Benefits of Footbeds
Regardless of skiing ability, it is our firm belief that every skier and snowboarder will benefit from custom footbeds (or orthotics) in their boots. Regardless of the shape or mechanics of your feet, 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.
Because of these benefits, the vast majority of our clients who purchase boots will also choose to have custom footbeds made. We also have seen many clients who already own a pair of skiboots, but visit us to have custom footbeds made for them.
Making a custom footbed involves having your foot placed into one of our molding devices to obtain an accurate, usually semi-weightbearing, and neutral cast of the plantar surface and lower medio-lateral edges of your foot (underneath and sides). We then use various materials to manufacture a device that accurately matches the contour of your foot to the liner and shell of the boot and positions you for optimal comfort and performance.
During the initial assessment and consultation, potential or preexisting problem areas will be identified so that they may be addressed during the casting and manufacturing process. Footbeds can also be modified in many ways to provide pressure relief of areas of discomfort, help to provide better mechanical advantage and ultimately a more relaxed sensation in the boots.
Commonly Asked Questions
Footbeds or foot orthotics? What is the difference?
The word "Orthotics", or more accurately "Orthoses" is a term generally reserved for foot innersole devices that have been made by a qualified health professional with intimate anatomical knowledge of the human foot and its mechanics. In essence there is no real difference between a footbed and an orthotic other than the person who has made them and their intended use. At Boot Solutions we have both podiatrists and qualified master bootfitters who make custom innersoles and as such we use the terms "Footbeds" and "Orthotics" interchangeably.
Will the orthotics from my shoes fit into my ski/snowboard boots?
Probably not. Unless the podiatrist or doctor who prescribed your orthotics had skiing in mind and also had intimate knowledge of the type of boot you were going to wear, then there is a good chance they are going to be either inappropriate or contribute to fit issues. If you are planning to have your podiatrist make you a pair before you purchase the boots, we recommend that you ensure that the prescription is appropriate for skiing/boarding and that the devices are designed so that they can be easily modified to fit a range of boot styles.
Some of the problems that we encounter with trying to use your everyday orthotics include:
1.The podiatrist has designed the orthotic with walking/running gait in mind. The foot/ankle/leg goes through very different motions in gait compared to skiing/riding, the optimum positioning of your foot on the device will therefore be different.
2. Due to the same reasons stated above, the contour of the device will be different if made for gait rather than skiing.
3. Your ski/board boots are likely to be a different size to your everyday shoes: A well fitting ski boot is often 1-2 sizes smaller than your regular shoe size. You might want to reconsider cutting your everyday orthotics down to a smaller size if you plan to keep them in your shoes after your skiing trip.
3. Not all podiatrists are skiers/boarders, further, even less of them are bootfitters. Unless your podiatrist has a complete understanding of the shape and contours inside the liner and shell of your boots, then there is a good chance that the orthotic they prescribe is not going to fit snugly into the boot. This is one of the biggest problems encountered in the boot shop with orthotics made by non-skier-non-bootfitters.
How long does the process take?
To have a pair of custom footbeds made takes between 20 and 45 minutes.