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Help Needed: Crazy own heel to instep ratio?

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
Well, went t the boot fitter to talk about custom liners since mine are packing out badly. Like, slop all around my ankle, can't control my skis anymore even with all buckles cranked. I have a low volume foot, and I'm in a 97mm last boot, but the culprit is that my heel to instep ratio is nuts. My mondo size is 24.5, but my instep is 20. This explains why my ankle swims in boots as soon as the liner starts to pack out at all. Any ladies have this problem? What boots ended up working for you?

My boot fitter ended up jamming some padding on the tongue and putting ankle wraps on to take up space. I already have 2 shims in and custom foot beds, so he was hesitant to add more shimming as it would make my foot go even more numb since I'm cranking the buckles. He wasn't even sure a new liner would solve the problem, and said it may be time for a race boot.

I've looked all over the web to see what others have done, but I haven't found anybody whose ratio is as low as mine. :( Plus, this isn't a tech spec that boot manufacturers seem to publish. If anybody has experience with this or directions I could pursue, I'm all ears.

Boots issues never seem to end!
 

MrsPlow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Not sure if this is something you've considered or tried (or if it'd even work in your situation), but my husband has custom moulded liners, the type where they pump filler into the liner so that it exactly fits the foot into the boot. It wasn't cheap but worked really well - first time he's had boots that he can ski in all day without pain.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
Not sure if this is something you've considered or tried (or if it'd even work in your situation), but my husband has custom moulded liners, the type where they pump filler into the liner so that it exactly fits the foot into the boot. It wasn't cheap but worked really well - first time he's had boots that he can ski in all day without pain.
The boot fitter said it is an option, but he thinks it is still just masking the problem by filling excess space instead of trying for a closer shell fit. I'm also worried it will make my boot stiffer, and I'm already in a 110 flex. Any stiffer, and I think I would have a bad time. Where did your husband get his done? What kind of issues did he have with his boots before?
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Might be time to look at the Fischer Vacuums?
Wow, haven't even looked into these. Looks like a possibility. Probably wasn't mentioned by my boot fitter because they don't do them at their shop. Maybe I should look into it when we go to Killington in the spring, especially if they can take the instep lower. I hope they have a model with short cuff length, otherwise it unfortunately won't be an option Do you have any experience with these? I wonder how they compare to a race boot?
 
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MrsPlow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
The boot fitter said it is an option, but he thinks it is still just masking the problem by filling excess space instead of trying for a closer shell fit. I'm also worried it will make my boot stiffer, and I'm already in a 110 flex. Any stiffer, and I think I would have a bad time. Where did your husband get his done? What kind of issues did he have with his boots before?
He has 1 foot bigger than the other, high arches and narrow ankles. The smaller foot would be swimming in a boot 1 size up, but the bigger foot gets too cramped - the custom liner meant he could go for a better fit because there's less lining around the bigger foot. Also had problems with pressure on the top of his feet cutting off blood supply to the toes (fixed by custom foot beds plus swapping out the tongue of the boot for something with less padding). It sounds like your boot fitter has a good point - maybe more suitable if you're trying to minimise the amount of lining in specific places rather than pad it out.

Boot fitting was done in Revelstoke.
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
I have wondered about the Fischer Vacuums also. There seems to be a 97 last and a 92 last - race boot. Sigh. I don't want the cold feet that come with race boots.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I wish i could gain weight in my feet instead of my rear end. That would be two problems solved.

Anybody have an race boot reccomendations for super low I steps, while I am doing some Google research? I may call around and see what people have in stock so I can try stuff on and get a feel for differences. I've never tried a race boot. My boot guy mentioned Lange RS SC 110s, but he didn't have any in stock. Looks like they have a medium instep depth, so not even sure that would really be an improvement for that area.

Also, can you put a intuition liner in a race boot to increase warmth? Just wondering.
 

SallyCat

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Ugh, I'm so sorry, that's a pain.

I'm following and hoping you'll share how it works out.

Hotronics will increase warmth, too, if the Intuitions don't work.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
I have the same foot measurement as you. It's a shame that so many bootfitters match the buyer's foot length and ignore the "volume," which is that measurement you are talking about. They also sometimes ignore the width of the foot, but not as often as the volume. It's almost never mentioned. It took me 7 pairs of boots before wising up on this issue.

Tecnica Mach 1 LV (low volume) may do it for you. It has worked for me. But the instep measurement was not the only factor that led me to buy that boot. Your feet most likely have other needs as well, and they probably won't match mine.

In any event, you need a low volume boot. A race plug might do it, or it might not. If you go to a bootfitter who works with racers in a shop that caters to race teams. that bootfitter will most likely know how to fit you well and can talk about the pros and cons of race boots.

Race boots are known to be cold. If that's an issue for you, discuss it with the boot fitter. They also tend to have narrow toe boxes, which may need to be ground/punched out for your toes if yours are wide rather than narrow. This will make the plastic thin in that area, and its potential for blocking cold will be diminished. The punch may also create a gap where the two folds overlap at the front of the boot; thus all the duct tape on that area among young racers to keep the wind out.

Injected liners are a possibility. Boot Doctor makes one that has some "give" and is said to not be so cold as the more rigid injected liners. I thought of buying this liner when I got my brand new Tecnicas, but opted for Zip Fit liners instead. I never used the liners that came with the boot. In retrospect, I may have done better with the Boot Doctors, but the Zip Fits are doing OK.

Everyone's feet are different. A bootfitter who talks with you and takes time and knows things and treats you seriously can be a most valuable friend.

Best of luck.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
I have the same foot measurement as you. It's a shame that so many bootfitters match the buyer's foot length and ignore the "volume," which is that measurement you are talking about. They also sometimes ignore the width of the foot, but not as often as the volume. It's almost never mentioned. It took me 7 pairs of boots before wising up on this issue.

Tecnica Mach 1 LV (low volume) may do it for you. It has worked for me. But the instep measurement was not the only factor that led me to buy that boot. Your feet most likely have other needs as well, and they probably won't match mine.

In any event, you need a low volume boot. A race plug might do it, or it might not. If you go to a bootfitter who works with racers in a shop that caters to race teams. that bootfitter will most likely know how to fit you well and can talk about the pros and cons of race boots.

Race boots are known to be cold. If that's an issue for you, discuss it with the boot fitter. They also tend to have narrow toe boxes, which may need to be ground/punched out for your toes if yours are wide rather than narrow. This will make the plastic thin in that area, and its potential for blocking cold will be diminished. The punch may also create a gap where the two folds overlap at the front of the boot; thus all the duct tape on that area among young racers to keep the wind out.

Injected liners are a possibility. Boot Doctor makes one that has some "give" and is said to not be so cold as the more rigid injected liners. I thought of buying this liner when I got my brand new Tecnicas, but opted for Zip Fit liners instead. I never used the liners that came with the boot. In retrospect, I may have done better with the Boot Doctors, but the Zip Fits are doing OK.

Everyone's feet are different. A bootfitter who talks with you and takes time and knows things and treats you seriously can be a most valuable friend.

Best of luck.
So, I have feet and ankles that are as wide as a piece of plywood shaped like a perfect "L", and they are 83mm wide. Lange boots have a higher instep compared to others, so if you also have an "L" shaped foot/ankle, then Lange might not work. MAYBE some of the newer Lange race boots might. I was not able to try any of those on, as the shop would have to order them. The issue with race boots is finding a shop that has them in stock to even try on.

My feet SWIM in most off-the-shelf boots/liners. It's stupid. And annoying. I went the Jr race boot route with a Head B5 RD, and the fit with the stock liner was awesome, BUT they had so much forward lean and so much ramp angle, they threw me so off balance that I struggled mightily all last season on them. I even went with the Boot Doc foam injected liners mentioned above, and they snugged up the fit even more (holy heel hold!) and the Comfort Foam liners are definitely not too stiff, but even with toe lifts and as level of bindings as I could find, I just couldn't overcome the ramp angle and cuff angle of those boots.

My fitter put me into a Tecnica Mach 1LV 95 (as I highlighted above) and we moved my Boot Doc liners into them, and voila! What a fit. The instep is almost too low, yet my toes have good wiggle room, and the ankle is locked down. Apparently, the BD liners CAN be moved to a new shell if the shell shape is similar enough. I was so happy about that!

FWIW, the stock liner in the Tecnica did not work for me at all. I've never liked stock Tecnica liners, which makes it kind of ironic that their shells fit me so well. I've also had Tecnica Inferno Flings that I used Zipfit liners in.)

The only boot that wasn't a race boot that fit me like a glove off the shelf were Salomon Xmax. But, once the liners packed out, I was slopping around in them. Plus, the toe box was really small. Also, Salomon boots aren't very compatible with after-market liners for some reason. (My fitter isn't the only one who has told me this.)

The bonus of the Boot Doc liners is they don't pack out. They just don't. Pretty awesome product. I prefer them to the Zipfits because the Zipfits I felt got almost too rigid once they cooled off after heating them overnight in the hot bag, and my ankle would start slipping around despite how well they molded to my feet in the morning. Not sure how to explain that. I also didn't care for the tongue in them at all--to thick and the whole upper cuff of that liner made me feel disconnected from the cuff of the boot.

Good luck. Low-volume feet are the pits when it comes to ski boots.
 

SallyCat

Moderator
Staff member
#14
Fwiw, I have a low instep as well, and I'm in the Atomic Hawx Ultra 100 and it's ok. It's not amazing, but with Zipfits and some fiddling around with the buckles, it works. I tried the Technica Mach 1 LV and the Salomon X-Max and neither was really snug enough. I did not, though, try the Technicas with my own liners, so that's something I want to do as I keep looking for a better fit.
I am curious to try the Head Raptor, because I hear that they are very narrow.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
Thanks for all the feedback. I will see if anybody has Mach 1 Lv, X-Max, or Hawks to try, but in all likelihood I will probably have to wait until I go to killington.....or possibly even next year if they don't have anything in stock by that point. Head raptor lean looks like it may be a balance issue for me. It's good to know that the boot doc liners didn't stiffen up boots too much.

Still curious about the fischer vacuums, but not sure how much they could adjust the instep on that. I think World Cup Ski and Cycle does those in Mechanicsburg, but one of their boot fitters had no idea what would be good for me when I asked to get a second opinion. They just told me to do some research.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
I was trying to google race plugs, ended up perusing epic and pugski. I know plugs have super thin liners and need a ton of work to fit correctly. Saw that a lot of people don't use them as an all mountain boot, so I'm curious what the advantage would be to going for a plug vs some foam injected liners in a stiff, low volume boot? I've never raced, so I have no idea what a race boot feels like on the snow. I prefer precision and a very snug fit, so not having a cushy feel isn't a problem at all for me. Does anybody have race plugs that you use all over the mountain? What are the advantages/disadvantages?

Sorry for all the questions. I think I realized that I have never had a boot that actually fits, and I want to arm myself with knowledge about options when I talk to boot fitters again. I want so badly to get it right with whatever boot setup I get next. My confidence plummeted over the past few weeks as my liners just completely compressed. I took a pretty serious wipeout Sunday when my foot slid about centimeter in my boot, screwing up my turn at a crucial moment on Upper Gunbarrel. Slid 30 feet on my face, flying off of moguls the whole way. Thank god for helmets, tiger balm and Advil! It really made me nervous though. I usually have controlled falls when I do fall, and that was NOT controlled at all. It was like my ski completely ignored my input. I'm afraid I'm going to get seriously hurt unless I fix my boot issue. I guess I should stick to the blues until then, slow down, and just cruise, but that is equally frustrating because I can do better and I like to push myself.

Ugh. Rant over.
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
You sound like the perfect candidate for ZipFits! I can't use mine because my instep is too high and the Lange XT instep too low. There's so much fit material over the instep and around the ankles in the ZipFits, I think you'd love them. Plus, they really don't pack out, at all.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#18
You sound like the perfect candidate for ZipFits! I can't use mine because my instep is too high and the Lange XT instep too low. There's so much fit material over the instep and around the ankles in the ZipFits, I think you'd love them. Plus, they really don't pack out, at all.
I asked a boot fitter about that (not my usual guy, went to another well known place to see what they said) and they said that it wouldn't help me at all! They said it doesn't take up additional volume, and only racers really use them. I mentioned that I have seen on forums that a lot of people with issues similar to me have had success, and they scoffed at me and repeated "well that isn't what zipfits are for." What the actual heck?!
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
I don't know who you talked to, but they're full of crap. Taking up room around the heel and instep is EXACTLY what the ZipFits are for! They fill pockets in those areas with a clay/sawdust concoction that never really hardens so it smushes around to fill the areas where it's needed most. If I had an actual ZipFit dealer/fitter within 4 hours of me, I'd take mine in and have the filler over the instep removed so i could use mine comfortably (yes there's little tubes into the pockets so they can add and subtract the filler as necesary for the individual). BY FAR the best heel hold I've ever had in a boot when I used them, but I couldn't buckle the instep buckle AT ALL, or really, even overlap the boot there. I was beyond sad about that. Check out their website.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
I don't know who you talked to, but they're full of crap. Taking up room around the heel and instep is EXACTLY what the ZipFits are for! They fill pockets in those areas with a clay/sawdust concoction that never really hardens so it smushes around to fill the areas where it's needed most. If I had an actual ZipFit dealer/fitter within 4 hours of me, I'd take mine in and have the filler over the instep removed so i could use mine comfortably (yes there's little tubes into the pockets so they can add and subtract the filler as necesary for the individual). BY FAR the best heel hold I've ever had in a boot when I used them, but I couldn't buckle the instep buckle AT ALL, or really, even overlap the boot there. I was beyond sad about that. Check out their website.
I keep trying to find a diagram of where the cork filler takes up volume, but can't seem to find one. I also need a lot of volume taken up all around (even in my 97mm last boot). I have 2 shims in, and I still have to crank the toe buckles more than I would like to. Would it help in the forefoot area, or still probably need the shims?

I'm starting to think that perhaps I need to go to a big resort area to get what I need in boots, but then I would only have a week at most to get the fit correct before going home. I don't know if it is just a matter of fitters around here taking the "I only have a hammer, so this must be a nail" approach, or what. But thanks for backing me up here, I really thought zipfits were basically made to take up space based on what I have read here and, well, everywhere.
 

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