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Boot Fitting Help?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a boot fitting problem. I am trying to get the Mrs a new pair of ski boots, however they ALL (I dont think there is a brand we didnt try) make her toes go numb. Not sure how to fix it.

Here is a few facts to help:

The cuff is not too tight, she does not have big calves, however some redness does appear just above her ankles, but it doesnt appear to be excessive or beyond the norm. Hence I dont feel blood circulation is being cut off.

When in boots, she feels like she is standing on the front of the ball of her feet, ie, the pressure is between her toes and ball of foot.

She appears to have short achillies (fully flexed in sock feet, her knees line up with her toes), hence lowering the ramp angle seems the wrong way to go.

She has a medium sized arch.

We tried heel lifts, but that didnt help.

I did the shell fit myself, and the boots are not too narrow.

It takes about 5 to 10 minutes for the numbness to start (and that is just standing/sitting in the store).

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

post #2 of 17
what footbed is in them?
post #3 of 17
Which toes?
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Which toes?

Big toe, to middle toe...the little ones are fine.


There are no footbeds at moment. I would go for cork superfeet when we do thou.
post #5 of 17
Is there enough height in the boot foot for her arch/forefoot area? - You know the bumpy bit above your arch where it is highest?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by disski
Is there enough height in the boot foot for her arch/forefoot area? - You know the bumpy bit above your arch where it is highest?
post #7 of 17
Could be she needs latitudinal metatarsal arch support. this is the arch going across your foot formed by the metatarsals. Not the longitudinal arch we usually think of.

When this arch starts to fall or is fallen it can cause nerve pressure. There are a couple of different metatarsal pads that restore the arch which is in the forefoot. My wife had this problem in a pair of Technica boots. This did help.

Do a Google on metarsal Arch & you'll find all kinds if sites.

Eventually she switched to a women's Head boot and absolutely loves them!

Gotta have footbeds and I would stay away from really hard cork. I haven't used those for years.

I would start with custom beds and then see how they are as long as she has enough instep room in the boot.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Atomicman

Thanks Atomicman,

I looked up Metatarsal Arch as you suggested, and yes there was lots on the net. From what I read, she is definatley a candidate. High impact exercise is considered a major cause, and she runs 5 to 10km a day, 4 to 5 times a week! I then asked her, if she gets the same numbness when she runs....she said..."oh ya"..why she didnt mention that before....I have no idea....women!

Anyway, what footbeds did your Mrs use...I am pretty sold on Cork Superfeet, but you mentioned somthing else?

post #9 of 17
You have probably seen Surefoot stores at some major skis areas. That is what I have switched to.

It is quite an impressive process they use a CAD sort of program to measure the topography of your foot 7 then they "Mill" the bed to match your foot contour. They are less posted and more flexible (less rigid) which is more in line with the current trend of letting your navicular area & medial side (inside of foot in front of ankle) of the foot move some providing the ability to contact the side of the boot wall and thereby providing further small movement balance adjustments inside the boot, rather than gross muscle balance adjustments by using the hip.

I have an article by Harold Harb somewhere on thsi subject in reference to Erik Schlopy, I'll find and post here for you.

I'll have to look at my wife's beds & see what we had her use. I think they are a more firm molded plastic and foam posted bed. I think partially in her case her Tecnica boots were just not wide enought in the forefoot or just too small. My wife also ended up haveing plantar fasciitis. Which she has cured with stretching and orthotics in her street shoes. She works retail on her feet. We own a clothing stroe here in town.
post #10 of 17
Surefoot would be a pretty "hard" system and it's all about the operator not about the system. cork is pretty unforgiving too. I would go with something a little softer but still with support. Insta-print is a softer bed with some give. If impact nerve damage is the cause of her numbness, then a more forgiving foot bed that absorbs some of the impact is probably better.

post #11 of 17
dchan is correct & I meant to add that it is all about the person who makes the beds at Surefoot. I had mine made in Mammoth, Ca & have been told by many bootfitters that it is the best surefoot bed they have ever seen.
post #12 of 17
Try the correct size shell with the liner from the next (full) size up in it. The shell width may be fine but the liner may apply just enough pressure from the sides to cause the problem. Then it is just a matter of buying the right shell size and stretching the extra room needed into the liner. If nothing else it's an easy way to eliminate one more possibility.

Could also be loosing venus circulation from over the instep to create numbness on toes of just one side. Make sure there is no specific redness over the instep anywhere.
post #13 of 17
Since she has this numbness while running also, boot width is probably not the issue. Get her to a a really experienced bootfitter or Dr. (orthopod)or Podiatrist that specializes in sports medicine about the metatarsal arch issue. this is obviously not specifically related to ski boots.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks L7 and again Atomic Man.

I tried what you suggested L7 before, and that was not the issue....infact I tried every trick I know, but what Atomic Man mentioned is new to me. I agree the maker of the foot bed is everything. Back home I would have no problems on where to go, I would just go to Snow Covers, however I am at a bit of a loss here in Australia, that is why I am doing it all myself. I have some leads here thou on good makers, will see what I can do.

post #15 of 17
Good podiatrist in Oz....

ben balthazar in Woden ACT - he is also a high level skier & has fitted some of our better athletes (summer sports not winter)....
post #16 of 17
Didn't read all of these and didn't see the running comment. A neuroma is generally associated with an intense burning sensation and usually would affect at most 2 toes. The footbed thought is likely good but I would deal with a medical professional as opposed to bootfit operation. Did the aussie Surefoot outfit not get quite a bit of bad press here from several sources?

If the numbness starts just sitting (you said sitting/standing) I certainly would not discount tightness somewhere too quick. My first thought was calf but you say that isn't the case. The short achilles may mean the calf is very low and some squeezing occuring at the bottom of the calf inside the boot if not boot top.
post #17 of 17
I would agree that the footbed is necessary, and worth every penny. However, if there is still numbness, you may want to see how much pressure is being put (by the shell and liner) on the instep (top of foot). The majority of the blood to your feet is caried on top of your foot and does not require much pressure to cut it off. Some people are also more sensative (taking less pressure to cut off the flow - my mother is like this, anything more than a light touch will cutt of her circulation).

From the description that the same numbness happens when running, I would definately pursue a good footbed first (does she have orthotics in her running shoes? might be worthwhile too).
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