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Any thoughts on my painful boot problem?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
About me:
5'7"
125lbs.
cautious intermediate skier, 90% groomers (mostly blues), 10% backcountry

I just this weekend tried out my new skis (K2 Sweet Luv) with my boots (Head eZon 6.5 Lady Profile).... I've been skiing with the boots for about 5 years - they were never super comfortable but were terribly painful this weekend. About 2 hrs into skiing, my big toes, particularly my right one, were throbbing to the point where I wanted to stop skiing. This was definitely a first. Since we have two upcoming ski trips (out west, then to VT), I'm nervous about my boots and need to figure out the problem before I waste a ski day on our trips.

Any thoughts? Could it have been the new skis? That's really the only thing that's new. I'm thinking of taking the boots to a fitter to get advice. I'm also thinking of just wearing the boots around the house to see if the pain persists and trying them again locally before heading out west. If the pain persists, I may demo boots.

Any thoughts and advice welcome.

Many thanks!

PS: Would also love recommendations on any bootfitters in the metro D.C. area if they exist...
post #2 of 15
Recently my boots have become really packed out, and in addition to ankle/shin pain, I have been having some big toe issues as well. I am assuming that in five years you have skied in these boots enough to pretty thoroughly pack them out? (I am also assuming a factory liner. . .) If you've pretty throroughly packed them out, then an aftermarket liner may be your only solution. I don't know about a shell punch around the big toe, but a bootfitter might be able to create a bit more space there by grinding/punching.

Random question--have you changed anything about your pedicure? Sometimes cutting nails too short can lead to mild ingrown toenails, which can be exacerbated by tight shoes (like ski boots) or overly long toenails in tight boots could hurt, too. . . I used to be a climber, and climbing shoes are the tightest thing you can imagine. Toenail length was of utmost importance.

Mollie
post #3 of 15

You may need good boots

I am not a boot expert nor a ski expert for that matter. But I do have two daughters and a wife who are very very particular about the fit of their boots and how comfortable they should be. Between me and them I have purchased ten boots in the past two years. I am also just a lazy employee surfing this forum since there is nothing to do here in the office right now...

Getting that out of the way, offhand I believe you may need new boots. Five year old boot eh? It would probably be packed out by now and you are probably experiencing toe bang - normally resulting from loose boots and the toe banging into the empty space. Also the shape of your feet has certainly changed during that time. Boot technology has changed so much in the past five years Liners, flex, shell, straps, footbeds, fit, orthotics, etc all use different technology.

So for a trip out to the west, I would not risk it by using an old pair. Go to a good bootfitter - a really really good one - not just the guys in a retail ski store, and let him put you on the right pair. Also a good idea to ski those new boots about five times and have the bootfitter adjust them before you go out west.

Good luck.
post #4 of 15
The pain is more likely from your boots fitting too loose than too tight. If that's correct, a new liner (or a bootfitter adding foam) could address the problem, but I think most experts on this forum will not recommend that you invest much in the boots you have.

See a good bootfitter, but with the mindset of getting new boots.
post #5 of 15
Just taking a flyer here but.... Had a similar thing walk into the shop once, old boot, start of new season they hurt at the toes. Took the liner out and it seems the had them too close to a heat source and melted the thermo molded footbed into a curled up bit at the toes of both boots. Pull the liners and the footbeds and make sure all is good and make sure they go back in properly and try them again. Might as well check the simple stuff first. BTW this was a FIS racer who had travelled from the states for some serious races and came in with her coach so she should have known better.
post #6 of 15
make sure left footbed, and left liner is in the left shell (have been seeing a few a week like this!)

using the same THIN socks?

middle buckles tight to hold foot back?

new skis: are the bindigns at a differnt ramp angle making you sit in the back more?

wieght change for you? makes the feet bigger too.

try them around the house and see, or see a fitter where you ski
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist
I am not a boot expert nor a ski expert for that matter. But I do have two daughters and a wife who are very very particular about the fit of their boots and how comfortable they should be. Between me and them I have purchased ten boots in the past two years.
I hope this expensive 10-pair excursion taught you how to find a boot that fits properly! what a costly way to learn!

but since you are in NYC I'm sure your salary is big enough to buy 10 more pair in the next 2 years.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughts! It sounds like there is general agreement that it may be time to purchase new boots after testing some general tweaking on the boot.
post #9 of 15

Metro DC shop suggestion

I live in Baltimore and drove to this ski shop for my last pair of boots, they're very knowledgeable and offer some premium boot fitting services if you so choose.
www.skicenter.com
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion
make sure left footbed, and left liner is in the left shell (have been seeing a few a week like this!)
That's a good one that happens more often than anyone wants to admit. Sadly at this point the boot is ruined and a new boot is definitely in order.

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Just kidding, but I'd certainly sort that BEFORE you go see a bootfitter/shop as the ridicule you would then endure would be well deserved and unrelenting.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion
wieght change for you? makes the feet bigger too.
mintlion is the first I've seen state this outright.
post #12 of 15
We've all heard the dead mouse story too, right?
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
I hope this expensive 10-pair excursion taught you how to find a boot that fits properly! what a costly way to learn!

but since you are in NYC I'm sure your salary is big enough to buy 10 more pair in the next 2 years.
Actually, the daughters (3 and 6) started with a pair each and I have since had to buy them another pair each a year later. Children's feet grow a lot in a year. All four pairs were from ebay. My wife bought three pairs in two years (one from ebay and two from ski shops sales) until she finally got it right. I had to indulge her since she complained everytime we went skiing and I was afraid she would give up. (She started skiing only two years ago with the kids).

I had to go through three pairs before I got it right. I am now keeping two and selling one. Yup, painful and expensive experience but four of the girl's boots have gone back to ebay and I am selling the Speedmachine 12 boots right now here in the epic forum for sale ads.

Any takers by the way??? :
post #14 of 15

Do a little work before you buy new boots.

I have had very good luck with blowing out the toe box in my Lange comp 120 LF. If it is just your big toe that is too tight, and everything else fits OK, you can have the toe box either ground out a little, or as I did, actually expand the plastic shell in the zone around the big toe by heating and spreading open the box area.

If your all toes are too close to the inside front of the shell, sometimes a heel lift will back them off a little. However, this also raises the ankle shaft and can cause problems with the instep being too tight. Even 1/8" lift can give you real relief. gordo
post #15 of 15
after a painful day on the slopes i took the liners back out and found that when my husband had put them back in the night before the heel lifts had slid forward and that was the cause---what a relief!!!!
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