of the photo was a note which simply said, "without your help on my boots this picture could not have been taken, thank you for letting me ski with my girls again"

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

I really want to thank all of you for weighing in on this. Lots of great information and takes. I wanted to follow up and let you guys know what worked for me:

The summer and fall got away from me pretty quickly with daily life getting in the way and I wasn't able to get to a good bootfitter. Fast forward to last weekend, and we had our first "ski day" imminent on Sunday. I was determined to do something (anything) differently and avoid the status quo. 

As mentioned earlier, my doc recommended a heel lift of a little over a quarter inch in my daily shoes and sneakers. That helped dramatically. So dramatically, that I began to investigate "Full-foot lifts" instead of just a heel lift. The heel lift produced a little bit of achilles discomfort after a while and I surmised that a full foot lift would alleviate that. I found a product in the fall called the "Clearly Adjustable Foot Lift" which fit the bill in terms of being micro-adjustable and easy to install in all of my shoes. Huge difference, to say the least, and the achilles discomfort went away. The only negative (if there was one) was that my left shoes fit a little bit tighter since some of the volume inside the shoe was taken away with the insertion of the lift. Not a huge deal.

So, Saturday, I took one of those full foot lifts, peeled off sufficient layers to make it the same size (height) as what has worked for me so far, removed the liner from my left boot, and installed the lift in the bottom of the boot. I re-installed the liner in the boot on top of the lift. I envisioned that the scenario of reduced volume in the boot because of the lift underneath might be a problem, but I also guessed that since the liners had packed in quite a bit since new, that that might not be an issue. I put my foot in there, adjusted the buckles, and found that it was comfortable. Stood in my living room in both and was amazed at the difference between before and after.

Skiing on Sunday in this setup was a revelation. I wasn't forced to ski with my right knee and hip slightly loose to make up for the shorter left leg. That felt amazing. The only difference at the end of the day was a little bit a numbness on my left pinky toe, where there was certainly a little more pressure due to the volume change. It'd still be worth it by a mile if that were uncorrectable. My skiing felt a hundred times more comfortable.

The biggest difference I noticed the following day was that I wasn't sore. In the last ten years, my legs have been sore after literally every ski day. The soreness is on par with what you would feel after starting to work out in a gym after a long layoff. It's consistent all year long. With Sunday being my first ski day of the season (and me being out of shape) I was pretty much floored on Monday that I didn't feel any such discomfort.

Huge win, and certainly not conventional, but this has changed the game for me. Thank you all again.

Jay


Edited by jfraga - 1/8/14 at 7:26am
post #12 of 12

great to hear a good outcome,

 

happy skiing

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