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"Mail Order" orthodics

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just can across a place that does orthodics by mail. They send you foam molds that you step into, making an impression (take my wife, PLEASE!).
Then you send the molds back and they make the foot beds. You have your choice of soft, semi-flexible or rigid materials.

The cost is about $70.

Any of you Bears out there ever tried this or heard of this?

Thanks,

Doug
post #2 of 13
the bottom of the orthotic and how it fits into the liner is as important as teh top where your foot sits. Sounds like penny wise and dollar foolish.
post #3 of 13
My podiatrist did this for me 16 years ago. I remember standing on the compressible foam.

I ended up with a fairly aggressive shape in a rigid acrylic footbed which had a bit of give to it because it was hollow under the arches. Walking in them was a bit painful in the arch.

A number of years later he repeated the process and this time I sat in a chair and he pressed the foam into my foot which was held in the air. This resulted in a less pronounced footbed, which was more comfortable to walk in.

I read today that this second method is preferred in the ski profession because you get a mold of your foot when it is more natural due to being under no load and therefore not being in a distorted position.

I was never comfortable with the first pair in my skiboots, but the second pair did work because they gave me a more solid under foot feel in my skiboots compared to the softer heat moldable footbeds that I had bought from two different manufactures.

No ski shop wanted to believe that my hard footbeds could be better than soft or semi-rigid. Perhaps the key to my rigid ones is that they are built like an arched bridge, and touch whatever is under them only at the heel and ball of the foot. I know that they have some give to them and perhaps this is what makes them work for me. My other softer footbeds are completely filled in under the arch, so their shock absorbtion comes uniquely from compressing the rubbery material.

One problem you will have to deal with if you do a mail order, is when they come back, they will fit your foot like a glove, but they may not be flattened to the perfect angle where they rest on the bottom of your liner.

I would recommend that you read my thread on "Build your own canting machine", located in this forum.

I also need to verify the same situation with mine which requires me to stand on a canting plateform (a DIY creation in my case) to see how the center of the knee lines up with the centerline of the boot. Normally any errors can be corrected by changing the angle of the boot hinge(s) and/or adding shims under the binding or planing the boot soles at an angle.

But I feel this exercise would give better results if the footbed alone were placed on the platform to see how well it positions the knee. Adding shims under one side of the footbed could achieve positive results and you will ultimately need to depend less on forcing a solution by using the padding of the liner to compensate for any inherent mis-alignment in the footbed.
post #4 of 13
My answer to mail order orthotics....
Why would you want a footbed or orthotic that is really meant to address gait issues. Are you going through a full gait cycle in your ski boots? (I'd like to see that!) Ski oriented orthotics should be made with forefoot dynamics that allow for full forefoot neutrality. Additionally, orthotic manufacturing labs will fabricate you a gait oriented orthotic and TAKE your money quickly even though it's going into a ski boot and will never see a full gait cycle. Get a weight bearing or non-weight bearing orthotic that is functionally meant to address SKIING issues.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantman View Post
Why would you want a footbed or orthotic that is really meant to address gait issues.
I don't have an answer, but I wish I could explain why my rigid orthotic that was made presumably for my gait to be used in my walking shoes, when used in my ski boots, seems to provide me with a much better feel and fit and less foot pain compared to my two other softer orthotics made specifically for skiing.

Is it just my good luck that it worked out for me? Perhaps.

I'm not recommending mail-in anything by the way since there are too many variables that can go wrong.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal View Post
I don't have an answer, but I wish I could explain why my rigid orthotic that was made presumably for my gait to be used in my walking shoes, when used in my ski boots, seems to provide me with a much better feel and fit and less foot pain compared to my two other softer orthotics made specifically for skiing.

Is it just my good luck that it worked out for me? Perhaps.

I'm not recommending mail-in anything by the way since there are too many variables that can go wrong.
Montreal

I suspect that the two softer "ski" oriented footbeds were direct molded?
It takes a dedicated footbed technician to produce a superior and compatible product. Remember, if the footbed corrects/accomodates and the customer/patient isn't compliant, what good is skiing on a product that is functionally perfect but the customer/patient wont use it? Some people are more tolerant of corrective/accommodative forces, some are not.
I'm not implying that this is the case, it may be one of the factors. I can also say most of the footbeds being made for skiers are solely gait footbeds/orthotics rebranded as "ski" orthotics.
post #7 of 13
I've used them. They were kind of thick and hard and damaged the heel portion of all the shoes I used them in. I finally quit using them and just bought running shoes with motion control since this is really where my foot problems cause me pain. I use regular custom foot beds in my ski boots and haven't had any issues.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantman View Post
Montreal

I suspect that the two softer "ski" oriented footbeds were direct molded?
It takes a dedicated footbed technician to produce a superior and compatible product. Remember, if the footbed corrects/accomodates and the customer/patient isn't compliant, what good is skiing on a product that is functionally perfect but the customer/patient wont use it? Some people are more tolerant of corrective/accommodative forces, some are not.
I'm not implying that this is the case, it may be one of the factors. I can also say most of the footbeds being made for skiers are solely gait footbeds/orthotics rebranded as "ski" orthotics.
Each of my "softer ski oriented" footbeds went into an oven where they were heated up and then I stood on them on a shaped platform while they cooled down and hardened.

Unlike my rigid acrylic (white nylon?) orthotics, these softer ones were so well matched to my feet that there were small indentations for my toes and I had an intimate feel with these compared to the acrylics.

But as I began to put all my weight on one foot during a high speed turn on ice, I could feel these softer footbeds yielding slightly as their compressible layer compressed.

On the other hand, the acrylic shoe orthotics stayed rigid and did not yield. I felt this harder underfoot surface which seemed to create a solid platform for me to apply my concentrated body weight to the inside edge.

I must also note that my ankle bones, both inside and outside, benefited from donuts which had been positioned between the shell and liner to lock my ankle laterally. But all factors being equal, my rigid orthotics have kept my foot bones in a unique position throughout the full ski day and every time I go back and forth between the soft and the hard footbeds, I am amazed at the night and day difference in sensation.

But my case may not work for others due to the multitude of other variables that would not be the same.

Ironically, I use the softer ski type footbeds in my walking shoes where I find them much more agreeable compared to the rigid ones originally intended for my walking shoes, now confined permanently to my ski boots.

I'll leave all you professionals to keep the skiers of the world in good shape.

For me personally, this process has been one of alchemy more than science.
post #9 of 13
Mail order brides anyone?

post #10 of 13
If only you could demo brides like you can demo skis!
post #11 of 13
I did.
post #12 of 13
: I take my ski gear too seriously to leave things to chance.

I hope Mrs. Yuki doesn't see this.
post #13 of 13
Usually "demo'ing" brides ends you up in demo'ing attorneys.
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