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Custom Footbeds

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm want to get custom footbeds for my boots, any special advice or brands to recommend. Insta-Print, Surefoot etc.

Jeff J.
post #2 of 14
I would go with Instaprint, Downunders (custom molded) or Superfeet Kork (Custom)
It's more the fitter than the system that is important. If you are able I would head up to Green Mountain Ortho Labs. They have some great fitters. Ask for Greg or Scott. Spend the money, It's worth every penny.
post #3 of 14
I would recomend finding a boot fitter you traust or that comes highly recomended. I do not believe the product is as imoportant as the fitter.
post #4 of 14
I would echo the above the fitter is more important than the brand. Yes Green Mt is great, but I see you travel up to Loon and Cannon, another great fitter is Paul Richalson at Feet First. 1-800-371-3447 he is located in Plymouth so you drive right by! He is great so he is busy call ahead! good luck. It is worth the money
post #5 of 14

Ray Rice at Surefoot in Killington is someone you should talk to. Listen to what he has to say as well as the other fitters in your area. Yes, the technician has a lot to do with the outcome of the footbed, but not all systems are equal. The quality of the molding techniques varies widely and some of the products out there simply cannot support your foot as well as others, ie too flexible or not flat on the bottom. I've used many types and Surefoot seems to me to have the best system. And they are great at customizing other parts of the boot as well as alignment needs such as canting. I think the number there is 802-422-BOOT.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok, I just new this was not going to be easy. Like Bob Barnes my feet and ankles are loose with pronation and lots of soft tissue flattening on the outside when standing. Sounds like non or semi weight bearing are the way to go.

I would love to go up to GMOL even though this is out of my way (although H.H. says they don't know what their doing...but that's another story)and get the footbeds and do the whole alignment thing, but if I needed more adjustments, which is more than likely I cant't keep going back up. My wife would KILL me.
Now I know about Paul Richelson at Feet First in Plymouth N.H. He is right on the way to my condo up by Loon Mountain, but someone else in this forum really had a bad and expensive experiance with him and ended up tossing out their footbeds altogether and said he also hacked up his shells...ouch!!
I also have a really nice shop close by to me. (Ski Stop in Westwood MA)It's a husband and wife team and both have been through the Masterfit University program, but because they are a very small (and I know they do footbeds) I dont know if they do alot of footbed work. I want someone who does this ALL the time. Anyone have experience with them??? I would love to give them my business, but you have to do what you have to do to get the best results.

Thanks for any input
Jeff J.
post #7 of 14

Superfeet Kork and Downunders (custom) are both non weight bearing methods and the Instaprint is a semi weight bearing system. The surefoot system I have seen is full weight bearing but since I was not trained on the surefoot system I will leave it at that.

I am not a bootfitter nor do I work at a shop so I have no connections to any particular system. I have however been through the Masterfit U associates program and learned a lot there. Greg at GMOL was my instructor. The good thing about the Masterfit U was that although they do sell a specific "system" (instaprint) they taught and talked about several other systems and gave both pro's and con's about all the systems.

My current footbeds are Superfeet Kork and I am very happy with them and like BobB, have had them for 15+ years. (but not nearly the days as I only ski 20-25 days a year) I always thought I had tight not too flexable feet until I went to the Masterfit U. and watched other people try to bend. I guess my feet are pretty loose and I do pronate a lot.

I also have a pair of Instaprint footbeds however I have not skied on them yet as I am still working on completing them. (left over from the Masterfit U class).

Good luck with your decision. Let us know how it goes.
post #8 of 14
When I had my footbeds made at Surefoot it was definitely a semi-weight bearing method, not full weight bearing. Ditto when my wife's footbeds were made there. Can't account for the discrepancy between our experiences and those of dchan, but there you go.

My opinion (not backed up by any real evidence other than my own) is that a non- or semi-weight bearing casting method is preferable for people who overpronate. Besides that, go for a bootfitter who comes recommended by others. I had a terrible pair of Superfeet Korks made before my Surefoot insoles, even though the Superfeet system seems to be a very reasonable way of making good footbeds and clearly many people here have had excellent results with them.

P.S. I am very pleased with my surefoot footbeds. Improved not only my skiing but also my skating, which in some ways is a more rigorous test of one-footed balance. Now I have no problem gliding on one skate, where I used to have a lot of problems doing so due to my very floppy/overpronating feet.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 28, 2001 07:51 AM: Message edited 1 time, by andrew_tai ]</font>
post #9 of 14
IMO Jeff...make the time and spend a day up in Vermont...the footbed can turn your skiing around...at least make it feel more *natural*...and any day away from #128 is a great day! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok I talked to Richelsons Feet First in N.H. and they don't believe or use the SuperFeet custom korks because they say they are not durable enough. Just the opposite of what Bob Barnes and others have said. I tend to agree with the others. (they do carry the off the shelf ones though) She said they use the Instaprint with a vaccuum method while standing. (weight bearing which is not what I think I should have) I thought the Instaprint system did not use a vaccuum but took some imprint of your foot while seated. I know they are supposed to be good but I'm a little suspicious of them.
I like the sound of the Superfeet custm korks from other reports but I'm still not sure what to do.

Still researching (what I do best)
Jeff J.
post #11 of 14

At the Masterfit U course we were taught to use the instaprint system seated with lower leg properly aligned. The process included checking if your foot was "in neutral" position.. If they are usinging in the standing position, then I would avoid it. As far as durablity, I think there was a small stretch of time when Superfeet changed their "Cork" blend and it was not quite as good. Their current mix seems to be pretty good. the "vintage" kork that both mine and I'm sure BobB's are, were quite durable. When Greg saw my footbeds he had to "show it to the guys" and comment on it's "vintage"

the Instaprint system "vacuum" is actually a bed of soft "clay" which is a custom made gel that is in a rubber bladder. When you get the imprint made, they pull a vacuum on the bladder which makes the gel firm up to almost rock hard. This allows them the ability to press the thermal molded footbed into the "mold" without it deforming your imprint. then you place your foot back in the footbed mold which creates your footbed.
Hope that clears up the "vacuum" question.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dchan. Now I've talked to my little shop close by (Ski Stop Westwood MA.) and they do both types of footbeds, Instaprint and Superfeet custom korks, but would have to check out my feet to determine which would be the right ones. Without me asking she had all the the right answers and technical mumbo jumbo I like to hear, to see if they know what they are talking about. They also carry my brand of boots even though I did not buy them there.(only 3 stores in N.E. carry my Dalbello Diablo boot without a special order).
Think I'll drop by to see them over the weekend.

Everybody have a safe and happy New Year and a little prayer for more snow in the east!!

Jeff J.
post #13 of 14
I'll go SLIGHTLY against the flow here, and suggest that actually the type of footbed IS important. But it takes a very good bootfitter to determine what type is best suited for your individual foot, and then to build it correctly for you.

For people, like myself, who have very flexible feet and who pronate, a well-built, very solid footbed molded to an unweighted foot is probably the most effective because it can best stabilize the foot and ankle. Superfeet Kork fit the description, and work well for me. But I've had a couple pairs built that did NOT work, too, because the fitter did not do it right. The SuperFeet currently in my boots are more than 15 years old, and they have probably a couple THOUSAND days of skiing on them!

For someone with a very rigid foot--the classic "supinator"--a more flexible footbed, perhaps molded weighted or semi-weighted, might be better.

So I DO agree that the most important part of the equation is a highly skilled and knowledgeable boot fitter. But part of the skill of the bootfitter is to know what materials and tools are best suited to each individual foot.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #14 of 14
One of the fundamentals of weight bearing ortho molding, semi or full, is to have the knee directly above the foot. If they don't have a machine to position your knee and hold it in place while you do the mold, then the mold may be inneffective. Please, all of us are trying to urge you, spend the time and money, go to Ray Rice at Killington Surefoot or The Boys at GMOL. They have very specialized equipment for orthodics and its the core of thier business. Even if the team at ski stop has the knowledge, they don't have the equipment to follow through.


PS When BB speaks, you should listen. Of all the people on this site, he is not the most prolific, but his words are usually right on point and have a factual basis. The man knows about skiing

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 28, 2001 08:29 PM: Message edited 1 time, by GF ]</font>
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