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Plug boot arch support

onenerdykid

Product Manager, Atomic Ski Boots
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When did absolutes come into bootfitting?
If we say there are no absolutes in boot fitting, then that itself becomes an absolute within boot fitting. It's a self defeating statement. So, the reality is more like- there are (very) few absolutes in boot fitting.

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?
Physics always wins. The strongest and/or most rigid foot is still more flexible than the ski boot. Therefore, it will move inside the ski boot when force is applied to it, especially the force & torque of a 180+cm lever arm underneath it called a ski, traveling at speed down a slope. The foot can't win that battle, it needs help. It needs support, it needs guidance. And that is what a proper footbed will achieve.

Even if you could strengthen the foot and therefore control it in a ski boot while skiing, why would you want to waste the physical and mental effort in order to do that EVERY turn and in addition to everything else we need to think about while skiing? We progressed into plastic ski boots from leather ones because the plastic version makes skiing easier and more enjoyable. The plastic ski boot is doing more of the work for us. Footbeds are doing a similar thing - guiding the foot so we don't have to.
 
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gvisockas

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More info on cold feet relative to instep pressure over the mid foot bump or surfers knot…


In the end, @otto saves the day (taken from a different thread). Turns out that the left bootboard (no instep or supported arch problem) is concave and the right one (troublesome) is convex as shown in the picture. Will sand it, get some low profile insoles later in the week and hopefully it will solve much of my problem.
 

ted

Getting off the lift
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Arch support isn’t necessarily about arch support. It’s more like improving the base foundations of the arch with appropriate heel, plantar, and forefoot countours.
 
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gvisockas

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@ted fair point, but in all seriousness, contour is a property more attributed to shape whereas support, foundation are properties attributed to acting forces. A practical question to you and all- would you rather use insoles made for a weighted, but corrected foot (i.e. knee rotation) or an unweighted foot? The latter contours the foot as-it-should-be, but takes up more space etc..
 

cem

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@ted fair point, but in all seriousness, contour is a property more attributed to shape whereas support, foundation are properties attributed to acting forces. A practical question to you and all- would you rather use insoles made for a weighted, but corrected foot (i.e. knee rotation) or an unweighted foot? The latter contours the foot as-it-should-be, but takes up more space etc..
why would a footbed made for a non weighted foot take up more space than one for a weighted (but corrected) foot

when it comes to correcting that weight foot, gravity is a wonderful thing, but in a fully weighted position it is dam near impossible to keep that foot in the exactly correct position
 
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gvisockas

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I understand your confusion @cem. The amplitude of my navicular drop is enough to consider it hypermobile. When weighted, I can for sure correct my alignment by tensing up muscles and so lifting my medial arch or, say, alter the position of the heel, knee etc.. This all happens with a dropped navicular, though. I had insoles made with a sidas-like machine while standing and they did not provide enough support to stop the navicular collapse. What I meant was (at least for me), I can have a foot with a supported arch and dropped navicular that has low instep (takes up less space) but quite flat otherwise, or I can have it in an unweighted position in which the navicular does not drop and I have a better overall position with the cost of a higher instep.

I spent some time and found out that I feel lots of pressure where the lace retainers are. Turns out that they can be up to 4mm thick. I am planning on cutting them off and either pressing a flat eyelet on the side or just leaving them as-is.
1700581948191.png
 

cem

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so in answer to the the question

a non weight bearing insole WILL NOT take up any more space than a weighted insole with the foot in a corrected position

i understand your desire to do this yourself, but by the time you get the result a good boot fitter could get in a couple of hours the season will most likely be over
 

otto

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I understand your confusion @cem. The amplitude of my navicular drop is enough to consider it hypermobile. When weighted, I can for sure correct my alignment by tensing up muscles and so lifting my medial arch or, say, alter the position of the heel, knee etc.. This all happens with a dropped navicular, though. I had insoles made with a sidas-like machine while standing and they did not provide enough support to stop the navicular collapse. What I meant was (at least for me), I can have a foot with a supported arch and dropped navicular that has low instep (takes up less space) but quite flat otherwise, or I can have it in an unweighted position in which the navicular does not drop and I have a better overall position with the cost of a higher instep.

I spent some time and found out that I feel lots of pressure where the lace retainers are. Turns out that they can be up to 4mm thick. I am planning on cutting them off and either pressing a flat eyelet on the side or just leaving them as-is.
View attachment 216203
 

cem

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@otto shows it 100% again

small incremental changes and precise location make a massive difference
 

Noodler

Sir Turn-a-lot
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In the end, @otto saves the day (taken from a different thread). Turns out that the left bootboard (no instep or supported arch problem) is concave and the right one (troublesome) is convex as shown in the picture. Will sand it, get some low profile insoles later in the week and hopefully it will solve much of my problem.

Proceed with caution padowan...

It is incredibly easy to really screw up the "angles" of the bootboard if you try to do this by hand (don't ask me how I know). Without using some kind of jig, it's very difficult to maintain uniform pressure and evenly sand the top of the bootboard to keep it level across all the different axes. You may inadvertently introduce internal bootboard canting that will impact your stance and your fit.

I think it's a good idea to understand the principles of boot fit and alignment so that you can communicate and work with a good fitter. However, unless you're willing to learn some hard lessons (and fail multiple times along the way), doing your own boot work has a lot of risk.
 

Floyd47

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... 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.
What is your approach to making a custom footbed (or how might you have to change your approach) when a skier's subtalar joint is fused? I have personal curiosity on the issue... Also curious how you've seen this affect the skier's need for canting. I would guess it all depends based on the foot's "new" neutral position after being fused as well the rest of the foot's structure, but curious to hear from those fitters who have seen dealt with it.
 

otto

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You meet the customer and the foot where it is. There is no mystery. A fused subtalar joint is not looking for a footbed that un-fuses it. There may be a solid argument that feet that have limited motion due to injury or any other circumstance may be better served by making the underfoot support on the softer side to compensate for absorption that is not taken place through the mobile adapter that the bones of the feet are. If the subtalar joint is fused, it can be a stable foot. to the canting question, I think that you would set the sole angle as it shows where the knee stacks up over the center line of the boot.
 

Floyd47

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You meet the customer and the foot where it is. There is no mystery. A fused subtalar joint is not looking for a footbed that un-fuses it. There may be a solid argument that feet that have limited motion due to injury or any other circumstance may be better served by making the underfoot support on the softer side to compensate for absorption that is not taken place through the mobile adapter that the bones of the feet are. If the subtalar joint is fused, it can be a stable foot. to the canting question, I think that you would set the sole angle as it shows where the knee stacks up over the center line of the boot.
Appreciate the response and insight. Wasn't suggesting that a footbed would undo a fusion - was more implying what do you do if you can't get the foot into a ST neutral position because of the angle/position at which the bones were fused. But I follow - you can't work miracles, can only work within the limits of the foot's mobility.

On my foot with the fused ST, when I weight my forefoot as I flex into a ski boot or while walking, I feel there is a lateral weight shift from my 5th met towards my 1st met as I dorsiflect (like forefoot pronation) that isn't resolved through higher or firmer arch support. In my ski boots I just use my footbeds made by a boot fitter. But in my everyday running shoes I've experimented with insoles with various arch support heights and what seems to prevent this the most is a forefoot varus wedge (in my case, just a piece of 3mm neoprene duck taped under the 1st/2nd met part of my forefoot).
 

dx111

Booting up
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May 2, 2020
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Sport H&N in Reith im Alpbachtal has been recommended in this thread as a competent bootfitting outlet in Tirol. Is there any specific person working there as a bootfitter that is recommended to request?
 

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