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Custom Footbeds...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Everyone is telling me that I need custom footbeds, but I have a few questions about what to buy.

Went to a few bootfitters in NH last week--they sold cork footbeds by Superfeet for aroud $100 - $150. I've also heard that orthodics are really good, but I don't know about the brands or what the advantages are.

Oh, I'm a pretty good skiier--use Salomon X-Wave 8 boots (I bought them on sale at the end of last year, but didn't get the footbeds made at the time--I've only skied about 4-5 times on them so far...

Thanks for any help.

-Steve :
post #2 of 25
I have X-wave 10's and I put in the Superfeet Corks. I am very happy with the results. Im not sure if your 8's are thermofits but if they are , bake them again once you get footbeds as the position of your foot can be slightly different. You have to remove the footbed while the boot bakes, then insert the footbed and foot.

good luck
post #3 of 25
orthotics are quite expensive if you get the type designed just for skiing... not too many podiatrists, orthopods or pedorthists make them. the point of an orthotic **supposedly** is to correct your foot posture and support the arch.

a custom molded footbed made by an experienced bootfitter is your best ticket. if you're in NH or otherwise in New England, you're in luck, because there are plenty of good footbed makers in the area.

Check here for the list of Master Bootfitters.
post #4 of 25
As Gonz says, find a good bootfitter. There are almost as many opinions about custom footbeds as there are bootfitters and high-level skiers, but most will tell you that they are important to have. One that I have heard about recently from an on-line friend is the moszkito footbed which specifically focused on stabilizing the heel. Be wary of footbeds that are posted under the arch (that is, that fill in the area under the arch and thus support it completely). This make it very difficult for the foot to flatten somewhat and allow you to load the ball of the foot appropriately.
post #5 of 25
The warning to be wary of footbeds posted under the arch is only appropriate dependant on your foot. If your midfoot has a loose structure and collapses badly it would be accurate to say 'be wary of footbeds not posted under the arch.' The key is a good bootfitter who will make you a footbed appropriate and specific to your foot. Gaining much or some of the correction at the heel is generally efficient and effective but people tend to recommend what worked or condem what didn't work for them. What you need to do is find the bootfitter that will make what works for YOU and your foot.
post #6 of 25
L7, I agree 100% with your comment about finding a good bootfitter (or, actually, alignment specialist) to tell you what you need. However, I have been learning quite a bit lately about the footbed and natural foot function issues in ski boots, and smarter people than I would disagree about the need for the arch to be supported in that way. In fact, what I have been reading is that it is vitally important that the foot have an ability to flatten somewhat in the boot in order to load the ball correctly. Hence, if the arch is somewhat flat, it's important that it not be posted too much or the foot will not be able to function properly in the boot.

At this point, I am over my head, since I do not have expertise in the area of foot anatomy and dynamics. However, let it be said that there is pretty strong indication that at least some flexibility under the arch in footbeds is important.
post #7 of 25
While doing alignments, I have not found the Superfeet cork footbeds to be adequate for performance skiing in most situations. I consider them more of a comfort fit footbed than a performance footbed. The cork is not flat on the bottom and in most cases does not provide enough posting to reduce excessive pronation. What they do provide is far less work on the part of the ski shop in making them.
post #8 of 25
Peter Keelty has three pairs of boots that he has had extensive amounts of custom fit work done on. Even with all the custom work he's had he uses off-the-shelf Down Under footbeds that cost only $40.
post #9 of 25
I just got aligned at Ski Stop in Westwood and I had already got Superfeet footbeds at Ski Shop West in Framingham last season.

Phil at Ski Stop worked with what I already had. He adjusted my boot canting for my semi bowlegged left leg and gave me alittle more ramp angle to get me more forward and make better contact with the top of my boot.

He also aligned my wife but would have chosen a different type of Superfeet footbed for her because of her fallen arches. He said that she would need extra support under her arch. There are alot of different type of footbeds and especially Superfeet. There are corked heals, 3 quarter cork, fully supported arches, etc.

Instead of charging for a new footbed (which would have been fine) he spent like an hour customizing the one she already had and she says it feels good but we have not skied yet.

He only charged $30 for me and $40 for my wife. He also asked when were going to ski next so we could give him feedback and come in for adjustments.

I am not saying that Ski Shop West did not know what they were doing but I fealt more comfortable with Phil at Ski Stop as he knew what he was talking about and he asked what you wanted before he said what he thought.

That's kind of important.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help everyone. I'm going to go to Westwood and get some footbeds made at Ski Stop.

Thanks!
post #11 of 25
Don't forget that it costs more than I paid because I already had footbeds.

Shoot me a PM if you want any particulars.

Make sure you call ahead to schedule some time.

Tell Phil or Linda John Scalcione sent you.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by ssh:
it's important that it not be posted too much or the foot will not be able to function properly in the boot.

The key here is posted 'too much'. Too much for some feet may be any amount of mid foot posting whatsoever. For a foot with a loose collapsable midfoot such as my own and many others mid foot posting is essential and in no way inhibits the proper function of my forefoot or controls all flattening of the foot or use of the ankle. So where again one person is fine on an over the shelf unit and another needs to worry about excessive posting many simply cannot be over supported.
This is where the right person (bootfitter) comes in to make the right choice and my use of the term includes someone capable of achieving proper alignment as in my world bootfitting includes the whole package.
post #13 of 25
If you are not able to make it to ski stop, i know 2 quality fitters in Portsmouth, NH and Manchester, NH. Wish ya the best [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #14 of 25
Go see Ray at the Basin Ski Shop in Killington. The man is a magician.
post #15 of 25
ssh has heard the same things that I have... and what I've heard is that this was discovered in runners, who'd received full support at the arch only to discover that because the arch couldn't flatten initially, it transmitted stress causing soft tissue strain/injury elsewhere in the foot/ankle/lower leg complex.

this issue is at the heart of the debate on the merits of unweighted vs. weight-bearing footbed molding, I believe.

I've noticed similar effects when I've overbuilt an arch support when playing with homemade footbeds for athletic shoes. too much support under the arch and I get pain atop the foot, instability in lateral movements, and a very tired plantaris tendon. the best performance was when the ankle wasn't completely neutralized, but was given a bit of initial pronation.

apparently, we use the "neutral" position as just that - neutral, not what we use when moving.
post #16 of 25
Exactly, gonz! In addition, this same focus indicates that it's stabilization of the heel, not the arch, that makes the difference in being able to apply the appropriate pressure or have the foot work in the way it was designed to do.

If I cannot feel my weight applying to the ball of the great toe during a carved turn, then I likely have too much support under the arch. This is not unusual in my experience and may have actually contributed to some bad habits I'm now trying to break.

It is interesting that there is very limited available research in these areas, although much of the hearsay has been accepted as truth. There are a couple of research reference for those that are interested (PM me), but much of the reality is largely unknown by the general population of those who actually work with feet involved in sports.
post #17 of 25
It also seems that people with fallen arches have more movement in their heal then others.

That was one of my wifes main complaints when getting aligned and fitted.
post #18 of 25
Scalce, when Jeff fit me, the heel cup in the InstaPrints is very significant, and surrounded on three sides by a thick, almost solid foam. This stabilizes my heel within the footbed, and I can see the difference when flexing while just standing on the footbeds (with them out of the boots). The arch support flexes as I flex, so I can feel it, but it isn't actually "supporting" the arch.

The heel is actually part of a joint, so I suspect "flat feet" are really feet with loose ligaments, so it would make sense that the heel area would also be more loose than it is for those with tighter ligaments.
post #19 of 25
Did your ankle and heel shift left and right or just up out of the pocket? My wife's shifts sideways when carving which I'm sure sucks and is uncomfortable.

I also noticed alot of the new boots come with a really defined heel pocket.

Now I want new boots.

post #20 of 25
Scalce, you don't mean that her heel actually slides left-and-right on the footbed, do you? If you do, that's crazy! A custom footbed (or at least one with really good heel support like the Moszkito) is definitely in order.

I didn't notice it before the new boots, but my heel rolled more than it slid. I have had custom footbeds for basically as long as I can remember, tho (1980 or so?).
post #21 of 25
I guess roll is a better term then slides.

Her right ankle is weak anyway from ligament damage which makes the rolling even worse.

If the current footbeds don't stabalize her heel then she will move to a different footbed.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
ssh has heard the same things that I have... and what I've heard is that this was discovered in runners, who'd received full support at the arch only to discover that because the arch couldn't flatten initially, it transmitted stress causing soft tissue strain/injury elsewhere in the foot/ankle/lower leg complex.

this issue is at the heart of the debate on the merits of unweighted vs. weight-bearing footbed molding, I believe.

I've noticed similar effects when I've overbuilt an arch support when playing with homemade footbeds for athletic shoes. too much support under the arch and I get pain atop the foot, instability in lateral movements, and a very tired plantaris tendon. the best performance was when the ankle wasn't completely neutralized, but was given a bit of initial pronation.

apparently, we use the "neutral" position as just that - neutral, not what we use when moving.
I think I understand what you are trying to say here. My podiatrist recommended that I wear my orthodics in my shoes only for walking before I put them in my running shoes. I can't say if the stress on other muscles as a result of the footbed would be as much or worse than when you are running. I would imagine it would also have to do with your ability, style, and how often you ski.
post #23 of 25
Again I will mention that different feet have different needs in terms of support and posting and that is where someone good making that determination is most important. I guess I'll also mention that different sports and activities have different demands. I don't think anyone has seen many ski boots worn for the Boston marathon nor running shoes while skiing. I make orthotics for running and skiing and for many different feet. There are different ways to approach it all and as many different philosophies as to what's best as there are feet.
post #24 of 25
L7, that's where we need some real research, IMNSHO. :
post #25 of 25
I also think that it is important not to have the arch area supported completely because, after all, the human body must function as nature intended. If your footbed has too much material under the arch then this can prevent efficient dynamic balance.So a very rigid footbed is not the way to go.This also depends on the individual foot but it seems that this ideea is shared more and more today.
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