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Boot fitter or podiatrist?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have terrible foot pain and can't figure out if I need a boot fitter or a podiatrist.

My entire foot and leg to the top of the cuff is in pain and bright red when I take my boots off. The paid is so bad that once last season I almost had to be rescued by the ski patrol because I literally could not ski more than 100 feet at a time. This wrecked my entire season.

I have a wide forefoot and very narrow heal, so this year I got the Head S9. It felt so good out of the box that I didn't get it fitted---I cannot identify any place on the boot that feels too tight or too loose, so it seems like there's nothing to adjust.

This year I changed from a 2-finger shell fit to a 1-finger fit. I believe the loose 2-finger fit was causing me to overtighten the boots, leading to pain. I am an advanced intermediate skier, so the 1-finger fit feels right. With my knees bent my toes almost touch the end. Standing up they touch but are not cramped. I can't move the forefoot side to side, but neither does it feel constricted.

I have the green heat-molded Superfeet. I've always felt that they were too hard, but the guy who made them kept saying, "You don't need cushioning, you need support."

I have a hypersensitivity to pressure and pain called SIDS (Sensory Input Deficiency Syndrome). My theory is that the Superfeet are too hard and the pain is starting on the bottom of my foot and spreading to the rest of the foot and leg.

However, I also have pain when I walk long distances, even though I have one of the most cushioned shoes on the market (Saucony Triumph).

So I'm thinking there may be an underlying neurological problem.

I saw a podiatrist last week. He pretty much blew me off, saying, "Your foot is perfectly normal. You need to go to a boot fitter." His exam was cursory; he barely glanced at my feet and he had a bemused smile the whole time, as if I was a hypchondriac.

If a boot fitter asks me where my boots feel too loose or too tight, I'll say, "Nowhere. They feel like a glove made for my feet." So I don't understand what more a fitter will be able to do.

I have a neutral stance and don't need canting, so that can't be the problem.

Have any of you ever had this problem of disabling foot pain?

Should I seek out a qualified sports podiatrist, or go to a good boot fitter?
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
So I'm thinking there may be an underlying neurological problem.

I saw a podiatrist last week. He pretty much blew me off, saying, "Your foot is perfectly normal. You need to go to a boot fitter." His exam was cursory; he barely glanced at my feet and he had a bemused smile the whole time, as if I was a hypchondriac.
See another one. Walking pain bad.
post #3 of 28
Wild guess: you have a vein that is being pinched by a boot tongue or other boot feature that is restricting circulation when you foot in the boot is in skiing position causing too high a blood pressure in the foot.

If you have walking pain, there is something wrong with your foot. Or it could by your SIDS. I don't know anything about SIDS other than your lucky you didn't get it whey you were an infant
post #4 of 28
echo comprex's answer.

teaching hospital anywhere near? go there.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
My entire foot and leg to the top of the cuff is in pain and bright red when I take my boots off.
This one statement caught my interest. Is this bright redness after wearing the boots for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour or all day on the slopes?

Bootfitters do a simple test to locate pressure points in boots by having you wear your boots for 10 mins +/-, then immediately take off the boot and sock and look for bright red spots like you describe. If you have a red spot that's maybe the shape of an oval, say 1 or 2 inches on the longest axis, then that's a point in the boot to be concerned with. However, by your description, your entire foot and and ankle is a pressure point. That's bad and something is wrong. Go see a boot fitter who's also a pedorthist, there's a list on here somewhere.
post #6 of 28
Hi GetupNGo,

Where abouts are you located?
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Who wants tuh know?

In a country far far away from you, but identical birthday, as luck would have it for both of us.
post #8 of 28

......

...With the above = both....and do check shell volume over your instep & over toes...one can make room up there. On top you have the tongue's plastic on top plus the thick shell....both can be touched up a little giving you a lot more room. Boots taper gradually...unlike my feet... Knowing what's going on with your feet will save time in the future...but unless you've been around the block.. with your fit-specifics...as said more than a few times, better to postpone the major surgery until after you've worn the boot/liner a bit. ...but lots of things are obvious signs...to a good bootguy...things like Pain;-);-) Wear them a while, then have-bootguy start tweaking, then wear them a while....etc.
Good bootfitters are truely worth their weight in gold!....
*glad I saw mgmc's...forgot about footbeds. Yes if you have the rigid forefoot, you do need the help of a flexible material, at least in the mid-to-fore area(s).

$.01
post #9 of 28
I had disabling foot pain last season which got worse as the season went on. I went to a bootfitter and got a better footbed and he made adjustments to my boots. The pain in the left foot has gone away completely but there is still pain in my right foot....only when I ski or inline skate though. I was planning to see a bootfitter many people have recommended in the fall but in the meantime I did go see a podiatrist. He said my arches are higher than normal and it can stress the ligament to the point of disabling pain. I told him about my plans to see a master bootfitter and he encouraged me to do so and gave me an orthotic he made on the spot...which I don't have to wear for everyday activity although it does make my right foot feel better. He recommended icing the foot after skiing/skating combined with taking motrin beforehand to combat inflammation and, as mentioned, he encouraged me to see the master bootfitter and get a better set of footbeds.
If I were you, I would find another podiatrist. Sounds like you should be taken more seriously.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
Who wants tuh know?

In a country far far away from you, but identical birthday, as luck would have it for both of us.
Happy birthday then! (for the appropriate day )

I was going to suggest that you might get a recommendation from someone on here for who you could visit.
post #11 of 28
Sounds like fit to me. Who was your boot fitter.

Like the old days, put your boot on snug, as if you are skiing and leave it for a while. When you take it off check for red spots. Check for any crushing of the foot, like a hand shake that crunches the bones together. The length sounds fine, but the width and volume in general could be a problem.

It sounds to me as if you have the wrong boot and that you need a more qualified boot fitter. Please don't tell him that I said that:
post #12 of 28
Podiatrist who is an avid skier.
post #13 of 28
I would recommend an Orthopedic doctor who only works on feet. I believe the term is Orthopod. Mine comes very highly recommended and has people all over the country who have done their fellowship with him. You can view his website at www.mifac.com.
post #14 of 28
You could go to another podiatrist or orthopedic specialist but I'd start with a very competent bootfitter first. A good one will know who to refer you to if you need more help than he can provide which is what WTFH was getting at.

Epic Ski has a list of recommended bootfitters. If there is not one near you wait until your next ski vacation and find one then. No one needs to ski in pain even with a performance fit. Good luck.
post #15 of 28
does the pain get better or worse with ....

the boots tighter or loose?

skiing, standing, or unweighted (legs dangling from a chairlift)?

with thinner or thicker socks.?

just wearing the boots inside? or just outside/skiing?

after a few days of skiing?
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
does the pain get better or worse with ....

the boots tighter or loose?

skiing, standing, or unweighted (legs dangling from a chairlift)?

with thinner or thicker socks.?

just wearing the boots inside? or just outside/skiing?

after a few days of skiing?

Well sure, the pain is better when I loosen the boots, but then I can't ski anything more than green.

Feels better unweighted. I have to loosen them on the lift on every ride up.

I always used to wear just liner socks. This year the pain was so bad I got some heavier socks. That helped a little.

Pain starts within 10 minutes of skiing and continues the whole day. Got progressively worse as the season went on. Has gotten worse year to year.

This is so bad that I'm ready to give up skiing, although I love it and depend on it for my sanity.
post #17 of 28
Never heard of your SIDS problem (dont know if that was meant to be a joke or not) but a good boot fitter can help you greatly. I have problematic feet, very flat and wide at mid-foot, a few visits to a qualified bootfitter had me in race-ski boot nirvana after previously having endured 6 years of pain.

I couldnt take it anymore, my skiing had gotten to a level that I needed high performance boots but using them meant near tear inducing pain. I still have to unbuckle the boots between runs most of the time (I really crank them down), but while I am skiing I have no pain and at the end of the day I am pain free as well, and able to ski a whole weekend with no problems. You might also want to try custom foam liners that are molded to your feet. If your feet are truly hypersensitive to pain you may need some drugs to keep that pain under control while you ski....dunno how else you would manage it, since high performacne ski boots by nature have to be tight for control and response.
post #18 of 28
your not a diabetic by chance are you pm me with your answer if you wish this sounds frightningly similar to my fathers situation
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

Update: Went to boot fitter

I went to a very well respected boot fitter/pedorthist today.

To recap, the pediatrst said, without examining my feet, "There's nothing wrong with your feet Your boots are too tight. You need to go to a boot fitter."

The boot fitter spent 45 minutes examining my feet and inspecting my boots. His verdict was that my boots fit me surprisingly well. He thinks I have neuropathy (that's just a fancy word for a nerve problem) and it's being aggravated by the hard Superfeet.

That jives well with my own impression. I bought these boots very, very carefully and I feel like they fit perfectly.

The problem: I really can't afford $275 for a custom orthotic. So I would like to know whether I have any other options.

Is there an over-the-counter orthotic that is:
-- Heat moldable
-- Soft
-- Cheap?

Thank you!

P.S. TO the person who asked about diabetes: The pedorthist noticed that my feet were purple and he raised the same question. I will get that checked out.
post #20 of 28
try a stock insole from a running shoe and see if that is better or worse.
post #21 of 28

foot pain

If you suspect diabetes get your fasting blood glucose checked, like ASAP.
This also also could represent a condition called venous stasis, check the inside of you ankle, along the saphenous vein route and see if it is redder, or the skin is breaking down in this area.
Another possibility is called intermittent claudication, this is usually caused by a convolution or twist in the arteries in your leg. When you blood starts pumping into you legs during exercise, the muscles can't get enough oxygenated blood.
I'd put money on one of these three things.
In any case, go see a physician and get checked out.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
The problem: I really can't afford $275 for a custom orthotic. So I would like to know whether I have any other options.
Do you have a local university with a podiatry department? I went to one at Salford (UK) and had two long sessions with a final year student and his supervisor. This included a video gate analysis on a treadmill. This was all for free and the only thing I had to pay for were the bought-in services and materials used for the orthotics. I also find it useful spending time with someone who is willing to discuss the problem rather than working to an appointments schedule. That way I learn more about the way things work - or don't!
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post
The problem: I really can't afford $275 for a custom orthotic. So I would like to know whether I have any other options.
If they eliminate the pain wouldn't it be a good investment?
post #24 of 28
A good boot fitter can make a custom foot bed for you that will be better for skiing than the Superfeet. Prices vary, but you should be able to have some made for around $150. I used to have custom orthotics (about $300) made by a podiatrist who was also a ski instructor, so I figured that he knew what he was doing. He didn't. They were worthless for skiing - too hard, very uncomfortable.

If your boots are a good fit, have appropriate foot beds, forward lean, stiffness, and cuff canting adjustment for you, you should be able to comfortably ski in them without having to buckle them very tightly. When you say that if you loosen the buckles you are reduced to skiing nothing but green it makes me wonder if you are in the wrong boot or foot bed. Did you ever ski these boots with the stock foot bed?

That said, I agree that you should rule out any medical issues which may be the cause of the pain.

Good luck - let us know how it goes.
post #25 of 28
I paid considerably less than $275 for custom footbeds at Green Mountain Orthotic Lab at Stratton. I highly recommend them. Best skiing investment I've ever made. Come to think of it, given my stock market woes:, it's the best investment I've ever made, period.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimL View Post
A good boot fitter can make a custom foot bed for you that will be better for skiing than the Superfeet. Prices vary, but you should be able to have some made for around $150. I used to have custom orthotics (about $300) made by a podiatrist who was also a ski instructor, so I figured that he knew what he was doing. He didn't. They were worthless for skiing - too hard, very uncomfortable.

If your boots are a good fit, have appropriate foot beds, forward lean, stiffness, and cuff canting adjustment for you, you should be able to comfortably ski in them without having to buckle them very tightly. When you say that if you loosen the buckles you are reduced to skiing nothing but green it makes me wonder if you are in the wrong boot or foot bed. Did you ever ski these boots with the stock foot bed?

That said, I agree that you should rule out any medical issues which may be the cause of the pain.

Good luck - let us know how it goes.
The pedorthist (who is a lifelong skier) checked the boots really carefully and found that they were just about perfect and don't need any adjustment anywhere. Wrong footbed---yes, too hard.

Can you recommend a specific brand of footbed that can be heat molded but is soft?
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
I paid considerably less than $275 for custom footbeds at Green Mountain Orthotic Lab at Stratton. I highly recommend them. Best skiing investment I've ever made. Come to think of it, given my stock market woes:, it's the best investment I've ever made, period.
Thank you very much for the referral. I've contacted them.
post #28 of 28
My footbeds are Insta-Print, made for me by Jeff Bergeron, owner of Boot Fixation in Breckenridge, CO. The last time I looked, Jeff had an ongoing thread here where he helps people with boot problems. The footbeds now have 4 seasons on them. They are heat molded, and although they are posted they still are flexible. The top surface material is cushioned, and is grippy to help prevent the foot from moving around.
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