EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Feet keep falling asleep. Troubleshooting?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Feet keep falling asleep. Troubleshooting?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

My feet fall asleep in every boot I've ever worn. I've been wearing nothing but rental boots until this year, when I went to the local ski shop to buy some in advance of a spring break ski trip. Ended up buying a pair that felt comfortable at the time, but when I took them home and tried to break them in, I kept having to cinch the 3rd and 4th bindings down too far to get it tight enough, and then it ended up too tight. Took out the liner, realized I had 30 mm clearance between my heel and the back of the shell, figured my boots were too big. 


So I went back to the store today and exchanged them for a size smaller. The fit in the length is good as far as I can tell, and the fit on the width is also good, as far as I can tell. In fact, the boots are snug, but pretty darn comfortable. Until I walk around the shop for 15 minutes, at which point I get a tingling on the ball of my foot. 15 minutes later, the ball of my foot and my toes are asleep. 


Tried buying some nice footbeds, same problem. Tried different boots, same problem. Tried all the boots in the store in my size, same problem. Every boot I've ever tried has eventually put my foot to sleep, starting in the ball of the foot and moving into the toes. 


The boot guy at my local ski shop has no idea how to find a solution, and he theorized that there might not be a solution, that it might be something about the sensitivity of my foot that every boot will do that. So I just went ahead and got the ones that were comfortable and put my feet to sleep instead of the ones that were uncomfortable and put my feet to sleep. 


But I thought I'd see if Internet-sourcing helps at all. Anyone have any suggestions, or is it just something I should live with? 

post #2 of 23

does the foot go numb with the buckles looser or off?   if not, can you ski with boot that way?

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

I haven't actually tried with the buckles off yet. I'll give that a try this afternoon. I did try taking them off, waiting for feeling to come back, and putting them back on a notch looser, and they went numb again anyways. 


I can definitely ski that way. I've been skiing that way for the last three years, because it happens with every boot I've skied in. I had just always assumed it was because of the cold and not because of the boot (my toes go numb in the cold really easily). So I don't think it'll ruin anything to keep skiing this way, was just wondering if I could improve things. Will check with the buckles off and see what happens. 

post #4 of 23

post a pictures of your feet with 2 views from the top looking down and from the side. i am interested to see what the top of your instep looks like.



post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Alright, thanks. 


Tried wearing them around the house for about an hour and a half with the 3rd and 4th buckles completely undone and the 1st and 2nd buckled only one or two notches (intermittently walking around and sitting on the couch watching Olympics). The left foot did eventually fall asleep (starting with the part near the littler toes and spreading to the little three toes themselves and eventually to all the toes), but it took significantly longer than usual (it will usually fall asleep walking around the ski shop for 20 minutes). The right one didn't fall asleep, but I'm assuming it would've eventually, because the left foot always falls asleep first. 


And pictures: 





post #6 of 23

Interesting picture of your foot from the side, It looks like your might have a high instep and a bump on top of your instep.


If the boot (even unbuckled) presses on this area it could cut off circulation and sensation.


You might need to have the shell stretched upward in the instep to accommodate this issue.   to see how---check out the tool below




One other thing---if the first boots had 30mm of open space behind your heel and you went down one size wouldn't you have about 20mm of open


space back there still----sounds like a little to much.



post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

This boot has two fingers of space in the back, according to the measurement of the guy who sold the boots to me. I'm not sure how many mm that is. But when I put my foot in, my toes are all pressed against the end. Uncomfortably so right when I put it on, although when I walk around a bit, it's not so uncomfortable, although I can still feel the pressure. So I think that means it's the right size lengthwise. Obviously I'm not the expert. (In case this is useful, I know I'm no expert foot-measurer, but I just stood on top of a ruler, and from the back point of my heel to the front of my big toe is 259 mm. The boots are 26.5. The guy at the store said two fingers. I don't know what I'm doing, I just pass information along that may or may not be useful.)


It definitely presses against the bone on the top of my foot even when unbuckled, especially on the left foot (which is the one that goes numb first, 100% of the time). You figure that's what's causing the problem? The bone does stick up a little higher on the left foot than the right one. 


I still have in-store exchange on these boots if I need it (although I'm pretty sure I tried on every boot them have already, so that won't help unless there's something I overlooked), and I have about three weeks before my trip. Also, I am a complete novice in anything boot-related. This is the first time I've ever bought them, and I'm a bit nervous about trying to modify a big-ticket purchase on my own. But your suggestion does have the ring of truth. Is this something that can be done in the space of a couple weeks without breaking the bank? Is it a thing I'd have to buy or have someone do for me? 

Edited by tarvolon - 2/15/14 at 2:58pm
post #8 of 23

can you wear a thinner sock (that will take up less room)


does it feel like your heel is back AND down all the way in the boot?   If your foot is too far forward the instep might be jamming.    You pull the heel back and the instep gets more room in the boot

have you removed the footbed that comes with the boot (to give you more instep height)

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

I'm already wearing a really thin sock (the Columbia OmniHeat ones), I don't think there's any way to go much thinner. I think I got the heel seated back where it's supposed to be. The guy at the store took out the footbed and replaced it with one that was supposed to fit onto my foot better. I have not taken that one out. Would it be worth trying no footbed at all? 

post #10 of 23

yes,  also try with NO footbed.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

The no footbed suggestion just might work. Had them on for an hour this afternoon with no footbed and never lost feeling in my toes. That said, the bone on the top of my left foot is still pressing against the top of the boot, and it got painful after a while. It hasn't done that before, so I'm wondering if I just made some mistake in putting them on and tightening them up. I do try to follow the "how to put on boots" instructions y'all have here, but it's possible I messed something up anyhow. It's worth noting that the buckle on top of that bone wasn't doing anything--I didn't want to latch it past the 3rd notch because that's painful, but when it was only buckled three notches the other three buckles made it superfluous. 


I appreciate all the help. Makes me really wish the boot guy in the local store had thought of ANY of this stuff. 

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

The no footbed suggestion appears to have worked on preventing my toes from falling asleep. Thanks! Walked around for a little over an hour this afternoon without any numbness anywhere or any pain on the top of the foot. 


My feet are going to have to get used to the lack of padding though. The bottom of my feet (just the balls, really) definitely had a bit of that burning sensation you get when your foot has fallen asleep and you're in the process of waking it up. I'm assuming that's directly attributable to having less padding than I'm accustomed to, which I would hope is the sort of thing that goes away as my feet get used to the boots. 

post #13 of 23

perhaps you could leave the footbed in the boots, instead look for a fitter that can open up a pocket in your tongue as well as perform an up stretch on the shell above the knot on the top of your foot.


the bump on your instep is a problem, but it is resolvable with a good fitter. getting rid of the underfoot support will lead to other fit problems.



post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

I was wondering if that may be a better answer. Three questions though: 


1. How does one find a good fitter? I've spent hours with the boot guy at the local ski shop, and he didn't even diagnose the problem (that y'all seem to have done fairly easily), let alone provide solutions. So I'm betting I shouldn't go back to him. Is there a list of good boot-fitters somewhere? 


2. How much does that kind of thing run? The boot I got was about $100 less than I was prepared to pay, but if we're getting into the 200+ range, I'm not sure I have that kind of cash. 


3. This is doable quickly, right? My trip is in two and a half weeks. (Going to Snowbird, so possibly there's a reputable guy there if there isn't one in NC?)

Edited by tarvolon - 2/17/14 at 3:54pm
post #15 of 23
Columbia SC is not so far

I'm sure we could help you.

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

You have the same definition of "not far" as my friend in Newberry who always wants me to come visit but never manages to make the drive in the other direction. :D

post #17 of 23

For most of the guys on this forum not far is probably a few hundred miles.  While you are in Snowbird if you don't get it resolved before you go see Steve Bagley in the store on the tram level.



post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

Fair enough. I know a lot of people who look at distance like that. I've never been one of them. If all else is equal, I'd prefer a guy where I'm already going to be to finding a moment to trek down to SC while trying to get everything in order the week before spring break. No offense to Mike, to whom I'm quite grateful for the suggestions. I'll definitely swing down if I'm unhappy after this trip, but I'd like to hope I can resolve things before then, and I think I've let too many things slide to make an impromptu trip here soon. 


But I really wish I'd known about all this a couple months ago when I decided to buy a pair of boots. I'm already regretting just going to the local ski outfitter. 

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

Update on this problem: 


Found a reputable bootfitter, recommended by an epicski member, within a half-hour drive of where I live (sorry, Mike, if I'd had a month's notice instead of two weeks, I would've gone down to see you). Took the boots in to him to see what he thought. 


He did all the foot measuring and whatnot, and we tried on a whole bunch of boots that we had around his store, and every single one of them was pressing against the vein that runs across the top of my left foot. I didn't walk around in all of them for hours, but we presumed that if they were pressing, they would cut off my circulation and eventually cause numbness. 


So he figured the boots I'd already bought were as good a start as any, and we should get to work on them. We worked on those boots for three hours (I'm not sure what he was doing on them, he just kept leaving with a boot and coming back 15 minutes later) and still couldn't get it to work. 


He heated up the boots, had me walk around in them, and looked at the hotspots, then he had me leave the boots with him for a week to see if he could do something with them--he said he had another machine at a different store. 


Called back today, and he said he'd been looking at the press that he had, and he didn't think it was actually going to solve the problem, and that I needed to take those boots back to the other store (I can still return them until March 14) and buy a higher volume pair of boots from him, possibly even go up in length and then get a custom footbed to stabilize my foot. 


I feel good that I've found a bootfitter who has a good reputation and seems to have a lot more knowledge than the guy I bought them from, but after reading all this online, I got a bit nervous when he started talking about length. We already did a shell test, and I'm not sure what the mm reading was, but he had three sticks with various diameters, one labeled "race," one labeled "performance," and one labeled "comfort." My shell was already a "comfort fit." 


Should I be nervous about any of this, or should I be glad that I have someone who knows what he's doing? As someone who doesn't know what I'm doing myself, I feel like I ought to ask. 

post #20 of 23

Your last question----"Should I be nervous about any of this"------Yes!!!


I Can still fix the boots you now have in about 20 minutes and guarantee the work, and I will do it right in front of you.




post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 

You sound extremely confident. You're sure, sight unseen, that you can help me out? Is there any more information I need to give you to confirm? 


Not trying to insult you or anything, I just hate road trips, and I don't want to spend my whole Saturday in a car if I can avoid it. 


If so. . . when are you in on Saturday? 

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 

Really wish I had known about this forum before trying to buy boots. I'm praying the store will take them back, and then I'm off to see Mike like I should've done in the first place. 

post #23 of 23

Happy ending****

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ask the Boot Guys
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Feet keep falling asleep. Troubleshooting?