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My left foot - like to understand something

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My left ski does not sit flat. Inside edge gets more pressure, noticeable at flats and catwalks. One (left) foot skiing, I can only turn right. Turning with both feet, I feel the left ski overturn. Left turn initiation takes more effort than right turn.

Been to a reputable bootfitter in the area with marginal results, and I'm not sure if I agree with where he is going. Maybe someone can straighten out my logic. After all, he's certified and I'm not. Certification or not, engineer in me needs to understand.

To correct my pronated left foot and knee position, the bootfitter adjusted the footbed, effectively raising the inside edge. That's what got me confused - I thought the more pressure you have on the little toe, easier it is to turn left (for left foot). Now that the inside edge sits higher, would the inside have more pressure, making it more prone to turning right? Shouldn't he raise the outside edge so there is more pressure on the outside, making it easier to turn left? Sorry about all left/right terms. All above is regarding my left foot.

Also, when one-foot skiing with a truly neutral foot, how much 'symmetry' should you expect between left/right turns? One-foot skiing with my right foot, I can make sharp left turns, but only marginal right turns. Do I have issue with my right foot as well?
post #2 of 17
It is confusing. Lets say you have flat feet, you walk too much on the inside big toe arch side of the foot so you put arch supports in your shoes to force your foot in the correct position. That is for walking on paved surfaces.

The same flat-footed skier might assume a wedge under his big toe will correct the problem like it does in his walking shoes.

The difference is, snow is not solid like a sidewalk. When you ski, your flat feet will tend to assume their natural (wrong) pronated position and the inside edges will sink into the snow. It's not possible to correct your foot's alignment with the surface (as you would with arch supports in your street shoes). It is a good idea to wear arch supports or custom insoles in your boots but canting should correct the ski/snow interface. A wedge/cant under the outside, little toe side will help keep your skis flat on the snow despite your tendency to stand (put more weight) on the inside big toe side of your foot.
post #3 of 17
So, yes, I think the bootfitter was confused and made the wrong adjustment.

It it normal to be able to turn left easier than right on your right ski. That doesn't indicate a problem with your feet or boots.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Geez...

Thanks telerod15.

I was hoping I was the confused one, because my next visit will be the 3rd one with the same bootfitter. His mentality seems to be, "Try this and if it doesn't work, we'll adjust it." For someone that doesn't ski more than 15 days, each day is precious.

Shouldn't this be rather elementary for a professional bootfitter? Now I'm wondering if I should bother going back even for a free re-adjustment. I'll have to find and pay another bootfitter...

Does anyone know a good bootfitter in MA or southern NH? I've checked the list, but I need to find someone else.
post #5 of 17
I'm always right, but I am a contrarian. Don't make a decsion solely on my advice. Many knowledgeable people will see it the other way. There doesn't appear to be a concensus on this topic. I feel strongly that the others are wrong, but they think the same about me.

I'm the guy skiing on mis-matched skis (yes, skis from two different pairs that have lost their mates), with snowboard boot liners in my ski boots. I'm not an authority on ski equipment.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
No problem and thanks in any case.

I've posted the question to Jeff Bergerson for another opinion.
post #7 of 17
As telerod said, some will disagree with him.

I'm not a boot-fitter but have a similar problem and similar approach (but both heel and toe).

The purpose of the wedge isn't about adjusting the pressure, its about shifting the center of mass of your knee more over the center of your foot (and therefore distributing the pressure better). There is more pressure over the inside of your ski because more of your weight is over the inside of your foot. (Think of a pickup truck with all of the load on one side).

Take a look at.
http://www.footmaxx.com/clinicians/five.html#fore
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brick View Post
Shouldn't this be rather elementary for a professional bootfitter? Now I'm wondering if I should bother going back even for a free re-adjustment. I'll have to find and pay another bootfitter...
I missed this, and yes it should be pretty elementary for a good bootfitter unless there is more going on (such as bow-legged or knock-kneed). Getting the center of mass of the knee positioned over the center of the foot is pretty easy to measure.
post #9 of 17
Oops. I think I misunderstood your original post or something. . I agree with Gandalf, you should get custom insoles to prevent the excessive pronation for the reasons stated.

Sorry, I was confused. If you still cannot get your ski flat, a cant between the ski and binding on the little toe edge might help.
post #10 of 17
I have a bootfitter recommendation...PM sent.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hmmm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf View Post
As telerod said, some will disagree with him.

I'm not a boot-fitter but have a similar problem and similar approach (but both heel and toe).

The purpose of the wedge isn't about adjusting the pressure, its about shifting the center of mass of your knee more over the center of your foot (and therefore distributing the pressure better). There is more pressure over the inside of your ski because more of your weight is over the inside of your foot. (Think of a pickup truck with all of the load on one side).
Doesn't pressure and CoM go hand in hand in our feet? I understand the truck analogy, but the difference between truck and the foot is that, we adjust the CoM by shifting according to the pressure, no?

So, if the truck has too much load on one side (say, right side), a 'wedge' needs to be inserted under the right side to shift the CoM more toward the center. For the (left) foot, though, if we insert a wedge under the same side (right), doesn't the knee shift more to the right to stay balanced? I guess I'm thinking of an extreme case where you're standing on a hill, uphill to your right. The knee has to move more toward uphill to stay balanced. The difference is that there is the feedback in our body, where the truck's wheels provide no feedback to the load (or, the load doesn't do anything about the feedback, but just follow the gravity).

If the wedge is on the left side of the foot, however, the knee can shift out more without losing balance, as in, the body doesn't feel nearly as uncomfortable to move the left knee 'out'. Perhaps there is a point after which it feels 'blocked'?

Or, is my logic flawed altogether? I'm interested in understanding the physics of it. I was like that with my golf swings. Had to understand why certain changes made the difference the way they did. I tried skiing without thinking about it, but I feel the inside edge of left ski digs in more than before.

By the way, my legs are bow legged and I have custom footbeds/soles.
post #12 of 17
Pronated and bow legged? Custom insoles and cants that raise the outside of your bindings.
post #13 of 17
I think the flaw in any of the logic is that foot, ankle, and knee joints are complicated mechanisms; basic CoM analogies simply won't explain all possible cases. With regards to canting, the traditional approaches are cant to center knee mass and cant to fill. The fact that each method contradicts the other is an example that they are simple, but imperfect, approaches to a complex set of problems and naturally bound to have numerous exceptions.

With that in mind, rearfoot varus is typically accepted as the most common cause of pronation and likely the reasoning of your bootfitter in posting the inside edge of the footbed. Knee location probably wasn't his concern as that's usually addressed under the bootsole and not in the footbed. Of course I don't know what your bootfitter's actual thoughts were, so why don't you ask next time you see him?

About your hill example and the knee being "blocked," I recall that one well-known bootfitter suggested that available joint space may possibly play a limiting factor in the effectiveness of centering knee mass. Where beyond some point, flattening the ski rather then centering the knee becomes more relevant.

And just to throw something else out there, Witherall suggested in his classic text that pronation and bow-leggedness is a rare case where cuff alignment can be used to address canting. How accurate was that then and now? I have no idea. All in all, there are plenty of explanations out there. Bootfitting, however, is still an incomplete science, if you even consider it a science at all...
post #14 of 17
Without getting too involved with all the messages, assuming your foot pronates during normal standing your bootfitter did the correct thing. The purpose of posting footbeds is not specifically to correct the way you pressure your skis, it is too correct your subtalar joint to neutral position. There is much debate about whether that is actually accomplished but that is the purpose. If it corrects the way you stand on your skis great. If not, you have other alignment issues.

Have you gotten the cuffs aligned? If not, that is the next step. If the problem still persists talk with someone knowledgable about cants.

Lou
post #15 of 17
Boy am I confused now. I always thought that if you pronated there would be a high likelihood you would be too A framed with your knees pointing in or under canted. In that case you would add a wedge on the big toe side, inside edge , of the footbed to help move the knee more outside producing less of an A frame stance. I would think placing a wedge on the little toe side would only contribute to having the center of the knee even more inside.

Do you wantto align the cuff to the natural way your legs are positioned in the cuffs, or do you want to align cuffs after you try and correct via how the footbed is posted to compensate for pronation?

I didn't think I knew much about this subject and now I'm thinking I'm totally wrong regarding cause and correction.

I pronate and I posted a wedge on the inside (big toe) side of my footbed at the heel and checked out neutral when I had my stance checked.
post #16 of 17
This is surprisingly hard to understand, isn't it? There is a fundamental difference between *correcting* and *accommodating* parts of our body that are out of whack. Those are two different things. That's probably where a good bootfitter knows better than us what to do and what balance to go after.

I can *accommodate* my very slight bowlegged stance with a slight canting adjustment. In my case, I cant the tops of the boots outward slightly, to accommodate the natural tendency of my legs. Without this, I get too much pressure on the outside edge of the skis. With the slight canting, the legs are neutral in the boots and my skis are flat. I guess I am lucky it's so simple in my case.

A bowlegged stance is usually associated with supination, which I also have. I specifically seek out running shoes with more support on the outside to keep me stable/flat. For ski boots, I believe a boot fitter would have me put a lift under the outside edge of the foot. That would be an example of a *correction* to the supination tendency. (side note: though I address supination with my running shoes, I don't worry about it with ski boots -- it's not really an issue for me when skiing as far as I can tell. I probably have more of an impact supination associated with running.)
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by race510 View Post
Without getting too involved with all the messages, assuming your foot pronates during normal standing your bootfitter did the correct thing. The purpose of posting footbeds is not specifically to correct the way you pressure your skis, it is too correct your subtalar joint to neutral position. There is much debate about whether that is actually accomplished but that is the purpose. If it corrects the way you stand on your skis great. If not, you have other alignment issues.

Have you gotten the cuffs aligned? If not, that is the next step. If the problem still persists talk with someone knowledgable about cants.

Lou
Well said! Footbeds are simply to support your foot in a strong neutral postion and to keep your arch from collapsing and your foot from spreading out.

Your cuffs should be aligned, leg centered in cuff with footbed in boot.

Footbeds are not meant to correct canting alignment issues as race510 stated above.

Once the above is done and a fore/aft balance analysis and correction is complete, then canting analysis can be completed.

I have an issue which can not be compensated for by canting. My problem has similar symptoms to what you have described. It is due to a twisting & a curvature of my right foot. My right leg & foot wants to rotate out dramatically. When I am put in feet straight postion with my boots on my right foot is twisted dramatically in which applies constant pressure to the big toe edge of my right ski.

I use a custom non-posted foot bed made by Conformable' called the Pro.
But I have very rigid fairly high arch. Different sounding then your feet.

I have had a fair amount of trauma to my right leg.

I have learned to adapt to this twisted position athletically and just have learned where to be to sub consciously to apply the proper amount of pressure to make my ski do as i would like them to.

I find this most problematic on cat tracks and straight running and a have a more difiicult time getting my right knee/leg out of the way on right hand turns( left footed turns).

My only solution thus far is to move my cuff in as far as it will go on my right boot. This takes the pressure off the inside of my right leg/foot and allows me to get off the big toe side edge of my right ski.

I am also going to look into the newer Fischer Soma Plug boot which may allow my right foot to point out some and does it in a different manner then the Nordica Aggressor or Atomic M boots.

So to sum it up, get your foot supported properly with a proper footbed., adjust your cuffs. Get balanced fore/aft.

Then get analyzed for canting. But make sure this is not a twisting problem, because canting either direction does not fix that.

If in fact you decide (and you really need to go out on the hill and tape cant) after being analyzed and an amount of canting recommended you must tape cant and try it on snow and see what feels the best.

As someone so wisely stated above and i have said it many times this is an art not a science.

Once you decide on the amount and were to cant if necessary have your boots planed, so that you can switch skis & demo skis easily.
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