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"dead foot"

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm interested for my wife.  She has a problem which has re-occured: after a day of skiing, the outside (little toe side) of her right foot goes dead.  Originally, this happened in old boots, which were replaced with new Technica's (I don't have the model right now).  Bootfitter took time with her and seemed to get other elements right.  For the first couple of times, no pain or problems whatsoever.  Now, the issue is back.  Obviously, it seems like a nerve is getting compressed.  She has circulation and foot is warm enough, but from two little toes back to the arch on the outside, the whole area goes numb or tingly at best.

Suggestions on where to start for fixes?  She is leaving the bottom two buckles VERY loose, so I kinda rule out heavy compression, but you never know....


I know you can't fix things over the internet, but I thought I might get a starting point.


post #2 of 7

So a few questions that you can answer that will help this out.

1) What is the shell fit like for length? Remove the liner, put your foot in the shell only, have your toes lightly touching the front of the boot and see how much room is behind your heel and the boots shell. Use a pen as a spacer and measure this for thickness. You want 5-15mm (1/8 to ½ inch) of room. If you have more then 25mm stop here

2) What is the shell fit like for width? Now center your foot front to back, (same amount of room behind the toe and heel) and is the width of your foot touching the sides of the boots shell? You want anything from lightly brushing to 2mm per side. If you have 3mm per side stop here.

3) Do you have any footebds? Most people find a off the rack, or full custom footbed more comfortable, and helps to hold the foot in place better, Get one.

So now that your boot is within a workable size range in length, width and with a supportive footbed we can go on to getting more info.

A few basic things to check first:

1) You just have one, thin, clean ski sock in the boots
5) You are just skiing in your ski boots? (not walking, driving etc)?
6) You dry your liners out at night either with a dryer or remove liners?
7) The left liner, the left footbed are in the left boot and this is on the left foot?
8) You are loosening the buckles if you are not skiing (while standing, on lifts, etc)
10) Buckles are pointing to the outside?

So your boots are the right size, AND you are doing everything else right, but still the boots are not 100% right. These questions will help a boot fitter will have a better understanding of the problem and can start to help you. Better Or Worse = (BOW)

1) BOW with the buckles tighter or looser?

2) BOW with thinner or thicker socks?

3) BOW with any footbeds (custom, stock, none, etc)?

4) BOW skiing, standing, or feet un-weighted (hanging off a chair lift)?

5) BOW thru out the day (and when does the pain start?)

6) BOW on the first vs the third day?

7) BOW on harder or easier terrain?

8) BOW with the power straps (velcro straps) tighter or looser?

9) BOW if you do any particular movements, or actions?

10) Any medical, health, or weight changes since you used them last?




post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

OK, not to be ungrateful, but the advice/questions above seem rather generic.  We've clearly already taken care of the first half of the suggestions.  The boots fit, sizewise, and all is correct with regard to left boot on left foot.  As for the rest of the list, this is the problem.  Since one can't exactly tell when the foot goes numb during the day (there's circulation so it's always warm and she can wiggle her toes), it's almost impossible to tell when it gets better or worse.  All seems fine and then she takes the boot off and goes "Oh! My foot is dead!"  The original boot fitter is not around anymore and others simply ask the same questions as above.


I was hoping maybe someone had thoughts about specific pressure points that might get involved with that side of the foot, or perhaps even experience with such an issue.



post #4 of 7

great,  so the shell fit is right?

and she is not doing any of the 5 things that she shouldn't do?

what about the other 10 questions?  yes they are generic, but any answers, to any of the questions will help any bootfitter, help you

1)BOW with the buckles tighter or looser?

2)BOW with thinner or thicker socks?

3)BOW with any footbeds (custom, stock, none, etc)?

6)BOW on the first vs the third day?

10) Any medical, health, or weight changes since you used them last?



They are the top 5 questions for sure.


It is like asking why my cake didn't rise,  many possible reasons, and happy to help, just need some more info

post #5 of 7



boot fitting on line is dam difficult at best and without information it is impossible to even give you a close to acurate answer you even said yourself that you know we an't fix things over the net


but then you suggest and almost seem to complain that the reposndant gave you a generic answer... just think about it for a minute, then understand that the advice is free and without information how can any fitter be expected to give you more than a generric answer


ok so the outside of the foot goes dead,


it could be any number of nerves or pressure points between the top of the boot and the toes, my best guess is either pressure on or around the outside ankle bone, or a lack of flexion causing the foot to rotate into the lateral side of the boot


these are a stab in the dark, but the best i can offer with the information supplied..... i would suggest if you want to get to the bottom of the problem that you need to get to a good fitter who understands the biomechanics and anatomy of the foot



post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 


I didn't mean to be ungrateful.  It's just that the first response is the very same advice that appears in several fitting posts.  And it seems to suggest that we might not have done the most obvious things already, like checked for size and that the left foot is in the left boot.  I am here because two bootfitters have been unable to offer help and I thought it was possible that others have had a similar experience and might have an insight.  I understand that bootfitting off the internet is impossible; that's not really what I'm after.  The biggest problem is that because it's an issue of gradual numbness, it's almost impossible to ascertain when it's better or worse.  She doesn't feel any pain, nor, when it's in the boot, does she notice any tingling or numbness (because it's a generally inactive part of the foot for her).  She can wiggle toes, her feet stay warm -- it's that sometimes when she takes off her boot she suddenly realizes that part of her foot is "dead".


I'm trying to ask her to be more aware of that part of the foot -- after all the outside, little toe area is where one should initiate the turn and so she should feel it.  But she's not quite there technique wise and so it creeps up on her.


Anyway, as I said, any specific suggestions would at least give us some lead to focus on.  I'm going to follow up on both of your ideas and see if I can assess her flexion and whether we can find some pressure.  The other problem is that when it's numb she can't tell where there's pressure, so we need to wait until the feeling returns (she's only just now getting it back, a week after Vail).


I don't really expect a miracle here -- it's just that we're in pretty dark territory without much to go on.  And standard advice has not helped.


Thank you.

post #7 of 7



If you would answer the questions about fit and footbeds it would be helpful.


Is the fit on the tighter side or looser side. Just because a boot fitter did the original work, all fitters do things a little different depending on the responses of the person getting fit so even though you went to a fitter, the ones you are now asking questions of have not seen your wife's feet or the way it's fit. What kind of foot bed if any would also be very helpful.


You have also not mentioned what boot she is in (model) or what boot model the new boot replaced.


It would also help to know how she skis. what kind of turns (wedge, wedge to parallel, mostly parallel, always parallel) and on what kind of terrain.


All of these things will help a good fitter tune into where the problem may be coming from and thus help you better.


Your initial question was very generic so you got a very generic response.



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