Spring Skiing: Aching Arches Shadowing Your Fun in the Sun?
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.