Here at Foot Factor, we see all kinds of complaints related to skiing and ski boot fit. Below are examples of some of the issues that our clients bring to us.
Symptom: Skier’s toe
Black toenails and throbbing toes are caused by toes hitting the front of the boot, causing tiny bleeds under the nail which dry and stain the keratin of the toenail, also known as subungual hematoma.
The causes of this are:
- Boots are too tight fitting
- Boots are too loose fitting
We will look at the fit of the foot within the boot and the amount of space front and back and side to side. A Foot Factor bespoke insole of the appropriate thickness can address this fit problem and support the foot within the boot, creating the correct foothold.
Symptom: Cold feet
Cold feet can make skiing uncomfortable, miserable even, especially on icy, cloudy, or damp days when there’s no sunshine to warm your boots. Having cold feet can also reduce the level of control over your skis affecting power, speed and steering.
The causes of cold feet are:
- Poor circulation
- Ski boots are ill fitting
- Wearing the wrong kit
Again, we will look at the fit of the foot within the boot and the amount of space in the toe box. Foot Factor bespoke insoles of the appropriate thickness improve fit allowing more toe ‘wriggle room’. We can also slacken off the buckles in the right places and recommend appropriate technical ski socks to retain more warmth whilst reducing the bulk that can restrict blood circulation.
Symptom: Pain in the forefoot
Discomfort in the ball of the foot including burning, numbness or aching is frequently reported by clients.
The causes of this are:
- The foot is mechanically unstable
- Boots are too flexible for the skiers weight
- Uneven distribution of weight/pressure
We will look at your biomechanics and stance and a pressure scan will reveal how your weight is distributed. From this information, we can tailor orthotics to adjust balance forwards or backward, and comfortably support and cushion the feet whilst leaving wriggle room in the toe box.
Symptom: Knee pain
Varying degrees of discomfort and pain to the front, sides and above the knee cap.
When skiing, major forces are applied to the feet and transferred through the ankles and knees resulting in significant stress to knee joints.
We use biomechanical analysis to identify how your anatomy is functioning, whilst bespoke insoles adjust the angle of the feet to improve alignment. Optimising the alignment between the foot and knee creates the best possible transmission of these forces and reduces impact of the stress.
And of course, strength and conditioning also play a key part, especially since we don’t use many of these muscles to this degree for the rest of the year, so we do recommend taking time to get fit for skiing.