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Heel lifts

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

First let me say thank you for answering our questions. The forum is great!

I have a few questions about heel lifts. I have a Tecnica Diablo Race 130. The boot has too much forward lean for me. I have to change the angle of the foot relative to the tibia. For that i need some heel lifts.
The question is: where exactly should i put them and how long should they be? I do not have access to boot fitters but i have learned a lot from reading the posts from Epic. What should i use for the materials? Is plastic good?
I know that i may have to decrease the external ramp angle after the heel lifts installation. The Diablo Race was a bad choice for me but i hope that i can make it work. I tested the boot on snow altering the external ramp angle but it didn't help me much because the problem is with the angle of the foot relative to the tibia. Once the correct angle is found, i can modify the external ramp angle for good balance on the skis.

Thank you.
post #2 of 17
Cork are best and can be bought in 2mm increments giving you plenty of scope for trails. Sizes vary in length but are not too important unless in really smal feet. The Cork heel lift should be placed on the Boot board or Zeppa which fills the cavity in the the clog (lower shell)
post #3 of 17
I have sold the race pro series now for several years and in general agree about the forward lean. I wish they would reduce it and the ramp angle. However, the boot fits many people well, comes in a variety of flexes and a huge range of sizes so it sells well.

If you can find the cork zoo is talking about it works well. In general the materials most shops use for heel lifts are to soft to do anything effective. If you can't find the cork you may be able to find a material called Nickelplast. It is often used by orthotist/prosthetists to make footbeds and braces.

I agree you may have to externally reduce ramp however without a boot fitter this will be difficult to do on the boot. Best way that most shops could tackle would be a lift under the binding toe.

Now after all the advice let me ask "how have you assessed the setup and decided that you must increase dorsiflexion in the boot"?

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I will see what i can find for lifters. I have some 2 mm plastic lifters from a WC plate that i can cut and put on the boot board. I hope that they will not be uncomfortable under the liner.

The Diablo Race has been around for 5 years now (including the '09 season). The stance was a dissappointment for me. It had too much forward lean and a pretty high ramp angle as well. I also own the Icon XT-17. That boot was much better for me. It had a great stance (for me) and it is that stance i am trying to achievee with the Race.

I tested different ramp angles by lifting the toe of my bindings. I know that it is hard to shim the boot lugs because you have to router them back to DIN. That is not easy for a non boot fitter. That had almost no effect. I still felt out of balance on my skis. I do not lack dorsiflexion. I knew that i had to change the angle of the foot relative to the tibia.

Something very interesting happened that i cannot explain at this moment. When i was skiing the boot w/o the rear spoiler i was almost always in the back seat. Immediately after i put it back in i was out of the back seat.

The stance i am trying to achieve is the XT stance. With the XT the pressure was evenly distributed between the forefoot and heel. If a boot forces me to have more pressure on the forefoot then i know that it is not good for me. The aggressive forward lean from the Diablo forces my knee to move forward and, as a result, the pressure moves over the forefoot. Again, i played with lifters and no matter how much the external ramp is reduced, i am not in balance. How does that translate on snow? I find it hard to move forward into the turn! Sometimes on steep slopes i find myself in the back seat at the end of the turn. So something must be done to be balanced on the ski and move forward into the turn. I also have a SL race ski and i have to say that for aggressive carving the stance works (because i use cross under and the aggressive FL is good for that) but for steep pitches where i make skidded turns it can be tricky. I even fell once last season and at that time i had no idea that the Diablo was guilty for it. Now i know for sure.

I still cannot understand why i was in the back seat with the spoiler removed. It should have been better but it was worse. Perhaps the ramp angle was reduced too much because at that time i was testing with lifts under the toe piece. If i remember correctly, the binding ramp was close to 0 degrees or even slightly negative. That would leave me with the boot ramp alone, which is 4.1 degrees for 25.5 (if my calculations are correct). if the binding ramp was negative that would leave me with < 4 degrees ramp which is good for me. I have 3.7 degrees with the 26 XT.

I will try to see how the boot feels with some heel lifts because i really want to make it work. I want to flex, extend and move forward into the turn in balance. With the aggressive stance i am unable to flex and extend correctly and to move forward into the turn.

Sorry for the long post.

Any thoughts? What else do you think that i should try?

Thank you very much.
post #5 of 17

I can empathize with you exactly as I have a pair of XT's and really like the stance they afford me (with slight mods). I got a pair of the new diablos when they came out and after putting them on and flexing, I was scared. After skiing only two runs, I packed it up and went home cause I couldn't ski them. The flex was too soft, and they pitch me too far forward causing me to compensate by moving my hips back. I could not pressure the ski tips to initiate or I would've fallen over the handlebars.

I gave them back and said no thanks.....BUT.... if I had kept them I probably would have possibly added a bit of heel lift but lots of lift outside the boot under the toes (probably 5 or 8 mm plates). this would probably have helped. Just my experience and thoughts, yours may vary.

Now skiing the Nordica dobermans and never looked back! Like the flex better than the old XT's and position is a bit better stock (for me).

The Diablo is a good boot for skiers with hypermobility in dorsiflexion and if you have a relatively short tib/fib. BUT if you don't, they need mods.

When you are clicked into your bindings where do your knees plumb when standing cuff neutral? If you notice your knees hanging out past your toes the gas pedalling will help.

hope this helped.
post #6 of 17
As mentioned before agree with Bud about gas pedaling. The boot needs less forward lean and less ramp. Lift outside under the toe will help as will lift under the binding toe if more is necessary.

post #7 of 17
But it has a dramatic effect, that can be fine tuned if worked inside the boot.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Guys, again, thank you for your replies.

I added 6 mm lifters under the toes of my bindings. That helped but was not the solution to my problem. Why? Because my foot was at the same angle relative to the tibia. With or without lifters, the angle would be unchanged. I would say that i have a lot of dorsiflexion and a relatively long tib/fib. I can flex my ankles enough to pressure the front of the boots. The aggressive forward lean of the diablo pushes my legs too far forward and i very have little room to flex my ankles more. That issue prevents me from moving into the turn properly after extension. Not to mention that i can't even extend properly from the flexed position the diablo puts me in.

I do not remember where the knees plumb when standing cuff neutral. The lifters definitely helped but did not solve the problem. I have to change the angle of the foot relative to the tibia. I have to open the ankle. Although i have not tried the heel lifts on the diablo yet, i am curious about one thing. When i add the lifts and open the ankle, don't you think that the rear part of my lower leg will push against the rear part of the liner and cuff? IMO the ankle opens, but what can i do about the forward lean of the cuff which remains unchanged? The reason i am asking that question is that i tried the heel lifts on another boot and the rear part of my lower leg pushed hard against the rear part of the liner and cuff. It makes sense because my lower leg wants to be more upright but the angle of the cuff prevents it from doing it. I am pretty sure that i will have the same problem with the diablo. How can i solve this problem?

I will try the heel lifts on the diablo this week.

Thanks a lot,
post #9 of 17
Hi Race,

It is possible to modify the forward lean on this boot--check here---http://southern-ski-tools.southernski.com/tjs4.html. (you will have to copy and paste)If interested we could do the job for you. We have been marketing this tool for only a short while so there aren't many out in the field yet. When inserted in the tool the boots will sag to the rear with just a little heat applied vertically on each side of the cuff--once cooled the boot will stay in this position. our address is on the web site

post #10 of 17
What bindings are you using? You may need more lift under the toe piece depending on the stand height differential of your binding?

How are you testing your dorsiflexion?? How do you know you have alot of dorsiflexion? If in fact you are hypermobil you may not want to use heel lifts and just gas pedal even more. Or get the heck out of that particular boot?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm using the Rossi FKS 185 mounted on the Rossi RS WC Slalom. I don't recall the difference in height between the toe and heel piece with the diablo but i measured it with other boots and it is 3 mm. Those boots were 26.5 and the angle was 1.1 degrees. The diablos are 25.5 so it would have been a little more but not much IMO. The internal ramp of my diablos is 4.1 degrees (if i measured correctly). So i have over 5.2 degrees of ramp.

I am testing my dorsiflexion using a method shown here at GMOL in Vermont. I can raise my toes just like the person in that pic. I have fairly long tib/fib.

Could you please tell me why i should gas pedal even more (than 6 mm) and not add heel lifts? I have learned a few things about boots but i am fully aware that there are many other things i have to learn.

The diablo is good for one thing, though... For carving steeper terrain where there is not enough time (for me) to extend before i make the next turn thus i use cross under.
post #12 of 17
If you have lots of dorsiflexion, keeping a relatively higher "net" forward lean in your boots is desirable to pretension the achilles a bit, However; this places your knees, especially since you have long tib fibs, too far out over your toes. Now you click into a binding that has a steeper stand height differential and it magnifies the problem. This is why I suggested you may...(can't see you from here) need even more lift under your binding toes or external boot toes.

Since you have already gas pedaled your boots 5mm why not experiment with adding another 3mm temporary shim between your afd and boot and see how it works? No harm in that?

I think heel lifts are probably the wrong way to go?...

FWIW I added 3mm toe lift to my XT's and my bindings were Salomons with 2mm stand height differential and I don't have long legs so.......what's that tell ya?
post #13 of 17
Agree with Bud. Try going flatter and see what happens. I'll bet only good things.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I will try to lift the toes even more. As i mentioned in a previous post, i do not have access to boot fitters and i have to do everything myself. I only lifted the toes of my bindings. As you know, if i lift the toes of the boots i have to router them back to DIN specs. That is hard for a non-bootfitter. I added 6 mm to the toes and although it was the best setup i found to date, it was not perfect.

There is another thing which supports your theory against heel lifts. When i raised the toes AND removed the rear spoiler i was in the back seat. As soon as i put it back everything felt "normal" again, not perfect but the best stance the boot put me in. Who knows, i may need even more lift. In that case i would have a negative binding ramp.

I will look to see where my knee plumbs over the toe. Even though the dynamic position is best (IMO) a static position could be somewhat useful and give me an idea of the things i should expect on snow.
post #15 of 17
Let us know how this progesses! If you determine that more toe lift is beneficial you can ship your boots to me or another closer boot fitter who can plate and router back to DIN for you! Cost about $50 plus shipping.
post #16 of 17
Have a good time. Remember even with negative binding delta you will still have positive boot ramp, at least to a point.

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
I had the chance to work on the Diablo.
The first thing i did was to lift the toe of the boot more than i did on snow. Although it was a static position, it did not feel that it was helping me. I still felt that the cuff pushed me too far forward. Yes, i looked and the knees plumbed over the toes.

I decided to try the heel lifts. To my surprise, they felt good. I did not feel that my leg was pushing against the back of the liner and cuff. I kept the rear spoiler inside to prevent back seat skiing. That was not the complete answer, though... I still had to put some lifters under the toe of the boot. I found a setup which seemed to be the best and i will try it on snow. In fact, i will try different setups to see what works best.

I will let you know how it goes.
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