Originally Posted by cantman
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.