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Giant, very low calves with high instep causing pain.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I learned to ski as an adult and have been skiing about 9 seasons (currently an intermediate level skier).  I am constantly plagued by pain caused by poor fitting boots.  I had a ton of custom work done to make my current Salomon Performa boots even wearable for a whole day, then I need about a week for the pain/bruising to subside.  I am due for a new pair of boots/skis, so I wanted to avoid some of my problems and get some better fitting boots.

I am (5' 8", 190#), have small normal width feet (26.0), giant low muscular calves, high arch/instep, and my weight naturally rests on the outer edges of my feet.  My feet naturally point directly straight ahead.  I have to work hard to keep my weight "flat" on the skis and also to control the inner edges in turns.

The work that I had done (in order was):
had custom footbeds made,
had heel lifts under liner,
had back "spoiler" removed
had liner cuff enlarged
experimented with padding around Achilles tendon to (unsucessfully) prevent heel lift,
had back of boot shell cut down to level with the top edge of the top buckle (still about 2-3" too high).

Currently, I have pain where the boot shell digs into the back of my calf, but I can't have the shell cut any lower and still maintain the structure of the boot.  I also have pain on the top of the instep and cramping in the ball of my foot.  My heel won't stay down, because as I flex my legs for the turns, my calves contract/bulge and mushroom out the top of the boot and my heel lifts putting all of my weight on my instep and ball of my foot (like I'm crushing the arch).

First,
Any ideas on where to begin with new boots?  There are very few boot models I can even buckle, let alone try at home for a good fit without major modifications.  What order of importance do I look for fit items (what fit items can be modified easily and what cannot?)  Someone (non-professional) suggested rear-entry boots - Do they even still make them???

Secondly,

Are there any things I should look for and have done when purchasing new boots/bindings/skis setup for my particular situation with regards to getting my weight more even on the skis and being able to control the inner edges?  My boots/binding are at the recommended position on the skis, but I feel like my CG is too far back (or is that an issue that will resolve with boot fit?)

I am in the Albany, NY area and looking for a good boot fitter, but I want to go in ready with information to help get a good fit.
 

post #2 of 5
first step is to find a good boot fitter in your area.   any boot will take some large work to get right, so the brand isn't key as they are all getting torn down anyways.

find someone and they can help you find something that is close.

get the heel hold down with the upper cuff removed (so the calf/ cow doesn't have to fit) and then build the rest of the boot up from that point.
post #3 of 5
as dave said, but also make sure you can't get into a smaller boot, a smaller shell may have (depending on the size break form the manufacturer) have a shorter cuff
consider a different liner, the intuition universal or similar is very good at creating space in the calf area,
have ankle joint range of motion assessed as this could be adding to the problem

find the best fitter you can, in NYC there is Jeff Rich, not sure of any very local to you, Jeff will love the challenge

start the mission now for next season, you may have to wait until september/october to get the boot if the store is running low, but at least get the fitter to cast their eyers over the situation so they can start to plan and work with you on anyhtign you can do to help (calf stretches ,may just open up a bit more range of motion and help)

good luck
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
I agree with the plan to start now for next season.  Are there any recommended bootfitters in the Albany, Adirondacks, or Southern VT area?  Going down to NYC is possible, but seems like there should be some closer to my home with the amount of ski activity.  Definately will try stretching.  Part of my balance problem may be related to being forced to lean forward at an abnormal angle with the serious pressure on the back of my calves.  Skiing is actually more comfortable than standing in the lift line.
post #5 of 5
from albany, you are a hop skip and a jump away form either Nick Blaylock at mt snow, or Bill Haight at GMOL stratton. call and make an appointment. either of these guys can address your issues.

at your size and weight, with large muscular calfs, you are crushing the salomon performa. there is no way to contain your heel in that boot. ( with one exception, go to home depot and get a bag of quick set concrete, take out liner, put foot in shell, pour in concrete, and stand there for 24 hours while the cement cures, once cured heel should stay down and boot should be a little stiffer.)

but seriously, based on your description of foot and calf, you will need to invest in a ski boot that has closer fit control over your foot ( width, instep height, heel and ankle dimensions, and adaptable at the calf for height and volume.) as well as stiffer to help you transfer energy to the ski in a narrower range of movement.

also have these guys check out the footbed. sounds like it may be a tad over built.

jim
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Giant, very low calves with high instep causing pain.