Ski orthoses / orthotics, custom foot beds or ski insoles are well established to benefit a skier or boarder in three ways…
- Even pressure dispersion
- Foot alignment and support
Ski boots are very firm and rigid supporting the foot on the sides and across the top, so it is vital to support the foot from underneath with an orthotic device. Think of it like filling in the gaps or empty space in your boot. When purchasing new ski or snowboard boots any worthwhile Boot Fitter will suggest you get custom made inserts in your boots.
Custom inserts are also always the first place to start to resolve any boot fitting problems, without stabilising the foot any changes made elsewhere in the boot will not fix the problem as the foot remains unstable...
CAN I WEAR MY EXISTING ORTHOSES IN MY SKI BOOTS?
Regular orthoses do not work in ski boots as they are designed for a walking or running gait in which the foot performs greatly contrasting movements to those in a ski boot. Regular orthoses are designed for the foot to go through a full range of movements from heel strike to toe-off and then swing through the air. In contrast in a ski boot your foot is stuck in mid-stance all the time. Ski orthoses are designed to support your foot in optimal neutral position distributing pressure throughout the ski turn. Regular orthoses are generally made from a hard polypropylene material and are designed to correct or change your gait pattern. Ski orthoses are softer, more accommodative and have a higher arch for support and pressure distribution.
WHAT BENEFITS WILL SKI ORTHOSES GIVE ME?
- Pressure dispersion – this will make the foot feel comfortably supported like it’s never felt before. It prevents “hot spots” under the foot and an even feeling of control.
- Holds the foot in a neutral joint position – Holding the foot in a neutral position supports the muscles and ligaments of the foot. The 33 joints are held in the ideal, neutral position allowing the nerves and arteries to run through without being squashed. This prevents cold and numb spots, and fatigue and cramping from muscles overworking. Ever had an arch cramp in a ski boot? Oh yeah, you need ski orthoses. Or if you already have ski orthoses, you need new ones/modifications.
- Arch support – When turning, the arch will collapse if not supported, causing the ankle to roll in and the tibia to rotate inwards, creating a tendency to ‘A-frame’ as you move through the turn. Proper support here will prevent the ankle from rolling too much and causing shin rub or painful inner ankle problems on the boot.
- Improved ski control – A ski orthosis “fills in the gaps” under the foot so your movements are translated to the ski with minimal energy loss from wasted movement.
- Improved contact also improves your sense of balance – your head has more information with which to calculate your position in space (proprioception). Better control leads to improved technique from setting the ski on its edge and releasing it faster.
- Prevents the foot from splaying – Did you know that your foot can measure a size larger if you don’t have a well made custom ski orthosis in your ski boot? A boot that’s too big will result in sloppiness and unnecessary foot pain. If you require any shell expansions for spots that rub or cause pressure, you need a ski orthosis. Unless you have a ski orthosis stabilising your foot, it will just move into the space created and you will still get the rubbing or squashed feeling in your feet. Black and bruised toes and toenails occur if your foot is not stabilised and is sliding around in the boot.
- Cushioning – Everyone needs a bit a of cushioning between their foot and the hard plastic shell. Can you imagine the heel bruising without it? Ski boots come with a cushion-y insoles but they compress very quickly once you leave the shop and lack adequate support. Ski orthosis will maintain their cushioning while supporting your feet season after season.
WE HAVE THE SKI ORTHOTIC SOLUTION…
First clipping into skis at Selwyn as a Milo Mini Mite, Podiatrist Evan has since spent many hours both on and off-piste in the Canadian Rockies, New Zealand Canterbury & Otago Alps and Australian NSW & VIC Alps as a snowboarder, alpine and telemark skier. Combining a long-term love for snow sports with his Podiatry degree Evan has a unique understanding of anatomy of the foot and lower limb, biomechanics and the role the equipment plays in the foot’s functionality whilst skiing. At your initial consult our Podiatrist will do a full biomechanical assessment, take your history and inspect your ski boots. This is when we find out all about what kind of skiing you like to do, previous boot problems, injuries, biomechanical function and anything else relevant. A 3D scan will then be taken of your feet and a custom prescription will be made for your ski orthotics. At your next consult your ski orthotics will be ready for fit and issue just in time for your next snow trip. All of this is claimable through your private health fund, so don’t forget your private health care card!
- Everyone not only benefits, but NEEDS, ski orthoses.
- Regular running or walking orthoses must NOT be worn in ski boots.
- Ski orthoses will make your feet feel all warm and fuzzy all day long.
- Ski orthoses lead to better control, less fatigue and longer ski days.
- Make sure you get your ski orthoses made by someone with skill in understanding equipment AND feet and how they all fit together.
- Ski orthoses made by a Podiatrist are claimable through your private health fund!
At Rural Health, our Podiatrist Evan is experienced in assessment, prescription, modification and fit of ski orthotics. For further information book online or phone 02 5926 3806