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Adjusting heel lift to accommodate limitations in Dorsiflexion - how ??

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all:


I've been playing around with the height and angle of the heel lifts. I do have limited dorsiflexion and one foot is better than the other( more dorsiflexion). I have dobermann pro 130's. I'm 6 1' 200 lbs 34 in inseam

I have found the following

   higher heel lift - more heel contact on steep groomers, better carve, but in the backseat when skiing bumps

   lower heel lift - no backseat seems like better fore/aft balance in bumps but , less forward power.less power in the heel, less heel contact in heel cup on Groomers( note that I said less not none)


Now the questions.

1) if I have more dorsiflexion in one foot than in the other, is it advantegeous to have one heel lift higher than the other to even out the dorsiflexion on both boots?


2) are there any tests, like parallel quads or something, that I can do in my orthotics or ski boots that will allow me to dial in the proper heel lift height for proper heel contact? heel lift too high and  heel contact starts moving toward front incline of the heel pocket in the orthotic. ( the boot is not too big - this just what I feel in the heel of the orthotic without the boot even on. only happens when I flex. Without heel lift standing erect both feet feel comfortable in orthotic.


3) Should I have equal height heel lifts under foot?


We are talking of heel lift here of 1/4 to 1/2 inch on top of the bootboard.  Should this be more?


I form the heel lift ramp angle by cutting a cant in the shape of a heel, and overlaying it with 1/8 inch thick rubberized cork. The cant has the fat side toward the back of the heel. layering serveral cants increases heel height and ramp angle



post #2 of 7

Hi WildBillD,


I like to keep the heel lifts the same in both boots when I use them but if you have drastic differences between right and left or coincidentally the leg that has less ROM is also shorter than the other, I may use a thicker lift on that foot.


I would also suggest buying hard eva foam heel lifts which slope over a greater distance than the short cant strips you are using now.  It's nice to have a nice progressive ramp rather than an abrupt and steep angle which could stress your mid foot.


Though you may need heel lifts inside your boots to compensate for limited dorsiflexion, you may then need to go outside the boot (under the sole) to adjust the delta angle to optimize your fore/aft stance balance.  If you feel like the heel lifts cause you to compensate by moving your hips back because you are pitched too far forward, you may need to reduce the binding delta angle by shimming the toe piece or plating the toe of your boot.


post #3 of 7

Buds answers are good, but I have to ask " How much dorsiflexion do you have and why do you think it is not enough"?



post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi Lou:


I have not accurtately measured the dorsiflexion I have. I do know that just by bending the boot( which I do mostly from the top of cuff), that my left foot has more ROM  than than the right.


By changing the heel lift size, my balance improved signifcantly in the bumps - I could defintely feel it.


Also , There is a limited range of motion issue- on warm days, I can feel that I need to be in the back seat, to get the ski under foot. so think I've exceeded the ROM of my dorsiflexion. damned if I do, damned if I don't.


This could also mean that  I need more diagonal shin contact - I do have a significant buildup wad of material   around the inside boot cuff( a plug boot cuff cant)  to take up volume for the curved tibs.  So laterally, I'm fine, but forward and lateral, I can't feel any pressure on the lower shin( tibia) , or where the tibia  joins the talus .  most contact is made by upper boot cuff.  I have thin ankles with protruding ankle bones.  so I guess I'm trying to develop a solution that allows progressive pressure  along the tibia, rather than a void, with heavy pressure at top the boot cuff.  I don't know how to fill in the void. I tried an eliminator cut down to take up volume within the contour of the tongue, but the area to be compensated for seems to be the area between the tongue and the liner. ( The liner already has material for cuff cant, and the tongue has the eliminator to take up volume). I tried intutions with wrap around tongue  - no dice - this simply creates a void at the protruding ankles, causing more problems than it fixes.


I thought raising the heel slightly, would get me better shin contact, especially where the talus meets the tibia. But as I said, there is a delicate balance here.


I have several pairs of skis, railflex mounted,  so I don't really want to mess with the binding until I'm sure that will fix it.


So how do I measure my own dorsiflexion without  a dorsimeter( is that the right term)???



do you have a better solution for progressive shin contact?  



post #5 of 7

try padding liner on either side of tongue in the throat area of the boot. This will give contatc when the lower strap is tightened. The tongue shim is on the right track but it is not filling the void you speak of. Use your gut, listen to your thread and fill the void . Best of luck, raining down low in vail now. G

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Awesome Greg:


You are the master.



I did what you suggested - looked at my leg, ran padding on the outside of liner near tongue throat on both sides and  areas of liner where the contour of my shin created a void  - guess what - Voila - a tight fit - almost could get rid of tongue shim inside. but with tongue shim - very, very good fit.  I can't wait to ski and see how it feels on the snow. 


post #7 of 7

I expect it will feel great on the snow.  I agree with Greg and it seems as if the problem you are trying to fix is really a tongue pressure problem and you should pick the ramp angle you like and fix the tongue pressure problem separately.


If I understand your statement correctly if you don't have a problem with limited dorsiflexion on warm days then I would say you don't have a dorsiflexion problem.



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