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Stubbing my toe in my boots

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, I have (what I believe to be) a quite uncommon issue in regards to ski boots.

My feet grow by half a size when I go from applying zero pressure to applying full pressure on them. This means when I do a jump when skiing when in the air I am applying zero pressure so my foot shrinks in size, however when I land I apply full pressure, meaning my foot instantly grows half a size - resulting in me stubbing my toe on the ends of my boots. By the end of the ski holiday my big toes are black and blue.

Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to soften the landing blows, other than ending my jumping days?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Do you have any insoles/footbeds in the boots ?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I do, tried both with and without, pain remains when landing
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Stay on the ground. Problem solved!
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pam w wrote:
Stay on the ground. Problem solved!


Unfortunately not an option
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@gil3000, as a resident cynic I find the idea preposterous that your foot changes size in a fraction of a second. Far more likely that you don't have your ankle clips done up tightly enough so that your heel is held firmly in the back of the boot. When you land in an unbalanced position, your foot slides forward in the boot momentarily with the added force of landing. Your big toe absorbs the impact because it's the first point of contact.

I'd put a whole night's bar bill on a wager that that your boots are too big/loose.
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Raceplate wrote:
@gil3000, as a resident cynic I find the idea preposterous that your foot changes size in a fraction of a second. Far more likely that you don't have your ankle clips done up tightly enough so that your heel is held firmly in the back of the boot. When you land in an unbalanced position, your foot slides forward in the boot momentarily with the added force of landing. Your big toe absorbs the impact because it's the first point of contact.

I'd put a whole night's bar bill on a wager that that your boots are too big/loose.


It genuinely does, something I actually wasn't aware of until I had my boots fitted and the individual fitting these boots showed me how much they changed and by what size. It's as if my foot spreads out as soon as I plant it on the floor. I've tried numerous boots over time, had insoles fitted and moulded to my foot, had my boots fitted by professionals, had my boots adjusted from loosest to tightest and everywhere in between, ensured I'm landing balanced etc. etc. yet the problem persists. It isn't such an issue when in the air for a fraction of a second, more 1 second+. It's legitimately any time I'm in the air for this amount of time, regardless of how well/poorly I land
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
How do you cope when you ski with all weight on one ski? As above, I can't imagine the foot changing size when constrained inside a ski boot.
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endoman wrote:
How do you cope when you ski with all weight on one ski? As above, I can't imagine the foot changing size when constrained inside a ski boot.


It's fine, feel no pain. It's the fact when applying pressure/weight is distributed evenly the ski boot fits well, once I remove pressure from one of the feet the boot becomes too loose.
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I have some sympathy as my feet seem determined to change shape depending on pressure ( though not jumping), causing ongoing ski boot issues for many years and different boots. But mine don't do anything like hours, fortunately.
However, I would have thought that in your case a good bootfitter should be able to find out what's happening and at least choose and/or modify a boot for you to minimise the issue.
Perhaps an issue with volume at the forefoot or ankle? Maybe you have either a very flexible or very collapsible arch (or some similar foot bit - complicated things, feet) and your insoles aren't fully supporting them?
Hope you get it sorted.
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Yeah I have a very high arch which I believe to be the main cause of this. In turn this has meant the amount of ski boots I've been able to choose from have been somewhat limited given I need a boot that has plenty of space for my high arches otherwise I experience pain with just the boots on, regardless of what I'm doing
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@gil3000, so get a custom insole made specifically for a high arch to stop your foot spreading. A good boot fitter can also lengthen the toe box so that your big toe doesn't touch the end under any circumstances. If the other boot dimensions are correct and tight, it'll make no difference to your normal skiing.
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Raceplate wrote:
@gil3000, so get a custom insole made specifically for a high arch to stop your foot spreading. A good boot fitter can also lengthen the toe box so that your big toe doesn't touch the end under any circumstances. If the other boot dimensions are correct and tight, it'll make no difference to your normal skiing.


Unfortunately that's what I did and the same issue persisted (this was pre season last year). Perhaps have another one fitted?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I still think your boots are too big/wrong shape. But putting that aside, there are boot fitters and boot fitters. How was your last insole made? Standing on it or seated whilst the fitter moulded it to your foot? The latter is correct for a high quality issue specific one.

I had boot fitting issues for 25 years. I've used Salomon custom shell for several years which has helped a lot but the latest version coupled with zipfit liners has made a big difference. I have a quality custom made insole for a semi high arch, slightly twisted, to stop my wide foot spreading.

If your shells are correct, then zipfits and a well made insole will almost certainly stop the problem IMO.

What's your level of skiing experience? It's pretty common for the less experienced to have their boots too big/loose because they simply don't know any different.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Raceplate wrote:
I still think your boots are too big/wrong shape. But putting that aside, there are boot fitters and boot fitters. How was your last insole made? Standing on it or seated whilst the fitter moulded it to your foot? The latter is correct for a high quality issue specific one.

I had boot fitting issues for 25 years. I've used Salomon custom shell for several years which has helped a lot but the latest version coupled with zipfit liners has made a big difference. I have a quality custom made insole for a semi high arch, slightly twisted, to stop my wide foot spreading.

If your shells are correct, then zipfits and a well made insole will almost certainly stop the problem IMO.

What's your level of skiing experience? It's pretty common for the less experienced to have their boots too big/loose because they simply don't know any different.


If I remember correctly I was stood up whilst it was moulded (had it done at Ellis Brigham). The guy seemed to know his stuff and I had no qualms with his knowledge, doesn't mean my read wasn't slightly off though.

Skied for 15 years+ (I'm 27 y/o), ski blacks comfortably. This issue seems to only have risen in the past 4/5 years despite three different pairs of boots - the past two have been fitted. One thing that certainly hasn't helped is the fact I've had gout off and on for the past 3 years in one of my feet - doubt this has an effect, just thought it may be worth mentioning.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Gout won't make your toes black. It'll make a specific part of your foot swell or if left untreated the whole foot. You won't be skiing if you have a proper gout attack. I've seen a young (at that time, undiagnosed) skier with gout and he was crying with pain on the hill. I also suffer occasionally but it's mostly due to dehydration from living in the ME and too much booze. I would only ski with it on industrial anti-inflammatories and a camelbak.

I wouldn't rate EB at all. Suggest you go and see the grumpy Scotsman in Bicester.

When he tells you your boots are too big, you owe me a night out wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Raceplate wrote:
Gout won't make your toes black. It'll make a specific part of your foot swell or if left untreated the whole foot. You won't be skiing if you have a proper gout attack. I've seen a young (at that time, undiagnosed) skier with gout and he was crying with pain on the hill. I also suffer occasionally but it's mostly due to dehydration from living in the ME and too much booze. I would only ski with it on industrial anti-inflammatories and a camelbak.

I wouldn't rate EB at all. Suggest you go and see the grumpy Scotsman in Bicester.

When he tells you your boots are too big, you owe me a night out wink


Can I have a link to the grumpy man in question, or somewhere you would recommend?

Had a number of gout attacks (only one when skiing thankfully), but it has now effected the sensitivity of my joints, obviously ski boots are unpleasant to put on at the best of times - currently tee total whilst trying to put a stop completely to gout.

Based in the midlands but willing to travel wherever providing it sorts this out. If it does indeed sort it out the Vimto's will be on me!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
At your age, the gout is probably genetic rather than lifestyle related. You have my sympathy. FWIW, I have a pet theory that gout is related to natural salt intake - lower (natural) salt = higher risk. Drink natural soy sauce - it has more salt than salt does wink

Anyway, the grumpy Scotsman is here https://www.solutions4feet.com/

Don't expect any gratitude or even a goodbye after you've spent £750 with him.
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Raceplate wrote:
How was your last insole made? Standing on it or seated whilst the fitter moulded it to your foot? The latter is correct for a high quality issue specific one.


Out of interest, do you know of anyone in UK, Northern side, who can do the latter? I need this for ski and walking boots, but can only find the stand-on fitting and that doesn't give me enough or high enough support. Even pretty well-regarded ski boot fitters seem only to do the stand in ones, and I've ended up reheating and pushing up the insoles myself in some cases.
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@Grizzler, i know you are somewhat tied to the north but is there no way you can do a day trip to London? Profeet 100%
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Your feet cant change by half a size. That isn't how feet work. You would need exceptionally fat feet and a distinct lack of bones for that to be remotely true.


Your boots don't fit.
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Thornyhill wrote:
Your feet cant change by half a size. That isn't how feet work. You would need exceptionally fat feet and a distinct lack of bones for that to be remotely true.


Your boots don't fit.


They do - I've measured both before and after (potentially a touch below .5, but definitely closer to half than not growing at all). No my feet aren't fat, I believe it's due to exceptionally high arches that I have - this contributes to many boots feeling agonising as my feet tend to be crushed by the boot due to this..
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Your feet don't change size instantly, they can change shape.

They can change size rapidly due to vasodilation 2ary to pain - but I would think seconds would be a bit quick.
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@Thornyhill, @motdoc, I have just taken my socks off, put a tape measure on the floor and can easily get well over an inch of difference in my foot length (and they're only very skinny M23.5!) depending on whether I simply 'clench' my arch and foot muscles (not difficult on a steep/scary run, by the way - so probably easy enough to happen in any boot that isn't an utter all-round ultra-tight fit, especialy if taking off and landing as the OP referred to), let them relax, stand relaxed or stand very pressured.
So, um, yes, my feet can change by "half a size" too; a lot more than half a size, I reckon. I'm not talking about curling things up, just normal ability to contract, relax and put strain through my tender little foot paws. Like the OP I just seem to have very flexible feet; maybe being thin, with no fat or visible padding to speak of (oh, the joys of ski boot comfort rolling eyes ), makes the issue more apparent?
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@Grizzler, I can be 5'9 if I slouch or 6'2 if I stand on tippy toes. That doesn't mean I grow 5 inches in a few seconds. Well fitted boots will support your tootsies at all points. Badly fitted boots won't, allowing for a change in shape.
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Grizzler wrote:
Out of interest, do you know of anyone in UK, Northern side, who can do the latter? I need this for ski and walking boots, but can only find the stand-on fitting and that doesn't give me enough or high enough support. Even pretty well-regarded ski boot fitters seem only to do the stand in ones, and I've ended up reheating and pushing up the insoles myself in some cases.

Grizzler - you could give rivngton alpine (based near chorley) a call and speak to them
http://www.rivingtonalpine.co.uk/
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