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New boots pinching at the ankle... what is causing it?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I bought a new pair of boots last year toward the end of the season finally after 6 seasons on my old ones. I've always struggled with getting boots to fit properly. mainly foot box length was the issue with the inside and top of the toe as dominate problems. Lost toe nails three times that sort of thing.

 

These new boots fit me out of the box better than any boot I've ever owned...ever... even better than boots that have had hours of boot fitting on them. It is the first time I've had a boot that fit like a glove.

 

 HOWEVER, I have three problems to solve with them and I'm trying to get a handle on understanding the cause of them before I take them to my favorite boot fitter (who one of the experts on this forum). I'm an engineer and can't help myself. I need to think about the mechanics of the problems, their solutions and I'd like to have you gut feelings. I'm NOT going to fix them myself.

 

Problem number one is... both boots pinch me at the lower posterior Tibia and the Talus junction point... where your lower leg/ankle and top of the foot flex forward. At the end of the day its very sore to the point I keep looking for bruising.

 

The second issue is, in the passive (natural) stance on skies the boot feels like it should be a few degree's forward. i.e heel and/or toe height adjustment (I didn't do the duct tape test yet).

 

The last problem, They really just about impossible to get off on an even a moderately cold day. I have to carefully warm them up with a old hair dryer.

 

Stats:

 

The boots are Nordica Patron Pro with foot beds, otherwise off the self. I've got three aggressive days on them. Wet four inch powder, packed powder and hard snow.

 

Expert skier, six foot two, at a 210 lbs skiing weight... skiing masters for the first time this year in the 60's plus group. Aggressive old guy.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 10

Hi scadvice,

 

I can't see your feet form here, but:

 

Problem #1:  It could be that the shape of your ankle (talus/tibia junction shape)does not match the curving shape of the inside of the boot in that area. the boot will need to be modified in this area, just moving the area upward in this spot might work.     click on the following link to view one tool to do this kind of work: http://southernski.com/toe-jam-spreader-instep-jack.html

 

problem #2: boots are becoming more and more upright in forward lean (more relaxed stance) and may not feel or ski the way you are used to ski them before you change anything.

 

Problem #3:  Higher performance boots are made of stiffer plastic---but then they are higher performance boots---the hair dryer works it sounds like.

 

mike

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Wow,Thanks Mike that was a fast reply!

 

I'll check out the link you posted. I think if the pinching is solved... everything else will seem minor and go away on it's own. Looking forward to the season.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I ran across an interesting U tube video on adjusting the stiffness of your boots along with forward flex and pinching. 
I'm wondering if the Nordica Patron Pro cuff is sitting on the lower and causing the pinch?  When I look at the boot, it appears that the cuff is already sitting on the lower. Haus is talking about flex... but a big guy like me could be just over powering the stiffness and causing the pinch that way... as I do not have thick ankles. Anyone have comments on this option as a first try at a fix?

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scadvice View Post
 

I ran across an interesting U tube video on adjusting the stiffness of your boots along with forward flex and pinching. 
I'm wondering if the Nordica Patron Pro cuff is sitting on the lower and causing the pinch?  When I look at the boot, it appears that the cuff is already sitting on the lower. Haus is talking about flex... but a big guy like me could be just over powering the stiffness and causing the pinch that way... as I do not have thick ankles. Anyone have comments on this option as a first try at a fix?

Whoops forgot to post the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hUwND4cMK4&list=PLzAX1hV85KGqcINEENj006a3QJkSnZjU0&spfreload=10%20Message%3A%20JSON%20Parse%20error%3A%20Unexpected%20EOF%20(url%3A%20http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D8hUwND4cMK4%26list%3DPLzAX1hV85KGqcINEENj006a3QJkSnZjU0)

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

OK...This is to let everyone know how I solved my pinching problem. First, I have to retract saying I was not going to try and fix this problem myself, even though I originally had no intention of doing so. Being an engineer I could not resist... after doing the research.

 

As a big guy (6'2" 210) I am able to actually flex and bulge the front of this 130 flex boot, but that certainly is not the way I would ski the boot. I personally think (as a former PSIA instructor) that forward flex is over taught at times. If you're a dynamic skier you're not constantly in a flexed position, it just goes against the actual word 'dynamic'.

 

So, looking at how this boot performed the last couple of weeks of last season, I decide a few things about how I want this boot to perform going forward.

 

'Fit' at this point, to me, is as important as performance. It's as if these boot were made to fit me and I tried on a bunch of boots... plus had them on for at least a half hour each. BTW- If you are going to try on new boots, plan of spending the whole day doing so. Otherwise you may not get a good fit or find your boot. Read the post here on buying boots!!

 

At the far side of age 67, a 130 flex boot is not as important nor, in my thinking, that advisable.

 

Since I picked this boot for fit with stiffness acceptable at  around 110,  I decided to soften the boot about 10 to 15%. This was secondary to fixing the pinch though. I softened the boot by dropping the side "Y" on the inner and outer side on the lower boot section as described in StartHaus's video.

 

 I fixed the "pinch" by grinding the bottom edge of the boot's second buckle down from the top along with the underlying flap up about a 1/16 of an inch from the lower edge of that buckle, as it was hitting the third buckle down in a normal flexed position at the beginning of my flex, thereby bottoming out and pinching the top arch of the boot. I also did this as the Haus video suggested.

 

Just so you know, I did this in three stages, as I wasn't sure just how far I wanted to go. Given the temperature to be in the low 70's at the time, I allowed just a little over shoot. I put the boots in the fridge overnight.( I also got yelled at by the wife for that one, and only got away with it by taking her down to buy her some new boots!) Trying them on cold ( which hurts a lot getting them on!!) they felt just about right in flex.

 

I'm not suggesting that everyone do what I did, as boot fitting is a bit of an art and understanding of how boots and plastic's work. I do have quite a bit of a professional engineering background in understanding just how different plastic's flex, yield  and perform under different environments, so I suggest going to a professional boot fitter in most cases.

 

The only thing I have left to do now is stop by StartHaus and thank him...   

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Follow up at 2/23/15. I Have to say that I've never had a better fitting boot and with just the right amount of flex. Temperatures at Kirkwood have been weird this year (for here) 11 degrees F to near 60 F. At 11 degrees I have to warm the boots to get them off, but  generally under normal conditions for here, they can be worked off.

I can only guess at the stiffness as it is really relative to the days temperature so I would guess 115 to 130.

 

As expected, I will be moving the buckles to the next tighter position as the plastic is stretching with use (32 hard ski and race days).

 

I did add a little closed cell foam pad to the shin of the tongue as I was getting a little bruising. (.093 thick). I use a warmer to get them on but can keep them tight on the buckles all day accept for the top two.

 

Finally, I have to add that just because this boot fits me, it may not fit you and you need a good boot fitter to help you most of the time… even if you are professional or were a professional skier. As I said, I spent a whole day trying boots on and an hour each at least.

 

Enough said…

post #8 of 10

Nice to hear you talk about ankle flexion.  There is entirely too much emphasis made on being able to flex your ankle through a full range of motion while skiing.  It results in people skiing very flexed in the ankle and using the boot to hold them up which is of course incorrect.  The job of the boot is not to hold us up or to resist forces that build through the turn.  If we ski properly and comfortably stacked we can easily hold ourselves up.

 

To help with getting the boots on consider a Hot Gear bag.  Seems silly but once you try it I guarantee you'll be happy.

 

Lou

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks Lou,

 

I'll look into the Hot Gear Bag...

 

 

 

post #10 of 10

Should be able to find one online in the U.S.  They are also sold under the Rossi name.  If you can't find one let me know I think we have two left.

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