Originally Posted by oboe
This a fantastic discussion! And timely!
Bud and/or nolo, your thoughts on this please:
Short story long, but go to the end if you wish to read my questions before reading my boring prose.
A week ago, I went to Stowe to get some time with Benny Wax at Inner Bootworks (he made my footbeds some time ago and said they're still fine for continued use). WOW! My boots are different now!
Benny first listened to my complaints about the boots I have. He looked at and measured my foot and also tested my dorsiflexion. By dorsiflexion, I'm refering to the range of motion of my foot and ankle to diminsh the angle between my foot and my shin (basically, non-technically, to lift the toes toward the shin). I have some but not much dorsiflexion.
He looked at the old boots (two pair) and said that were TOO LARGE. After having me try on different boots, he recommended Lange 120 Comp MF in 6.5 (291 mm boot sole length), a full size smaller than my old boots. He ground out the toe boxes to fit each foot indivudually (my feet are truly different shapes from each other). He ground out some hot spots, to a degree, and moved the two upper laches on each boot to a position further away from the teeth of each respective buckle. He did various other things, and then we agreed - let's not adjust anything additional or further until I've skied in the boots. At the end, when in the boots, I could move each knee in a straight line toward the toe.
At my request he examined delta (or ramp angle, if you want to call it that). By delta I mean the angle between the sole of my boots and the flat hard surface on which I stand while wearing the boots. He had something he was using for a shim (I would guess it measured maybe 4mm thick), and he had me stand so that the first maybe half inch of each toe was on the shim. Then he remove the shim from under the toes and did the same placing the shim under the heels of the boots.
When the shim was under the toes, I "tilted" forward (tilted is my word, not Benny's) which "used up" a bit of my precious dorsiflexion. When placed under the heels, I tilted back. When standing flat with no shims, Benny said my weight was even and centered (with knees and ankles slightly flexed, as the boot itself seemed to require).
I know when I snap into bindings (Marker Fusions on the Elan S12 and Tyrolia Super RailFlex on the Head Monster 77 Chip) my ramp (delta) will be affected.
So . . . Here are the questions wifey wishes I'd stop thinking about BUT I CAN'T! Here they are:
(a) By what additional degree will delta increase when I am in each of these bindings?
(b) If you were to see me ski under controlled conditions, what might you observe that would indicate increased delta would help me?
(c) If you were to see me ski under controlled conditions, what could might you observe that would indicate decreased or negative delta would help me?
You may want to check out these threads:http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=27015
(for limited dorsiflexion)http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=21542
This was posted by GMOL
"I have been boot fitting for 20 years and messing with delta and ramp angles for too long. I have only had two people where we added more material under the heel of the boot , on the outside of the boot"
Check out their website for additional info:http://www.gmolfoot.com/balance.html
One more thing: it seems to me you do not know what ramp angle and delta angle mean. Ramp is the difference in height between the heel and toe of the bootboard (zeppa). You can measure it yourself. Take it out of the boot and measure the heel then the toe. Tell us what you found.
Delta is the difference in height between the heel piece and the toepiece. This varies between brands. I have Marker Comp 1400 and the delta is 5mm (heel is higher than the toe). I know nothing about the Marker Fusion.
With regards to your problem, i will let Bud or Nolo help you but i can tell you this. If your bootfitter says you are balanced when standing flat with no shims but you are not balanced over the skis, i would play with the delta angle. Try to add or remove lifters under the toepiece and see how it affects your stance if you can do this with your bindings. It sounds like an integrated binding system. IF you cannot do this, you still have two things you can do: grind the bootboard and add lifters under the toe (or heel) of your boots.
IMO, what really matters is how balanced you are over your skis and not when you are just standing flat (with ot without shims). IF you are balanced when standing flat this does not necessarily mean you will be balanced once you snap into bindings. In your case, it seems that the ramp angle and the forward lean are good for you so you may want to play with the delta.
If you bootfitter says you are balanced with the current ramp angle and forward lean setup and you do not need toe lifts or heel lifts, you just have to do one thing: get the delta down to 0. You are probably balanced with the current boot setup but the delta is probably not 0. That's why it does not feel right, even if you are balanced when standing flat. You should not have more than 5mm delta. From what i know Markers do not have more than 5mm delta. So what you have to do is get the toepiece and the heelpiece at the same height by adding or removing lifters. If you get the delta down to 0, you will have the same stance you have when just standing flat. (at least theoretically) Your bootfitter probably chose the boot which has the best performance angles for you (and as a result you do not need toe or heel lifts). This is the best thing because all you would have to do is get that delta down to 0 and you should be balanced so you do not need to grind the bootboard or add toe or heel lifts. In my case the delta was not exactly 0 (i did not remember correctly) and that's why i needed to remove one of my toepiece lifters.
Again, all this should work, at least in theory.
Seriously, i have never heard people saying they need heel lifts. Most probably need only toe lifts. Read what GMOL said. Very few people need heel lifts.