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Fischer SOMA stance angle

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I developed lateral knee pain in my very abducted right leg this spring. Even with binding cants that allow me to stand pretty much flat on my skis, my anatomy still requires much more inward knee rotation to get everything up on edge than I think is healthy, and much more than most high level skiers. So I experimented with a 3 degree abducted binding mount. Instant improvement in knee pain, and way less knee rotation.


This lead me to spend a couple hours with a boot fitter, and we pretty much came to the conclusion that my stance in both my Dynafit AT boots, and my aging Tecnica Icon XTs is no different than when I tried on the Vacuum 130. Has anyone ever verified the Fischer stance angles? Somewhere I thought I read that the SOMA stance is around 3 deg abducted. The boot fitter did state he thought we could increase the abduction during the molding process, but at this point I'm not sure that the Fischer is my boot. Out of the box I am not even close to the fit I have in either of my existing boots.


Thanks for any feedback.

post #2 of 10

Fishcer markets their boots as abducted, but I think that ALL boots are a bit abducted.    just they make more noise about it

post #3 of 10

When Fischer first introduced their SOMA line several years ago the boots were abducted several degrees and definitely more than any boot I have seen.  We had a coach mistakenly recommend them to all his athletes and the result was serious knee pain in most.  However, it is exactly what should be expected when skiers that are not radically abducted are realigned.  It sounds as if you would certainly benefit.


I do not sell their boots but believe there are still some models (although they have substantially backed off on the concept) that are available.  Certainly if they are you should check them out.  Someone here will have more information than me.



post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Lou - In my limited experience with  the abducted mount it does not change how flat I stand on my skis. I tried to ski with the abducted mount, and immediately noticed that I still needed my 3deg binding cant as I was still under-canted. So I stuck the shim under the abducted binding, and was flat again.


However, I am slightly over-canted on the left leg which has never been a huge issue for me, but the abducted stance does seem to amplify alignment issues and in my case the tendency to over edge on my left foot.  It was difficult to feather turns on high alpine refroze on my left foot with the abducted mount, so I will be installing a 1 deg cant  to bring the left knee inside a tad. So maybe this alignment amplification is what lead the athletes you mentioned to develop knee pain?


If anyone knows the history of older Fischer SOMA abduction angles, I'd be interested.


Best -Bruno

Edited by RIP - 5/9/14 at 7:27am
post #5 of 10
In the adult population of the world---92% of us have a leg length discrepency (LLD)---since you have one leg under canted and the other over canted---I would have that posibility checked out---just a thought.

post #6 of 10

Not certain why you expected it to affect canting, I didn't.  I think the reason many skiers experienced knee pain is their knee was no longer bending in a plane aligned with their skis.  The abducted angle built into the boot causes external rotation at the hip and abducts the entire leg.  Not certain but I think a lateral side cant to bring the knee in could cause even further strain on the medial collateral ligaments and I would certainly go slowly if you are determined to go forward with it.



post #7 of 10

The Fischer SOMA boots were abducted around 3 degrees in their earliest model years.  For a person like RIP this was a good solution for the internal rotation in the leg shaft.  But the majority of skiers don't have that alignment.  So to be functional for most skiers, the abduction was reduced to the point where the current Fischer models are no more abducted than other boots on the market.  Mounting bindings in an abducted mount can externally rotate the leg and solve those alignment issues and we have done it at the BootDoctors for people in need.  But it is a bit of an acrobatic mounting project.  Adding medial side cant and affecting the knee joint in the frontal plane often achieves the needed result.  I'd suggest try skiing with a 3 degree chip taped high side to the arch under the heel of your boot (understanding this negatively affects binding function) and see if things work better for skiing.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

As best as I can measure using the top of a shoe box to trace my foot while using the sides of the box for alignment, it looks like my right foot abducts about 10deg when my knee is pointing straight forward and my left foot is only 4 deg. So I do not think the 3 deg abducted mount will result in any external rotation of my body parts.


BootDr1 - do you know how far back in time I'd need to go to find the 3deg Fischer SOMA? I found some 2008's, but having trouble finding info on when the SOMATech was first offered.


And this thing looks interesting:


post #9 of 10

Normally, I can go to our sales data on our point of sale system and pull up boot brands to find this info.  But we just updated to a new operating system last Wednesday and we are in the middle of program bugs.   So no reports at the moment!!!

But by remembering where our boots were located when we first got Fischer boots, it was around 2001 when Fischer introduced boots. 2008 would be on the cusp of when they mellowed out their geometry. 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Going on two years, and thought I would update my experience as it may help someone else down the road. 


Again, I am roughly 10 deg abducted on the right foot, and only 4 degrees on the left. If I stand with my feet parallel, my right leg rotates inward to the point that the center of mass of my right knee is way inside of the big toe.  Both knees are candidates for knee replacement. I am trying to prolong skiing on my real knees for as long as possible. I am 58 and still ski, and bike at a high level. 


I got pretty involved in AT skiing about 25 years ago, and after a week of touring my knees would both swell up like grapefruit. If you are in a skin track, your feet must be parallel, and this forced stance just ate away at my knee cartilage. But alpine skiing didn't bother me much until about 5 years ago. Then two years ago, the right knee had enough of the inward rotation required when skiing very steep terrain (like greater than 40 degrees). That's when I started experimenting with the abducted mount.


I AT skied for a week straight this year with absolutely no swelling, and can go out and charge non stop laps area skiing for 4 hours without huge issues. So maybe I have stumbled onto something worth sharing?


The sweet spot for me is a 2 degree binding cant, and 3 degree abducted mount. I started with center of mass knee measurements, and dropped plumb bobs from that point on my knee, but all that measuring seemed to occur when I was not in a truly natural and 'ready' position. So I bought a bunch of binding cants from Cant Co, and started experimenting. Clicked in and buckled up on my rubber shop floor I can get into a true ski stance, flex into my boots, and roll my skis on edge. It doesn't take much time to get a sense of when you are getting closer to a neutral stance. With multiple pairs of skis with different cants, I could A-B skis and immediately verify what cant I prefered. 


But with just binding cants things still weren't right. I felt I needed to be a little over canted to bring my knee out to where it belongs (I think directly over the big toe feels about right), but that put me on my inside edge, and I felt a bind in my knee, and hip. So I let my ski tip abduct until I stood flat on my ski, and measured that angle. Then I mounted my binding abducted to that angle. Nirvana, I never felt so balanced and neutral.


I picked up a new pair of Kendos this year, and thought I would try skiing them with just the binding cants. After about 20,000 vert of all mountain skiing on firm snow, lateral knee pain that I had not experienced for almost two years came right back.  Redrilled the Kendos abducted, and all is good again.


So yes, I have a nice quiver of skis with a lot of holes. 


Best - Bruno

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