Originally Posted by altagirl
I run into this problem. I tend to lean too far forward and want to ski on the balls of my feet. I have to consciously think about pushing my heels down. But my calves get sore sometimes. It makes me wonder if it isn't a habit crossed over from mountain biking to want to balance on the ball of my foot only.
I've been working with my bootfitter to take up more room in my ankle because they do lift a good bit. It's definitely not a dorsiflexion problem - my ankles flex more than average anyway, but I feel like there's always too much room in my ankle. We've added padding behind my heel and a heel cup, and these are already narrow heeled women's boots that are supposed to solve this type of thing, but I'd say it's just better than it was with the previous pair, but not enough to really keep my heels/ankles in place. I'm wondering if I can't add foam to the tongue around my ankle to take up some space too. It sucks when no one makes a boot that fits your foot.
It sounds like you may be in a booth that is just too high volume for your foot. You shouldn't have to add all that stuff to keep your foot in place.
Other things to look at: Forward learn - does it have too much? Ramp angle - does the inside of the boot have too much ramp? Binding delta - similar to ramp angle, a lot of bindings have heel pieces that raise your heel up more than your toe. When you combine these things - too much delta + ramp angle + forward lean, it can really compund a problem.
Like you, I have narrow heels and a lot of dorsi flexion. I have a farily snadard width foot, but I ski a Lange WC 140 Low (low volume) boot. I ski on Look binding, which have a fair amount of delta. I used to put larger lifters under the toe bidings, but they don't seem to make those any more. Instead, the toe and heel DINs (I think that's what the toe and heel pieces of the boot are called) on the boots are removable, so I replaced the toe DINs with thicker ones. I'm considering pulling the boot cuff more upright and riveting it up. Because that will make the boot stiffer, I'd need to then soften the shell by cutting it.
Basically, I like to have a flat foot and an upright shin. I'm tall (6'2") so I get a lot of leverage on a boot and this pulls my hips too far forward, which I then offset by bending at the knees and waist to compensate. It makes for a not very good skiing position and makes my calves and quads have to work too much (can't use my skeleton for support).
So what I'm trying to say with this long post, is you need a good boot fitter to assess that the boot is the right one for your foot, and the combination of anatomy, boot (ramp and forward lean) and binding, to make sure you are in the right position.