Originally Posted by Cgrandy
What other sport asks for an incredible level of balance and dynamic mobility while all too frequently blocking the myriad fine movements of the complex foot?
Originally Posted by cantunamunch
Hockey? Speed skating?
So to reach our maximum potential we should start skiing again in leather boots? ;-)
Originally Posted by cantunamunch
Sure, we're just pulling back from the absolutist 'everyone needs full custom'. Everyone could use a pro evaluation though.
In a perfect world that would surely be the answer. However depending on the "pro" your mileage may vary. You might get the right shell fit, appropriate forward lean and flex, etc, or you might get what's languishing on the shelf in the back of the shop, especially around this time of year. The hard part, as with a lot of services, is knowing when to cede control and go with the pro.
Originally Posted by Atomicman
My feet are also a bitch. Wide forefoot, fairly high instep, skinny ankle and lower legs and my right foot is fairly curved.
I have pretty much the same profile, only it's my left foot that's more curved, even higher arch, and a bump on top to, er, boot. And I'm pretty bow-legged as well.
Over the past seven years I've purchased two pairs of new boots. The first was at what would probably be considered a "semi-pro" shop - not a big box store, but an outdoor sports, not dedicated ski, shop, although located in a ski town and there was a robust ski department with boot fitting stations and experienced boot fitters. In hindsight I came to know I did get the boots languishing on the shelf, with a too-roomy shell fit. Also shell mod work and a custom instaprint footbed at time of purchase. Not perfect, but served me well for several seasons to get going.
Couple of seasons back I researched and tried several boots, and ended up with getting a pair of Lange SX 120's, stepping down a size in the process. For footbeds I had a pair of these that I had acquired along the way...
Heat-moldable and reasonably stiff, not overly rigid. Good support and quality much closer to a custom footbed than the junk that typically comes with ski boots. I tried them in the new Lange's and they seemed to fit and work well. So, having new boots with a good shell fit, shell mods (punches where needed), and upper cuff alignment set, that left ...
1. To lean to one side; slant.
Remember, I'm bow-legged, with my left foot making my left leg (knee) tilt out even further, so I need some additional work to get my skis to a good flat, neutral position.
Over the years I've worked with four different "Master Bootfitters" in Colorado and California. Two did canting with upper cuff padding. One by grinding and adding plates to the boot soles. And one liked to work "inside the boot". That last one helped set me up with the Lange boots and Viesturs footbeds. After his evaluation in the shop this is the alignment mod he made...
Over time I began to feel this duct tape cant was the wrong mod for me: Soft snow can hide a multitude of alignment sins, but on firm snow I noticed I had trouble getting my left ski on edge, and also when skating I would tend to slide out. So finally one day I pulled the footbed out and pulled the duct tape off. Things seemed a little better after that, so I took it to the next step...
Five layers of tape at the toe, and three at the heel. Much better edging, and skating, and no foot discomfort during or after skiing full days. Thanks to the boot fitter who originally did the ankle punch on my shell, (who believes in a good bit of space to allow for ankle movement during skiing), I guess I have enough room in the ankle pocket to accommodate the slight shift of my foot in the boot. That and a slight micro adjustment to the lower boot buckles.
More experimentation is and will always be needed - the price of good boot fit and alignment is eternal vigilance! But isn't it interesting that seemingly the proper solution for me is essentially the exact opposite of what the master boot fitter came up with during a shop visit?
Ed Viesturs makes a relatively inexpensive, good quality, off-the-shelf footbed which may suffice for the needs of some skiers.
Boot fitters can be good for boot recommendations, and are typically good for basic shell modifications. Alignment can be complicated and for some (many? most?) skiers may well be an iterative process requiring multiple adjustments/visits.
Keep your brain turned on. Get some trail maps, a roll of duct tape, and some of this stuff, and don't be afraid to experiment - with a non-destructive tweak if it don't make it better just back it out and try again!
Brace for... (Click to show)
Flames along the lines of "That's not canting!", "A man who is his own boot fitter has a fool for a customer!", "You're doomed to be a terminal intermediate!", etc.
Edited by jc-ski - 4/15/17 at 6:29pm