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Reconsidering Custom Footbeds

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Two years ago, I decided to get new boots, and include the works - custom footbed, fitting from the shop, and so on. Well, I don't think the shop did a very good job of building the footbeds - even though they were listed as one of the top shops to get a footbed from, and I walked away from that year with a very painful foot problem, and a negative view of custom footbeds. When the shop cut the footbed, they actually compeltely removed the indentation that the pinky toe had made!

After that year I decided to change boots again. I went from the Atomic r:11 to the Salomon Crossmax 10. The Salomon was the best fit I could find, and was my runner up when choosing a boot from the year before. Previously I had gone with the R:11 because it had a slightly tighter heel pocket, and I was concerned the Salomon would pack out too much.

After skiing on the salomons for a year, I am very happy with them, however I am contemplating trying footbeds in them, to see if maybe now that I have a better fitting boot, that a footbed really would help. I am aware of a lot of the pros and cons of weighted versus nonweighted footbed methods, however one type of footbed I am looking for information about is the custom arch footbed. I'm not sure exectly what it is called, but a local shop has a setup that allows them to create a footbed with a custom arch in it, then use a generic peice of footbed under the toe area. I am thinking about trying this method, since the toe area was very uncomfortable when I had a full footbed earlier. I could never get my foot to sit in the toe area correctly, and I could feel the indentations of the footbed on my toes and y socks would wrinkle on the imprint as well. Has anyone tried this type of footbed?

Thanks for the help.
post #2 of 23
Haven't tried that particular kind, but personally I have had the most success with custom cork footbeds (even though they are considered old techknowledgy). A word of wanring though about footbeds in Salomon boots, personally I cannot put footbeds in Salomon boots because of the shape of the heel pocket. If I put a footbed in, it raises me just enough that my heel is no longer properly in place causing a lot of pain on the sides of my achilles. Before you get the footbed made, have the shop put something that is approximately the same size as the custom footbeds in and see if your heel is still in place. Salomon seems to have a very ball shaped heel pocket, and its the top of the heel pocket that has caused me problems. Just something to look at before dropping a lot of money on something that might cause more pain.
post #3 of 23
I'm skiing in a salomon xwave 10 and with custom foot beds. no heel problems or fit problems. I'm on a vintage 20+ year old superfeet kork bed. Every fitter that has looked at my footbed's shake their head at the age but when they check the fit, none of them has told me I need to replace them because they still fit me correctly and do exactly what they are supposed to do.

As far as the heel lifting too high, A good shop can cut the "posting" or part under the heel down to put your heel back in the pocket correctly.

I recommend all skiers get a good quality footbed. Custom prefered but anything is better than the stock footbed in any of the boots on the market.

I don't have experience with the custom arch models but again it will be better than the stock. Almost all the shop's I've dealt with have real good policies regarding satisfaction. Most will continue to work with you to get the fit right. Any pain, pressure points, etc should be fixed by the shop. Don't let them get away with cheap work.

DC
post #4 of 23
jhstroup, I currently ski a moszkito footbed. It's effectively a half footbed designed for active foot movement. Good heel pocket and arch support. Though the arch support is further back, it is very effective. Look at their web site, www.moszkito.com. The most comfortable footbed I've ever skied, and I've skied plenty. While not a custom footbed, they come in 72 different sizes. I get measured for and get mine at my local ski shop, but they can be ordered on the web. They really have to be tried to be appreciated. Later, Ric.

Ps, that would the $50.00 rigid version as they call it. Haven't tried the other versions but I'm interested in the soft one.
post #5 of 23
Sounds to me ('When the shop cut the footbed, they actually compeltely removed the indentation that the pinky toe had made!') like the footbed was cut too small probably so it would fit the liner. This means the liner was also too narrow for the foot. Even with the right width in shell you will get problems with this set up. The footbed MUST be cut to fit the foot and then the liner STRETCHED to FIT the footbed. The boot may need stretching too. The fact the wider Salomon offered relief ads credence to this view. Unfortunately the Atomics are hard to remove the bottom rand from to stretch the liner the way I like but you can still get them to give some.

A good footbed that supports you properly should only help but it has to fit your foot as opposed to just fitting the liner. Therefore the liner has to be made to fit the footbed as opposed to the footbed made to fit the liner.
post #6 of 23

Liner stretch.

L7 you did a post some time this past season about stretching the liner on Lange boots. Do you use the same procedure on the Atomics as well?

Post1
Post2

Quote:
Heat the bottom of the boot liner on the rubber rand starting at the toes until the glue softens. Start peeling it back at the toes and keep heating and peeling until you have it peeled to about mid foot. Cut a slit(s) that roughly run 90degrees from where you need the space.You may do one diagonally for the little toe and then widthwise part way for the big toe length. It could be once the little toes stop pushing on the liner the big toe will be happier any ways. About now a forefoot expander is handy but I'm guessing your foot could stand in. Wedge your foot in and see if the slit(s) open(s)s up some. Use contact cement on both surfaces and let it dry until it's lost it's tackiness. Then flash heat both surfaces quickly and heat the rubber rand enough until it's soft (pliable) then carefully stick it back down with the slit still open and foot still in there to assure that. Stand on it for a few minutes and giddy up. The forefoot expander would be much better than a foot if you can get your hands on one or get a shop to do it.
post #7 of 23
The first cut (diagonal) is parallel to the carpal tunnels? Or across?
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post #8 of 23
Problem is with that R9 boot I haven't been able to heat the glue enough to peel in back. Believe me I've tried right up until I'm breathing deadly noxious smoke. I don't know what the glue is but I'd like to use it on a bunch of other things.
Some of the other Atomics will peel off ok. With the R9 the front portion of the liner is fairly ample and supple so for my own boots I did ok just heating them on the bottom and putting the boot stretcher to them and let them cool.

When I put the cut in the bottom I put it perpendicular to where I want the room. So If I want to square off the lateral side of the toe box I run it diagonal from the medial side towards the front coming back and across about 45. If I just want width then straight down the length ideally between the second and third rays or meta tarsals. Sometimes I'll use both the cuts. The Langes in particular have a toe box shape in the liner that has nothing to do with the shape of the shell. I don't think they changed the liner shape with the new shell last.

Atomic is the only boot I've come across that I can't peel that bottom off.

Thanks for digging that up.
post #9 of 23
jhstroup, I would recommend that you find a good boot fitter. I see your in NC. Well, that may not be the best place to find a good fitter. You say you went from Atomic to Salamon, I believe they fit two different style feet. I have said this before, Any good boot fitter should look at your feet, feel them, have you stand and walk and then he or she will tell you what boot you should be in. Even when I bought new boots in March 03 my boot fitter, who by the way sold me my old boots and custom foot beds back in 1998 had me do the same routine. He was going to have me try 03' Langes because they changed the boot for that year. But couldn't find them in my size. So he had me stay with Tecinca.

My fitter works in VT by the mountain I work at.
post #10 of 23
go for it...in fact things are moving away from rigid footbeds(surlyn,olefin even cork) and in the direction of much more flexion in the forefoot with more compliant bed blanks. the footbeds you speak of are great and i would highly reccomend them. i do boot service for world cup and noram level athletes and i can tell you that the boot geeks would be very disappointed in the types of footbeds being utilized at those levels-LOL! a couple of our high level usst guys are using nothing more than soft,thin EVA. (obviously more stability then a stock insole but no molded toe crest, zero posting material,etc.) the beds that ricb speaks of are similar, you can get great performance without turning this whole thing into a science project, which too many guys do.
post #11 of 23
OK, so I am assuming that comprex's cuts are correct to fix length and small toe issues.

About the contact cement and the heat. I re-heat the rand to make the edges adapt to the new size of the liner.

Questions:

1) when I stick the rand back on the bottom this is done with the foot unweighted. Can the liner can still be too narrow? Should I wear a huge sock or even two socks?

2) If I mess it up, will heat enable the contact cement to be pliable enough to remove the rand and reglue? If the liner gets glued with the wrong width and length, is it toast?
post #12 of 23
There was a somewhat similar thread a couple weeks ago. Search should turn it up.

Echoing what I said on that one - consider an unposted custom footbed. Preferably a thin variety. That extra little bit of space (in my case leaving room in the instep) can make an amazing difference - while still allowing you to get good+even arch and heel support. If you find you are lacking support in a critical area, you can have the bed partially posted or what I'd describe as "lightly" posted once you see how things are going.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
Haven't tried that particular kind, but personally I have had the most success with custom cork footbeds (even though they are considered old techknowledgy). A word of wanring though about footbeds in Salomon boots, personally I cannot put footbeds in Salomon boots because of the shape of the heel pocket. If I put a footbed in, it raises me just enough that my heel is no longer properly in place causing a lot of pain on the sides of my achilles. Before you get the footbed made, have the shop put something that is approximately the same size as the custom footbeds in and see if your heel is still in place. Salomon seems to have a very ball shaped heel pocket, and its the top of the heel pocket that has caused me problems. Just something to look at before dropping a lot of money on something that might cause more pain.
the "zeppa" or boot board can be ground down to get back the room taken up by the thickness of your insole.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
OK, so I am assuming that comprex's cuts are correct to fix length and small toe issues.

About the contact cement and the heat. I re-heat the rand to make the edges adapt to the new size of the liner.

Questions:

1) when I stick the rand back on the bottom this is done with the foot unweighted. Can the liner can still be too narrow? Should I wear a huge sock or even two socks?

2) If I mess it up, will heat enable the contact cement to be pliable enough to remove the rand and reglue? If the liner gets glued with the wrong width and length, is it toast?
I'm not sure I ever saw Comprex's diagram before. I think I looked once but it showed as a blank. At any rate I would adjust his red cut on the lateral side. It would be better rotated counter clockwise by about 20 degrees. Or if you took it to be pointing at 1:30 or 2:20 rotate it to point at about 11. You want the cut to be about parallel to where you want to create the room. Have that same cut start about midline or slightly lateral (outside) and have it start a bit beyone 1-2 cms where the room is needed and end a bit beyond again.

The one for toe length is fine and should go close to the edge of the boot but not all the way (leave 1/2 cm) and then extend in to about midline. The two can intersect.

Better than an extra sock is stuffing kleenex or something into the liner where the pressure is to stretch for more room. Weight the foot as soon as the rand is positioned to stretch more. It's better to have an expander and press but your foot is functional DIY if not ideal.

Yes you can get the glue off with heat again if need be but if you did a good job it can be a bitch. Heating the rand will activate the glue to stick after you let it set AND make the rand more pliable to adhere in a slightly different spot.

If things go totally awry you can just glue it all back where it originally was as it will regain that shape easily. Worst case scenario is I had someone really mess one of these up and I took a rand off an old dead boot and used it and all was fine. DO NOT OVERHEAT THE FIBRETEX stiched onto the bottom of the liner. That's the cardboard or white acrylic kind of stuff. It can melt and deform much quicker than the rubber.

I guess somebodies feet still aren't happy mid season. Cold snap your way too I guess so that'll will help you feel it.
post #15 of 23
Thanks!

You bet they are not happy. Once the liners started to pack out, the big toes went from numb (pressure related) to slightly numb but now very cold.

WRT to softening the Lange Comp 100, one bolt was removed from each boot. Would removing the upper bolt make the boot softer than removing the lower bolt? Is removing BOTH bolts a reasonable option?

Cheers!
post #16 of 23
I had a very interesting boot fitting experience this season. The fitter, Kenny freidman (AKA Kenny's double diamond in Vail) focused first on the Zeppa and how my foot sat on it, then we looked at beds. As it worked out, after changing the zeppa in my boot, I did not need custom beds, in fact, I had them from the old boots tried them in the shop and went back to the factory (Nordica) beds. For kicks I tried them once and did not feel as rock solid. It all depends on the persons foot. I woudl receommend starting with the zeppa, If you want Kenny's number I can e-mail. He is in Beaver creek and Vail. He only fits boots, sells nothing (hint, hint)
post #17 of 23
If you want it soft yank both bolts. Removing just one or the other won't do much but probably taking the top one would offer more. I usually put a dab of silicone in the hole to prevent leakage.
post #18 of 23
Wow that was quick. Thank you! Your advice is much appreciated.

The last bit of nonesense is making them more upright.

I figured I would just loosen the cuff cant and grind/sand down the rear of the grey cuff a bit. But the question is how much? I'd like to get them somewhat like my Bandit B2's, but between the probably different ramp angle and all, I don't think I can just make the shells have the same lean when looking from the outside.

I do have a woodworkers angle guide. I suppose I could use it somehow, but the empty shell will be different from the shell w/liner inside.

I'm off! Cheers!
post #19 of 23
Looking at the outside of the Lange is deceiving. With that big chunk on the back the appearance is a lot of forward lean but it's not really that much. Not sure how it compares to the Rossi though. Where to work on it depends on where you're being pushed forward. The easiest and most common is to flare back the top of the spoiler. Your idea can work and is good but is also more hassle and more permanent. For the spoiler remove the powerstrap and maybe put some muffler tape over the thin spots where the bolts hold the power strap on. Also some tin foil on the top of the lower shell isn't a bad safeguard. Heat the spoiler with a paint stip gun. Heat slowly and thoroughly and reheat at least once after you let the heat work in deeper for a couple of minutes. I like to use a foot ball jammed in to give a nice even curve and flare. Sometimes people are pushed forward at the achilles and opening that channel if your achilles is thick can actually help too.

There's more than one approach and depends on your foot/leg. But flaring the spoiler is least permanent as reheating it will allow the original shape to come back.

PS The speed was impressing me too. Guess we were both right there looking at it at one point.
post #20 of 23
L7: Thank you for this tip! It is a great idea!

I do have a heat gun. It's got adjustable temp. Will the lowest temp work? IIRC, thats 450 deg F. The highest is 900 deg F.

I'm pretty sure the achilles is not the issue, since the bootfitter claims I don't have a lot behind the heel.

But, If I put a Rossi on one foot and the Lange on the other and straighten up, the spoiler bites the calf much more on the Lange -- it's a pretty narrow cuff.

FYI, I can only click the cuff buckles into the first channel. I can just reach that far when I first put the boots on. Getting them tighter means first ratcheting cuffs onto the first channel, then moving to the second.

Once I do manage to get to the second channel of the top buckle, the foot feels somewhat suspended above the bootboard. Putting the power strap under the shell makes the right foot have some trouble touching the bottom of the boot. According to my wife, my calves are too big.

I think that indicates the spoiler should first be heated up and flared open before any other surgery is accomplished.

But you know, they will still be brutally cold, especially after the cuts.... Chemical warmers help a bit... Maybe I should fit a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side up under the insole? Will that help at all?

I'm thinking about replacing the conformables with the cheaper DIY customized SOLE footbeds. That may give more room at the arch, and so better circulation. Right now, I can't get anything thicker than an ultralight sock into the boot due to the toe box problems....

Cheers!
post #21 of 23
I don't think you'll find them colder because of the cuts. They will be sealed again by the rand and have a footbed over top so basically trapped air. Should be fine. If you need room over the instep then you can grind down the boot board to get that. You definitely want to flare back the cuffs and if the calf comes that low maybe even cut the cuff down a bit. I'd probably use the high setting just don't hold it too close (6-10cms) and keep it moving. Look for the plastic to get a slight sheen to it and that's hot enough. Cool a couple of minutes and heat again to get it right through. Make sure you heat the thick spine up the middle enough. You can only flare as far as the spoiler extends up the back. It can help to dremel away a bit of the side of the spoiler that extends down. Just reshape and dish that to allow it to flare a bit better.

This is probably also most the source of your cold feet by the way. Not a lot of blood flow when your calf is squeezed tight.
post #22 of 23
Superfeet Custom Korks are the best ou can buy. They vacuum suck them to your feet to get that perfect fit on the ankle. THen they press the toes in to give an evne better fit. They will change your life. THey allow you to go edge to edge quicker, and surprisingly increase your ski ability.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
personally I cannot put footbeds in Salomon boots because of the shape of the heel pocket. If I put a footbed in, it raises me just enough that my heel is no longer properly in place causing a lot of pain on the sides of my achilles.
oh my. There were whispers of achilles problems with the X-Waves when they first came out, especially for women. I got a pair, and ended up with massive achilles problems that are still present. I wore the biggest baddest bestest footbeds money could buy. I wonder if this was it?
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