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Pain free feet?


Deadshred
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Hey, I'm a new carver looking to get boots that are comfortable. I've tried an older pair of Burton Reactors 93,94. Nothing but alot of pain! Would be willing to get those modified, but live in New York and do not know where to go for truly expert boot fitting. Would I be better off just getting a new pair? I was looking at the Deeluxe Le-mans, Head Stratos. I would like to get boots that are not" Ballistic for racing", but able to handle nice carving and be comfortable all day. All advice is welcome. Thanks...Marty

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I achieved pain-free feet with custom footbeds, a Thermoflex liner, and by realizing that in Raichle/Deeluxe, I need a size 25 shell even though my feet are closer to 26.5.

My feet are flat and have forward arches, so the footbed is pretty much a necessity. I probably over-did it with the cork ones in terms of spending money. I use 'em with hard boots, soft boots, and hiking shoes, so at least I get a lot of use from them. If I didn't work from home in my bare feet I'd probably use them every day.

The thermoflex liners keep my bony feet from being exposed to pressure points, and also make for a nice snug fit without having to crank down the buckles too hard.

My feet are shaped just right so that I can use a smaller shell size than my actual foot length. I started with 26's, and even with a Thermoflex liner theere was a lot of slop. The Shell test (http://www.bomberonline.com/Store/boots/shell_test.cfm) does suggest to me that the 26 shell was in fact too big... so try it out for yourself as well!

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A few years back these guys did some terrific work for me. I highly recommend Greg Hoffmann if you continue to experience foot pain and want to custom-fit your boots. While he primarily works with alpine skiers, his knowledge of anatomy and bootfitting is unsurpassed. Not only will you experience pain-free riding, but you should see a boost to performance as well!

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Originally posted by jason_watkins

I'd really like to hear how the Le Mans compares to the Head Stratos (plain stratos, not stratos ltd or stratos pro) as well. How does the lean/flex adjustment on the heads work? Are they lighter, heavier? Are they shorter, longer, or about the same compared to the same mp size Raichle?

I have the Blax Stratos, which I believe are mostly the same as the Head Stratos (Head bought Blax).

I can't really compare them to the Raichles, because I've never owned Raichles. I did try on Raichles (and Burtons), and they both were a million miles from being comfortable out of the box, whereas the Blax fit me perfectly straight away. YMMV.

Anyway, the forward lean and flex are controlled by a spring at the back of the boot. There's a nut at each end of the spring. One nut adjusts the flex, and the other adjusts the forward lean.

However the adjustments are not always independent of each other. Adjusting the forward lean also affects the stiffness, unless you compensate for it by also adjusting the flex nut. Adjusting the flex does not, however, affect the forward lean.

There's also a lever that disengages the spring and puts the boot into walk mode. When you engage the lever you can engage it at two different forward lean positions, despite the spring setting being the same. I've never made use of this feature as there is too much difference between the two positions. If one is about right, the other will be far too upright or far too forward.

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I can't stress enough how important I think custom footbeds are. Even the most "normal" foot will benefit hugely from footbeds. I used to think they were a luxury for people who are never happy with boots, now I consider them manditory equipment. I kick myself for not having gotten some years earlier than I did. Thermoflex liners are also great.

Put it this way, if you're serious about getting into hardbooting, you may as well just buy all this stuff now if you can afford it. Because you will eventually, so why not do it now and enjoy it from day 1?

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I've found the "toe box" on the Burton boots to be on the small side, so getting a good fit is tough -- try to downsize to a smaller boot for tighter fit and the toes get jammed up. My bro just picked up a pair of Stratos Pro boots -- they seem to have a much larger toe box, and permit a snug fitting shell w/o mashing the little piggies. Nice liner, too. The Deelux boots seem to be a bit narrow, and some of the hardware doesn't seem all that burly.

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Thanks for the great feed back guys! Jack I think your right about just buying the right gear now because I know I eventually will. I'm just waiting on some pricing from the Green Mountain Orthotics Lab at Stratton Mt. on what footbeds and some boot tweaking will run me. Hope everyone is Arcing-up-Courduroy!

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I just bought a pair of replacement footbeds (Superfeet). I'm going to get my liners reheated and insert the Superfeet.

I had arch pain for a few years and got custom orthodics for my daily walking shoes, but for snowboarding I wouldn't spend the extra money for custom footbeds. IMO, most SB boots come with a paper thin footbed liner with no arch support, so at the very least put a $30 liner in.

Hey Lonerider, do you carve with the Tahoecarvers? A few TCer's and I are planning a weekday trip on Jan 27/28 at Kirkwood.

Hugh

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Originally posted by Derf

Some people here are always talking about footbeds. What are the benefits of footbeds if the comfort issue is on top and/or side of the feet?

Derf

With regards to pain on the side of the foot... when you tighten the buckles or straps, it can cause the arch of your foot to collapse.

This causes your foot to expand sideways against the boot, hence the pain in the side of your foot.

With a moulded footbed, your foot is being pushed down into its own shape so the arch cannot collapse.

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Lonerider - Depends on the model. You DO NOT want silicon injected liners (unless you're going after the men's skiing downhill title on traditional skiis). For snowboard boots, the most popular aftermarket liners are Raichle ThermoFlex and Intuition.....

As for insoles, the benefit of getting them varies on the customer....A LOT. Why spend $500 on a pair of boots, only to skimp on the most important part? The little flat foam insole does nothing....it is made to be thrown away.

You can buy aftermarket (store) insoles that are either heat moldable or standard. Unfortunately, there offer little of an upgrade.

"Custom" insoles are made by a ski shop. You'll be assured that the impression is proper and the posting is made for your boot.

Some benefits of insoles:

- alignment

- balance

- support

- fatigue

- pressure points

- strength

- warmth

- comfyness

- performance

- endurance

- agility

Basically, it's the little plastic thingie that holds the six pack all together.....the magic link in properly fitting and ensuring performance in any foot product.

If you have a removeable orthodic for your walking shoes...these will be of little use in your ski boots because they are generically shaped and are usually made for a totally different (clinical) purpose You'll need an insole exclusively for your SB boots.

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Originally posted by Hugh

I just bought a pair of replacement footbeds (Superfeet). I'm going to get my liners reheated and insert the Superfeet.

Hey Lonerider, do you carve with the Tahoecarvers? A few TCer's and I are planning a weekday trip on Jan 27/28 at Kirkwood.

Hugh

Hi Hugh, this is Arvin. I haven't officially ride with TC, but I have start posting a bit. Um, I can't do midweek days right now since I'm saving my vacation up for a one week trip to Whistler in February.

I already have superfeet in both my boots and they are far better in terms of support. They are a little lacking in shock absorption. Does anyone know if the Kork custom moldable ones are better in that respect?

Yea, I went in asking about Themoflex or Intuition liners, but they don't have them (Thermoflex) left in stock in my size. They do have a Zipfit liner and I was wondering how that brand compares.

Right now my main issue is that my ankle isn't firmly planted down in my boots unless I crank the latches down to the tightest settings. I'm wondering if the Raichle size 26 shell is too big, the 26 liner is perfectly sized (I touch the heel and toe nicely)... but maybe the shell is too long/tall and my foot (in the liner) is swimming around... the heel lift and ankle raising is what's bothering me... I feel like I want a thicker liner that matches the shape of my foot better.

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Originally posted by jgh

With regards to pain on the side of the foot... when you tighten the buckles or straps, it can cause the arch of your foot to collapse.

This causes your foot to expand sideways against the boot, hence the pain in the side of your foot.

With a moulded footbed, your foot is being pushed down into its own shape so the arch cannot collapse.

Thanks for the info, never thought of it that way.

Derf

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What about orthotics from a podiatrist? I have a pair (and they cost a pretty penny) from my podiatrist for my regular walking/running shoes because I am highly pronated and have completely flat feet. I read that using doctor prescribed orthotics is not appropriate for ski/snowboard boots, why is this?

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Originally posted by lonerider

They do have a Zipfit liner and I was wondering how that brand compares.

Right now my main issue is that my ankle isn't firmly planted down in my boots unless I crank the latches down to the tightest settings. I'm wondering if the Raichle size 26 shell is too big, the 26 liner is perfectly sized (I touch the heel and toe nicely)... but maybe the shell is too long/tall and my foot (in the liner) is swimming around... the heel lift and ankle raising is what's bothering me... I feel like I want a thicker liner that matches the shape of my foot better.

Once again, if the Zipfit liner they are trying to sell you is SILICON, run away. It's simply too stiff and too harsh on your feet. Raichle and Intuition are comfy......with plently enough support for carving....and both can be reheated. ZipFit silicon is a one-time only fitting.

As for your shell, it sounds too big. Doesn't matter what size liner you cram in the boot, the shell is too big. Liners are meant to move, shells aren't. Do a search in the forum for "shell fit"....

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Originally posted by Kent

Once again, if the Zipfit liner they are trying to sell you is SILICON, run away. It's simply too stiff and too harsh on your feet. Raichle and Intuition are comfy......with plently enough support for carving....and both can be reheated. ZipFit silicon is a one-time only fitting.

As for your shell, it sounds too big. Doesn't matter what size liner you cram in the boot, the shell is too big. Liners are meant to move, shells aren't. Do a search in the forum for "shell fit"....

I see, I didn't realize you were saying that zipfit was silicon. Ok, I'll look for an Intuition liner. I actually duct taped some foam on the outside of my liner around the back heel and that seemed to help a little... still I plan to get a new shell and liner in the future. Thanks for the info.

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