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Heel lift in new boots- advice please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All and Hello, i'm new Wink

I've been skiing for a good few years now, have been through a couple of sets of boots, and always had them fitting fairly well.

My girlfriend started skiing 3 years ago, and is now on her second set of boots that i've bought her Sad

The first set (lange venus) were bought in resort in courcheval, were heat moulded etc with footbeds, but always pressed on the tips of her big toes to the point were her toenails went black and fell off. We had new footbeds made, the toe box stretched as far as it would go, but the problem never went away. It was painful to the point that last year she was refusing to ski after a couple of days because her toes were so sore so we ended up in nevada in tignes le lac where a nice old frenchman tried to stretch the existing boots futher, but couldn't stretch them to the point where the pressure on her big toes was removed.

So, i bought her her second set of boots, Head Edge 9.8 Heatfit. They weren't heat moulded, and the footbeds are superfeet. She says they are comfortable, but complains of heel lift when she skis.

What can be done about heel lift, and is it a real problem? When you ski, you're pressing down on the ski most of the time, so i've never experienced it. If i really try and can lift my heel fractionally in the boot, but i have to really try. She's not the best or most confident skier, so i'm wondering if her compaints about heel lift are real or just poor technique on her part.

Comments appreciated.
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couple of snowHeads will be along soon to tell you exactly what can be done, however off the top of my head she could have wedges placed under the heels or padding placed on the outside of teh liner to reduce the volume of the bood and stop heel lift from occuring
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My wife had a similar issue and the shop added a little extra padding to the outside of the liner around the heel cup. It cured the problem. I've also seen plastic frames that clip over the inner boot heel, which achieve a similar result.
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lower, welcome to snowHeads. How much heel lift is she talking about?
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lower, The liner can be adjusted to fit, pading etc, however this is a short term fix. The 'Edge' has a very straight/non defined throat, by which i mean she is wide around the rearfoot and heel. Is the boot the right size? Does she have a particlarly wide or high volume foot? I fear that your previous expierences have caused you to bolt to the other end of the spectrum in order to advoid previous discomfort. See agod Bootfitter in the U.K. Lockwoods in Leamington Spa or a certain CEM in Bicester know the differences between 'Apples and Oranges'. Good Luck. Little Angel
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In answer to your respective questions, i don't know the exact amount of heel lift. I suspect we are talking in fractions and some of it is paranoia on my girlfriends part. The booth may be a half size too big as her toes were so swollen when we went back for a boot fitting, the bootfitter erred on the the side of caution. He did measure her feet, take the liner out, get her to try on the boot without the liner, measure the gap at the back of her heel with the toe touching the front of the boot etc so i'm reasonably happy she's not got completely oversize boots.

She has not got particularly wide or high volume feet, but she is very much a blue and the occasional red run cruiser, so comfort is more important that absolute precision and i suspect this is why the fitter recommended this boot.

I'm interested in specifically what can be done to eliminate the heel lift. I've seen liners that have been modified with stick on bits of padding in the past that fall off as soon as the liner is taken out of the boot, which seemed a pretty shoddy job. Is there a proper way of building up the lining?

Last but not least, we're familiar with lockwoods. I took my girlfriend and another female friend to them last year to have their boots refitted. The lockwoods guys seemed to know their stuff, but £60 per person later, neither were comfortable with their boots when they got to the slopes. I'm not blaming lockwoods, because they can only go on what the user tells them, and at them end of the day, i think both had been sold the wrong boots in the first place. You can't turn a silk purse into a sow's ear Sad
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lower, welcome!

I have 9.8s too, and I have the same experience, though the general boot was the most comfortable one I tried. So I will be watching this thread with interest.
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slightly OT, but there is a difference, for me at least, in 'heel lift when skiing' and 'heel lift when standing waiting to ski'.

Once my weight is forward in my boots, there's no way my heel lifts.

While standing around waiting for a lift or whatever, I can lift my heel slightly with a 'stand on tiptoe' movement.

SZK - does my boot not fit?

lower - if my theory stands [sic] could it be that your gf needs to get her weight forward a bit more in order to reduce this heel ligt problem?
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I recently bought a pair of replacement custom-fit liners for my boots, because the old liners were very compressed and I was getting unacceptable amounts of heel lift. The new liners are Zipfits (fitted by CEM) and hold my feet more securely than anything I've experienced before, but without any specific pressure point which leads to discomfort. Perhaps this might be an option if the shells are the rights size for your girlfriend? A word of caution - expect a fair amount of pain for the first three or four days with these custom liners as they continue to mold to the foot, but after the initial breaking in period they are excellent Smile
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rob@rar, ditto. I have them and can't lift my heel even if I try.
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lower, welcome to snowHead my wife had a similar problem with her new boots (with custom liners)on the first day of use which was immediately solved on the second day.

She simply wasnt fastening the buckles up correctly

I could be wrong but for me the correct procedure to get your heel into the back of the boot is to put boot on flex forward and back and buckle the second from the top first. flex back and forth and do up the tip buckle and then lean forward into the boot drawing the heel back and then buckle up third from the top and lastly the toe clip.

I have seen time and again people who have problems with boot fit is that they are cranking them up in the wrong order and just squashing their feet in the wrong position. comments????
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rob@rar wrote:
expect a fair amount of pain for the first three or four days with these custom liners as they continue to mold to the foot


I hope she's not only going skiing for a week then Wink
Seriously, I've given up with super close fitting boots. I value comfort and pain-free skiing much higher than race fit. So now I tolerate small amounts of movement and find the increased comfort outweighs any loss in ultimate performance. It probably means I'll have to replace my liners sooner when they pack down, but I can gladly live with that expense. Obviously it's different for skiers who spend many weeks per year in ski boots. They can condition their feet to tolerate much closer fits.
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lower, very difficult to say exactly without the boots and feet in front of me but....... i gave up using foam for adjusting most areas on ski boot liners a while back, it compacts and very rarely stays where you put it, i now tend to use pieces of leather cut specifically for the area required and glued into place

the Edge is as SZK says fairly high volume in the back end, but if it fits well everywere else then adjustments like this can work well.

i would probably not recomend theat your GF goes for a liner like zip fit as it is a pretty aggressive fit and not best suited to a casual skier looking for loads of comfort rather than performance.


hope this helps a bit Toofy Grin
feel free to PM me if you need any more info
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lower, does she have tight calf muscles? i.e. if she tries to squat without ski boots on, do her heels lift off the floor before she's flexed her knees very far? What I'm getting at is that it may not be the boots that are the problem. I see it in the Pilates classes I teach - in women it can be caused by wearing high heels on a regular basis. Some calf stretching exercises would be beneficial if that's the case.
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uktrailmonster wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
expect a fair amount of pain for the first three or four days with these custom liners as they continue to mold to the foot


I hope she's not only going skiing for a week then Wink
Seriously, I've given up with super close fitting boots. I value comfort and pain-free skiing much higher than race fit.

Short-term pain, long-term gain Smile I wouldn't say that the Zipfits are a race fit (although I'm not qualified to say for certain),but they do give a secure, pain-free boot.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I thought Zip Fit make 2 liners, 1 for comfort, & 1 for performance fit.
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clara_jo, if there was too much tension in the calf i would expect there would probably be pain elsewhere, probably under the ball of the foot ....good thought though Little Angel

rob@rar, all depends on shell fit, if the shell is a race fit then the boot will have a race fit, fit the shell for performance and you will have a performance fit likewise if the shell is too big the liner can not solve all the problems.


Spyderman, Zipfit make a range which consists of several liners, nothing to do with comfort and performance but shell volume

1 classic [was called expresso] the original liner is now really considdered as the liner for either oversized boots or low volume feet in high volume shells
2 Grand Prix this has 20% less OMfit material in it and is the liner we use most often, this one is designed to go into boots where the foot and shell volume are a compatible match
3 World Cup 10% less OMfit compound than the GP and designed for use in Plug boots or with high volume feet where there is not a lot of space in the shell volume.

they make these in either neotex [kind of neoprene] inside or leather [ can grip the foot a little better but a pig to get on and off if damp]

also in the zip fit range are a liner for touring [lower in the cuff with a flexible rear cuff] and a liner called the sidewinder [i believe this is being phased out as its solid plastic inner edge was just too hard and too high volume for most boots / people


hope that makes sence
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lower wrote:
.....
I've seen liners that have been modified with stick on bits of padding in the past that fall off as soon as the liner is taken out of the boot, which seemed a pretty shoddy job.
......


I had this done a Nevada in Tignes. When I got home and took the liner out the padding was loose but not coming off. After the liner was dry I just stuck the padding back on with some double sided tape. The padding will probvably come off again after my next trip because of damp, but I'll just stick it back on again.
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Tomsk, it may be worth cleaning the liner to remove any sticky stuff and then glueing the pads in place with contact cement
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clara_jo wrote:
lower, does she have tight calf muscles? i.e. if she tries to squat without ski boots on, do her heels lift off the floor before she's flexed her knees very far? What I'm getting at is that it may not be the boots that are the problem. I see it in the Pilates classes I teach - in women it can be caused by wearing high heels on a regular basis. Some calf stretching exercises would be beneficial if that's the case.


i got her to check this last night. She does wear heels a lot, but she was able to squat well below the normal skiing position without her heels lifting off the floor. So i don't think this is the problem.

She is now saying that when her heels were lifting, she was able to tighten up the fastenings around her ankles and the one over her instep to reduce, if not eliminate the problem.

If you've got heel lift, is which boot clip would have the most effect without crushing the instep? I would assume the ankle clips.

Good tip on using leather to pack out the liner if needs be, i'll remember that!
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lower,

3rd clip up..the one above the ankle is the most effective for holdiong the heel, back/down

if you do use leather or any other material be very careful where you put it, wrong positioning could shut the circulation down, which will not earn you any brownie points Toofy Grin
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Thanks for that, i really appreciate all the advice from everyone.

If the heel lift continues to be a problem, i'll be taking her to a proper boot fitter to adjust the boots. I'd fiddle with mine, but i'd not play with hers as i don't know enough. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing Smile

But if we do have to have the liners padded, and the boot fitter doesn't use something that is properly attached, at least i'll be able to replace it with something permenant in the same place.

At the end of the day, i think there is a large degree of paranoia having had such problems with her old boots, and also a strong likelyhood that the boots might be used as an excuse for a lack of technique.

CEM wrote:
lower,

3rd clip up..the one above the ankle is the most effective for holdiong the heel, back/down

if you do use leather or any other material be very careful where you put it, wrong positioning could shut the circulation down, which will not earn you any brownie points Toofy Grin
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My wife ended up with blackened big toe nails after not tightening the 3rd clip enough, and she had been skiing for 20+ years rolling eyes not too old to learn
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Dypcdiver, i think sometimes we get a bit to techincal on these advise threads and forget that correctly adjusting our boots is just as important as getting them correctly fitted in the first place. Little Angel
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I know an old thread but i just bought some ankle supports to go around my liners i also had foam stuck on and it has made a massive difference. Need to check out on the slope but when i have one with and one without the difference is amazing.

i used these
http://thumbs3.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/m7uhADmCF1SHd_40_leF2wA.jpg

I am a snowboarder so might be different altogether.
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@KernowRed,

Thanks for this - I'm a boarder too and have suffered from heel lift (left boot only) since Adam and Eve. I'm currently wearing Northwave Legend boots. The boot fitter at Ellis Brigham (TSA) stuck 2 pieces of foam on the liner (just above the heel / arch shape), this has made a massive difference but depending on how I ride, the temperature differential (which I thinks has an impact) throughout the day etc I still suffer from heel lift occasionally. I make sure that I untie my laces when on gondolas / at lunch and redo straight after. You mention that you wear the support around your liner, am I reading this correctly?
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franga wrote:
@KernowRed,

You mention that you wear the support around your liner?


Yes so it goes over the liner and holds the liner tighter in place and stops the foam bits falling off.

They cost £2.30 on ebay so if they get slack buy a few more. Also good it you tweak you ankle after snowboarding.
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Hey found this thread via google, Was wondering if any type of insoles will suffice because im starting to get terrible lift in my ski boots now. At the moment I am using a pair from this place inside my ski boots.. they are great for running in but I do not think that they are designed for ski boots though. Has any one got any other suggestions on what insoles I can buy to stop my heel from lifting?
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Hey Lower, I've found your subject while looking on comment about shin to tongue pressure on google, apologize for my fench "english.

Maybe, someone has already spoken about the ideas I have while reading your lines concerning your wife's heel lift issue, but hope thouse could help.

I do have 2 questions:

1st If I haven't misunderstood, with her first skiboot, she was feeling her toes bunching the shoes, and she was not a long time skier, was she? So: while skiing with her Lange boot was she bringing enough dorsiflexion? In order to put pressure on the boot tongue and so as to fixe her heel at the back of the boot... Sometimes it's hard for people to lean forward because they are not confident** (beginners, aso) or because their ankles are to stiff**. But for a reson or another, if you don't dorsiflex, then your heels are not fixed in their place then your toes are bunching the shell.

2nd Are you sure the second boot was not too big? If the size was good (bare feet in shells checked), I'd also look to the range of motion of your woman's ankle (dorsiflexion). To me, perhaps her heels are lifting 'cause she can't dorsiflex due to her ankles which may be too stiff. Then the only way to put pressure against the tongue is to lift up her heels. If the ankle's stiffness is the problem, I would advise to find a skiboot that fits, and help her to have a better shin to tongue pressure using some heel lifters in appropriate boots.

All the best

**With people who are not feeling confident or who have a feeling of too soft shin contact, toe lifter outside the boot could help them lean forward better and so use their boots the way we should: regular shin contact, heel at the back and just enough room around the toes. But when it's the ankles which are to stiff, then we can cheat by adding drop on the bootboard (heel lifters) to help the skier bring some weight on the tongue ???
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@Joneb74, Welcome to Snowheads Very Happy

Some good information in your post.

You may not have noticed, but this thread started in 2007....
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Hi all, I was just about to ask about heel lift but thought I would search first and found this thread - thankfully! I have had my boots for 3 years and initially they were fine (Nordica NXT). Last year I noticed some heel lift and went to the guys at Eliss Brigham in Glasgow - excellent tech's - and they advised and provided a plastic heel cup and another insole (free), I also got a Power Strap fitted and the boots seemed fine until I went to the fridge yesterday and no matter what I tried buckle-wise I had quite bad heel lift. All advice greatly received as normal.
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Hi clanchief,
If I have well understood your post,
At the first your boot were fitting great. But this season, your heels lifts up.
Did you have any serious issue with your ankles, feet or lower limbs? Issue that could affect your ankles ROM (Range Of Motion)?Hopefully not?!
So if your ankle is not more rigid than before, it may be the liner's foam that is too packed now and you have to much room in your boot?!
If this is the fact, maybe the shell is not so perfectly adapted to your foot: size?mid foot volume?
In case of too much room around the mid foot, you could add a home made foam on the liner's tongue or an eliminator tongue by Instaprint. If the shell is too generous around the ankle, you could add some foam on the liner around your ankle ( C shape, V shape, or other home made IPS pieces by Sidas).
To me the best solution would be to choose your next boot with a shell that fits your feet.
Sorry for my English, all the best and enjoy your ski time.
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@Joneb74, time to declare who you are and where you work:)
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Hi CEM,
I'm a basic but passionate bootfitter, with a french english(sorry for that!)
After some experience in ski shops, my own snowboard shop in french alps and 10years for a mountain and outdoor specialist in Switzerland, I m today an activist for a company focusing on feet, comfort and performance...
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@Joneb74, which company do you work for , there are only a few?/
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Quote:

C shape, V shape, or other home made IPS pieces by Sidas)


Given the language and the reference in his post you have to assume it's Sidas, which I'm fine with as he's giving helpful advice. It would be good for him to make it clear though as long as he has company blessing to post in an official capacity. If he's posting from a private perspective then that's fine too.
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@olderscot, that was my guess
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Hello CEM and Olderscot,

I'd like to apologize if something went wrong with my last posts. Hope this one will make it as clear as possible!
My collaboration with the company mentionned is pretty new, and I wasn't posting in focus to advertise one product or another, but only sharing experiences I had as bootfitter, and I wish everybody could understand that.
Bootfitting is not an (exact) science and -of course- any different opinion is welcome and helpfull.

From now, I know I have to banish brand name in my posts. Once again, sorry for that.

So you are right Olderscot

Thanks wink
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Hi Joneb74,

there's nothing wrong with mentioning brand names in your posts, it just helps if we know whether you're connected with the company in some way or are an independent poster. Posters with connections to companies often have great experience with the products that they can share and are sometimes able to give lots of tips and advice on how best to use them.

As an 'activist' for the company you might just want to drop Admin (the forum owner) a PM to check your arrangements with him.
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BTW Doesn't everybody have heel left even if a few mm? I can certainly "squish" my heel down outside of my boot, so assume standing on it then lifting the heel could feel like lift but is really one skin/tissue moving inside the boot?
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