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Surefoot custom footbeds

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Some of you might have followed my posts in a thread titled "Superfeet". I feel its very important to notify this community about my experience with Surefoot, so others might be aware of the possibilities with this product.

On my first visit, I stood on the finished new orthotic in my boots in the store and it felt like someone had placed golf balls inside my boots! It was very very uncomfortable. I mentioned this right away and the fitter said I'd need to wait until my fairly flat feet got used to being strengthened.

I had very strong doubts. (How do 37 years of flat arches get strenghtened / corrected in my very limited time skiing?). I checked this board and the golf ball feel was even mentioned here. So I waited to ski.

My Skiing instantly became wobbly: hard to balance, and very very uncomfortable. The arch in the footbed felt extrememely high and intrusive, it was pure agony.

I skiid some more but after awhile I thought I'd rather have less than perfect stance and be in comfort than be in pain. I intended to get my money back as Surefoot has a great warranty.

My return visit to the store: The manager was there this time and instantly could see that with my feet these orthotics didn't look appropriate.

He re-scanned me and even before the scans I KNEW this was going to be a very different experience. (SEE BELOW). The result: Even standing in the store, the new footbeds were totally comfortable. In my right boot I couldn't even feel the orthotic at all it was so comfortable. On the hill, my skiing felt as if it had exploded to new heights of confidence and ability. It was a total joy to ski and I tried various things I'd not dare do before, in confidence.

Here's the two differences during my visits to Surefoot. Note that I have somewhat flat feet.

The first visit:
No discussion of skiing history or abilities or aspirations (their brochure says this is the first thing they will do).
No talk about my foot, no explanations of what was being done. Kept my socks on. My left knee was placed BEHIND my heel. Very unweighted, just enough weight on the scanning foot to hold it in place. Right knee was above the foot unlike the left. Unweighted practically also. No discussion about the scans on the monitor. Not talk about my feet whatsoever. When returning for the finished orthotic, I was asked if I'd like to try them on, as if maybe I wouldn't! It felt hurried, non-personal, and even "non-custom" in a way. The results were completely painful in the boot, and very negative in regard to skiing experience.

Second visit: (different fitter)
Socks off this time. MUCH different stance: Knees weere positioned very carefully and in much more of a ski type position (somewhere above or in front of the toes). The manager talked about what he was doing every step, and the experience was very "custom" and personal. Both feet were WEIGHTED, meaning he asked to distribute weight evenly on the scanned foot and the unscanned foot, he also looked carefully at the monitor scans, and even re-scanned the first foot again once he'd studied the screen. Results: VERY comfortable and resulting in confidence building skiing in total comfort.

I'd like to invite others to share their IN STORE experience of surefoot, to compare procedure etc.

I think this is important because if a customer was to recieve such a VASTLY DIFFERENT footbed because of who scanned them in the store, pain and serious injury may result.

As has been expressed in other threads, the fitter is the all important part of the equation. It would be interesting to compare experiences because the Surefoot scanner allows so many different approaches. Obviously, as this manager indicated, it enables them to vary the approach according to the foot.

[ February 13, 2004, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Snowbear ]
post #2 of 5
My experience with surefoot was an unmitigated disaster. Every day my feet curse them! Today was warm, and I taught low end kids all day, and my feet STILL hurt.
I can't detail everything here, it's too much, but the boots they sold me fit so badly, they eventually threw in free sidas foam inners to fix it. Good fix, exept I was foamed in stockings and am now in the thickest Thorlo ski sox. The footbeds they made me were shockers. For anyone with foot problems, a weighted footbed will never work as the foot issues come into play as soon as there is ANY weight on the foot. I am now using a Podiatrist made orthotic in my boots, which is 2/3 length, plastic, with a hollow arch. I now have better balance than I ever have had, but of course the boots no longer fit at all as the orthotic has my foot in a different place in the liner. I still ski better, regardless.

I found that Surefoot (Jindabyne, Australia, now closed) were great at selling their service, but poor at getting it right. I hate my boots passionately but am almost phobic about going through that misery again and so am holding off on new boots. My Salomon XWave 9s are no longer grey: the sun has darkened and yellowed them! A fitting fate.
post #3 of 5

Sounds like you better see the fitter's credentials before having anything done. I hear more and more bad about Surefoot. You are more forgiving than me. One bad time, especially the first time, and you won't see me at a store again. Glad your comfortable now though!! Ski on!

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, like I said....for me the probem is "fixed" by my return visit.

Of course there is a nagging question: those with medical experience tend to say UNWEIGHTED is more correct. So I wonder if this new COMFORTABLE footbed is actually medically incorrect!!

Nonetheless, its very comfortable and I am skiing with more confidence. That IS I guess what I was looking for in the first place. Is it worth $200? Hard to say. But one other GREAT thing is before they were done the second time, with the old Surefoot beds and without, their were hotspots in the boots that I thought would need blowing out. With these new footbeds, there are NO hotspots. I no longer feel the boots need ANY additional work. THAT is worth a lot!

Beause it was weighted on my second try, I now wonder what it would be like comared to SOLE footbeds that you buy in a packet and heat yourself, stand on them in the boot and they conform. Obviously weighted and I would imagine woud be comfortable. Probably completely medically incorrect, but comfortable.

Thing is, Surefoot is $200 and SOLEs are $40 online!

SOLES are returnable within 90 days though...who knows I might even try them to compare.

A big thing with Surefoot is they said all future bootwork is included at all locations. So in someways I felt like I've joined a custom footbed club that lasts forever, with bootwork included if ever necessary.

That might well be worth $200 if I am at a location that has Surefoot (most of my ski locations have it), and need work done.

SOLES are only warrantied for $90, and the product is only advertised to last 2-3 years.

ANT: What a bummer the Aussie place is closed down. If you hate those footbeds I would return them to a USA office for a full refund. They say if you are EVER dissatisfied you can get a refund at YOUR discression.

Keep the orthotics you love, toss out the Surefoot stuff (orthotics and liners). OR, if you ever ski at an international Surefoot location...visit them and sort it out!

Please note I would have tried Instaprint but in LA the only place that KIND of does it is Skinet sports...they sort of have something similar but add their own stuff to it, like an extra footbed hardpiece that they custom grind underneath, plus include allignment and the whole shabang is $190. So the usual Instaprint =$100 and Surefoot =$200 wasn't the math I was looking at.

Also, as mentioned, the multiple locations was most appealing.

[ February 14, 2004, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: Snowbear ]
post #5 of 5
I have had nothing but great experiences at surefoot. I have run into a few of there rookie bottfitters in the past in which I haave not been very happy with, but after seeing another fitter in the same store, I was much more comfortable with the decisions being made about my boots. Bootfitters have to learn sometime, If you are not confident in the abilitys of the person helping you, just ask for someone with more experience. (they wont be offended) Most of the managers at surefoot are excellent and can fit just about anyone. Surefoots system is excellent, they can fit any foot using any number of methods (weighted or unweighted depending on the needs of the customer.) As Snowbear said, They have an excellent rock solid warranty, if you are not happy, it is YOUR decision as to what to do (refund or repair) In my eyes, there is no way to be unhappy. I wish that more companys tried as hard as surefoot to make there customers happy.
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