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Hey spinheli - boot question

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I read in another thread that you moonlight as a bootfitter: gotta question - I like Lange boots because I have a really narrow heel...and lange seems to accomodate that...however, I have a really high instep and it seems that the Langes arent built for that.

no matter what I do (ive been to three different bootfitters) I have pressure on the top of both feet (one more so than the other) that within an hour or so the three middle toes go numb. by last chair they are aching and Im damned near tears. they seem to hurt most when skating across flat or when hanging off the chair. I have custom footbeds (cork Superfeet) and shims and all sorts of adjustments. time for new boots, i think

any suggestions on manufacturer or specific boot that may be suitable for this? most have heels that are far too big. i had the Lange venus7s the last couple yrs thanks for any help....
post #2 of 21
Not spinheli but I have very narrow heels and wide feet. Probably not too tall though. Custom foot beds (superfeet Kork).

I have always fit into Salomon's well. They have a nice heel pocket that almost grabs your heel. Not sure about how much room you would have on top. I'm skiing on the prolink performa equipe (red but not racing) every salomon boot I have tried has had the same "heel hold" that kept me from moving around. Just one suggestion...
post #3 of 21
Not spinheli either, but i'll second Dchan...the salomons would be excellent. If your forefoot is relatively narrow, try the salomon performa course series...it's friggin stiff, so you're gonna need the V-notch shaved out to soften up the boot. Another you might consider would be the rossi boots....i think their instep is higher than lange...and lastly, the LVL boots from technica might work well too...hope this gives you a place to start

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Salomons,Huh? I ll definetly hve to give those a try...thanks so much. I should have just made that a general question but when I read that spinheli was a bootfitter it made me think of that problem....

It sounds like Id like the Performa series...I like 'em stiff, the langes I have are super soft, I thought It would be more comfy, but it just dosent feel right.

this is great - its good to have some real world feedback about all this equipment...thanks
post #5 of 21
Which particular lange are you using? They do make a line that is wider than the regular line....i think the ACD series or something of that sort. Just because someone skis in langes, doesn't necessarily mean that he or she has a narrow foot overall...this would help in narrowing down a particular boot for you

As for the performa, it's gonna have to be the performa COURSE boot because those are closer to the lange dimensions in general than the rest of the performa line. Just to let you know, the course line is salomon's race line so it's gonna be really really stiff...and it's gonna be stiffer on the slopes due to the colder weather

So yeah, if you could tell us your current boot model and such, it would go a long way towards better suggestions for boots

post #6 of 21
Spinheli is out of town for a week or so...I will email him a link to your qestion.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh, sorry, I thought I had included the model in there...Lange Venus7s - super soft and super uncomfortable.

its not so much that my entire foot is narrow, just the heel, it swims in every boot I tried, except for the Langes, which felt perfect, so i went with them. They perform fine, Its just this pressure on the top of the foot, on this poor vein that is right there and the numb toes.

Three different bootfitters have sighed and shook their heads...I hobbled into one shop right after I came off the hill and the fitter (who is also my ski technician) offered foot massage and ice packs (and I WONDER why I keep going back there...) but no solution.

from talking to those fitters, I gather I have a narrow heel and a high instep, and need boots that fit the heel like the langes do but also accomodates for that instep...
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
oh, and thanks, MammothCruzer...
post #9 of 21
I get what's happening. We had a customer come in with the same problem as that. The instep can be such a b---h at times due to the fat vein running through the instep. When I fitted him, the salomon X-Wave series fitted him pretty well. As I recall, he had a C-C+ width foot..possibly a C-, but can't recall exactly. The salomon has a higher instep than the lange, (not the highest by any means) but the thing that helped greatly was the instep 3D buckle the boot had. If you've seen some of the salomons, the instep buckle is colored an anodized yellow...different from the other buckles. This buckle you can shift back and forth from going straight down on your instep to down towards your heel. When the buckle is set towards the heel, what happens is, ALOT of the instep pressure is aleviated and your heel is actually forced into the heel pocket, allowing for a very snug heel fit. This cured his problem, as did mine with the Salomon Course boot. So, in the end, people with slightly narrower heels benefit from this because the heel is essentially locked into place.

Though salomon has questionable products in my opinion, they do have some very innovative stuff...the 3D buckle being one of them. What you might want to do, therefore, is check out a place that has the X-Wave line from salomon in the womens model. This will be a VERY big step up in boot performance because of the change from the Venus 7 to the X-Wave. The Salomon Course series is primarily a mens boot, so you may want to avoid that.

Anything else...you might also want to explore the rossi boots and head boots (koflach) relatively narrow in general, but with a higher instep i believe....hope this helps

post #10 of 21
To Linda A,

Ditto on the Solomons. I have a narrow foot, B width, with an A heel, and a wider fore foot. I use Fastech custom footbeds with my boots and they work just fine. The Solomon Evolution line has a very user friendly external adjustable flex.

As good as new boots might be, don't foget the alignment.

Happy skiing in your new boots.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the help...the 3D buckle sounds like the perfect solution.

it is that vein that runs across the instep that swells and actually bruises sometimes after a hard day on the hill...making my toes numb and making me generally unhappy.

I'll look for the Salomon X-waves, and try those out. Thanks again!
post #12 of 21
I have been out of town, but here are a few thoughts on narrow heel pocket boots for women. The boot you have would seem like a reasonable one. A good shop would be able to move the instep buckle over, and hopefully give you more room. Kork footbeds are kind of thick, and tend to take up a bit of volume. I have ground these before, and sometimes it can help. The superfeet SkiVac (or whatever it is called now) is a great foot bed that is about half as thick. Heck, a varus wedge alone works pretty well for certain feet, and is very small. The Zeppa board can be ground in most boots to get a bit more room. If this is done unevenly,ie;just from the arch back, it will affect your stance. Could be good, could be bad. Your liner can be thinned in this area, and you can have a toungectomy, to thin your tounge over the instep. If you want new boots, I can think of a few worth considering. Someone else mentioned the Tecnica LVL liner. This is a really cool thing, but I think it may get discontinued for next season. The old Explosions (kind of too very stiff), and the Innotecs (much wider, especially in the forefoot) both came with liner options. Of course, this means that the shop had to choose what liner to order the boot in, the consumer could not really switch them in the shop. The softest of these boots would be the Innotec Ti-4. I think. This has a fairly narrow heel for a higher volume fit. If you found the LVL version, you can remove the LVL layer everywhere you do not want it, and still have a firm heel. This brings up something. The LVL liner is just a liner with factory made medial and lateral shims. This can be done to any boot, and will help heel hold considerably. A partial or full tounge pad will also help in a big way. Tounge pads can also improve the way the boots ski. A heel lift is also used sometimes to try to move the foot into a snugger part of the boot. Unless this is done with an eye on your stance, it could be a horrible thing. Most boot fitters have no idea about stance, they just want to get the customer comfortable. Too bad, this can make a huge difference in one's skiing. Overall, it tends to be much easier to snug up a heel pocket, than to get instep volume. Salomon makes some boots that are worth trying on, as do Head. The Head World Cup line has some very narrow heels. Of course you may have to work on them a bit to get instep volume. These boots, and many other narrow heel models are not soft. They can be softened, but will never be truely soft. Check out the Rossignol Saphir line. It tends to be high volume with a narrower heel. Next season will see a bunch of new or revamped bootlines. For example, Tecnica will drop the Innotes, and bring the Rivals. There are several new "soft" boots out there. These either look like a snowboard boot (Kneissl), or have a soft leather and fabric liner, and a soft tounge (Rossignol). Thes may be worth a try on. I really cannot name too many specfic boots to try on. Many fits will change this summer. Your best strategy is to get out there and try on next years boots in the fall. Do not go to any big chain stores, they are usually not the haunts of real bootfitters. Any shop that is afraid of doing the work I mentioned, is worthless. Look for one that makes several brands and types of footbeds. Remember, every company has several lines, and there are huge fit variations within lines, and models. For example Head makes some of the wider boots available, and some of the narrowest. Soft flexing boots tend to have wider lasts, while the stiffer you go, the narrower things get. Chances are, you will find a boot that is close, but will need a skilled hand to make it perfect. Good luck.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Welcome back, spinheli....

thanks for the suggestions, my head is spinning though. man I dont know if ANY of the fitters Ive been to even THOUGHT about stance...I guess the number one priority is to find a good bootfitter. you'd think Id stumble across one with all the ski towns and little shops up here. (NH,VT,ME) (if anyone knows of any up around here...let me know!)

I dont mind a stiffer boot, im not so sure I liked the softness of the Venus 7s, and its time i think about performance, Im getting into rec racing this year, but I cant focus when the feet hurt like that. had rossis before but the heel was too big.

I got the Kork Superfeet to solve a knee pain problem, and it worked, so I am hesitant to change footbeds. Never heard of a tounge pad though...I think i need to look into that.

last fitter I went to was trying to put shims and whatnot in to "take up" volume? if my instep was to hight, wouln't you want to increase volume?

so much to think about...thanks for all the help!
post #14 of 21
From Nashua, NH, the closest good boot fitters are a couple hours away at the ski resorts. In my opinion, you won't find many good boot fitters who don't work near a ski resort and you want to go to a shop that has at least one board certified pedorthist. The certification isn't essential but it at least means they're serious about boot fitting and you won't get some green kid hacking away at your boots. Here are three that I know of with excellent reputations.

Peak Performance/Killington. Smaller shop with great service. Racer-oriented. Lange dealer.

The Basin Ski Shop/Killington. Largest shop in Vermont with an extremely experienced boot fitting group. Wide range of boot lines including Rossi, Salomon, Head, Strolz.

Green Mountain Orthodics/Stratton

There are several other excellent ones farther north in Vermont but they'd be a pretty long drive. There might be a decent shop or two in the Loon/Wawaville/Cannon area and in North Conway/Sunday River but I don't have a clue who they might be. It's best to do business with a competent shop near where you ski.
post #15 of 21

I'd recommend a guy named Greg Hoffman, who runs GMOL (Green Mountian Orthodic Labs). He's also got a guy named Scott, who did some amazing work on my wife's alignment issues. I know people who drive all the way up there from DC to see them. They are in Stratton, VT.
post #16 of 21
Greg Hoffman is definatly the one to go to. He is a Masterfit University founder, and knows his stuff. I attended one of his two day courses, and he was the instructor who impressed me the most.
post #17 of 21
Mello Boy
A minor clarification of little consequence. San Marco was aquired by Head I believe and Koflach by Atomic.
post #18 of 21
yup...got the two mixed up again lol...even though it says "San Marco" on the head boxes thanks

post #19 of 21
Here's another vote for Greg, Scott & crew at GreenMtnOrthoticLab (at base of Stratton).
and another $.02_with_beer_in_hand vote: try on an Atomic or two....last year was their initial season for some of their re-vamped boot line...a few kludgy things here & there..cool soles...less dead plastic...but narrow heel...room for high instep...!..they're terrific for me. (9.50,10.50...& women's models).
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi Steve:

thanks for the input. Ill have to stop at Green Mtn. now, do they sell boots or do they just do fittings?

Ill definitely try on some Atomics, as well as the Salomons suggested earlier...Ive gotta do SOMETHING, I miss skiing desperately but when I think of putting those Langes back on I just cringe.

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[This message has been edited by LindaA (edited July 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #21 of 21
Oh yeah...Greg's got boots there, don't know if he carries Atomics though...there are a number of shops on the road to Stratton...should be able to find some to throw on...spend some time in...
Definitely has Salomons & others...
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