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Boot Alignment: A Working Case - Page 2

post #31 of 36
I've worn orthodics made by a podiatrist in my shoes and working & hiking boots for years. When I demonstrate to friends what the orthodics do for me, I construct a tapered shim that has the same effect as the SBS machine. The correct shim does straighten out the feet, ankles, knees and hips, but there is more that needs to be done. A properly made orthodic (including ski boot footbeds) supports the arch as well as straightening the foot, etc. One time my plastic orthodic broke in my work boot, I was a couple of months away from a chance to get to the podiatrist, and I made my own shim. They worked, but no where near as well as a proper orthodic.

I see SBS type shims as a good way to simulate real footbeds at a low cost. They might do much more, but I'm a skeptic. And, from my own experience, I feel that while SBS shims, orthodics, or custom footbeds reduce the need for cants, they do not replace cants under the boot sole...planed sole or wedges under the bindings. I stick with the Witheral sequence...align the foot & ankle with the footbed, align the leg to the boot with the cuff alignment (faux canting), then do the real canting with the boot sole. Trying to do two things with one gizmo usually upsets one or the other of the desired goals.

post #32 of 36
Definetely wasn't going to get into this one either and I won't. Lwren, I read your previous post about going to a boot guy in Aspen and being told your leg was bowed out 14 degrees. Being a boot guy in Aspen who measures just such things I have to tell you 14 degrees occurs as a forward cuff angle, a range of dorsiflexion, and forefoot abduction. It does not, at least in my experience occur as an angle of tibial varum (bow-leggedness). Perhaps you are confusing one number with another. If your memory is correct and I am the boot fitter you are referring to please PM your your name and I will review your records as you are truly special.

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 

Update on my boot alignment

Just wanted to give a current status as I think this case can hopefully serve to help others.

As I have previously explained I am quite happy with my alignment on my right (which I have canted by placing spacers between the removable external heel/toe pieces and the boot, filling in with urethane, and grinding the heel and toe to din). On that side I have the edge control I want turning both ways; my one footed balance is very easy, natural, and seems to require just the right amount of CM shift to balance; and my fore/aft alignment seems to let me spread the pressure of a turn evenly through the front/middle of the foot.

I have recently made some progress on the left where it has been much more difficult to find anything close to the slignment I have on the right. A major step has been for me to:

1) loosen my power strap (almost completely) on that side as well as the underlying booster strap (still stretched but much less so than the right). I also increased the forward lean. This was done as a possible improvement for the turn pressure inside my boot feeling like it was way back under my heel. I figured I would try to make it easier to "get forward" on that side. Note that due to previous injury my right leg is smaller and naturally has more freedom to move fore and aft in the boot cuff as compared to my left.

2) add some temporary heel canting significantly greater than the 1.5 degrees I have been measured to need (by more than one system)

3) move the cuff canting from inside to the far outside. (It was inside based on a center of pressure evaluation).

With these changes I find I have greatly improved symmetry in my turns, a move forward of the fore aft location of pressure felt in a turn, and somewhat improved one footed balance. Both the fore-aft pressure location (still needs to move more to the middle of my foot) and the one footed balance (have to lean too far to the outside) still have room for improvement.

My next step will be to reduce the temporary canting (a tab taped to my boot heel) a little bit at a time. I way also play with the cuff canting but only if the tab reduction doesn't have much effect on improving things. With the improvement I've finally found I only want to change things one at a time from here on out.

My point in describing all this detail is that I think a skier who is conscious of these things can learn to adjust their boot alignment based on turn feel and one footed balance. While I have had some very expert consultation, no one has been able to give me a prescription either from shop testing or on-slope evaluation that would have brought me to where I'm at (on my left). I will say that Arc made a comment to me one time when skiing together about how it appeared I couldn't get forward enough in my previous boots. This matched my own perceptions but with my new boots has been limited to the left side. His comment greatly reinforced my thinking that I needed to do more than canting changes on my left to improve my alignment.

Bottom line is that this most recent change has really had a VERY positive effect on my skiing both on and off-piste. At this point I'm willing to live with what I've got (in respect to Holiday's comments on living with a difference between sides). While I will try a few further changes, if they don't make much difference, I will finalize what I have now and be done. However, I don't think I ever could have lived with the differences in alignment from right to left I had before these changes.
post #34 of 36
Originally Posted by SLATZ
Ductape on the boot sole is the best "quick and dirty" way I've found to experiment. I use 1" strips at the AFD point and equal amounts on the heel. As for footbeds, I've heard that you want a little leeway in them.(not absolute tightness). I've only had two pairs in the last 20 years(100+ days per year).
Sorry to drag up an old thread, just a quick question regarding the "ductape" method. How far across do you put the ductape? eg. If I am putting ductape on the inside heel, do I put the tape from the inside edge to 1/2 way across, 1/4 way across? or somthing else.

post #35 of 36
About 1/4 to 1/2 inch on the bottom edge of the sole. The rest of the 1" square laps up on the side.
post #36 of 36
Cheers Slatz
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