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Another sad bootfit quest, please help

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a similar problem to what came up on some other threads regarding metatarsal pain, but would be very grateful for any advice for my specific case that you good folks could provide.

I also experience metatarsal pain, just behind the ball of my foot, an intense burning extending all the way down to my arch. At first I thought this was caused solely by boots that were too small. I have wide feet (10 EEE) that get really wide when I step down and the metatarsals expand. The first pair I purchased were really bad Nordica mid entry hybrids that were not only too narrow, but made me ski on my heels. Unfortunately that ski store went out of business, so I never had a chance to give them heck about it.

To make a long story short, I finally ended up getting over to Salt Lake City in 2002 and got Daleboots. While these are wide enough (I think) and pretty well aligned, I believe that the stress that skiing places on the foot causes me pain anyway b/c I have a collapsing transverse arch. Last year I added a $30 heat moldable orthotic that helped a bit.

In another thread one person mentioned first seeing a podiatrist. I actually did at one point (when I was skiing the Nordicas) a while ago , but he really didn't know skiing, and ended up getting me an orthotic with a metatarsal support that was uncomfortable and didn't help (Either b/c he didn't know what he was doing, and/or b/c the boots were too tight anyway and they were squeezing the begeeses out of my foot) I eventually returned those orthotics (at least he was a nice guy and gave me almost a full refund) So, that's why I eventually ended up going to Daleboot (I also have really built calves, which the custom liner helps with)

My question is where so I go from here. Obviously I need a custom footbed, but it's going to have to help with the metatarsals and work with the Daleboots. I've already spent so much time and money trying to solve this, I hope that at least I won't need a completely new boot. What I get really annoyed about (and what many fitters don't seem to get) is that the pain never occurs in the store. I could stand all day in the boots and feel fine, just as I'm fine with normal wide everyday shoes. But the second I get off the lift and get into some turns the pain begins - gradually increasing till the bottom of a long run I can't wait to get on the lift to take the stress off my foot. So someone will try this and that, and it's only when I'm an hour or more away from the store that I know it hasn't helped.

Anyway, I'm on the East coast( NY area), but might be able to plan a trip out west if that's what it takes. (Sigh,) Sometimes I wish I didn't love skiing so damn much, I've alread dropped rollerblading and ice skating, but I can't give up skiing.
post #2 of 10
Check out our master boot fitter list
For something as unusual as what you are requesting, and if you are actually thinking about running across the country just to get fit, then take a drive up to Vermont and see Greg at GMOL. They are at the base of the Stratton and you can actually step right out of his shop and hop on a chair. This unique setup allows for checking of fit and comfort with immediate feedback and adjustments. Greg is one of the founders of MasterFit University which is the group that trains boot fitters for stores all over the country.

Tell him you found him through Epicski. By the way from time to time he pop's in here. GMOLFOOT is his username.
post #3 of 10

If you're in NY I would recommend checking out PJ Dewey at Race Stock Sports. This is a guy who absolutely knows what he's doing and can make you comfortable. He specializes in selling boots and making them work, but if you already have a boot he can make you a footbed and then do the fit work. He's topnotch. www.racestocksports.com is his website. Check it out.
post #4 of 10

I have very similar issues that seem to have the same causes. I have been able to almost completely eliminate the pain. My foot is very wide in the forefoot, my arches collapse when weighted. The tactics I used are listed below. They may not be what you need but may provide some food for thought.

1) Make sure the forefoot of the boot is stretched out WIDE. There should be no squishing of the foot. If the foot gets compacted it tends to cramp. From the sound of it your foot is quite flexible and needs to be able to move a little.

2) I have the boot shell stretched a little bit on the inside near the back 1/3 of the arch again to make sure my foot has a little bit of room to move.

3) A footbed that has minimal shape under the arch. The footbed needs to be flexible and supportive. The Conformable foot beds allow for this. My arch collapses to almost flat when weighted. Yet when there is no weight on my foot I have a high arch. My foot beds are built to about only 1/3 of the height of my arch when my foot is un-weighted.

4) I spend a lot of time researching boot fitters. The more problems you have with fit the more you want to find a fitter with lots and lots of experience.

I would suggest that you try and find a boot fitter close to home. The reason is that once you have your boots set up, you will still probably need to get the fit tweaked from time to time, and it seems to work best if the same person does it.

Again this worked for me and could be right out of line for you but maybe there are some bits and pieces here that will be helpful.

post #5 of 10
Jeff Rich is in New York (Manhatten?) and is one of the most qualified experienced bootfitters out there. I think somewhere on the MasterfitU site you should contact info for him. He may also be in the list that DChan referred you to. As you said the footbed is a given and one thing it will do is control at least some of the spreading of the forefoot. So indirectly that may also relieve some of the width issues. Depending on the type of footbed used a metatarsal pad can often be added or altered after the fact so leaves some room for adjustments.
post #6 of 10


The inexpensive $30 footbeds just don't cut it. Get some good ones made, then try on the boots you now have...my $.02 guess is that your fit might be less of a problem for a good bootfitter than you think.
post #7 of 10
I have to second dchan's post about Greg at GMOL---when I saw his post I thought I knew this guy from 25 yrs ago teaching at Mt. Snow. I PM ed Greg and sure enough it was him----

He is very much on top of his game and has been at this a long time..........If anyone can help he can. Good Luck !
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's advice.
Yeah, footbeds seem like a foregone conclusion. I'm just trying to get an idea of the best direction to go. I am in manhattan, so I think I will try to get in touch with Jeff Rich. I'm just worried that since I have daleboots this might end up being an even bigger hassle. I just tried them on and am beginning to think they might really be too narrow. They used their widest shell and even blew it out a bit, but that might not be enough. hopefully I'll eventually find a solution.
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by aschick
Thanks for everyone's advice.
I'm just worried that since I have daleboots this might end up being an even bigger hassle.
Actually, that will be a help, Dalbeoots are probably the MOST customizable boot out there.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I emailed Jeff Rich on 12/2 at the address on the masterfit website but no response. any idea if it is possible to get in touch with him or if he is so good that he is totally booked?
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