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Astonishingly low instep!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

The boot fitting advice here is nothing short of amazing, so I'm providing some info in the hope of getting some guidance.


My wife has a chronic difficulty of "submarining" in her ski boots - gets out of balance (technique issue) and her foot slides forward, resulting yearly in a loss of a big toe nail from banging against the front of the boot.  She has been skiing for the last number of years in a Dalbello boot (Krypton storm) and, last year, got a pair of Krypton Chakras.  Intuition liners in both boots.  Boots sized 25.5


Having completed a Masterfit course, I know just enough to be dangerous (took it for personal interest rather than professional training).  I have measured her feet on a brannock device and she measures 25 seated and one foot 26 standing up.  When I measure her instep (with foot in brannock), it measures out at 20.5/ 21.  She has limited dorsiflexion and her previous boot fitters have had her with a heel lift in each boot.  Her foot width is between a B and a C.  A recent medical assessment determined that she has one leg approximately 0.5 - 1 cm longer than the other.  Leg is narrow and calf is pretty average. No footbed in her boots (she has felt comfortable and supported in the Intuition liner) - her arch is average and has reasonable flex.


Other particulars:

Age: 49

Height: 5'6"

Weight: 135

Level of Skier: Intermediate (this is a conservative estimate, but this is done consciously as I have found that many skiers overestimate their true ability) - she is cautious, especially off piste and prefers skiing groomed runs. 

Days per year: 25-30


She has had a difficult time getting boots sorted out, so she has stayed with the Dalbello and generally has done well with it until she ventured off piste more often.  


Given the challenges she has, she is considering a trip to a larger centre (likely Whistler, as I have had boot fitting done at Fanatykco in the past).  Not wanting to be disrespectful of our fitters locally (smaller centre in Interior BC), but her needs seem more complex than typical so she is wanting to try a larger centre.


Any help in guiding her towards the right boots for her circumstances would be greatly appreciated.  I suspect that footbeds would help significantly, but as I said, I know enough to be dangerous and value highly the work of professional fitters.


Thanks for any insights/ recommendations.

Edited by Alberto - 11/17/14 at 8:38pm
post #2 of 6

Almost all 3 buckle boots with the instep buckle angled to hold the heel down and back will (if tightened too much) pull downward on the instep of the foot and cut off circulation and innervation, so most folks will back off this buckle somewhat and this will allow the foot and liner to slide forward in the shell and bang the toes, ouch :eek!


A 4 buckle boot with the second from top buckle around the ankle will only pull the heel back into the heel pocket and not over load the instep, for this reason it is possible to keep the toes out of the front of the shell ;)!.


Some folks, with a short leg will develop different arch heights, with the longer leg having a lower arch when standing,  Custom insoles posted to a neutral sub talor joint position will bring both arches to the same position.  This will not take care of the leg length difference---you may need to add an appropriate thickness lifter to the bottom of the short leg boot to take care of this issue.


You need to get your wife to a boot fitter with alignment skills---there aren't many around, so search like your were looking for a heart specialist.


Where are you folks located?



post #3 of 6

i agree with mike, you need to find a fitter that will do an assessment to get her into a boot that will allow her to be relaxed and comfortably balanced over her feet. 


for some perspective on where to begin, at our shop we will not attempt to perform any fix on the fit or performance of a ski boot without first addressing what is happening from the bottom up.


so after assessment has been done you would normally "read" the tea leaves of the assessment to determine based on ankle flexibility (ROM) in dorsiflexion, arch flexibility (windlass), and any forefoot anomalies relating to the mobility in the joint spacing at the 1st and 5th metatarsal heads.


this assessment will guide a competent fitter to factor in bootboard ramp angle, forward lean of the boot, flex of the boot, what kind of footbed will best serve the arch and forefoot mechanics, and last but not least, fit related to the measured size and foot shape. ( i would be very suspect of the choice of a dalbello when you have a 5cm discrepancy between her measured length and the perimeter measurement of her instep/ankle) by the way, it would be great to see pictures of a foot that is that low over the top? i also question the length and width and instep perimeter of her boot choice.


my point is that from what you have described, it feels to me that there were some choices made to go left instead of right as the assessment of her foot was being done. specifically ignoring any underfoot support, and the choice of a boot shell that has very little ability to close down over the critical fit area on your wifes foot.


to prove my hypothesis, have your wife stand barefoot in the shell and snap a picture that shows the amount of space from the top of her foot to the edges of the open throat of lower when her heel is touching in the back of the shell. if the height of her foot is as you described it, there should be enough space to fit a chihuahua, a gerbil, and a stack of $100 bills. surely more room than an intuition liner with no foot bed and a heel lift can fill up.


she is struggling with balance and getting her toes into the front because of the missteps in her assessment. I am assuming that you only mentioned the measurements of the larger foot to tell your story, and that the other foot in a semi weighted measurement barely gets into, or does not reach the 25 mondopoint line. a reminder that measuring semi-weighted is the length and width that the boot will see her foot when standing on a properly built footbed.


summary -  boot is clearly the wrong shape and size for her feet. forget the rest of this post until you find a boot that can contain her instep and ankle and allow her to make athletic moves in mixed snow conditions. back to mikes point and the first line of my post, find a fitter/shop that can do a proper assessment and has the boot model choices of shape, fit and flex to allow your wife to improve out of the  terminal intermediate stage.



post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Mike and Jim, thank you so much for such detailed and thoughtful responses!  You have both confirmed what was for me only a partially educated suspicion (that she needs to be seen by someone who has some very steeped knowledge and experience).  We are located in the central interior of British Columbia and there are a number of options for us to pursue as far as finding a fitter with the kind of knowledge and experience you are describing.


Jim: I suspect that the decision to go with Dalbello was made based on the width of her foot and not the volume.  My into to boot fitting with Masterfit came years after she was in that boot and it raised question marks for me, too, once I had some training.  As for the instep volume and space in the boot, I will try to get some pictures, but I may have a subject that is camera shy (we have quipped that she has playing cards instead of feet attached to her legs).  Her smaller foot still measures out at 25 (semi weighted) and pretty much the same standing.


Mike - your comments about the ankle buckle and finding appropriate tension for her are bang on (pun intended).  She has had to spend a lot of time fiddling with tension during the ski day to try to find a sweet spot.


We are closer to Vancouver/ Whistler than other major areas (someone pm'd me with a suggestion of a fitter in Fernie, BC).  Calgary is not out of the question (Lou is someone with whom I'm familiar from these forums).  We are in Vancouver/Whistler fairly regularly, so if you have specific recommendations of a fitter with the requisite experience and training, I would welcome them.


Again, thank you so much for offering your expertise so generously here on Epic.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
A bump in hopes that Lou sees this. :-)
post #6 of 6

Lou i n calgary can help, or I'm in banff.


if you go to whistler, I have hear good things about fanatykco.com

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