Why you need Custom Orthotics
Regardless of skiing ability or the shape and mechanics of your foot, every skier and snowboarder can benefit from custom footbeds (or orthotics) in their boots.
Footbeds help to take your boots to the next level by providing superior fit, support, and comfort. They help to stabilise your foot and correct your posture, so that the energy you exert while skiing is transferred directly to your skis, rather than being lost in your boot. This ultimately results in less fatigue, less discomfort and better skiing performance.
The motion of skiing results in a lot of force directed through the feet in a way that is not the same as walking or during other activities. During each turn, a large amount of the body’s weight is transferred to the inside edge of the foot, directly down through the midfoot and into the arch. Depending on your foot type, without the support of a custom orthotic, this position and movement may cause some of the following adverse affects:
The arch collapses and the foot rotates laterally (towards the outside) in the transverse plane, squeezing the outside of the foot.
The arch collapsing means that at the same time the tibia (shin bone) rotates medially (inwards) exposing ankle bone to the upper inside of the boot which can rub due to excessive pressure and movement in and out as well as up and down.
As the arch collapses and foot pronates (three way movement) in the boot, the bones of the midfoot can unlock and the foot spreads causing increased pressure along the big toe and 5th toe.
The foot also lengthens as a result of spreading, causing the toes to hit the front of the boot.
The medial (inside) ankle bone ends up awkwardly positioned on the lower ridge of the boot’s ankle pocket, causing pressure and rubbing.
The arch is unstable, so it is unable to act as a shock absorber and therefore shock is transferred to the knee.
The multidirectional movements of the leg irritate the shin and pinch the calf.
Leg muscles at the front and back of the leg work overtime to pull the foot back and stabilise it in the boot during and between turns, which can lead to shin pain and tendonitis at the front and calf pain at the back.
Without adequate ankle range of motion, a combination the starting forward lean of boot and the flexing of the ankle in a turn can cause the heel to rise up and shift the weight of the body forward to the front of the boot, increasing pressure to the forefoot, causing pain and numbness.
Pressure caused by the misalignment of the leg/foot in the boot can lead to impingements of the nerves and arteries, leading to cold, numbness and pain.
A custom insole or orthotic that offers the right combination of control, support, and flex, can go a long way in correcting the above fit issues. The insole holds the foot in a powerful neutral pose, which in turn supports all of the muscles and ligaments of the foot. As a result, the foot will stay centred in the middle of the boot and the insole will support and align the ankle bones and instep bones in a comfortable position.
And with the improved fit, comes better performance. A footbed preserves neutral position, stops wasted motion, and markedly improves edging efficiency. A skier will set and release their edge quicker, without over-twisting the knee.
To find out more about the process of making custom orthotics and FAQs, please visit http://www.bootsolutionsjapan.com/custom-orthotics/