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How to measure instep height?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I saw on Skis.com that they classify instep height of ski boots according to the following scale:

Low:  circumference of instep <1/3 the length of your foot

Medium:   circumference of instep 1/3 to 1/2 the length of your foot

High:  circumference of instep >1/2 the length of your foot


However, they do not describe how to measure “circumference of instep”.  I tried several different measurements, and the only one that seems to make sense with these definitions is straight up from the floor, over the highest part of the instep, and back down to the floor.


(Other possible interpretations are tape wrapped fully around foot at instep, or from heel over instep and back to heel, both of which are approximately equal to the foot length and don't make sense with those definitions).


Am I doing this measurement correctly?  It puts me at (instep circumference)/(foot length) = 0.7, so well into the “high” instep category.  If true, this is kind of a revelation for me as I always thought I had normal to low instep height.


I know somebody will say "go see a bootfitter", which is of course the right answer, but I want to do my own research first.

post #2 of 5

We use a flexible tape measure attached to the Brannock sizing device.  We wrap it around the instep to the heel stop.  An average instep will have a similar circumference to length.  A high instep will be bigger than the foot's length and a lower instep will be less.  There is no substitute for a good eye.  An instep can be tall and thin or low and wide and require special care.


Bob Gleason- BootDoctors Telluride

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bob,


I’ve read about that method using the tape measure from one heel stop edge of the Brannock device across the instep to the other heel edge, but it doesn’t seem to match up with what skis.com is using as an instep measurement (I don’t think any normal foot could have an instep measurement of half their foot length by your technique).  Also, it’s not so useful for the average consumer (like me) who doesn’t have a Brannock device at home.


I keep bringing up skis.com since they seem to be the only ones who even attempt to publish instep heights on ski boots, imperfect as those measurements may be.

post #4 of 5
We measure the declination angle of the 1st metatarsal bone with a gonio meter and classify instep height by degrees.
The ratio of heel instep perimeter to length, as mentioned by Bob, is also a good measure. As, is just looking at them after you've already looked at a lot of them.

Height of instep, like most other factors, becomes increasingly important the further you are from average. Either up or down.

post #5 of 5

It is because a good eye can substitute for it.  So I'd be willing to bet that while Bob may measure it he could also do just as well without.  Although we'll let him answer that.


You like to do your own research but what will you say if your fitter disagrees?  You are trying to do the work of the fitter.  why not go with their recommendations and see how it feels.  Or if you want tell us what you are trying to find and we can probably easily help.



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