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Are Custom Footbeds Really Required? (for me) - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Thread Starter 
GMO would be part of my destination in VT. If I don't make it out to VT or Tremblant, or even if I do , I'll ski at Sugarloaf in Maine. I've checked the bootfitter list, there are no fitters listed for Maine!

Does anyone know of any good bootfitters in the area? My parents live in Poland, the drive to Sugarloaf takes me about 1.5 hours, Sunday River is 45 minutes. Years ago I remember reading about a bootfitter who was retired but still doing some fitting for some of the local (CVA) racers-I think Bode Miller was a client.
post #32 of 46
Making a footbed in a non-weight bearing position is more Often used by pedorthists and other specialists. Even then the arch is often modified (lowered) to prevent discomfort. In ski boots a non-weighted footbed without knowledge of how to modify is almost certain to hurt.

The goal in a boot is to provide gently support without inhibiting natural foot movement. A weighted footbed does this just fine.

post #33 of 46
My wife is suffering from palters faciatis(spelling) and a podiatrist I know told her to go to a running store and get jogging shoes and an off the shelf footbed. She got the green SuperFeet footbed. I tried her shoe on and the high arch they build into the bed made my flat foot feel like I was standing on a golf ball.
post #34 of 46
FYI, I think you are meaning Plantar Fasciitis. Your Plantar Fascia is a fibrous sheath running from the Heel to the balls of the foot, covering nearly the whole base of the foot. Wearing inappropriate shoes can cause irritation in it. The Jogging shoes generally already have a fairly high arch, and the SuperFeet will raise it to a more natural position. Your body is very picky about how it is used. The SuperFeet should clear it up no problem... I bet the shoes whe has been wearing have a very flat sole.. no arch support anywhere... correct?
post #35 of 46
Lou - Whether a weighted footbed will work depends on what needs to be done. They can support the foot, which is good, but cannot correct for the various foot issues that are actually quite common and a cause of stance issues for many skiers. An unweighted footbed can if it is made properly and is likely to be a better solution than canting (which isn't to say all stance issues can be corrected with footbeds because they can't). I do agree with you than an unweighted footbed made by an unknowledgeable person could do more harm than good, whereas a weighted footbed would at least do no harm, but I believe that krp8128 needs to see a knowledgeable alignment specialiast who will actually examine and measure his feet. This is based on my own experience with similar issues and perfectly competent bootfiiters who just didn't really understand the biomechanics of feet.

For example, its possible from krp8128's description than his feet over-pronate under load, which was basically my problem when I had similar symptoms. If that's true what he needs is an arch support to gently help his foot support weight without flattening out into a weaker position, which stresses the foot and tends to flatten the ski and additionally spreads the fore-foot in the boot exacerbating fit problems. A weighted footbed cannot really help with that problem, since its made with the foot weighted, in which case the foot will already be in its fully pronated position. The resulting footbed cannot help correct the problem. This is a pretty common problem, and usually sub-clinical. Its what the superfeet are basically designed to help with for people with normal-shaped arches (although I think they're still too stiff, opinions on that may vary).

I'm at the boundary of my own knowledge here, but partly because of that my policy now is "better safe than sorry" when it comes to boots. Its better to accept some cost and inconvenience to get to see people who really know what they're doing. In my experience such people always make footbeds unweighted and selectively post or flatten them to avoid discomfort.
post #36 of 46
Simon - realize that you're preaching to the choir here. Please check out Lou's site at http://www.lous.ca/services.htm and you'll understand who you're dealing with...

Lou also has many technical articles published at his site that you may find of value: http://www.lous.ca/techarticles.htm
post #37 of 46
Noodler - Thanks for that. Very interesting articles too.

Lou - Sorry to preach at you when you clearly no far more about this than I do. I really just want the original poster to go and see someone competent, and I'm sure we'd be in agreement there.

Your articles on footbeds are definitely food for thought. My own experience is that my unweighted, non-rigid footbeds really help my inside ski edges grip, and have eliminated the pain I got from the superfeet, and I do think part of that is that they support my feet as they pronate, but I can only speak from that personal experience.
post #38 of 46
post #39 of 46
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post
My wife is suffering from palters faciatis(spelling) and a podiatrist I know told her to go to a running store and get jogging shoes and an off the shelf footbed. She got the green SuperFeet footbed. I tried her shoe on and the high arch they build into the bed made my flat foot feel like I was standing on a golf ball.
I had this a number of years ago and the doctor just gave me really spongy, thick heel cups. He also told me to take ibuprophen regularly for the pain. I wore them every day and in EVERY shoe I had, including my high heels (had to cut them down to fit). After about a month, I could go without the ibuprophen and after 6 months, it finally went away completely.
post #40 of 46
As someone who actually requires real medical orthotics every day to help stave off knee replacement, and who knows a little anatomy, I'd have to argue that the truth about footbeds lies somewhere between most of the posters here, who think "orthotics" are the greatest thing since toast, and Lou, who says on his site that they do little except feel good.

What most here miss is that orthotics change the entire orientation of the lower half of the body, from foot to pelvis to middle back. The forces at every joint, including the vertebrae, are affected. You may not notice it walking around or skiing, but your joints do.

If you have comparatively normal feet, legs etc. a typical plastic footbed made by a well-meaning shop guy who read a pamphlet, watched another shop guy, and then started learning on customers, is probably going to feel great while a) doing nothing because it's too soft or b) being solid enough to slowly screw up your skeleton. As Lou says on his site, that nice high arch support is no favor to you. Or your skiing. And his arguments about heel lift are dead on, clinically. Ask any woman who wears high heels for a while about her lumbar region. (Well, OK, ask a woman you know pretty well.)

On the other hand, Lou's argument revolves around normal feet, attached to normal limbs and pelves and backs. Those subtle springboard and spreading effects of the arch, for instance, require an arch to begin with; people with overpronated ("flat") feet need not apply. Statistically speaking, 15% of the population will fall outside any one of those "normal" parameters, while 5-10% will be so far out to show signs and symptoms. And if you add up all the lower joints where we can be abnormal, the cummulative odds that any particular skier has one problem area that affects his/her foot become a lot higher.

So if you overpronate, for instance, it changes forces operating at the ankle, knee, and hip every time you flex in a turn. But this also works in reverse; an bigger femoral angle at the knee will create additional downforce on the medial malleolus (that big inside ankle bone that always kills) during flex, and cause too much pronation. This appears one reason why women, who have greater femoral angles because they have wider hips, tend to suffer more sports injuries to their knees and feet. More relative torque.

A real orthotic can correct some of that. The only mystery is whether you are truly part of that segment; I've never heard anyone think they had normal feet or were bad drivers.
post #41 of 46
First. Simon no apology necessary. Believe me when I say I have much to learn and there are certainly many very knowlegeable professionals on this site. It really is what makes the site so good.

Second it is nice to see some informed opinions chiming in. Foot orthotics are really fairly contentious.

But I will add several things to your's and other's posts. Footbeds or foot orthotics can accomplish identical things whether they were made weighted or unweighted. Absolutely identical. It depends on the posting. When footbeds are made unweighted by an orthotist the foot is positioned in STJ neutral (or as close as they can get to it, there are 4 definitions) before the slipper mold is made. Therefore, they end up with a foot mold that captures the relationship of the forefoot and rearfoot while in neutral position. However, in a ski shop very few unweighted or weighted beds are posted. And without the posting I'll agree that weighted footbeds made in a shop do little to correct foot position.

That said, there is little evidence or at least the medical community does not have conclusive evidence that foot orthotics reposition the foot. That isn't to say they don't or that there is disagreement about whether foot orthotics are a reasonable treament for various injuries. We certainly know many patients find relief from their use. It is only to say that we don't know how they work. Maybe by repositioning the foot, maybe by changing foot sensations which then alter muscle response or tuning. We don't know.

People regularly talk about overpronating, but there isn't a medical definition of overpronating that I am aware of. If anyone has one please advise. I don't know beyond's background but it appears he is more clinical than me so may be able to help.

I like what you said about my opinion and normal feet. My contention really isn't that footbeds do nothing but make you feel good. It is however that footbeds probably do nothing but make you feel good if you have no medical conditions that require them. That a person pronates is not an acceptable reason to use footbeds. That a person pronates and has an injury that may respond to prescription foot orthotics is. Therefore, in a typical ski shop scenario, the presence of pronation should not be a reason to sell footbeds.

Oh and I'm a great driver.
post #42 of 46

knock kneed pronator is confused

well, I sure thought that I overpronated as the arch (or lack of arch ) looks that way to me. And I thought that almost any footbed reduced that by repositioning the foot. And I thought it also improved the tracking of the knee from too medial to more lateral. And that canting would further improve the tracking of the knee away from being knock-kneed. Is that all wrong, Lou?
post #43 of 46
It isn't necessarily wrong. It just isn't necessarily correct. There is quite a lot of research over the last thirty or more years trying to measure the effects of foot orthotics on pronation, rate of pronation, maximum pronation, tibial position, inward rotation of tibia, etc. Problem is there is nearly as much research that says foot orthotics alter foot position as there is that says it doesn't.

Disagreement has spawned new theories on how foot orthotics treat injuries. There is no disagreement on efficacy of foot orthotics for some injuries, only on how they work.

So if you don't have an injury and they don't reposition your foot then exactly what is their role in skiing for uninjured skiers?

Canting should improve tracking, but first I think cuffs should be properly aligned.
post #44 of 46
Originally Posted by race510 View Post
A little more information oon the topic is that the hear fitting process in most boots does little to help ultimate comfort. The liners are still made of soft relatively cheap foam that packs out on its on. The secret to a comfortable boot is a shell that is shaped like the foot and accomodates some foot movement (pronation and supination) inside. If that isn't accomplished at the store then heating molding the liner is useless. If it is accomplished properly then heat molding the liner will accomplish little more than a few days of skiing will. The hear molding process is not a panacea, but proper shell shaping can be.

I bought a pair of Strolz on that basis that the Shell would fit my foot.I have had to take out footbed due to Pain over arch.But I suffer from knee tracking due to outside quads and also high arch..Im 6'4 and long and thin footed.This guy in Fernie reckons that Strolz are the worst boot one can buy with foot like mine and is pushing for alignment and new boots like Head or Nordica.But I must admit despite overall tightness they are very snug fit with foam injected liner.Was just wondering why he said that Strolz are sooo bad for narrow foot with high arch ?
post #45 of 46
Racer510, as far as overpronation goes, this seems to be a description of it, if not the term itself, in my ancient Hollingshead anatomy text, 3rd ed., p487:

"For instance, eversion of the foot not only puts greater strain upon the internal border of the foot but also slants the subtalar joint so it inclines more medially than it usually does, thus favoring a downward and forward slipping of the head of the talus between the calcaneous and the navicular, with consequent flattening of the arch and abduction of the fore part of the foot."

I have also heard orthopedists use the term. (They want my left foot to overpronate, thus opening up my medial knee compartment.) But I agree that what's normal and what's too much eversion seems undefined, and you'd know a lot more than I about whether the biomechanics are altered much by orthotics. Subjectively, it helps me.
post #46 of 46
it sounds like you have rigid feet and the superfeet are not supporting your foot properly. a well made unweighted footbed that is posted correctly will neutrally align your feet and help you get on edge faster. for you this is probably will have a low arch and some varis wedge under the heel, but you need to see a good bootfitter with some knowledge of biomechanics. for someone with high arches and flexible feet a footbed is essential to prevent the foot from collapsing causing pain and loss of power transfer, since the foot also expands less it allows for a tighter fitting boot which can improve skiing as well. the superfeet work well for some people, but for most the arches are way to far back and it is also lacking in forward transverse arch support which properly supports the met-heads. I fall into the high and flexible arch category and wont ski or hike without good arch support as it quickly leads to foot pain, and if standing alot need support in normal shoes as well.
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