One of the most common problems we solve in ski boots is pain around the front of the foot. The forefoot, as it is otherwise known is the widest part of the foot and accommodating that width with the right shape of boot is a big step towards a successful ski boot fit.
In many cases, we can improve the fit of the ski boot with some modifications to the shell to expand the boot shape around a boney or wider feature of the foot.
So what do we do when all the above-mentioned fitting techniques have been utilised and the forefoot still experiences pain and discomfort?
At Footpro we go a step further in the search for comfort and have a fitting system in place that can address this issue directly. This next step is one that is made possible with the use of science and in this case a pressure mapping plate. Through the use of this technology we can understand and accurately measure the pressure and force that is placed through the feet and the forefoot in particular. The information relayed back to us from this equipment regularly highlights how the pressure under the forefoot radically intensifies once you stand in a ski stance.
This is largely due to the fact that a ‘ski stance’ is not a normal position for us stand in, based on two issues. First thing is that skiing forces you keep your feet parallel and pointing straight ahead, when naturally our feet are designed to be turned out slightly. The second issue is that a ski boot has a forward lean angle that requires you to flex your ankles, knees and hips, and hold that position for extended periods of time.
These two biomechanical features of a ski boot stance are largely to blame for a high percentage of the forefoot pain issues in a ski boot, where the boot itself has already been fitted with enough space to accommodate the foots shape and width.
Once we can confirm that the forefoot pain is related to pressure under the forefoot we move away from ski boot modifications and rely on custom ski insoles / footbeds to remedy the issue. Custom moulded ski insoles are cast to the exact shape of the full length of the foot positioned in neutral alignment, while you stand in a ski stance. That is, parallel feet with your ankles and knees flexed to simulate the on-snow position.
The finished insole product becomes the perfectly weighted foundation for your ski-stance. The insoles support the foot in a way that makes the ski stance feel as normal as possible, balancing pressure distribution evenly from front-to-back and side-to-side.
The insole process, and the technology we use to understand where the issues stem from are the key to solving this type of ski boot fitting issue. If these sound like issues you experience in ski boots then you know what to do next. Come see Footpro, or, take up snowboarding.