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Big toe pain and other issues with boots

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I've had a tough time with my boots lately. They are Atomic B-Tech 80's. When I first got fitted for them about 5 years ago, they were the only boots in the particular shop that I was in that would fit my wide feet and high instep. I measured 26.5 (maybe a smidgen above) on the scale. I wear size 10 shoes. At the time, I was worried as the toes felt overly snug. They insisted I would be OK, and that they could always make more room. When I step into the shell with my toe touching the front, there's not much room at the heel - not nearly enough to slide a finger through. Which I believe is what it's supposed to be? But I'm not sure if it's the liner or shell that is causing this pain? 

 

Well, 2 trips to them to make more room, a session with Green Mountain Orthotics with a custom footbed and heel lifts, and I'm still suffering. My big toes are constantly in pain/discomfort, whether going down the slopes or even just sitting around. Even when I put a lot of lean and pressure on balls of feet forward, it still isn't comfortable. I also have a lot of pressure on my left inner ankle from the boots. All of these contributed not only foot and ankle pain, but calf pain all the way up my leg. I could barely finish a blue run and just a few years back was doing black diamonds in Colorado and Utah on my worn out old boots.  

 

This has caused a lot of wasted ski days as I've tried to remedy this. I'm at the point where I'm ready to give up. For 3 years I just plain gave up on skiing because of the frustration from this and money spent. I started to wonder if the leg cramps were just me and not the boots. 

 

2 weeks ago I decided to try and rent boots. I got some that were probably way too big on me. I think they were 28.5's. Yeah, they weren't great and I probably gave up a decent amount of control - but guess what? Zero pain. I did a dozen runs, at night, with ice, and before I could barely get down one run. 

 

After giving my current boots to the shop I bought them from (which I'll never return to at this point), I tried again today and couldn't get down one run. I took the lift, the custom footbeds off to see if it would give me any extra room I needed. Nothing worked. 

 

I went to another shop after this that let me try on several boots. I actually tried on some 27.5 boots, which were not causing me any toe pain like my current boots and felt good. I tried a Dalbello, but it killed my instep and I was in pretty bad pain and had to take the boot off. Tried the really big Tecnica Ten.2 120 H.V.L. It felt good, but I almost wondered if there was TOO much room. Finally, I really, really liked the feel of the Head AdaptEdge 100 boots at 27.5. I felt like it fit like a glove. No pain at all. No uncomfortable toe pressure or bending.

 

I am here as a gut check on my old boots. Are they a lost cause after all this work? Is it time to drop another $450 so I can actually start skiing well again? Am I safe to go with a 27.5 if it works for my feet?

post #2 of 20

there are so many factors which can be affecting this that you really need to be working in person with your boot fitter

 

the shell check i hate talk of fingers as yours are different to mine are different to the next guy... mm is a much more universally accepted scale of measurement

 

the B tech whilst a good boot in many respects for a wide high volume foot had its faults, in nearly every case you had to fit a small heel lift AND grind around the heel pocket to get the liner to sit into the back of the shell, without doing this even people with what a boot fitter would consider an oversized shell check would complain about feeling the front of the shell...HAS THIS BEEN DONE?

 

if not then it is worth a go to see if it helps, but in reality it will depend on all the other factors, calf muscle flexibility, technique, hydration etc etc all the bits nobody wants to talk about.

 

i am a little concerned about the fact you measure 26.5 and are trying 27.5 boots on, especially things like the edge which are really big to size, i think it might be time to find a new boot fitter, the guys at Green mountain or someone else with reputation for fitting boots rather than just selling them, be honest about what you are looking for from the boots and help them guide you through the process, some people want a more relaxed fit in their boots and that is fine so long as 1) it is not too BIG and 2) they understand that it will get bigger and it is near impossible to permanently make a boot smaller  it all depends on what you want from the kit and how much skiing you are going to be doing

 

good luck getting sorted

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

there are so many factors which can be affecting this that you really need to be working in person with your boot fitter

 

the shell check i hate talk of fingers as yours are different to mine are different to the next guy... mm is a much more universally accepted scale of measurement

 

the B tech whilst a good boot in many respects for a wide high volume foot had its faults, in nearly every case you had to fit a small heel lift AND grind around the heel pocket to get the liner to sit into the back of the shell, without doing this even people with what a boot fitter would consider an oversized shell check would complain about feeling the front of the shell...HAS THIS BEEN DONE?

 

if not then it is worth a go to see if it helps, but in reality it will depend on all the other factors, calf muscle flexibility, technique, hydration etc etc all the bits nobody wants to talk about.

 

i am a little concerned about the fact you measure 26.5 and are trying 27.5 boots on, especially things like the edge which are really big to size, i think it might be time to find a new boot fitter, the guys at Green mountain or someone else with reputation for fitting boots rather than just selling them, be honest about what you are looking for from the boots and help them guide you through the process, some people want a more relaxed fit in their boots and that is fine so long as 1) it is not too BIG and 2) they understand that it will get bigger and it is near impossible to permanently make a boot smaller  it all depends on what you want from the kit and how much skiing you are going to be doing

 

good luck getting sorted

Small heel lift was done inside the boot by Green Mountain. No grinding around the heel pocket was done, I will try that. 

 

In the meantime I found a 26.5 AdaptEdge VERY cheap that I am tempted to buy. I need to go try the 26.5 on in person and see how it feels. 

post #4 of 20

Big calf muscles will push your feet into the front of the toe box if you move upward (extend) in the boots----big calves???

 

mike

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
 

Big calf muscles will push your feet into the front of the toe box if you move upward (extend) in the boots----big calves???

 

mike

Not huge, but medium-large?

post #6 of 20

what circumference are your calves at the top of the liner?

 

mike

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

what circumference are your calves at the top of the liner?

 

mike

I bought a tape measurer to find out. 

 

Either way, I went to yet another shop today. Re-measured me at a bit over 26. I tried a 26.5 boot and my toe was literally curling. A kick back into the boot, leaning forward, didn't matter. Very uncomfortable. Tried on some 27.5's that I liked, including:

 

Salomon X Pro 90 - instep felt OK after adjusting where the buckle is. Seems to have a lot of adjustability with the shell? 

Salomon Quest Access 90 - very very comfortable, but sales rep said that it might be too soft for my skiing (solid black diamond but not a big fan of the super bumpy/steep stuff)

Head (not sure which boot, Vector 105 maybe?) - crushed the top of my instep, very painful 

Lange SX100 - fairly comfortable but a decent amount of pressure on instep when not leaning forward, enough to get pretty uncomfortable over time

 

So what's the deal with the sizing? Because I just cannot get comfortable in anything at 26.5 that I've tried and I wasted hundreds of dollars on my current 26.5's. 

post #8 of 20

something isn't adding up

 

1 if you measure 26/26.5 there are not many boots in the world that would require you to go up a size!

2 there are many things that can cause boots in the measured size to feel too small, here are just a few.... tight calves, big calves, excessive volume, very square forefoot, hammer toes, poor technique, thick socks  

3 i think it might be time for a change of fitter, simply trying on a pile of boots till you find the one which heels like Cinderella's slipper in the store isn't going to work, it sounds as though you need a fair bit of work doing and the only way to get this right is to work with a fitter who can assess your feet properly and go from there, the key being assess the foot properly, anyone can sell a pair of boots but unless the fitter has studied what is going on they can't sell you the right boots

 

BTW you bought the tape measure... what was the result?

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

The cloth tape measurer should be here today from Amazon. ;)

 

I do have a square forefoot and a good amount of volume. Technique wise, I'm getting toe crushing just from sitting, standing, and leaning forward in the boot on the 26.5's. Not just pressure, but I can feel the toe curling/arching.  

 

I'd have to say out of all the boot fitters, the one last night seemed more knowledgable. 

post #10 of 20

     I totally agree with CEM----buying the 27.5 in a Salomon (Lots of toe room) will result in You having to compensate in every turn for the life of the boot (10 years?)  Compensating for a large 

 

boot is a lot of WORK waisted---skiing enjoyment lost---sore muscles---no FUN!!!  By the way you won't be the only one out there skiing in too large a boot, as the large majority of folks out there

 

(90%we estimate) will be in the same boat.  

 

     Ski boots are not walking shoes---when you walk in a shoe and bend the front at toe off the shoe becomes shorter relative to your foot, if your toes already touched the front before you bent the

 

shoe they would beat your toes up --- since we can't bend a ski boot this function doesn't occur, but we can exert up to 2-3 Gs inside the boot (2-3 times your body weight) if your foot has room to

 

move, it will.  On the other hand, if the boot "contains" (holds on to) your foot and it can't move, then your control improves enormously.  So as CEM said, a new ski boot that isn't broken in will

 

feel too tight when we first put it on and will feel very snug, when it is heat molded---it will then feel and ski great if we go ski for a couple of days and get beyond the break in period.  If you have

 

low volume feet, it is even possible to go down  a size (I measure 28.2cm and ski in a 27.5 shell) and have even more control----my toes don't hurt.  Control is a nice word.

 

Finally----a 26.5 boot will not be too small---a 27.5 will be too big!

 

mike

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

Interesting. So I liked the AdaptEdge 100 in 27.5. It fit great. One of my favorites so far. 

 

Are you guys saying that if I buy the 26.5, even though it feels tight on the toes, I should be ok? 

 

There's one on eBay now for a price that can't be beat. 

post #12 of 20

So far we didn't ask---how much do you weigh??

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkiv808 View Post
 

Interesting. So I liked the AdaptEdge 100 in 27.5. It fit great. One of my favorites so far. 

 

Are you guys saying that if I buy the 26.5, even though it feels tight on the toes, I should be ok? 

 

There's one on eBay now for a price that can't be beat. 

as to your question-----Yes!

 

mike

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

205#, 5'11"

post #14 of 20

At 205# You should be in at least a 120 flex in most any brand---did you use the tape measure around your calves at the top of the liner?

 

any boot fitters on Ebay yet?;)

 

mike

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Calf where the top of the liner is measures 14.25" around. 

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

Well, those AdaptEdge boots got away from me anyway. Outbid at last second. 

 

I'm going to try one more shop tomorrow, Alpine Haus in CT. They are listed under America's Best Bootfitters. 

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Alpine Haus got me in some Technica Ten.2 100's that seem to fit well, 26.5. They seem to have been the most knowledgable so far.

Now I have a problem as they said my Look Pivot 10 bindings are not on the indemnified list so they couldn't set them up. Anyone know anything about that?
post #18 of 20

Tecnica 10.2---read Hi volume----I hope you have a high volume foot----remember, when you first put a new boot on it should feel very tight initially, not cushy and comfortable, plus a 100 flex is pretty soft for your body weight.

 

good luck

 

mike

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

It was not the Ten.2 HVL (high volume). It felt pretty tight, but no pain points. Felt stiff enough too. Tried on Salomon Quest Pro 90 and it was not stiff enough and also caused significant instep pain after being on for 10 minutes. Way too easy to flex. 

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

So far, pretty good luck with the new boots. After removing the old custom orthotics, which seemed to be driving my ankle into the side of the boot and causing significant pain, we went with a newer custom footbed and it's great. It also helps when the boot is warm, as the first time out I used a cold boot and it likely contributed to the ankle pain. This is the first time in 6+ years I've skied in my own boots without pain. 

 

I have to give credit to Alpine Haus in Wethersfield, CT. They've been really great. 

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