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Throubleshooting BD Factor 130's - Show Me the Way

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of boots which I am financially committed to and I think I can make them good with proper modification. I am committed to doing the fitting myself for both budgetary reasons and for the experience/understanding. I have the tools (sanders, planers, heat gun, band saw, die grinders, precision layout and measurement tools, ect) and the work skills to modify anything necessary – I am comfortable with grinding boot boards, added/removing foam, blowing the shells, adjusting cuff angles,  grinding heel/toe blocks for cant, whatever is required – but I lack the anatomoical / biomechanical understanding to know what changes to make.

Boot Specs: Black Diamond Factor 130’s circa 2010 with “BOA” liners, 26.5, green Superfeet footbeds plus heel lifts I transferred from my old pair of circa 2002 Salomon Xwave 8.0 boots that were professionally fit based on needed-it-then, need-it-now logic. Previous seasons the liners were not thermomolded, however I did that a few weeks ago as the start to this fitting process and didn’t notice much difference in the issues when wearing them around in “walk” mode during the day. Heel still doesn’t feel locked in – more on that below.

I pass all items on the “Check List for Fitting” in the Boot Fitting Which Boot Will Work For Me article

Shell sizing with liner out and bootboard w/ heel lifts in: Length about 1.75 stacked fingers (one on top of other, not side-by-side) See Picture. Width: foot touches shell at base of big toe in ball area, outside edge off forward instep area, heel has decent gap side-to-side. See Picture.

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

 

Problems:

1] Strong, deep aching pain that builds in the outer sides of my feet throughout the first hour of being in the boot. Intensity is worse when skiing, but still happens when wearing boots around house in summer temps in “walk” mode. This region will remain sore/aching for a day or two after a full day of skiing.

- BOW: Better after several days of skiing in close succession.  Better with buckles looser. Same between Superfeet and Black Diamond footbeds. Somewhat better with feet unweighted on chairlift and buckles loose, although I focus on it more then because I’m not distracted by skiing. Worse throughout day. Better on third day. No difference between hard/easy terrain. Never loosen power straps So I don’t know BOW. No specific movements to make better.

2] Tingling and numbness in bottom of feet that develops in front of arch and ball during first half hour to hour. Spreads to be all toes and front 2/3rds of foot after half day of skiing. Followed by INTENSE pain about 2-5 minutes after taking boots off at the car at end of the day. The intense pain goes away after a few minutes of death-gripping the steering wheel. Seems clear that this is blood flow. Hoping the thermomolded liners will help by reducing tight points between foot and shell in midstep area, but I think root cause is over tightening instep buckles to try and get secure fit in boot.

- BOW: Slightly better with buckles loose. Same between Superfeet and Black Diamond footbeds. Somewhat better with feet unweighted on chairlift and buckles loose. Worse throughout day. No difference on third day. No difference between hard/easy terrain. Never loosen power straps So I don’t know BOW. No specific movements to make better.

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

3] While AT skinning I develop hot spots and blisters on my heel spurs. Hoping this will improve with the thermoformed liners but hard to tell until I’m heading uphill… Feel that the crux is really getting the heel lock to prevent any rubbing or shifting. My heel spurs seem large, so maybe I need to remove foam from the liner or blow the shells to make more room?

- Don’t have much BOW feedback on this as it is pretty directly related to skinning uphill

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

Related Issues/ Causes:

1] Never feel like heel is truly “locked down” in the boot, and I never have in any boot including my previous pair that was fit by a professional boot fitter. Maybe I just take the description that I always hear too literally, but I expect that my heel should feel completely snug and unable to lift or shift as if it were vacuumed into the back lower corner of the boot?

2] I crank the buckles very tight over the instep and cuff to try to achieve the locked-in fit.

3] I believe I may be a slight supinator as my weight is always on the outer edge of my foot when standing. This seems to be confirmed by the wear patterns on all my shoes compared to the charts and also my tendency to roll my ankle over to the outside (especially when wearing Chaco brand  sandals). However I do not think that my arch is higher than normal.


So that is where I am at... I have a feeling I know what the analysis is going to be, but I'll wait to hear back.

 

Thanks for your time-

 

Matt

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 10

Hi Fixer,

 

My congrats on a well thought out and thorough post --- good pics also.

 

locate where the pump bumps sit in your boot shell and grind a divot to let them sit in

 

Never tighten the lower two buckles they can only cut off circulation and make your feet hurt----- with that said, you may need to have the shell stretched for the 6th toe area.

 

Do tighten the ankle buckle (3rd from toes) until it gets uncomfortable then back off a little until they are wearable.

 

don't over tighten the top buckle ----- also put the power strap inside the flaps of the shell around the tongue and liner only, this will pull the shin/calf backward into the upper shell and not allow gaping as you flex forward in the boot.

 

You appear to have large calves and the BD boots look to have a large amount of forward lean---the combination of these two factors would push your knees forward quite a bit---if you then try to extend upward at the knees this will push your toes forward up into the toe box of the shell where the boot narrows toward the toe lugs.

Large calves can also cause fore/aft balance problems that you may have over come with great conditioning and skills but,---- if I were you, I would rather not waist energy on that problem.

 

What size feet in centimeters?    What circumference calves at the top of the liner?

 

mike


Edited by miketsc - 9/13/14 at 7:21pm
post #3 of 10

i will echo what mike says about the calf, clips and heel spurs 

 

add to that the cuff alignment on the boot, is your leg centred in the shell, this could be pulling you onto the lateral boarder of the boot causing pain, you may need a little more width stretching or grinding in the forefoot, and perhaps some padding on the liner IN FRONT of the ankles to help push you back into the heel pocket

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you both, here are answers/thoughts:

 

Mike:

 

Calf circumference at top of liner is 38.4cm on tailor's tape.

European shoe size for snug-fitting running shoes is 42.5 (I think this is what you were asking for)

 

- I DO have fore/aft balance problems, especially skiing aggressively in steep terrain with choppy or varying snow depths (get pitched forward when my boots hit deep, thick snow, then end up in back seat trying to get out of this). I often end up in the back seat in these situations, which is without doubt my worst technique problem. I am constantly reminding myself to put pressure on my shins and bend the knees further forward to drive the ski. While I am reluctant to blame my shortcomings in technique on equipment, I am thinking that I will remove some of the forward lean in the cuffs using the adjustment built into the AT ski/walk latch and see if that feels more natural and allows me to get forward pressure without having to go so far that I get off balance when my feet get sucked back by heavy snow.

 

- I have always put the booster strap outside the shell because this is where the molded grooves in the plastic indicate they should go. I follow the logic on avoiding gaping at the back... I will try this.

 

- Which area are you calling the "6th toe" ?

 

 

Colin:

 

What kind of foam is best used to snug up liners? I was thinking I would order a sheet or two of the foam from Tognar: http://www.tognar.com/boot-fitting-foam-10-x-10-sheet/

 

 

Thinking on order of operations, I want to get my foot into proper position in the shell and anatomical alignment  before I start grinding or blowing the shell to increase clearances - I'd like to only do those once and in the final locations. With that in mind, let's talk about cuff side angle adjustment and any possibility of supination. Currently the cuff cant adjustment is in the standard position. How does one check for proper cuff cant/and ankle/foot position in the shell - it seems like the liner would make this very difficult to analyze.

 

I think later I will remove the heel lifts I transferred from my old boots and see if this changes the heel lock. I really want to figure out the heel lock so I can loosen the midstep buckles and still have a solid connection with the ski.

 

Thanks for your help-

 

Matt

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
 

Thank you both, here are answers/thoughts:

 

Mike:

 

Calf circumference at top of liner is 38.4cm on tailor's tape.

European shoe size for snug-fitting running shoes is 42.5 (I think this is what you were asking for)

 

- I DO have fore/aft balance problems, especially skiing aggressively in steep terrain with choppy or varying snow depths (get pitched forward when my boots hit deep, thick snow, then end up in back seat trying to get out of this). I often end up in the back seat in these situations, which is without doubt my worst technique problem. I am constantly reminding myself to put pressure on my shins and bend the knees further forward to drive the ski. While I am reluctant to blame my shortcomings in technique on equipment, I am thinking that I will remove some of the forward lean in the cuffs using the adjustment built into the AT ski/walk latch and see if that feels more natural and allows me to get forward pressure without having to go so far that I get off balance when my feet get sucked back by heavy snow.

 

- I have always put the booster strap outside the shell because this is where the molded grooves in the plastic indicate they should go. I follow the logic on avoiding gaping at the back... I will try this.

 

- Which area are you calling the "6th toe" ?

 

 

Colin:

 

What kind of foam is best used to snug up liners? I was thinking I would order a sheet or two of the foam from Tognar: http://www.tognar.com/boot-fitting-foam-10-x-10-sheet/

 

 

Thinking on order of operations, I want to get my foot into proper position in the shell and anatomical alignment  before I start grinding or blowing the shell to increase clearances - I'd like to only do those once and in the final locations. With that in mind, let's talk about cuff side angle adjustment and any possibility of supination. Currently the cuff cant adjustment is in the standard position. How does one check for proper cuff cant/and ankle/foot position in the shell - it seems like the liner would make this very difficult to analyze.

 

I think later I will remove the heel lifts I transferred from my old boots and see if this changes the heel lock. I really want to figure out the heel lock so I can loosen the midstep buckles and still have a solid connection with the ski.

 

Thanks for your help-

 

Matt

I highlighted the question, " which foam to use"----I have a problem using foam to snug up a liner, especially around the heel and ankle, as the foam will only pack out more and more as you ski 

It is much better to find a shell liner combo which does not need added foam to tighten up the heel / ankle.

 

With your size calves you will need your boot shell cuff's flared to the rear so that you can extend (Stand Tall) and bring your hips over your knees, with out your center of mass being too far forward-----if you want to know the correct setting you could PM me or call me, (803-556-4949) and I will be happy to help you solve this riddle. 

 

So far as your foot size in centimeters---this is how boots are sized---I was curious to see if the boots you are trying to fit were the correct size for you feet.---you had mentioned that you could put two fingers (Stacked) behind your heel, but that is not a very standardized method, since your fingers may be slimmer than mine.  We try to stay inside of a 15mm space behind the heel.  By the way a piece of 1/2 inch CPVC plastic pipe is exactly 15mm outside diameter.

 

mike

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Mike, using a 1/2" Schedule 40 PVC pipe that is measuring 21.3mm on the OD as a feeler gauge, I would say that I have about 20mm gap at the back of the shell - pushing the limits of over-size, I know. I have a 307mm boot sole length shell, and looking at the BD chart that shell is used for both 26 and 26.5 sizes - I'm wondering if switching to the 26 liner might shift my foot back and tighten up the heel fit? 

 

 

Per a good suggestion, I am going to remove the mini spoilers from the back of the shell cuffs which will make more room right where my calf flares out.

 

I also removed the heel lifts that I had transferred and this drops my heel down into much better position in the heel cup of the shell... I'm shaking my head at myself for putting those in.

 

With changes so far, I still feel the tingling and pain starting on the outer edges of my feet when wearing the boots around the house.

 

I will PM you to discuss the cuff alignment process.

 

Thanks-

post #7 of 10

the liners are also the same, just the thickness of the insoles, the tognar foam will work but as mike says it is never permanent 

post #8 of 10

Hi Matt,

Good comments from MIKE et al...

From your description, I have 2 additional observations.  The issues you describe are common symptoms of a lack of ankle flexion.  When sitting with your heel in a perpendicular line below the knee, you should be able to lift the forefoot off the floor enough to fit 2 fingers under the lateral forefoot (pinky side)  If this range of motion is limited, elevating the heel and lowering the forefoot will reduce tension in the bands on the bottom of the foot, reduce splay in the midfoot that causes lateral pressure, and dramticall reduces pressure against the nerves under the forefoo and numbing.

The Superfeet footbed is durable, but tends to get rounded after prolonged use.  As this happens, the foot rolls and no longer is consistent with the shape of the mold.  The result is pain.  It is also a bit on the thick side.  Elevating the foot into the crown of the boot can cause the numbing and aching you have described.   It may be time for an updated footbed.

cheers,

Bob Gleason

post #9 of 10

I'll add a few more suggestions.  Trying to stay aggressively forward to compensate for sitting back problems tends to pull your heels up.  Aggressively flexing your ankles and driving your knees forward isn't I would say considered proper technique but definitely is used by many (including me) to help stay forward, but is incorrect and leads to massive heel spurs.  I'd send pics but don't have a lens with wide enough angle

 

The problem with staying forward can be caused by a binding position that is to rearward, regardless of whether you are mounted to factory position or not.  Try moving your bindings forward only 1 cm at a time and see what happens.  Also if you advise what ski you use I may have information on the binding position.

 

Almost impossible to do any kind of remotely acceptable job of punching a shell in the area of your heel spur, especially with an AT boot and the locking mechanism in the area.  Grinding is typically the preferred method.  However, if the problem causing your heel spurs is a lifting heel due to your stance then simply grinding a divot for your heel spur will make the problem worse.  Instead you must grind space above the heel spur so that as your heel lifts the spur doesn't run into anything.

 

Lou

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I had an informative conversation with Mike over the phone regarding calf sizes, fore/aft balance position, and cuff forward lean and sideways tilt. I am going to adjust out some of the forward lean and check the side tilt this weekend.

Bob, my ankle flexion is good - I preformed the sitting lift test as you described and I can get much more than 2 fingers under the knuckle joint of the pinky toe.

Lou, previous 2 seasons I was skiing on K2 Hardsides mounted with marker baron bindings, i think at the suggested position but i can't be sure because i don't have them anymore as they completely disintegrated on me after less than two seasons! Also skied many days on old Atomic Sugar Daddys from circa 2002 with adjustable position bindings which i keep on the more forward binding positions as i feel that i end up in the back seat less... this season will be on Blizzard Cochise with marker barons now mounted at factory suggested position.

I was reading that the outside edge pain can be involved with the splay of the foot. last boot fitter told me my foot isn't particularly wide but splays a lot when loaded. I've also heard that the Factor last is wide. What type of footed architecture is needed to correct the outer edge pain with a foot that splays a lot and tends to be loaded more on the outer edge biomechanically? I have heard both high arch support and punching the shell in outer edge area.

thanks all,
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