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Huge foot pain on multiple points

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 



I was Googling a ski boot pain topics and found this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/76586/i-might-quit-skiing-feet-pain-is-miserable-please-help. Apologies I can't comment that post but I have to start a new thread. My symptoms, however, are very similar than his.


So, my feet also hurt so much that it affects the muscle control of my feet. I start losing the power because of it and it affects also my attention, I don't feel always concentrated. Eventually the pain gets so bad the whole bottom of my feet feel like burning.


I started skiing when I was 12 or 13 and then the local sports dude sold boots which were too big, I used them until I was 16-17 or so. Then I switched to Salomon X-waves (which had awesome control), but they hurted so much it ruined couple of ski trips.


Last winter I went to buy a new pair of boots from professional boot seller (best of Finland, that's what I was told). I got fresh pair of Dalbello Lupos. The guys at the shop said that because my feet are flat, the muscles at the bottom of my feet work too much and that's causing the pain. I was also told that because the flat foot makes an angle to my feet it makes my skiing stance bad.


Now I started using the boots (they were unused for a year. Crazy, I know). When I put them on they feel comfortable and right size. If I wear them not skiing, the pain comes also, but more when skiing. I've used them 6-7 times. Is that enough for boot to "break in"?


I've been trying to observe and memorise the feeling so I could provide as much as details as possible. Last time I went skiing, I used marker to draw the pain points to my feet. Here is the photo (I know it's weird, I just thought it's the best way to demonstrate):



The pain usually starts on the first run. I was wearing too thick socks this time and when I had a break, the points A and B were hurting the most. I didn't even know that there is a muscle on A, but it was on a huge pump. The point B felt like being on cramp. The area of pain was extending from the side of the arch in to between the ball of the foot (it is called a ball, is it? Sorry for the language...).


I waited for a good 20min, removed my socks and put the boots back on bare foot for the rest of the time. Now I felt I had more space in the boot but then again it felt even a bit loose. When carving the point C starts to hurt first, then comes the point D but little bit milder. The pain on point C is also extended on the side and top of the feet. The more agressively I ski, more pain I get. But as I said above, eventually the pain gets so huge it's hard to tell where it hurts exactly.


Now there was some questions asked on the post I linked above. Let me go through them one by one:


1) You just have one, thin, clean ski sock in the boots


  Yes, usually I do. The last time was exception :)

2) You just have a sock in the boot? (no thermals, jewelry, etc)


  Only the sock, of course.

3) Your toe nails are trimmed short?



4) They are YOUR boots and not borrowed?



5) You are just skiing in your ski boots? (not walking, driving etc)?


 Only skiing.

6) You dry your liners out at night either with a dryer or remove liners?


  I remove the liners and the footbeds

7) The left liner, the left footbed are in the left boot and this is on the left foot?



8) You are loosening the buckles if you are not skiing (while standing, on lifts, etc)


   Well it hurts so bad that I loosen the buckles when I'm not even stopped yet.

9) You are not skiing all day in new boots? They need time to break in

   Yes, I ski the whole day with them, but the hurt starts on first run.

10) Buckles are pointing to the outside?

  I don't understand the question. The buckles point where the designer made em to point, and the left boot is on left foot, right on right.

Better Or Worse = (BOW)

1) BOW with the buckles tighter or looser?


 Better on buckles looser. On a good day I can tighten the buckles after lunch break and it doesn't get too bad.

2) BOW with thinner or thicker socks?

  Better with thinner sock.

3) BOW with any footbeds (custom, stock, none, etc)?

Because of the flat feet I have custom made cork foot beds, crafted by physiotherapist. They are supposed to support the arc. I have tried to ski with them. Then I feel that the ball of the feet doesn't hurt as much, but the side of the feet does. I'm not sure tho, it's very hard to tell which one is better, the original foot bed or the custom made. I haven't tried without a footbed. Should I?

4) BOW skiing, standing, or feet un-weighted (hanging off a chair lift)?

  Better on un-weighted. At the end of the day. I want to sit a bit after every run.

5) BOW throughout the day (and when does the pain start?)

  Depends on a day. Usually it get's better after lunch break, when I don't wear the boots.

6) BOW on the first vs the third day?


  I don't ski three days in a row. A man has to work too. :)

7) BOW on harder or easier terrain?

  I'm not sure if I understand the question. When there is bumps it hurts more.

8) BOW with the power straps (Velcro straps) tighter or looser?


  I tend to keep the straps loose, maybe I should really tighten them next time.

9) BOW if you do any particular movements, or actions?

  As mentioned above, aggressive skiing/ carving increases the pain, but not much.

10) Any medical, health, or weight changes since you used them last?




Oh, and now when you're thinking "why he just doesn't go to the local boot fitter", there is couple of things:


- I'm at the French Alps (Grenoble area). I went to the local boot fitter to ask some prices, but the guy doesn't speak very good English and my French is even worse than his English.

- I will eventually go back, but I want to provide myself information as much as possible.

Sooo... What do you think, should I fix my boots or my feet? :D

post #2 of 10

thanks for answering all the questions!!


1)  what is the shell fit like on the boots?   both length and width?

2)  would you get the pain(s) if you just put the boots on, inside the house?  (NOT skiing, but wearing them?)

post #3 of 10

Your fitter may be correct.  It is also possible the medial side of your foot is contacting the shell which is causing both the arch cramps as we'll as the pain in "C".



post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies and help!

mntlion, I'm not sure if I understand your question. Are you asking the size specifications or my own opinion or the overall feeling over the boot?


The size is 27,5. It's this model: http://www.dalbello.it/en/boots/big-mountain/lupo-sp-id. But if you're asking something else, what should I be looking for? I mean there is lot's of different numbers in and outside the shell and I'm not sure what I'm looking for...


I need to try again to wear them indoors. The last time I tried they were just brand new, and they did hurt fairly soon and hard. I kept them on maybe 10-15 minutes when doing the dishes and after I had to take them off.


Lou, if the boot fitter is correct and there is a problem on my feet, what would be the next step or options? Consulting physiotherapist and training the muscles? Or selling my skis and start surf bumming in Portugal?


And how about what if it's the shell contacting point C? Going to a boot fitter and extending the shell?

post #5 of 10

If the shell is contacting point "C" yes a fitter can fix the problem.  But the solution is probably to fix the contact at point "A".



post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I went to the boot fitter and the message was pretty... rough. He said that my boot is too short and he can't do anything but sell me the new boots. Now I am just left wondering, how it is possible I have bought a too short boot and how is it possible that the pros sold me a too short boot.


The size of the boot is 27 and if I understand right the length is 275mm. When measured my foot length was 280mm (with sock). However I noticed that when I flexed the muscles so that my feet were in right position and there was an arch under my foot, the length was 275mm.


Now when my foot is obviously not "correct", should I try to find the boots adjusted to the "wrong" foot position or should I try to find a boot which would fit if my feet were "normal"? I also noticed that when I wore the boots without inner cushion that indeed, the A part of my feet leaning to the shell, so it's no wonder the boots hurt. Now when I think of it, its quite obvious.


All this leaves me very confused. I tried couple of the boots the French boot fitter brought me: one was 27.5 and other 28.5. They were comfortable, but how do I know if they are the right size? Or is the guy just trying to sell me a new pair of boots, not really caring that I actually really, really want to find suitable equipment and continue with the sport?


What should I do next? Take my old boots for another boot fitter for second opinion? Go and try different boots as much as possible? Is it a bad idea to buy a pair of used boots, I can't really keep spending 550€ per pair and then use em 7 times..? What do I need to consider when I try the boots? How can I test them at the shop so that I know they will not hurt? Or should I go to the ski station, rent boots and try to ski different pairs?


Seriously, this boot episode is about to end a 15 year old long hobby if I can't find a solution soon.

post #7 of 10

Boots could be too short.  But too short does not create pain in areas ABC or D.  It causes pain in area T times five.  Yes for the sake of argument it could in fact cause pain in some of the areas you highlighted so nicely.


But instead of buying a new boot why not run a cheap experiment?  Have the pain in area A fixed and see if any other pains go away at the same time.  If they go as a group you'll be able to sort out the rest.



post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm obviously not a professional, but actually I don't think either that the boot is too short. The first reason is that when I put the boot on, kick my heel to the 'cup' and tighten the buckles, my toes won't touch the front of the boot. The toes have room to move a bit and when I run in to the bumps etc. they don't hit the shell.


Another reason is that yes, when the guy measured my foot, it was 280mm. But as I said in the last post, when having the proper position so that the foot has the arch, my foot is 270-275mm or so. So that would be the actual, real length of my foot.


I did some tests today. I have two  pairs of custom made foot beds with arch support. The other one is more thick, the other is thinner. I removed the plastic part at the very bottom of the boot (I don't know the name in english, the one which is under the soft inner boot). I replaced it with the thicker custom made foot bed. I put the inner boot back and replaced the original footbed inside it with the thin custom made foot bed. And now when I put the boots back on, ta-dah! They didn't hurt that much! I worked on my computer with my boots on for the whole day, sometimes I had to open the buckles for a while, but it felt clearly better than before. Then again, I know it is not the same as skiing with the boots, but earlier I could not wear the boot's indoors either.


I don't know if I'm right, but I think that the double support helps my foot to be on a proper position so that it doesn't lean on the shell so much - and that helps with the pain. But this is just my logical thinking and I am not sure if I'm right.


Lou, I think you are right, before jumping in to buying a new pair of boots I go find another fitter (I heard that the place where I was is not the best one) and extend the shell on where it touches the point A of my foot. I'm also considering seeing a orthopedist/physiotherapist, who might be able to do custom made parts to put on bottom of my boot to support my arch - instead of using the footbeds which are made for my runners. That's because I just think that it would be logical to fix first the position of my feet, which is not correct and then adjust the boot according the right position of the feet.


I am also going to start excercises to build my fallen arches back up again. According to YouTube it is possible :)

post #9 of 10

No no no no no and yes yes yes.  


Nice that you are experimenting, you'll learn enough to make your own decisions.  It does not sound at all to me as if your boot is too small.  Either the fitter wants to sell you a boot, is used to fitting people in big fat sloppy boots, or doesn't know what he is doing.  Doesn't matter try to find someone else.


The part you removed is called the boot board or zeppa and it must be put back, period no exceptions.  Your footbed should be installed in the liner after removing the factory one which should be in there now.


you may be able to strengthen your arches and change your alignment through a series of exercises.  Barefoot sprinting is one of the exercises.  I recommend you wait until it is warmer for that.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ok, this thing is sorted out now. I went for another boot fitter in Chamonix at the end of last season. He made me a special foot bed, which supports the arch. Please note that this foot bed is not one of those what you can get for sneakers, but much more stronger. The guy said he has made those for professional ice hockey players, so this is really heavy duty stuff.


He also installed wooden raisers under the heels. The pain in areas A, C and D are completely gone. There is some pain at the arch (not similar what I told you about last winter), but that is understandable. Of course the foot is not used to the support. If I open my buckles for going up, after few hours the boots actually feel quite comfy. The foot bed also made my skiing better. Previously it was hard to bring the ski to the outer edge, because of the flat feet. Now changing from edge to edge is much smoother and faster.


So, my conclusion is that when it is said that inside the ski boot there should only be the factory foot bed, I highly disagree. Maybe not the best idea to stuff whatever comes in to your mind in there and it depends what the problem is, but professionally made foot beds can improve multiple things. Extending the shell is not always the solution.


Now, if you have similar kind of problems and are around Chamonix area, head to Sole Bootlab and ask for Seb. His work is worth of every penny. Or actually euro cent.

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