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Cold Toes in New Boots!

Laroken

Certified Ski Diva
I leveled up my gear at the start of this season, and one thing I invested in was a new pair of stiffer, better-fitting boots. I love the new boots, and totally see now that my old boots were too big. But here’s the problem … without all that extra room to spare in my too-big-boots, my toes are now getting really, REALLY cold. Like painfully cold within a few runs, to completely numb by lunch. Any tips or tricks or thoughts (other than going back to skiing in boots a size too big?!?!?)?
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I ski in junior race boots and they're not well insulated. I've got boot heaters that usually do the trick. I do wonder, though, if your feet are going cold that fast if they're getting cold or if you've got hot spots somewhere that are making your feet numb beyond just the cold?
 
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mustski

Angel Diva
Step one - make sure that there are no hot spots pressuring the instep and the various arteries which run through it. Are your front 2 buckles super loose? If not, try a few runs with them super loose and see how you feel. I always have to start with mine loose and then tighten them up once I get circulation going. Then I tighten them up to ski and loosen them for the chair for a few more runs. After that, I'm good for the day. It sounds like a circulation problem. If loosening the buckles doesn't work, go back to your boot fitter.
 

Laroken

Certified Ski Diva
Thanks, guys. I don’t think I have any hot spots — the boots fit really well, which is why this is so disappointing, and I’m not feeling anything that would indicate a hot spot or anything like that. I do wonder, though, whether I am going too tight too fast on my buckles (they definitely are NOT super loose, and I do think I am accustomed to clamping them down tight, which was an absolute must when my boots were too large). I will try to keep my buckles looser the first few runs, and see if that does the trick. I do think it is a circulation issue, because adding a sock-liner today only made the problem worse. If I can’t solve it with how I’m buckling, I will look into the heaters/hotronics … I wasn’t sure whether those were just gimmicks, but it sounds like they actually work for at least some of you!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Boot heaters are not a gimmick. Love mine. Would not have survived today
In fact today was the first time my feet weren't numb. Guess I need to up the temperature more often.

My heaters are Thermic.
 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
@Laroken - I find a delicate balance (and ski in coooooollllld weather) is required. Buckles on toes are barely buckled, no tension. bottom buckle of cuff is the MOST secure/requires most pressure to close. Top buckle of cuff is snug but not tight. Then my toes are fine. This week it was extra cold so I stuck a toe warmer to my calf OUTSIDE the boot

Good luck.
 

Laroken

Certified Ski Diva
@Laroken - I find a delicate balance (and ski in coooooollllld weather) is required. Buckles on toes are barely buckled, no tension. bottom buckle of cuff is the MOST secure/requires most pressure to close. Top buckle of cuff is snug but not tight. Then my toes are fine. This week it was extra cold so I stuck a toe warmer to my calf OUTSIDE the boot

Good luck.
Thanks! You all are definitely making me realize that I am not putting enough thought into how I buckle my boots. I basically just buckle each one as tight as I can comfortably go. ‍♀️
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Thanks! You all are definitely making me realize that I am not putting enough thought into how I buckle my boots. I basically just buckle each one as tight as I can comfortably go. ‍♀️
Experiment on the snow, you might be surprised at what you like and what gives you the best performance with each buckle area. I used to buckle the lower foot buckles as tight as I could, then I realized 1) I didn't need to 2) way more comfortable not to, and 3) I have much better feel for the bottom ball of my foot area to use while skiing when my foot isn't being crushed down from above. Never realized how important that was and what a difference it made until I experimented. Same with the most important lower ankle buckle.. if I overtighten it I feel too constricted, but with a good balance of snug and still having some ankle articulation, I can flex and ski much more comfortably. Eventually you'll know exactly which rung to buckle each every time. Going down from the top, mine are currently 1, 3, 2, 1 haha.. though they might be at various microadjutments at those levels to account for differences in foot to foot size/shape. It also changes over time as your boot liner packs out, I might then decide I need another spin or two in the microadjustments every so often to get back to the right feel. A very warm day might have me loosen something too because my feet tend to expand a bit if they heat up too much.

Once you know exactly how you want everything to feel, it's easier to dial in your routine to make sure everything is seated and buckled how you like it when putting your boots on.
 
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Posse Mama

Certified Ski Diva
Thanks, guys. I don’t think I have any hot spots — the boots fit really well, which is why this is so disappointing, and I’m not feeling anything that would indicate a hot spot or anything like that. I do wonder, though, whether I am going too tight too fast on my buckles (they definitely are NOT super loose, and I do think I am accustomed to clamping them down tight, which was an absolute must when my boots were too large). I will try to keep my buckles looser the first few runs, and see if that does the trick. I do think it is a circulation issue, because adding a sock-liner today only made the problem worse. If I can’t solve it with how I’m buckling, I will look into the heaters/hotronics … I wasn’t sure whether those were just gimmicks, but it sounds like they actually work for at least some of you!
I share the cold feet dilemma. I make sure my boots are dried daily and change socks prior to booting. Allowing the lower buckles to stay loose has helped. I did not find much luck with the neoprene covers but I have friends who love their heated boots.
 

lisamamot

Angel Diva
@Laroken I would ease up on the lower buckles since too much pressure on the top of your foot may not feel like a hotspot, but it can definitely lead to a numb foot! If your boots are new and fit properly you shouldn't need to use the lower buckles to snug the fit.

I agree on the boot heater/super thin heated socks. I wouldn't be able to ski without them.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
The comment about "adding a sock liner" makes me wonder - are your current socks too thick to allow adequate circulation? It is counterintuitive to think about, but thinner socks often mean warmer feet if your fit is exacting - as thicker socks can impair said circulation!
 

AltaEgo

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
When I first got my boots I skied in a sock liner only until the boots settled in. I also ski with therm-ic boot sole heaters. Highly recommended. You boot buckles should close to just a sharp snap. i buckle middle buckle first, the top buckle thentighten middle buckle slightly. I buckle the top just tight enough that the buckle doesn’t unbuckle. ( I have high arches but I think the darn thing is just there for looks anyway.). You shouldn’t have to struggle to shut your boots, especially now that you have stiffer, appropriately sized boots. Hope this helps.
 
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newbieM

Angel Diva
This has been so helpful, I used to tighten things as much as I could and realized I was causing issues with my feet and calf muscles.

This last weekend, I loosened everything up and tried on the easy green run to tighten things slowly. I discovered that the two buckles on my foot (the bottom two) I barely tightened. The most tightening was the ankle one (second from top) and the top one that I used to really tighten, i found I didn't need to, in order to still stay forward. And it made my legs much less tighter and made my muscles hurt less too.
 

MadBear

Diva in Training
Thanks, guys. I don’t think I have any hot spots — the boots fit really well, which is why this is so disappointing, and I’m not feeling anything that would indicate a hot spot or anything like that. I do wonder, though, whether I am going too tight too fast on my buckles (they definitely are NOT super loose, and I do think I am accustomed to clamping them down tight, which was an absolute must when my boots were too large). I will try to keep my buckles looser the first few runs, and see if that does the trick. I do think it is a circulation issue, because adding a sock-liner today only made the problem worse. If I can’t solve it with how I’m buckling, I will look into the heaters/hotronics … I wasn’t sure whether those were just gimmicks, but it sounds like they actually work for at least some of you!
I'm an instructor and ski 100 days a season, and couldn't live without Hotronics. They're not just a gimmick--they work, and they're the best investment I ever made. Set them at a lower setting unless it's sub-zero weather--like one or two (you'll know what this means once you've gotten them). You don't want your feet to be too warm--perspiration gets clammy no matter what. You just want them to NOT be freezing!
 

SnowMom

Certified Ski Diva
I could have written this post. For me, what I interpreted as cold was actually pressure points from the tongue hitting either a nerve or some blood vessels on the top of my foot basically making the front of my foot go numb. Not good.

What fixed it for me was securing the power strap under instead of on top of the shell and fixing how I buckle my boots. My boots became so much more comfortable.

I also just bought (last night!) the new Superfeet Winter Thin Insoles that are a new product this year for ski boots and am feeling optimistic about better arch support in my boot.

Long story short, I had Achilles problems from running due to insufficient arch support over the years and insoles in my regular shoes have been a game changer over the past 9 months. I'm not quite ready to spend for custom footbeds for my boots, but Superfeet is more affordable & if you don't like them in the first 60 days you can return the used insole for a full refund. Minimal risk to see if they help. They were very comfortable in my boots in my living room, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they do on the hill today.
 

SnowMom

Certified Ski Diva
Just checking back in -- I skied for 3 hours on the new Superfeet Winter Thin Insoles in my new boots and am really happy with them. I needed the thin because I have a low volume boot with a performance fit and they were great. I was happily aware of the arch support and nice heel cup. I feel like, for me, these were a good purchase.

Someone with a comfort fit or higher volume boot might want the extra cushioning or the Superfeet Winter Comfort Insole (taller with more cushion).
 

empogo

Certified Ski Diva
I think the buckles are absolutely going to help with this! Numb isn’t good. I like my boots quite snug (low volume foot, slim ankles) and wound up needing my big toe areas to be punched out a little by my bootfitter. That made a HUGE difference.

I’m a ski instructor and ski nearly every day— I learned as an adult so a lot of the things that seem to come naturally to people who grew up skiing are things I had to figure out. At this point I love my thin, no cushion Darn Tough socks, I have custom footbeds and Zipfit liners (LOVE THEM), and a booster strap I put under the shell, but the biggest difference is definitely in how I buckle. I’ve been told that the bottom two buckles are “to keep water out” so they really shouldn’t be particularly tight, just enough to seal. Those I mostly leave latched. The ankle buckles (upper and lower) make a huge difference for me; if I latch them too early in my day I get cramping in my calf, numb feet, locked up ankles— it’s awful. So I ski my first 2 or 3 runs with those top two unlatched; if I’m teaching on green trails I usually don’t latch them at all. If you’ve never tried this I highly recommend it. (It will feel unnerving at first but it’s a wonderful way to ensure you’re really balanced and using ankle flexion effectively. Ski slowly, focus on round pretty turns.) When I want to start skiing faster or with higher performance I latch those buckles; I always pop them on the lift rides.

I described the buckle tension like this recently: I want them to feel more like flipping a light switch than like opening a can of seltzer. If your boots really fit well you don’t need them to be cranked down; it’s really not better!

Oh, and I hear great things about boot heaters. I’m probably going to get some too, just haven’t gotten around to it.
 

echo_VT

Angel Diva
I also do a bit of what @empogo and @mustski do along with what some others have said. Trapping the air out keeps things cold but letting it warm up then buckling helps. I always buckle at the top of the lift after getting off — and unbuckle at the bottom for first 2-4 runs of the day.

another thing I make sure is the tension across boots buckles — that is, is how many turns the buckle catch on the ball joint is turned. I typically know which ratchet I’m going to use at first and where I will end up over the course of the day. It also depends on outside temps.

for the ball joint of the buckle catch: Lefty loosy, righty tighty. Usually when they are unbuckled I have them placed on the closest latch so they don’t spin around while taking those first turns. Also they may not be identical from left to right foot, something to note and communicate with your bootfitter.

If I forget I have to spend time getting it right cuz otherwise the pressure is not going to be right. If it’s too tight or too loose I pull over when skiing and fix my boot(s) and continue.

it is annoying but it is worse to be uncomfortable…!

Another thing I do is canting and using boot tracks to protect the bottoms of the ski boots. It’s all optimal energy transfer focused!
 

echo_VT

Angel Diva
Some articles of options and opinions:



 

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