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New boots same old problem

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I did a bunch of searching of the forums here and on the web, and I can't seem to find an answer through others' pain.

I am finally returning to skiing after about a 12 year hiatus due to marriage, kids, and work. I forgot how much I loved the sport and now that my 7 year old daughter is now skiing, it's just bliss....except my boots.

I recently replaced my old ski gear from the last century (circa 96-97) with new gear. The boots I had previously, a set of not so expensive Dalbellos, worked, but made my feet numb. As soon as I put them on this season, I remembered how 12 years ago, they felt the same on my feet but just dealt with it.

Chalking this up to bad boot fitting 12 years ago, I decided to plunk down $400 on Salomon RS8s. They comfortable in the store and had what I thought to be an excellent fit to my foot. We did a shell fit and everything seemed OK so we proceeded to heat mold them.

The first day I skied them, all of my toes started going numb before I even got onto a lift. I also had a bad cramp in my left calf which I thought was odd too. I chalked it up to me either having to get used to the new boots or them having to pack out a bit.

I came home and did some research before I went out the next time.

Day two, I wore thinner socks, made sure all of my layers were out of the boot and kept the buckles on the loose side. I was thinking I was overtightening and cutting off blood supply.

Same thing happened. Numb toes on both feet. The calf cramp went away which is probably because my muscles were getting used to being on skis again and that knee had been scoped in 2000 and remains a little more bent than my "good" knee alll the time for some reason.

Anyway...I'm frustrated as anything. These boots seem to fit, they ski great, but the toe numbness stinks.

Yesterday, I put just my liners on in the house for an hour and my toes went numb even like that. Almost as if the liner is causing the problem, not the boots. Can this be?

I am reluctant to go back to the shop I purchased the boots from for a remedy because I don't have a lot of faith in the college kids that all seem to work there. I don't have a great place to turn to locally here in North New Jersey.

Any ideas? Is it something simple?

Thanks!
post #2 of 13

what is the shell fit like?

 

Can you remove the liners footbed and do your toes go numb still?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
My shell fit is about 1/2" behind the heel.

I have not tried removing the footbed in the liner. I will try that when I get home and see if it helps or hurts.
post #4 of 13
sounds like a dorsiflexion issue.  Go see a qualified boot fitter and check the ankle range of motion.  A heel lift will probably work for you.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sitting here with just the liners on with NO footbeds and the numbness is better, but it still feels like I'm not getting circulation to my toes. I have to keep wiggling them to keep them from numbing

It also feels VERY strange to walk in the liners without the footbeds almost like my foot is begging for arch support. I can't walk naturally at all in just the liners. You would think that they wouldn't feel much different than slippers (kind of) but walking is really awkward. It's hard to explain.

Taos, I think you might be on track with the heel lift as I feel REALLY flatfooted and off balance in the liners sans footbeds.
post #6 of 13
 Perhaps broadening the toe box area a bit would help as well as stretching the liner in the toe area?

tip: do not walk with boots unbuckled.
tip: if you are skiing in the back seat, leveraging the calf against the cuff your toes will jam.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I went to Ski Barn today to have Willy work on the boots. He wasn't there when I got there (of course), but the manager, Tom, asked to take a look in the meantime.

He redid the shell fit and wasn't happy with what he found. He said my shell fit was WAY off--a whole size too big and was shocked that they let me out of the store like that. He also probed inside the shell with my foot in it and didn't like the shape of the shell compared to my foot.

He literally tossed my brand new boots behind him and said, "we can't even work with these."

He grabbed some Tecnica Phoenix 90s in a 25.5 (I was in a 26.5).

They were noticeably snugger with much less slop in the heel. The fit, to me, felt better and firmer. I felt "the firm handshake" that I guess I didn't have in the other boots.

This time, I felt like I was actually being fitted by someone with a clue. When I bought the boots originally, we didn't go through HALF the tests Tom did today. I was with him for two hours easy.

I was still feeling some tingling and numbness with the Tecnicas, but much less than what I experienced with the Salomons. I explained to Tom that I had my knee scoped and it leaves that knee in a totally different position than my other knee which makes my stance a little weird. He took note of this and made a cuff cant adjustment which helped even things out a little.

Then he started drawing with a Sharpie on my knee and pull out all sorts of protractors and devices. I had never been through ANYTHING like this in my life. I felt special...LOL.

Then he started with the shims under my boots to cant my whole leg. Oh my God....what a difference that makes. Holy crap. My stance and bowleggedness dissappeared with a 1.5º adjustment. The only problem is that they don't do the grinding at Ski Barn so I'd have to have it done elsewhere. Now that I felt the change. I WANT IT!

So, after two hours, my original boots were useless and I'm wearing new boots that still need to be customized. Great.

The best news is that Tom took back my USED Salomons and let me swap for BRAND NEW Technicas (I had to pay about $50 difference).

Ski Barn in Paramus gave me the best customer service I could ever imagine. Thank you Tom!

Now...does anyone know where to get the boots ground? I know what I need just a place to do it.
Edited by GregDi - 1/12/10 at 7:28pm
post #8 of 13
 Where are you located?  
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Northern New Jersey.
post #10 of 13
 PJ Dewey at Race Stock Sports in VT!

G.M.O.L. in VT.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I skied the new boots last night.

The smaller size definitely gave me more control over the skis with a lot less slop. However, my toes were still somewhat numb.

I noticed myself curling my toes a lot and making a conscious effort not to. In fact I would wiggle my toes while skiing to try to stop.

I am starting to think I am just a bad skier with a dorsiflexion issue that isn't helping matters. :)

Right now, we have no heel lifts in the boot and stock footbeds. Do you guys think a footbed with more arch support might help to keep my feet more relaxed? I am just getting frustrated at this point.
post #12 of 13
Can't make any connection between foot pain and being a bad skier so I'd stop beating myself up.   I can't imagine what here is your fault.  As for dorsiflexion issue, could be.  But you haven't mentioned that you had it checked so I wouldn't assuem it is the problem.  Can you do a full or nearly full squat without your heels lifting?  If you can then probably dorsiflexion isn't the problem.

Lou
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregDi View Post

I skied the new boots last night.

The smaller size definitely gave me more control over the skis with a lot less slop. However, my toes were still somewhat numb.

I noticed myself curling my toes a lot and making a conscious effort not to. In fact I would wiggle my toes while skiing to try to stop.


Right now, we have no heel lifts in the boot and stock footbeds. Do you guys think a footbed with more arch support might help to keep my feet more relaxed? I am just getting frustrated at this point.
 
As far as toes going numb---wait till the liner breaks in some before you seek modification( 4--5  days of skiing) be sure you tighten the ankle buckle securely(second buckle from top)

IMO custom footbeds are a great improvement over stock.
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