Ski Performance Starts at the Feet
Some problems require specialized assistance to resolve, but you may be able to resolve some of these common issues on your own
Arch Pain & Cramping
Forefoot Cramping & Numbness
Cramping in the arch and in the ball of the foot are common problems. Cramping occurs when your foot is unstable. You may be trying to use the muscles of you foot to fill voids in the boot in order to edge effectively. Fatigue from this strain causes the foot to ache and cramp.
Women’s feet and anatomy are not the same as men’s. A woman’s foot is usually smaller in the ankle, wider in the forefoot and higher at the instep. A woman’s calf muscle is also longer. There are many boots designed specifically to fit women today.
Shin Pressure & Pain
The tongue of the boot is designed to hold the foot securely in place. It distributes the pressure of flexing, absorbs shock, protects the skier from pain and transmits energy to the ski. Friction from the shin or sock rubbing against the tongue as the boot is flexed is known as “shin bite”. The front of the leg can be rubbed red and raw. Another cause of “shin bite” is uneven pressure of the shin against the tongue. If you feel a sharp pain when flexing forward but the pain is relieved when you stand upright, that indicates an uneven pressure distribution of the boot against your shin. In many instances, realignment of the boot tongue where it comes in contact with the lower leg will solve this problem. Customizing the liner or boot shell and adding a custom insole or foot bed can also eliminate many shin problems.
Feet usually become cold due to restricted blood flow. Improperly fitted boots put uneven pressure on the foot, limiting blood flow. Proper support of the foot is crucial. However skiing is a cold (sometimes freezing experience). Boot warmers, boot gloves and proper socks will help a great deal in properly fitting boots.
Ankle & Heel Slop | Poor Edge Control
In most cases, ankle pressure, heel slop and poor edging are caused by boots that are too big. Why should a boot hurt if it is too big? In order to get a good link between your foot and boot, you might try to over come the slop by buckling too tight, causing pain. Squeezing the foot in this area is not an effective way of holding the heel down. Side to side fit is just as important as length.