November 12, 2008
Article on Footbeds
After you've spent thousands of dollars on new skis, boots, poles, pants, parka, helmet and logged hundreds of hours in ski school, there's one $40 item that is almost guaranteed to make you ski better - custom footbeds.
Footbeds (also called orthotics) are custom made insoles that you insert into your ski boots. They are designed to support your foot and transfer the movements from your hips, knees, and legs directly to your skis. They also can cure a number of common problems such as pressure points and sore feet. Without them, you may not be able to ski your best.
Unlike other sports, skiing depends on providing your feet with solid platforms. Think of footbeds as the foundation of your house and your feet and legs as the studs that support the building. As you apply pressure to your feet by standing and moving your knees fore, aft, left and right, your feet are designed to absorb pressure by flattening, or "pronating." While that may be a good thing when running or walking in tennis shoes and sandals, it can work against you while skiing.
Footbeds are designed to support the bottoms of your feet so that as you flex your ankles forward or to the side, they transfer the movements directly to your skis so you can make those perfect turns. Your feet will flex and flatten, making it difficult to control the edges of your skis without footbeds.
Make sure your boots fit properly by visiting a boot fitting technician at your local ski shop before you invest in a pair of footbeds. Some of the best places to find qualified boot fitters are in towns located near ski resorts. Assuming that you do have a good fit, ask the technician about the types of footbeds his shop sells. Most sell a wide variety that cost $40 to $200. While you can buy less expensive, pre-made footbeds, you'll get more benefit from having them custom made to your feet.
I had my footbeds made by the Deep Powder House at Alta and also had them take out some hotspots in my boots where the shell put pressure on my Cankles. They were awesome and it made all the difference in the world to have my boots fitting like a glove.
I have had my Nordica Beast boots for going on 5 seasons now and have had my footbeds since the beginning. I paid $300 for the boots on end of season sale and paid $150 for the footbeds. Seems pricy until you feel the difference. These are high performance and very stiff boots and need to fit precisely. When I wear my old boots, they seem loose and sloppy.
Posted by Justin at November 12, 2008 05:00 PM
At Maximum Tours we see a lot of foot issues. We recommend using a good foot
bed to help the problem.
Maximum Ski & Snowboard Tours
Posted by: scott at November 18, 2008 12:10 PM