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Boots for exceedingly difficult feet!!! help!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all. This is my first posting here, and normally I don't do this sort of thing, but I really am about to lose my mind. I was born with Club Feet. I had surgery twice to correct this problem. The surgery involved Achilles lengthening as well as some moving of tendons around my foot. Scary stuff, I know. I also have very wide feet with very bony sides. My arch is ridiculously high.

A couple of years ago, on a trip to Courchevel, I finally decided to step up and get the expensive custom-fit boots. I got Solomon X-Wave 9.0 with Conform'able liners and Surefeet custom footbeds. I spent the whole time tweaking the boots. Blowing the shell out, etc.

I hadn't skied in a couple years due to financial constraints until this past winter. I went out and my 1000 dollar boots were painful beyond belief. I couldn't believe it. There are hotspots all over the place, the backs of my calves hurt after 10 minutes, my feet are dead asleep after 30, and the top of my ankle (right where the foot meets the lower leg bone) hurts without even skiing. Is there any solution for those of us out there with foot problems that go beyond your average wide foot/tall arch? I love skiing so much, but I may have to give up the sport if i can't get it to be more tolerable. Are there any doctors that specialize in this kind of thing? I will do anything.
post #2 of 7
welcome to epicski, i am sure you will find lots of useful stuff round here

where are you based? there are a number of fitters listed at the top of the forum who should be able to help you, it sounds a bit like your feet may have changed a bit over the past couple of years, but it should be possible to make some adjustments to the boots to get you back on track. failing that most of the fitters listed should be able to help you with a new boot, the direction in which you have gone sounds about right in terms of footbed/liner/shell modified to fit but the execution may not be as perfect as it could be. there are a couple of custom boot brands Dale boot and Strolz, there availability is slightly limited and they do not work for everyone, but they may be worth considering if you cannot get something else sorted...do bare in mind that a good fitter will create a custom boot they just use different brands to get different lasts rather than variations of the same boot.

feel free to ask more questions and contact any of the fitters directly

good luck...and DO NOT give up
post #3 of 7
Prior to you taking a couple years off, were these boots serviceable/comfortable? I.e. is it possible that your feet hurt simply because you haven't been skiing in a while?

Also, even with tendon lengthening, most people with club feet have limited ankle flexion. Were you assessed for ankle range of motion, fore/aft balance, heel lift, etc...?
post #4 of 7
Did you get to a reasonable ending a few years ago with the custom work that was done in France?

There is a possibility that the foam in the Conformable liner, sitting unused for "a few years" has hardened. I have had experience with two part foam getting rock hard after sitting for an extended period without being used. Especially if you did not sufficiently break it in when you originally had the proceedure done.

Also seconding Matt's thoughts on limited or locked ankle dorsiflexion. This opens a can of worms on all sorts of foot pain in ski boots.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for all the responses. With regard to boot fit. When I got them done, I felt that they were very good after all the adjustments, etc. I only had one full day of skiing on them at that point since i had spent about 4 days getting them tweaked and trying different things, so my judgement could have been skewed, but I thought they were great. I felt more control than ever over my turns. The last time I went skiing the opposite was true.

As far as foot strength, ski muscles, etc. This is probably part of the issue, and I am working this year to do some prep before I go out again to get my legs and feet strong again.

Onto the most important issue. My ankle flexion is very limited. I had more work done on the right foot than the left, so that foot is more limited than the other. I get a little more than 90 degrees with my left foot, and no more than 90 if that with my right. Clearly this is an issue for skiing, but I have been skiing forever, and I have found ways to throw my weight in the right direction when making turns, etc - that being said I definitely have a unique ski style. I am working on stretching my heelchords to get more movement, but the problem I will always run into is that because the surgery was done when I was an adolescent, the bones have grown in a certain way, and the only way to fix it is to have more surgery. Obviously, other than the obvious pain this would cause, it's a risk for me because in all other regards my prior surgery is considered very successful, and any doctor I have consulted with is afraid to operate for fear of messing up the prior work done.

To answer the question of location, I am in New York City. I am actually headed to Paragon today to get an opinion on all this stuff.

Bring on the comments please!
post #6 of 7
Due to your limited dorsiflexion IMO you will need heel lifts. You should probably experiment with something in the range of 1/4" to 1/3" (to start).

You can stretch your calf/achilles but in my experience most of the problem tends to be bony block / joint architecture.

I think you got some good advice here re. the fact that your foam liners may have turned to cement.
post #7 of 7
as Matt has said, you will probably need a heel lift to try and bring the ground up to your foot under the heel, i would be looking to get aboot which was fairly upright and probably a little stiffer than your ability [whatever it may be ] would suggest, this way you will resist the motion of trying to flex an ankle which cannot flex and transmit the pressure to the ski

good luck in your quest, a good fitter should get you back on the slopes in comfort [or certainly relative comfort, as i can't see your feet i should not make promises for other people]
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