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Custom Footbeds

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have an idea of the average price for custom footbeds? Are there better "brands" then others?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 17
What do you mean by 'custom'? Do you mean a footbed molded to your feet by a boot technician in a shop, or do you mean one of the do-it-yourself deals like Sole or Zapz? Custom footbeds cast in a shop can be anywhere from $120-$200, depending on where you go. 

If you want to make sure it is done right, this is probably the way to go, unless your feet don't need a lot of attention and are neutral in the boot. In that case, any footbed will do.  You really do need to find someone who knows what they are doing, howerver. If you plan on having customs made at a shop where someone collects $120 and just slaps your foot into a mold, and a few minutes later you are done, don't waste the money. Just get a $39 Sole footbed and put them in your oven a home. You probably will have just as much success and the Soles won't take up as much volume in your boot.

You will get plenty of opinions here about which footbed is best, or is a custom footbed worth it.  You won't know what works best for you until someone knowledgable looks at your foot or you go through a lot of money buying footbeds until one finally works. If you have never had footbeds before and are not sure, I would go with the former approach.
post #3 of 17
I think I paid $100 for an initial consult with Jeff Bergeron in Breck which was applied to the $300 footbed....he is good 
post #4 of 17
post #5 of 17

Look at Master Fit, their program has developed good bootfitters, and a great footbed.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. Mojoman, I was thinking more of a custom footbed cast by a boot technician that knows what he's doing. In a thread I posted in the "ask the boot guys" section, Someone reccommended me a well respected boot fitter in NYC called Jeff Rich. I read that he was one of the designers of the instaprint system. So I'm sure he is very good. But when I called to schedule a consultation and ask about prices, I was surprised when they told me that a custom orthotic footbed would cost $500, in addition to the $150 for the consultation. Which isn't really the kind of money I was thinking to spend at all. It sounds pretty excessive compared to the prices you guys are saying. There aren't many options here in nyc, but another option that I thought could be reliable but also affordable would be surefoot. Does anyone know about the quality of their orthotics? How do they compare to the instaprint ones? thanks!
post #7 of 17
$500 for a footbed plus a $150 consultation? Are you sure this was for a ski boot footbed and not a pescription orthotic from a Pedorthist? They are two different things.

I have never heard of anyone paying a total of $750 for a custom ski footbed. If that is really the price you are being quoted for a ski footbed, I can't blame you for looking elsewhere. You can find experienced boot fitters who can set you up with a properly fitted footbed for a lot, lot less. Personally, I wouldn't spend more than $200 for a custom footbed in a ski shop, but that's just me. 
post #8 of 17
If you are in NYC, then come to NJ, and see GREG  at HEINO'S, or WILLY at SKI BARN PAR. 2 OF THE BEST FITTERS ANYWHERE.
post #9 of 17
$500 sound high. I bought Surefoot footbeds a few years back for about $200. I think they use a similar system to instaprint. I've been very happy with them. Later alignment work by Epic bootfitters found no problems with the footbed. That said, I've also had good luck with off the rack models from Superfeet and others so maybe I have a relatively normal foot.
post #10 of 17

Like anything in New York expensive. I'm guessing the rent for space in New York probably doubles the cost of a footbed. $150 - $200 seems about right getting it done by someone that is experienced and capable at a good ski shop.

I'm a bad pronator and about two years ago I put a stock Super Feet insole in my jogging shoes. Very impressed for $30 how good a product these stock insole products are. The heel pocket really stabalized my heel and keeps it from rolling over . Not wearing out my shoes on the inside of my soles like I used to.


post #11 of 17

Jeff Rich made footbeds for my ski boots about 5 years ago and has since made several pairs for my shoes. I've been very happy with his work and would not hesitate to recommend him. That said, he was never cheap and has gotten much more expensive over the years. My initial consult way back when was $80, and $250 for the footbeds. Don't know about his current pricing for ski boot footbeds, but the ones for my shoes have gone from $200 to $400.

I'm not making excuses for the guy, but here are several possible reasons for why he's so expensive:
a) His midtown Manhattan location
b) His process is somewhat labor intensive because, like a podiatrist, he makes a plaster cast of your foot (you get the cast to keep and it can be re-used)
c) He doesn't sell boots, so the footbeds are his only source revenue
d) Especially these days, he has other business interests (footbed related) and while he still enjoys doing ski boots, it has never really been more than a sideline. 

Again, he's very good, but you would probably be better served by a good bootfitter at or near somewhere you ski regularly, both in terms of cost and convenience. Unless you're mechanically inclined or have some basic bootfitting skills, you're S.O.L. when your new boots are killing you and your bootfitter is 100 miles away.

post #12 of 17
I still think he was quoted for a precription orthotic for street shoes-- $500 for a ski footbed +$150 for a consultation is absurd, even given the Manhattan location of the shop and experience of the fitter. Charging that amount for a ski footbed is not exactly going to be bringing in the customers-even in Manhattan. 'You get what you pay' for may be true up to a certain point, after which, I think you would just be paying for a label or name. For an RX Orthotic, that's another story -- they are very expenisve, even outside of Manhattan. $500 sounds about right.
post #13 of 17
Jeff has a very good reputation, but also is known to be expensive.  There are a number of alternatives in the outlying areas, but for Manhattan, apparently, Jeff is the guy.  At least he is up-front on his costs.  Take a look at the Who's Who on EpicSki bootfitters, and the older thread started by AC The Index of Boot-Fitting Masters
post #14 of 17
Last year after the ski season my knees were sore for about 2 months. went and bought a couple of different dr scholls from target each 10-14usd and in 3-4 days everything was gone.

Should i still buy a superfeet or make a costume footbeds to ski this season, or should i just plug and play my scholls?
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by feanor View Post

Last year after the ski season my knees were sore for about 2 months. went and bought a couple of different dr scholls from target each 10-14usd and in 3-4 days everything was gone.

Should i still buy a superfeet or make a costume footbeds to ski this season, or should i just plug and play my scholls?

I don't think anyone can answer such questions as everyone is different. Some people have difficult feet and need the assistance of a fitter who knows what to looks for and can properly address any issues. It can't hurt to have a custom footbed made by a knowledgeable fitter, at least once. I am not a fitter but know enough to understand that there is also a lot more to a proper setup than footbeds. If you just got the custom footbeds but never had any other apsect of the fitting process professionally examined, you might be missing out on other things that are issues. Good footbeds are obviously important, as it's the first link in the chain, but it's not the end-all and be-all of getting dialed in correctly. I think some folks might have the idea that once you get a footbed that works, you are good to go.  That's only the starting point, IMO. A footbed will onlt take you so far if there are other problems with your allingment.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
I thought I'd share my experience in case someone out there finds themselves in the same position:

After considering all replies here, I decided to go see Jeff Rich this morning even though I wasn't going to buy his orthotics nor get the boot work done with him because I couldn't afford it. I wanted to hear what he had to say about my foot, and his boot recommendation – because my intention was to ultimately buy new boots, and not only footbeds.

My idea was to get his recommendation, and his opinion on what would have to be done in terms of customization, and buy the boots at a shop that he recommended and have all customization done at the shop (even a footbed). I was betting that he had the right answer on what boot to buy, but based on his reputation I thought my risks were minimized.

He measured up my foot, said that I had a difficult foot because of a combination of high instep, narrow foot and what he called "chicken legs." But in the end he reccomended me the Salomon Falcon CS, he said it would be the only boot that would work for me. And if any work would be needed, it would be making more space in the toe box. At first I was suspicious, thinking that there would be too much pressure on the instep. And also unsure because he was only giving me 1 option.

But anyway, I had to try the boot on to find out. So I went to Paragon, and tried the boot on with a guy that Jeff recommended called Doug. This was comforting because they knew each other, and Doug seemed like a very knowledgeable guy, and trusted Jeff's Judgment.

Fortunately after having the boots on for 30 minutes or so I was happy to say that Jeff nailed it. I must say I was impressed. The boot felt great, no pressure on the instep and snug overall. Just a little pressure below the ankle that Doug was able to fix with a little canting (Jeff also observed that I have slightly bowed legs).

About the footbed, Jeff said it would be good to have a custom made one but not absolutely necessary. So I decided to have it done by Doug with the instaprint system at Paragon for $75 – this price is considering that I applied a $50 gift card I got by buying the boots, to the original $125 price of the custom footbed.

Living in New York where there aren't many options of boot fitters, I definitely think it was worth having the consultation with Jeff Rich, I spent $150, but he was right in the first try. While when I went to paragon in the beginning of my boot search, they put me in 3 or 4 boots that weren't right for me, and were suggesting some adjustments to a boot that was too big for me.

Can't wait to try them on skiing. Thanks for all the help here at Epic!
post #17 of 17
Great follow-up.  You can lose 100% of your investment in ski boots if they are not the right ones.  By getting the consultation you got exactly what you were looking for. 
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