Tipping the foot inside the boot first - why?

LiquidFeet

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I'm going to phrase this several ways.

--Should a skier begin tilting the ski on edge by pronating/supinating the foot inside the boot before tilting the shin?
--Does this independent tilting of the foot inside the boot beneficially impact the tipping of the ski? If so, how?
--Does this benefit depend on the footbed allowing the foot to supinate/pronate inside the boot without any tilting of the cuff?
--Is this independent early foot tipping inside the boot needed not for ski control, but for comfort?
 
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Cheizz

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I am not an instructor, myself (little disclaimer). It has been explained to me, that initiating the rolling on edge from the foot up has a different effect on the outcome (getting the ski on edge) as opposed to initiating that movement from higher up the leg. I never fully understood WHY, though. So, I'm interested too.
 

crosscountry

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I suspect it is individual.

Nobody is identical to others. Nobody's got "perfect" boot fits either. So it depends on whether there's a good footbed or how well the cuff fits, one individual may find one way works better than the other.
 

Rod9301

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I'm going to phrase this several ways.

--Should a skier begin tilting the ski on edge by pronating/supinating the foot inside the boot before tilting the shin?

Yes

--Does this independent tilting of the foot inside the boot beneficially impact the tipping of the ski? If so, how?

Not sure why, but it works

--Does this benefit depend on the footbed allowing the foot to supinate/pronate inside the boot without any tilting of the cuff?

It doesn't seem to, i think it's because you're starting a movement chain properly. In my alpine boots i don't have much room at all and i still start the tipping from my little toe.
On the other hand, my orthotics are flexible so maybe i do have the room to tip.

--Is this independent early foot tipping inside the boot needed not for ski control, but for comfort?

But best to read harb's book, and blog, he did a great job explaining.
 

Rich_Ease_3051

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My guess is it's a chain of muscles and tendons and ligaments and nerves and skin and bones all acting as one lever.

Kinda like arm wrestling. If you arm wrestle by just gripping your opponents' hand and then drive the arm with just the deltoid (mentally ignoring the chain from hand to arm to elbow to shoulder to body), you will lose. And possibly break your humerus.

MODERATOR NOTE: Yes, the video shows the break (along with audio). Squeamish need not apply.



The foot-shin-knee chain is the same complex machinery with little muscles and ligaments and tendons and bones working with the bigger muscles and ligaments and tendons and bones all controlled by the central nervous system with the skin as an outer layer sensor. To describe it would probably need pages and pages of explanation as it's complex organic machinery compared to "simple" robotic machine counterparts controlled by "just" a CPU.
 
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Rich_Ease_3051

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Could be the foot is also a sensor that gives the brain more precise feedback as to the angle of the boot. Maybe without this more precise sensory calculation (compared to shin), the body doesn't know how much tipping angle has been achieved compared to tipping predominantly by shin. Or the angle calculation is less precise by shin compared to foot pronating/supinating or "feeling" the angle of the footbed.
 
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LiquidFeet

LiquidFeet

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Can everyone be more specific? Micro-analysis wanted.

1. How does the foot tipping, independent of and preceding the shin tipping, affect the ski?
2. Or is the value of the foot tipping due to its improving the brain's ability to effectively control all the other things we do to tip the ski?
 

Rich_Ease_3051

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Can everyone be more specific? Micro-analysis wanted.

1. How does the foot tipping, independent of and preceding the shin tipping, affect the ski?
2. Or is the value of the foot tipping due to its improving the brain's ability to effectively control all the other things we do to tip the ski?

With number 2, it's possibly the reason why the likes of Gellie like a flat footbed compared to one shaped to the contours of the base of the foot.

With a flat footbed, the foot knows exactly the angle (0 degrees) as it's flat surface.

The foot/brain knows precisely that the angle is at 0 degrees, for example, while standing (without tipping), as flat footbed means precisely 0 degrees which lies on a 0 degree binding (or +/- a few degees) which lies on a 0 degree ski which lies on a 0 degree ground.

With a shaped footbed, the foot/brain sensor is slightly confused as it's no longer a flat surface. It now has to compute and activate secondary sensors (shin?) to account for the contours of the footbed (which have many, many degrees of angles all over the shape of the top of the footbed/base of the foot) relative to the 0 degree flat bottom of the footbed/binding(+/-)/ski/ground.
 
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Erik Timmerman

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I'm going to phrase this several ways.

--Should a skier begin tilting the ski on edge by pronating/supinating the foot inside the boot before tilting the shin? Yes
--Does this independent tilting of the foot inside the boot beneficially impact the tipping of the ski? If so, how? Yes - more precise
--Does this benefit depend on the footbed allowing the foot to supinate/pronate inside the boot without any tilting of the cuff? Maybe? Don't really know.
--Is this independent early foot tipping inside the boot needed not for ski control, but for comfort? I don't think so

I think I have mentioned this before, but imagine a world in which we ski on skis that have no bindings to hold us to the skis. You have maybe rubber mats or skateboard grip tape but that's it. Or maybe children's bindings set at 0.5. I think you could actually ski on that setup but only if your tipping came from the feet. If you moved your knee to tip the ski you'd just come flying off the ski. That is to say you could tilt the ski onto LTE by pressing the little toe into the ski/snow, but not by lifting the big toe. This idea has been a big breakthrough for me over the last 3 years or so. I think that it really helps with balance. If the time was available, I'd like to try it for real at the magic carpet. Start with boot on ski (like 120cm kids ski with grip tape). Move to clog and liner but no cuff. Try it wearing just socks and footbeds glued onto ski. Finally barefoot on grip take ski. Something would be learned!
 

fatbob

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Is it important that the
A) foot actually moves within the clog?
or
B) skier feels consciously that they are trying to tip the foot first?


The 2 are not necessarily the same and I can think of all sorts of friction issues why A may not desirable from a foot health perspective. Or put another way if elimination of boot slop is a primary driver for precision boot fitting, zipfit liners etc why reintroduce it in encouraging the foot to tilt within the clog. The (scar)hole in my little toe is screaming as I type this.
 

Brian Finch

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The move that I think we are describing is what Johno McBride called "picking up the edge"....

(I know what ur thinking we don't ever lift the edge.....)

More recently the topic of subtalar motion has been a buzzword for coaches in that we establish the edge by early & fine tuning of the feet and then slice / manipulate the ski in the arc. The inverse is easier to conceptualize as 'park n ride'.
 

cantunamunch

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I think I have mentioned this before, but imagine a world in which we ski on skis that have no bindings to hold us to the skis. You have maybe rubber mats or skateboard grip tape but that's it. Or maybe children's bindings set at 0.5. I think you could actually ski on that setup but only if your tipping came from the feet. If you moved your knee to tip the ski you'd just come flying off the ski. That is to say you could tilt the ski onto LTE by pressing the little toe into the ski/snow, but not by lifting the big toe. This idea has been a big breakthrough for me over the last 3 years or so. I think that it really helps with balance. If the time was available, I'd like to try it for real at the magic carpet. Start with boot on ski (like 120cm kids ski with grip tape). Move to clog and liner but no cuff. Try it wearing just socks and footbeds glued onto ski. Finally barefoot on grip take ski. Something would be learned!

Both the Finns and Karelian Russians had hunting skis that would do exactly this - the "binding" was basically an interlock of the felt-soled snow boots and a piece of spiky animal fur on the ski itself.

But you don't need to get that complicated. Just mount a pair of NNN touring bindings onto your kids ski and click in with your low cut classic stride boots :D

Seriously, low-cut nordic boots and low-cut skate boots will answer a lot of the questions in this thread.

(For those reading the footbed thread, don't think of a low cut bootie as analogous to the clog. Think of the low cut bootie as analogous to the alpine footbed, just with bigger heel cups :) )
 
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Yo Momma

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Micro analysis would be the equivalent of a Neuro-Anatomy course. The body works in a unified manner. We can dissect the movement into a chain of command, but that "chain" consists of varying inputs via neurotranmitters that fire to control the various inputs requested from the brain. That firing is sent to all parts of the body some under conscious control, some not... meaning so subtle that it's imperceptible ... The Zone for example...

Many of us practice foot exercises, flexibility and musculature buildup in the hopes that movements will become imperceptible and essentially automatic and help us to more easily achieve... The Zone..... where everything seems to be firing all at once and there seems to be no "Conscious" control or participation from the host...

Good Thread @LiquidFeet ! :beercheer:
 

Erik Timmerman

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Both the Finns and Karelian Russians had hunting skis that would do exactly this - the "binding" was basically an interlock of the felt-soled snow boots and a piece of spiky animal fur on the ski itself.

But you don't need to get that complicated. Just mount a pair of NNN touring bindings onto your kids ski and click in with your low cut classic stride boots :D

Seriously, low-cut nordic boots and low-cut skate boots will answer a lot of the questions in this thread.

(For those reading the footbed thread, don't think of a low cut bootie as analogous to the clog. Think of the low cut bootie as analogous to the alpine footbed, just with bigger heel cups :) )
Very true. How prevalent are footbeds in Nordic? Sometimes when I am doing some mega-pizza moves on Nordic gear I feel like I am running out of foot/ankle ROM!
 

chilehed

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1. How does the foot tipping, independent of and preceding the shin tipping, affect the ski?
Disclaimer: I'm not an instructor.

But it's apparent to me that it's the simplest and quickest way to pressure the edge you want pressured. If you don't pressure the soles of your feet, the only way to pressure the edge is to pressure the boot top, which requires large movements that take time to initiate and a bit of speed to balance.

The absolute very first drill I do every single day on the slopes is walking-speed turns initiated by pressuring the soles of my feet, first from side to side and then adding in a very slight rolling of the inside ski onto the front inside (of the turn) tip by lightening the heel. Stay upright, sink shins into the boot tongue. It results in very tight slow speed turns. Then I progress into more speed and more angulation, bringing knees and hips into play. It seems to work well for me, but if any pros have suggestions about what problems it might cause I'm all ears.
 
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Erik Timmerman

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the only way to pressure the edge is to pressure the boot top, which requires large movements that take time to initiate and a bit of speed to balance.

it’s also basically impossible. If I drive my knee to the outside the pressure from the cuff comes on the inside!
 

HardDaysNight

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A couple of basic questions occur to me:

During the pressure phase of a turn, when the stance foot is supporting some multiple of one’s body weight in force, is it preferable for that foot to be in a strong configuration with the bony arch solid or in a relatively weak, adaptive configuration?

Is a pronated foot, as advocated by Gellie, the former or the latter?

It is certainly true that the mechanics of skiing are not the same as those of normal gait (for obvious reasons), but it’s equally true that the fundamentals of normal foot function are fixed by its anatomy and structure. Just something to ponder.
 
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