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What Do You Do For a Female With Extremely Low Volume Feet?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

**sigh** I might have the narrowest feet and ankles on the planet. (No, I'm not kidding.) My calves are also fairly narrow until about midway up, then they're about average.

 

I wear a 7-8 in street shoes. I have been wearing 22.5, 98mm last, 90 flex boots for about 3 years now, 3 different boots. (Salomon Instinct CS which crushed my insteps, Tecnica Crush which were too stiff/cuffs too high, and now a Tecnica Fling.)

 

I have used Zipfit Diva liners in all 3 of these boots. I am doing OK with the Flings, but have to do a LOT to take up volume even with the Zipfits, particularly around the toes where extra cork cannot be added. I have shims in both boots (fairly thick, have had them for years, don't know how thick.) I have heel lifts (if I don't I find I am standing on my toes vs. flat.) I also have custom Kork footbeds. I just added foam padding around the toes to take up volume there.

 

These boots are honestly very short-lasted for me. There is maybe a 4mm space behind my heel. My toenails fell off in the Salomon's which were 265mm. The Tecnicas are better at 270. But I still feel like I have too much volume, which rears its ugly head after about two hours when either my feet have compressed or?? I have the buckles cranked down to within one or two of the last notch.

 

So, my question is what on earth kind of boot or modifications would you recommend for someone like me? I am an upper intermediate skier and am working so hard to push beyond that now that we are living in Utah and I can ski regularly. As a non "expert" or racer, anything above a 90 flex I have found is too stiff. (I'm 5'5" 125-ish lbs.) I am doing OK with the current set up but am frustrated with having to shim and pad, etc. because it seems like I just keep having to add more shimming and padding and also wonder if the shims change the way my ankle flexes the cuff of the boot. Also, even hard foam padding is softer than plastic and seems it could allow for movement, correct?

 

I would greatly appreciate hearing suggestions on what any of you would do if I walked into your shop. Is there a boot shell out there in an appropriate flex that would even work for me?

post #2 of 20

any "race" or "plug" boot will be narrower, and can be made MUCH softer.   I would search around for that, in a 22 or 23 shell.

post #3 of 20
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
 

any "race" or "plug" boot will be narrower, and can be made MUCH softer.   I would search around for that, in a 22 or 23 shell.


Are any brands easier to soften, if that makes sense? My Tecnica Crushes were a 100 flex that were softened 4 different times and still too stiff (perhaps combined with being too tall.) Or is one brand known to be overall smoother or easier to flex?

 

I did measure my foot width and the left one is 84mm and the right is 83.

post #5 of 20

What makes the boots to stiff in your opinion and I don't mean anything about the boots.  At your weight you should be easily able to flex most boots manufactured in the glen range you are talking about.  What is it about the way the boot flexes that makes you say it is too stiff?  Do you expect that acceptable flex means you can crush the boot?

 

your foot is indeed hyper narrow.  I'd try Head B5s, Atomic Redsters, Dalbello Scorpion WCs and others in a 96mm last or narrower.  Zipfits will help.  Still you may end up needing a foam liner.

 

Lou

post #6 of 20

there are a number of options out there as have been mentioned, the Head B5 is a 93mm shell, the Lange RP in ZJ is another option, you need a boot fitter who specialises in selling/fitting race boots so they have some options for you to try in low volume boots, and yes as Lou says you may need to be in a foam liner rather than the zipfit although if you get a lower volume shell to start with you make be ok

 

good luck with the quest

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
 

What makes the boots to stiff in your opinion and I don't mean anything about the boots.  At your weight you should be easily able to flex most boots manufactured in the glen range you are talking about.  What is it about the way the boot flexes that makes you say it is too stiff?  Do you expect that acceptable flex means you can crush the boot?

 

your foot is indeed hyper narrow.  I'd try Head B5s, Atomic Redsters, Dalbello Scorpion WCs and others in a 96mm last or narrower.  Zipfits will help.  Still you may end up needing a foam liner.

 

Lou

I think it was the cuff height on the Crush boots more than anything. I was getting tossed into the back seat on anything but the smoothest snow. I had to focus incredibly hard to stay forward. I also have patellar issues (mistracking) that make my knees a weak link. Too much torque on them and it just hurts.  I've always skied in a 90 flex without issues (well, at least issues I was aware of!) Definitely don't want to fold the boot like a taco. The Flings are a 90 flex and feel great in that aspect.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post
 

there are a number of options out there as have been mentioned, the Head B5 is a 93mm shell, the Lange RP in ZJ is another option, you need a boot fitter who specialises in selling/fitting race boots so they have some options for you to try in low volume boots, and yes as Lou says you may need to be in a foam liner rather than the zipfit although if you get a lower volume shell to start with you make be ok

 

good luck with the quest

 

I appreciate the list of boot options from all of you--I had perused other posts on this issue but they were a few years old and the boots have changed.

 

What kind of foam liner? Injectable? Intuition? I really love the heel hold of the Zipfits, and the fact that I can put them in any shell. Would a foam liner allow me to get a better fit in my current boots?

 

Luckily, being in Utah I can certainly find a place not too far that specializes in race boots.

post #8 of 20

In Utah try Steve Bagley at Snowbird.

 

Intuitions are moldable but not custom foam liners.

 

I wouldn't assume not being able to stay forward is a stiffness thing.  I'd more often suspect it is a boot ramp angle thing and Steve is familiar.

 

Lou

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
 

In Utah try Steve Bagley at Snowbird.

 

Intuitions are moldable but not custom foam liners.

 

I wouldn't assume not being able to stay forward is a stiffness thing.  I'd more often suspect it is a boot ramp angle thing and Steve is familiar.

 

Lou


Thanks, Lou. Isn't Steve also the guy who specializes in Zipfits? Or at least at the same shop?

 

I'm actually going to try medium thickness socks tomorrow. I've been in ultra-thin Darn Toughs. At this point, I've got nothing to lose. I think I'm a better skier than my boots are allowing me to be and it's very frustrating.

post #10 of 20

Steve sells Zipfits, is a very good skier and is familiar with balance and alignment issues.  He and I worked together on the binding position research we completed for Nordica in 2003.  I believe he is still on the plaza level in Snowbird.

 

Lou

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Lou. I thought so. I think it's important to find someone who is versed in Zipfits since I have them and frankly would like to keep using them. If someone like him tells me to bag them, I'll feel like I can trust his reasoning.

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Just a quick update: I found these today at a local consignment shop in Ogden, brand new, for $38. Yes, $38. 274mm (23.5) I unfortunately will be unable to try them or even start fitting/tweaking them until next season since I fractured my tibial plateau 2 weeks ago, but I'm pretty stoked I found them! I took a private lesson with a PSIA examiner two days before my injury and he said skiing with shims to take up volume is just a bad idea. Can't wait to heat them up and pop my Zipfits in there. The sides of my foot actually touched the sides of the shell when doing a shell fit. :D

 

post #13 of 20

Have fun and heal.

.

 

Lou

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

OK, guys, I'm hoping to get a little more advice from all of you now that I can put both boots on and flex them. I have NOT had my Zipfits reheated in the proper method yet, but have put them with the boots in my Hot Gear Bag on high twice now, then put them on.

 

The fit around the heel is MUCH more snug than with my Tecnicas. And the side-to-side volume of my forefoot is nil. But I STILL have cavernous space from mid-foot forward, from the top of my foot to the top of the boot foot. If I put on thicker socks, the Zipfit absolutely kills my medial ankle and instep area but the forefoot feels pretty snug. If I put on thinner socks, it all still feels a bit sloppy.

 

Are any of the other mentioned boots (B5's, for instance) lower in the forefoot than the Atomics I bought?

 

Also, would an injected foam liner take up any of that space around the forefoot? If so, what is the price point on most of those? Also, do they increase the stiffness of the boot like the Zipfits? The 100 flex is not too stiff UNTIL I put the Zipfits in, then they are borderline too stiff.

 

Overall, I like how these shells allow my feet to sit flat without me feeling the need to balance on my toes. The cuff angle is steeper than I'd like but I've resigned to the fact that I am stuck with a very limited selection and some things are going to have to give. I'm hoping to gather some more information from all of you before I head out to have them tweaked OR get new custom liners for them. I will NEVER be able to ski with stock liners, that I am sure of.

post #15 of 20

If simply changing socks hurts your medial malleolus then your shell needs to be punched in that area and/or you should look at a custom footbed.

 

I don't know the fit of the Redster but the B5 is fairly low over the instep.

 

Don't worry about heating your Zipfits properly as you say,The Hotgear bag and you skiing in them is fine.

 

Ignore anyone who told you not to use shims.  They are not trained to solve problems and are of no assistance.

 

No one answering yo one this forum would use a shim as the first way to rescue fit.  But not everyone is close enough to the mean to be fit by simply finding the correct shell.  A hard plastic shim underneath the liner on top of the zeppa can dramatically change fit and you should try it.

 

You could also have a firm rubber foam placed on the tongue directly over your instep.  Most shops use very soft foam for this and they are fairly useless.  Find someone who uses a firm foam such as Nickelplast and you'll get dramatic results.

 

Cuffs can be straightened to reduce forward lean.  So find someone with problem solving creativity and you'll resolve remaining problems.  It sounds as if you are close now.

 

Steve is a good bet.

 

Lou

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
 

If simply changing socks hurts your medial malleolus then your shell needs to be punched in that area and/or you should look at a custom footbed.

 

I don't know the fit of the Redster but the B5 is fairly low over the instep.

 

Don't worry about heating your Zipfits properly as you say,The Hotgear bag and you skiing in them is fine.

 

Ignore anyone who told you not to use shims.  They are not trained to solve problems and are of no assistance.

 

No one answering yo one this forum would use a shim as the first way to rescue fit.  But not everyone is close enough to the mean to be fit by simply finding the correct shell.  A hard plastic shim underneath the liner on top of the zeppa can dramatically change fit and you should try it.

 

You could also have a firm rubber foam placed on the tongue directly over your instep.  Most shops use very soft foam for this and they are fairly useless.  Find someone who uses a firm foam such as Nickelplast and you'll get dramatic results.

 

Cuffs can be straightened to reduce forward lean.  So find someone with problem solving creativity and you'll resolve remaining problems.  It sounds as if you are close now.

 

Steve is a good bet.

 

Lou


Thank you, Lou. I did put my Superfeet Korks back in and they do take up a bit more volume. They need some reshaping because they are now being squeezed due to the narrower boot. After putting them in, I do think these boots are a good fit for me but now the Zipfit material in the heel area is pushing my feet forward too far (I had more added TWICE in the past) and I think I need some removed. I think it's also causing my instep to be pushed too far forward causing the pressure there (it's not my maleolus, it's just above it, near the instep.) Sounds like a visit to Steve is in order since he specializes in Zipfits.

 

Interesting about the tongue/instep padding as I've had issues with these liners cutting into that area (another reason to visit Steve, I think.) I do have some super thin shims that I won't hesitate to add later if needed. Those thicker ones really did make my boots feel like platforms.

 

I am REALLY glad to hear the cuffs can be straightened. I have a lot of faith in my local fitter who is a certified pedorthist to tweak as needed, BUT he doesn't deal with Zipfits much so I might have to hit this with two people, starting with Steve. I want someone local so I can go in after a day or even a few runs on the hill with the tweaks I am looking for fresh in my head. I've needed canting done in the past and imagine I will again.

 

I

post #17 of 20

Taking material out of a zipfit liner is tough if not impossible.  At least you don't want to pay a boot fitter to do it.

 

Your footbeds are easily sanded to fit the new boots and before I thought about anything else I'd get that done.  Footbeds that don't properly fit can take up a ton of space and dramatically change your foot position.  Get them so they are completely flat in your liners then test the fit.

 

Lou

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
 

Taking material out of a zipfit liner is tough if not impossible.  At least you don't want to pay a boot fitter to do it.

 

Your footbeds are easily sanded to fit the new boots and before I thought about anything else I'd get that done.  Footbeds that don't properly fit can take up a ton of space and dramatically change your foot position.  Get them so they are completely flat in your liners then test the fit.

 

Lou


Thanks, Lou. I'll go that route first. I DID heat the boots and liners today and pushed the kork around in the liners away from the heel pocket and it actually helped a lot. So much so that other than messing with the cuff alignment to start with, I'd go ski in them tomorrow. My heel felt like it was seated much better back there. It's amazing how much a mm or two changes everything.

 

And I do love Zipfit liners. A lot!

post #19 of 20

Forgot to mention, cork can be injected into the tongue of Zips.  That may work instead of some of the padding we talked about.  Steve will have cork and Sven has redesigned the cork injection system and sells smaller quantities with a system that you could use at home.  I imagine Steve will be able to sell you the system.

 

Lou

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
 

Forgot to mention, cork can be injected into the tongue of Zips.  That may work instead of some of the padding we talked about.  Steve will have cork and Sven has redesigned the cork injection system and sells smaller quantities with a system that you could use at home.  I imagine Steve will be able to sell you the system.

 

Lou


A home use system would be amazing to have. I want to say I've also had additional material added to the tongues as well, but I can't remember for sure. I've spent a lot of time getting boots and liners tweaked over the past 3 years!

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