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I just replaced my aging and outgrown Salomon Ellipse's with a shiny new pair of Head RS100s. I'm loving the new boots, even though I don't think the fit is quite right yet. They give me far better feedback on what the skis are doing, and much for subtle control. I'm had my lateral alignment checked and the new boots canted appropriately, and I'm very happy with that.

I do have two remaining issues, though, and I'm wondering if they might be linked. The boots are relatively close-fitting across the instep. This doesn't cause any discomfort standing or skiing on mellow groomed slopes in the boots, but when I get to skiing in bumps, my arches start to ache. I have very long, low arches and a slight tendency to pronate, and I've had similar pain in the past under similar circumstances when I used the green superfeet footbeds. I now have flexibile custom footbeds that made the pain go away in my old boots, so I'm sure they're not the issue.

I'm wondering if the close fit of the boot around the instep is responsible for the return of this pain. I think its probably preventing my arch from flattening in the same way the stiff superfeet were doing. Do I have this right? Fortunately its very easy to modify the boot to give myself more space, first by moving the buckles and then my removing some material from the customisable chassis. Obviously if it comes to the latter, I'll get the boot fitter to do it.

Which leads me to the other issue. Since switching boots I feel I'm fighting a bit to stay in balance fore-aft. In part I'm sure this is to do with adapting to a stiff boot, and having to be less lazy about it. From the crud skiing I did this weekend (2 feet of snow it Tahoe - I thought it would never happen!) I think it's not a forward lean or ramp angle issue, since I can balance, and a quick test on flat ground confirms I can squat down very low without overbalancing to the rear. Since the times I feel out of balance correspond somewhat with when I'm feeling pain in my arches, I wonder if the two issues are connected. Is it possible that having my instep cramped from the side could inhibit my ability to flex my ankles? Or do I just need to get used to it, or possibly just soften the boot a bit using its flex adjusters?