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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Foot numbness and pain from my boots!
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Foot numbness and pain from my boots!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have been skiing since I was 7 (I'm now 23) and from rentals to custom fitted boots I continue to have the same problem every season.  I get numbness and pain in mostly the front half of my foot and toes (mostly the small toes).  I unbuckle my boots as soon as I get to the lift line and rebuckle before starting down the top of the mountain again.  I have had custom foot pads and off the shelf ones but they haven't made a difference.  I can't tell if the problem is from ski boots themselves or if it may be a physical problem of mine, such as my calf muscle pinching a nerve/vein when it is flexed or if it is some sort of flexibility issue... I don't know!  

I do have a pressure point from the tongue of the boot liner. Which I took a picture of in case it may show something useful. DSC_0658.JPG

That line goes down across the top of my foot about halfway toward the big toe.  I can't remember if I had this in every boot, but they all seem to have a similar liner construction, so probably.


Sometimes I just wear the boots looser around the calves while I ski, which reduces the problem, but then I have less control and can't go as fast or do as challenging terrain.  I know the boots need to be tight but I should still be able to feel my feet, no?!  Also I clench my feet a lot when I'm skiing, I don't know if this is normal or could be making the problem worse, but I don't think I can stop doing it, it is like a reflex.

The fact that loosening the boot around the calves helps really makes me feel like it is the tightness of the boot around my calf causing the problem, but how else can you ski? ah I'm so frustrated! I'm going to start snowboarding lessons soon just to wear more comfortable shoes! If anybody has any ideas what the problem is I would LOVE to hear them! 

If it helps, I'm a 5'2" female and my calf is 15" at the widest part (which is very wide) and about 13.5" at the point where the top of the boot hits. (so the widest part isn't in the boot)

post #2 of 5

any chance that your boots are too big for you?


if they are, they will be taller on your calfs (more pinching), and looser on your foot (foot moving around more) and will not be helping you with this problem or with your control in general.


if they are, this is very common (not just for ladies, but everyone) so get some boots, that are smaller, and therefore tighter and lower.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've been fitted before and I have had people put me in a 23 (I'm now wearing a 24), but I can't even be comfortable in them in the store, so there is no way I could ski in them. They were just way too tight for me. I tried snowboarding on Sunday thinking the boots would be so much more comfortable and I had the same problem with numbness in the toes.  I'm starting to think it is some mechanical or circulatory problem and I'm going to try to meet with an orthopaedist about it and hopefully get some relief!

Thanks for the suggestion though!

post #4 of 5

There are some telltales here.


Clenching you feet is usually a subconscious mechanism that you use when trying to stabilize your foot when it is in too big of a container. You may in fact be in the wrong size, wrong shape or both.


The pic shows a fairly thick mid-rearfoot and the camera angle is tough but it looks like a fairly thick instep. Again.....suspect the culprit is wrong shape.


The pressure from the edge of the tongue is not unusual but tight at the calf, loose below is a danger sign of......one more time.


Large, low, calf flare can also combine with the other factors to create this problem. Each individually may be possible to deal with and no one can say for sure, but my guess is.........


Boot too large, possibly too low in the instep, possibly too much fwd lean in the cuff. All these can cause overbuckling, pressure in the wrong spots, and result in your problem.


Then again.....it is possible that you are just weird.


Uhhhhhh.........thatz a joke.....ah say a joke...........biggrin.gif



post #5 of 5

i'm with Jim on this one, size and shape are everything (well almost)


the calf muscle is not that big, just big enought to tip you forward in the wrong boot.

how is your ankle joint range of motion? do you have a good level of flexibility in that joint, can you squat right down with your feet flat on the floor? if the calf muscles are tight which will limit flexion than this could be a contributing factor to what is going on

what is your everyday shoe size? do you wear heels a lot? etc etc all these are factors to be considered


i think this one needs more than an internet diagnosis, you need to be seeing a GOOD fitter to get this sorted, whilst people often say that ski boots are not the most comfortable pieces of footwear they own (for many people they are) you should not have to ski in pain


where are you located, there is a list of fitters at the top of the forum, if there are none close by then we may be able to suggest someone who can help you


good luck



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