or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ankle problem - would soft boots help?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ankle problem - would soft boots help?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hubby has unfortunately developed arthritis in his ankles (tough when you're still in your 40s!. He has been wearing standard Rossi boots for several years & needs new ones.

Does anyone have any theories, or better still knowledge, on whether a soft boot would be better or worse for his ankles?

Could it be that a soft boot will be "gentler" on his ankles, or would the expectation be that a hard shell boot will require less force from his ankles for the same ski response?

He is an advanced skiier.
post #2 of 10
That's rough.

Do you know what kind of Arthritus? is it osteo or rhumatoid?

It might help to know. I don't know the specifics or mechanisms but I'm just trying to get more info for those that might be able to help.

I have osteo-arthritus in my knees (and in my early 40's) so I feel for him. Multiple days of skiing require anti-inflam meds but it's managable so far.

Good luck on your search.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
It's definitely not rheumatoid. He's using anti-inflammatories most of the time + glucosamine & Omega 3 oils. One ankle has been constantly swollen for the past three months.
post #4 of 10
Are you looking for relief from the pain of contact pressure or from the pain of movement?

I had an Achilles blowout in '95 and spent six months in casts and braces after the reattachment surgery. Ended up with an apparently permanently enlarged ankle joint that, initially, wouldn't move much. I was in my late 50's.

I needed new boots to accomodate the enlarged ankle (along with new shoes, etc.), and the entire foot/ankle was quite tender, so I got some Lange Banshees that were softer flexing and fairly "comfy" inside, yet supposedly firm for edging.

What I found was that the softer boots flexed farther than my ankle would, so they didn't help much for movement pain. They were OK as far as contact pain was concerned. Maybe they conformed better to the ankle area shape.

I also found they did not provide the type of edge performance I was used to from prior Lange race type boots, so I was tensing my feet inappropriately in an effort to "hang on" to edging.

I'm now happily back in the Lange L10, although I did get the larger-volume and slightly softer ACD version. The range of flexibility in my injured ankle now is nearly as great as the "good" one, and the contact sensitivity is reduced significantly, but I still experience internal foot/ankle pain from things like walking that don't occur in the ski boot.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks KB - some useful info there. The movement pain is what has been causing the most trouble. This has been an issue after skiing rather than during skiing so far. During our last trip he was starting to have trouble negotiating stairs & then a few days after we arrived home the swelling became an problem. Doing OK with stairs now but swelling remains.

Tough time you had with your achilles! Hubby ruptured his achilles around same time you did. It was a month before it was diagnosed so it was retracted 2" by the time reattachment was done. Surgeon wasn't hopeful he could get the two ends together & have them hold. Fortunately he only had 7 weeks in cast & it has held very well. Skiing afterwards he found it actually seemed to help - seemed to free up the scar tissue - the movement & the compression of the boot seemed to be like a really good massage (he was wearing Lange X9 at the time. The ankle that is swollen now is the same one as the rupture, so initially he thought it was the achilles playing up.
He had a partial tear in the other achilles last year & hopes the scar tissue that would have developed will help to stop it from rupturing.

KB, after such a long time in casts & braces, what shape is your calf muscle in?
post #6 of 10
Skimum, after my Achilles experience I became sort of an Achilles stretch fanatic.

I start each day with several minutes of standing with my toes about six inches away from a vertical surface (kitchen counter) and flexing forward in a steady movement (no "bouncing") with the heels on the floor, trying to touch the vertical surface with the knees by the end of the 3-4 minutes. I can only come close.

Then I do two sets of sixty toe rises where the fronts of my feet are about 1 1/2 inches above my heels. I do this in a doorway where I can steady myself with my hands. I've read others describe this exercise on a stair, but I think there's too much chance of a foot slipping off a stair and that's too far a momentary stretch, at least for this Social Security recipient.

I finish my morning routine with 12 to 15 minutes of standing on a 30-degree ramp. The goal is to stretch the tendon until it becomes really flexible and pliable. You just can't do that with the 30-second lunge-type or hands-against-the-wall sort of stretching.

Before the Achilles rupture, I had been a regular three-times-a-week Nordic Track user for at least two years. After that length of time, I think I actually was making the tendons tighter and stiffer by the sudden stop and reverse of foot on the machine. It's too much like a bounce.

I do the morning stretch routine daily, but no other exercise during ski season because I ski almost daily all winter. In the off-season, I walk on a treadmill every other day for half an hour, using elevation of the front of the track to intensify the exercise rather than increased belt speed.

Anyway, to answer your question, I seem to have full musculature in the calf of the injured tendon.
post #7 of 10
When there is a disomfort due to movement we need to control and minimize the movement. Go with a stiffer boot. Be counter intuitive !!
post #8 of 10

Let's look past the boots a bit. What sort of ski is he on?

Newer skis that are shorter and have more sidecut seem to be lots "friendlier" to the knee. Tip em over and pressure the edge versus "push" through the tongue.

I am in my 50's and have a long list including knee and hip problems. I went softer 5 years ago but recently returned to the Lange L-10 ..... a fairly stiff boot! Things got easier along with the new wide shovel/narrow waisted skis.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
We both demoed the Rossi Soft 3 last week (first turns for the season ). Unfortunately that was the only model we could try. But we both found the lateral stiffness was more than we expected. Unfortunately the only terrain that was open was easy.

Hubby was quite happy with them, especially as just above his ankle was very comfortable (where he has been getting soreness with his old boots).
He checked with his podiatrist (who skis) who thought they would be good for him too.

So he has some Soft 1 on order - just got to get them into the country now!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by yuki:

Things got easier along with the new wide shovel/narrow waisted skis.
He's been on this sort of ski since they came out.
His current skis are 167 X-Scream but he finds them hard work in bottomless powder - he feels they're too narrow under foot for that but enjoys them on the hard pack.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ankle problem - would soft boots help?