Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Custom Ski Boot Fitting

Fun and pain don't go together if you want to excel in sports. Of all of the sport footwear that can really hurt your feet, ski boots are at the top list. Finding a solution to alleviate painful ski boots takes an experienced technician. Custom ski boot fitting is the solution.

In 1966 I was a Certified Ski Technician in Bend, Oregon. I went on to manage, then own a ski shop and spent decades in the ski business before I became a Board Certified Pedorthist. It was a long time ago, and I've learned a lot since then, following snow sports of all types through their life cycles.

During most of the 20th Century, Alpine Downhill skiing was the dominant snow sport. By the 1990's diversity was the trend and now people are on the snow in a variety of ski boots. Custom fitting snow-sport boots is my favorite specialty.

My custom snow sport and custom ski boot fitting service at Footform Orthotics Center in Bend, Oregon is: (We do this process quickly and efficiently because we charge by the hour.)
  1. Analyze the boot fitting problem during the appointment which includes a full professional foot exam.
  2. Isolate the fit problem determining the footwear compatibility with the foot.
  3. Perform alterations.
  4. Ski Boot Canting - Check for cant angles and alignment.
  5. After the custom shoe or boot alterations are done, the client tries the ski boot, skate boot or snowboard boot out on the snow.
  6. If necessary, the client returns for a short visit to get the fit tweaked.
At the Footform Performance Clinic in Bend, Oregon I custom fit the following snow riding boots: Footform custom orthotics are included in the process unless the client has an orthotic that is acceptable.
Telemark Ski Boots, AT Boots, Alpine Downhill Ski Boots, Nordic Cross Country Ski Boots, Nordic Skate Boots, Snowboard Boots.

We also sell the Daleboot for Alpine Downhill Skiing. The Daleboot can be a custom fit ski boot with custom shell modifications and thermo formed ski boot liners combined with custom ski boot foot orthotics. The Daleboot can accomodate the wide ski boot customer with alterations. My price includes my custom orthotic footbed for the ski boot. The Daleboot is the ONLY ski boot made in the U.S.A., which means that if a client has a particularly challenging fit problem, it is more likely to be solved in my office by customizing both the ski boot shell, liner and ski boot footbed. Because I work in partnership with the Daleboot factory to fit my client, true custom ski boot fitting is possible in a variety of ski boots size.

Call us at the Footform Performance Clinic 541-389-4547 to set your snow sport and custom ski boot fitting appointment. We're located at 345 SW Century Drive in Bend, Oregon. Century Drive/14th Street is the road to Mt. Bachelor ski area. Get a ski boot fit and test it on the mountain during your visit to Bend, Oregon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Growing Pains: Why Kids Complain

Kids complain about pain in the back of their legs -- calf and hamstring muscles. Commonly referred to as growing pains, these twinges occur because bones grow at a much faster pace than muscles. The problem that youth (ages 10-16) have as they grow is that as soon as their muscles start getting tight during and after a growth spurt, they compensate for the muscle tightness with actions such as toe-walking and pronating. 
  • Toe-walking - not "tiptoe" walking, but a stride where the heel does not touch the ground. The pivot point in the stride is at the forefoot instead of the ankle.
  • Pronating: The mid-foot collapses inward and  gives the appearance of ankle bend, but is really stress on the foot. 
These gait compensations create strains in the tendons connecting muscles to the foot (plantar fascia and achilles tendon). Then the muscles that attach up the leg become tighter, hence a kid will experience more growing pains. Muscles need to be used, stretched and worked to grow bigger and longer. (This is true at anytime of life.)

When a youth has growing pains, here's what you do:
  • Explain to them what's going on.
  • Keep them in physically active recreation or sports that don't have a lot of sitting-around time.
  • Teach them this simple stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet against a wall or piece of furniture. With your back straight, use your hands to push your torso forwards until you feel a stretch. Hold this 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Remember: Feet straight, bend your knees (just a little) as you walk and stand.