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OMG!!!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!! My feet kill me everytime

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok so this is my 1st full season of skiing and man am i hooked.  Only problem is that my feet absoulty kill me while I ski.  Since I am hooked to this sport I am looking to 1st invest in a pair of boots.  I am a size 11 and have wide feet.  My range is about $400 but will spend more if that is what its going to take to have comfortable feet.  What are my choices of the most comfortable boots out there and the style dosnt not matter, comfort is more important than looking good.

Any help is good help thanks,
                           Joe B
post #2 of 15
Joe, get thee to a store and get into the boots that fit you best with the liner removed (1" or less room in the back when your longest toe is just barely touching the inside of the shell tip).  Try them all if you have to.  When the liner is in the boots will feel way to tight....its ok, that will change quickly. No need to spend a lot of money, you could even buy boots that are a few seasons old that can sometimes be had for pennies on the dollar.   Then have them fit to your feet by a professional certified boot fitter (not the kid in the store).....that will be the best money you will ever spend.
post #3 of 15
 If you're talking about arch cramping it's something I am quite familiar with and spend a lot of money on boots, orthotics and so on to cure it.  The right boots and boot fitting will help, but technique (e.g. tension, trying to "grab" the snow with your feet, etc.) causes it as well.

Check out this past thread.

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/39663/arch-cramping-revisited
post #4 of 15
In my experience, getting 'sore' or 'tired' quickly is a technique problem.  (Usually.)  In particular, sitting back too much and/or making turns with a large wedge will kill your quads in no time.  And as that other thread discusses, sore/tired feet and lower legs can be caused by various issues.

Searing foot pain, on the other hand, is from boots that don't fit right and/or are bucked way too tight.  Properly fit boots aren't going to feel like sneakers, but they don't hurt.  If it hurts just standing or walking around in the boots, even buckled loosely, the fit is way wrong.

As they say around here, get thee to a bootfitter.  I think there is a list of recommended ones posted in the bootfitting forum.  With wide feet, you're likely to need either wide boots (which a big-box sporting goods store probably won't have), or modifications (which a big-box sporting goods store can't do.)  If you can't find a dedicated bootfitter, at least try a specialty ski shop, which should have a better selection of boots.

Remember: pain = bad.  Boots will get fractionally looser as they 'pack out', but if they're so tight they hurt when new, they're too tight.
post #5 of 15
Mr. Joe:

I feel your pain! Literally! When I first tried fitting boots, nothing fit. All the major brands carried by big-box stores were too narrow. Both Salomon and Nordica are all fairly narrow, running between a 100mm-103mm last-width.To get an accurate foot size, I traced my foot on a piece of paper, then measured both the width and length with a steel rule. My width as measured came to 104mm.

So, then I started doing some research. I found I needed a "high volume boot" (HVL). The two manufacturers I found that make several HVL boot models were Technica and Dalbello (Head also makes 104mm-106mm lasts, but I don't know if they're technically "HVL" boots or not). Technica currently offers two models with 106mm lasts in their Phoenix line: Phoenix 100 HVL and the Phoenix 70 HVL. Make sure they're the HVL versions, since they make the same boots with the same model names in non-HVL versions.

Technica also offers four additional HVL models with 105mm lasts in their "Mega" series. Head also has several models with lasts from 104mm to 106mm. Lastly, Dalbello offers three flexes with 104mm lasts in their "Aerro" series. Southern California sports equipment retailer, Sports Chalet, carries the Aerro 57 and Aerro 75, but not the Aerro 67 (these are the ones I got). At a MAP of $299, I felt I got a bargain from an online retailer at only $169.

I live in the Los Angeles area, and none of the four custom ski boot shops I called carried either the Phoenix HVLs, Megas or Dalbellos. Many of these boots are now on sale at various e-tailers, abeit, in limited sizes. Dalbello has a direct-sales component on their US website, and they appear to have every size in-stock, available for sale directly from them. When fitting the Dalbello 67s I bought online, I went to Sports Chalet, which is sort of in between a big-box store and a custom boot fitter (they do have a tuning shop, boot ovens and liner heaters). They were kind enough to pack-out my Dalbello liners with a Salomon liner heater for me at no charge.

Based on my 28cm foot outline, I ordered a 28.5 boot (I wear a 10.5 shoe). But they felt a tad loose once I actually got them on. So, I bought a pair of the orange Superfeet footbeds to take up some of the slack. Although I did try a 27.5 Dalbello at the store, it was tight! I probably could fit into 27.5s, but I would definitely have to have the shells heat-formed, since there was still too much pressure on the right side of my right foot (I felt pain there within a few minutes once strapped up). Some boots claim they are "heat-formable," meaning they're made out of a more pliant plastic, but the Sports Chalet guys told me that all boot shells can be heat-formed--some just take longer.

Also, from what I've read, with the liner pulled, you should have a half-inch or less between your heel and the back of the shell (with your toe touching the front of the boot)--a full inch sounds like too much. And lastly, the major caveat seems to be: "You can make a boot bigger, but you can't make it smaller!"

Good luck!
Edited by studio460 - 4/8/10 at 1:28pm
post #6 of 15
If you need custom boots, look at Daleboot (www.daleboot.com).  It is the only US custom boot manufacturer that will literally build a shell to fit your feet and shins.  They will fit perfectly because their boots are really custom. They don't take an off-the-shelf boot shell and try to make it fit to your feet.  Two different sized feet?  No problem.  Narrow heel with wide feet?  No problem.  The bad news: they do not sell boots for $400.  The good news?  They are amazingly comfortable component boots.  You can swap out any worn part and keep them going forever. 

These guys have been around for a very long time.  Mel Dalebout holds most of the innovative patents in the ski boot industry.  See my review of their VFF Pro model on this site (http://www.epicski.com/products/daleboot-vff-pro).  As a new skier you will likely want another model, though. 

There are some great bootfitters on this site, and they really know their craft.  If your feet aren't too weird you can be fitted OK and will probably spend less than what you would pay for a Dalefboot.  But with Daleboot, you are getting a shell that is made for your foot and shin.  You don't have to worry about grinding, stretching, padding, canting the inside of the boot (which hardly ever works), etc.  The only re-fitting I did with my VFF Pros was to reheat the liners with a thinner sock because I was used to a tighter (racing boot) fit. 
post #7 of 15
As a boot fitter all I can suggest is find a really good boot fitter close to you and let them guide you on what is required, sure a Daleboot may be fantastic for one person but may not be what suits you best, don't go to a fitter with any brand in mind, don't go in thinking it could be a high arch or pronated feet etc.
Any really decent boot fitter will know what you need and will see you get what suits your foot shape and skiing style, hopefully it also suits your budget.
There are a lot of good boot fitters on this forum, from what I see, some of the very best in the country take part in the "Ask the boot guys" forums, see who is close to you or ask in there who is good at fitting boots close to where you are located.
post #8 of 15
If your boot fitter starts talking about boots his friends like then run away very quickly. Everyone's feet are different. Make sure u remember that the "flex test" indoor is going to be softer then the boots will perform in cold conditions.

Get a boot that fits good not what other people recommend
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

In my experience, getting 'sore' or 'tired' quickly is a technique problem.  (Usually.)  In particular, sitting back too much and/or making turns with a large wedge will kill your quads in no time.  And as that other thread discusses, sore/tired feet and lower legs can be caused by various issues.

Searing foot pain, on the other hand, is from boots that don't fit right and/or are bucked way too tight.  Properly fit boots aren't going to feel like sneakers, but they don't hurt.  If it hurts just standing or walking around in the boots, even buckled loosely, the fit is way wrong.

As they say around here, get thee to a bootfitter.  I think there is a list of recommended ones posted in the bootfitting forum.  With wide feet, you're likely to need either wide boots (which a big-box sporting goods store probably won't have), or modifications (which a big-box sporting goods store can't do.)  If you can't find a dedicated bootfitter, at least try a specialty ski shop, which should have a better selection of boots.

Remember: pain = bad.  Boots will get fractionally looser as they 'pack out', but if they're so tight they hurt when new, they're too tight.

the original quote is mostly right, but I forgot my ski socks one day and got loaned some thicker ski socks(I wear either smartwool ultra thin or chopped panty hose depending on the day). the smashing of my foot from the thicker sock made my entire leg sore. 
post #10 of 15

Hah! Most of these replies are in the 'true' ball-park. Boots are a big subject to learn to pick the closest to right-fitting boot and that means trying on MANY boot brands and models and in a one size up and one size down method...and consider model with Flex Index around100 to 110 . Custom foot-beds will save a whole season in the learning to ski curve as boot set-up is critical to keep your ski bases moving in parallel.  Buy your boot fitter lots of beer.

After you get home with your new boots, warm them up a bit with a hair dryer, put 'em on a do a little house work and wear them until you finish vacuuming  ... I wander around home a couple of weeks before ski season, getting my feet back in shape. First times out with cramping feet is no fun - this goes especially for ski weekers and god help those in rental boots. My balance gets better after a few days of walking around... and balance around icy parking lots and plazas is crucial.... not to mention actually skiing.

post #11 of 15

As many post here regarding boots - find a good boot fitter and get to know him on first name basis. Boots is the most important piece of ski equipment you will ever own.

 

Foot cramps can also result from improper technique & balance.

 

Lessons goes a long way to correct your technique.

 

Balance wise - SMJ mention clawing at the slope with your toes and M99's buckle too tight. Both are common mistakes and have easy fixes - just don't do it.  

 

Seriously, a good way to over come both of those two issues is to ski a  easy run with all the boot buckles open (leave the power strap closed).

Your foot and body will find center / balance real quick. Ski feel at this point should be fantastic.

Then try it on more challenging terrain & snow condition.

Work really well to clean up your skiing on ice, bumps and especially powder. Do it right and all your crutches will be gone.

Will bring smoothness to your skiing like no other drill.         

   

post #12 of 15

BTW, beware of too stiff boots. Most skier buy too much boot, which will put them in back seat. Kills the quads.

post #13 of 15

Joe, you want boots with two very important attributes...comfort and control.  Not just comfort.  Any soft, cushy, too-big boots will be comfortable.  And your skiing will never get any good.

 

Try for an intermediate level boot.  Not too stiff, because even if they are comfortable, they'll transfer every movement you make to the skis, incorrect movements as well as correct movements.  You won't know why you're so rarely in control.  Not too soft, because you'll soon exceed the performance the boot can give you.

 

Ask around ski shops about which boot salesman to bring your "friend" in to who has problem feet.  When the staff tells you that they are all bootfitters, play deaf.  Ask who is the best for real problem feet.  If you can find out who that is, then find out which hours they work.  Go in with two or three hours to spare and try on the boots this person suggests.  If the shop does no boot fitting--heating, pressing out tight spots, grinding away tight spots--leave. 

 

Make a posting in the "Ask The Boot Guys" forum giving your location and ask if they know of any good bootfitters there.  A good bootfitter will look at your feet and ankles and stance and know which makes and models of boots will fit your feet and suit your skiing ability.  The bootfitter can make too-tight boots fit.  There is nothing they can do with too-big boots.  If the boot fits most parts of your feet and is tight in one or two spots, good, those can be customized as part of the price.  A boot salesman will try to sell you anything he has in stock that doesn't cause pain while you're in the store.

post #14 of 15

Don't know where you're located, but the following website is a pretty good resource for finding boot fitters.

 

http://www.bootfitters.com/oldsite/FIND_SHOP.htm

post #15 of 15

The problem could be the fit of your boots, but I will second the "hanging on with your toes" possibility.  (I know from personal experience).   If your feet hurt on easy (for you) terrain and conditions, then its probably your boots.  If it depends on what you ski, it might not be.

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