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Skinny legs and feet, sore shins.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey there,


I have a question regarding shin pain, which I am sure is not uncommon.


Stats: 5'9, 145#, 21 years old and I ski out of bozeman roughly 60 days a year. My main skis are 187 XXLs, 186 PM gear lhasas, and 192 big bros. I usually ski pretty stiff boots (110-130 flex) for the sake of performance, but would be willing to sacrifice some of that for comfort. I just want to be able to ski more often, and my shin bang really hinders that.


So to start it off, I am/was a runner and have very skinny/low volume lower legs because of it. My foot is also pretty low volume, and very narrow, with a 98mm last usually being as wide as I ever want to go. I have an 11.5 running shoe, and usually fit pretty well into a 27 alpine shell. So I am definitely in a pretty tight shell fit (~1cm or less), and dont feel that I am in too small a boot.


So this year I have picked out a few boots that fit really well for me as far as heel retention, last width, etc. The Fischer X-120 based on the RC4 and the agent 120/nordica enforcer seem to fit me really well, until I flex them. 


When I drive the boot forward, I get a lot of pain on my shin, specifically towards the top of the boot shell. I believe that because the lower part of my shins are so low volume the pressure from that forward flex is not being evenly distributed throughout my leg. It feels like only the top of my leg is doing the flexing, and I have immediate shin discomfort because of it. Even without leaving the shop. I know that skiing those boots will only make it worse.


Last year I skied in the Full Tilts which did work pretty well for my foot type. I started out with a 10 flex tongue, and after experiencing a little shin pain, I switched to an 8, which didn't really make any difference for me. That said, the intuition liner did fill in a lot of space in the shin where I needed it, and helped my problems with shin bang. But the fit wasn't ever perfect, and my foot never felt totally locked. On top of it, I am not really a fan of the raichle design. I broke too many parts on the boot to really enjoy using it. At my size, that is not usually a problem I have.


But this year, I would love to move to a boot that I know will be comfortable, and last me a long time.


Lately I have heard about surefoot, and think that a foam liner might be a good call for my foot type. I would just be curious as to what the fitters here might think, does my assessment of my shin bang issues seem accurate? Do you think that a foam liner would work well?


I work at a shop, and am elligible for Employee pricing on just about any boot on the market. And I have tried most of the boots from major manufacturers that have a ~98mm last. As far as overall lower half fit/heel retention, the fischer and tecnicas that I previously mentioned fit the best. I am strongly considering picking up one of those two boots, and taking them down to surefoot in Utah to get a liner made. I am sick of having ill fitting boots.


Thanks in advance for the help,



post #2 of 7

a foam liner might help to "fill the void" that your legs dont, but surefoot is only as good as the shop guy doing it, plus I'm not sure if they foam other boots (and still back up the work?)


eliminator tongues might help to fill that up?


sounds like you are just getting pressure at the boot top? and not down the shin?   maybe a 2nd power strap around the liner only?


98mm race/plug boots are going to be a good starting point, can you try before you order?



post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

AFAIK, they were willing to guarantee the fit on whatever boots I brought to them. When I called (guy talked a lot of smack about other boot-fitting techniques, which was rather off putting), they said that the liner has a foam tongue as well. Seems like it is accomplishing the same task as an eliminator that is more form fit, and built into the boot.


I have used eliminators in the past, and didnt like them. They kind of feel like a bandaid for a poorly fitting boot, and they threw me in the backseat.


And you are correct, I am mostly just getting pressure towards the boot top, kind of around the top buckle. 


I have tried the X-120, and love the lowers. I feel similarly about the technica agent 120s. But they both hurt up top for me. 


Also curious on whether or not I should try a boot with a lower cuff? Like a lange RS110? Might help relieve some pressure, as I think I may have pretty short legs. 


Thanks for the reply.

post #4 of 7

You may be on the right track with the cause but on the wrong one with the fix. I'd take a WAG that you have a low volume instep and hence have too much room at the turn of the instep/lower leg. If there is a big gap there your leg will not be fully supported by the tongue and will only contact at the top hence getting a horizontal "bite" across your shin. A softer boot is not the answer, generally padding is not too much use, and also FWIW the boots you are considering are not particularly low volume. There are a number of 95's and even 93's that you could try in the 100-130 flex range.


IAC......try a long 1/4' heel lift (or even 3/8") in a boot to see if it brings you into closer contact with the tongue and thus gets you more support along the whole leg. That may help to confirm your diagnosis. You can also try a "Slalom Plate" as included in some race boots to spread the load and armor the tongue against the top strap. The lower cuff on the Lange SC etc. may help and may not. Make sure your cuff alignment is correct. Often just a different brand/model will align differently for you and come closer to the solution. As you can tell, there is not one sure answer but several possibilities. Be aware that sometimes there is no real answer.



post #5 of 7

jim says all i could possibly say on the subject, other than one part which he may have assumed already sorted, you make no mention of a footbed, make sure whatever you have or get is really well made as that will help to make sure the foot /leg is sitting in a good place without any twisting as you flex


good luck gettign it sorted

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input CEM & sierrajim.


SJ- I would love to try out a narrower boot than the options I have, but nobody in bozeman carries anything less than a 98mm lasted boot. Might have to make a trip down to utah or idaho. That's what I need to do, just get to a good fitter, as there really isnt one that stands out in the bozeman area.


I will give the heel lift idea a shot, that makes good sense. 


CEM- I am currently without a real custom footbed, so that is something that needs to change. 

post #7 of 7

or head north too?   fernie, banff and calgary all have good options for stores and staff.

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