• 2017
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Lou's Performance Centre - How Can I Guarantee Comfortable Boots? Part 2

Purchasing boots according to their performance label is often a mistake, since in the purchasing process your actual foot shape and width is completely ignored! This can be an expensive and painful mistake so where do we go from here? What is the next step to guarantee comfortable boots?  You need to assess your foot size, shape, peculiarities and differences from left to right.

Ski boots are designed exclusively in Mondo sizes (length of your foot in centimeters). Start by having your feet measured in Mondo using a Brannock device that also includes width and then assess overall foot shape by ignoring bunions and other boney landmarks that typically cause problems. Your ski shop should be able to help find problem areas but most skiers already know where they are.

If you have narrow heels, you know boots are loose in everything you wear.  You know the feeling of blisters starting as soon as you even think of a hike, or when your heels start wobbling from side to side with every ski turn. If you wear only Oxfords because the thought of another loafer cutting into the top of your foot is simply too much to bear, then you have a high instep.

Some skiers have feet that vary as much as 1 ½ sizes and this must be taken into consideration when selecting boot size.  From a performance aspect it is always beneficial to fit the smaller foot first but if each foot varies more than one size, it’s difficult to accommodate.

Next, the fitter should pick a boot that solves the major problems. Your new boots should be snug without the necessity of even buckling the lower two buckles. Although not intuitive, we often find people are immediately more comfortable when we downsize them from the monsters wide enough to fit a hand and foot into, since smaller and narrower boots spread pressure more evenly over the foot. The result is a boot that you’ll never have to buckle so tightly that your foot is painfully crushed in the effort to keep it from sliding side to side.

Then, as a final step, punches that “work” can be added in bunion and ankle areas and elsewhere if needed. I say “work” because it’s common for many people to have these areas punched many times, since loose boots don’t hold your foot in the one position necessary to always align your bunion or ankle. A size too large is simply an invitation to return to the boot fitting shop!

Proper fitting and guaranteed comfortable boots start with boots that are close to correct from the box that are then modified for each of our individual needs.

Part 3 of the How to Guarantee Comfortable Boot series will discuss foot motion inside the boot, how to accommodate normal and necessary foot motion and how to prevent normal movement from causing foot pain.

Check out  www.lous.ca for more details.

Published - January 17, 2018.

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