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Heel movement

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Background: My boots are 05-06 Head WC RS 80, I have custom foot beds and shell work done. The 100mm racing last was cut down to nothing more than a plastic innersole and my liner had the plastic heel reinforcements removed. Stick-on L shaped heel retainers were installed. I have flat feet. My street shoe size is 10-10.5 (used to be 10.5-11, they shrank now that I dont walk as much) and these boots are only a 27.5 (or was the 26.5; have to confirm).

The Situation: I like to go fast, I also am into the whole racing thing (not very good but getting better). Since getting my boot custom fitted I have much more control and confidence as a result it. The boots are very snug, at the begining of the day my toes are literaly bent, it eases up after a while. However, due to the flat feet I have fitment issues as you would imagine. The boots are 100% better now since the customizing (unbearable before), but I think I still have too much heel lift.

The Bottom Line: So my question is, in a performance/race boot, should there be ANY independent foot movement from the boot aside from maybe being able to wiggle your toes? I emphasize ANY movement at all.

My heels dont so much as lift, but seem to unweight a little more than I am comfortable with. So what I end up doing is tightening up the cuff to push me back in. This in turn means I have to unbuckle after each run or the pain begins. All advice appreciated.

Oh almost forgot, at times it seems that the problem is the liner moving within the shell not my foot swimming around in the very snug liner.

post #2 of 10
Some very good observations here.
about heel lift, I like to look at padding above the instep to stop the heel lift. Some try to wedge under the heel but that changes the ramp angle and if you don't need to change the ramp, don't. if you cut at pad to fit above the tounge on top of the foot you will find that if the foam is firm enough it will lock the heel down so you don't have to buckle so much which will be good for your skiing.

This is not a full blown race boot so the foam in the linner is going to be a bit puffy. So it may seem like there is more movement than you might expect.

The liner moving inside the boot is real, that can be very unsettling to find a good balance point. This boot especially the boot board is hard plastic that is sort of slippery. the bottom of the liner is also a bit slippery and they don't hold much. No great suggestions other than something sticky
Possibly a ZIP FIT.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
That really might be the solution, I will try to put something in between the liner and last that will increase the friction thereby reducing the slippage.

I also suspect that since this boot is more recreational than full on race it just might be too soft in the padding department, maybe what I need is something a bit more serious with a thinner/harder liner. But then I face freezing my feet after a full day. Decisions, decisions........

Still I ask, is there supposed to be any movement?

Thank you.
post #4 of 10
Richie I was surprised by the boot you are in and your emphasis on performance. The two don't really fit together for a man. Fine for a junior. So your issue with moving may be simply that you are too heavy for the boot you are in.

That said if by movement you mean the ability to articulate your foot from a pronated to supinated position inside the boot, yes there should be some ability to move. Hw much is difficult to describe but I will say that a boot properly done with space around the navicular, medial and lateral malleoli too allow foot articulation does not need to feel loose. If the overall fit is good

Heel hold down comes from the overall fit and not from having the boot tightly clamped around the ankles. So be careful of clamping the foot into place with the instep buckles.

You may not want to hear this but I suspect you should be looking at a much lower volume boot, with more shell stiffness and a better liner.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your insight Lou, yeah getting a new boot was not an expense I was really planning until another year or two, but I have considered that this might be the root my problem.

I would love to buy the new Raptor boots, but the price is still steep. Do you think buying the same boot I have in the RS100 flavor or the RD plug would be worth it, or hold out for a new Raptor boot? (I like the fit with Head boots, tried all the rest, extreme discomfort out of the box).
post #6 of 10
Well an RD plug bears no more relationship to what you are skiing now than a Ferrari does to a Pinto. Any of the boots you've listed would be better than what you have now. I never see fit as an issue, but of course my job is to make boots fit.

Can't advise on specific boots as I don't know anything about your foot, but the boot you are skiing now is essentially a jr. boot so any performance boot in a 100 or more flex would be better.
post #7 of 10

Instep pads

Here is the procedure I was taught by DavidM for instep pads. Originally I replaced the lower foam in the tongue with the customized foam, but Martin Olsen said he was using them tucked under his sock, so I tried that and it worked well. However, the two aren't transferable, meaning you can't swap one for the other, they require different sizes and moldings. I swear by them. I ussually make a new pair every year, and have made a few in my locker room. I have some foam available for a very modest price if you are interested. I had to buy more than I will ever use.

Directions for instep pad forming

First a little about the foam. I was originally sent several samples of foam from a regional rep. I chose to order two types of foam and was directed to a company called Norseman Allfoam Industries. I bought the minimum order of two large sheets of foam. I bought one sheet of plastizote LD 45 density pink and one sheet of Evazote 50 density gray. Even though the gray evazote is a little denser, I found the pink plasticize to perform better and last longer. The evazote does compress more, so if you a pressed for room, this might be a better solution. Both can be heat molded, carved, and sanded.

First determine how big a piece you need. I use a piece around 3x5, sometimes 6 inches long. I like the foam to reach from the ball of the big toe up at least an inch above the ankle joint. Find the ankle joint with your finger. You will feel the direction change as your finger moves onto your leg. Go at least an inch above this, and a person can try 2” or more as you can always cut back the foam if it doesn't perform right.

You need these items in preparation of heat forming the foam.

Toaster oven
ski sock that will ski in, later
narrow piece of old towel or t-shirt, at least 16” long.
Two pieces of 6”to 8” dowel or two wood pencils etc.
Short piece of 2x4 or something narrower than your foot to place your foot on while forming the foam, placed on edge.
snap off razor knife from office supply or hardware

Do these next steps one piece of foam at a time. Mark the foam pieces right and left.

Heat the foam in the toaster oven for 8-10 minutes between 180 and 200 hundred degrees. While it is heating, roll the two dowels or pencils up towards each other in the old piece of towel, leaving about 6-8 inches of fabric between them. You will use this to press the foam down over your instep. Now put your sock on, as the foam gets a little warm to put on bare skin.

Once the foam is heated, place your foot on the 2x4 so that you can pull the fabric down around your foot. Create a little bend in your ankle so that this angle equates to the forward lean in your boots. Place the foam over your instep making sure it covers the foot equally. Next press the towel firmly down over the foam, keeping the towel as even as possible, and hold for two minutes. Important, don't shorten the time. Once you get one piece done do the next.

Once the foam has been formed and cooled (not long), I take my socks off and place them on my instep to see how they are fitting. Then I take a pen and trace around the corner to round them. I will usually reduce the width of the foam that goes above the ankle at this time also. Take a pair scissors and cut the lines you have marked. Then I slowly cut all the way around the edge of the foam holding the scissors at 45 degrees. This will bevel the top outside edge. Go slow and carefully here. Don't cut into the bottom of the foam, just the side and top, to bevel the sides to the top. Usually at this time I take the razor knife and slowly, cutting away from my hand, start to shave the edge down more. One thin slice at a time. You want the foam edge to smoothly go from thick to thin at the edge. All the way around the perimeter. Remember, don't take off to much! The idea is to mate this upper outside surface of the foam to the shape of the inside of your boot. Just ease the edge enough to start the process. Next put your sock back, pulling just back to the heel. Place the foam onto your instep just where it was when formed. Then pull the sock up over the foam. The next is to place your foot in your boot, drive your heel back in the heel pocket, and loosely buckle your buckles. Feel for hot spots and pressure spots. Leave them one for several minutes, then take them off remembering where the pressure/hot spots are. The idea now is to slowly shave the foam to fit the boot. Remember, even a 1/16” or 1 mm will make a noticeable difference. I shoot for general, even pink skin on my instep. Not bright red but a subtle pink. This means I have the pressure even over this area. To me this is very important. I will go no further until I get the boot on snow. After the final adjustments are made I sand it smooth with a small block of wood rapped in sandpaper. A foam sanding block from the hardware store would also work well.

Read this, think it through.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Whoa, lots of info there Ric, thank you. I will have to study this a bit to see it all in my mind's eye.
post #9 of 10
That was pretty much a how to do it. DavidM's reasoning behind this was to keep the foot mated well with the bottom of the boot without squeezing the foot from the sides as well, allowing the foot to move naturally within the ski boot environment, enhancing balance and body movements above the foot. I really noticed a differenced right from the first turn. So if you want to keep your heel from lifting this takes you a long way towards that goal with an added benefit that other methods of heel retention won't give.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thats exactly what I want to acheive thanks.
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