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Orthotic "snake oil" debate - Page 3

post #61 of 65
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Here's an example. What are you measuring? How much is the improvement? What are the results?
Unfortunately I don't think it's something that can be quantified. There are too many variables. For instance there is the 'placebo' factor. Skiing is to a large degree psychological as well as physical. I know this through firsthand experience. Confidence and dealing with things such as fear and trepidation come into play when advancing or holding one back.

As an example of what I mean - take the situation of a novice or intermediate who lacks confidence to 'open up'. If one were to put them in
custom footbeds ect and tell them they are know dialed in they may gain a new sense of confidence. They feel something different on their feet and they have been told by those more advanced that they now are balanced correctly. This may give them the confidence they need to finally let it go. The results being seen on the snow may have more to do with this 'placebo' factor than any serious physical benefit. Or perhaps it is a combination of both increased confidence and stance. It is impossible to quanitify. Too many 'what ifs',

When I started the dicussion I was referring to the average skier -not the advancd or expert. Do footbeds alone really benefit them to a substantial degree. I am skeptical.
post #62 of 65
I teach skiing, and I would estimate that 80-90% of my students wouuld ski noticeably better if they had better boot fit. I seldom teach above level 6, unless I take out a much lower level group and get them skiing better than that. The lowest level skiers usually seem to have the worst boot fit, since they are usually beginners rushed through the rental shop. when I teach better skiers, and I usually teach children at the higher levels, boot fit is a huge impediment. I think that a good footbed is the basis for good skiing, although there are steps before and after the footbed in the fitting process which could be performed much better. Obviously I see a lot of boots purchased too large, either because the larger boot is comfortable, or because the parents expect the kid to grow into a boot. Good shell fitting would help. Occasionally I see a poor choice in boots, most often too stiff an adult boot on the young man with adult size feet and kid size weight. I seldom see a boot which deals well with lateral issues, pronation or supination. Kids are fleixble so I seldom see dorsiflexion issues. I see a lot of fore and aft misalignment. I wish we could find a low-cost fitting technique for the intermediate-advanced intermediate child and adolescent skiers.

I also wish we could find a better bootfitting system for beginners. Last sseason I went to a PSIA "Get-in-gear" event in which one exercise was for us to ski rental equipment. When we skied with the stock footbeds the boots seemed way too soft. When we then inserted our regular footbeds, or even removed excess volume using trailmaps, the boots seemed much stiffer and more reliable. The implication to me is that footbeds make a major difference, and so does correct bootfitting.
post #63 of 65
Well this seems to be where the business is at for the most part. Custom footbeds are used as a fit aid, to the tune of 120 to 200 bucks.

I agree with Grizzly in that I think it is fit that is of overriding importance, even at the higher levels, which I teach alot of. Make the fit right and even at this level custom footbeds would be unneeded by most. I sure see alot of ill fitting boots in skiers at level 7-8-9, along with a lack of understanding of how it should fit. Some a result of overfitting and trying too hard, and many of these have been done by coaches and "qualified" fitters. Later, RicB.
post #64 of 65

fun with footbeds

this is fun--thanks ruidi.
for starters, i would divide the discussion into at least 3 groups. pronators, neutrals, and supinators.the solutions are quite different.
i only know about pronators. i first started experimenting with running shoes because i wanted strong pronation control with cushioning for long distance comfort, and shoes dont come that way.
then i started plying around with my technica boots which had an adjustable arch. i could only be sure that i had it right for me when i had OVERCORRECTED and then backed off.
then i applied that to footbeds, increasing the arch support until i started rubbing off a blister under the arch, then backing off.then increasing the support under the medial heel until the foot was tilted too far to the little toe edge, then backing off. layers of duct tape are micro-adjustable.
i am not saying this would appeal to everyone, but it worked for me. i dont know if it is as good as a $300 job, but its fun to play with.
the alternative would be a shop that has a money back return on footbeds and/or boots, and they do exist(quietly)
post #65 of 65
What do you presribe for a overpronator who actually walks on the outside of the foot... yes, this is true...
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