What is Neutral?
One thing you often see in the ski boot realm, is that your foot should be secured in a "neutral" position. The problem is noone then tells you what that means. So I'm going to!
This is a positioning of the feet so that the talus bones are located in a central position. The talus bone is located right in the middle of your ankle joint. It sits on top of the Calcaneus also known as the heel bone, and right under the Tibia which is your shin bone. This neutral position then aligns all the bones in the foot. It also will correct the balance and stance of the lower leg, all the way up to the hips.
This neutral foot position will allow you to have better performance as you’ll be able to transfer the force more effectively and your overall skiing will be less demanding. On top of this you’ll be having improved balance and stability.
Without a high quality footbed you simply can’t be secured in this neutral foot position. Lack of support for the feet and especially for the arch will result in the talus bone and navicular bone collapsing inwards and keeping the feet out of balance. With a supportive footbed and a good ski boot every skiing session will be at its optimum.
You don’t even need a ski boot to test this out. All you need is good footbeds. Put them on the floor, stand on them firmly and put your hands from the elbows forward. Have your friend try to push you down and you’ll see it’s easier to maintain balance. Now do the same thing without the footbeds barefoot on the floor. You’ll collapse in seconds.
So neutral is the ultimate goal for your feet. Dont overlook the most critical thing to try and achieve.