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My boots are too big. Will a foot bed help?

post #1 of 13
Do you already have footbeds or are you still using the stock footbeds. If so, get foot beds first. 4 years is a pretty good length of time if you ski a lot. It might be more that the lining has packed in enough to cause the slop you are feeling. You might want to consider a custom liner if you are indeed in the correct shell size. Also a good fitter would have done a shell sizing before you actually stepped into the boot. Also it might not be that your feet are so wide but that your feet are closer to the bottom of the boot where it gets narrower. I slightly thicker foot bed might actually make the boot feel wider..
post #2 of 13
My opinion:
Most people buy boots that are a full size too big. They feel nice & comfortable in the ski shop while the "proper sized" boot will feel painfully tight. As the foam in the liner breaks down, the fit becomes sloppy. Your foot floats in the boot side-to-side and it drifts around in the heel pocket. To compensate, you have to crank on the buckles. That's usually OK on the top two buckles but compensating for a boot that's too wide and with too much volume by cranking down on the bottom two buckles usually causes lots o' foot pain. If your boots fit properly, you should be able to ski with your bottom two buckles undone and not notice much performance degradation.

If you lack the NZ $ to get the proper sized boot, you can probably solve the problem temporarily with a thicker footbed and some padding to reduce the volume of the boot. Maybe heel wedges, too. Custom footbeds are fantastic and I'd recommend them to anyone but you might be able to get by with some high density foam and glue and some material under your existing footbed. If you glue foam to the outside of your liner, don't expect to be able to pull it out of the shell when it's wet. Invest in an inexpensive boot dryer (or make one as a basement project).

Of course, any skiboot liner only has so many ski days of life before it's hopeless. For me (I'm a big guy), 150 days is the upper limit. You can replace the liners but it's often cheaper to replace the boots in an off-season sale.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

My boots are too big. Will a foot bed help?

I bought Nordica Next 97 boots a few years ago. The best thing I ever did especially having a wide foot. Since I bought them I have lost 20kg (44lbs). When I first bought the boot They were a nice snug fit with buckles on the widest setting. Since loosing the weight they are now on the tightest buckle and starting to wrinkle slightly as the sides squash together (must have had damn fat ankles). Also to my amazment there is now about a 2& 1/2 inch gap (3 fat fingers) between the back of my heal and the back of the boot with the liner out. The obvious answer is to change my boots for a smaller size. If I do that I may not be able to afford my bi-annual trip to North America this February. Would it be Ok to simply purchase a new set of footbeds with appropriate shimming to raise my foot inside the boot in-order to tighten the fit or am I kidding myself and should extend my credit limit. They are the best fitting boot I have ever had and I don't want to part with them just yet. Any ideas especially any recommendations on footbeds would be appreciated.
post #4 of 13
Custom footbeds may improve the fit of your current boots by taking up some of the extra volume, depending on how thick the footbed is and what other fit/alignment pieces are put under it. In any event the footbeds will be transferable to your next boots. They will help to stabilize your foot so that it won't slop around as much in the boot.

I have been able to get an extra season or so out of several pairs of boots simply by taking up the excess volume with cardboard shims under the liners. There are shims made specifically for this purpose that are made out of a dense mildew resistant cardboard that won't absorb moisture and doesn't pack down. I have also made my own shims out of the cardboard from beer packaging - not the corregated kind used for cases of bottles, but the thin stuff used for packaging cans in 12 packs and cases. It is moisture resistant and doesn't pack down much. The purpose of the shim is to simply take up space, but it will also raise your foot slightly in the shell. Depending upon the shape of the shell, as dchan pointed out, this could actually make the boot feel wider.

Good luck - hope this helps.

post #5 of 13
Three fingers? Wow! Whoever fit you really missed. Recreational skiers should be no more than two fingers in the shell with the toes lightly against the front of the shell. One finger for expert skiers. Anything you do will be a compromise. The old liner is probably shot. I don't think a replacement liner (ZipFit) will help, as there is juct too much volume in the shell. A proper fitting liner or footbed is just going to slop around in the shell. I just feel that you will just be spending good money to fix something that can't be fixed.

post #6 of 13
A temporary fix is to get some thick cardboard (that squishy stuff) and cut out 2 bits and put them under your footbeds. I take the footplates out and use them as templates. This'll get your foot higher in the boot and buy you some time, hopefully.
You can also try gluing some thin dense foam to your inner boot in strategic spots, watch out for veins etc though.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I think I must have bought boots a size too big as they felt comfortable in the shop and the liner has since compressed beyond recovery. I can't really blame the fitter as I demanded the bigger size based on feel not realising they would compress some much. So if I understand correctly, if I somehow manage to afford a new pair I should get a size smaller and not panic too much that it feels a bit tight in the shop as it will settle down in time. I have a high density foam footbeds that are about 10 years old and still going strong. I thought about shimming it up but am now concerned that raising my foot may move it into an even wider space. Hadn't really though of that. Might actually make things worse. I have had about 100 days out of my boots. 150 days sounds good. Some say that, at a body weight of 240lbs and being fairly agressive skier, that my boots would most likely be shagged at 100 days. They look fine. Very little obvious wear. Anyone got any opinions on that. The more ammo I can get, to encourage the other kiwi (my wife) to work a bit of overtime so as to afford my new boots, the better.
post #8 of 13
When you pack out the liners, the wear is not noticiable. I find that to be an advantage, because it makes it easier to sell used boots.

If you do get custom footbeds, then go down a shell size or two, be warned that the footbed will at least need to be trimmed to fit the new boot. And, if you drastically change boot shapes (say, from a Koflac to a Lange), you may not be able to use the footbeds in the new boots.

If I were you, I seriously consider seeing what I could do to afford both a new pair of boots and footbeds. Maybe you could get both while in N America this winter, if the exchange rate is in your favor, or if equipment just costs less north of the border (because of taxes and volume discounts etc).
post #9 of 13
There have been some subtle changes over the past few years, particularly with the Dalbello Carvex series. The heel strap is on the lower part of the boot, not the cuff. Also the are using ZipFit liners by Sven Coomer, an outstanding inner boot. Other manufacterers have done similar enhancements.

You say that your footbed is ten years old. I question whether you feet/stance have changed over the years. If so, the old footbed is probably not supporting you as is should. Have it checked out by a reputable alignment specialist.

post #10 of 13
One thing you MIGHT be able to do, though this might sacrifice comfort and is a temporary solution, is to get some pads added to the boots. They'll take the liner out and probably add a dogbone to the achilles tendon area, an 2 pads on your instep, on both sides of the liner. What the dogbone will do is push your foot forward a bit to take up a bit more volume. The pads on the instep will help prevent excess front to back motion and will also take up some more volume. Once again, this is only a temporary measure, and most people having this problem tend to come back to boot fitters often from what i've seen and heard.

post #11 of 13
If you truly have 2 1/2 " behind your heel then I think the boots should just go. I've been down that road of attempting to shim endlessly-never works well. Even with a proper shell size boots often take a lot of work depending on the foot. My rec. is to get new boots from someone who's good, early season when there's a good supply of them. Skip the footbeds if you can't afford, you could always just get like a stock superfeet bed (though if your foot is real wide that may not work)

Also: Buying boots near where you ski the most or live is always better. You will need work on them for a while most likely. You'll only be on vacation for 2 weeks probably. Of course if you have to you have to...
Also: Getting the proper shell size or even downsizing is more work in the begining of their life, less later.
ps: shouldn't this be in "ski gear"?
post #12 of 13
Throw them away. They sound like they are at least a shell size to big, if not more. They will never work well for you. Oh yea, you could try some of the standard cures we use on boots that people bought to big. An extrmely commen practice unfortunatly. You could get medial & lateral shims, a thick old tounge pad, stack a few bontex boards under the footbed, etc... But these boots will never work. First, if you manage some how to get your foot snugged up in the heel pocket, you will be standing about 2cm behind where you should be on your skis. Maybe more, if they are a toe mount like K2 and Volkl used to be. Second , you will probably never be able to flex these boots properly. Unless you can really get a nice snug fit with the upper cuff and tounge, they will ski like crap. These boots never fit well. I don't car how much weight you lost, there is no way your feet became an inch shorter in lenght. Sounds like the shop you went to had no clue. If you need a wide high volume boot, get one, but don't get a longer boot to try to get more width, this just does not work. Once again, if you pull you foot back into the heel pocket where it belongs, the widest part or your foot will be behind hte widest part of the boot. Go to a real ski shop, near a resort. One that makes custom footbeds all day long, and one that does custom liner/ shell hacking and stretching. A shop that is not afraid to move a few buckles. Then, try to get one of the gurus. The shop I work at has a about seven people working in boots. Of those, I would say half have a good idea of how to fit a boot make a footbed, and customize whatever needs to be done. And we are a good shop, at a ski area. Footbeds should, if done properly, give you more room. Huh? Yes they will support the foot in a more neutral position, and it will not spread out as you weight it. Good footbeds will give you comfort, control, and warmth. Buy them. For your feet I would consider Instaprint, Comform'able, Superfeet Ski Vac, or some other thin footbed that will not take away the volume you seem to need. Be wary of Kork, or Surefoot's Amfit (it's not really custom, but that is another story). These tend to be very thick, and take up a lot of volume. You could grind the Amfits thin. I have had do do this retro for a bunch of buddies who got them free, me included. Avoid toe crests. You may think they seem very custom, and grippy, but if you grip with your toes, you will pull yourself into the backseat. Think about it, is your balance going to be better with toes spread out or curled? An old balance drill is to pull your toes to the top of your boots while you ski. Try it. Buy new boots. Get them snug, they will pack out. Get Footbeds. Have more fun.
post #13 of 13
Yah, take the liners out, drill a hole in the bottom, fill with soil and plant flowers in them. Or sell them. 2 1/2 inches behind the heeel is a country mile.

This winter I was skiing with a friend working on some short turns. His alignment looked off, and as I was going to the ski shop to get boot work done I got him to come along. He had huge boots, I always figured he had like size 12 or 13 feet.
At the shop they did a shell fit. Turns out he had a size 10 1/2 foot just like mine! He had 2 1/2 inches behind the heel!! He got the record this year for most room behind the heel. The guy at the shop called it "The Florida Fit" because if you buy your boots in Florida ... Problem is, he bought his boots in Vermont from someone who should know better...

I think almost anyone who's skied for awhile has bought a boot that's too big.
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