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Shin Bang

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
More out of curiosity than anything else (as I nurse a set of sore shins), assuming that shin bang, that wonderful bruised and red mark on one's shin from banging into the front of one's boot, is the end effect of another cause, what do you suppose is that cause? Improperly fitted boots allowing too much space between shin and tongue? Poor technique? Lack of skiing days to toughen up the shins? All of the above?
post #2 of 12
Tag, the most common cause is boots to large. They fit fine in the store then pack out. Your foot is not held securely and with a power strap your shin is the only thing stopping you from going forward.
A second cause is a tight achilies tendon causing heel lift and the same resulting bang on the shins.

Four fixes you can do.
Buy the correct size boots
Take up space under the foot bed in the liner with spacers to reduce the boot size
Buy shin shims to reduce the space in the cuff
Put in heel lifts if you have less than twelve degrees of ankle range as measured by sitting in a chair with your tibia perpendicular to the floor and lifting your foot with your heel still on the floor. Measure the angle between the bottom of your foot and the floor.

Lastly, find a good boot fitter. Do you have custom footbeds, I don't remember?
post #3 of 12
Tighten up on that power strap too!

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yep, I went the custom footbed route with this pair of boots two seasons ago. The boots don't look particularly packed out yet, but I do notice, especially after the first couple of skiing days have gone by, that I have a lot of heel lift with them. By the end of this last trip, skiing in some cut-up crud which throws you back and forth, I could feel my heel coming up quite a bit. I don't know if I could go to a shorter boot length, but I suppose that this pair of Sallies is simply too high a volume boot for my foot.
post #5 of 12
Pierre has good suggestions.
Note if upper cuff is too big around for your leg, there is a product that adds a layer of neoprene to the inside of boot tongue to fit this lower legs better. I saw it in "new gear" section of one of last years ski mags. Check ski mags, or a boot fitting shop can fashon the same out of foam.

One cause of shin bang is the all too common practice of loosening upper cuff buckles and power strap to "soften the flex" or "get forward" (which in reality does neither). It just leaves the leg banging around in search of something to lean against.

To reduce "bang", you actually want to keep the top upper buckle and power strap firm so there is no extra space around leg, and to move leverage point up as far as possible on shin so lower leg just above ankle doesn't "bang" by trying to flex boot where it has no leverage to do so. Aditionally, setting the second buckle down a bit looser will give a softer feel to the flex, if you feel you are up against a "wall" otherwise. A competent boot fitter can also V-cut sides and/or back of the top of the lower shell the cuff wraps around to allow softer flex with cuff buckled properly to fit firmly around leg, again if required.

It is an issue with solutions.
Good Luck

[ January 02, 2003, 08:09 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #6 of 12
I've been plagued with this problem since I moved to Utah and started skiing more.

My cure has been:

Wash down 3 Advil's in the morning with a Red Bull and 3 more at lunch. Not so good for the liver, but seems to keep me on the slopes.

Maybe I should look into the above.
post #7 of 12
I have the tendency to leave the upper buckles and power strap really loose (or the power strap undone completely) and it does tend to increase the shin bang effect. The boot fits my foot and ankle nice and tight so it doesn't shift around even if I leave the top buckles undone altogether and sometimes I overdo it with the comfort of leaving them loose and pay for it later when my shins hurt.
post #8 of 12
Pierre and Arcmeister have some good points, although I suggest Pierre's point of last find a good bootfitter should actually be the first step. Skipping that step is probably what got you into this fix. Alta Skiers advice while effective remains a little sketchy on several fronts.

Both wrong boot shape and size can cause lots of this trouble. Shell fit with your orthotic in the bottom of the boot and make sure you have 1.5cms give or take between shell and foot. Too big a boot does lots of things and one is it is designed to flex up higher (in line with a bigger foot). If your flex point is out of line with the boots you're fighting the boot against your anatomy. Heel lift tends to indicate this may be the case.

The Salomons have a high instep and therefore the lower shell is designed to flex higher up. If you foot is low volume even the right length shell can give you problems because it is still the wrong shape for you. Putting a heel lift in may help by lifting your flex point up closer to the boots flex zone (it also helps with the poor ankle flexion mentioned).

A quick easy band aid fix can be to do your power strap up first tightly around the liner/tongue and do the shell up around that. This does two things. It maintains contact between tongue and shin and prevents the foward move followed by abrupt impact. It also fills some volume in the top of shell and has a similar effect there. It will soften the boots slightly as well.

The neoprene tongue one of the guys spoke of is called 'the eliminator' if you go to the web site for America's Best Bootfitters or Instaprint I believe you can order them direct. It is one of their products.

good luck
post #9 of 12
If re fitting the boot to tighten it up does not work try Zip Fit liners in place of yours. Very costly but less expensive than new boots. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #10 of 12
This is what works for me: The Booster Strap

Its an elastic booster strap. Allows the upper cuff to be tight without the 'cincning' that the conventional strap requires.

No more looseness during the day.
post #11 of 12
I got booster straps for Christmas. I like them, but when I use them inside the cuff like the directions tell you to, I get serious pain because it's too tight and the boot tongue digs into my shins. I switched to putting it on the outside of the cuff like a normal power strap and it feels better. I just have to remember to tighten and buckle sufficiently.
post #12 of 12
Arcmeister's advice re setting the lower buckle on the cuff looser is right on. Tight Achilles can also be a factor in shin bang.

One big problem causing shin bang are boots with too much forward lean. This can make it mechanically very difficult for your calf muscles to control your ankle joint. Under peak loads the muscles turn off letting your shin slam into the front cuff. As the cuff progressively bends in deformation the center of force drops down towards the throat of the boot and the resistance to dorsiflexion increases exponentially. For this reason cinching up the lower cuff buckle can cause big problems.

If you have a low instep then I suggest padding the tongue. Here a heat forming foam can work wonders in spreading the load over your instep. Most tongue padding is recycled garbage foam called chip foam. I have seen some top end boots with tongue pads the size of a quarter. This is a bad joke if you have anything less than a high instep.
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