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nerve damage from cranking down

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Advanced woman skier, aggressive for age (don't ask) and gender, mostly off-piste terrain. Very narrow forefoot, even narrower midfoot, ankle and heel with quite high arch.

Bought Dobermann Team 80s after trying on many, many boots. they still felt little loose (i'm very picky). I transferred custom insoles from old boots. Worked with a good boot-fitter and got the boots to the point where they worked, but to compensate for the perceived looseness, i cranked down in hairy situations. I can ski them buckled very loosely on groomed terrain) The result is that my feet would go numb from big toe up side of foot to middle of front of ankle, sometimes around foot to outside ankle. One foot is still partially numb (inside of arch) and it's almost September. Wish to avoid permanent nerve damage before season starts and would like some suggestions for direction before making the boot-fitter rounds.

(They are not too short. I had to have the toes ground out as it was and one toenail already went completely black and the other is partially that.)

Here's what i already tried and didn't work:

1. gel tongue thingies
2. pads under the insoles to take up volume. (actually pads under just the front half helped a bit, but pads under the whole foot made my heel pocket ineffectual)
3. pads around the heels worked some but too much made it worse
4. neoprene sock around the whole insert to take up space - couldn't get it in without wrinkling so tried duct-taping it and created an unholy mess

Options i figure i have:
1. put pads on either side of the instep to relieve pressure on the nerve running along the top of the foot. Worry it may create different hot spot.
2. buy after-market foam or heat molded inserts. cons are both are expensive; foam is cold and there is no certainty it will help
3. grind down the tongue - have no idea how to go about this and it is counterintuitive that removing volume will help a situation caused by too much of it.

Do not believe i can find narrower boots than kids' racing dobies. Prefer solutions that can be reversed. Suggested tactics much appreciated.
post #2 of 34
try a intuition liner that is stiff? if it doesn;t work the store SHOULD take it back as they are remouldable.

also any chance that this issue with the "perceived looseness" in "hairy situations" might be an issue that is above the boot top?

sounds like you and the fitter have done most of the reversable things.

foam liners might be the next step. but again not cheap OR reversable
post #3 of 34
There is another liner choice, Zipfit. Very firm and doesn't pack and most shops will take them back within a short time as they will easily remold to another boot.
post #4 of 34
Mom, what length are your shells? I may have an option for you...
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Steve, they are 275 mm. i really did try a LOT of shells and these are the best fit. but i am anxious to hear your possible sollution.

mntlion, hehe, there's probably a lot of truth to that. I have learned from hanging out here never to try to estimate my own skiing ability. I think Rusty Guy would tell you i am sure not the best skier on the mountain, but a good deal farther from the worst.

I could probably ski with bedroom slippers on zipping down the groomers. what happens is i seek a better feel when i'm in trees in variable snow or on something that revs up my yikes factor and so i don't want side to side movement in the boot. Or in very heavy crud snow where my technique is not good enough to avoid torque. So i tighten the buckles and that tends to make the boot smaller from arch to instep before it makes it tighter from side to side. (making sense?) that in turn puts too much pressure on the nerve that runs down the top of my foot, hence the problem.

I was thinking zipfit too, although someone said they do not take up much volume. i like the idea of mouldable and remouldable liners. What's the relative advantage of intuition vs zipfit. what's the difference?

post #6 of 34
Don't make more room. The percieved looseness may be addressed at least somewhat by making a "tongue shim" out of 2mm Neoprene. This lines the entire tongue and reduces volume from the top down rather than from the bottom up. You could also make some reducers in the shape of "L" pads or even complete ankle wraps. These would have to be made from a flexible but non-compressible material. I use cork & rubber automotive gasket material for this. There are lower volume boots than what you have but not in the flex that you have.

As suggested eariler, the "very tight but still comfortable" thing may not be entirely inside the boot. Sometimes it is just not possible to have your foot "locked" in place as tightly as you might want it to be.

post #7 of 34
First thing to do is generally ignore all the friends and others you may talk to that say this and say that. Zipfits do take up volume. They also mold quite well. The only way to determine if they would work is to try them. Find the shop near you that sells them and try a pair in your shells. There probably won't be a charge.

You don't say what size shell you are in and what size your foot is. It may help. Also please tell us what ski you are on.

I don't sell Dobermann or Nordica and don't see many of the 80s, but typically this flex would be a jr. boot without a great liner. So it would pack fairly quickly. typically the padding most shops use is not of sufficient density to make a real or long lasting difference. Zipfit has a new system available that is like a liner sock but is filled with omfit. It may work for you.

post #8 of 34
Yep, Zip Fit is a great option. The cork that goes inside the liner is injectable so you can start with a low volume version like the race stock Zip and blow it up slowly and ski it in. the tounge is injectable as well as both ankle pockets so you can create the fit you want without too much work. It absolutly is one of the best options out there. ther is some info on my web site below.

Another thought, Do you ever get feed back about your alignment? I only ask because often feelings of loosness can be confused with feelins of pronation and suppination happening within the shell. If you get feed back about A framing or other alignmnet symptoms You may simply be trying to lock your foot down while it is just doing what it can to create balance. I find that often making small adjustments to foot position can get you feeling much more connected, even when the boot is loose. With the symptoms you listed this is what came to mind first. It is imortant to know, is the loosness you feel when your twist right to left? Or is the looseness you feel in rolling the foot big toe to little? This could easily be a simple pronation issue.
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
OK it's working now. Thank you all!

Sierra Jim - tongue shim is a nice idea but i need the space top of foot, it's only side to side that's at issue. Tried the L pads and they helped s little. Full ankle wraps would just bunch up. I'd be curious to know what are lower volume boots. I tried some plug boots and all the langes. the dobies felt narrower. Mind you it's in the mid foot and ankle that my foot is super skinny, yet i have a high arch.

Lou - it's a size 4 - 275 mm. I ski on dynastar skicross 9 in a 165 and atomic sugar daddies in a 153. skis are good except I do get razzed about the old dynastars. You are correct that they are jr. race boots. I am small (115 lbs and just shy of 5'5") so it seemed like a good solution. what is a liner sock?

Mosh - have had alignment looked at and consensus is that it's fine. I notice the issue more when twisting than rolling which is why groomers are not an issue, although i do feel some with rolling too. just seems like i can compensate more easily. it gets worse as day wears on and feet get cold. maybe it is the liners packing out during the day...

Conclusion - i will try the zip fits!

Additional question - which would you do?
1. go to local vendor that sells zipfits and therefore easier access for tweaking even though bootfitting skills may not be great, or
2. travel to colorado for really good bootfitter, but not have ability to go back?
post #10 of 34
If your shells are dialed, the Zips shouldn't make a huge difference in how the boots work, so I would tend towards 1. I'll PM you.
post #11 of 34
Hard to explain liner sock but there may be a picture on the Zipfit site. Either way your local Zipfit shop may have them.

Atomics tend (tend, not a rule) to be mounted back. It requires the skier to ski aggressively forward exacerbating looseness issues.

post #12 of 34
Always best to work with local people at the area you ski at most or if there is a rputable city shop near you. that way you can tweak them at your convenience. If not you always have us. I can get you the Zip fits but it is harder to work with by mail. Look around near you first and if you cant get what you need let me know.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you Mosh. I will do that.

Steve, i checked and it definitely says 275 mm. But they are a size 4 and my street shoes are women's 7.5 AAA. so i don't know what that 275 refers to... Thanks for trying tho.

Skied atomics most of my ski life, so i doubt it's the skis, but nice sleuthing.

I will report back after the liners are purchased.

thank you all.
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 

Did I do the right thing?

OK. I went and tried a zipfit liner. At first it felt terrible and then it felt pretty good and then it got pretty awful. then i took it off and put it back on and it felt pretty good again. then after five minutes of walking around it felt pretty awful again. I had some hot spots around the ankle bones and the big toe, but it did fill the volume and it did take away the extra pressure on my instep. The pressure around the whole foot built up as the liner cooled. it was pretty even pressure all around except aforementioned hot spots. my foot felt like it was in a vice getting tighter and tighter until it was tingly and it felt like the circulation was being cut off at the calf. The bootfitter said it was because the cork stuff was cooling and hardening. but in retrospect that didn't make sense because when i took my foot out and then put it back in, the stuff was still cool but it felt better for a while. then after a while the pressure built up again to the point i had to take my boots off.

The bootfitter recommended that before buying the liners, that i come back after the mountain is open and try intuition liners and ski on them and then if they didn't work, go back to the zipfits or try foam. (i am very reluctant to go with foam as it cannot be reversed.)

It sounded like a good plan yesterday, but i'm wondering now if i made the right decision or if i should have had him reheat the zipfits with some sort of padding on my ankle bones and toe and go for it. Does it just take time to get used to? would they have been OK if i was skiing and not just hanging around a shop?

Did i do the right thing?
post #15 of 34
Did your boot fitter heat your shells and the liners before forming to your feet?

It sounds like you are getting close? Will they let you ski them a day or two and still return them if you are not happy?

Your boot fitter should be able to take care of the ankle hot spot in a variety of ways. So if your volume issue is taken care of a hot spot here or there can be remedied pretty easily.

Remember Intuition liners will only compress where you have pressure, they will not expand to take up volume. If you are shell fit closely these may work too. If you do go with Intuitions be aware not to over buckle them because the closed cell foam pushes back!!, unlike an open cell foam in the stock liner which compresses, or your feet will begin aching. Start out with buckling lightly then using your micro adjustable buckles to add a little tension at a time.

Perhaps a Dobie Aggressor 100 may be calling?????
post #16 of 34
Zipfits cork is very firm and will definitely not be comfortable until molding process is complete. For many people this requires skiing. Zips can be very very uncomfortable until they are right. But once right they ski great and will not pack.

I can only say my experience and if someone comes wanting maximum hold, solid firm fit that is also comfortable I use zips almost all the time. I have had customers with tremendous pressure in the store. Unable to buckle instep buckles etc. But after some time everything resolves. It is also possible to move cork by hand to speed up the process.

Bud is correct that heating shells speeds things up.

post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
Very good. Thank you. The shells were not heated and i think that could have made a difference. It was indeed close and perhaps with some skiing, and a little hot spot tweaking, it can be resolved.

Good boot fitter who will let me ski and return if it doesn't work out.

Thank you all for your input!

post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
A very kind bear PM'd me to suggest I look at the Tecnica RH13 plug boot. I feel like the horse is out of the barn so to speak, but if you all think it would be worth investigating, i would be willing to give it a try.

What is the difference between the shell/last of the Tecnica RH13 and the Dobermann Team 80 i'm in?

post #19 of 34
Short answer is night and day in terms of shape and volume but big problem for you is that an H13 is considered somewhere around a 120 or greater flex.
post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you Lou. at 115 lbs, i suppose that wouldn't work, but for others out there, what do you mean by night and day difference in terms of shape and volume? is one shapelier, narrower, taller, wedgier or what?
post #21 of 34
it will take 3-5 days of hard skiing to get the moulding process of the zipfit to really complete, i am just back from 3 days on the glacier in Tignes and it was only on the second half of the 3rd day that my new liner was starting not to cause me pain [a little more shell work and a few more days skiing and i know they will be great]

it will take time, but the end result [if the shell is correct] is fantastic
post #22 of 34
Someone else may be able to help a little more with the Dobie, but it is a jr. boot. They are never as narrow as low in the instep or have as good a liner as the true plug version. The H13 is the plug version from Tecnica.

Perhaps you are not familiar with the terminology. It is a little confusing but in the world of skiing there is what is typically called a race boot that is on the wall of many shops. From Head over the years this would have been an RS100 or 110. From Tecnica it would have been Icon now Magma. These boots are race for recreational skiers only. Typically around 100mm forefoot with soft recreational liners. Great for performance skiing on the mountain.

Then there is actual race boots for kids in race programs. These are named differently, not on the wall of many shops and these are typically narrower (98mm forefoot) can be stiffer although they are also made in flexes such as 80 and even 70 (soft enough for kids and lighter skiers).

Then there are plug boots. These are used on the WC and are very narrow (96 or 95mm), typically not softer than a 120 and go to 150 and beyond. Liner is often cork filled, thin sock type lace up. THese boots can be punched but the shell is very thick and much fitting is done by grinding. A 120 flex such as the H13 could be a 14 to 16 year old race boot for either a boy or girl. Also perhaps for lighter WC women although I have seen several with stiffer boots.

post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you Lou for the explanation Lou. It might be useful as a sticky/glossary for others.

I did know the difference between plug and rec race, etc. but did not know the jr. race boots were not the same narrow last as the adult race plug boots.

What i was trying to find out was is it correct that there is a significant difference in the shape of the tecnica plug vs the dobie team 80 in particular as opposed to the generic difference between an adult race plug and a jr race boot.

Or, to put it more specifically, is it worth a major effort to find a tecnica r13 to try on as opposed to working with the dobie i have and making it work with the zip fits or confomables? The zip fits did take up the volume of the dobies. It woudl be a matter of adjusting the hot spots. but if the tecnicas are a better last/shape for my feet, it might be worth looking at that too. Finding this boot in my size is going to be a challenge and i'd prefer not to start driving all over the rockies to try to find one unless it's a significantly superior choice.

thank you for responding and for being willing to deal with such a specific question.
post #24 of 34
I thought you decided that the H13s were too stiff. Remember flex is around 120-130. Probably more like 130.

post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Lou, i was assured that the flex could easily be softened. That said, I still think it's unlikely I'd be able to find them in my size to try on anyhow, so i'm going to do as my local boot-fitter suggested and try the conform'ables and the zipfits again when the hill opens and try skiing on them.

Max pm'd me and told me that Sierra Jim shows a nordica size 4 as a 23, not a 24.5 which is the size zipfit they put me in. That might explain why it was somewhat problematic.

Just exploring the H13 as another bear said that the tecnicas had a very different shape and to ask you guys what that meant. he/she seemed to think it was worth looking into. But y'all have not given a description of how they are different other than plug vs jr. race which would not, in my mind, warrant a mad search.

I'll check back in after the next round and thank you once more for posting here.
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
test drove the new cushy zipfits yesterday at Wolf Creek. it was probably the best first day ever (but i digress).

They did OK but sadly not perfect. first two issues are hopefully resolvable by reheating/molding. one being continued foot slipping forward resulting in painful toe bang.

But the issue i am not sure what to do with is the following. The liners go up about an inch higher than the previous ones and they are made out of very stiff leather. That makes the back of the 'boot' come pretty far up my leg and about half way up my calf muscle. I'm estimating they are a good two inches too tall.

What this seems to do is make it very hard to stand up all the way in my boots. in order to lengthen my leg, even standing still out of my skis, i have to pitch way forward so that i feel like a ski jumper in mid-flight. I don't remember this sensation from these boots with the stock liners. I am already working on more extension, and this doesn't help. My husband says my skiing looks good, but i feel like i'm in a perpetual slight squat that never allows my legs to rest, even at a standstill.

Do you think i am right in blaming the high liner for this? it's acting like a big spoiler (i removed the spoilers that came with the boots, or should i say my instructor at Bob's Boot camp last year ripped them out after one run.)

If you do think i've diagnosed the issue, what to do? i've emailed the fellows at zipfit and hope they'll have an answer, but i'd like your opinion(s) too.
post #27 of 34
the first thing you may need to do is heat the zip fit and the shell at the top of the cuff, this area can be warmed and moulded to allow a little more space were you need it.. if you have a low calf muscle the effect of the liner will be exagerated, have them heated and it should be resolved pretty quickly
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, CEM.

Unfortunately, i did do that. heated both the liner and the shell per instructions. twice. Thing is, the liner has a very nice but very burly leather outer material that comes nearly up to the top, well past the boot top and it does not respond to the heating.
post #29 of 34
What you have discovered is one of the sometimes problems with Zips in that in some boots they act to increase forward lean.

Heating the shell will not help with this problem. What is required is to heat (carefully) the plastic in the liner rear spoiler area just as if it was going to be punched. Insert the liner quickly into the shell followed by your foot. Apply leverage backwards to bend the liner back. As it cools just like any punch it will stay that way.

Should help!

post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Lou. Do you mind if i ask for clarification?

you mean heat the plastic in the rear shell area or did you really mean "heat the plastic in the rear liner spoiler area",because there don't seem to be any plastic in the liner. It has a very stiff leather outer in that area that comes to about an inch fromt he top of the softer part of the liner. there is some of the corky stuff in the liner in that softer area and i will certainly try to heat and push it back, but the leather is unforgiving and not likely to bend with heat.

sorry to not 'get it' but apprecite your help. i have not heard back from zip fit folks, but presume all you boot guys are busy with the new snow and season starting. So i especially appreciate your taking the time to respond to my queries.
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