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help w/women's ski boot fit (intermediate)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I would like advice to end the misery I have had for the last two ski seasons (boots).

I am 55 yo, 5-4 female and 140. Athletic, but didn't start skiing until age 48 and am a conservative upright skier. I very easily skied steeper blue groomers (my preference) and was competent to cautiously ski easy black groomers. I don't care for greens unless there is so much powder that I do better plowing along on flatter slopes. I don't like going fast. I have no desire to do moguls. My skis are 155 Salomon Scream Pilot 8 W. Love the skis...

1. first pair of boots,entry level Salomon Performa 6 and wore those for 4 years in size 23.5 (7 US shoe size). They were too high volume for me, but worked until I started skiing easy groomed black runs or some loose powder--my foot moved too much inside the boot. The boots also are too packed out (ski 20 days per season)

Now we ski 30 or 35 days per season...

2. Got Salomon Xwave 8 womens for the 05-06 season in 23.5. These were *much* shorter than my 23.5 old boots. They fit around my low-volume foot nicely, but pitched me forward, causing burning quads in lift lines and even going down cat tracks! My toes hit the end when i stood more upright and I lost both big toe nails that took several months to grow back. Muscles always hurt.

3. This season got Technica Attiva Flame in 24.0 (too big but afraid 23.5 would kill my toenails again). They feel like cast iron behind the calf (I have short legs and big calf muscles). Got a superfeet custom footbed. My foot slides too far forward and due to the footbed I get a "lump" under the ball of my foot and my toes go numb, and it's very painful. Have had bootfitting work to try and keep my foot back in the heel, but due to the forward lean of the boot (again burning quads) the tighter I buckle my boot to keep the heel back the more of the forward lean problem I have. Got toe lifters today to keep me more upright, but my foot still slides forward, therefore numbing the toes and bottom of the foot.

I am *not* that great of a skiier, but am VERY competent and confident on any groomed blue (Rockies) and don't do too bad on groomed blacks. At least in my old boots--now after two seasons with the too short boots and the too-big boots I am fearful and tentative and my boots always hurt in some manner. The problem I was trying to correct was to get my comfortable but higher volume entry level boots corrected so I could feel my foot control the ski instead of my foot moving inside the boot.

I had no idea that I would be moving from sloppy comfort into various forms of miserable pain. I never had quad pain in my oldest boots, but it is a common occurance in both pairs of new boots.

Please give me ideas! What did I do wrong? I need a boot that envelopes the foot and holds my heel from slipping up, while at the same time does not bang my big toenails into the end of the boot just because I have a more upright stance. If I get a slightly longer boot, then the whole thing is too big and thus the sliding forward and other problems.

Thanks for your advice. I am a far worse skiier now than I was 2.5 seasons ago when all I wanted was a better fitting boot.
post #2 of 8
I would guess that you old boots (23.5 waves) your heel might have been moving out of the heel pocket forwards and that was allowing your toes to move too far forward and that is why you got the toe nail pain. The new boots (24) have a looser heel pocket and might do the same.

Do you have the rush still? (or the performa?)

if you do, they are the same in lenght, just the rush should be a smaller fit in width and better heel hold down and should be the better bet for doing some work on them.

Rockies? in canada or the US. I work in banff, PM me if I can help
post #3 of 8
If at all possible, find a good boot fitter near you.

I bought my first boot on a out-of-business sale. That worked. The boot, in retrospect, was on the big side. But as a beginer, I didn't know any better. So it only lasted 3-4 years.

By the time I needed the second boot, there were no store closing sale any more, which was a good thing. I went to a ski shop and I lucked out with the Basin Ski shop at Killington. I didn't know it then, but it was one of the top shops with good boot fitters working in them. They talked me into a boot that "felt" too snug. But that's what made it work for nearly 7-8 years without the liner packing out too much. And adding various padding "extended" the boot for a couple seasons again.

Now 10 years later, I just bought my 3rd boot from them. They talked me out of a boot that's too short for me, even though its "claimed" size was my size. The boot I got had fairly dense liner that should pack out less. Unfortunately, I ended up paying a lot more than I budgeted for the new boot due to it being a somewhat "high end" boot. (I'm NOT an expert skier) But considering they'll likely last another 10 years or so, I think it's more important to get it right. Skiing is suppose to be fun, not painful.

So, try to find a good boot fitter to work with.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc View Post

2. Got Salomon Xwave 8 womens for the 05-06 season in 23.5. These were *much* shorter than my 23.5 old boots. They fit around my low-volume foot nicely, but pitched me forward, causing burning quads in lift lines and even going down cat tracks! My toes hit the end when i stood more upright and I lost both big toe nails that took several months to grow back. Muscles always hurt.
My guess is that you are too upright in your boots. If your knees are driven forward with your ankles bent, are your toes still touching the front of the boots? This should be your normal stance, while stationary or skiing. Toes barely brushing the front of the liner can be a good thing to remind you not to be so upright. The only pain you should be feeling, other than from bad fit or poor stance, from a long day of skiing (as an adult skier starting out) should be in your shins.
post #5 of 8
It sounds like there are fore/aft plane alignment issues that need addressed here. Limited ankle range of flexion could be contributing to your woes. Generally if your calfs are sore, your quads are sore, and your toes are jammed into the fronts of your boots, you are levering back on the cuffs which is driving your toes into the fronts. This could be caused by a few things. If you have limited dorsiflexion and your boot's forward lean uses the whole range of motion you have in your ankle the symptoms resemble the ones you have mentioned or, your fore/aft balance is off, forcing you back on your heels. In either case you may want to experiment with a 1/4" heel lift in your boots. If this does not solve the problem, try slipping a 3mm or 1/8" shim between your boot toes and the binding AFD and seeing if this helps. If the 3mm shim does help have a shop install a permanent plate on your boots or install a shim under your bindings.

best of luck.
bud
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
It sounds like there are fore/aft plane alignment issues that need addressed here. Limited ankle range of flexion could be contributing to your woes. Generally if your calfs are sore, your quads are sore, and your toes are jammed into the fronts of your boots, you are levering back on the cuffs which is driving your toes into the fronts. This could be caused by a few things. If you have limited dorsiflexion and your boot's forward lean uses the whole range of motion you have in your ankle the symptoms resemble the ones you have mentioned or, your fore/aft balance is off, forcing you back on your heels. In either case you may want to experiment with a 1/4" heel lift in your boots. If this does not solve the problem, try slipping a 3mm or 1/8" shim between your boot toes and the binding AFD and seeing if this helps. If the 3mm shim does help have a shop install a permanent plate on your boots or install a shim under your bindings.

best of luck.
bud
Bud is kinda sorta smart about this stuff, and he is right that you may need to get a bootfitter to do some magic on these boots for you. You'd be amazed what a good bootfitter can do for you.

I had a similar problem with calf and quad burning after I got into my Krypton Storms, until I had Benny and Bootworks, Stowe ESA reheat my liners to make more room for my toes. Perfection. Better fit, no more quad and calf burn.
Toes can be a huge factor. AND most average bootfitters tend to put heel lifts in before considering toe lifts. Though that was not a problem for me, I know some women who have toe lifts and have found them to be just the ticket.

Happy toes, happy feet, happy body!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

FYI, dorsiflexion

The bootfitter tested my dorsiflexion and it is excellent, thank goodness. My fore aft balance is good too, fortunately I was a competitive skater and therefore good balance and flexibility, but perhaps my reason for the upright stance that I have. In answer to one of the questions, if I flex forward and bend knees then no, my toes don't hit the end of the shorter Xwave 8 boots, however that "squat" position is uncomfortable and causes burning pain in the quads, even in lift lines and on cat tracks. It seems to me I should be able to stand up straight in lift lines and gliding along cat tracks without doing a "duck walk" and all of the muscle pain that comes from that. I really do appreciate all of your thoughtful comments and suggestions and will continue to work with bootfitters to try and find the right combination for me. I feel that I have burned too much daylight with the last two miserable ski seasons. :-( So far the minimal toe lifts done by a bootfitter 2 days ago have helped the calf problem (and a couple of other things) but there are still many other comfort issues.
post #8 of 8
and the calf wedges that come with the Xwaves are removed right (they attach with a screw between the power straps)

a small heel lift might help too and is easly removeable if you don't like it
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