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Which Custom Foot Beds?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a new pair of custom foot beds, which would you recommend? I'm larger at 225lbs, have a high arch and instep and my foot is very rigid and unflexable. I've tried several brands and materials in the past and have never really been happy with any of them. I don't wear any kind of orthotics in my every day shoes, when I slip on my ski boots it always feel like I'm standing on a roll of quarters and end up with cramped feet. The cork foot beds seem to offer the most comfort but are they as effective as some of the other materials? What is the proper way of molding a custom foot bed, standing, sitting or sucked up in a plastic bag? Also is it possible to adjust the foot bed to compinsate for some canting issues? I've had a local boot fitter playing around with this and feel my current foot beds are now ruined. On an other issue, when adding a heel lift, should it be placed between the zeppa and the liner or inside the liner under the foot bed?
Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 13
the only way to determine which works best for you is by taking your experiences and those of your fitter and merging them, the kork beds you have had are probably the most supportive out there [or close] but as you have a high arched stable foot then they may not fill the arch cavity as much as you would like, this can be resolved by an experience fitter who may be able to add just a touch more kork or by manipulating what is already there... again this depends on the guy making them.... i prefer either vaccumed in the bag or seated, weight bearing IMO allows to much intervention from gravity which can cause the foot to lie in a less than optimum position, there are guys out there who make great product in that way but my guess that with your body weigh you would probably bottom out the pads they mould them on and end up with a very flat heel cup...
the other thing is kork is a great insulator and absorbs shoks really well

adding a heel lift i would normally work between the liner and the zeppa, there are occasion when they can be used in the liner but it depends on what you are trying to acheive
post #3 of 13
Agree with the points that CEM has made. I would like to elaborate on footbed selection.

If a ski retailer is only invested in one type of footbed, they will tell you that this brand and method of construction is the best. It would not make sense for them to do any other thing. Some have used different types over the years and made a choice as to which they believe in, or which is easiest to build, or which is the most profitable for them. Others have only built what they have known for years. More then likely if a retailer only offers and only knows one type of footbed, every customer regardless of weight, foot shape, arch flexibility, boot model (low or high volume, narrow or wide) gets the same footbed.

Some footbed brands can be easily adapted to match your personal needs, either by how they are cast, or how the foot is positioned in casting, or in the choice of materials used in the cast, post, and finish.

What is the take away of this post? The take away is that you want to get your footbed built by someone that has a good understanding of your foot, your existing problems with footbeds, and someone that will be there to help you get through the break-in period. The other piece of the equation is to get the footbed built by someone that will explain to you what they are doing and why they are doing it. So if they choose to put you in a XYZ brand footbed, make sure the reason for it makes sense to you. If the explanation does not pass the smell test, move on to the bootfitter that does.

For your particular situation, you are a big guy with an arch that sounds as if it does not flex much. As a gross generalization via the internet, it seems to me that you need a device that offers some flexibilty (perhaps softer posting material, or a device that has no posting, or just a heel stabilizer and no post arch). Without a full evaluation this is stepping out on a limb, but you sound like a candidate for a weight bearing or semi weight heat moldable blank that offers posting options.

The best advice is to find a bootfitter that can assess your needs and build a one of a kind device for you that addresses your needs.

On the subject of canting with the footbed(especially with your arch) I would not recomend it.

Get a good accommodative footbed built, have it placed in the boot on a flattened bootboard, have your cuff aligned to match your lower leg coming off the base of support, and then align your knees over your feet.
You can always play with internal tweaks down the road. So get to ground zero first. Comfortable, supported, aligned.
post #4 of 13
any my small $.02 to add to it ...

look at something that is remoldable, so if the results are not what you want the footbed can be re-done. Some / most footbeds can be ground thinner, but very hard to add more material (kork, or amfits)
Sida's can be re-heated and re-molded if needed, and are a bit softer overall.
post #5 of 13
So as you see it is possible to get very different advice on footbeds. Weight bearing vs. non-weight bearing etc. The important thing is really the understanding of the person making them. It is possible to get identical results using very different methods.

Typically we say a person with a rigid foot would prefer a softer footbed but this is during gait. Rigid feet are not as good at shock absorption as flexible feet so we use the footbed to help out. Not certain that the same rule applies inside a ski boot.

I wouldn't worry much about weight bearing vs. non-weight bearing as both methods are good in the hands of the right person. But non-weight bearing probably more easily builds a higher arch which it sounds as if you require.

Good luck

Lou
post #6 of 13
For a higher arch, the "Superfeet Kork" (full) system doesn't fill the arch well. I'd rather use a semi to full weight bearing system if the goal is to fill in the arch area.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I went with a Superfeet semi Kork. The main reason being they take up less room and I have an instep issue. The right foot is fine, I've still got an issue with the left arch cramping.
post #8 of 13
It could be as simple as poor interface between the shape of the boot and and the shape of the footbed. Or simply how the footbed was trimmed to fit into the boot.

I still contend that for how you have described your foot in terms of arch height and flexibility that your footbed has not been built to accomodate your situation or you have the wrong type of footbed.

More than likely, if you had followed the previous threads, the experts that responded seemed to lead you away from the footbed you chose:

CEM "but as you have a high arched stable foot then they may not fill the arch cavity as much as you would like"

mtlion "look at something that is remoldable, so if the results are not what you want the footbed can be re-done. Some / most footbeds can be ground thinner, but very hard to add more material (kork, or amfits)
Sida's can be re-heated and re-molded if needed, and are a bit softer overall."

Lou Rosenfeld "Typically we say a person with a rigid foot would prefer a softer footbed but this is during gait. Rigid feet are not as good at shock absorption as flexible feet so we use the footbed to help out. Not certain that the same rule applies inside a ski boot."

cantman "For a higher arch, the "Superfeet Kork" (full) system doesn't fill the arch well. I'd rather use a semi to full weight bearing system if the goal is to fill in the arch area."

starthaus "For your particular situation, you are a big guy with an arch that sounds as if it does not flex much. As a gross generalization via the internet, it seems to me that you need a device that offers some flexibilty (perhaps softer posting material, or a device that has no posting, or just a heel stabilizer and no post arch). Without a full evaluation this is stepping out on a limb, but you sound like a candidate for a weight bearing or semi weight bearing heat moldable blank that offers posting options."

For your foot, and the volume of the boot you have chosen, your footbed choice will be the hardest to work with. It is thick (high volume) and low in arch fill material (poor contact or support to the arch) And because of the fiber/foam forefoot combined with cork, does not grind well or easily to reduce volume. It takes good hand skills to thin that footbed out. Also that product does not mold as completely as a full kork which may also be an answer to your other posts about forefoot pain, and pressure on the ouside of your foot.

PS. You still need to explore your ramp angle by raising your heel.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is there a specific brand and model of custom foot bed you would reccomend? I'm open to tring most anything, I've visited three bootfitters and have come away with three different boot beds. All have told me that my with my issues I should take up snowboarding! They claim they have never seen a combination of problems like I have.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
All have told me that my with my issues I should take up snowboarding! They claim they have never seen a combination of problems like I have.
If any bootfitter tells you you should take up snowboarding, tell them they should take up burger flipping! What they are really telling you is that can't help you. Move on to a recommended bootfitter that will help.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Not many bootfitters to choose from in Minnesota!:
post #12 of 13
What about Pierce? They deal with many high performance skiers and racers in and around Minnesota. They have fitters that have attended Masterfit University, and have had training from Chris Korich with Biostance.

Hoigaards, and Joes are both Masterfit Certified and build Instaprint footbeds.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Which Custom Foot Beds?