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Plug boot arch support

gvisockas

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Hello,
There is a nice article about arch support when it comes to race fit boots on https://skiracing.com/do-top-racers-use-footbeds/
As it is noted there, plug boots seldom can accommodate a proper arch supporting insole. The idea of gluing some cork or foam directly to the bootboard certainly caught my interest.
How do you manage your arches in plug boots (if possible, share a picture(s))?

P.S. Mind you, since the question whether arches should be supported etc. might be a heated one, let's leave it out.
 

Philpug

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Paging @otto to the SkiTalk Courtesy Phone
 

otto

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Let's simplify this discussion . . . If you are in the top 100 of any event on the World Cup Start List then it is ok to choose whatever set-up that makes you or keeps you in that group.
Everyone else should have their arches assessed for flexibility and shape, then a custom footbed should be worked into the boot ( whatever the size and volume are ) A properly built and interfaced footbed will improve the fit and performance for any ski racer regardless of their talent and rankings. With one exception, and that exception is a foot that has a completely flat arch that is so tight that it cannot tolerate any upward influence on the arch.

The things you stated in your post that are the most incorrect and misleading are: "As it is noted there, plug boots seldom can accommodate a proper arch supporting insole" That statement is false! "Seldom" is an opinion that is not factual. Of that top 100 on the WC Start List, my opinion is that at least 90% of those athletes have a custom footbed of some sort in their race boots.
 
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gvisockas

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That's a fair point, "seldom" was rather an exaggeration of the point, I for sure am not the one to make statistical assumptions. Though, in all fairness, the premise you're dubious about does not change the question- I'm interested in how people are managing this.

I have always struggled with ski boots accommodating my insoles- an important part of an orthotic is to stabilize the heel and this exact factor raises the foot in turn reducing the available volume.
 
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otto

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I have always struggled with ski boots accommodating my insoles- an important part of an orthotic is to stabilize the heel and this exact factor raises the foot in turn reducing the available volume.

Your struggle is self inflicted! A properly cast, and finished footbed does not affect the volume in any ski ski boot. If anything it has the opposite effect. It can shorten the length, narrow the width, as well as bring the heel bone deeper into the back of the shell.

I feel bad that you have not found a fitter with skills in Lithuania. Your opinion has been formed because you have not worked with an accomplished boot fitter. In this instance, you are not an everyman, you are an outlier. The outlier should not be the one describing the problem that is not a problem, implying that everyone suffers like you. Instead of searching for content online that narrowly supports your premise, take that same time and energy and put it into finding the fitter that can help you get your set-up to help your ski racing.

Flights are available from Vilnius to Munich or Geneva. You could see Fabi Stiepel in Kaprun at Brundl Sport or Jules Mills in Chamonix.
 
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skipress

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Let's simplify this discussion . . . If you are in the top 100 of any event on the World Cup Start List then it is ok to choose whatever set-up that makes you or keeps you in that group.
Everyone else should have their arches assessed for flexibility and shape, then a custom footbed should be worked into the boot ( whatever the size and volume are ) A properly built and interfaced footbed will improve the fit and performance for any ski racer regardless of their talent and rankings. With one exception, and that exception is a foot that has a completely flat arch that is so tight that it cannot tolerate any upward influence on the arch.

The things you stated in your post that are the most incorrect and misleading are: "As it is noted there, plug boots seldom can accommodate a proper arch supporting insole" That statement is false! "Seldom" is an opinion that is not factual. Of that top 100 on the WC Start List, my opinion is that at least 90% of those athletes have a custom footbed of some sort in their race boots.
Yup
That's a fair point, "seldom" was rather an exaggeration of the point, I for sure am not the one to make statistical assumptions. Though, in all fairness, the premise you're dubious about does not change the question- I'm interested in how people are managing this.

I have always struggled with ski boots accommodating my insoles- an important part of an orthotic is to stabilize the heel and this exact factor raises the foot in turn reducing the available volume.
See Otto, what you describe is odd unless:
  • The footbed is 'super thick' [or just wrong]
  • The boot is very low over the instep
 
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gvisockas

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Thank you for your insight! There are several people who do work with boots, however, I came out a bit let down in the end and resorted to punching troublesome areas myself.

The boot that I have is a Rossi Hero ZJ+, which fit me best out of all the boots I've tried (others would not hold my heel that well). I know that this line of reasoning might be even more dubious than my opening question, though.

The question remains- could you give me an example of a footbed that could be used in a close fitting boot? There is a guy using a sidas-like vacuum forming tool, but the insoles he produces are a task to wear even with regular shoes (due to an aggressive heel lift), let alone a plug boot.
 

MikeHunt

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For those who want to experiment with no arch support school of thought, is it just a matter of removing the arch support and replacing it with standard footbed that came with boots? Are there additional boot adjustments needed?

If one were to experiment with no arch support from the get go and find it not to their liking, is it possible to undo by just adding arch support footbeds? Or are there boot modifications to no arch support that cannot be undone if one were to convert to arch support footbeds?
 

onenerdykid

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If one were to experiment with no arch support from the get go and find it not to their liking, is it possible to undo by just adding arch support footbeds? Or are there boot modifications to no arch support that cannot be undone if one were to convert to arch support footbeds?
Most human feet are in VERY different positions when supported vs. unsupported. Performing shell modifications, geometry modifications, etc. based on an unsupported foot will lead to vastly different (and incorrect) modifications done to the boot. You'll most likely have to start over.
 

MikeHunt

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Most human feet are in VERY different positions when supported vs. unsupported. Performing shell modifications, geometry modifications, etc. based on an unsupported foot will lead to vastly different (and incorrect) modifications done to the boot. You'll most likely have to start over.
Is the modification to an unsupported boot done with the arches collapsed or the arches tensed up?
 
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otto

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Yup

See Otto, what you describe is odd unless:
  • The footbed is 'super thick' [or just wrong]
  • The boot is very low over the instep

Welcome to 2023. If you look at the dominant players in the direct mold footbed business, which today would include Sidas, Instaprint, Boot Doc, Superfeet. These are all thin heat moldable blanks that can be used posted or unposted, or have small heel stabilizers that sit flush with the bottom of the heel bone.

None of these brands promote a a thick dense footbed that would effectively reduce the volume inside the boot. So the question needs to be asked where are these baloney sandwich thick footbeds coming from? Is there some secret stash of Kork Superfeet hiding out in the marketplace?

Secondly there is no race boot in production that can’t handle a high instep, either out of the box, or after modifying the tongue or the shell, to accommodate a high instep or boney prominence over the mid foot.

There was a line in the movie “Animal House” where Dean Wormer told Flounder that “Fat, Drunk, and Stupid was no way to go through life” For the subject of fitting and balancing race boots with custom footbeds, I would alter that sentiment to “Myth, Rumor, and Innuendo is no way to get your boots set up for the highest level of performance”
 

otto

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Thank you for your insight! There are several people who do work with boots, however, I came out a bit let down in the end and resorted to punching troublesome areas myself.

The boot that I have is a Rossi Hero ZJ+, which fit me best out of all the boots I've tried (others would not hold my heel that well). I know that this line of reasoning might be even more dubious than my opening question, though.

The question remains- could you give me an example of a footbed that could be used in a close fitting boot? There is a guy using a sidas-like vacuum forming tool, but the insoles he produces are a task to wear even with regular shoes (due to an aggressive heel lift), let alone a plug boot.

Dubious, Yes that is exactly the direction your argument takes us. Based on the information that you have posted on this thread the reason that many of the boots you have tried do not hold your heel down is because you are not using a custom footbed to help your feet behave themselves in whatever boot you are using. You are now making the exact argument as to why you need a custom footbed in your boots. When the heel bone is not gently supported in subtalar joint neutral the mid foot joints can be forced out of alignment which would tend to have the entire foot difficult to contain for the transfer of impulses to the ski. It would be similar to playing video games with a loose joystick. It will also cause other fit problems that will not be solvable until you position the foot in the boot for control of your skis.

The answer to the question you keep asking is ALL OF THEM!!!!!!! I do not know of any reasonable boot fitter on planet earth that is building a custom footbed from any direct mold manufacturer that has the finished product being put into the boot with any lift in the heel. Now keep in mind that I am only referencing boot fitters on this planet. Some out there may be doing boot business on other planets? Or planning on making their next boot purchase on Mars or Venus ( I hear that both are making a deal with EPIC to be included in the Epic pass program . . . )
 

otto

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Is the modification to an unsupported boot done with the arches collapsed or the arches tensed up?

OMG! This thread has lost the thread . . .

Reading your post has tensed up my arches, and I am in my living room wearing flip flops, choking and beating my dog about the head! JK, it's my ex-wifes dog!!!
 

MikeHunt

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OMG! This thread has lost the thread . . .

Reading your post has tensed up my arches, and I am in my living room wearing flip flops, choking and beating my dog about the head! JK, it's my ex-wifes dog!!!

Tensed up your arches wearing flipflops? But flipflops are flat and don't have arch support.

Are you saying it's possible to tense your arches without footbeds?!?!?!?
 

cem

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if the people who are using race boots actually went to fitters who are working with them on a regular basis then this thread wouldn't need to exist

the average retail boot fitter hasn't got the first clue about what will and won't fit in a race boot, dam their only fitting tool is an oven

i can't think of one time in the last 18 years of owning my business that i wasn't able to fit a footbed into a race boot, it certainly doesn't need the boot to be over sized. it just takes the right product, the right skills and a little time to interface it correctly

@otto i might happen to have a couple of superfeet kork in your size if you ever need one ;) although they won't fit in your race boot for sure
 
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gvisockas

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@otto, you seemed genuinely nice when I wrote you a message this spring. Why are you looking at all of this from a moral high ground perspective? You do understand, that as pitiful as it may look to you, these questions are genuinely aimed towards learning (I hope the colleague from Gastein was not trolling)?

Mind you, I acknowledged your doubts about the line of reasoning, but the questions still are very much worth answering without all of the 'this is utterly wrong, but...' in advance. Strange to me how the default 'go to a bootfitter' is still common in the subsection dedicated to questions about bootfitting.

Now onto an a bit more technical clarification- a foot can be unstable in several axes. I'm well aware of the arches that may be in need of support, posting and what not. One could argue that quite a lot of the support is due to weak external hip rotators (no support needed there, just strenghtening). And as much as it were to amuse you, my heel was not lacking in support due to a bad axial alignment or the lack of posting, but rather the heel pocket size and shape itself- I have rather wide feet with small heels.

We could go into a bit more detail of how posting or a footbed actually works in terms of mechanics (say, posting) and I'm pretty sure on my problem with regards to this, but I seriously doubt that all of this is needed in order to see or get to know:
How do you manage your arches in plug boots (if possible, share a picture(s))?
 
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markojp

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You've been lead to water by the best who have decades of race boot fitting experience. They're telling you clearly that you're asking the wrong questions because you haven't worked with a fitter who knows their way around the product(s) you're asking about, yet you're not respecting their answers to your question. You're looking for validation of your own notions based on your opinion rather than making use of their advice based in actual experience. I'd say they're being kind. Tough love? Maybe. No one can make you believe anything you aren't ready to hear.

Otto's advice has been 120% spot on.
 

jt10000

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None of these brands promote a a thick dense footbed that would effectively reduce the volume inside the boot. So the question needs to be asked where are these baloney sandwich thick footbeds coming from? Is there some secret stash of Kork Superfeet hiding out in the marketplace?
Ask Ron DeSantis. Hahah - kidding, kidding.

There are thicker ones - products designed for comfort in work boots, etc, for people who stand a lot. But we don't have to buy them. In my household we use trim-to-fit products from Sidas, Superfeet and Sole. Sole at least sells thicks ones. We don't have to buy them. They're a bad idea in performance footwear and I doubt they're used by professionals fitting clients.
 
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gvisockas

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You've been lead to water by the best who have decades of race boot fitting experience. They're telling you clearly that you're asking the wrong questions because you haven't worked with a fitter who knows their way around the product(s) you're asking about, yet you're not respecting their answers to your question. You're looking for validation of your own notions based on your opinion rather than making use of their advice based in actual experience. I'd say they're being kind. Tough love? Maybe. No one can make you believe anything you aren't ready to hear.

Otto's advice has been 120% spot on.
Reminded me of a hologram that could only answer preloaded questions in the movie "I, Robot". I know that you should start fitting a boot by getting the foot into a correct posture. I know that otherwise the foot might overpronate and take up more room, as otto pointed out. I know that an experienced bootfitter would surely help me and do everything that I am asking about (albeit wrong). What I do not agree with is the 'let your boots be tampered by an experienced bootfitter only'. Is this not the subsection where one would go if one wanted to make some alterations?

I might be completely wrong, that I can't deny, but it seems analogous to answer the question of 'how do I sew a pair of pants?' with 'you go to an experienced tailor'.

Of course there was a lot of good information that I am thankful for, i.e. that footbeds certainly can be fitted, that alterations to tongue and instep can be made to alter that etc..

What I found out when looking at sidas insoles (based on the previous answer) is how thin they can be:
winter-slim.jpg
 
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