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Help with diagnosis of my shin/boot cuff interface issue

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I seem to have a problem which is getting worse. My right boot and right shin aren’t playing nicely.

I used to get blisters on my shin in my previous boots. This was cured by a boot fitter giving them some more progressive forward flex - they would before that hold form then flex fast, leading to a rubbing.

My current boots are better in every way. Except for the top edge of the right cuff.

It feels as if my right shin is trying to pivot on the top edge of my right boot’s cuff. The photo below is the aftermath (one week later) of four days of hard skiing. The ugly purple epicentre is the remains of where a blister slightly bigger than a 1p piece came off and which was sufficiently think it left a crater behind. The shin bone itself at this point is quite bruised.

The thing that I found absolutely killing was skiing ungroomed spring snow in fast GS (or wider) turns. The constant micro variations in the surface conditions meant bumpbumpbump on my shin. It’s not that the shin flops around in the cuff - when i take the boots off at the end of the day both shins below the cuff line are suitably compressed and both bulge above it. It’s more that every bump seems to transmit up through the ski and boot to that single point on my shin.

But only on the right side (there’s a faint mark on the left shin but it is nowhere near as bad).

I’ve had this before but usually I ski with the fam so tend to take it quite easy a lot of the time. This time I was in my own so “on it” a lot more.

Any ideas about cause/cure? I tried really locking up the lower cuff clip in order to secure the lower shin more, and maybe reduce pressure in the upper shin. Worked a little bit. But not a cure. Should I just see about getting the cuff sorted to increase its flex? Or maybe I am unconsciously letting my right foot slip backwards when it is weight bearing through the turn and creating the pivot myself? Or something else.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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I'm guessing from your toenails that your boots are not a race fit.

Have you tried shaving your lower legs to see if that reduces the amount that your socks move against the skin ?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Gregg66 Bet you didn't expect a comment on the length of your toenails but if your boots were a tight fit you could never grow them that long.
You appear to have very narrow legs between your ankles and calves which probably means your boots are loose and moving around the ankle.
Best to see a good boot fitter but as a temporary measure cut the feet off an old pair of ski socks, maybe two, and try wearing double/treble thickness on the legs as padding
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And if it's just causing problems and rubbing/banging in a specific place (which looks well ouchio!) then put plasters, moleskin, strapping/physio's tape etc onto your skin before you get the abrasions, Compeeds or similar blister plasters once you do and get some stick-on foam or neoprene (from e bay?) and attach it to the bits of the boot cuffs where they're touching the legs in either case.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Go to a bootfitter. Could be a number of things but poorly set cuff alignment and the foot pronating in the boot will both cause shin bang. This is one for a professional. In the interim, I have had good results from Sides gel shin protectors but those are not a substitute for getting professional advice.
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What boots are you in ?
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Quote:

It feels as if my right shin is trying to pivot on the top edge of my right boot’s cuff.


By pivot do you mean rotate inwards?
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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!
Boots: Lange RX100 LV.

Pivot: I mean (this would be easier with pictures or a video) pivots forwards. What I think should happen: the forward lean angle of the cuff and the forward lean angle of the shin bone should be the same, such that the cuff applies pressure evenly from its bottom to its top along your shin. As your knee drives forwards, the shin bone angle decreases. The cuff angle ought also to decrease so as to maintain even pressure.
What I feel happens: I drive my knee forwards, my shin angle decreases, but the cuff angle doesn't match it: the cuff moves a bit but not as much, resulting in the cuff being closer to vertical than my shin is. So the shin creates a pressure point at the top of the cuff as the shin bone pivots forwards on the top edge of the cuff.

Toenails: Ha! Oddly I did trim them a couple of weeks ago but like my fingernails they seem to grow disproportionately quickly when wrapped up. And have grown a bit since I've been back. Plus I can't cut the big toenail too short because if I do I tend to get ingrowing toenails (something you *really* don't want in a ski boot).

Other: what bugs me about this is the unevenness. The left side is nowhere near as bad. I am right footed/handed. I am wondering whether on my right side I am driving my knee forwards too aggressively - or perhaps too aggressively for my boot - because on that foot I am more stable and so can. Whereas on the left where my balance is weaker I don't have the ability/platform/strength to do that. I don't feel my ankles or heels moving forwards/backwards, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't: I must admit I wasn't tuning into that particular part of me at the time

I also spent time skiing bumps on the zip line. Oddly that was fine, even in the compression phase hitting the uphill face of the bump. Perhaps a combination of using both feet together and keeping my hands forward as counterweights stopped me putting too much weight just onto that right shin/cuff interface.

I have thought about a boot fitter, but at the same time wondered how effective that will be if the fitter isn't able to see what I am doing through the turn on my right foot. Perhaps I need some video of that plus a bootfitter.
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I wouldn't be surprised if it's due to your slim legs down near the ankles causing a combination of friction from leg movement within the boot with an excess of the applied pressure being at the top of the tongue.

A decent boot fitter would be my first point of call. They'll probably be able to tell pretty quickly what's happening.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 2-05-19 14:06; edited 1 time in total
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+3 for going to see a decent boot fitter, I had something similiar and Colin @ solutions4feet said where the boots allowed my ankle to flex on my older boots wasn't right for my feet/legs
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Not sure of the mechanics of how you get that specific hotspot but the homebrew short term fix might involve fitting Eliminator style tiongue padding along with direct protection on the shin. Once you have a tender or wounded spot then almost anything will aggravate it so pain in subsequent movements isn't necessarily a sign of doing something wrong, simply not allowing enough time for full healing.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
From what you are saying, this is definitely one for a decent fitter. This does not look easily diagnosable over the internet.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
+ another one for ultimately seeing a good bootfitter BTW. I was only suggesting temporary measures.
Might also be worth seeing an instructor, as they can watch the mechanics (or whatever) of what you're doing, whether there's a contact, back weighting or twisting issue (or whatever; I'm not an instructor, nor an expert skier).
I also have very skinny ankles, low volume feet, thin heel, etc, and can never get the tongue of a boot to come anywhere near the front of my leg - so I understand (I think) what the OP means when he (I assume he) describes his problem. Only had any shin bang or skin damage from boots once, though, and that was in a pair of boots of too wide a last, too soft a flex and probably too big a size. Couldn't lean forward enough to get on and pressure the tongue properly, certainly couldn't stay on it in bouncy terrain. They definitely had to be padded out with Eliminator style foam tongue additions: but were always a bad fit up top, though oddly never a problem in the foot or ankle area.
Currently in Hawx Ultras (115s, for a mature girly, so I wonder if flex is indeed soft on the OP's 100s?) and they're the tightest cuff which I've yet found, and also the highest (which I like, but the OP might not). Also have an adjustable forward lean, which may or may not be helpful. Definitely don't get rubbing or pain from the upper tongues, though I still can't find anyone who can solve the non-touching front ankle issue. And sometimes I still stick bits of foam down the front of these boots, as they're still not a tight enough cuff as times.
Thinking that different (Zipfit?) liners might be on the cards for me, but can't yet find a source/fitter, and also so far deciding that I need to improve my technique and strength before investing yet more money in blinking boots.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Not sure of the mechanics of how you get that specific hotspot


Smygus Dyngus had something similar on the EoSB, although possibly a bit lower.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Not sure of the mechanics of how you get that specific hotspot


Smygus Dyngus had something similar on the EoSB, although possibly a bit lower.


In his case possibly collateral damage from overly vigorous whipping of the pussy willow...
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Dave of the Marmottes, that could be true, especially as he only seemed to complain about it after Easter Monday.
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@greg66, @skiinghunter had a similar problem on the PSB a couple of years ago, and fixed it with gel pads which stick onto the shins. I don't know the brand but they were remarkably effective even with a large open blister.

+1 for seeing a good bootfitter. I suspect you may be on the right lines with your thoughts about ankle and boot flex/geometry not matching, in which case your boots probably don't fit very well. If that's the case, any protection, pads etc will only be a partial fix; better to get it sorted properly.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Toenails - Every week ! Men!
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Oh. And the guy in Tignes scored the front of the plastic tongues of my boots as the first thing after I had skied in the boots for an hour and went back for shin pain! Good job it worked for that problem.
Three more adjustments , including using own old footbeds, and I had perfect boots.
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I have a slight difference in shin bone shape betwen my two legs. My left totally engages the front of the boot but my right has most pressure on the lip, pretty much the same as yours but without the rubbing, it's more a case of me feeling it. These are with custom foam liners too, plus it's the same with my other ski boots of different makes. It's probably due to an old motorbike injury of hte right ankle in my case.
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I used to take the skin off my shins, until someone suggested ensuring the powerstrap was done up firmly. The problem vanished and has not reappeared..
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