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Why are my ski boots hurting?

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5 easy fixes to solve your foot pain whilst in your ski boots

With the 2020 winter season fast approaching and snow beginning to fall out in the mountains, it is time to dust off your ski gear and think about sorting out any issues you had with your ski boots last year.

There's nothing worse than having a perfect week in the mountains ruined by uncomfortable boots and remembering that they were hurting last year and you never got the issue solved. 

So, to help you out with those issues, we asked one of our expert boot fitters what the most common complaints were, and how we went about fixing their ski boots!

Meet Jonny, he’s been fitting ski boots for the past 3 years with Snowtrax, and in his own words is a bit of a ski boot nerd. So, here are the most common issues a professional boot fitter deals with, and how to fix them:

 

Arch pain

 

If you’ve ever suffered from arch pain whilst skiing, you know it is a run ruin-er. The only way you can relieve the discomfort whilst out on the slope is by pulling over, taking your boot off, and letting your foot relax.

The most common cause of arch pain is people fastening the bottom buckles of their boots too tight. This causes the ski boot to push down on the top of their foot, flattering the arch and in-turn causing the pain.

A quick, and short term fix whilst out on the slope, is releasing the pressure on the top of your foot by loosening the bottom buckles.

The long term and best fix for arch pain is getting an insole fitted to your ski boot. At Snowtrax we offer two types of insole, a Superfeet® insole or a custom Sidas® Insole. 

Superfeet insoles come in 3 shapes/sizes; Mid – for people who have low to medium arches, High – for people who have higher arches, and Carbon for people who have medium arches but high volume feet, so need a slimline, space saving insole. These are great if you are fairly average in arch shape as they will match quite well and provide support. 

 

Sidas Custom Insoles are fully custom insoles. These are moulded to your exact foot shape and provide maximum foot support and comfort. If you don’t fit any off-the-shelf insole, these custom ones will precisely match the contours of your foot, offering you support from heel to toe. The important thing to remember is these insoles don’t correct any pre-existing feet issues, just provide comfort and support.

Calf Pain

 

Calf pain can be a real nuisance and is more commonly found with ladies' ski boots. It is an annoying one as it doesn’t always appear when you're trying your boots on in the shop.

The discomfort usually appears around the top of the ski boot (cuff), and feels like the back of the boot is digging in. However, when checking to see what's causing it, there is no obvious culprit. But there is definite pressure and discomfort somewhere!

 

Now, I’m no Doctor, but I have fitted ski boots to many Doctors, physios, and sports scientists, who have informed me about the various nerves that can be affected when pressure is applied to the lower leg. With our years of experience, we’ve found ways to mould the liners and boots to maintain support but minimise unwanted pressure on those areas. For those of us who are more affected, this can make a huge difference.

Everyone's anatomy is different and we suggest coming in to see a boot fitter who can assess your boots and lower leg to see how the boot could be affecting you. It doesn’t take long to adjust the boot, and it can radically affect your comfort and performance.

Pressure around toes

Pressure around the toes is another common issue found in new ski boots. The liners on your new skis boots are always going to be tight for the first few weeks, as you need to bed them in.

 

Now, if you only ski 1 week a year, that could be 2 years till your ski boots start becoming comfy. However, there is no need to worry as there is an easy fix for this! 

When getting a pair of ski boots fitted in store at Snowtrax we offer custom heat moulding on both the shell and liner for free! This heat moulding on the liner causes the foam in the liner to soften and expand. When you put your foot back into the boot, and let it cool, it will mould to the shape of your foot creating the perfect fit.

 

Some people prefer a little more space around their toes, and this is an easy adjustment too. The process is called Toe Capping. You add a rubber cap over your toes which is held in place with a silk sock. Now when you mould your boot with this ‘Toe Cap’ on, it will mould to the larger shape. Once it is cool and you put your foot back in without the ‘Toe Cap’ there will be extra space for your toes!

 

Discomfort on side of the foot 

 

Discomfort on the side of your foot is another very common issue when wearing ski boots. Now, there are a few reasons why the side of your foot can be uncomfortable, and some of these fixes can be rather expensive.

The worst-case scenario is you have the wrong size ski boot. It may fit perfectly on the length but the boot could be too narrow, pushing in on the side of your foot causing lots of pain. If your boot is too narrow, there are 2 options, stretching the boot which will create more space on the side but will cause the top of the boot to flatten, or the second option is to get a completely new pair of boots – this is an expensive option.

At Snowtrax, we are able to adjust the ski boot’s width quite a bit, but it is important to come in and have one of our team assess your foot and ski boot together. Only then can they accurately adjust the shell and liner to improve the fit. 

If your boot is the correct size and correct width but you're still suffering from pain on the side of your foot then there is still an option to solve this issue. We talked about them earlier, and that is Insoles. Insoles help prevent the ski boot from squishing your foot throughout the day by supporting your arch and instep to reduce the spread of your foot.

The best solution is to get a custom insole fitted to your ski boot. This eliminates discomfort by providing you with the support your foot needs for extensive sporting activity.

 Boots Change. People Change. 

One of the main things to consider when analysing foot pain is how long you’ve owned your current ski boots for. Over time your ski boot’s liners will degrade and they’ll lose the support they once gave. An unsupportive liner not only reduces comfort but also reduces the fine control you have over the ski. A liner that fully contacts and supports the foot dramatically improves power transmission and edge control, while also ensuring optimum comfort and minimising fatigue. 

It’s not just your boots, your foot itself can change over time too!

A combination of muscular and joint changes, along with aging and injury can make small changes that add up to big effects. The liners can accommodate some small differences, but every few years it is worth bearing in mind that your foot shape may have changed enough to cause some discomfort.

Additionally, Bunions can really cause some discomfort inside your ski boot. Most ski boots have mouldable shells which can be adjusted in specific areas to accommodate for any new growths!



We Can Fix It. 

We offer a professional ski boot fitting service and can help you with any of your boot fitting needs. All the above issues which we have mentioned can be sorted in store at Snowtrax.

Our staff use a combination of precise measuring equipment and extensive knowledge and experience to offer you a truly custom fit that is unique to you. 

Book you boot analysis and consultation here!

 BOOT FITTING

If you are looking at getting your first pair of ski boots or what to know a bit more about what goes into finding the perfect ski boot check out our blog on that here!

Or, if you want some general advice, just drop us an email to sales@snowtraxstore.co.uk

Posted in: Knowledge Base

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