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Footbeds...Fact or folly

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Anyone out there have experience--good, bad,or life-changing--with footbeds? I've never felt that I've needed them but then maybe I don't know what I'm missing!
post #2 of 24
JImM: You may very well not need them, but for those who do, they can make a world of skiing difference.
post #3 of 24
For what it's worth, this being my first season skiing.... I think footbeds are important for most people. Think about it: your feet tell the skis what to do, and the footbeds improve your 'connection' to the ski.

I had skied 6 days without footbeds, and now nine days with Superfeet Custom footbeds. Admittedly, I have some biomechanical problems (flat arches and over-pronation) that needed correction, but I'm a lot more comfortable and in control.

When you consider the cost of equipment, lift tickets, travel, etcetera, the custom footbeds make a lot of sense to me...
post #4 of 24
Footbeds are about the best investment you can make on your skiing. If you own your own boots footbeds will cradle and stabilise your foot, spread your weight evenly and stop your foot from flattening when weighted heavily. The flat pads in the sole of your boot liner are there to give an indication of how much volume will be occupied when you have footbeds in them. the 'footbeds' supplied with your boots are not designed to be skied on. Regardless of the shape of your foot and your ability footbeds will add to the comfort and performance of your boots.
post #5 of 24
Fact, not even an argument.

Bought some boots and they were trying to sell me custom footbeds. I was a little hesitant cos I was spending a lot of money already and didn't want to spend any more but the guy said "Ski on them and if you don't think they're worth the money then I'll give you your money back, no questions." I did go back to that shop the next day but to say thanks and not to get any money back. Money well spent.

It's the interface between everything you can bring to bear on the ski and the ski itself. If you have the money you'd be silly not to.

Well that's my 2cents (actually I don't have 2 cents so I'm sorry I'll pay you later is that ok?!)
post #6 of 24
You will be amazed at what a good foot bed will do for your skiing. They will also set up the cuffs of the boot to your leg angles and adjust the boot for differences in your feet. Make sure you go to a good fitter.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
I guess I'll pull the trigger. My feet are REALLY wide in the forefoot so I was worried about overstuffing my boots but I guess I'll never know until I try. Thanks for the input.
post #8 of 24
Jim, Happy feet is the first step toward Happy skiing. Proper fitting boots and a good set of foot beds are the most importent investment you will ever make in ski gear. I see your in Ohio we have many members here from Ohio I'm sure that they can direct you to a good Bootfitter in your area.
post #9 of 24
Fact.
post #10 of 24
I trusted everyone on here when they told me to get footbeds this year when I got new boots/skis. Everything worked really well, but I didn't notice exactly how important the footbeds were until I was curious one day so I took the custom ones out and put the standard ones in. Wow, what a world of a difference they make. So much more comfortable/form fitting. It makes the boot feel a lot more apart of your foot.

Do it.
post #11 of 24
Footbeds can be the best investment in skiing - and the worst investment. They can improve your skiing - and they can seriously threaten your knee and even hip ligaments. The trouble is that a good bootfitter is a hard find.

[edited for spelling]

[ February 24, 2003, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by AlexG:
Footbeds can be the best investment in skiing - and the worst investment. They can improve your skiing - and they can seriously threaten your knee and even hip ligaments. The trouble is that a good bootfitter is a hard find.

[edited for spelling]
I've never heard of the knee and hip issue before. Is this more of a poor alignment issue? Are you saying if the feet are in solidly with less wiggle room it will put more stress on the knee and hip joints? What's the correlation?
post #13 of 24
I once had a very bad experience with footbed + cuff alignment combination. I have some pronation, but this time the arch of the footbed was too high, and the cuff was too much to the inside; as a result, my right knee hurt big time on the right side of the patella : (luckily we were not skiing the following day). I got it all adjusted (flattened the arch and realigned the cuff after that), and now it's OK. The point of my post was that it is critical to get a GOOD bootfitter to do ANY boot work.

But they do improve performance big time. Without footbeds, I ski on the inside edges all the time.

[ February 24, 2003, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by JimM:
My feet are REALLY wide in the forefoot so I was worried about overstuffing my boots but I guess I'll never know until I try.
Just do a half bed then (instep, heel only) -- that's what I have and it works like a charm. In any case, a footbed should help prevent your foot from flatenning out.

[ February 25, 2003, 09:35 AM: Message edited by: Lodro ]
post #15 of 24
I'll take a somewhat contrary view to some...

Footbeds do very well at cradling and supporting a neutral foot. Some footbeds are even designed to compensate for faults in alignment and biomechanics.

There is empirical evidence that shows a poorly designed footbed can seriously impede skier performance, and a properly functioning foot does not NEED a footbed. It's only for comfort in that case.

I'd suggest getting a biomechanic assessment first to see if there's even a necessity. If not, then decide if the added "comfort" is worth the price.
post #16 of 24
Warren,

Do you have any suggestions for a fitter in the Ottawa area?

Michael
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
How to get a biomechanical assessment? Any suggestions for someone to do the footbed thing in Steamboat. And how long does the process take? Can you get measured/fitted and actually have the footbeds the same day? Obviously I'm new to this.
post #18 of 24
custom footbeads are great, but only half the battle. make sure to investigate your eligibility for a stone grind also, in which a technician first checks to see if your knees are properly aligned with your boots on. if not, the soles of your boots are ground in order to allow you to ski on an even keel. steamboat, being a well-appointed resort, probably has a "surefit" store that specializes in selling and fitting ski boots, although many high-end shops now offer these services. good luck
post #19 of 24
Jim said:

Quote:
My feet are REALLY wide in the forefoot so I was worried about overstuffing my boots but I guess I'll never know until I try.
Jim,

My feet are less wide with the footbeds than they are without. Without the footbeds they spread out like hobbit feet. With the footbeds they actually fit in the boots!

Before I went to the boot guy, my feet were in excruciating pain. He removed 90% of the pain from my boots. I need to go back and have him take out the other 10%!

It's worth the effort to find a good boot guy.
post #20 of 24
Not sure about anywhere else, but Synergy Sports Performance Consultants in Whistler can do it. It may be a little bleeding edge stuff as they do both static analysis in the shop and dynamic analysis with video on the hill. There was a really good article on them in the November 2002 issue of Skiing magazine.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by JimM:
I guess I'll pull the trigger. My feet are REALLY wide in the forefoot so I was worried about overstuffing my boots but I guess I'll never know until I try. Thanks for the input.
A well-made footbed will prevent much of the "spreading out" of your forefoot. You'll be surprised as you won't need AS MUCH shell width.....& as mentioned, get every bit of your alignment assessed too, although don't be surprised if, somewhere along the road...a 2nd footbed(with a SLIGHTLY different shape) cures any "Remaining IsSuEs". : [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

$.01

[ February 27, 2003, 02:02 PM: Message edited by: HaveSkisWillClimb ]
post #22 of 24
When I was ten I had my right foot run over by a truck. Thirty years of skiing in pain. Four seasons ago I got the $79 specials the heat molded variety.

No more pain.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by JimM:
Anyone out there have experience--good, bad,or life-changing--with footbeds? I've never felt that I've needed them but then maybe I don't know what I'm missing!
Your foot/ankle needs to articulate in order to ski effectively and efficiently. IMHO (and I seem to be the minority), a rigid footbed with stiff 'arch support' will often lock your foot and make it impossible for you to articulate your foot and easily tip the ski onto its edge.

In the absense of serious mechanical defects, I'm of the opinion that a soft gel-like footbed (along the lines of Aussie Insoles) that allows for full ankle articulation, while still providing support that conforms to your foot, is the best way to go.

[ March 03, 2003, 09:29 PM: Message edited by: TooSteep ]
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by TooSteep:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by JimM:
Anyone out there have experience--good, bad,or life-changing--with footbeds? I've never felt that I've needed them but then maybe I don't know what I'm missing!
Your foot/ankle needs to articulate in order to ski effectively and efficiently. IMHO (and I seem to be the minority), a rigid footbed with stiff 'arch support' will often lock your foot and make it impossible for you to articulate your foot and easily tip the ski onto its edge.

</font>[/quote]Since JimM never felt he was in need of footbeds there's a good chance that he has pretty reasonable alignment. If that's the case too steep's comment above has merit. If there is some serious pronation a posted footbed will be more effective as too steep alludes to in his next paragraph. Everyone will see some benefit from properly made footbeds that suit them. For some it is a huge improvement for others it may be subtler benefit with comfort and performance.

The main thing is to get a competent bootfitter or pedorthist do an assesment before deciding on what if any approach.
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