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Boots: hi volume vs wide and flat!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I worked through the boot fit finder thing, but didn't much like the 'high volume" option, as in my experience, it means wide and high. I've got super-wide feet, but they're flat! This is quite common in Australian feet.

The fit finder suggested 3 boots, a Lange, a Dalbello and an Atomic. My current boots are Lowa soft race boots, they are actually re-badged Technicas, and although they are very wide, I have still had to suffer dead middle toes. A bootfitter in Vermont solved that puzzled, the shape of that boot while being wide, cuts back in too soon, my feet continue to flare out, and he suggested the Salomon X-Wave as being a better shape for "duck" feet.
So why didn't the fit-finder here throw up that option?!

I soon have to buy new boots (dreading it), and my worry is that my current boots feel great for about half an hour, before the deadness starts. So, when I go to buy new boots, there's no guarantee that I won't end up with another pair of disasters.
Surefoot have thrown everything they've got at these things to little avail. Custom footbeds, lots of blowing and grinding out, re-packing, heel wedges, you name it.

Any suggestions?! (I instruct...)
post #2 of 9
Hi Ant,
If I remember correctly surefoot uses a semi weighted method of footbeds making. This is better than no footbed and in the hands of a great fitter would probably be fine. I think you need to up the ante a bit and go for a fitter that uses a totally unweighted method of making footbeds. This should lock your foot completely immobile even without wearing a boot. (try this some time) take your footbed out of your boot and set it on the floor. then put your feet on them and stand up. Your foot should not splay out at all from sitting to standing. then try to press your knees forward. your foot should still not change shape and your ankle should not roll to the inside or outside.
if this is the way your feet act in the boot you should not have to tighten your boot to keep your feet from moving. Any tightening of your boots should be to make them stiffer or softer and maybe limit the amount you can move your leg in the cuff.
At this point it is more a matter of finding a shell to fit your feet. I have very narrow ankles and wide feet. Maybe not as wide as yours but the Salomon boots have always fit me well. I do find that if I take too many shims out from under foot, my foot gets a little cramped. I now know that this is caused by the fact that the boot gets narrower at the bottom of the boot. If you raise the whole bottom of the foot(shim) you may get some relief from getting squished in the bottom of your boot.
Short of having custom boots made, These are some suggestions I have that you might try.
post #3 of 9
Dchan has some good points there. try them. The boot finders and ski finders on teh web can only be a general rule of thumb, something to start with.
ERGO- Trying a ski finder one time I plugged in all the info. The finder had me on some good skis but at a 195cm length! Hey! I'm only 5'4", a shorty! Grab THAT one!

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #4 of 9
Hey DChan,
I'm interested as to why you said that unweighted orthodics are better than weighted.

post #5 of 9
Simple physics and mechanics. if your foot is in a neutral position at rest (no weight) and can be "locked in" in that position then there is no energy spent spreading out your foot. your foot is not changing shape every time you apply pressure to your feet which weight bearing of any kind will do.
If you press your foot to the position your foot will be in totally weighted, every time you unweight, tip to the outside edge or just lift up one foot for what ever reason the foot will attempt to move to a "relaxed or unweighted" shape. This will waste energy as you re apply weight and also will change the shape of the foot a little. enough to create rubbing hot spots.

I tried both ways and found that in a "weight bearing" made orthotic unless I am clamped in my boot real tight, my ankle and foot pronates as I flex forward. and my foot splays as I apply pressure.
on a non weightbearing made orthotic, I can stand up with the orthotic just sitting on the ground. no boot or support other than the orthotic. no foot splay when I stand up. and when I flex forward, no pronation or movement in the ankle.
post #6 of 9
dchan has alot of good points. I have two footbeds a Peterson (sp) weighted and an Elitefeet/ Surefoot unwieghted cork. The footbed made for me at Elitefeet is ablsolutely hands down the best. I have aches that collapse which cauese my ankles to roll inside. My foot would also slay and needless to say I have always had fit problems which effected canting, edging and comfort.

The Elitefeet cork footbeds have solved this problem for me by putting my foot in a neutral position. I can stand on them all day with total comfort but because they are in some respects an arche support It take a couple of days to get your feet use to them.

One side effect of the Elitefeet cork footbed is that I now have a little to much volume in my Technica's which I had blow out in the fore foot to accomodate the slaying. I now may need to look at new small volume boots but hey my feet are happy and I have now control.

Hope this helps,


post #7 of 9

Stick with your bootfitter, assuming you can trust him. Feet are very individualized, so there is no methodology to find the right fit other than through trail and error and the guidance and skills of a good boot fitter !
post #8 of 9
I think Ant is not happy with his fitter. The way I read his post, he is still having problems.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I bought my boots a few years back, and Surefoot didn't get to work on them until last season. They tried, but the boots are too big for one thing, and just too narrow at the front, despite being big and wide (and a men's fitting too).

Surefoot use the unweighted method. You stand in their machine, and lean on bars. They arrange your foot, ankle and knee into the right position, and hold it in place while some pins come up under your foot and map the footbed. The computer later makes it.

I had heat-moulded cork ones before that, and to be honest, there was little difference. Both hold the sole in place, especially my tiny heel. But there is too much room above the foot (hence my problem with high volume boots, they tend to have room above the foot) and so there is movement that no footbed will fix.

I put a layer of thick cardboard underneath, but lost too much bootwidth and so cramping ensued. I compromised with cardboard just under the back half of the foot, that was a good "fix" but my toes didn't like this high-heeled skiing position! Right now, I have a layer of thick cardboard, a foam heel lift (from surefoot) and another layer of cardboard.

My problem is that a lot of "bootfitters" don't seem to know about boot last shapes. They get you to put the boots on to see how it "feels". Well, my boots feel fine, until I've skiied on them for a while. So I'm very worried about buying new ones, as the same thing may well happen again.
This guy in vermont who knew about last shapes was the first such I've encountered. So I'll be approaching shops near the slopes here in Australia soon, hoping to find someone who really knows about this stuff, but am not optimistic. Even getting foamed inners (which I'll probably have to do) won't prevent this problem. argh!

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