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Need a quick fix: Cramps in foot arch...

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My feet are in boots which are several years old. This season as I ski my feet will both cramp in the arch area forcing me to get out of my skis and flex, stretch, etc. However the pain persists until I can't ski no more which sucks. I have custom footbeds in my boots...just not sure what to do.

I have also had problems with my calves cramping also...are they related.
My calves cramp in the area where the two muscles meet or in the spot where if you stood on tippy-toes for a prolonged period, that spot dead center gets real tight.

i do numerous stretches for my legs and feet but can't seem to avoid these cramps. The calves I may figure out, but my feet I have no clue as to what to do.

Can anyone suggest an idea please?
post #2 of 27
I think I'm dealing with about the same issue. Trying to diagnose where the problem originated, I took my footbeds out and threw in a stock pair for the rest of the day, it helped. Someone here suggested it too me, so I'll pass it along. Give it a try.
post #3 of 27
When you say you have a custom footbed, make sure it was done properly. It doesn't sound like it. Next, if you are buckling down hard on the bottom two buckles you are flattening and stretching the Plantar Fascia which will cause cramps. With a well made custom footbed you won't have to buckle the boots down hard, your feet will be warmer and you shouldn't have cramps.
post #4 of 27
I did a quick search and found this:


When I get cramps I drink tonic water. It helps. Of course then it might also be the gin......:
post #5 of 27
For temporary relief give yourself an easy foot massage. While seated, place your bare or stocking-ed foot on a golf ball and roll your foot back and forth and all around on the golf ball. (Start with light pressure to get used to it. You can cause a lot of pain if you stomp on the ball.)

Do this in the Lodge, before you "boot-up" in the AM. Do it again at day's end.... "Ahh-hh!!!"

- KK
post #6 of 27
Are your feet starting to move around in the boots (liners pack out over time)? Cramping can be caused by the foot tensing and trying to grip inside the boot if the foot is moving or sliding.

Feet change with age. Your footbeds might not be right for you any more. Do you have footbeds or orthotics for your sports shoes? I often suggest people try the foot support things on the Dr Scholl stand in the drugstore, and these often seem to fix a lot of problems. That said, your boot might need attention from a boot guy/girl, for the same reason.

The foot excercise thing suggested above can help too, although that's mostly with plantar fascia problems. Rolling a small coke bottle under your bare foot can help to soften the plantar fascia and get it all moving.
post #7 of 27
Drink more water.
post #8 of 27
Relax. I find if I am getting cramping..I am trying to "steer" the boot.
post #9 of 27
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Relax. I find if I am getting cramping..I am trying to "steer" the boot.
I notice my sking style affects how my feet feel.
post #10 of 27
If these are old boots and they are packed out, I'd say you are buckling too tight to compensate. Try throwing in an ADDITIONAL plain old flat footbed either under your custom one or under the liner and see if that helps. You may find it tough to get the boot on at first, but if you get the boot on and somewhat buckled and lean forward into the boot, pulling your heels back into the pockets and your toes aren't jamming anymore, you'll be fine with the length. My last boots got so packed out I had three insoles in them, but boy did the fit feel nice and snug!

Also, if the cramping starts then back off the buckle in that area just by untwisting the buckle one turn and see if the cramping clears up.
post #11 of 27
I have dealt with this for years and done a lot of analysis, and have pretty much solved the problem. Mostly it's technique and bending, pressuring or otherwise stressing the small muscles in the bottom of your foot.

Take a look at this thread called "Arch Cramping Revisited" where I summarize my findings in the first post.

post #12 of 27
SMJ, when you get a chance, revisit #4 in light of


views much appreciated, particularly if we are skiing on ice and wish most of the weight on the outside ski during the middle of the turn - what keeps the boot flexed once we've flexed it with hips and bodyweight?
post #13 of 27
hey comprex, I watched the big toe video, excellent!

What is your point regarding revisiting #4?
post #14 of 27
Sorting out which phases of a turn really tax the small muscles and devising a full list of conditioning exercises.
post #15 of 27
aha! I haven't really looked at it in terms of the phases of a turn.
post #16 of 27
Hey Joe,
2 tricks that have worked for me are to ski warm up runs with the lower buckles loose. It was once explained to me that as we exercise blood pressure goes up a little, and by clamping down on the foot to soon we cut off blood flow leading to cramps. ( I don't know if this is accurate but the solution worked) By skiing a bit (warming up) we get the blood flow going and when you do tighten the boot there is enough pressure to overcome the tighter fit.
The other trick is to buckle tight at the top of the hill and loosen buckles at the bottom for the ride back up.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the number of your responses. They are all helpful. I have had my boots worked on at the local ski shop so the fit is decent and got cutom footbeds from the ski shop at Mount Snow in Vermont.

The only time I get these arch cramps is when i wear the ski boots skiing or even around the house. Any other time there is no issue with my foot.
this sucks!

thanks again,
post #18 of 27
joe, i never had any foot pain either, except when I skied. had it for years, like you say, it totally sucks!

My feeling is it's more technique than anything else. relax your feet, wiggle your toes, DON'T try to grab the snow with your feet, etc. The better I got the less my feet hurt.
post #19 of 27
Do you also get cramping like this doing anything else.

The few and far between times I go ice skating I get the same thing.
post #20 of 27
try changing to thinner or thicker socks. I had a similar pain, and when i switched socks it went away.
post #21 of 27

please define 'descent fit'

Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
I appreciate the number of your responses. They are all helpful. I have had my boots worked on at the local ski shop so the fit is decent and got cutom footbeds from the ski shop at Mount Snow in Vermont.

The only time I get these arch cramps is when i wear the ski boots skiing or even around the house. Any other time there is no issue with my foot.
this sucks!

thanks again,

I must disagree with your interpretation. The fit is poor if you cramp when skiing. There is something inherently improper with how the boot/footbed is affecting you, as a descent fit is usually one where it dosent hurt all the time, just some of the time. An exeptional fit is one where your foot feels like it is in its home.

I say go for a second opinion if you have had no success with your current shop. Sometimes a different perspective will shed light on a persistent problem.
post #22 of 27
I respectfully disagree with you Ben. A decent fit is not a magic bullet. Nor is a great fit and the world's best bootfitter's work.

Tension in the foot caused by grabbing the snow, and other effects of physical motion and/or poor technique will cause foot pain for many people regardless of your equipment.
post #23 of 27

solution!....well, maybe

1) Ski a smaller mountain, or just stay on the green trails for awhile as you make relaxation more a part of your skiing...from the instant you begin putting on your boots! Of course, you could also 2) Be cramming your feet in a liner/shell that has become too tight!..? ...it could be as mentioned previous.
Main thing is...our feet DO change...time to get in touch with a bootguy.

My two $.01_guesses
post #24 of 27
Eat a bannana , they are high in potassium . Your cramps are in part caused by a chemical imbalance .
post #25 of 27

Three wonderful fixes - all approved by Dr. Oz on his show.   Quick fix: Drink pickle juice out of the jar. No kidding. Stops the cramp almost immediately.  Longer term: Keep a fresh bar of soap under the sheets in your bed and take magnesium. I get a calcium/magnesium supplement because mag by itself can cause diarrhea. Before I started magnesium, I read about the soap in The People's Pharmacy column. It seemed weird but it helped A LOT. Then Dr. Oz talked about it on his show. Later I added the calcium/magnesium and I only get cramps if I wear non-supportive shoes. Hope it helps! All so simple. God is good! (o:


post #26 of 27
Joe, I've had horrible arch and leg cramps for years from heated yoga, over-teaching fitness and walking in heels all day selling crap. I, too, refuse to quit. Do you see the rediculousness of ski boots only hurting when you ski? No thanks captain obvious... New performance gear for crying out loud if they aren't fixable. Immediate relief from cramps already knocking... massage, drink a ton of water and take Magnesium with Potassium and calcium in whatever form (coca-cola is a nice one). Warm a wet towel in the microwave and put it on your feet as soon as massage gets them to relent. The soap thing sounds cool. Drink beer (but makes cramps worse from total counterproductivity of all this), and most importantly, ski on buddy.
post #27 of 27

contrats to you both for resurrecting a post from 2007 for your 1st posts..... please keep away from the helmet threads! 

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