Last year I went through the process of buying new boots. At first I just went out and bought what I could afford, tried them on, and bought them.
That was a bad move. I had huge problems, and I ended up buying another pair of boots within a week. This time I went to see a boot fitter. This boot fitter has a great reputation in the area, but part of me wonders if his reputation has been inflated by what I'll refer to as the "my guy" effect. As in "My guy is the best boot fitter and you should try him even though I know nothing about boot fitting, nor have I any experience with other boot fitters to compare him to. Everybody raves about their guy.
Don't get me wrong, this boot fitter seems to be competent. I learned a lot from him in the process of purchasing a better boot for my anatomy. I also had him make custom footbeds. We spent a lot of time tweaking the footbeds because I kept having pain in my right foot, along with cramping in my calf. He stands by his work. No matter how many times I go back, he doesn't charge me for adjustments. I shopped around before settling on this boot fitter, and he was definitely better than anyone else I tried.
At the end of last season, I thought we had figured out the problem. We had been making adjustments to the footbed, but couldn't get it to feel right. Finally, I noticed that I felt slight pressure along the blade of my foot. I had him grind the shell in that spot, and suddenly the cramping went away. At that point I was convinced that all the adjusting of the footbed was for nothing, and that the problem was the pressure along the blade of my foot. I had him make a new footbed for that foot because the previous footbed had been modified so much, it just didn't feel right. The new footbed felt perfect. I skied a few more times before the end of the season, and it felt great.
This year I started the season optimistic, thinking my boot problems had all been worked out. Well I was wrong. The problems haven't been major, but I experience cramping on the outside of my calf in that same foot. Sometimes it goes away after a few runs, sometimes it takes a half day, sometimes it just hurts all day. Yesterday it bothered me so much I decided I had to look into it more, so I came here.
It seems to me that it should be possible to narrow down a problem based on symptoms pretty quickly. If I experience cramping in the same muscles every time, shouldn't a good boot fitter be able to pinpoint a few likely causes to check out?
Based on a google search for an anatomical diagram of the calf, I believe the muscle cramping is the Exterior Digitorus Longus.
I thought it may have been a problem caused by overtightening my boots, but even when I leave my boots loose, the problem still arises.
The footbed fits my foot well if I take it out of the boot, and match it to my foot. When I'm wearing the boot, it feels like the footbed is way off.
I have also noticed that it feels like there is a lot of room around my lower ankle and heel, and my foot wants to move around more than the other foot.
The foot in question has a pretty high arch. With the footbed, it sometimes feels like my foot wants to slide to the outside of the boot as if it is sliding down the arch of the footbed. I think it is because of this that I feel my foot pressing against the outside of the boot.
Does anybody have any ideas or suggestions? I would be willing to try another boot fitter as long as I'm confident that they will be able to figure it out.