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New boots causing dramas - any advice?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi all

I've been through about 7 weeks of boot nightmares (which is a lifetime in Australia as the season here only lasts for about 14 weeks on average!

My old boots were Salomon X-Wave 10's in a 27.0 (I always thought they were 27.5's but the box says 27.0). Bought them in 2001 and these have been great. Had to have the side punched on my right foot where the widest part of my foot is, but other than that I can't complain. Heel hold could have been slightly better but all in all it worked. I have quite wide and flat feet but narrow heels.

Problem was that I did 2 days in Banff (Sunshine & Lake Louise) in Mar 08 and after the 2nd day the hair, skin etc had been shredded on my shins to the point where they were weeping for a week and then had scabs on them for 4 weeks. Sorry for the gore but it illustrates my problem. When I ski on them now I can only last 1.5 days before I feel it happening again which forces me to head in for the day.

So off I went to a reputable boot fitter in Melbourne. Tried on Technica, Lange, Nordica,one of the Dalbellos and finally Head. Ended up in the Raptors (110 flex). The 27.5 felt good and the 26.5 felt amazingly snug but even better. Despite there being less than a finger's width with my foot in the shell I thought that these were the boots from heaven until I went skiing. Perfect for the first 4 days and then everything went wrong. The problem is I can't explain it....they still feel snug & tight when they're on but my skis now have a mind of their own & I find myself backseat on runs I used to power down. No idea how this is possible - I have almost zero heel lift, I played with the canting as I seemed to ride the inside edge a bit but that didn't help much. I seem to not be able to control my left ski nearly as much as my right. All in all I have spent the last 4 weekends hating skiing and not being confident enough to ski the steeps and chutes I normally love. Whats worse is we had 2 ft of fresh on the weekend and all I could do was struggle through it

Finally gave up after this weekend and ended up renting boots as I was so frustrated. Ironically, with my footbeds in the rental boots I managed to turn better than my new ones (only just but it was noticable). That did it. I took the boots back to the shop (which have a fit guarantee) and said I can't ski on these boots any more.

I am going back to my old boots (as i'd rather manage the pain and be able to ski well for 2 hours a day than not at all) but I have some questions:

1. Is this type of shin-bang common and can it easily be fixed with an "eliminator" or foam pad? In other words, is this a relatively easy thing to fix whereby I can avoid new boot shopping?

2. Given my foot dimensions (listed below), would you have put me in the Raptors and, if not, can you suggest any to try (if I can muster up the confidence and energy to go through the boot buying process again)? Even though my left foot is longer than my right, it always seems to be the one that feels less snug in boots. I think this may have something to do with my heel anatomy as a heel lift seems to help a lot. Does that seem right?

3. This may sound silly, but if my x-wave 10's were good, would it not seem logical for the fitter to try me in the newer models of Salomon like the falcon or impact? I purposefully did not say anything as I didn't want to steer them in any direction as I thought there was more chance that he would "fit" me more objectively.

3. Should I just go with Strolz boots? There is a dealer in Sydney and I am that desparate that I will fly there to get boots made if there is no other option!

Left Foot
Sole length = 280mm
Width = 110mm
Instep circ = 275mm (approx)

Right Foot
Sole length = 274mm
Width = 111mm
Instep circ = 275mm (approx)

Any advice you can give will be most appreciated as i'm all out of ideas.
post #2 of 26
welcome to the world of stance balancing
post #3 of 26
not a lot more to add than what greg has said, sounds like the fit was right but the set up either fore/aft or laterally or probably both was out,

you need to find a fitter who can offer these services as well as fitting the boot, I know the availability of services round your area [country] is limited, but i am sure there are a few guys who know their stuff
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski-77 View Post
Problem was that I did 2 days in Banff (Sunshine & Lake Louise) in Mar 08 and after the 2nd day the hair, skin etc had been shredded on my shins to the point where they were weeping for a week and then had scabs on them for 4 weeks. Sorry for the gore but it illustrates my problem. When I ski on them now I can only last 1.5 days before I feel it happening again which forces me to head in for the day.

1. Is this type of shin-bang common and can it easily be fixed with an "eliminator" or foam pad? In other words, is this a relatively easy thing to fix whereby I can avoid new boot shopping?


This is not 'shin bang', this is caused by your lower leg rotating inside the boot. You mention later that you have footbeds, what type?

You also mention flat feet, flat feet cause your ankle to roll and your Tib/ Fib to rotate, grinding your skin off.

You need to start with a solid foundation for your foot, better than what you now (apparently) have.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys - in my x-wave's I have Comformable footbeds (done in 2000) I'm going to try replacing them with the new beds I had done for the Raptors and see how I go with that.

Thanks Whiteroom - that makes sense as I found the skin to be rubbed to the sides which confirm your explanation. The new footbeds for my Raptors are Insta-Print. They have tried to build up the arches a bit to help support my flat feet. Hopefully this will stop the tib/fob roll.

The fitter had a go at canting but with interesting results. I'm not obviously knock-kneed or bow-legged but on the neutral setting my inner leg rubs the insides of the shell. I cranked the canting as much as I could to avoid this but it seems strange to me that I would need to have it on such an extreme setting when I don't fall into the bow legged/knock knee categories.

The problem as I see it is that I have heel wedges etc in the new boots to help get a better fit. I'm assuming this will change the fore/aft stance and hence i'd have to compromise either fit or balance. I guess i'm just so jaded that I can't bear the thought of another wasted weekend trying to make these boots work. Kinda lost confidence in them if that makes sense.

Given that its unlikely I will get a full refund (more likely a credit), should I start from square one again and try the new Salomon range, or keep trying to get these Raptors working?..... :-(
post #6 of 26
Hi Ski-77,
There are a lot of targets to shoot at regarding fore/aft balance.

Another factor involving femoral/torso alignment (stance balance) would have to be the customers calf size(circumference) verses there boots forward lean. This may seem simplistic, but we started measuring all our clients calf circumference at the top of the liner about 3 years ago. We take into account that most of the boots on the market have settled on a 14 degree forward lean---(yes,there are exceptions) without any means of adjustment. It turns out that if the client has between 13 and 14 inches of circumference he will be able to have good femoral/torso alignment. For each 1 inch increase in calf circumference above 14 inches you can figure on the cuff pushing the clients knee 0.32 inches forward----Circumference divided by Pi will give you diameter,(the opposite occurred in rear entry boots---there I said something good about rear entry boots!!).

As the circumference decreases below 13 inches the knee will move rearward causing the client to stand more upright behind center (add a spoiler-maybe 2). As long as the boot fitter has a good working knowledge of his boot inventory, it is fairly easy to determine how far the boot top needs to move. It happens we manufacture a tool (not sales pitch)which allows us to bend (with heat) the top of the cuff rearward (both boots to the same angle at the same time) to accommodate this issue. See the tool at http://southern-ski-tools.southernski.com/tjs4.html We have had great results using this method.

miketsc
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
most of the boots on the market have settled on a 14 degree forward lean---(yes,there are exceptions) without any means of adjustment.
miketsc
An interesting point that you raise miketsc. Looking at the datasheet for my boots it seems that the forward angle on them is 17 degrees. If I am understanding what you are saying correctly, there is a good chance that this is too much forward lean for me and so my torso is sitting back to compensate for this. That would definitely explain why I feel like I can't get forward on steeper terrain and feel totally out of control when skiing steeps in fresh snow - I just seem to steer from the rear and not get my skis around like I could in my old boots.

Question for all of you experienced fitters though - in your experience, how much difference do these fine tunes really make. I mean, if I was able to get my forward lean, canting etc etc to their "optimal" spot, is this only a fine adjustment to one's skiing or could it really account for the dramatic change to my control and ability between my old & new boots?

As an update, given that the stock liners packed out in 7 days (which only exacerbated the other issues), I am looking at getting new liners put in. After reading the other threads, it looks like I have to decide between Intuition and Zipfit. I like the idea that if I hit a dead end with these new boots I can always move the Zipfits back to my old ones. That said i'm not sure if I have enough room in the Raptors for Zipfits.....plus I have a wide forefoot and my toes are already squished in the Raptors so not sure how I will go with the smaller toe-box in the Zips.

Silly question, but when my bootfitter talks about "plug" liners....what does he mean? Are these just low volume liners for race/low-volume boots? If so, does Zipfit do one of these too?

Sorry for all the questions, I just really want to get to the bottom of all this, fix my boots, and enjoy skiing again....BEFORE the season is over!

Cheers

Ski-77
post #8 of 26

fore/aft balance

Hi Again,

So Lets measure the circumference of your calf at the top of the liner---if it's more than 14 inches, you may need to modify the top 3 to 4 inches of the shell (bend rearward)to allow you to ski in a more upright stance. This will be a MAJOR improvement in your control as you ski, it will free up your skis at the end of each turn(you probably have to step or hop to initiate a turn).
Some of the boot manufacturers(race boots) have added forward lean to load the tail of the ski = more speed, others are doing the opposite(more upright) which accomplishes the same thing. In recreational skiing this will overload the tail at the end of the last turn and cause most of us to step the "uphill ski" to free the tail from the snow (extra work), as terrain gets steeper this complicates things. I can't think of a good reason to be doing anything extra!!! By the way this extra forward lean will push your toes up into the toe box of the boot making them feel short/to tight--bend the boot and that problem will disappear.
Good luck
miketsc
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
You pretty much described my situation perfectly. Weight seems to be on the uphill ski when trying to stop or bleed off speed on steeps, can't seem to pull out of a turn...its all there.

Will measure my calf circumference tonight and let you know. Can this stance issue also be rectified by changing the boot board angle - ie. grinding the heel down?
post #10 of 26
Remember that cuff alignment is not canting and calling it such sometimes confuses the members here. Moreover it is not something that can be just played with, there is a method for setting and yes it can make a huge difference. As you are starting to learn all the adjustments capable fitters do to boots can make a huge difference in how well you can ski and is the primary reason for seeking them out.

Lou
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Good point Lou. I think there are a few quite skilled bootfitters in and around Melbourne but i'm not sure they have the depth of experience that you guys do. I guess I have to work with what i've got for now. If I can't get these boots right I will try to book a ski holiday to Nth America and hopefully work with one of you guys to fit a boot over a week or so of skiing.

Miketsc - I measured my calf circumference at the top of the liner last night and got a measurement of between 13.5 & 14 inches (depending on how you orient the measuring tape). Its certainly not more than 14 inches, if anything its slightly less. Does this provide you with any clues (I know you can't make any 100% definitive statements from half a world away but your thoughts are appreciated)?
post #12 of 26
It is possible that some guys from Hotham will be coming to work with me for our winter, but not completely arranged yet. I don't know any names in your area to recommend yet. However, I am in conversation with a Hotham shop and a guy name of Richard Neville. Perhaps he can help.
post #13 of 26

forward lean

I looked up your Head "Raptor" boots---they have a 17 degree forward---you have a 14 inch calf---your knee is to far forward---take out the spoiler completely(if it has one still in it). you still might need to have the top 4 inches of the shell pulled back(about a third of an inch) to allow you to stand up correctly.

This excess forward lean will push your toes up to the front of the boot "ouch" and back seat you all over the mountain. By the way, have someone check the boot board angle in them, depending on your ankle dorsiflexion ability you may need some adjustment--also some times the boot boards don't have the same angles(back to front and side to side)--make them equal.
post #14 of 26
mike, the zeppa angle in the raptor is around 5 degrees so a net forward lean of 12 degrees, with a 2 degree varus angle heel to mid foot [on the ones i have just measured] but there seems to be some amount of variance in these things from boot to boot

will you be at masterfit in stratton this year?

colin
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post
mike, the zeppa angle in the raptor is around 5 degrees so a net forward lean of 12 degrees, with a 2 degree varus angle heel to mid foot [on the ones i have just measured] but there seems to be some amount of variance in these things from boot to boot

will you be at masterfit in stratton this year?

colin
Hi CEM,

5 degrees is a fairly "low" boot board angle(=racing) some folks who have a lot of dorsiflexion might need that setting--this low angle will causes a lot of people to sit back--a heel lift "might" be in order here.

Work related issues will limit my ability to attend MFU this season.

miketsc
post #16 of 26
mike, i just picked another couple off the rack to test , depending on the model there are two different angles the RS models have 5-5.5 degrees a little bit size dependant the RD model has 3.0 -3.5 degrees again size dependant

i wouldn't consider 5-5.5 to be an exceptionally low angle but combined with the 17degree forward lean it is a whole different story
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post
mike, i just picked another couple off the rack to test , depending on the model there are two different angles the RS models have 5-5.5 degrees a little bit size dependant the RD model has 3.0 -3.5 degrees again size dependent

i wouldn't consider 5-5.5 to be an exceptionally low angle but combined with the 17degree forward lean it is a whole different story
Hi CEM,

I am adjusting forward lean first,(and foremost)(get this problem out of the way) as it will affect "COM" the most, if the skier has anything more than 14 inches of circumference, (here we have a 17 degree forward lean angle). Ski-77 stated he had a 13.5-14 in calf, so I feel the issue needing attention is the "Raptors" forward lean

I do take into account boot board angle as a contributor to COM instability, It is important to consider all aspects that contribute to a good femoral/torso position(skier hip/shoulder at or slightly ahead of ski center when in motion).

Femoral/torso issues should be adjusted to something near the same position as skier who has a 13-14 in circumference calf. I feel that this("COM" position) is often overlooked and affects a great many skiers.

Many of the recreational boots we check have bootboard angles of 6-8 degrees which seems to work well for a lot of folks. 3 degrees (wow)
will drop the skiers heel in the boot using up available ranges of motion, also causing the ski to scoot out from under you, while a higher angle would contribute to ROM if the skier has limited dorsiflection.

"COM" so very important, so often really "messed up"

miketsc
post #18 of 26

addition to above post

In one of the boot test issues in 1999 (Ski Magazine) they noted that the top of the boot cuff was the "Gross area of control"meaning the area of greatest leverage. It is easy to imagine that if "Your center of mass" is off up there(top of boot), then all inputs to the boot/ski will be affected detrimentally.

miketsc
post #19 of 26
i think a lot of the really low angles in the race boots is becoming more of an issue with the new FIS regs..the 43mm sole of foot to sole of boot has forced the boot makers to shave more off the heel of the zeppa to lower the heel to fall within regs and avoid having to rebuild the moulds for the boots..... both Head and atomic have this high and low zeppa dependant on the boot model raptor RS and race tech CS both have the higher zeppa where the RD and the Ti have the lower zeppa and consequenly flatter angle...100% with you on the extreme nature of this, but FIS have decreed and the boot makers/fitters need to comply
post #20 of 26
I agree with you Colin, but venture to add that some of this is driven by the racing guy's noting that by lowering the heel, you will ride the tail of the ski more(watch "Bode" race slalom)---the back of the ski is the FAST end. You generally see the lower angles in the race level boots.

miketsc

by the way are you going to Stratton for Masterfit?
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketsc View Post
I agree with you Colin, but venture to add that some of this is driven by the racing guy's noting that by lowering the heel, you will ride the tail of the ski more(watch "Bode" race slalom)---the back of the ski is the FAST end. You generally see the lower angles in the race level boots.
Funnily enough Bode races on Heads and their marketing pitch is that the Raptor was designed with his input. Probably stands to reason then that he's designed the boot to help ride the tails.

FYI - I have the Raptor Supershape (RS). I believe the zeppa angle is 5 degrees according to the specs.

Miketsc - Not sure if the spoiler is in the boot but will have a look. Other than that, what is the best way of getting my COM right? Is it by increasing the zeppa? If so should I get them to grind down the front of the baseboard as well as putting in a heel lift? I'm not sure if they have the tools to bend the back of the boots out but will ask them. I have a feeling i'm going to have to manage them and the work they do on my boots (based on your suggestions) as they can't seem to come up with any answers, yet you guys have and i've described it the same way to the fitters in the shop.

You all seem to have hit the nail on the head though - I'm definitely backseat in the Raptors (and after skiing fine on my old x-waves on the weekend have confirmed that its not me, its the boots). Plus my toes are painfully jammed and curled into the front of the boots. I'm becoming more and more jaded with this shop as the first time I was in there, the owner put a heel wedge in my left boot to account for the different anatomy of my left foot. When I got more work done by the "original" bootfitter (apparently from Whistler BC), he had taken it out because, and I quote, "he wasn't a fan of heel lifts". I'm not sure i'm liking the way this is going but i'm a bit stuck given i've purchased the boots there.
post #22 of 26
There is a lot of information flying here and it may not be correct. Since changing your boot board angle back should you not like the change is a little involved I would make changes under your binding first. If it works and you like the change then you can make it in your boot if you like, but be careful.

I disagree that boot forward lean is the primary controller of COM position and would say that ramp angle is the primary controller. Also boot board angle changes according to boot length so you can only be certain of the angle in your boots by measuring your boots or another Head Raptor that is the same size.

Five degrees of zeppa angle is middle of the road, but definitely not low and in my opinion probably to high. Don't forget that your bindings may have ramp angle as well and binding ramp adds to zeppa and increases effective forward lean as well.

Too much forward lean can definitely help you smash your toes as can too much ramp.

If you would like to try an experiment to understand the effect on COM of forward lean and ramp try the following:

with your feet flat on the floor slowly squat until your heel just begins to lift, through most of this range of motion you will feel that your weight will still primarily be on your heels.

Now lean slightly forward and do the same range of motion squat. You will find that weight has moved slightly onto the balls of your feet but still may be primarily on your heels.

Now assuming your foot is 27 cm long place a lift 3/4" just under the very rear portion of your heel. The angle from heel to ball of foot will be approximately 5 deg. Try the same experiment and I will bet you will not be able to move nearly so far forward before you shift all weight onto the ball and even over balance onto your toes or even fall over forward. Leaving the angle at 5 deg solving the problem will involve you sitting back.

Anyway not every one will agree with me but suggest you try experiment and work way to play on snow before you make permanent changes.

Lou
post #23 of 26
I've been known to make math mistakes but believe this is correct. I am 6'2" tall and COM questions reasearched online show that for average males COM is .56 of total height. Therefore my COM is 41.44 inches from the ground. My foot is a 10.5 US. and the distance from the centre of my calcaneus to the ball of my foot is 5 in. I assume that during normal standing my COM acts through a spot just below a line joining my medial and lateral malleoli. Therefore the 5 in.

A three deg. ramp angle moves by COM forward by 2 in. or nearly half of the allowable amount to move my COM forward of my ball of foot. 7 deg ramp moves my COM 5 in., or to nearly falling on my face with virtually no safety margin to maintain balance as speed changes due to changing terrain when skiing.

Sorry but I disagree about importance of forward lean. Most important controller of COM is ramp angle.

Lou
post #24 of 26
lou, i'm not disagreeing with you but there are two things in play here, zeppa angle will tip the foot and therefor the COM forward or backwards, the forward lean will close the ankle joint and restrict the ROM which will interfere with the position of the COM

flattening out the zeppa combined with the binding delta by using under binding plates on the toes or gas pedalling the boot will bring the cuff into a more upright starting position but the internal angle will remain the same, adding a heel lift will reduce that internal angle and therfore open the ankle joint, i think a combination of both may well be in order, unfortunatley it is difficult to assess this over the internet and if i was to suggest anything to ski-77 it would be to do the experiments as Lou has suggested then take a few bits of material up onto the hill and play with diferent options to see what changes and how it feels...as for a boot fitter who doesn't like heel lifts...proabaly because they tend to get used as the cure all by many fitters and possibly they didn't do for him what they did for somone else.

Mike, yes stratton, after a couple of days in boston hopefully running into my good friend the A1 did the flights on points so couldn't get out any later than the monday in cattle class, and to get home the saturday flight will be in upper class...pure luxury...which i will need as when it lands on sunday morning i am jumping straight on another plane to scotland to present a walking boot fitting course whcih starts in Aberdeen[way north] on the monday

you don't know anyone driving up form Boston do you?..would save me renting a car, happy to pay fuel etc
post #25 of 26
Colin:
Suggest we move this discussion to Shop Talk.
post #26 of 26
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