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)?
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