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Plug boot arch support

Bruno Schull

Getting off the lift
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Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Posts
365
@ gvisockas--Don't listen to the negative voices. You haven't done anything wrong, or acted in any way improperley. Quite the contrary.

This has happened many times. The last instance was on the thread about the "best" way to determine ankle ROM. Somebody asks a boot or fit question. People respond. Eventually somebody chimes in with the advice to go to a professional bootfitter. Perhaps an actual bootfitter shares their experience. Afterward, any discussion is mocked or parodied as inappropriate because the OPs will not listen to what the "expert" said, as if when bootfitters speak, gospel pours forth from their mouths.

All of the "just go to a qualified bootfitter" or "just listen to the bootfitter" replies seem to ignore points that have been made many times:

1-It's completely hit or miss in the bootfitting world, especially in Europe.
2-The reputation and experience of the bootfitter or shop is no guarantee that you will receive good advice or fit.
3-Economics, brands, and stock issues (what boots are available at a particular shop, and what boots somebody wants to sell) influence boot fitting as much as any foot assessment. To claim otherwise is disingenuous.
4-Experience and perceived sense of mastery by boot fitters appear to be inversely correlated with an open mind, listening to customers, and trying to find collaborative solutions instead of prescriptive orders.
5-Considering that even "simple" things like medical orthotics show mixed-to-no results in large studies, with no consensus about how they should be made, it is highly unlikely that any boot fitter who tells you they know how to "align the bones in your feet" has any idea what they are talking about.
6-Ask ten expert boot fitters what boot is best for your foot and what boot fit process you should follow and you will receive 10 different answers. What does this tell us about the supposed science of bootfitting?
7-The best you hope for is to find a store when you can talk to several people who actually ski, try on a variety of boots, make sure you're not wildly out of line with the size and overall fit, and pehaps do some light punches or molding, with knowledge that it might not work as you hope, and that you're likely going to have to keep experimenting to get it right.

Regarding the advice above to mold liners, punch shells, or do other work on boots with insoles installed, that's always made the most sense to me, but I had an expert boot fitter at Snell Sports in Chamonix (a famous store) refuse to mold my liners with insoles inside, because, "That's not the right way to do it."

So there you go.

Good luck gvisockas!
 
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MikeHunt

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Posts
268
Location
Gastein
@ gvisockas--Don't listen to the nagative voices. You haven't done anything wrong, or acted in anyway improperley. Quite the contrary.

This has happened so many times. The last instance was on the thread about the "best" way to determine ankle ROM. Somebody asks a boot or fit question. People respond. Eventually somebody chimes in with the advice to go to a professional bootfitter. Perhaps an actual bootfitter shares their experience. Afterward, any discussion is mocked or parodied as inappropriate because the OPs will not listen to what the "expert" said, as if when bootfitters speak, gospel pours forth from their mouths.

All of the "just go to a qualified bootfitter" or "just listen top the bootfitter" replies seem to ignore points that have been made many times:

1-It's completely hit or miss in the bootfitting world, especially in Europe.
2-The reputation and experience of the bootfitter or shop is no guarantee that you will receive good advice or fit.
3-Economics, brands, and stock issues (what boots are available at a particular shop, and what boots somebody wants to sell) influence boot fitting as much as any foot assessment. To claim otherwise is disingenuous.
4-Experience and perceived sense of mastery by boot fitters appear to be inversely correlated with an open mind, listening to customers, and trying to find collaborative solutions instead of prescriptive orders.
5-Considering that even "simple" things like medical orthotics show mixed-to-no results in large studies, with no consensus about how they should be made, it is highly unlikely that any boot fitter who tells you they know how to "align the bones in your feet" has any idea what they are talking about.
6-Ask ten expert boot fitters what boot is best for your foot and what boot fit process you should follow and you will receive 10 different answers. What does this tell us about the supposed science of bootfitting?
7-The best you hope for is to find a store when you can talk to several people who actually ski, try on a variety of boots, make sure you're not wildly out of line with the size and overall fit, and pehaps do some light punches or molding, with knowledge that it might not work as you hope, and that you're likely going to have to keep experimenting to get it right.

Regarding the advice above to mold liners, punch shells, or do other work on boots with insoles installed, that's always made the most sense to me, but I had an expert boot fitter at Snell Sports in Chamonix (a famous store) refuse to mold my liners with insoles inside, because, "That's not the right way to do it."

So there you go.

Good luck gvisockas!
This is the right answer. The question of insoles is much like politics and religion and one just needs to attend a church or political rally that suits their persuasion.

Just ring up a bootfitter and ask them about their leanings first to save time and money.

As far as forums go, sign up to other sites like pmts.org to find echo chamber discussion on the subject.
 

Zirbl

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 22, 2021
Posts
1,069
Location
Austria, Italy
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 . . . )
The word being "reasonable". There certainly are some putting out insoles that take up more volume in the boot than a stock insole and that also raise the heel.
 

otto

Out on the slopes
Masterfit Bootfitter
Joined
Sep 17, 2016
Posts
364
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.


The pictures are the footbeds that were in Marco's boots for that season. He had to downsize his Nordica's that year based on the volume of the 27 which he normally skis in. So that means that he was in a 26 shell with that footbed and had no issues with volume. If you look at the contact points the black material showing at the heel is approx 1mm thick, as well as at the first and fifth metatarsals. He also did not cast and finish these footbeds himself. Nor did he argue with Bob Olsen about how he thought they should be made based on myth, rumor, and innuendo that he read on the internet. Can you imagine how good his season would have been if Ski Talk had been around in 2005? He probably would have won the WC downhill at Chamonix, LOL :cool:
 

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Thread Starter
TS
G

gvisockas

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Feb 25, 2023
Posts
23
Location
Lithuania, Vilnius
@otto
Well... We're certainly not equal when it comes to the knowledge of skiing and its context and I have no problem with that. We are equal in the sense of human-to-human interaction, though, and in this regard I think that your resentful remarks should be spared. While it's, sadly, not uncommon, I genuinely think that a well-versed man is the bigger fool if his answer to a supposedly foolish question is "you are a fool". Thank you for your recommendations to find a bootfitter and listen to them without question, but I do not have the option to do so at the moment.

Now if you're willing to talk about bootfitting and share your expertise (gently, though. I'm sure you wouldn't want to kill our blossoming romance)- I will be getting slim orthotics made. Not so sure whether I will get down to 1mm, but they will surely be low profile. I am almost certain, though, that my instep will be pressured more. How do you reduce that? I've seen people grind the plastic, make indentations with a dremel tool or heat the plastic and flatten it.
 
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cem

Out on the slopes
Masterfit Bootfitter
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
673
Location
a gridlocked town in middle England
@gvisockas the part you are really missing on this is that the products exist to have the footbed 1mm thick at the heel contact point your boot fitter just has to get hold of them, true race boots (plug boots which is a horrid overused term) are not the same as a consumer boot, most fitters simply do not know where to start with them, the footbeds they use are too wide and too deep so the problems start at the very beginning

as some have said Europe is a bit hit and miss when it comes to boot fitting, but the fitter you seek needs to be one who works on this type of product on a regular basis, not just his own pair of a couple of pairs for family and friends, but who spends time regularly with a grinder in hand crafting the inner shape of the thick plastic walls to match the foot. start with a race boot too big and it will never work, get it right and with the correct level of support and you are driving an F1 race car

where are you skiing, maybe we can point you towards some of the good race guys in europe and save you some valuable time, money and pain
 
Thread Starter
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gvisockas

Booting up
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Joined
Feb 25, 2023
Posts
23
Location
Lithuania, Vilnius
Thanks for the insight and care. I am planning on going to Zillertal, Austria in February. Not so sure whether I will be able to make it to the recommended Kaprun, though.

The 92+ mm lasted boot that I have in 275MP (my feet measure ~283/285mm) is actually quite a good fit (far from comfortable, though) apart from the instep. I punched out the navicular area which has always been a problem to me. At the moment I am looking at what I can do myself. I am willing to risk the boot and I know the cost of going through it DIY-way.
 

cem

Out on the slopes
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Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
673
Location
a gridlocked town in middle England
Thanks for the insight and care. I am planning on going to Zillertal, Austria in February. Not so sure whether I will be able to make it to the recommended Kaprun, though.

The 92+ mm lasted boot that I have in 275MP (my feet measure ~283/285mm) is actually quite a good fit (far from comfortable, though) apart from the instep. I punched out the navicular area which has always been a problem to me. At the moment I am looking at what I can do myself. I am willing to risk the boot and I know the cost of going through it DIY-way.
so the guys at sport brundl in kaprun , or H&N sports in alpbach

the DIY way is always difficulty as we don't know exactly what level of pressure or how the foot is supported

fist step get that footbed
then you have to work out exactly the level of the pressure and exactly where.... it could be as simple as removing a little bit of material form the plastic of the tongue , or even repositioning the tongue on the velcro

are there some images of your foot anywhere
 
Thread Starter
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gvisockas

Booting up
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Joined
Feb 25, 2023
Posts
23
Location
Lithuania, Vilnius
@cem,
+1 to this forum's feet-pic-collage count, I made it black-white to neutralize it a bit:
Feet pic alert

My right foot pronates more than the left when weighted (made these sitting), it's visible from the navicular protrusion. It's also more troublesome than the left in the boot, though it does seem to have a much higher instep, does it?
 
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Thread Starter
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gvisockas

Booting up
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Feb 25, 2023
Posts
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Lithuania, Vilnius
I also went and scanned my feet in a shop for those who are interested to comment yet are not willing to look at bare feet:
Scan link

A bit of a backstory to why the race shell (sorry in advance, otto)- had several pairs of ordinary consumer boots, each of which incrementally fit better. Later I thought I hit the nail when I bought a pair 97mm 285MP rossignol hero boots just to find them too loose, which led me to learn about shell fit. Spent some time in a shop trying on the same, but 275MP ones and they still felt quite loose. Tried some pairs of fischer, nordica race boots but did not like any of them. Got a chance to ski an unmodified 92mm rossignol hero ZB boot in 275MP, liked how well they held my foot and pulled the trigger for a pair of supposedly friendlier 92+mm lasted boots in the same size.
 
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Near Nyquist

At the edge of instability
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Joined
Dec 3, 2017
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1,070
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Home of Apple Computer
@cem,
+1 to this forum's feet-pic-collage count, I made it black-white to neutralize it a bit:
Feet pic alert

My right foot pronates more than the left when weighted (made these sitting), it's visible from the navicular protrusion. It's also more troublesome than the left in the boot, though it does seem to have a much higher instep, does it?
IMG_0009.jpeg

You got a pronation issue, you gotta get a footbed period
Especially in a tight fitting plug

IMG_0007.jpeg


IMG_0008.jpeg


You wanna get that Achilles nice n straight so you ain’t fighting movement
 
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MikeHunt

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Posts
268
Location
Gastein
When did absolutes come into bootfitting?

Question: there's been a trend in running for pronated footed people to not use orthotics or shoe shims, but instead to strengthen their feet with exercises or adjust their stance. Seems to have worked for some people as their normal pronated stance is not an issue anymore when they are running.

Is that possible with skiing? To adjust your stance by practice and repetition, supplemented with dryland exercises, until it becomes a habit and second nature to not be pronated?
 

otto

Out on the slopes
Masterfit Bootfitter
Joined
Sep 17, 2016
Posts
364
When did absolutes come into bootfitting?


You have tripped over why it instantly turns into a pissing match out here . . .

The absolutes of bootfitting are the methodologies and the assessment skills that are practiced by the best fitters. Following those guidelines and some basic rules of physical science, mixed with some dark and mysterious artistry is how and why the best are the best.

It’s also the reason that every post out here where a skier wants a definitive answer that is linked to a product or a service that they should either buy or not buy quickly devolves into a quagmire because the pros know that they have to go through the assessment process with a live foot and ski boot together to solve the problem.

In this thread the OP wants the answer in a succinct yes or no fashion. For his issue, it is impossible to resolve because we do not have our hands, or our eyes, or our ears on him. Even with pictures, you cannot do a proper assessment. To complicate the solution he comes loaded with the typical false information that he has picked up wherever he picked it up from. Like a friend, or a coach, or a guy at the shop, or my personal favorite, the internet. In either instance the solution is first to find the fitter, then to make an appointment and bring all of the mistakes in boots and footbeds, and false information with to said fitter so they do a proper assessment and develop an action plan to fit and fix to a positive outcome.

What happens is what you see here. First the OP ignores the obvious solution even when a specific recommendation is given. For example next trip to Europe go see Fabi or Jules. How does he respond? He books a trip somewhere else and announces that he will go elsewhere. Since there are only about 20 fitters in the world that follow a legit protocol to boot fitting, the chance of his choice being legit is sketchy at best. On top of that he gets reinforcement from randoms, that have no clue for example what a specific footbed for skiing does, and how they can best be built after assessing all of the parts, pieces, and personality.

It has been said out here before, but I will remind you that the retail experience in ski boots has been and still is universally very weak. With the current economy it is only getting worse. That means that the value of the best boot fitters is increasing. It also means that finding that person is the responsibility of the end user. It still remains the case that a personal recommendation from a competent skier, instructor, or coach is the first step towards a boot fitting love match.
 

Zirbl

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 22, 2021
Posts
1,069
Location
Austria, Italy
You have tripped over why it instantly turns into a pissing match out here . . .
Actually, it was with one of your earlier posts in this thread in mind:
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.
 

otto

Out on the slopes
Masterfit Bootfitter
Joined
Sep 17, 2016
Posts
364
Question: there's been a trend in running for pronated footed people to not use orthotics or shoe shims, but instead to strengthen their feet with exercises or adjust their stance. Seems to have worked for some people as their normal pronated stance is not an issue anymore when they are running.

Is that possible with skiing? To adjust your stance by practice and repetition, supplemented with dryland exercises, until it becomes a habit and second nature to not be pronated?

A footbed for a fixed foot device and a footbed for a shoe are not the same. A ski boot is a fixed foot device that does not allow for the same mechanics of the joints in the foot. A ski boot also has the advantage of support of the lower leg and ankles. In a shoe where gait is involved all of the work of the footbed is done from the device, you get no help from the shoe.

Exercising any part of your body could be a good thing. For a boot fitter your job needs to be solving the puzzle for what is right in front of you. Not sending the client home to make physical changes to their body. So the best a fitter can do is assess and solve for what is sitting on your bench. If improvement to foot mechanics can be made in the gym or at home, great, come back in when your changed and your fitter will re-assess and make changes in your set- up to accommodate.
 

cem

Out on the slopes
Masterfit Bootfitter
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
673
Location
a gridlocked town in middle England
@cem,
+1 to this forum's feet-pic-collage count, I made it black-white to neutralize it a bit:
Feet pic alert

My right foot pronates more than the left when weighted (made these sitting), it's visible from the navicular protrusion. It's also more troublesome than the left in the boot, though it does seem to have a much higher instep, does it?
i honestly can't see too many issues from those pictures, slight protrusion at the metatarsal cuneiform joint, but that should be dealt with with a minor modification to the tongue of the boot
 

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