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.
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.
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
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-