You just purchased new ski boots and spent more money than you anticipated. Now you think to yourself “Should I have custom foot beds made?”.
According to master boot fitter Greg Pier of Heino’s Ski and Cycle in Pequannock Township, NJ, there are three important reasons for custom foot beds ; performance, comfort, and reduction of fatigue.
All ski boots have foot beds inside the liner. They are designed for simple support and comfort for everyone.
(Standard ski boot liner from the manufacturer. Flat sole with minimal arch)
A custom foot bed is molded to an individual’s foot. Since everyone’s foot is different, a custom foot bed will give maximum support.
(Custom heat molded foot bed. Arch is higher and heel enhanced)
It is important to understand that boot manufacturers design the hard shell plastic boot to a neutral foot. But who has a neutral foot? The concept is for the skier’s foot to be in a neutral position to achieve perfect balance. “The skier’s center of gravity should be poised to react to varying terrain, speed and obstacles. “ * If a skier’s weight is out of alignment in the boot, it is more difficult to find the balance point. A custom foot bed will position the foot in the boot to help achieve a neutral, balanced position and thus improve performance on the snow.
Since the hard shell plastic boot is designed for a neutral foot, custom foot beds will position the skier to a neutral position. It will adjust one’s stance so there is no pressure at any point in the boot and thus no pain.
For example, 90% of the population’s ’ankles roll inward (called pronation). This causes the arch to collapse, putting pressure on the inside ankle once in the boot. Custom foot beds will correct the ankle roll making the boot more comfortable.
All of us have felt fatigue upon standing all day. We also know which shoes are better for standing, as they tend to have more support. Well, the same is true for ski boots. More support equals less tired feet. And when our feet are happy, we can ski longer and enjoy the mountain and thrill of skiing longer!
* interview with Greg Pier 10/19/16 by Green Ice Wax