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The incredible Duck-man (canting, heavy shoes?)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

first let's explain the title of this thread. To say I have duckfeet actually insults ducks. If a group of ducks were laughing at one duck for having duckfeet that would me be. The biggest problem with this in everyday life are with my back, but we are talking about skiing here.

The problem I have with skiing is mostly in my knees. First let's explain what happens when I am barefoot. If I put my feet in a 45 degree angle outside (so 90 degrees from eachother) I feel most comfortable. In this position I can bent my knees quite normal, even if my heels do come up after I am a few inches down. However, with skiing you have to hold your feet parallel. If I hold my feet that way I can hardly bent my knees at all. It is hard to describe what happens, but I feel it mostly just above my heels. Looking from above I can not get as far as getting my knees above my toes.

The best remedy so far for this is the use of inner soles. The superfeet principle seems to help most (tried some arch-supporting ones like Fishers but they are not so good). With orange superfeets I can bend a lot better, but still my favourite stance is with my feet outwards. When I first skied I didn't know the soles and was constantly snowplowing (which was fine with me as a beginner actually ). Later the soles made things a lot better, but still when I ski my knees will go to the inside a lot of the time (I'm lucky the new skiing allow a wider stance). As you can imagine this does not improve my skiing and besides it makes me look stupid.

At this time I am looking for new boots. I own a pair of nice Technica beginnerboots (Rival X5, size 31) that fit me reasonable, but just cannot have my weight. Furthermore I have to close them all the way to ski and then I still want more forward pressure (and they hurt some other places). But my question is if a better boot can improve the problems I have with my stance. Someone I know suggested to use the canting options, but I am not sure how, inside or outside? Actually if I try to stand with my feet parallel I don't see my legs bending somewhere. If I start running however I have terrible X-legs.

Another option I am thinking about is going for a really serious shoe like the Salomon Falcon (for some weird reason size 29,5 seems best there). A good thing about the more serious shoes is they are slim, and so is the backside of my feet. The front gets a little stuffed in the shoe however, so that is one fear (especially the Hallux Valgus that is natural with feet like mine). The thing I like about the shoe is it forces me into the forward position I need. This will improve my skiing I believe. I am not sure if this won't give me trouble in a while, because the position is not really natural for me.

The question ofcourse is what do you think? Or do you have other ideas how I can solve my problem. I know it is more common, but I am a heavy case. I am planning on trying some shoes by Head, since they are supposed to be slimmer as well. For now I am sticking with the orange Superfeet, because they seem to help me a lot (including my back btw).

To be complete some other stats:
- Male, 31
- Tall and heavy: 6'6", 215 lbs
- Hikingboot size: about 13
- Level: beginner - early intermediate, mostly groomers.
- Looking for a boot around flex 100 because of my weight and strength (I can bend a Nordica Speedmachine 14 quite a bit).
- Feet are basically very slim, especially my heels. My forefoot however is a bit broader because of my problems. I have a slight Hallux Valgus, and something similar at the side of my small toe.
- I am not an athlete, but I work in a shop with a lot of stairs and go there by bike, so I am not in a real bad shape.
- Ski's: probably they will be Head iXRC800's
post #2 of 10

I can give you the general principles. The other guys here are more current on specific boot models that may be worth tracking down.

Without going into all the biomechanical blah-blah, here's what I would suggest:

1) Not all boots are set up in parallel (0 degrees to the toe/heel lug axis). There are many available that have 2, 3, more degrees of toe out. That should be your first mission. With your alignment, the more you force your feet to be parallel, the more your knees will 'squint' or point together, making you functionally undercanted.

2) You will do better with a custom foot bed, some degree of heel lift, and likely some amount of forefoot varus wedge. On a side note, you will probably benefit from a calf stretching program.

3) After doing all the above, you may still need a touch of positive canting (underboot shims or bootsole grinding, "thick side inside").

Is there someone local to you that is good? You will need a knowledgeable bootfitter / custom footbed guy to make this happen. I would suggest you see a certified pedorthist that does bootfitting.

post #3 of 10
also look at getting your skis mounted duck too. that way your feet can stay pointed outwards a bit, and your skis are still pointing forwards.

both nordica and fischer make some offset boots. get the one that fits your foot shape the best. I think that a head edge in 31 is a lot on the huge side of things too. get the boot to fit your foot shape, then get the stance right with mounting.
post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
also look at getting your skis mounted duck too. that way your feet can stay pointed outwards a bit, and your skis are still pointing forwards.
Yup, good call. Marker makes a plate that is set up to accomodate this.
post #5 of 10
here is a link to a hidden page on our site with a stretching /strengthening plans, there are two calf stretches one for the gastrocnemius [the long muscle] and one for soleus [short muscle] enjoy www.solutions4feet.com/cp7.php
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. Since money is an issue here unfortunately I will not be able to seek them all out. For now I will have to settle on the boots (besides I chose a Head ski with railflex, ruling a duck mounting out I'd think). The boots with the outward toes sound very interesting. I can't seem to find them on the websites however, so you can help me a lot if you know some types. The high end Nordicas seem to fit reasonably (the lower are too comfortable), so that is a point to start maybe. Unfortunately the choice of boots here in the Netherlands is not so great as in places where there actually ARE mountains (surprise?), so it will take some searching probably.

At this time I will not go for a custom sole yet, also because of the money. I'm not cheap basically, but I have to make choices. It's no use spending so much on my gear I can't afford the vacations anymore. I will experiment with the heel lift though, that might not be a bad idea.

I will also try the stretching. Funny thing is I already use a couple of methods for my back problems, but those are the ones more for my upper legs and buttocks. I'll just incorporate them.

Again thanks for all the advice, not following some of it has to do with practical options, not with not appreciating it!
post #7 of 10
look at the fischer boots they have about the most abducted stance available they offer a range of boot sfrom low end to race department..... the most important piece of kit you will own is your boots, spend wisely and get them right the rest will follow
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jdistefa View Post
3) After doing all the above, you may still need a touch of positive canting
Positive means the shaft to the shaft outside I presume? This basically just helps by forcing my knees apart a little, or will it influence my whole stance?

Originally Posted by jdistefa View Post
(underboot shims or bootsole grinding, "thick side inside").
Sorry, I don't understand what you are saying here? I am no native speaker.

Originally Posted by jdistefa View Post

I have been trying a lot of Nordicas today btw, but found the same problem a lot of the time: they seem to be to wide at the top, so with the buckles completely tight the're too comfortable. Even the Speedmachine 14 does not feel quite right there, although the foot is really cozy.
post #9 of 10
Positive cuff alignment would be adjusting the upper cuffs to the outside (away from each other).

Positive cant is tipping the whole boot from underneath (hence using wedges/shims "thick side inside") to the outside.

Although these adjustments sounds similar, they have different effects re. changing the position of center of knee mass relative to the inside (working) edge.

Hope that helps.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
It helps. My English is not bad, but if things get more technical it is harder. Thanks.

I understand the difference between the two. I think I'll start experimenting a bit.
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