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narrow foot and high arches = which boot?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Anyone recommend a boot for above foot (I'm a girl too)? My old boots smell so bad I dont' think I'll get through customs next time I go skiing!
post #2 of 30
Het! YUCK!!! :0

check out my "HEY Spinheli - boot question" thread. (ski gear disscussion) have the same problem, high instep, narrow heel, and I got some really good suggestions in that thread...some of which i plan to try...

post #3 of 30
I've heard Lange boots work great for my friends with the same concern. Definately talk to a good boot fitter in person...
post #4 of 30
I had the lange Venus 7s, and though they have high insteps, they weren't high enough, it squeezes the heck out of this vein that runs through the instep and causes my middle toes to go numb...but maybe i just have weird feet? The heel pocket is ok, still would like it snugger...
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. Loads of suggestions in that thread Linda - my head is spinning too and I think I will have to wait until I am at the ski resort to get a proper fitting as there aren't many skilled bootfitters in England!

Anyone know of a good fitter in Vail?
post #6 of 30
I would not recommend going to Surefoot. I have not been to the one in Vail, but have had some poor experiences at other locations.

In Whistler, I asked them to do a very simple softening job on my boots. I went as far as showing them where I wanted a V cut in back of my lower cuff. I came back later, and some other employee had taken out two rivits that did not stiffen the boot at all, and were crucial to my stance. I left, without having them cut a V.

They recommended the Dolomite Epix 55 as a suitable boot for my girlfriend who is a full time instructor, and a strong skier.

There footbeds cost like $160, and are not custom. They just match you up to a certain foot type out of 28 possibilities. Their footbeds are way too thick, taking up way more room than say Comformable or Instaprint, and they seem to be incapable of making them fit well in smaller sized boots. Do they even own a grinder?

They have these great boot sole planning machines, but never seem to check ramp angles/forward lean/delta issues before planning the sole for lateral canting.

The Oz Surefoot seems to be one of the worst. We had quite a few Aussies show up to work at our Ski School with boots from Surefoot that were totally inapropriate in terms of fit, and performance.

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there happy with there Surefoot expiriences, but not me.
post #7 of 30
I second the motion spinheli
I have been to whistler and Utah surefoot locations and both were very disappointing. I wanted someone to check my current footbed and as soon as they saw it wasn't one of theirs I got the song and dance and they tried to tell me I the ones I had were junk (didn't even look) and that I needed to purchase new boots and footbeds. Sorry but anyone who does that is full of it... I have since had my nice comfy 15 year old footbeds evaluated by several different shops depending on what I problems I was having and Most by some of the top fitters in each area I've been to and they all have said your footbed is fine and very well made. then they proceeded to help me with other fit problems.
The one in Utah almost forced a pair of boots on my cousin and finally got her to buy foot beds. We later ended up tossing them because the boots and footbeds were totally wrong for her feet and the footbed was junk(she pronated about 3-4 degrees when she stood in them and then moved her knees forward and pronated even more.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited July 31, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 30

Precision is a great place. I used to work there, bunch of great people. I'm also a bootfitter, worked for a different place last year, and I should have gone back to work for Precision... More hours at the other place, but they did not have a clue.

Would love to work with ya, let me know... BTW, I just finished a summer clinic on footbeds and alignment. Was already pretty decent at it, but I've learned more, and have improved my knowledge and skills...

Don't forget, that when skiing: "Squatty is Grotty"!

Well, I really liked "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin... LOL!

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver
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[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited August 01, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 30
Find a boot fitter you can trust, understands your foot, skiing abilities, and how far you want to advance. All other questions and concerns can now be answered. Fit is everything, and a good boot fitter is your guide to that goal.

Happy Skiing !
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions but unfortunately I won't have a car whilst I'm in Vail so I'll have to try somewhere in the resort - maybe the Beaver Creek Surefoot. With all the advice on this forum at least I will go in there an educated customer and won't get ripped off!
post #11 of 30

For stinkfoot allow me to share.....

It's probably from placing your feet on the wet lodge carpets. The fungal spore is rampant in those bacteria sponges.

1'st give the liners a good rinse with a very mild detergent followed by a light baking soda rinse.......... then a clean water rinse.

Final (secret weapon) is FAB-REEZ.... A couple of squirts worked wonders for my kids boots.
post #12 of 30
the other thing about stinkfoot, is make sure you completly dry your boots every night.. If you are not absolutly sure they are dry, they probably are not. I use a boot drier (fans no heat) every night and check them in the morning. I have found that often they feel dry but if you pull the liner/footbed, they are still damp underneath. Any moisture will make them cold when you ski and allow fungus to grow.
post #13 of 30
het; I've had the same poor experience with Surefoot; they grew too fast and are just a big franchise; and those footbeds,yikes... however, they carry a huge selection. The Beaver Creek store did take good care of my sister and they seem to put their best staff at the posher resorts. If you ever come to Utah, and I recommend you do over Vail,{of course; I live here.} I recommend Ernie at Bootworks in Park City: Scotty at the resort center store across from the ticket office at Snowbird{used to be called SportsStalker} or my favorite, Wally or Paul at Deep Powder House at Alta. The Vail people out there surely must know a more reliable place than Surefoot {no pun intended}; although they did used to have a moneyback guarantee; I've used it. In any case, there is nothing wrong with talking to fitters and trying boots on at several good shops; Vail is surely loaded with them.I sure wish your feet luck; I've tried on Langes for my narrow feet but ended up with Raichle Flexon originals; the stock liners were way to tight over the instep,but with a Thermoflex version I had no problem. I sure love them on my feet ,as it were... R.
post #14 of 30
I second Paul at deep powderhouse at alta. I had him make some adjustments to my boots. He did a wonderful job.
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for the stinkfoot advice Dchan! but unfortunately I left my stinky old boots in the Grouse Mountain Lodge at Big Mountain last March! I had the boots for 10 years and they had surely past the point at which any known chemical could remove the stench. I also had no more space in my suitcase so they got left in the hotel room with a note apologising for the smell!!!

They also had no insulating properties and were stiff as a board, probably because the plastic had metamorphasised (is that a word?) into lead.
Time for new boots then! Went to my local ski store in Manchester, England and bought some salomon 912 Ti bindings but they advised me to wait till September when all the new boots come out so there will be a full range of manufacturers and sizes. I am worried about waiting till I get to Vail because it could take me 2 weeks to get the boots sorted - NIGHTMARE!

I will have to take the plunge and get my boots over here when the new ranges come out in September. There is an indoor real snow slope about an hour away from where I live so at least I will be able to try them out and identify pressure points etc. before I hit Vail.

I'm so glad I found this forum as there is so much information and friendly advice!
post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 
p.s. Rubon - I have always loved the Raichle Flexons - at the time I got really into skiing the black and apple green version was on the feet of all the coolest skiers in my videos. Nearly bought a pair on sale at Big Mountain but I didn't have enough cash left after a 2 week vacation (week in Fernie, week in Big Mtn.) Wish I had now because I can't find anywhere in England that sells them and I reckon they would suit my foot shape.
Hey ho - will probably end up with mainstream Sallies and disappear into the crowd!
post #17 of 30
Het; sounds like a plan. Raichle's are hard to get here too; they're somewhat of a specialty at Deep Powder House. I checked my Inside Tracks newsletter{I guess I'm not the only one here who subscribes} and they recommend Matthew Gustafson at Vail Ski Tech, and also the Gorsuch shops at Vail and Beaver Creek if you need anything further. I hear nothing but good things about the new Sollies.. have fun, R.
post #18 of 30
What an excellent thread!!!!
I have the worst feet in history. In fact, if I can't get teh "issues" sorted out, I may have to re-think becoming a year-round instructor, it's that serious (I'm in Oz and teach in the US too). My feet are flat, wide, splayed out with a collapsed arch, but tiny heels and thin ankles. Huge calf muscle but it comes down the leg more than a man's.
I get very painful 2nd and 3rd toes.

This year I had to buy new boots, and ended up at Surefoot in Jindabyne (australia). Well, 2 months later I'm still going back. At least now I'm being looked after by the guy who seems to own the place, he seems to know a lot about feet, arteries and nerves. The others, well, whenever there's a problem, they seem to resort to selling you something.

I had to do the hiring clinic here in Oz as I hadn't taught in Oz...so they wouldn't give me a pro deal. I paid 700aus bucks for a pair of x-waves (I got some of their footbeds the previous year), and mid season they still cause numbness in the toes and then the whole foot sole, my heel fishtails and lifts (with 3 layers of foam packed around the achilles!), they've been blown out sufficiently I think, but the numbness isa serious problem. I hope it can be fixed by the season's end.
post #19 of 30
I have to concur with the negative opinions of Surefoot. Got a footbed made and ended up using their money back gurantee. They cannot grind them- they recut them completely to make changes. Plus they're not really custom ( I think 28 patterns may even be too many) but fit your foot to a pattern.

Boot fitting is a lot of knowledge and fiddling. Expecting someone who knows little but has a computer and a bit of training to solve complicated problems is wishful thinking. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tog (edited August 09, 2001).]</FONT>
post #20 of 30
I worked for Right Fit, the "fore-runner" of SureFoot. They used the Amfit system too. Personally I did things on the measuring device to put the foot in a more neutral position, and always undercut the arch, so the foot could articulate.

I was intrugued with the Amfit system, because I used to do a lot of work in the world of mills, lathes, and machine tools. But it's not quite right. Mostly because of the material used, it is good to machine, but not good as a footbed.

However, somebody has recently told me a very apt description. It's like skiing with a lump of Powerbar under your arch. Ewwww!

A good tech is still required, to think outside the box. I would NOT work for Surefoot again, unless they would let me make footbeds with a different system. Period.

I considered it last year, but I worked elsewhere. They did not care about fitting though, they cared about sale$ more. Idgits! Footbeds and service can be very profitable, and return clients with word-of mouth is what matters most. Imagine that!

Surefoot has one redeeming quality. A lot of boot choices! But get your footbed elsewhere. Or, use the local SureFoot as a library of boots, early season. And try a bunch of them on. They will give you crap about not guaranteeing the fit without their footbed tho.

These folks don't get paid much per hour (commission), so tell the person who is helping you (quietly, upfront) that you will be buying proform/shopform, and tip well for the time. Hey that's fair to the employee, as he/she is the person helping you.

As a bootfitter, I do this with fellow instructors a lot. OR barter, like beers/food/ski-tunes, etc. Take care of each other...

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver

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[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited August 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #21 of 30
I love seeing all the Surefoot bashing on these chat rooms. Lets clear some issues up. First off, Amfit. Amfit is a true cad/cam imager. At a cost of $25,000/unit, do you think it will scan your foot then just choose one of 12/24/36 orthotics to choose from. Come on. Deel with this. Amfit is used by the largest and most widley respected orthopedic clinics in the country. Walter Reed Army Hospital (all the Presidents wear them when having orthotics mad) The Mayo CLinic, Fidelity Orthopedic, and Southern California Orthopedic Institute to name a few. These clinincs are making hundreds of thotics a month. But you can go on spreading the rumor that the machine only spits out 12 different patterns. (This rumor obviously started by the staff of Superfeet after Rightfit Sports dropped them because of quality issues)I could put my ass on the machine (in fact so could you if you wanted) and it would take its imprint. If you did not like the material it uses, I can take a positive (the actual foot)and cast a thotic out of a different material and have the thoitc back to you in a couple of days. As a CPED who uses the machine to make prescription thotics, it works very well. Neuromas, insert a metatarsel pad. I can invert/evert the foot. Forefoot/hindfoot Varus/Valgus are a breeze to do. I would encourage you or anyone else who is a douter to come in and check it out.

As for the other problems I have been reading of, a computer is only as good as its operator. An with this you get some issues. Like I said I have used Amfit for a number of years in retail and clinically. It works for me but some times I see mistakes made and have to correct them.

We are constintlly under attack because we have grown so large. On the whole Our people are very good at what they do. If you know you have real issues, when you come in ask for the manager and he will be glad to help you. I read that we are only interested in money. If that were the case, why would we offer someone 100% money back guarntee. If I only cared about taking your cash, why would I be willing to give it back to you if it did not work?

Last and not least is what I see as the over analyzation in the boot fitting world. I have mid to higher end skiers come in all the time talking to me about foreaft balancing, canting, q angle etc. I can easily measure for this but wear does it stop. I measure your fore aft angle, then measure the zepa, then the upper cuff angle, then the angle of the binding, what about the ski (internal or external plates). Do I band saw the ski to check the measurement? I had a number of people who bought Nordica Dobbermans at retail or on pro form. These people are very anal about this stuff. They were working with all the "best" around the country. They never felt right on their skis. Why? Because the boots when pulled out of the mold are extra hot becasue the Poly Ethylene density is extra burly. So the boots twist and warp. All the experts out there overlooked a simple mistake which is made with almost all boots. The soles are warped and need to be planned flat.

Anyway, If I was in it for only the money I could think of a hundred other ways to aggrevate myself for triple the pay. But then I would not get to ski the deep pow.

Take care and go big!

post #22 of 30
How many does it spit out? Enquiring minds want to know.
post #23 of 30
What did I just get done explaining. The number is infinite!! I have made orthotics for a guy with a trans-metetarsal amputations. He lost his toes in a lawn mower accident. The machine can make a diblock orthotic. This is a thotic with a block where his toes used to be and then everything else is normal. Every one it makes is absolutly custom. Like I said if you do not believe it come in and someone will be more than happy to show you.

Some of the athletes we have on it are Picabo Street (thotics made and liners foamed in our store in Park City), Lance Armstong (Santa Monica Store), David Duval (made in Sun Valley),
post #24 of 30
Oh, and one last thing to mister spinheli, do we even own a grinder? Our orthotics can be milled so they are 1 mill thick in the toe area while still being thick enough in the hind foot to support the foot in neutral. I have put them in heel to toe shell sizes for the likes of Jake Zamansky (Alpine Jr Skier of the Year) PIcabo, Alias Lewis and many others. Too thick? I think not. Either you did not ask for it thin, or you were dealing with someone who was not good at his job.
post #25 of 30
Nice try at damage control, you guys seem to need it. Keep training your staff, and maybe one day your claims will be reality in more of your shops. And oh yea, how many foot types does the Amfit system match too? Sorry, couldn't help it.
post #26 of 30
Cool deeppow! Glad you are here!

Sigh. For the record, I am NOT bashing. Not at all. The Amfit system is DAMN close. Used properly it is CAN be a very accurate system, and will produce a good product. Using a computer system properly is a great way to get repeatable, objective results. I spent years in CAD/CAM and I love the measurement capability, and repeatability..

I also happily skied for years in my Amfit footbeds. But I like my new ones better! The new ones work better for skating as well... However, it IS more labor intensive.

BTW, your references to other sports are inappropriate for skiing, as the footbones move differently in walking/running.

The main limitation of the AMfit blank... I will review this limitation, as it's mostly in the material(s) used, not the "system":

The arch of the foot needs to flex and flatten a little as the foot articulates (to the Big Toe). If the arch is made with dense, unyielding material, it will hinder the foots articulation. Too soft of an arch, AND one that lacks "springback" (return to original shape, elasticity) will not support the foot, or assist in going to the Little Toe.

Amfit "tweak": Manually grind the material under the arch, appropriate to the weight/strength of the skier. Best done in stages, but just don't go too far, or it will be too soft, and won't support the foot... This is closer to the "ideal".

Existing materials used in Amfit systems do NOT spring back, when undercut... Darn!

So what else can you use? Doubtful that there is a "machineable" blank avilable now that will do this, altho perhaps some dissimilar materials, in layers, might give the "springy thingy" underneath. This would probably require different blanks, and "depth of layers" to accomodate (the above mentioned)thicker/thinner feet and or available volume under foot/in the boot.

I understand spinhelis dilemma, and it does sound like it was made improperly. So he should/could get a new one made, eh?

Maybe a simple grind and glueing under the arch, with a suitable material to "spring back, as another tweak. Hmmm, got me thinking again. Dangerous, ain't I?

One more thing. Where does alignment end? When it WORKS. However, I agree some clients like to fuss too darn much, and don't understand that it's a blend of technique AND proper alignment to improve; i.e. it's not the tune, you suck . YIKES! How do you say that gently?

Personally, I suffer from very bad skeletal alignment. Very assymetrical. Held me back for years. It's very important, especially with shape skis. I am not alone, or that unusual.

I won't even get into all the problems with ramp angle (bad boot design) and inappropriate "heel lifts" right now...

Please check your premises deeppow, this is not competition, rather it's about making a more functional product for MY clients. Would love to discuss this more...

You can click on the link that is my "handle", if you prefer to discuss this privately. Heck, I would RATHER work (and send my clients to) a shop that has selection, and cares about the results. Which MOST Shurfoot employees do, IMHO.

Please remember that this IS a forum, defined as a healthy exchange of ideas, mmmm, k? I suggest you listen to your (possibly ex) customers in this forum, eh?

One more thing, the "idgits" I referenced, absolutely NOT Shurfoot. Not Precision, or Racers Edge or... never mind.

Respectfully (quite!) yours...

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver
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[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited August 14, 2001).]</FONT>
post #27 of 30
Yes he can either get a new one made or get his $ back.

It is funny you talk about Amfit locking your foot out and not getting enough ankle/foot articulation. IN Aspen we have three different footbed fabricators that believe in locking the foot out. THey will take an existing orthtoic and put anywhere from one to three inches of fore and hind foot posting, inverting the foot into a non-mobile position. THey will then grind the sole of the boot to bring these people back inside. Talk about lack of articulation. In variable terrain(off the groomers) these people can not function. PLus you can always pick them out on the hill. Huge moves inside to get onto edge and no subtle foot knee movements to initaite a turn. We usually do not get accused of lack of articulation.

I will leave you with this one thought. YOu put three boot fitters in a room and will get 12 different opinions. Different stuff works for different people. And everyone has something to say. Nothing wrongt with that.

Oh, and mister spinheli, I will be thinking of the damage control when I am skiing the 5-6 foot of fresh down in Las Lenas in about two weeks.
post #28 of 30
Hmm, well the things you described, locking the foot out would really SUCK. Grrrrrr, bad juju! Looters! Personally, while I certainly do post a footbed, as appropriate, that is not the way. Locking the footbones does NOT work. I know we have horror stories we could share, and that is certainly one of them. ABSOLUTELY the Amfit materials/method would be better than the methods you just described. ICKY! Makes me feel sorry for those poor skiers, and I wanna help them!

Hey, we agree on something. Coooool! Ummm, btw, I did not say that the Amfit footbeds locked the foot out. Presumption on your part. But for SOME skiers, and made by SOME technicians, it could. The material DOES give a little, just not enough. That's why I grind it out, under the arch.

Deeppow, these posts of mine, are not an accusation at all. Please don't take it that way (ouch). I used to think that the Amfit system, and materials were the best available. Simple characteristics of the materials used, and learning new things, has more than just convinced me. A is A!

Believe me, having my personal premises re-adjusted regarding these issues kind of bugged me too. Painful, at first. It's normal to "protect" ones existing territory. So pardon my assertiveness, I'll try to be gentle. Unless your mind is closed to the subject. Then we'll just agree to disagree. Which limits learning and growth, eh? For all. Defeats the purpose of a forum, again, still.

Here is a thought for you. What if there existed a methodology that would give a boot technician a series of measurements so the tech could make a footbed product accurately. Every time, presuming a dedicated professional who gives a crap, because it does take some study, and work... This includes alignment. Interested? This EXISTS. Sorry this is NOT opinion, it's based on bio-mechanics, and the existing state-of-the-art. Which still needs refinement, but it is all about getting better, right?

Too much VOODOO! Too much opinion. This SUCKS for the skiing public, doesn't it? I really don't like the fact that footbeds, bootfitting, and alignment is full of OPINIONS, as opposed to facts. How about you? 12 bootfitters all having different methods/opinions is really a problem for the industry, don't you think? Not to mention the poor clients. Bootfitting should be more of a technical, repeatable skill.

This is why (I know we both do this) professionals end up pulling out the liner in a boot and being dismayed with what we see inside. And it's not (always) about selling our respective products, it's about helping and improving things for a skier, to the best of our abilities. If the defensive attitudes get set aside, then the truth will out. It's "out there". This happens in ski instruction too, right? Exploring and learning from mistakes, but we do have to move forward, eh?

Just so you understand where I am coming from. Thanks for your reply. Really.

On a lighter note, wasn't "Depow" a Vulcan family name on the original Star-Trek series? hee hee hee!

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver

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[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited August 14, 2001).]</FONT>
post #29 of 30
It is hard to get money back if you did not pay for them. They gave out a lot of free ones when they opened. I traded an old pair of Superfeet for the Amfits. Not a bad deal, a $30 pair of trim to fits for a $160 Amfit. Actually, I finished them, and although I was not happy with them for my alpine boots, I got them to work ok in my teles. What is with the friggin' toe crests? But I would like my $10 back from the Whistler location for the softening job they blew. You seem to have a vested interest, how 'bout it? Just kidding Deep, I was so disgusted, I walked out with out asking for it. I actually do refer people to Surefoot in town to get boots once in a while, but it is about third on the list. Have fun in Argentina. If you meet a pretty boy instructor named Juan there, tell him Dave from Mammoth still wants $80 for his phone bill. - "Mister spinheli" to you OXOXO
post #30 of 30
Heh heh, spinheli, those toe crests can be annoying, or too much for some folks. I used to mellow those out for most people.

I like a small one, as my toes like to pop out of joint. OUCH!

Visit me here &gt;&gt;&gt;SnoKarver
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