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Old 31.01.2011, 12:12
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Snowboard boots - fitting?

OK so this is the problem:

The boots I have 'fit', but my heels both lift and slide inside the boots when I ride with them.

I really have to stand on my toes to get the front side rail to grip, so my feet get tired quickly.

I've tried packing paper inside and around the heel of the boots to pack them in a bit, but the paper slides down and underneath before too long.

I went to a sports shop and tried on a couple of pairs of boots to see if it was just my boots, but they were all the same.

My question basically breaks down to this:
a) Is this normal? Does anyone else have the same issue?
(yep, snowboarding is new for me)

b) How tightly do your feet 'fit' inside your own boots?

c) Has anyone got any suggestions on how to get around this problem?


I seem to really pull the bindings super tight, and have moved them around to try to keep the heel on the board as much as I can.

Setting the boots and bindings up for the first run or so, and all is good, but it gets a bit frustrating and is slow to have to do this every couple of runs.

As I said.... if you have any suggestions let me know...... I just want to ride in peace.
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:19
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

If you have a lot of heel lift then your boots don't fit you properly, don't know how to fix it though. If you had trouble with all the boots at a regular sports shop, try going to a specialised shop for boarding, the staff should be able to either fix your problem, or help with better fitting boots.
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Old 31.01.2011, 23:56
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

Hope you find a solution. I have some inserts that velcro to the tongue of my ski boots, as when the foam inners compacted, I had a similar problems.

Where did you buy your boots? My advice is always never ever to buy boots (ski or snowboard) second-hand, or without proper expert advice. Foam inners do compact down and also take on the shape of YOUR feet- and should never ever be lent. I'll happily lend most of my things, including skis and snowboard, but will NEVER lend boots for that reason. New boots should feel very tight, to allow for compaction. Also use thin ski socks, never the bulky square toed cheap ones with new boots. Would be very interested to hear how you get on.

Do you have 2 layers of laces and a velcro strap on top. Like with skates, spending time to really tighten both layers will really pay dividends. I usually re-tighten regularly throughout the day, so they are really smug. Might be worth trying thicker ski socks BUT good quality and an insole. If boots don't fit properly you will get terrible cramps (as you probably know).

Last edited by Odile; 01.02.2011 at 00:07.
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Old 01.02.2011, 09:34
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

heel rising up is a common problem of a boot that's simply too big. but not that it's too big around your heel itself -- that's irrelevant because no boot will really "pinch" your heel to keep it in place. instead it's too big around the ankle, and the front of the ankle specifically. you can't really solve this with inserts unfortunately... maybe some thicker socks are in order or new boots.
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Old 01.02.2011, 10:37
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

Have you tried going back to the shop where you bought them to ask thier advice and /or if you can return the boots?

Most good snowboard boots have two layers, the inner layer is soft and supple which moulds to your feet and is laced up first, then there are separate laces on the outer layer.

Having good fitting boots is the most critical piece of snowboard kit. Therefore it may be worth going to a specialist snowboard shop that do customization.

I alway have footbeds made for my boots (ski and snowboard) but this won't fix your problem.

My ski boots are foamfilled so are moulded exactly to my foot and there is zero movement, but I don't think they have this for snowboard boots. Some snowboard boots are designed to mould to your feet, they are warmed then you put them on.....

Also look here for more info (google is your friend):

snow board heel grip

http://www.google.ch/#sclient=psy&hl...cfc24064c210d4

snowboard heel lift
http://www.google.ch/#hl=en&xhr=t&q=...cfc24064c210d4

Maybe try the 'snowboard garage' http://www.snowboardgarage.ch or Wider sports (Wallisellen/Dubendorf, near Jumbo). http://www.sportplauschwider.ch/

Last edited by szhjcn; 01.02.2011 at 10:41. Reason: added info
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Old 01.02.2011, 11:26
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

Thanks for those links- excellent. Don't put up with bad fitting boots - jsut not worth it - will hamper progress, encourage bad habits and ruin your enjoyment. Would love to hear what solution you find/choose.
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Old 01.02.2011, 11:27
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

I've had the same problem of late, mainly due to the inner part of the boot not tying as tight because of a faulty 'stopper thingy' on the inner laces. Easily solved with two pairs of socks, tying the outer laces ridiculously tight and bindings even tighter...the problem is that this doesn't last for long, as you probably have seen.

I'm planning to live with it until the end of the season, and then buy some molded boots. I haven't checked Snowboard garage yet for prices, but I remember at Ellis Brigham in the UK they offered this service, with a follow up session, for around £25 if you bought their boots. Google also suggests that this can be done yourself with a hairdryer, and presumably a lot of patience
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Old 01.02.2011, 11:32
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

Just looked - my velcro held foam inner tongues are called The Eliminator. Bought them from a ski fitting place at Winterpark (CO)- but they are available at Ellis Brigham. Make sure the inner and outer laces are long enough so you can tighten them up really well (and as said above, re-tighten at regular intervals during the day).
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Old 01.02.2011, 16:47
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

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Old 01.02.2011, 16:52
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

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Have you tried going back to the shop where you bought them to ask thier advice and /or if you can return the boots?
Thanks Szhjcn...... for both the link, and the ease of spelling your Moniker.

That info was seriously perfect.

I did go back to the shop and discussed the problem, and tried all the boots in the shop.... they all fitted the same.

Clearly this is a common problem, as "Boot selection" obviously helps when there is an option to help you with fit...... but some people (like myself) just have a narrow ankle and ALL boots just fit the same way.

Cutting the links you provided short, The advice summary was as follows:
PROFESSIONAL BOOT FITTER
Great idea where the boots are able to be adjusted.
Must select the best fitting boots available first.

TECHNIQUE
This one was also seemed highly likely, but I will outline this in a seperate post below, it's a bit long for here.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT
Inner soles
Several posts were made about a range of available innersoles (inculding yourself), again, I guess this is a case of "Each to their own", and "Trial and Error" to get this right.
Inner sole brand recommendations were quite varied, hence the above statement.

Socks
This is a little obvious.
Clearly where the boots are proportionally too big, socks will help.
As the front of the boot is fine, and it's strictly a heel issue, adding socks will just cramp the front of my feet, and adding little to no extra support for the heel.
it's more of a 'quick fix' to over come a boot size problem.

Temporary fixes
jamming paper in between the outer and inner boot wasn't too far off.
Someone mentioned cutting up an old "Mouse Pad" into strips and doing the same thing, and sticky tapping it in.
Being more rigid than paper, yet soft and flexible , this material sounds perfect.

Many posts were made both supporting and condemming this, but it all came down to boot selection again. If the shoe is too soft on the outside, you will just deform your boot and not get the advantage of modification.


Conclusion
Boot selection -
This remains paramount. Take your time, but don't be put off that the boot may not fit correctly, they can be modified to suit later. Select a boot with a firm outter boot, and a removable inner boot. Brands, cost, etc. doesn't matter, the best fit at the time is what matters most.

Technique -
being aware of your stance, and posture when turning.



Quote:
Would love to hear what solution you find/choose.
After this 'Technique' thing is sorted, I will modify my boots as best as possible.
I have a two week trip away (a week in snowboarding Colorado). If all goes well, I'll post the results of my "experimentation".
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Old 01.02.2011, 16:53
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

TECHNIQUE
OK, so here are two quotes from the information:

“if you stand in snowboard position and
1)bend your knees to make your legs into a house,
2)push your knees out and
3)roll from (what would be) front edge to heal edge,

if your doing it right you will not get heal lift. Now try the same thing but just put pressure on your toes and not worry about your knees or position, lots and lots of heal lift.


Go practice, work on the technique cos any boots will give you heal lift if you forget your technique.”


The two main Questions I have to ask here is:
1) What is 'Making a House' with your legs?
2) Why push your knees out?*
* I was always told to pull my knees in



“Your ankle joint is the highest point of leverage on your body. I could hold your ankle down with all my body weight and you would still be able to lift your heel up off of the ground. Try raising your toes inside the boot when you are making turns. This will keep pivoting on the ball of your foot, instead of rocking all the up on to your toes.”

The other thing here is the "Toes".
This of all things makes the most sense.
Having a Surfing background - (a pure pain in the arse for learning snowboarding as EVERYTHING is opposite) digging your toes in for a forehand turn is paramount. I always have pressure dings in my boards from my toes.
Changing this technique is going to be really hard (mentally).
(consciously riding on the front foot to turn instead of the back is already hard enough)

How does everyone else position their toes when they make an aggressive forehand turn?
Yes - get up of your chair and try. Then tell me what your toes do.

The comment about the strength of the ankle joint makes perfect sense.
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Old 01.02.2011, 17:16
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

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1) What is 'Making a House' with your legs?
2) Why push your knees out?*
* I was always told to pull my knees in
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, then turn your ankles so your right foots points to two o clock and your left to 10. Then bend your knees, and the space under you legs looks like a house (or opposite ot the Eiffel Tower shape.) The downside is that you'll look like David Brent doing some bad dancing!

The effect of this when snowboarding is to minimise the effort required to lift the toes, eventually giving you more response and control over the board....that is according to my instructor. Your bindings should then be set to enable you keep this position on the board.
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Old 01.02.2011, 17:52
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

Where are you going in CO. There is a French guy in Winterpark who has a fitting shop reputed to be the best. Called 'le feet lab'.

www.lefeetlab.com
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Old 01.02.2011, 18:24
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

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Where are you going in CO. There is a French guy in Winterpark who has a fitting shop reputed to be the best. Called 'le feet lab'.

www.lefeetlab.com
I'll be in Vail (Vale - however you spell it) from the 7th to the 14th. But we'll be moving around.

I'll try to check out "Le Frog" while I'm there, but I'm not planning on taking my own boots or board with me anyway.

It would be good to have a chat to this guy all the same and see what recommendations he can offer.

Thanks for the tip. Hope I can find him
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Old 01.02.2011, 18:49
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

These new ZipFit liners look very interesting. He didn't have those when I visited a few years ago. Wonder how much they are.
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Old 02.02.2011, 17:13
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

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As I said.... if you have any suggestions let me know...... I just want to ride in peace.
Chiming in with some others: sounds like while your boots may fit lengthwise, but those three-dimensional blobs of flesh and bone have plenty more ways to wriggle around in there.

I'd say bite the bullet and buy another pair of boots that fits _you_.
The best would be to hire a different boot every day from a good store that has a decent selection of models during your next ski trip, just so you learn what kind of feel indicates a good fit. Second best is trying on a lot of boots and doing all kinds of silly walks to make sure the foot doesn't move at all in any direction, but isn't squished to pulp either. Circulation good.

Price should really be a secondary matter. The board, bindings, and other paraphernalia may change, but a well fitting boot is a treasure. If price is a concern and the boot happens to be expensive, try to hunt for the fitting make and model online, or try to find them on sale. (I scored mine at -60% in the French alps late in the season. Ended years of suffering of either duct-taped ankle bones or horrible splinters.)

Seriously. The boot is the most important bit of the set.

//ata
[Edit: silly scripted newlines...]
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Old 02.02.2011, 17:50
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

Hm. I realize I sort of neglected to answer a perfectly good question...

> b) How tightly do your feet 'fit' inside your own boots?

For me, it's essential that there is absolutely no movement. (Not just muscle strain, but constant movement chafes the skin off my bony ankle. Much pain.) Doing squats and rising up to the toes, or testing the boots in bindings and leaning far forward, there should be no more than millimeters of sliding or heel rise.

Careful with the flip side: it's possible to tighten boots so much that you're restricting circulation. This will manifest after 1-3 descents as muscles aching below the knee and coldness or numbness. That's why it's not enough to be able to pull the strings tight, the contours of the boot have to suit your lower leg shape, too.

If you happen to have a narrow foot, you might want to have a look at Ride or Salomon boots. Not much experience with wide boots, although I know Burton systematically doesn't fit me, and I presume it's the width.

//ata, again
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Old 02.02.2011, 18:00
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

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Hm. I realize I sort of neglected to answer a perfectly good question...

> b) How tightly do your feet 'fit' inside your own boots?

For me, it's essential that there is absolutely no movement. (Not just muscle strain, but constant movement chafes the skin off my bony ankle. Much pain.) Doing squats and rising up to the toes, or testing the boots in bindings and leaning far forward, there should be no more than millimeters of sliding or heel rise.

Careful with the flip side: it's possible to tighten boots so much that you're restricting circulation. This will manifest after 1-3 descents as muscles aching below the knee and coldness or numbness. That's why it's not enough to be able to pull the strings tight, the contours of the boot have to suit your lower leg shape, too.

If you happen to have a narrow foot, you might want to have a look at Ride or Salomon boots. Not much experience with wide boots, although I know Burton systematically doesn't fit me, and I presume it's the width.

//ata, again
Thanks for those tips and letting me know how the boot is supposed to fit.

For me, I already have Solomon boots, but in addition to the narrow ankles, the calf muscles are also wide. I am prone to really hang on to the laces when tightening, and a lack of circulation is a possibility.

I tried someone elses boots on the other day and the heel fit, but the toes were too wide.... weird.

I'm going to hire different boots every day while I'm away to get a bit of perspective on different brands and makes.... besides, I hear the US is cheaper for such things anyway, so if I can snag a new pair of boots that fit I'll buy them.
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Old 02.02.2011, 18:18
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

Good luck. Sounds like you have some options to try now.

Having good fitting boots is the most important piece of kit as you are probably aware. They have to be comfortable and transfer your movements direct to the board through the bindings.

Stuffing/taping/glueing things inside the boot at the back might not be the best solution as you don't want to push the foot forward cramping the toes. But maybe to the sides of the heel might work where you also mould/cut it around your ankle. The material used for camping/excercise mats might work.

My ski boots are custom one's with expanded foam which are a B'ch to get on as they are very narrow in the heel, but once in my foot is locked in place. Before they inject the foam, they add foam pieces to varies parts of the foot (toes, ankle bones etc..) so there is some space for movement of critical parts of the foot that need it. But I don't know of this system being used for snowboard boots (however no reason why a simular solution would not exist..).
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Old 02.02.2011, 18:25
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Re: Snowboard boots - fitting?

You can get inserts called an L-Pad or C-Pad that you stick (they're usually velcro) to the outside of the boot liner on either side of the boot at ankle height. They are supposed to prevent heel lift.

I had some with my boots but don't need to use them so unfortunately can't say if they're good or not.

May work for you though and they're cheap.

They're on here - http://tognar.com/boot_heater_warmer...html#bootshims
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