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Toe Bang

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Looking for any wisdom that can be offered...

My wife is a strong but cautious intermediate-advanced skier who tends to stay to relatively groomed terrain due to a previous slipped disc injury. Her problem is this: as her fatigue increases, she is less able to control her right leg due to the nerve damage from the back injury; as a result, she tends to stand higher to compensate. When she hits the typically uneven conditions at the end of the day, she bangs her right toes against the front of the boot just enough to cause bruising of the big toe (resulting in a lost toe nail by end of season).

She is currently in a Lange CRL 80W boot and the shell fit and flex seem really good for her (she has a long, narrow foot with small volume and a relatively low arch). Sizing of the boot has not been an issue in any respect except for the problem mentioned above. Any suggestions about ways to manage her problem would be welcome.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 13
Two thoughts
Get her in a private lesson. Find her a pro that knows how to help her deal with balancing better first of all. this will help her conserve precious energy and will allow her to begin to work from the front of the boot. That should work for her but only if she is in contact with the front of the boot.

Second this lesson will help her toe as well because the only thing that will cause toe bang is being back.

If you end up skiing with her before the lesson try buckling the boots in a new way. First do up the power strap underneath the plastic. So that when you buckle up the boots the power strap is not seen outside the plastic. This will connect her shin to the toung no matter where she is. Then get her with a pro.

There is no miracle equipment fix here unless the boot is just obsenly large. even then, if you can manage to be forward the toes will not hit the front of the shell.

Did I mention taking a lesson?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. We take private lessons each year to tune up technique. The issue really is only when she physically has to straighten up to compensate for the loss of strength in her leg (yeah, I know she could just stop earlier, before the leg gets tired, but she likes to max out her time on the hill just like any of us). Will definitely suggest the booster strap idea. Given that she averages 25-35 days on the hill with a permanent injury like she has, I'm grateful for anything that will help her keep doing what she loves.

Again, thanks for the suggestions.
post #4 of 13
she is using a custom footbed of somekind? this will help to hold the heel back (so the toe doesn't go forward)

Also you can get the liner opened up a bit by cutting the seam of the liner over the toe, and get the shell stretched a bit too.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks mntlion. She is using the green superfeet inserts - I'm presuming from your comments that a custom footbed would be worthwhile. Thanks for your pointers.
post #6 of 13
Your wifes injury makes it absolutely necessary that she stand up straighter and as you have discovered this forces her toes into the front of the boot. In a boot as soft as the one she is skiing in, she should be able to flex even if the boot is more upright.

I would try an experiment. I regularly use five mm toe risers outside the boot to change boot ramp angle. This of course also changes the cuff angle relative to the ski and will permit skiers to stand more upright without banging their toes. Problem with that in your case is it is relatively permanent and most shops don't install toe lifts.

However you can accomplish the same thing with a lift under the binding toe. Easily accomplished, all that is necessary is piece of plastic and longer screws. To gauge some idea of effectivness put 5mm shim under toe of boot while your wife is standing in the boots at home. I think you will see she is immediately able to stand taller without pounding her toes.

I will venture to say the new position will even eliminate her fatigue anyway.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lou - I was wondering about something like this, although with my limited knowledge, I was hesitant to even consider or suggest this. Thanks for your help!
post #8 of 13
No problem. Just noticed you are in BC. If you will be over here just call
post #9 of 13
Supporting Lou's posts, you may want to try cutting up some bontex insole shims (3mm thick ones) to make small 1" x 2" rectangles to place between the afd and the boot sole. This will allow her to experiment before doing anything irreversible.

Perhaps a tongue shim would help too?

What is her boot sole length? what model bindings is she using? This will help determine her delta angle. If she has a relatively short boot sole and is in a binding model that has a big variance between afd height and heel height, she will probably benefit from the toe lifts elluded to by Lou.
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Perhaps a tongue shim would help too?
This is a key point.

Before reinventing her stance with shims and gas pedals etc. let's examine what is likely happening........

Standing straight will apply pressure from her calf on the boot spoiler. This in turn will use the spoiler as a fulcrum to lever her foot forward inside the shell (assuming it can move)

Given your description of the foot, low volume, low arch (which usually means low instep too) and a boot that is not particularly low volume nor low in the suspicion is that she is submarining under the "roof" of the boot.

Step one would be to modify her fit such that it is harder for her to submarine. A tongue shim with emphasis on filling the void at the turn of the instep will often do wonders to secure the foot in the rear of the boot.

Step two would be to work with fore/aft balance to better minimize her challenges.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys, for more great ideas. Bud - I'll have to go and check the info re sole length. As for bindings, her main ones right now are Salomon Z10 Smartrack (wondering about angle of lift?). SJ - thanks for the suggestions about the tongue shim.

As for foot shape, her foot is very much narrow, long and thin (street show size 9-9.5 - have to look at mondo point on boot but I know that it is appropriately downsized). Given that the boots are several years old, we are willing to look a new boots. Any suggestions about a model that will fit this type of foot shape?

Thanks again guys!
post #12 of 13
Judging from her size 9-9.5 foot and the Salomon binding, I don't see an issue with too much delta. It would be worth experimenting though to see if she likes it better with her toes lifted or heels lifted?

If she has an extremely narrow foot (like my wife) it can be very difficult getting her snug laterally in the boot. You may want to try the Zip Fit lace up wrap which goes around the stock liner and laces up. It also has some flow material in it which will snug up around her foot without affecting the length inside the boot.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Bud - thanks for the info about the Zip Fit liners. We'll definitely have a look at those.
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