One of the worst common problems is to get sore and bruised up shins.
This is usually caused by too much space in the cuff surrounding your lower leg. The boot being to long in shell length. Or foot pronation which will not allow you to flex through the centre of the cuff. You want to always be in contact with the front tongue of the liner. If there is a void and you are bouncing against it, it will develop into quite painful Shin Bang.
Correcting this issue can be a process. Here are the best strategies to alleviate shin bang.
1. Check boot shells to ensure correct size.
2. Footbeds for best alignment.
3. Dualstraps! keep your liner in constant contact with your shin!
4. Thin ski socks with minimal padding.
5. Aftermarket liners.
6. Experiment with angles. So a spoiler under the calf or possibly a heel wedge.
7. Tongue shim to remove volume in the cuff.
Getting slammed in the front of your boots? Losing toe nails? Nothing can ruin your ski day like toe bang. It is usually caused by a boot with too much length in the shell or a toebox that doesnt match your anatomy.
You can prevent it and here are the ways to do it!
1. Do a shell check to ensure you are in right size of boot.
2. Footbed to prevent elongation of foot. Also a footbed will absorb shock and stop you from sliding back and forward.
3. Heel wedge will increase ramp angle and draw the foot back off the front of the boot. Great for anyone with poor ankle range of motion.(dorsiflex)
4. Cut your toenails short!
5. Tongue shim to secure leg back into the boot and prevent forward slide.
6. If necessary reshape toe box with a stretch.
Most commonly caused by an unsupported foot.
Skiing puts a lot of demand on your feet to drive your bodies energy through your skis. Your foot will elongate and try to absorb shock and you will demand extra pressures on your foot muscles for steering. This will also add a lot of strain to the plantar fascia on the base of your foot.
You should prevent this strain by supporting your foots 3 arches and cradling your heel with a quality footbed.
Another cause of pain in the arch can be plantar fasciitis. It will usually be located to the rear of the foot towards the heel and likely caused by an injury or hard impact. Other issues may be tendonitis or nerve irritation.
Regardless of the cause of the pain, the best way to combat it is with a supportive footbed. If it persists a routine after skiing of ice and stretching will help recovery.
If your feet are burning while skiing it will usually point to a compression or nerve issue in the forefoot. It usually shows up as a burning or stinging sensation through the front of your feet.
So it will be crucial to ensure that you are first not being compressed in the width of the boot.
It can also be caused by an unstable foot in the boot and with adequate support it will help your foots muscles relax.
Lastly a metatarsal pad in the right location can bring the bones of the forefoot into alignment and relieve pressure on the nerves.
1. Footbed. (Patriot footbeds include a small metatarsal dome to help balance the forefoot.)
2. Shell Check. Be sure to have enough width in the forefoot.
3. Strengthen your feet with regular mobile excercise.
4. Stretch width if required.
5. If burning/stinging continues after shell width and footbed have been addressed, you may have an acute nerve issue and should seek medical advice.
There is not much worse for your skiing than slopping around in ski boots. It will make you work your feet much harder to steer your skis and you will be off the railroad tracks.
Feeling snug and secure is the best thing you can have for control of your skis and will make dramatic improvements to your abilities.
Loose boots will be caused by having too much space in a certain part of your boot shell or from your liner packing out and expanding too much.
To combat either of these problems we should look to remove the extra space with some foam.
1.Do a shell check to see sizing.
2. Install a footbed to stabilize the foot.
3. If loose in the heel, add some ankle locks around ankles.
4. If loose in front, add a volume reducer for better contact around whole foot.
5. If loose in cuff or too much space in front of leg, install a tongue shim.
6. If loose throughout, tackle the problem with a combination of shims. see: loose boots kit.
7. If possible, look to find a smaller or narrower boot for the long term solution.
Sore ankles will only be caused by three things.
Either you will be slamming your ankle against the side of the shell. Or your ankle bone does not line up correctly with the existing ankle pocket.
Or your liner will be packed out and not adequately cushioning you from the boot.
To solve this you can:
1. Install ankle locks around ankle bones to relieve the pressure.
2. Add foam above the ankle to redistribute the contact to the lower leg, holding your ankle away from the shell.
3. Create a new ankle pocket by making an alteration to the shell with either a punch or grind. The most effective method will usually be a punch.
Cold feet is the worst! It is a huge challenge to tackle especially on the really cold ski days.
There is a variety of reasons you will experiencing cold feet. Primarily it is your bodies natural reaction to draw blood away from your extremities to protect your organs. So you should take every opportunity to mitigate this.
1. Wear good clothing with adequate thermal insulation. You have to keep your body warm to allow your body to continue to pump warm blood to your feet.
2. Good quality wool ski socks to keep your feet dry.
3. Footbeds to promote circulation.
4. Proper fit of boot and buckle tension to ensure blood is not being constricted.
5. Aftermarket liners for better insulation.
6. Ensure liners are dry every day before skiing.
7. Do the ON/OFF method as seen in attached video. This will be a game changer for so many of you.
8. Last resort will be a possible need to install battery boot heaters or socks.
The 5th matatarsal is the bone on the outside edge of your foot behind your pinky toe.
Pain here often occurs when either the width of your boot is not adequate. Or your foot is not properly supported and pronating. This will cause your foot to splay outward like a duck stance and force excess pressure outward on to the shell.
It can also show as a singular point of contact as a pressure point. Either on the pinky toe, just behind on the front of the 5th met (6th toe) or it can be back further on the foot towards your ankle.
To solve this issue you should first:
1. Install a footbed to stabilize and correct foot stance.
2. Modify shell if needed with either a stretch, grind or localised punch to area.
If the heel pocket is too large or if your liner has started to pack out you may start lifting out of the heel when flexing your boot.
Dont be misled here however. If you are just standing in the boot and trying to lift your heel off the bottom it will always move up about 5mm. It really only needs to be addressed if your heel lifts while flexing or skiing.
To remove this space, it is best to start with the ankle locks. It is also possible to use a heel wedge to lift you higher in the heel pocket for a better grab.
If you are constantly skiing in the backseat or feeling tipped over the front of your skis, it is likely that you may need to adjust your angles to best suit your biomechanics and ankle ROM.
You should first take a measurement of your ankles range of motion ie. dorsiflex to guage what will be the best action to take. It will also be helpful to know what the current angles of your ski boot are in both ramp angle and forward lean.
Some boots will allow you to alter these angles simply by a mechanism. Other boots may require the use of heel wedges and spoilers to get these angles right.
Something every skier knows all too well.
It is very hard to eliminate this problem completely in ski boots. On an extremely cold day it is something that basically everyone on the mountain will be feeling.You need to approach this problem just like the Cold Feet issue by mitigating all factors that can cause cold feet. but then we can start to get more specific for the toes.
1. Warm, dry liners to begin the day.
2. Wool ski socks to keep your feet dry
3. Footbeds to promote circulation.
4. Ensure there is not excessive pressure across the top of the foot. When blood is constricted here, it can prevent the flow to your toes. A liner modification can usually resolve this.
5. The ON/OFF method in attached video.
6. Ensure you have ability to move toes up and down. Doing this on lifts will help circulation.
7. Ensure tension around the calf and ankles is not too much.
8. Possible need to install battery boot heaters.