Foot Dynamics Custom Footbeds and Orthotics Blog
Hitting the slopes on a sunny spring day is a favorite for many skiers—who enjoy warmer temperatures and a little sunshine while zipping down slopes. Foot pain, however, can quickly put a damper on your spring skiing fun.
Ill-fitting boots are most often the cause of foot pain while skiing by pinching, rubbing or allowing too much movement of the foot. Arch pain and cramping can occur when your foot is unstable, preventing even weight distribution. Without realizing it, you may be trying to use the muscles of your foot to fill space in your boots to turn and stop more effectively. This strain on your foot muscles can cause cramps and aches in your arches.
Everyone’s feet are different, and boot manufacturers design the boots to fit the greatest possible variety of feet. If they were to make the footbeds in the boots too supportive, it would “offend” some peoples’ feet and they might not buy them. This is also why boot manufacturers tend to make their liners very cushioned, to initially feel comfortable to the greatest variety of foot shapes. But foot pain can occur if the liner is too soft, allowing the foot to move around inside the shell.
Providing a stable foundation in the boot– usually involving custom ski footbeds/orthotics—will support the foot in a neutral position. Custom footbeds/orthotics reduce motion caused by the natural tendency for the foot to spread out and roll to the inside or outside, helping relieve the muscle fatigue that causes your arches to ache.
My flight from Minn. to Boise after the American Birkibeiner race was cancelled. While stuck in a hotel overnight I ran into Steve Poulin, the President of Swix Sports. He told me that the importance of a flat ski for glide cannot be overstated. He thinks the Nordic ski community needs to look much more closely at the interface of the foot to Nordic boot to ski in both classic skiing and skate skiing. We hope to continue the conversation in the next few months. Thanks Steve.
The greatest benefit of carbon fiber for ski boot construction is that the carbon fiber material is unaffected by ambient temperature. This means the boot stiffness at 10* below zero is the same as it is at 40* above zero. They are also incredibly light weight.
Only if you want the best performance and comfort from your boots. Because the foot in a ski boot is in its unlocked and flexible condition the muscles and tendons of the foot are fighting to support the arch while 2 to 3 times your body weight is forcing the ach to flatten. This can cause cramping, pain and a loss of leverage on the ski edge.